Friday, November 30, 2018

November Wrap-Up and Plans For December


I finished The Fifth Season in early November, which is the final title that I'm reading for my TBR Pile Challenge, and then plowed through the rest of the Broken Earth series. There's one more book on my challenge list but I'm not feeling inclined to read it so I'm done for the year.

This month I also finished Alisha Rai's excellent Forbidden Hearts series with Hurts To Love You. Rounding out the month, I read The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, which I loved, and started reading Crazy Rich Asians. The jury is still out on that one because sometimes reading about extremely wealthy, entitled people is just annoying but it's too early to really say yet.

In general it was a pretty good reading month!


Socks that I mention below.
While reading the Broken Earth series, I needed something less dark so I listened to The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, then started on Working Stiff by Judy Melinek which I impulsively bought on sale through Audible and had never heard of before. Melinek is a forensic pathologist, and this book is a glimpse inside a profession I know very little about.

I finished Last Seen, the podcast about the Gardener Heist. It was so fascinating, and now I want to learn more about art theft in general.

I also started listening to a podcast called Unlikeable Female Characters, which is SO up my alley. They talk about unlikeable female characters from books, movies, and TV so it sure to have wide appeal.


An early season of The Great British Baking Show appeared on Netflix and we watched that over the course of a week. It's listed on Netflix as The Great British Baking Show: The Beginning, though it's not actually the first season and I'm mystified as to why we're getting it in such a strange order. This was a good season except that they kept doing odd informational segments on things like the history of gingerbread houses and eel pie and it was not even always relevant (I really thought that technical challenge was going to be eel pie, but it wasn't. Why did we need to learn about the history of eel pie?) I really wish all the other seasons were available because watching this show greatly improves my quality of life. Please let me know if there's another happy-making food show out there because I need it.


After making the Smitten Kitchen Blondies again for a get-together and the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies for no reason, I decided I needed to stop the baking because it really does not fit in with my plans to eat a more healthy diet.

One-pot Mujadara
I made a couple of new things from Melissa Clark's Dinner, including Winter Vegetable Hash with Jalapenos and Fried Eggs, which didn't come out the way it was supposed to but was still tasty, and the One Pot Mujadara, a fairly easy meal of lentils, rice, spinach, and delicious crispy-fried leeks. I'll be making this one again, I'm sure.

For October's Cookbook Club at work we cooked from Smitten Kitchen Every Day, which I then purchased. Earlier this week I made the Wild Mushroom Shepherd's Pie and had serious issues with the recipe. You cook some mushrooms and then add a significant amount of liquid, then simmer it until the liquid reduces to a thick gravy, "about 10 minutes." Well, Deb Perelman apparently has no sense of time because I simmered for 35 minutes before giving up and throwing the Shepherd's Pie together and into the oven because I was starving. This monstrosity took me 3 hours to make and came out more like soup. The flavor was great though, and the leftovers thickened up a little. But seriously, can you please test all of your recipes? Thank you.

A couple of old favorites that I cooked include the Hot and Sour Braised Tempeh, a delicious noodle dish from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, and the Gingered Winter Vegetables from Vegan With a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I've never been vegan, but that cookbook is great and has been one of my go-to cookbooks for years!


Eric and I went with another friend to a fun event called Tavern Night, held at the Boston Tea Party Museum. We sat at a table with an actor portraying Sam Adams, and ate delicious foods, drank hot buttered rum, sang songs, and even learned a old-timey dance.

I celebrated an early Thanksgiving in Maine with family. They all work in health care and often work on holidays so we celebrate whenever they are available to get together. Have I mentioned that my sister has a llama? That's a photo of her on the right (the llama, not my sister.) The lighthouse in the photo below is at the end of the road I lived on growing up.

I spent real Thanksgiving watching episodes of The Great British Baking Show in my pajamas before going out to a restaurant in the evening. Which honestly was pretty great.

I finished TWO knitting projects! I posted about my sweater already, but I also finished a pair of socks. I've started more socks now, but in a much prettier colorway. (I mean, I love black, but sometimes you need to mix it up a bit.) Black is very hard to photograph, but nevertheless I've include a pic to the right.

Work has felt really busy, and I'm on the Social Committee this year which means planning the staff holiday party which is a total nightmare and I want to stab everyone. The end.

Plans for December

December is that very special time of year in which I try to remember what my goals were for the year, and then determine whether or not I fulfilled them. (Usually not.)

I need to set up my new bullet journal planner thingy, which I started planning ages ago, set it aside, and now I don't recall what I had in mind. I'll go back and look at my notes and drawings which I'm sure will be some combination of helpful and mystifying.

Traditionally, I don't do much for Christmas except decorate the house a little and watch lots of Christmas movies, then go out to eat on Christmas Day. There's only two of us and we used to cook, but it was a whole lot of effort and then we were just exhausted and cranky by the time we ate alone in our kitchen. Anyhow, I really want to plan some other festive activities as well, but I don't know what. Going to a show? Making fancy cookies? I have no idea.

We'll be having a New Year's Eve party though and that is basically planned at this point. It's just a matter of cleaning the house and buying some booze. I've got a few days off leading up to New Year's Eve so it shouldn't be a problem to have everything ready.

How was your November?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (2018)

"I have just taken an overly large bite of iced bun when Callum slices his finger off."

From this very first line, I was enraptured by the new novel by Mackenzi Lee. It's a sequel to A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, but although I think you should read that one because it's great, it's not necessary to have read it first. The main character in the first book was Henry "Monty" Montague, and this second book is about his sister, Felicity.

Callum is the baker for whom Felicity works, and after she sews up his finger he proposes marriage. But Felicity has always wanted to be a doctor and is not interested in marriage or romance, so after a failed attempt at talking her way into medical school (which won't admit women) she follows a lead and dashes off to Austria in search of her long-time idol, Dr. Alexander Platt. Platt is about to marry Felicity's former best friend Johanna, with whom she parted under less-than-friendly circumstances. Felicity is only able to make the trip with the help of a third woman, a Muslim pirate named Sim, who is absolutely deserving of her own book. Sim has her own motivation for making this trip and, once revealed, the trip develops into a much different kind of adventure.

So I love Felicity: her determination, her intelligence, her sense of justice. I also love that she is not perfect. One of my favorite aspects of this book is the feminism, and it is just as complicated here as in real life. Felicity and Johanna grew up with a matching interest in science and the natural world, but when Johanna started to get interested in things like fancy dresses and social events, Felicity judged her for it. When they reconciled, they had some things to work through and had a great conversation about assumptions and how a person can like pretty dresses and science at the same time.

But she's not just smart and kind of judgmental; she's funny too. In one of my favorite passages, Felicity is trying to change out of her dress in a hurry without any help and it's a struggle.

"I can't even reach the damn buttons running up the back, let alone unfasten them. I keep turning in circles like a dog chasing its tail, trying each time to stretch my arm just a bit farther while holding on to the deranged hope that perhaps if I catch the buttons by surprise they won't dart away from me."

The other two women are also fantastic characters, complicated and imperfect, and this makes them very real and makes the story even more exciting.

A big part of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was the romance between Monty and Percy, but this follow-up is not a romance at all. Rather, it's an adventure story with strong themes about friendship and I am totally here for it. In fact, it's strongly suggested that Felicity is asexual/aromantic. Her disinterest in Callum's marriage proposal isn't about him specifically, but about her. She wants to live alone but be surrounded by friends as she pursues her work, and she says that kissing (people of any gender) really does nothing for her. As much as I love a good romance, it's refreshing to have a historical teen adventure novel that is just that. Not everything has to be about romantic love and not everybody has to have it in their life.

This was a super fun story that I enjoyed a lot, and really got me out of the bleak place that The Broken Earth Series took me (and I loved that series, but needed an antidote). It's a teen book so the writing style is light and fast-paced, but there's still a lot going on and lots to think about. It was also different enough from the first book that there's not that pressure to be as good at the same kind of story, if that makes sense. I'll definitely be looking out for whatever Mackenzi Lee shares with us next.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday Knitting

Way back when Barack Obama was president,* I started a sweater. That was in May of 2016. It is not insignificant that we had just gotten a dog the previous August, because my knitting has slowed down considerably since then. Time is a factor, sure, but the larger impediment to knitting these days is having a grabby many-toothed beast at my side at all times, wanting to know what the hell that thing in my hands is and needed to both smell and taste it. So these days, I need to steal away and do my knitting alone behind closed doors, usually while listening to podcasts or audiobooks rather than my old way of knitting while watching tv. This is all to say that it has taken me almost 2.5 years to knit this goddamn sweater.

And yes, the sweater is lying on the floor for these photos because if I were to wait until a good time to get modeled photos it would probably be another six months. The weather has been crappy, I don't have a picturesque background nearby, and my skin is a mess. So this is what you're getting.

I can tell you that the sweater fits okay, though it's a bit long and hugs my butt in a way that's not exactly flattering. But usually they end up stretching a bit width-wide, which shortens it length-wise so the final verdict on fit isn't in quite yet.

It came out pretty well, I think. It's a bit rumpled in the photos. I blocked it out all nicely, but then it was folded up and even shoved in a suitcase for a trip to Maine and back without even being taken out. I haven't worn it yet, I don't know why.

I picked this pattern because I love the interesting textures in ganseys, but this had the added challenge of a hood and a front pocket. I've been down that road before with my Rogue Sweater (pic to the right because it was pre-blog and I had photos on flick that now aren't showing up. Honestly I forgot I even had a flickr account.) I love the idea of a hoodie more than I love an actual hoodie. They look great, but are impractical to wear with a coat because what do you do with the hood? It always seems to get in the way. that's an awful lot of work to put into something that isn't practical.

However, I'm happy to say that both the hood and front pocket came out pretty well. The pocket is formed in a rather complicated way, and I had to go back and rip it out and re-do it because I attached in such a way that it didn't lie flat. I'm glad I took the time to fix it because I would not have been able to live with it like that. That was a hard lesson I've learn from the past - a lesson learned, in fact, from the above pictured Rogue. There's a cable pattern going around the hood, joining on the front neckline and I made a major mistake in the cable that is front and center on the sweater. I still wear it (I wore it a couple of days ago, in fact) but I see it EVERY TIME and it makes me so annoyed. But that was one of my first sweaters and remains one of the most complicated and I didn't know how to go back and fix it and then be able to continue without losing count of all the things I was doing at one time.

How did this turn into a post about a different sweater?

Here's a closer photo of the patterns on the front.

Oh, you'll notice it has a couple of buttonholes but no buttons. Well. For this I would have wanted buttons in the same color as the yarn, but how would I go about finding buttons in that exact shade of mustard yellow? I have no idea, but I'm sure I'd never actually button the neck so I decided not to even bother trying. I made buttonholes in case I ever changed my mind.

So there you go: my first finished knitted thing in quite a while. You know, I actually also recently finished a pair of socks and even took photos, but socks don't really need an entire post so I'll put those in my monthly wrap-up, which will come (hopefully) in less than a week.

*How I long for those days. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hurts To Love You

Hurts To Love You by Alisha Rai (2018)

At this time last year I read the first book in this series, Hate To Want You, moved on to Wrong To Need You this past spring, and now I've finished the trilogy. I've been very good at finishing the series I've started recently!

The heroine of Hurts To Love You is Eve Chandler, the youngest of the Chandler siblings. She is often referred to as "Baby Chandler" which she likes as much as any grown woman would. Eve wants people to start taking her seriously and treating her as an adult, and that includes her long-time crush, older guy Gabe Hunter. When Eve was in college - not many years ago - she hit on him in a bar when she was drunk and he rebuffed her, but she is determined to try again with him. Now is the perfect opportunity, because they'll be together for a week as Livvy and Nicholas (from the first book) get married. The wedding party is meeting up to stay at a house together in the days leading up to the wedding, but for various reasons, most people are arriving late which means that Eve and Gabe have some time alone together.

Gabe is the son of the housekeeper for the Kane family, so he grew up very close with Livvy, Jackson, and especially the now-deceased Paul. Gabe is more of a one-night stand kind of guy than a relationship guy, but this is a romance novel so obviously that is going to change. He sees Eve for the first time in a while when they meet for a wedding cake tasting. Livvy is sick and can't taste anything and Nicholas is, I think, out of town on business so the two of them are standing in for them. This is the moment when Gabe realizes Eve is no longer inappropriately young for him.

Despite her wealth, Eve is driving for a ride-share company and has been making sure she is there to pick up Gabe when he needs it, but she does so in disguise. She's trying to make her own way now that she no longer works for the family business, but she's also doing market research for her own company, which will be a competitor for Ryde. She feels a little bad for stalking Gabe, but doesn't realize that Gabe may become attracted to his driver "Anne" and that might make him conflicted about Eve.

So the romance is all well and good, but as with the other books in this trilogy Rai has done such a great job with all the family drama and character development that is really what I'm here for. I love Eve. I love her imperfections and her determination to prove herself, and the way she gives herself pep talks because she is trying to be more confident and assertive. She grew up being bossed around and emotionally abused by her father, and she is no longer having it. Her brother Nicholas is over-protective and keeps treating her like a child and she will not take that anymore either. She is done trying to please everyone, and through the course of this book she is all about acknowledging what she wants and taking steps to get it. She gets some great sisterly advice from Livvy about this, too, which really bolsters her determination. I really love Livvy.

I'm less in love with the guys in this book. Nicholas really seems like an ass, even though I liked him in his own book (Hate To Want You). The way he treats Eve is really grating, but there's a fantastic conversation in which Livvy lectures him about how Eve is an adult and he needs to treat her like one. It was a really good feminist moment (and not the only one in the novel.)  Gabe is fine, but I find it hard to trust a guy who doesn't like sweets. He hates sweets. What is wrong with him?

Oh, but the family story! This has been a long arc through all of the books and I am very much here for it. I love a good family saga. The relationship between the Chandlers and Kanes began as a business partnership and friendship, weathered the imprisonment of one of the original partners in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and was essentially destroyed when Eve's mom and Livvy's dad were killed in a car accident together and there was a lot of fallout including the Kanes being robbed of their part of the business. The two families have been enemies since then, and this wedding between Livvy and Nicholas is the first official reconciliation between them. A lot is riding on this. Some members of the family want the old animosity put to rest, but some - like Nicholas and Eve's father - cannot bear the thought of the two families reuniting. In the course of the book, we learn even more about the fraught history of the Chandlers and Kanes as more secrets are revealed.

I'm actually a bit sad that the series is over because I've gotten really invested in these families. Alisha Rai is one of the better romance writers I've come across and I follow her on Twitter and I've really enjoyed her interviews on the Smart Bitches podcast. I'll be looking out for her next book, for sure!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Stone Sky

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin (2017)

During the course of The Obelisk Gate, we learn that nobody in Essun's time knows that the Earth used to have a moon. Alabaster implores her to learn how to harness the power of the obelisks because the moon is in long orbit and rarely nears the Earth. But soon it will be near enough to the Earth that maybe it can be knocked back into the old trajectory. This is the crux of The Stone Sky - Essun needs to try to achieve this feat, which hopefully will end the Seasons once and for all.

But she is where we left her at the end of the last book: traveling from the destroyed community inside the geode to another place where they all hope to live. Unfortunately, they're going in the opposite direction of where Essun's daughter Nassun last was - not that it matters, because Nassun is traveling too. She is also learning to harness the power of the obelisks, but for a very different purpose. Also in this final volume, we get a really great back story - that of Hoa, the stone eater, back when he was....well, not a stone eater. This story reveals what caused the moon to be knocked out of its orbit in the first place.

There is so much great stuff in this book! I had been dying for the back story, and of course was anticipating the moment Essun would attempt to get the moon back to its rightful place. It was so tense though, since Nassun's plans were pretty opposed to Essun's and only one of them could be successful. Also, Essun was slowly turning to stone as Alabaster did in the last book, which is a side effect of harnessing the obelisks in this way. So she had to be very careful using her powers because each time she did, another part of her would turn to stone. She had to really pace herself here.

The relationships between characters in this series are complicated, and watching how they develop was one of my favorite aspects of the story. In a Season, many things are suspended and times are desperate, which means you really, really want your community as a whole to survive because your own life depends on it. Those who are commless don't last long. Survival is the most important thing, but it's a given that not everyone is going to survive. This necessarily affects interpersonal relationships and means that leaders often have to make very tough decisions for the good of their community. Essun was in rough shape while she was traveling, but knew she wasn't going to get much of a break. She also had a lot of tension with Ykka, the leader of the community Essun inadvertently helped to destroy. I also really loved the relationship between Essun and the stone eater Hoa. And of course, Essun and Nassun were headed for the same place at the end and they didn't really have an awesome mother-daughter relationship in the best of times. So, there was a lot going on here!

I may have mentioned this before, but this is the first time in a very, very long time that I have read a series start to finish, one right after the other. Surprisingly, I didn't feel like I needed a break at all (even though the story was so bleak!) and I didn't get tired of it or wish it would hurry up and be over. Generally I'm pretty impatient and always thinking about the next thing, but I was so invested in what was going on that I wasn't at all in a hurry to leave it. In fact, I'd love another visit to this place - after the things happened at the end of this book I really want to know what everything was like for everyone going forward.

N.K. Jemisin has a book of short stories coming out later this month called How Long 'til Black Future Month, which is one of the best titles I've heard in a while. Of course I'm already on hold for it, but I was very excited to learn yesterday that one of the stories takes place in the world of the Broken Earth series, so I will get to revisit it after all!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Obelisk Gate

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin (2016)

Since this is the second book in a series, there need to be spoilers for the first book, The Fifth Season.

For one thing, Damaya and Syenite are names that Essun used during different periods in her life, so the three stories are really all one story. I didn't talk much about the plot of that book, but it begins with a huge rift in the Earth that is bringing on a Fifth Season. At the very end, Essun is reunited with Alabaster, who is slowly turning to stone, and he asks her if she's able to call the obelisks to herself yet, and if she's ever heard of a moon. The Obelisk Gate picks up during this same conversation, and Alabaster explains that she needs to find out if she can control the obelisks, and it's very important and related to the moon.

The book moves back and forth between Essun's story and that of her 8-year-old daughter Nassun, who disappeared along with her father at the beginning of The Fifth Season. Nassun has pretty powerful powers of her own and her relationship with her father is strained at best. He's taking her to a place he's heard of where they may be able to "cure" her, but that's not what this place turns out to be all about. Nassun meets her mother's old Guardian, Schaffa, though she does not know that he knew her mother. Schaffa has changed since those days and he and Nassun work together to train her and she continues to discover new ways her powers work.

There were some very cool things in this story, such as a whole community that lives inside a geode. I kind of hope this is made into a movie someday so I can see it because it sounds spectacular. Plus everything involving the obelisks was kind of cool, though I admit I'm still a little unsure about the role they play - we see ways in which they are used, but I'm wondering how they will relate to the larger picture. I also liked everything about the stone eaters - I have a hard time not picturing them like the weeping angels from Doctor Who, but I find them so delightfully creepy.

In a way, I think this books suffers a little from being the second book in that I didn't feel like the plot was furthered as much as I would like, but there was a lot going on and many new elements introduced, so I ended up liking it as much as the first. Last weekend I decided to grab The Stone Sky from the library when I went into work on Monday, but I ended up being out sick and someone else got our copy before I returned. I requested a copy from another library and was afraid I wouldn't get it before this long weekend. But I got it just in time, which is great because I need to start on it immediately! I'm really, really looking forward to seeing where this story goes in the final book!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (2018), narrated by Carly Robins

Stella Lang is an econometrician, developing algorithms to predict customer purchases, and makes a ton of money doing it. She works seven days a week because she has no social life. Her parents want her to settle down and get married and have some kids, but she doesn't even like kissing. She has Asperger's and many parts of dating are distasteful to her, and her past experiences have been terrible. She decides she needs help from a professional, and hires escort Michael Phan.

Michael works as a tailor in his family business so he can be near his mother who has cancer. He dreams of being a fashion designer, but first he needs to get out from the debt he's accrued because of his mother's illness. So he started escorting to make extra money to put towards these expenses.

Predictably, Stella and Michael develop a relationship that goes beyond one of escort and client. But of course neither wants to admit that they've developed real feelings for the other, and they both have secrets they're keeping from the other. Michael doesn't usually see a client more than once, to guard against the possibility of an attachment, but Stella manages to talk him into having a fake relationship with her so she can practice that. While they both start having feelings, neither thinks the other will reciprocate. Michael sees Stella as socio-economically far above him, and Stella thinks Michael is so attractive and sexy he could have any woman he wants, so why would he want someone so awkward?

So, there's a trope in romance that I hate, when the heroine dislikes or is uninterested in sex until she meets the hero and his magical penis and she's suddenly having multiple orgasms. It's not because she has gained experience or worked through her issues or learned more about her own body, it's tied explicitly to the guy who, quite frankly, isn't doing anything super special. It irks me to no end. In this case, I know the reason things went so well with Michael is because he's so patient with her sensory issues. He doesn't know for quite a while that she's on the spectrum, but he's just a considerate lover. It's his job, after all. It makes sense in the context. It still annoyed me.

Otherwise, I found this story delightful. I especially like Michael's Vietnamese family and how they embraced Stella even though she committed a major faux pas the first time she ate with them. (They were microwaving food in plastic containers and she refused to eat it and said they shouldn't either because it's poison.) They saw past her inadequate social skills and got to know her as a person, and when they realized that having so many people in the house and the tv on and someone playing the piano was sensory overload, they toned things down a bit.

I found Stella's quirks pretty charming. She owned the exact number of outfits she needed to get through the week and they were all variations on the same thing, she owned only one kind of underwear, she had an unwavering bedtime routine, and was just super practical about everything. She was practical and logical and I am a big fan of those things. I also loved Michael - he was so thoughtful and kind and would do anything in the world for his mother. He and Stella were both interesting people and I really enjoyed getting to know them and was rooting for their relationship to work (and yes, of course I knew it would work out in the end!)

I listened to the audio version and it's exactly what I needed as a counterpoint to The Fifth Season, which was excellent, but so dark. The narrator had a bright, upbeat tone that was perfect for the book. I should also mention that the author is on the autism spectrum herself, which I wondered about as I was reading. There were a couple of moments where I wondered if things were realistic, but I'm guessing they were. I know authors usually do research but when it comes down to how the characters actually think and the things going on inside their heads, I believe it more if I know the author has a shared experience with that character.

The Kiss Quotient has been getting a lot of buzz, and I can see why. If you like cute, quirky contemporary romances, give it a try!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin (2015)

As far as I can tell, this book takes place in our world but far, far in the future. There is one big land mass called the Stillness, ironically, because it is unstable, shifting and moving and filled with geological cataclysms. Every now and then one is catastrophic enough to cause a Fifth Season, during which the sun will be blocked out for months or years, and civilization dies leaving only enough people to begin again when the Season is over. The people live in a constant state of disaster preparedness.

There are people in this world called orogenes or, disparagingly, roggas. They can sense and control movement within the earth, stopping or causing earthquakes, and moving the earth's plates. There are three stories about orogenes in this book. One is about Essun, a woman who's toddler son has just been murdered by her husband. One is about Damaya, whose parents have just reported her and she is removed by a Guardian who watch over people like her, keeping her under control while teaching her how to effectively use her powers. The third story is about Syenite, paired with a man named Alabaster to hopefully breed and create another person with the same powers. Although orogenes are powerful, that power can be controlled by Guardians and orogenes are basically treated as slaves.

It took me quite a while to get into this book. I was initially rather disoriented and confused, but also intrigued. The world-building was pretty amazing even if I didn't quite understand it. After finishing I went back and read the prologue again and it made much more sense this time - I sort of wish I had done so earlier in the book. There are still things I'm a little unclear about, like the role of the obelisks that hover in the air, but I expect some of this will become more clear in the next book, The Obelisk Gate.

It's very dark, and an unpleasant world to be in, but nonetheless compelling. Getting to know the characters and their motivations is a big part of what I like about this book, particularly since they're all in such desperate situations. It's also kind of a tough book to say much about without spoiling it.

I'm very grateful to a coworker who told me I should be sure to have the second book on hand because I would want it when it finished. Initially I wasn't sure I'd move on to the second book, or maybe not right away (this is an unpleasant world and I thought I might want to read something light and funny between books) but I'm glad I heeded my coworker's advice. I went home on Friday with close to 100 pages left, thinking I might finish it over the weekend and instead finished that evening.

I've already moved on to The Obelisk Gate and should have a post about that one before too long!

This was on my 2018 TBR Pile Challenge and is probably the final one that I'll read. The remaining title is NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, but my interest has waned in favor of some of his other work. But since I read both of my alternate titles, I can consider the challenge completed.