Posted in Books

Book Ban Update

Way back at the start of this hell year, I made myself a challenge that I wouldn’t buy any new books for 2020. The only exceptions were my Kindle Subscriptions, Audible and the new Dresden Files book.

Temptation is everywhere

I hadn’t realised on the one hand how freaking easy it would be because I’ve not been in a bookshop since… November? Obviously Amazon keep tempting me with their Kindle Daily Deals with amazing books for only 99p, but I’m resisting! I have also cancelled my Kindle Unlimited sub because I’m not reading the books I have in real life, never mind those on my online shelf. I got through a few of them before it cancelled. I have also put Audible on pause for a few months since I’ve quite a collection of lecture series to listen to. Plus, I’m skint.

I like Big Books and I cannot lie

Being home so much has got me looking at the books which I want to read but are too big and awkward to take out to read. One is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I’m very much into the Shadowhunters books, but felt the departure from Jace and Clary with the new trilogy, The Dark Artifices – Lady Midnight quite strongly and it took me a bit to warm up to Emma and Julian. Needless to say I was quickly hooked and rushed out to buy the blue edged paperback of Lord of Shadows when it came out… then it sat on my shelf for years. And I’m sorry it did. It was great. I won’t go into a full review here, but I’m pissed as hell at the ending, if you can call it an ending and not a total ploy into making you buy the next book: Queen of Air and Darkness. Which of course, I priced on Amazon – but book ban! I didn’t buy it. My birthday is in November, perhaps the book fairy might visit.

Damn you, Butcher!

While taking a wee break from reading last week, I noticed Prime added the old Dresden Files TV show. I’ve heard so many bad things about it but Paul Blackthorne is a good actor and I watched the Shadowhunters movie twice. Needless to say the show was cancelled after only one season, and I imagine because the fans couldn’t get behind it. They changed so many little things that make no sense why they would need to be changed. The casting was odd for Murphy and the actress who played Susan gave it a good shot, but she was not Susan. I won’t say much more other than, where’s the damn Beetle (car)?, Why is Bob a person? and a drumstick?!?!

Alas, it got me thinking about the new book and that I should probably read back over the summaries and maybe read the last few books to refresh my memory since it’s been six years since the last book. So I jumped onto Jim Butcher’s website and saw the artwork has been released for Peace Talks.

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Isn’t it beautiful?

Then I noticed on the upcoming works… a very interesting sentence:

THIS JUST IN: TWO DRESDEN BOOKS WILL BE RELEASED IN 2020! PEACE TALKS HITS STORES JULY 14TH, AND BATTLE GROUND COMES OUT SEPTEMBER 29TH!

Jim-Butcher.com

OMG! That crazy freaking wonderful man has decided to treat us to two books this year! After all it is the 20th Anniversary of The Dresden Files (how wild is that?) I’ve only been around for the last ten years of it and it’s such a big part of my literary life.

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

Finally some good news during this hell year! I’m holding off pre-ordering just now, maybe I’m hoping against hope but I’d imagine if bookshops are open again by July that they might do a midnight launch of Peace Talks… I guess we’ll see.

Anyway, I’m off to stir myself into further hysteria with all the YA and Urban Fantasy books I have.

Have any of you read the Dresden Files? Might you be inclined to try it now? Would you go to a midnight launch if there was one?

Stay safe and keep reading!

e x

Posted in The Quarantine Diaries, Writing

Coming Up

I’m in organisation mode right now, at home and online. So while I’m taking a quick break from cleaning my house I wanted to let you all know what I’ve got planned for evallone.com in the coming weeks.

Armchair Traveller

Since quarantine is still ongoing, it doesn’t look like we’re travelling anywhere new anytime soon – the next best option? Memories! I’m trawling through my archives; photos and journals, and I’ll be writing up posts of my favourite places, things to do, and best experiences. I’ll also be giving advice on sites in and around Glasgow like museums and great days out.

52- Week Challenge

The last 30-day blogging challenge was fun but a bit hefty trying to post everyday. I found a good year long weekly challenge that’ll allow me to share a little more stuff with everyone but without being so spammy. Here’s a copy of the challenge if you want to join in.

52-week challenge. Credit: Adventures with Amanda

Diversions

Obviously, I’ve still being crocheting nearly every day. Though I did lose my crojo for a bit, more that I couldn’t get any patterns to work for me. Damn v-shaped scarves! I guess sometimes watching videos instead of reading patterns can cause a little difficulty… and trying to work on multiple projects at the same time isn’t a great idea. One ball at a time!

Giant round granny blanket

I finished watching all 12 seasons of Bones a few weeks ago! It was epic and sad, I won’t spoil it but the ending was not what I expected, but for once a show had a decent ending! Naturally that spawned a ‘watching’ slump, I have Ally McBeal for my lawyer show, Grey’s Anatomy and New Amsterdam for medical shows, The Walking Dead for zombies, Winona Earp, Vanessa Van Helsing and Grimm for weirdo shows… so I had no normal crime shows. I dabbled a bit in NCIS a few times and it’s good but I’m not hooked yet… I am however addicted now to Criminal Minds, criminally so. Sorry. I’m nearly on season 3, in a matter of days… How have I never seen this show before? Led by the delightful Mandy Patinkin (also known as Saul in Homeland – I’m also catching up with that) the team is the BAU, Behavioural Analysis Unit within the FBI who profile and catch killers. It’s not Bones but the story lines are compelling and the dialogue is quick-fire and witty.

Books

I just finished reading Lonely Planet’s How to be a Travel Writer by Don George and Janine Eberle, while detailed and insightful, it was also dreadfully negative and off-putting. Perhaps some would say it’s realist but after reaching the last page, I feel far less-inclined now to pursue any kind of travel writing. The suggestions seem to be that if you’re lucky enough to already be loaded then go fly off somewhere and experience the life and culture then come home and write a bunch of articles with different slants and send them off to magazines and newspapers and hope you make a few hundred quid off them. Otherwise, the game is already over for you. Maybe I’m more of a dreamer, I’d like to believe that sometimes things can just work out. In the mean time, I’ll be writing all my travel stuff on here and attempt some other publications soon.

I’ve also ended my Kindle Unlimited subscription because I already have a ton of books in the house and purchased on my kindle (and audible) that I need to get through. Plus I realised that I’ve had most of the same books in my KU library for years so I’m paying £7.99 a month for nothing. I’ve put Audible on pause for a few months, I have a decent stack of books to get through and some are lectures so are 20+ hours and I have IT by Stephen King which clocks in close to 50 hours.

And I’m working on my novel, I promise. I’m feeling very inspired right now, especially since the new Dresden Files book, Peace Talks, is launching in July (likely the only good thing to happen in 2020) so I want to plough through as much of mine as I can before then.

Anyone started a new show? Or enjoying a new book? Let me know!

e x

Posted in Reading Challenge

Book Challenge 2020

So having surpassed my own expectations of reading 50 books in 2019 and moving house, I have now realised the actual ton of books I own which have been sitting pretty on shelves and not getting read. Thus, I have set myself a new challenge! I’m still doing the goodreads 50 book challenge, however I have made some rules to try and get through my massive TBR pile.

No buying any new books in 2020

But of course there are exceptions.

1. The only ‘new’ books I can get are if they are gifts, but my birthday and Christmas are the only times this really happens and are ages away.

2. I can continue my subscriptions to Audible and Kindle Unlimited. Though if I can read the books I currently have with KU I might get rid of it and save myself £8 a month.

3. The only major exception to buying a new book is if Peace Talks by Jim Butcher comes out or if there’s suddenly a new Harry Potter book or if Dante is brought back to life and writes a scathing epic poem about the current world situation.

So there, I’m in February already and I’ve only read 3 books, apparently I’m one book behind – but I moved house and I’m working tons. I’ll catch up 😉

Anyone else got their own book challenges going on this year?

I might post a list of all the books I’m hoping to read this year, as ever it’s subject to change based on my mood.

e x

Posted in Books, Education, Writing

Currently Reading – August 2018

I’m slowly trying to work my way through the reading list for my MA course. I’ve never been a fast reader – unless I’m completely absorbed by what I’m reading (see Harry Potter) so when it comes to reading technical books or deep literature then it’s going to be a bit of a slog.

Pictured above is two of my newest additions to my rampant collection. The Self-Editing for Fiction Writers book, by Brown and King, I already know will be an invaluable resource so I’m trying to take notes and read it carefully enough to get as much out of it as possible (and so I don’t struggle to reread it before assessments). It was highly recommended by someone on our course and I promptly picked up a copy on amazon, reasonably cheaply.

The second book Searches and Seizures by Stanley Elkin was a bit of a challenge to locate a copy of! I managed to find an old second-hand copy on amazon again but it was sent from Better World Books in Mishawaka, Indiana! The book has travelled further than me. Also, I’m certain I ordered another book off them before. Alas, this book was recommended through another book on my reading list: Reading like a writer by Francine Prose. The Elkin book is three novellas, but the Making of Ashenden is the one Prose suggested to read… about a man who falls in love with a bear. Odd, but interesting. I’ve only glanced at the first page but Elkin has a unique style of writing and description.

I finished reading Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, the newest collection of short stories from the Dresden Files world. It’s helped a little to ease the pain from waiting so long for Peace Talks to come out, but I understand the author has had major personal happenings in the last few years, so I won’t add to the complaints. I’m likely to do a more in depth review of Brief Cases, as I want to start doing for more books I read – simply because I have a terrible memory after I’ve read something, reviews would be a good way to keep track. The short version is Brief Cases was amazing – especially the original novella Zoo Day – brought Maggie into much sharper focus, not just as a character (finally) but what may come of her in the future.

I’m still reading On Writing by A.L. Kennedy from the reading list last year. It’s a very interesting insight into one of Scotland’s cult (?) writers. I like how she describes her own process as lasting years but a constant slog, even while travelling and ill. Most of the book is blog posts lifted straight from her site, so I enjoy just reading a post or two at a time, hence why it’s taking me so long to get through it.

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White must be top-of-the-list for all writing students whether English Lit, Composition, or Creative Writing, like me. But it really ought to be top-of-the-list for everyone who ever uses English. Ever. It’s a short volume, but concise and definitely something I’ll refer back to time and again.

Other than these, I’ve been working through my new Italian books for my course starting mid-September. They are A1 beginners books and while I do already know all of this stuff, it doesn’t hurt to revise the basics. Language learning is more of a wander than rushing straight to the final destination. Plus, it’s been 3 years since I did my C1 classes in Spain -_-

e x