Monday, July 1, 2013

summer reading

A short early ride to the lake on my very sound (and a bit crazy) horse, yeah!

not spoiled. Nope, he's not spoiled at all.

It was 105+ degrees Saturday and Sunday. With more to come. An "excessive heat warning" in effect all week. (I know Arizona and some places have it even worse!) Forget heat training. Just living here is heat training (in a house with no air conditioning). Major got another carrot popsicle and an alfalfa cube cool mash, I went to the river with a book. Then I sat in a hammock with a book. Then a pool.

cat will not be posing for this picture

Thomas the cat is not amused. And will later drink my water.

It really isn't that bad if you don't have to be doing manual labor outside. I had a book I was devouring, which I couldn't believe I'd never read: The Hero and the Crown! (Thanks Funder for the recommendation) a great story, actually good horse stuff (so many horses in fiction are so bad) a tough lady, dragons. I need more!

Every day. I could sit here every day.

Don't you want to dive right in? The water was perfect.

I usually stick with hard sci-fi (probably 80%) but veer into fantasy sometimes too. Or murder mystery. Or cops and lawyers. OK, I read whatever I can get my hands on (yes, I'm old school and like "real" books.)

But I also just read another awesome non-fiction book: Endurance by Alfred Lansing. Not about horses or running. But the 1915 expedition by Ernest Shackleton to cross the Antarctic. These guys are tough. Not tough like you can imagine. Tough like living on ice, will-they-make-it, who's gonna die type of book. Like Into Thin Air. But tougher. Just the ice descriptions…just read it, you'll see.

I was on a re-reading binge for awhile. Work was stressful, nice to read old friends. I re-read all the Robin Hobb Far Seer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man series of books (epic fantasy) Also the Stolen Child by Keith Donahue (about a changeling, based on a Yeats poem), Midworld by Alan Dean Foster, which is a simple read that I love and have read every year. Because he creates a super awesome planet and ecosystem I want to visit. But never meet a silverslith. I have nightmares where the silverslith is hunting me.

Oh, and With Friends Like These, short stories also by Alan Dean Foster. There is a pretty awesome sci-fi horse story, (yes, that's an odd genre) called Dream Done Green. Makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. Don't say I didn't warn you.

(Ok. I also know I'm supposed to do my blog award I was so nicely nominated for by Liz. I am not good when presented with lists and questions. Too much structure! I think I may cheat and just answer questions, coming up with more would be too hard. Gee, I feel guilt over a blog post. First world problems)

Reading anything good this summer? I just devour books this time of year, and need some recommendations for my next trip to the used book store (though usually I just dig around, find something different, and see how it works out!).

P.S. I had this written and ready to post when I read of the terrible tragedy, in Arizona, where 19 brave firefighters were overcome by wildfire and died. I will be doing no more complaining this time about the heat. I had a friend who was a smoke-jumper here in California, an amazing, dangerous, necessary job. My heart goes out to their families.


  1. I loved The Hero and tha Crown too!

    For more books...
    Anne McCaffrey's The Lady. Not her usual sci fi at all, but a story in Ireland with horses. A great read.

    Have you read David Weber's books at all? I recommend On Basilisk Station to start the Honor Harrington series, and Oath of Swords to start his (much shorter) fantasy series.

    1. I've read some McCaffrey, but not that one, will check it out. Have you read her Black Horses for the King? Not bad, I like the horses part best.

      Love David Weber's Honor Harrington, she is an awesome character. I'll have to look for Oath of Swords, I often forget that some authors do the crossover sci-fi/fantasy thing. Thanks!

  2. I named my grey Arab after Talat, in that book. Hero and The Blue Sword are my two favorites.

    1. oh, that is awesome! Blue Sword is on my wish list. I may get nothing done this summer with all the good reading recommendations…

  3. Loved Hero and the Crown. Really like the author, although Deerskin is brutal.

    I do fantasy mostly, with a fascination with Urban Fantasy in the past couple of years. I am currently making my way through the Mortal Instruments books (5) started with City of Bones. They are excellent, especially for YA. Have you read the Mercedes Lackey Valdemar series? She does some fun things with horses.

    If you like real life adventures, you really should read 127 hours. So much better than the movie.

    And, I would highly recommend the Kindle. I have had one for a couple of years, currently have several hundred books on it, have eleven people linked to my kindle account so they can all read the books I have gotten. And I have given away the 142 boxes of books I've been carting around for years.

    1. I'll add those to the list! I think I'd rather read 127 Hours than watch it, it is a fascinating story.

      I don't keep too many books, just a small shelf of favorites. One issue I have with the Kindle is that I live without wifi (I know, how could I!) and that I am cheap. I just got 6 sci-fi books for $20 at the used book store. I'm sure I'll eventually convert, but for now I can drop my book in the river and just dry it out! 8-)

  4. Also, try A Wind in Cairo by Judith Tarr. She raises Lippizaners and writes great horse books. I really liked her stuff.

  5. YES to 127 hours - which is really Between A Rock and A Hard Place in book title (unless something changed?)

    David Eddings two 5 book series The Belgariad and The Mallorean are PHENOMENAL if you haven't read them. My favorite fantasy books BY FAR.

    1. Two good recommendations for 127 hours/rock and a hard palce, it's on my wish list now.

      I started the Eddings Belgariad series, but maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. I'll dig around and try it again. My sister absolutely loves him (and any fantasy) while I tend to be more skeptical.

      We would call ourselves the dysfunctional family, because we'd ask if we could bring our books to the dinner table. Even now when we are together most discussions end up in books. I think it is awesome.

  6. Ooh, if you liked Endurance, you must read The Worst Journey in the World. Find it!

    And have you read Iain Banks' Culture novels? Read them in any order. I particularly like Use of Weapons, Excession, and Matter.

    1. LOVE the Banks novels. Player of Games is my favorite, I'm still waiting to read the most recent, Hydrogen Sonata.

      (As a side note, did you know that he just tragically died? Very sad, such a talent gone too soon)

  7. Replies
    1. I love mountain disasters (that sounds very bad). I am all giddy with my new book list, thanks!

    2. Yeah, I heard about Banks - I even left him a note on his pre-memorial site. I don't think I've ever been so depressed about a total stranger dying. :(

      It sounds so bad, but I *love* disasters too! You've read Deep Survival? It's like a compilation of horrible disasters, plus biochemical reactions to danger, plus analysis. I bought a copy to loan out and I'd be happy to loan it to you at Tevis?

    3. Agree about Banks. I felt the loss of Roger Ebert, amazing how complete strangers effect us. Cool and sad too.

      oh, I'd love to borrow the book, yes please! I"d love to borrow it! Sounds a bit like "The Unthinkable" about who survives disasters.

      About Tevis, I'll contact you, Mel, etc. My house is so close and always available...