Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Though I am working, and riding, these times are still unsettling.

To keep my brain occupied I’ve done crafts, and house projects, and I never turn on the TV (and very little social media). But when I feel overwhelmed I turn to the one activity I can always lose myself in…reading.

my reading corner, winter/spring 2020

My entire family reads voraciously, and always have. After chores for the weekend were done you could find each of us in a favorite spot with a book. Many discussions were had over the merits of characters or places in books that we all read. I have never left that behind, and the last two months have found me in my corner “library” chair, devouring many books. I’ve been reading new-to-me books, that I usually buy at the used book store or thrift store. But with all being closed I’m now digging into the old favorites too. I like the feel of actual books, no electronic books for me. I recently purged my library, and left myself with just ones I’ll read again, but luckily that is a lot!

I keep a running list on my phone with title, author and letter grade of everything I read (helps me when buying new books!). Here is what I’ve read in the last two months with very brief description/opinion. Have you read any of these, love or hate them? Anything sound interesting?

3/16/20: Heaven's Fall, David Goyer and Michael Cassutt, B
Final book in this decent sci-fi trilogy, not amazing but easy read.

3/18/20: The Enceladus Mission, Brandon Morris, C+
Concept and science good, but hated all the characters

3/19/20: Isaac’s Storm, Erik Larson, B
True story of a horrible natural disaster (1905 Galveston Texas hurricane), and the meteorologist who made some bad decisions

3/19/20: Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt, A
Classic of children’s literature, I still love it.

3/20/20: Orphan Train, Christina baker Kline, A-
An interesting fictional look into a true story I’d never heard of (orphans, many Irish, from cities being distributed throughout the midwest and adopted into servitude)

3/21/20: Alaskan Laundry, Brendan Jones, B-
Standard fiction, predicable plot, dumb predictable ending

3/22/20: A Million Open Doors, John Barnes, A
Love most of John Barnes sci-fi, this is different but very good.

3/24/20: Earth Made of Glass, John Barnes, B+
Sequel to the above, not as good, but pretty decent

3/27/20: Midworld, Alan dean Foster, A (re-read)
My all-time favorite light sci-fi book. If you’ve seen Avatar, this is where the ideas came from (and this is way better).

3/29/20: Seeds of Earth, Michael Cobley (first in humanity’s fire trilogy), C
I liked the premise of this sci-fi book better than the execution, don’t think I’ll read the rest of the series.

4/1/20: Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson, B
Quick read and entertaining

4/5/29: Drowning Towers, George Turner, A
Loved this alternative future, seems scarily realistic

4/7/20: Tides of Light, Gregory Benford, B
Sci-fi, 4th in a series, interesting ideas, didn’t like it as well as the previous books.

4/10/20: The Nebula Awards 28, B
Mostly good, solid short stories

4/13/20: Insane City, Dave Barry, B
Silly as only Dave Barry can be, entertaining

4/17/20: The Lost City of Z, David Grann, A-
Amazing true story of crazy south American/Amazon adventuring (don’t watch the movie, not half as good as the book)

4/18/20: Eternity Road, Jack McDevitt, B+ (re-read)
Apocalyptic future, entertaining, needed a horse person to help him, as one horse is described as a "chestnut gray."

4/19/20: The Last Policeman, Ben Winters, A (re-read)
4/20/20: Countdown City, Ben Winters, A (re-read)
4/22/20: World of Trouble, Ben Winters, A (re-read)
World-is-ending mystery trilogy, great read, Edgar-winning, but maybe not the best for right now, a bit depressing

4/24/20: The Stars My Destination, Alfred bester, B
Vintage sci-fi, a bit weird

well worn and well loved favorites

4/26–now, on the last book:  (re-read)
Farseer Trilogy: Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest
Tawny Man trilogy: Fool’s Errand, Golden Fool, Fool’s Fate
Fitz and Fool trilogy: Fool’s Assassin, Fool’s Quest, Assassin’s Fate
Robin Robb, A
This is my favorite fantasy series, I re-read this every few years. Great characters, world-building, and animals too. (There are 7 other books in the series, which you have to read before the final trilogy, but I've read them all enough to just read my favorites!)

What are you reading? Or how are you coping?

Jack keeps me company in the other library chair


  1. Thanks for the book suggestions, I needed this! I ordered Midworld for my Kindle. Do people use Kindles anymore?

    The last book a blogger recommended for me was Redwall, which I'm re-reading, and from the novel I learned the word Abseiling, which is from the German Abseilen. Apparently Abseiling is the international English word for Rapelling, and only in America do we use the word Rapelling. I desperately need to read more books cuz my vocabulary is shrinking due to all the German words pushing out the others *lol*

    1. I think plenty of people read on Kindle! It’s an easy, fun book, enjoy!

      The Redwall series is fun, didn’t know that about rapelling!

    2. You know Redwall? What I enjoy the most is the setting in the English countryside, because I recognize the plants, trees, and herbs continually mentioned. If I'd never come to Germany, I'd have no idea what those plants and trees were. Just this evening Basil Stag Hare galloped across my front lawn, almost the size of a deer.

      As I type this I'm watching The Orville. Did we talk about this show? It's such a knee-slapper we love it. What do you think of Orville? (My cat is named Mercer, after the street in Seattle.)

    3. Redwall was a fun series, read it years ago! Loved the english countryside descriptions too, hope to visit someday.

      I'm not a fan of the Orville, it feels like a weird Trek ripoff, not a homage or original (I also don't like Seth MacFarland, so I think I am biased). My partner loves it though, we agree to disagree!

    4. I think it would be a rip-off it was not produced by Brannon Braga. Seth MacFarland is a dork, I don't especially like him, (he made the show!?!) but I appreciate Braga's stamp on the show. Funnily, I recommended it to my family back home. My sister and her kids loved it, then I re-watched the first few episodes and sent a quick apology to my mom for all the potty humor. LITERALLY potty humor *sigh* It was as if they wanted to quickly establish they are not "our parents' Star Trek" with all poop, unicorn, and penis references. Thankfully it leveled out.

      You and your SO are welcome to visit us whenever you like. We live in a 19th century crooked house with ceiling heights that reflect the height of the people in those days. Best if you guys aren't overly tall.

      Then we can go to Oxford and see Tolkien/Lewis' land! I seriously need another reason to go over there again.

  2. I'm with you on still loving physical books. From a young age, I've always been a voracious reader (and re-reader) and still prefer to get lost in a good book over other media outlets. I have pretty eclectic tastes, everything from spy thrillers to sci-fi and fantasy. One of my favorite authors, and she pens mostly fantasy and sci-fi, is Barbara Hambly, if you're looking for any recommends.

    1. yeah, another reader! Love recommendations, thanks I'll look her up!

  3. A reader here who got her start with flashlights under the covers - and later burning the midnight oil a very spacious attic room closet (where the light coming under the door could be prevented). I still dream about hanging out in that space.

    Unfortunately now a super physical job means sitting still long enough to read leads to a very real danger of dozing off, so I've adopted listening to books. (which I still consider reading) I can do it while on the tractor, or weeding, or pushing a wheelbarrow, so my book consumption has skyrocketed.

    Lately I've been alternating between mysteries - particularly British, classics, and picking off Mann Booker prize winners. Just finished Milkman - one of the most creatively written books I've ever read. Highly recommend.

    Also since humor has become a necessity - try A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole for pure laugh out loud passages, and "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again", an essay by David Foster Wallace that I think you can find online in its entirety. If you dig that - then his masterpiece Infinite Jest is the next logical step and will keep you busy for a while. :D

    1. I love Confederacy of Dunces, will have to check out the other recommendations, thansk!

      I don't retain what I only hear very well, so audio books are hard for me, but after I've read a book sometimes I'll listen to it too! I love the John Scalzi Interdependency series (sci-fi) read by Wil Wheaton.

  4. I must confess to being a great re-reader as well (if I get started on something new, I often can't quit). One of my first "guilty pleasures" was the Saddle Club books- I actually joined the saddle club many years ago and still have more than 20 of them. Now with the Kindle, I have discovered the Dressage Chronicles (5 books that I just finished rereading) and the Eventing series. Just enough real horse stuff to be interesting.

    (the Wil Wheaton comment made me realize that I have to confess our TV guilty pleasure is the Big Bang Theory!)

    In agreement that TV and social media are not as much fun as a good book!

    1. So glad to find another re-reader. I have some books I re-read every year! (and Wil Wheaton is great on Big Bang!)

    2. That moment in BBT when Wheaton said, "No worries, there have been a lot of productions I've been ashamed to be part of, afterwards." And (Penny?) said, "Star Trek?" "No, not that."