Library Loot Wednesday

of ice and shadowsJust one library book this week, though my pre-order of Gideon the Ninth arrived, with GORGEOUS black sprayed edges, and I also ordered the Barnes & Noble Book Club edition of The Testaments, because they moved book club to Wednesday so I can go again! (And I am VERY excited to read and discuss this particular book.)

From the library, though, just Of Ice and Shadows, the sequel to Inkmistress and Of Fire and Stars. It appears to take the main characters from Fire and Stars and return to the country of Inkmistress, so I’m pretty excited.


TTT – Favorite Things to Eat and Drink While Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is my favorite things to eat and drink while reading.

harley tea

I don’t make a habit out of eating while reading; mostly because I typically get so involved in my book that I forget I have food! I do tend to keep a nonfiction book at the table to read while eating breakfast and lunch, though, because nonfiction can occasionally make my sleepy, and sitting at the table eating counteracts that. Plus it’s something I’m okay with reading in small chunks.

So I guess Breakfast and Lunch are the first two things!

After that, I like crunchy things to also keep me awake while reading – I have to fight that fatigue that sneaks up on me. So corn chips, trail mix, and granola bars are my go-tos. (Thank you, Aldi and Costco!)

As for drinking, there’s always the old standby of tea. Hot tea in the winter – I have some delicious vanilla caramel black tea – and iced tea in the summer. Celestial Seasonings makes a watermelon zinger that is DELICIOUS as iced tea. We usually brew up a giant stock pot with a few bags of watermelon zinger and a few bags of black for some caffeine, and then pour it in a pitcher and keep it in the fridge. The orange-tangerine zinger is pretty good, too.

Lately I’ve taken to brewing coffee and keeping it in the fridge to make iced coffees with – even using as much creamer as I do, it’s cheaper than getting iced fraps at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts all the time!

I know that’s only eight things, but that’s all I can really think of; snacking pulls me out of immersion into the story! It’s far more likely that I’ll set down a book and realize I’m starving because I haven’t eaten anything all day. I’m a little wary of surfing the Top Tens today – though I suppose it’s possible I’ll find healthy snacking ideas, instead of things I shouldn’t eat.

Anyone have healthy snacks that are still salty or sweet or crunchy?

Sunday Status

The in-laws have left to go back to the west coast, and as expected, I didn’t get much reading done this week. I did read I’m Not Dying With You Tonight in preparation for Barnes & Noble’s Young Adult Book Club last Thursday, but then Trump decided he was going to go to the GOP House Retreat at the hotel behind my local Barnes & Noble THAT SAME NIGHT so I didn’t go anywhere near the area that day! Grrrrr. But I should get a review of that up sometime soon. Probably Thursday. Tuesday’s Top Ten is my favorite things to eat or drink while reading, so I’ll be writing that up tomorrow. I’m hoping to dive right back in now that I don’t have house guests, but I DO still have the Maryland Renaissance Festival taking up my weekends, so I might still skip a day here and there.

I’ll just leave you with a sample of Baltimore’s welcome for Trump:


Sunday Sabbatical

It’s not quite a sabbatical, but, well. Alliteration. Anyway! I thought I’d have posts scheduled for this week, but between Fair kicking my ass on Monday, preparing for my in-laws to arrive on Tuesday, and RECOVERING from Fair kicking my ass (chronic illness = loooooong recovery times), I’ve done very little reading. Very little reading = nothing to review! So I won’t be posting much this week – I don’t even know if there will be a Library Loot Wednesday or a Friday 56, and those are two of my easiest posts!

This might also be influenced by finding out a good friend of ours really likes Minecraft, so we’ve set up a modded server (he’s always played vanilla!) and I miiiiiight be spending a little too much time on that. Whoops. It’s a little less brain-intensive than reading, though, and that’s what I’ve needed this week.

I won’t get much reading done this coming week, because the in-laws will be here. So this might be close to a two-week break, but I’ll reassess on Sunday, a week from today, and we’ll see. i'll be back

Book Review: Shatter the Sky

shatter the skyShatter the Sky
by Rebecca Kim Wells
Young Adult / Fantasy
294 pages
Published July 2019

I saw this described as “angry bisexual dragon riders” and while I didn’t know if the bisexual applied to the dragons or to the riders, I really didn’t care. Either way, I NEEDED THIS.

It’s fantastic. It’s a -little- simplistic, but I loved it anyway. Maren loves her girlfriend, Kaia, and when Kaia is abducted by the emperor’s prophetic servants to be inducted into their ranks, she gets mad. She would have been happy to live a quiet life with Kaia, but instead our girl’s going to BURN IT ALL DOWN. You’d think prophets could avoid this drastic misstep, but then we wouldn’t have a book!

Maren is biracial; her father is from down the mountain, from a more accepted ethnicity, while her mother is Verran. Verrans used to be dragon riders, but the emperor stole their dragons and refuses to let any Verrans near them for fear the dragons will go back to them. Maren is able to disguise herself as Zefedi, her father’s ethnicity, to get work in the fortress where dragons are hatched and trained. Her Verran ancestry gives her some advantages with working with the dragons, though.

There’s a bit of a love triangle, though it could turn into a polyamorous situation. I’m obviously hoping for the latter, but we’ll have to wait for the second book, Storm the Earth, to find out.

Sexuality in this book was very matter-of-fact – Kaia has two moms, absolutely no one has a problem with two women being together. Lovers/spouses are called Heartmates, rather than anything gender-specific. I love it so much when fantasy books do this! And Heartmates is a BEAUTIFUL term that I adore.

I really enjoyed Maren rediscovering dragon lore – I find it a little unbelievable that the Verrans didn’t keep some secrets passed around under the nose of the emperor, but I suppose even if they did, that doesn’t mean some random village girl would know about it. So Maren has to learn it all for herself.

To sum up: LOVE this book. Cannot WAIT for the sequel!

From the cover of Shatter the Sky:

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia – until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory – the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground . . . .

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

Friday 56 – Periodic Tales

periodic talesThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from Periodic Tales: a Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc.

On another website, Theodore Gray’s periodic table is a masterpiece of the carpenter’s art – he will even sell you a periodic table table. The story of each element lies on the other side of an engraved wooden portal. Once past this timber threshold, there are beautiful images of the element and its minerals and details of where and how he obtained them. The sources are sometimes exotic, but more often very ordinary: his cerium comes from a camp-fire starter bought from Walmart, his bromine in the form of sodium bromide used to salt the water in hot-tubs. He also accepts donations. ‘A lot of people seem to have an element or two in their attic,’ he notes laconically on the site. ‘By the way, if you have any depleted Uranium from Afghanistan, I could use it.’