Tag Archives: reading

June 2021 – What Are You Reading?

I was very happy to fit in some fiction reading this month!  It was my birthday, and my major plan for that weekend was to read Karen Osborne’s Engines of Oblivion, which I’ve had on my Kindle for a few months.  But then a new Murderbot book, Fugitive Telemetry, came out, so I had to read that first (although I still managed to finish Engines of Oblivion right after)!

Nonfiction books:

  • None

Fiction books:

  • Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
  • Engines of Oblivion by Karen Osborne
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Volumes 4-10 (graphic novels)

My favourite was Fugitive Telemetry.  It wasn’t the book I expected it to be, but I really enjoyed it all the same.  Rather than following up on the threads from book five in the series, it ended up a really fun murder mystery!  I recommend it (and honestly the whole series) if you’re interested in a fun science fiction.  As a bonus, the books are fairly short too!

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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May 2021 – What Are You Reading?

May was another heavy graphic novel month!  I’ve been working a lot on other projects (mostly editing the book I’ve been working on for quite some time), so graphic novels have been a great way to fit some reading in right now.

Nonfiction books:

Fiction books:

  • Dungeon Calamity by Dakota Krout
  • Covid Chronicles: a Comics Anthology (graphic novel)
  • Join the Future by Zack Kaplan, Piotr Kowalski, Brad Simpson and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (graphic novel)
  • Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreakers by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Haas (reread, graphic novel)
  • Die Volume 2: Split the Party by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Haas (reread, graphic novel)
  • Die Volume 3: The Great Game by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Haas (graphic novel)
  • Aquaman: Echoes of a Life Lived Well by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jordan Clark, Miguel Mendonca and Robson Rocha (graphic novel)
  • Masters of the Universe: The Shard of Darkness by Val Staples, Emiliano Santalucia and Enza Fontana (reread, graphic novel)
  • Masters of the Universe: Dark Reflections by Val Staples, Emiliano Santalucia and Enza Fontana (graphic novel)

Other Languages

  • L’heure de Munsch by Robert Munsch (5 Robert Munsch stories translated into French)

My favourite was definitely Die.  I’ve read volumes 1 and 2 before.  At that time, I didn’t like volume 2 as much, but I also didn’t bother to reread volume 1 at that time.  Reading volumes 1-3 all in a row made volume 2 way better!  I can’t wait for volume 4 (which I am hoping will be out by the end of the year).

The back pages of volume 3 were really interesting as well (I enjoyed the back pages of volumes 1 and 2, but didn’t reread those at this time).  Gillen interviewed some game designers, and I got really excited to try some of their games out, particularly from a design perspective.  They talked about doing some interesting things with games, particularly RPGs, that I had never considered doing before, so I’m quite intrigued to try them all out!

I also really enjoyed Dungeon Calamity.  This was a different book in the series because Cal didn’t have Dani to help him out, but it also showcases just how crazy and awesome Cal is!  I also liked that it wrapped up a lot of the ongoing story arcs, so it was a good place to stop the series for now.  But I won’t wait too long because I want to know how it ends (and there’s still 2 books to go!)

I’d also like to note that I had a super hard time reading Covid Chronicles.  For me, it was way too soon to be looking at comics about life during the pandemic.

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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April 2021 What Are You Reading?

Wow, this really was a month for graphic novels!

Nonfiction books:

  • To Touch a Wild Dolphin: A Journey of Discovery with the Sea’s Most Intelligent Creatures by Rachel Smolker

Fiction books:

  • Conan: Serpent War by Jim Zub (graphic novel)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse by Tim Seeley (graphic novel)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Volumes 1-3 (graphic novel)
  • Dungeon Madness by Dakota Krout

I really enjoyed He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse.  It reminded me of Power Rangers: Shattered Grid, but hilarious and amazing because it was He-Man.  It also reminded me of the movie Turtles Forever, which had a similar cross-over of older and newer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with a similar hilarious vibe to it!)

I also really liked the first three volumes of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.  It starts off pretty much right after the Green Ranger joins the other Rangers and deals with some really interesting things as they struggle to become a team with the new dynamics (and also with Tommy dealing with the aftermath of being under Rita Repulsa’s control).  It’s a really good series!  I’m just sad that each volume has ended on a “to be continued” cliffhanger (and that I need to wait to read volume 4!)

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!  How’s it going?  Last week ended up a super busy week (sorry that I didn’t post) so I was quite happy to have a weekend without many plans.  I took some time to do some stuff around the house, and ended up reading a whole book on dolphins (To Touch a Wild Dolphin by Rachel Smolker, a book I’ve had for years that I found in my basement the other day).  I had intended to read Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt, but was distracted by the dolphin book because it fit into some worldbuilding I wanted to do. I didn’t actually work on the worldbuilding though until yesterday, when I finally sat down and opened my world documents to start making some changes! I meant to all weekend, but just didn’t – lol that seemed to be how a lot of my weekend went.  I don’t mind though, because just relaxing and doing “nothing” felt good (I binged a few episodes of a show I like, and started going through a stack of magazines I have).

Otherwise, over the last few weeks I’ve mostly been busy working on book editing.  I feel like I really got back into the swing of things, so it’s been going well.  🙂

I’m also really excited because I found season 2 of Les Revenants, a French show I really liked at the library last week!  I watched the first season last fall but had a hard time finding the second season (I was hoping to have it brought in through interlibrary loans, but no luck).  I guess in the meantime, the library ordered a copy of it!  So I’m very excited to get to finish the show. 🙂

So how’s everything going for you?  Have you been up to anything exciting lately?

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March 2021 – What Are You Reading?

March turned out a better reading month than I expected!  I started reading Life of Pi (actually back in February) and it was turning into another Starless Sea: I made it about 100 pages in then completely lost interest in it.  After it sat for weeks without me touching it (I read Atomic Habits and the two Starcraft graphic novels during this time), I had just decided to give up on it once and for all when I grabbed it again and actually finished it!

Nonfiction books:

  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  • Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

Fiction books:

  • Starcraft by Simon Furman (graphic novel – and apparently a reread! I read it years ago but didn’t remember it at all until I found it marked as read on my Goodreads page!)
  • Starcraft: Survivors by Jody Houser (graphic novel)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Dungeon Born by Dakota Krout

Other Language books:

  • La Gentillesse, C’est… by Pat Zietlow Miller (French translation by Edith Cordeau-Giard
  • French Short Stories for Beginners and Intermediate Learners: Engaging Short Stories to Learn French and Build Your Vocabulary by Language Guru

I really enjoyed reading Atomic Habits.  I thought it had some really great advice for anyone who wants to be working on creating better habits for themselves.  I also really liked Dungeon Born, at least once I got through the big rules dump at the beginning of the book (that part felt like I was reading an RPG manual rather than a fiction book).  Once the story took off, it was really fun, and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series!

I’m also really sad that the second arc for the Starcraft series was apparently cancelled – I really wanted to know what happened next with these characters! 😦

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book?

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Feb 2021 – What Are You Reading?

I actually finished Architects of Memory just after posting last month’s What Are You Reading post. I was hoping I’d be able to sneak it on there, but instead it got to be the first book for this month. 🙂

Nonfiction books:

  • None!

Fiction books:

  • Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
  • Jane Foster Valkyrie: At the End of All Things by Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, and Torunn GrØnbekk (graphic novel)
  • Aquaman: Manta vs. Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick (graphic novel)
  • Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider by Dennis Hopeless (graphic novel)
  • Short Stories in French for Beginners by Olly Richards and Richard Simcott

I really enjoyed Architects of Memory.  It’s been awhile since I’ve read any Science Fiction (probably since reading the last Murderbot book during the summer) and Osborne gave me a lot to think about regarding where human culture is heading (a lot of that came from the interview I did with her, too).  I’m looking forward to reading Engines of Oblivion, the second book in the duology, whenever I get the chance.

I was also a big fan of the second Jane Foster: Valkyrie graphic novel – I liked it a lot more than the first!

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book? 🙂

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A Big French Update :)

Over the weekend, I finished reading Short Stories in French for Beginners!  😀

To celebrate finishing the book, I made a video where I attempt to talk about it in French.  You can check it out here:

Lol, I had a really hard time making this video because my brain was stuck in “Ukrainian mode” that day – it took several takes before I got something where I didn’t completely trail off into nothingness because I couldn’t remember the words I wanted to say!

I’m still defaulting to English at times, especially when I get frustrated with trying to remember words, but I felt like I got a lot more French out in this video than in my other two French videos, so that’s nice to see.  🙂

My next French book is going to be French: Short Stories for Beginners and Intermediate Learners by Language Guru.  It’s a smaller book with only eight chapters (I think each chapter is one story), so I’m hopeful that it won’t take me too long to get through.  Like Short Stories in French for Beginners, it’s got vocabulary and comprehension questions.  But as an added bonus, each story seems to have an English translation, so that’ll be interesting to see how close my understanding of the French versions were to the English!

I’ve also read a few Robert Munsch stories in French (I took a book out from the library, L’heure de Munsch, which collects 5 Robert Munsch books that were translated into French).  That’s been a lot of fun too – while I’m not understanding every word, I’ve understood enough to figure out what was going on.  I got a real laugh out of the second book in the collection (Tire le bouchon, fiston! or Down the Drain in English), and am looking forward to reading the last three. 🙂

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Happy Valentine’s and Family Days

Hey everyone, I hope you had a good Valentine’s Day and Family Day if you celebrate it!  My long weekend was good – I was able to spend some time reading. 🙂  I also finally finished sorting through and uploading all of the pictures from my phone to Flickr – I had over 1200 pictures going back to before the pandemic hit here!  This has been a huge undertaking and I’ve very happy to have a lot more room on my phone now!

In terms of goals for the week, I got through almost everything I set for myself.  I read I think 10 stories from 100 Easy Ukrainian Texts (I was hoping to get through just 8! I now only need to read 6 per week and I’ll finish the book as planned by May!), and one full story (three chapters) from Short Stories in French for Beginners (which means I just have one more three-chapter story to go and I’m finished the book!)  Plus I managed to fit in some reading for fun!

Oh, I also fit in reading another chapter from Painless French, so that was a bonus!

So for this week I’ve set much the same goals as last week, but with a few less stories from 100 Easy Ukrainian Texts.  I’m also ramping up working on book editing, so we’ll see how the reading goes in the middle of that!

So how’s your week been?  How is everything going for you? 🙂

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Jan 2021 – What Are You Reading?

I got off to a terrible start with reading this year. At the very end of December, I started reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea.  A friend of mine recommended it to me, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. I got about 100 pages in and just couldn’t bring myself to keep reading.  But because of the recommendation, I felt bad abandoning it.  And so it sat for several weeks before I finally gave up and sent it back to the library.  😦

What finally got me out of my reading slump was my friend, CJ Halbard, sending me an advanced copy of his newest Project Tempest novella, Her Mad Song.  It deals with some really interesting ideas (specifically emotional climate change – that there is an emotional/imaginative environment that everyone is connected to, which is perhaps permanently changing because of the emotions and tensions that have been building up, as shown through things like social media).

I did start reading another book after finishing Her Mad Song, but didn’t have time to finish it this week due to some work training I was doing (it was three full days, plus I spent a lot of time reviewing stuff from the textbook each evening after the class was over).

So what have you read over the last month?  What was your favourite book? 🙂

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Hello 2021!

Hi everyone! How were your holidays?  Mine were quieter than normal, but still good.  I’ve always loved the holiday season because it’s a time when I reconnect with family and friends.  Since it wasn’t really possible to do so this year in person, I decided to send out Christmas cards instead.  I even got a few back in reply by the end of that week! (I couldn’t believe how quickly they travelled!)

But now it’s a new year, which means time to reflect on the goals I set last year (and set some new ones!) Last year I basically set the same smaller goals for myself as in 2019: I wanted to read 25 novel-length books, finish one of the RPG’s that I’ve started (although I specifically picked Memories for 2020), and work on two short stories (although I decided I was going to edit a few I’ve already written, rather than write new ones).  While I was successful with the first two goals, the short story editing unfortunately didn’t happen: I put it off, and then, when I was going to make a push to work on at least one during December, the book editing project I’m working on derailed that plan completely (which is okay – it was good to get some work on that done instead).  And ever since I started learning both Ukrainian and French when I was off work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of my time has gone towards language learning as well.

I wasn’t really sure what sorts of goals I should set this year because I honestly have no idea what 2021 will bring in terms of the pandemic (I am hopeful we’ll get through it this year, but who knows if a third or fourth wave might shut everything down again?)  I don’t want to overwhelm myself with ambitious projects (especially during this pandemic; some days I don’t want to do anything and that’s okay).  Plus, if I’ve learned anything during the last several years of setting goals, it’s that a few smaller goals are better for me (also, I still seem to get derailed over the course of the year even with those smaller goals!)

But I did know that accomplishing some milestones in both French and Ukrainian would be important.  Unfortunately it’s hard to quantify things like “be able to have a basic conversation” or “be able to have a deeper conversation.”  So I looked through the goals I set for myself during my random October planning session, and chose some concrete things to accomplish from that list.

So with all of that lead-up, here are my goals for the year:

  1. Read 25 of the novel-length books I own.  I know I can read 25 books in a year (I read 43 books this year).  But I keep getting distracted by shiny new books at the library, completely ignoring all the books I have here.  So I’m going to challenge myself to get through more of my books (of course, that will have to wait until I deal with the library books I’ve already got out…).  Whether they’re physical or on my Kindle, I want to get through 25 of them before the end of the year!
  2. Write a new story.  I feel like it’s been forever since I have, and I’d like to change that.  I don’t care what kind of story it is: a short story, a novel, an RPG, a podcast, a screen play, whatever.  I just want to work on something new!
  3. Language Learning goals:
    1. Ukrainian Duolingo tree to Gold (I’ve only got four more lesson bubbles to go!)
    2. Finish reading Short Stories in French for Beginners
    3. Finish reading 100 Easy Ukrainian Texts
    4. Read French Short Stories for Beginners
    5. Read French: Short Stories for Beginners and Intermediate Learners
    6. Read Ukrainian Language: Texts in Ukrainian
    7. Finish Ukrainian Lessons Podcast seasons 2-4
    8. Finish the Duolingo French tree (just getting to the end, not turning it to gold)

While it didn’t make the list, I’d also love to finish with the book editing project I’ve been working on since 2019.  Unfortunately that’s out of my hands (the original end date for that should have been last winter, but it was taking longer than planned even before covid hit).  So fingers crossed that it will finish this year, too!

So what about you?  Have you set any goals for yourself this year? 🙂

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