What a May. I traveled twice and didn’t die, I ate a lot, and I voted. The cat, as always, was indifferent.

And here is the cat in the immediate aftermath of the first May trip, completely unaware that I had an almost week-long trip coming up in a mere two weeks. For anyone wondering, no, she was not happy to go back into boarding.

One major perk, which she cannot understand because she is a cat and does not know what finances are: the vet kindly provided us with a crate and a half of Circe’s special diet food, which is the only thing she is allowed to eat. We mega lucked out, because it had just been donated by another client who didn’t need it. (Their kitty is fine, it’s just the food didn’t work for them and I am grateful. I love free food.)

May Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman
  2. I Am a Cat – Natsume Sōseki
  3. Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Louis Sachar
  4. Wayside School Is Falling Down – Louis Sachar
  5. Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger – Louis Sachar

Total Pages Read: 1,680

I wasn’t sure if I would pursue the Thursday Murder Club series indefinitely, but now that I’ve finally read the second book I’m in it for the long haul. I love this series, even if it does make me sad. In particular, I know that Stephen is going to get progressively worse, and I’m not looking forward to that because I really love his friendship with Bogdan. On the other hand, I am looking forward to a chaotic Donna x Bogdan romance. I finally also finished I Am a Cat, which I started at the end of March, and it absolutely wrecked me. I knew how it was going to end because of the damn foreword, but I was not prepared for the devastation of the final paragraph. I’m glad I read it; I’m not sure I would read it a second time, at least not for the next couple of years. All the same, I got it on Kindle, so the door’s open if I ever decide to open it.

Speaking of my Kindle, I went on a wild spree during the Amazon book sale, and I regret nothing. I do get guilty twinges for supporting Amazon, but there’s a couple of features of interest here:

  1. I have been making a point lately of preordering from Bookshop.org, and I will always support the crap out of local bookstores. So, yes, I do still use Amazon, but I also support my locals when and where I can. Additionally, the local bookstores do not always have what I’m looking for because sometimes it’s just too old or too obscure or not available in the edition I want, which leaves me with Amazon or Barnes & Noble. That’s not their fault, of course, but it’s not mine either.
  2. I have yet to see anyone provide a satisfactory independent option for Kindle readers, outside of Libby. (YES, I ALSO USE LIBBY. Don’t come after me for ignoring my local libraries.) Do not tell me to throw out the Kindle and get a Kobo instead. It’s not going to happen.
  3. I’m not a fucking millionaire. If I were, I would be making the rounds of my local favorites once a week. (God, what a dream.) But I work in a field that has never been known for six-figure salaries and I have not yet won the lottery, and I live in a one-bedroom apartment with limited bookcase space, though I am mulling over the possibility of adding a couple more cases. (Just kidding. I’m gonna wait till I move into a house, if I ever manage to buy a house, before I go apeshit with the bookcases. Books are such a pain in the ass to move.) I therefore do not apologize for my reliance on Kindle books, though it doesn’t feel good.

Anyway. As I say, I went crazy during the Amazon book sale and made out like a bandit with my Kindle books, though not all of them were on sale and that was grievously disappointing. I suppose I should be grateful, because it forced me to cross out some of the items on the preemptive shopping/price comparison list I put together in preparation for the sale. I don’t have pics, obvs, so here’s my haul:

  1. The Curse of Chalion – Lois McMaster Bujold
  2. The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
  3. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins
  4. Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) – Alexandra Petri
  5. Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
  6. The League of Lady Poisoners – Lisa Perrin
  7. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
  8. Hag-Seed – Margaret Atwood
  9. Build Your House Around My Body – Violet Kupersmith
  10. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration – Isabel Wilkerson
  11. The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman
  12. The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman
  13. The Bullet That Missed – Richard Osman
  14. The Last Devil to Die – Richard Osman

My little Kindle library is growing nicely. Most of these are rereads, aside from Thursday Murder Club books 3 and 4, but I am pleased with my library because I like the idea of carrying my favorites around with me. I came thisclose to also buying Cat’s Eye, my all-time favorite Atwood book, but I really really really hate the Kindle cover so I’m still mulling that one over. In general, however, I am thinking of transitioning my less favored Atwoods to Kindle and unhauling the corresponding hard copies, (1) because my Atwood section is embarrassingly large and I could use the shelf space, and (2) because I get terribly anxious about the eventual destruction of my paperback spines. I am not and have never been rough on my books, but paperbacks do tend to deteriorate the more they are read, and that makes me very unhappy. The major draw of buying on Kindle is, of course, the digital annotation feature, which would let me fill up the metaphorical margins of The Robber Bride with angry notes about Billy and Mitch. (They are both garbage. I hate them so much.)

All of that is in the future, however, because I don’t love The Robber Bride enough to buy it without the draw of another book sale, so I have some time to really think it through.

Currently Reading

Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
No progress. The most I can say is that I’ve been going back through A Study in Scarlet and obsessively highlighting the passages that correspond with the BBC show.

Foul Lady Fortune
Chloe Gong
Current rating: 4-4.5 stars. This book is good solid fun; I just wish the writing were better. I will in all likelihood be pursuing the entirety of the Secret Shanghai series, because it’s so friggin’ addicting.

The Princess Bride
William Goldman
Current rating: 3.5-4 stars. I have been enjoying the actual story, which is hilarious, but not the side circus with Goldman’s (fictional) brilliant shrink of a wife and spoiled overweight son. The projected rating would be higher if Goldman were even just a smidge less in love with the sound of his own voice, and to be perfectly frank I seem to remember having the same problem when I first read the book in high school. Still, it is making me want to rewatch the movie.

A Dictionary of Maqiao
Han Shaogong
No rating, I’m only on page 5.

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom
Louis Sachar
No rating, haven’t started yet. I have been indulging in Wayside nostalgia vibes, and this is the final book in the series. I didn’t even know there was a book 4 until I went looking for the Wayside books.

Blogkeeping Notes

After four years on this blog, I finally got fed up with my own ballooning tag list when I realized it had stopped showing every tag I’ve ever used. This is because I was using tags to track posts in the same series (e.g., the Winternight trilogy), but, since I’ve been cataloguing a lot of series lately, the tag cloud quickly ran out of control. The series tags have therefore been converted into nested categories under a general “Series” label. Updating all those links in all the places I linked to the series tags was not fun, but I did it. Unfortunately the updated menus don’t display the same on mobile so I do recommend viewing the website on desktop. :’D The things we do for organization.

Anyhoo, this has really cut down on my sidebar space and the blog looks a lot neater now, and I will never regret tidiness. Plus, with all of my tags now fully visible, I had the widget space to add a Shop Titans tag because curse that game.

Inter-Travel Eats

May has been the month of traveling (which is chronicled in next Saturday’s post, because otherwise this one would be too goddamn long), but between travels I hosted a potluck and we celebrated Mother’s Day. The potluck happened because Heather had never seen The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and also happened to be interested in the dong-gue-rang-taeng I made back in March. (Her verdict on the movie: it was okay, lol.) I don’t know whose ill-mannered cat that is climbing all over the table, but it couldn’t possibly be my perfectly behaved angel.

This potluck marked a milestone, in that it witnessed the most intact rolled omelet I’ve ever made in my life. It only took me 50000000 tries and five eggs to get the final product. Most of the pictures include the omelet because I’m really proud of that omelet, okay.

Then there was Mother’s Day, in which we had some good food accompanied by shoddy service and also saw muskrats and beaver lodges, which I didn’t photograph because I didn’t have my phone on me. Win some, lose some.