Books, hockey, and a bucketful of snark

Being the musings of a Yorkshire lass living in the USA. I'm a book geek, bird nerd, grammar Nazi, and hockey nut.  Sarcasm is my default setting. 


I have finally had enough of my work situation. It's been going steadily downhill for the past couple of years, but I've been putting up with it and pretending everything is OK. Reorganization after reorganization. People promoted to a higher level than their ability. The introduction of 'collaborative work-spaces', which means no one has a dedicated desk and we all have to fight to get the one desk with a functioning computer screen. And that's just some of the crap I deal with on a daily basis.


So yesterday, I told my boss I'm planning on leaving in three months time.



It felt so good.

Bad-ass Borgias

Blood & Beauty: The Borgias - Sarah Dunant

Bet you didn't realize just how bad-ass the Borgias really were.




Beautiful Ruins: A Novel - Jess Walter

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.


A friend recommended this one to me ages ago, and as much as I enjoy urban fantasy, it will be a pleasant change to read something that doesn't have assorted supernatural beings trying to kill each other.

A Local Habitation - Seanan McGuire Pocket Apocalypse - Seanan McGuire

I've been reading these two series side by side, and have been enjoying both of them.


The October Daye books are definitely darker in tone and even though the characters include the King of Cats, various fae, shifters etc, they follow all the tropes you would expect from a typical novel about a private detective. Angst-ridden loner? Check. Gets hit on head by unknown assailant? Check. A socking great clue staring her in the face but she just can't see it? Check and check.


To be honest, Toby isn't the best PI in the business. She misses a hell of a lot of clues and that means there can be an alarmingly high body count before she finally realizes what's going on. But she did spend 14 years living in a fishpond so I suppose I should cut her a little slack.


The InCryptid books about the Price family are much lighter, and I like how McGuire swaps between the Price siblings. Verity is great. Alex sometimes seems out of his depth, and I'm really looking forward to getting to read about Antimony's adventures.


“Growing up in my family meant ambushes on your birthday, crossbows for Christmas, and games of dodge ball where the balls were occasionally rigged to explode. It also meant learning how to work your way out of a wide variety of death traps. Failure to get loose on your own could lead to missing dinner, or worse, being forced to admit that you missed dinner because your baby sister had tied you to the couch. Again.” 


But you can't talk about the InCryptid books without mentioning the Aeslin mice. They are the best thing ever.


Follow the link for more Aeslin Mice

Reading progress update: I've read 290 out of 377 pages.

A Local Habitation - Seanan McGuire

I like Toby, but I really do feel she needs to find a different vocation. She is a crap PI.


Wild Country - Anne Bishop

I put a hold on this at the library last week. But I wasn't expecting it to become available so quickly.

Pocket Apocalypse: InCryptid, Book Four - Seanan McGuire

Endangered, adjective:


1. Threatened with extinction or immediate harm.


Australia, noun:


1. The world's smallest continent.


2. Home of some of the most unique and varied animal life known to mainstream science.


3. A good place to become endangered.


I decided to take a break from Uhtred and the battling Vikings, and have returned to the world of Alex Price and the Aeslin mice. Which come to think of it, is probably very similar, just with werewolves rather than angry Danes.

Emily of New Moon - L.M. Montgomery

I admit although I'm a big fan of Anne of Green Gables, I had never heard of Emily, until I watched the amazing Russian Doll on Netflix. But if Nadia recommends it, then I sure as hell want to read it.


Reading progress update: I've read 42%.

Death of Kings - Bernard Cornwell

So I'm about halfway through book six and I've come to the conclusion that becoming Uhtred's woman is not the smartest career move unless you have a death wish. My advice to anyone thinking about dating him, would be "RUN AWAY!"

Street Art


Seen on Twitter.

Reading progress update: I've read 65%.

The Burning Land - Bernard Cornwell

I'm really enjoying this series, but unfortunately I'm also a huge fan of the Netflix show Norsemen, and can't help seeing Arvid and Co. in my mind when I'm reading.


Reading progress update: I've read 21%.

The Burning Land - Bernard Cornwell

Oh for heaven's sake Uhtred. Just tell Alfred to sod off.


You've been whining for five books about wanting to retake Bebbanburg, so just go and do it already.


Florida birding

Have just returned to chilly Massachusetts after spending the past week in Florida doing plenty of birding, getting a bit of culture at the Salvador Dali museum, and getting my sports fix by attending a Red Sox spring training game and a Tampa Bay Lightning game.


The birding as always was fabulous. Florida definitely has the best birds. We even managed to add three more birds to the life list. Marbled godwit, Nanday parakeet, and a great horned owl.


The owl was a treat, but was too far away for decent photos. Which was a shame because, there was an utterly adorable owlet in the nest with an adult close by.


The godwit was one of those where we had no idea what it was, so had to take some hurried pictures for ID purposes later.


And the parakeets were amazing. They aren't native to the US but colonies have been built up via escapees and there are now enough of them for the American Birding Association to include them in the list of US birds. 



Clockwise starting from top left: Wood stork, green heron, sandhill cranes, great egret.


And here are our lifers (slightly blurry pics, but they were a little bit too far away to get a decent shot).


Reading progress update: I've read 33%.

Lords of the North - Bernard Cornwell

I remember one night when we ate a dish of elder, which is cow's udder pressed and cooked, and I was devouring it and saying that I had not eaten so well since I was a child, and poor Willibald could not finish a mouthful. He looked as though he wanted to be sick, and I mocked him for being a weak-spined southerner.


Ah, the good old North/South divide. Nothing has changed much since 878.

Magical March Hares





Tabitha King totally rocks!

The Book of Reuben - Tabitha King

This reminds me of the time when the company I work for was trying to encourage more women in the workplace. Diane Patrick was invited to speak. She is a senior counsel, an advocate for women's rights, and charity spokesperson.


She was introduced to us as the wife of the Governor of Massachusetts.


I sometimes wonder what century I'm living in.

Currently reading

Chaos Choreography
Seanan McGuire
Beautiful Ruins: A Novel
Jess Walter
Progress: 146/352 pages
Death of Kings
Bernard Cornwell
Progress: 42 %