Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sunday Salon: Squeezing in a Little Reading Here & There

The grandparents long ago returned to their own homes and Anjin to work. Mouse and I have the house to ourselves during the day, the furkids our only company. You might think that would leave me lots of free time to write blog posts and comment on blogs, especially considering my little girl is only interested in eating, sleeping and having a clean diaper at this point (although, she does likes the occasional song, going on walks and watching her mother do a little back stretching dance). As those of you who were once first time parents know, despite her seemingly simple life, I rarely have a moment to do much of anything but meet her needs at this early stage. A newborn, especially mine, eats A LOT.

Even so, I am able to read while I nurse Mouse (or watch TV). And can I just say how much I love my smart phone? Who would have thought? I can keep up with my e-mail, read your blogs, stay on top of the news, and keep in touch with my husband, family and friends (who are probably tired of the daily photos I take of the baby with my phone). I may not be able to write a coherent book review or spend time on my actual computer, but I am not totally disconnected. I take what I can get in short spurts. I only wish I could somehow better manage the growing laundry piles!

I especially love that I am able to read. Once Mouse is awake more often and more interactive, I know I will have to sacrifice some of that reading time. For now though, I am taking full advantage.

Right before and after Mouse was born, I finished off the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series books by Patricia Briggs I had on hand. I flew through Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed and Silver Borne, reading one right after the other. Mercy Thompson owns her own car repair shop and is an ace mechanic. She also is a walker, someone who can turn into a coyote at will. She mingles with werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings. Trouble always seems to be around the corner and Mercy and friends are quick to step in and put a stop to it. Mercy has many of the typical urban fantasy heroine characteristics, and yet she stands out on her own. I love the world Patricia Briggs has created and enjoy spending time with the various characters. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of her latest release, River Marked, and so am now officially one behind in the series. When I get my hands on that one (probably not until it's out in paperback), I will definitely be jumping right in.

After finishing Patricia Briggs' Silver Borne, I was still itching to read urban fantasy. Unfortunately most of my TBR books are packed away. I did have Lori Handeland's Any Given Doomsday handy, however, and so decided to give that a try. The book is the first in the Phoenix Chronicles featuring psychic Elizabeth Phoenix. Life has already proven to be tough for Liz but when her beloved foster mother dies leaving her a special gift, her life suddenly has become much more difficult--and dangerous. The fate of the world lays on her shoulders. The novel got off to a slow start for me, and I admit to considering setting it aside. I persevered, however, and enjoyed the book in the end. Mostly. It took me awhile to warm up to the main character, and I was reminded of the later books in the Laurel K. Hamilton Anita Blake series where sex is used as a means to an end. I wasn't quite sold on that idea. Vague, I know, but I don't want to totally spoil the book for those who haven't read it. I do like the world Lori Handeland has created as well as the many supernatural characters she introduced in this first book in the series. She definitely offers a different take on the genre. Will I pick up the next book in the series? The jury is still out. It might be worth it to see where the author takes the story next.

I then settled into Linda Castillo's Sworn to Silence, which I had heard so much about. The first in a crime fiction series featuring a police chief with an Amish background. A serial killer is targeting young women in the area in ways that seems eerily like vicious murders that occurred in the same area years before. Only, the police chief knows that can't be possible--or could it? The mystery grabbed me from the start and didn't let go until I reached the end. Kate Burkholder is a complex heroine with a dark secret from her past. I instantly took to her and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

My next attempts at reading were not quite as successful. Reruns of Law and Order were more enticing. It isn't that the books were bad; rather I was trying to read review books, books that require more energy and thought than I have to spare right now. I should have realized that from the start, but it isn't like I am working on all cylinders at this point. Exhaustion has that effect after all. So, when Anjin suggested I dive into the select few TBR books I had purposefully not packed and just enjoy reading for the sake of reading, no strings attached, I decided to do just that.

I wasn't sure George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, the first in an epic fantasy series, was the book to pick up and read (it's size alone is rather daunting), but Anjin said he was sure it was just what I was looking for. It couldn't be because he wants me to read it before the HBO miniseries airs later this month, right? I should know better than to doubt my husband though. I am only 200 pages in but am enjoying every minute of it.

Mouse is ready for another feeding, and I can't say no to my adorable little girl. Do drop me a comment and let me know what you have been up to and what you've been reading!


© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

33 comments:

  1. Have loads and loads of fun with your baby girl! It's so good that you manage to squeeze in some reading time when she's resting.

    I'm squeezing in as much as I can too when I'm winding down after work. There's just so much to be done...

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's nice to hear you're doing so well. I'm glad you're getting some reading in, as the books and everyone else has probably told you, it's important to take care of yourself too! Enjoy that sweet little bundle of goodness, Wendy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So glad to hear that you're settling into mommyhood well :) I admire your ability to juggle everything and still squeeze in reading time. Keep us updated on those exciting baby milestones!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My firstborn is 13, but I remember those days like they were yesterday. I was so tired! When she slept, so did I. There were days when I was feeling good just to take a shower! So no worries...we understand. You just enjoy that beautiful little girl. They get big so quick. Glad you are liking the Castillo mystery. I have a few irks with the books, but they are pretty entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So glad for the update Wendy.

    It sounds like you are doing marvellously! It's quite a fog you can be in the first little while, but it seems like you are getting through. Enjoy the walks, and the sleeping, and keep looking after your self as well.

    My kids are at a different kind of busy age (8, 11, and 13). Enjoy that little mouse!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the update, Wendy! I've been thinking of you. I'm glad to hear things have been sort of settled down for you, and that you managed to find some time to read while you're taking care of your little girl. Do keep us updated about your little girl. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm planning on reading A Game of Thrones too -- again, before I get to the rest of the series thus far.

    I've never tried urban fantasy, but as a man, of course, I have been tempted by the covers. ;)

    I've seen Linda Castillo's book at the library and was wondering about it. Thanks for letting us know about it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad to see you popping in with an update!

    I love the Mercy Thompson series, of course, so I am so excited to see another 'recruit'. When one of my real life friends got into the series she read them all in a row like that, too. I actually gifted her a copy of River Marked because she is expecting her first in the fall and will likely be pretty busy when it comes out in paperback next year. I am just that thoughtful. lol

    Enjoy your little one and I look forward to hearing from you when you get a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Glad to hear you guys are doing so well, Wendy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so glad to read that things are going smoothly (as smoothly as they can be with a newborn) for all of you. I agree, smart phones are a wonderful thing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. As Mouse gets bigger, you'll still be reading, but you'll be reading different books - like Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry. What fun you've got ahead of you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, you are so right to enjoy it right now because when Mouse gets older those down times will be harder to find!! But remember to treasure this time because it flies by so swiftly!!

    A Game of Thrones is one of the best best I've read...the series is phenomenal!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I read that Handeland book as an ARC and wasn't completely sold (sex as means to end didn't really appeal to me) and I've never picked up any others by Lori.

    I'm currently reading "Queen of the Night" by J.A. Jance. I loooove Jance books! Oh, and I read the first two Briggs books and can't wait to get caught up. I really like her character, Mercy. A lot.

    Glad to hear you are able to keep up via your smart phone and it sounds like you are well (even if exhausted!).

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm glad you're finding ways to keep up with everything and time to read too! I remember the days of nursing (later bottle feeding) while balancing a book at the same time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's so lovely to hear how you and Mouse are doing! I'm thrilled you can fit some reading time in too. I think it was a few months before I could read, way back when I had my first child (22 years ago! oh my. It's all a haze, too, by the way.)

    I really like the Game of Thrones series - I have book 4 to read, before Book 5 (and last one) is released this summer. And yaay for Mercy Thompson! I love that series and I'm delighted you are too. I have Silver Borne on my OUaT5 reading pile, for a treat coming soon :-)

    Enjoy your lovely times with Mouse, Wendy. They are precious. Thanks for letting us know how you're doing, too! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wendy, it sounds like you are really getting into the mom routine. I could not live without my iPhone (well I probably could but would not want to try).

    Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, Wendy, I'm so glad to hear from you. I can just imagine your life right now. And I totally understand about the time commitment an infant can be. The smartphone is wonderful and I would have loved to have one when my little girl (now age 28) was a baby.

    You take care and enjoy. Glad you liked the Linda Castillo mystery. I really enjoy that series and #3 is coming out in June. Yea!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So glad you were able to find time to update us on your precious Mouse. Sounds like you are doing really well. I remember those days even though they were over 30 years ago and my favorite memory is looking forward to those middle-of-the-night feedings so I could read!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was so glad to see an update from you in my reader today! I can remember those days so well - and even though they're exhausting, they really do go by so fast. I'm glad you're finding a bit of time for reading along with all the baby feeding and cuddling. And don't worry about the laundry - now that you have a child, it will always be like that! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I know just how you feel. For surprisingly small entities, babies do take a lot of work! It sounds like you are still having some good reading time, which I marvel at, and some of the books you have been reading sound wonderful! I have had a sort of good month in reading, with a handful of really good ones and only one or two stinkers. I am now reading Dancing with Gravity for a book tour, and I am not far enough in yet to tell you what I think of it! Take good care of yourself and little Mouse. Those times go by so fast.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm with Carrie, the days of having such a small baby around go by so fast. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying every minute of it.

    It seems like a lot of bloggers are reading A Game of Thrones. I'm listening to it on audio and reading the paperback right now. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's wonderful to hear that you are your family are doing so well. I can remember when my son was newborn and trying to fit in my reading whenever I could. It is a wonderful time in a mother's life but definitely a challenge when it comes to reading or really any time to yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, this takes me back to those long ago days of my first baby. One of the beauties of nursing instead of bottle feeding is the number of books you can read! At least with the first baby...

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love that you enjoy the Mercy Thompson series so much! It's one of my favorite urban fantasy series. I do believe I have 2 books to read still, and I look forward to it.

    I'm plugging through Game of Thrones too. I'm just over 100 pages and finally getting in the groove of it. Only 700 more pages to go. lol

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your life actually sounds really wonderful right now! It's a lot of work, but fun sort of work. I've been working on scrapbooks these past few days (so very very behind) and all I keep thinking is how much I miss those little kids I used to have!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Aw! I love this update! Though I admit it scares me, because I was hoping to get some time to read when the baby comes! Guess I'll have to re-evaluate, huh? :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh how I'd love to see a picture of your little Mouse! I'm glad to hear you've been reading a bit and I remember Laura (remember Laura?) telling me how much she relied on her smartphone in the first few months after her little girl was born. Oh, the life changing moments. Trying to keep the house clean now as I fear what it will look like once baby comes. Funny about the laundry. Kathy (Bermudaonion) told me to let all of the housework go but keep up with the laundry. Guess it must multiply quickly!!

    Glad to see you're doing well, Wendy. Happy wishes to you and the little one.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I got most of my reading time in when my youngest was nursing or sleeping as well. I'm just glad to hear that everything is going well for you. I love the Mercy Thompson series even though I've only read the first three books. Glad to hear that you are enjoying them as well. Hope you have a great week :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I totally know what you mean. I'm not sure how old your baby is but my 2 week old also nurses a lot and I read and do computer stuff while he nurses (with one hand anyways.)

    She's beautiful by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just scrolled down and saw your birth announcement. (I'm quite behind on reading posts.) Our babies are 20 days apart!

    ReplyDelete
  31. The good news is that the more interactive your Mouse becomes, the longer her periods of sleep will be. It's so much easier to get something done then!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yes, I managed to read more those first few months than I do now at 6 months and I'm sure it will only get worse once I have to start chasing him around. I give up sleep now and then just to blog and read :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anjin's a great name. I wonder if it's influenced by Shogun

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to visit Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Don't be shy! I would love to hear from you. Due to a recent increase in spam, I will be moderating comments for the foreseeable future. Please be patient with me as it may take a few hours before I am able to approve your comment.