Books reviewed recently: Deborah Harkness’ Time’s Convert (review), Julia Quinn’s The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (review), and Thea Lim’s An Ocean of Minutes (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
I was supposed to type out a reflective blog post about my blog hitting its 12th blogoversary but I was bogged down with studying for my midterms that I just never got around to typing it. Alas that life has become so busy that I have no time to even properly celebrate my blogoversary anymore! But yes, my blog–for all of its changes, moving around to different servers and whatnot–has hit 12 years old on the internet 🙂
And that’s about it about the blog for the month of February! I’m about to roll into a busy month at school so juggling should be, errr, interesting, lol.
The Queen of Sorrow (The Queens of Renthia #3) By: Sarah Beth Durst Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the stunning The Reluctant Queen comes to a gripping conclusion in the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy . . .
Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home-a hope that seemed doomed when neighboring forces invaded Aratay. Now, with the powerful Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Daleina believes that her dream of ushering in a new era can be realized, even in a land plagued by malevolent nature spirits who thirst for the end of human life.
But then Naelin’s children are kidnapped by spirits.
Naelin would rather watch the world burn than see her children harmed-and she is ready to start a war with the north to secure their return.
But defeated Queen Merecot of Semo has grander plans than a bloody battle with her southern neighbors. Taking the children is merely one step in a plot to change the future of all Renthia, either by ending the threat of spirits once and for all . . . or by plunging the world into chaos.
Alrighty, here we are at the concluding volume of the Queens of Renthia trilogy. Obviously there were some loose threads that needed addressing after the end of the second book, like everyone wasn’t exactly in the clear just yet, so I was obviously curious how everything was going to wrap up.
Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
So what about this month so far? lol, it’s been busy as always, juggling school and work. I can feel my patience and my temper beginning to fray quite a bit–school’s been a bit of a bore/nuisance with the group assignments (whhhhy) (except ethics, I like ethics class), work has been very stressful as our unit has gotten heavier on many levels. I know my self-care’s been on the low end and I’ve been trying to take care of myself more in between but gah, it’s hard.
In a boost career-wise though, I found out that I will be representing my unit at the nursing advisory council that’s held every month. I had applied for it on a whim last month–all the talk about leadership and whatnot at school and with everything happening on the unit recently had me thinking about stuff–and it’s exciting and different beyond bedside nursing.
I’m on Reading Week now, thank God. Spending the week either working (what’s new) or going out for lunch and dinner with friends–yesterday was with a good ol’ friend of mine, tomorrow will be with two of my favourite people from work, lol. Oh yeah, and I’m doing schoolwork in between. No biggie. lol.
Speaking of meet-ups and whatnot, I saw Olafur Arnalds live at the Roy Thomson Hall earlier this month. Olafur Arnalds is one of my favourite composers so to watch and hear him perform some of his music live was such a delight. None of my favourite pieces were performed, alas (“This Place is a Shelter”, “partial” off the new album), but a) “Near Light” was performed, which was a joy, and b) I may have almost lost my shit when I heard them perform “Beth’s Theme” from Broadchurch. Ahhhh!!!!
So guess who just booked her holiday? Yaaaah Lianne’s off to the Netherlands and then to Iceland at the end of the exam period (end of April and into early May) *throws confetti* I’m going with my brother; it’s my graduation gift to him (as he will be finishing his programme then) and a bit of R&R before he writes his board exams (he really wants to go to Iceland, hence it being part of the trip. As for me, I don’t mind going back to Iceland). Suffice to say I can’t wait until April rolls in, lol.
Books I’m currently reading: I’m kind of still debating actually. I think I might read The Saga of Icelanders next to get into the mood of my trip, but I don’t know, I might go with N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. We will see. Meanwhile I am reading the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns; am hoping to get through most of the comic book stack before classes (and midterms) start up again.
Another major thing I’ve been doing this month: #InCoWriMo! For the past month I’ve been writing letters to people all over the world–as well as catching up on my own correspondence–which has been a nice break from everything. And it’s so much fun receiving mail from everywhere as well. It’ll be a while to catch up again, I suppose! lol
An Ocean of Minutes By: Thea Lim Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
In the vein of The Time Travelerís Wife and Station Eleven, a sweeping literary love story about two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart.
America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan: time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way-trip into the future to work as a bonded laborer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years.
But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured.
An Ocean of Minutes is a gorgeous and heartbreaking story about the endurance and complexity of human relationships and the cost of holding onto the past–and the price of letting it go.
Been eyeing this book since I first heard of it…the year before? I can’t remember now but I got around to picking it up last year (trying to avoid the same scenario with Madeline Thein’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing where there was no stock for a while). It was long listed for Canada Reads 2019 this year so yeah, got around to reading it a while ago 🙂
The Last Painting of Sara De Vos By: Dominic Smith Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can’t shake them, even long after the reading’s done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.
In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.
I found out about this book from Mel @ Book Musings and had it on my wishlist for a while. I then encountered it again for a very good price and decided to pick it up. I enjoy reading about art and discovering the world of art dealing and whatnot through these thriller/suspense/historical fiction novels.