Sunday, September 7, 2014

Murchie Plus Books: August 31st to September 6th

The premise: I love my dog. I love books. I bring the two together by photographing my dog in front of every book I read, barring my Marvel Unlimited consumption. (Last week, that was the tail end of Marvel Cosmic's 2007-2011 run. I'm now in withdrawal, and also mourning.)

The photos: go live on Instagram as I take them and appear here in digest form every Sunday.

A tiny grey poodle--Murchie--lays on a pillow shaped like a flattened cream-coloured sheep. He faces towards the right side of the frame. Behind him sits a hardcover copy of Landline. The cover depicts an old fashioned yellow phone's handset against a grey background, with pink stripes just barely visible on the spine.

After days and days and days of trying to read Alexis Hall's PROSPERITY, I decided I needed a break. I'd just picked Rainbow Rowell's LANDLINE up from the library, so I put Murchie to bed, cuddled up beside him, and read it until I passed out.

It proved to be exactly what I needed. I didn't love it the way I've loved Rowell's other books, but I enjoyed it very much and got ridiculously emotional over the couple Georgie meets on her journey. Murchie was pleased with the extra snuggle time, too; it's been in shorter supply during this fallow reading period. Win!

As an added bonus, the break gave me the mental energy I needed to finish PROSPERITY. I loved it, and should have a full review for you on its release date in late October.

Murchie lays on his sheep-shaped pillow, face towards the right side of the frame. The shot is fairly close; almost, but not quite, a profile. Behind him sits a paperback copy of RUNAWAY. Its cover features a black and white photograph of a young girl of Chinese descent, her face slightly turned towards the viewer.

I finished Shiri Eisner's BI: NOTES FOR A BISEXUAL REVOLUTION last weekend, leaving me free to start a new piece of nonfiction. I chose RUNAWAY by Evelyn Lau, a book I've been meaning to read for more than half my life. The moment I encountered an excerpt in a grade ten English unit on autobiography, I knew it was a book I had to read in its entirety.

That explains why it took me sixteen years to follow through.

It's very much my in-between book, so it'll take me a while to get through it, but I love what I've read so far. Lau's writing is raw, elegant, and powerful; her story, often painful. I look forward to my dips into her prose.

Murchie halfway cringes away from a white iPod touch with the cover art for Dreams of Gods & Monsters on its screen. The cover shows a portrait of a pale skinned woman wearing dark, heavy eyeliner. Golden antlers hover in front of her face. The title is displayed across the image on a slant.

I also began a new audiobook: DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS by Laini Taylor.

It was so good I was almost glad an impending due date and an inability to renew it forced me to ramp up my reading pace. I eagerly searched for reasons to keep my earbuds in.

Then my iPod died.

One moment I had Laini Taylor's words tripping through my eardrums; the next, silence. La iPod refused to take a charge, effectively barring me from further listening.

I tried putting it on my phone, but Overdrive for Android doesn't allow you to adjust your playback speed and I'm physically incapable of listening to audiobooks at regular time. (They're sooooooo slllllooooooooowwwww.) I tried putting it on my computer, but Overdrive for Windows 8 refused to actually download it. And once I'd replaced my iPod1, my library's website insisted I had already downloaded it three times and so could not put it on another device.

I have to go back in the library queue. I'm bummed.

Murchie, pessimist that he is, is unsurprised. This is exactly what he expected when he shied away from my iPod in the above picture.

Murchie rests atop his sheep-shaped pillow so his body is barely visible behind his head. His gaze is towards the right side of the screen and his floppy ears are slightly perked. Behind him sits a paperback copy of The Fires of Heaven. Its cover depicts three pale skinned people--two male, one female--exploring a ruined stone city.

Or maybe he was just worried about his impending dental surgery.

My poor boy has terrible problems with his teeth, and a whopping seven of them had to come out on Friday. He's spent the time since then snuggling up to anyone who'll have him. He also keeps making this alarming half hiccup, half cough sound, but the vet says that's normal for a little dog who's recently had a breathing tube in.

Despite his woes, he let me take his picture beside THE FIRES OF HEAVEN by Robert Jordan. As was the case with the previous books in the Wheel of Time, I'm reading it on my Kobo and using the 2.5" thick paper copy to track my progress. (It's difficult to gauge these things when you're reading from a 14-book omnibus edition.)

Next week: I'm still reading at a snail's pace, but I hope Murchie and I will have at least one prose book to show you. You'll definitely see my replacement audiobook.

  1. My iPod had been having trouble holding a charge for upwards of a month, and when it refused to recharge I thought that was the end of the end. It was no longer under warranty, and I didn't see how Apple could replace the battery since it's built right into the device.

    I figure it's always worth asking, though, so I toddled off to the Apple store on Friday afternoon and made an appointment to talk to a specialist.

    They scheduled me in for two hours hence--they're crazy busy in there--but I used the time to wander the streets and buy yarn, so no biggie. And when I finally got to talk to someone, everything was remarkably simple. The friendly staff ran some diagnostics and determined my iPod had suffered a catastrophic battery failure. Then they gave me a replacement for the cost of the battery ($89, tax included).

    I'm impressed, and also relieved I don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new iPod. $89 is much less of a financial burden.

    Maybe I'll use the money I saved to get a yearly subscription to Marvel Unlimited...

    (Okay, you got me. I just want an excuse to keep Marvel Unlimited for an entire year. It's cheaper that way! And I could write about it! Do a "My Year With Marvel" series or something... Y'all are deeply interested in my travels through the Marvel Universe, right? I mean, who wouldn't be?)


  1. !!! I can't believe that happened with Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Such a good book. I hope it comes back into your queue quickly.

    I adored Landline. Just finished it yesterday. My favorite of the three I've read of hers. (I didn't read E&P. I tried, didn't get very far.)

    1. I think there were four people behind me when I received it, but I can't see the current stats without returning it and I can't return it without a copy on a device. (I deleted the one on my phone before I realized there was a download limit.) So frustrating.

  2. Poor little Murchie! I hope he is feeling better. My puppy has never been as forlorn and miserable as she was after we got her spayed-and-stomach-stapled (the latter being a thing you have to do with deep-chested dogs if you don't want their stomachs to flip over and kill them). She just wandered all around moping moping moping.

    1. He's pretty well back to normal now, aside from the noises. He's eaten so much in the last two days! It's a miracle!

      Poor Jazz. :( I'm glad she doesn't have to worry about her stomach, though. I've never had a deep-chested dog, so I had no idea that could happen. O_O

  3. Awww, poor Murchie. I hope he recovers fully soon!

    (I still can't get over his tininess when I see him next to books.)

    1. His tininess amazes me, too. I enter an adjustment period every time I come home from a vacation or something, since I've inevitably forgotten how small he is. He doesn't seem possible on paper.

  4. Poor Murchie, poor audiobook, poor iPod! Here's hoping that next week has many good things happen. :)

    1. I certainly hope it will! My new audiobook is going well, so that's a plus. And I own it, so I don't need to worry about download limits or anything in the unlikely event that something happens to my replacement iPod.

  5. I keep hearing how Landline is not her best, but I can't imagine not loving anything that Rainbow Rowell has written. I'm still saving it up for times of need

    1. It's still lovely and well worth reading! I just didn't find it as OMGMUSTHAVEMORE as, say, FANGIRL (which is my favourites of favourite Rainbow Rowells).