Friday, 26 August 2016

[AUGUST UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals

Once again it's been two months since my last update. I'm okay with that. I have to be. ;)

Last time I talked about a book I'd read, I mentioned the first in the Poldark series. I'm now on book five, which was written a long time after the first four novels. So far in August I've only finished one book, so I will have to discuss book #4 of the Poldark series.

This is the most controversial of the books to date, and you'll have to read and find out why. It's the book where we learn that Ross is far from perfect, and in my case, the book where Ross made me incredibly angry. The popular statement people seem to make while reading Warleggan is: "Ross, how could you!!"

It's good to read about imperfect characters - we know Demelza is imperfect and we have known from previous novels that Ross is as well. The two are in a frequent state of misunderstanding each other, and with some of the more heartbreaking things that have happened to them so far, the misunderstandings only grow deeper. The way this novel ended was heartening, however it's a fact that things will never be the same again. In so many ways during this and the previous novel, the damage has been irrevocably done.

The character of Elizabeth gets a bad wrap - yes, she's never been willing to let Ross go, but it's not her fault that he refuses to let go of her either. There is controversy due to the fact that many readers truly hate Elizabeth and seem to want to blame her for the ongoing attachment. But truly, it takes two to tango, so to speak. All in all I found this book to be super compelling and to me, the true hero(ine) of the story is Demelza. What a legendary character!

This is the blurb from GoodReads:
"Ross Poldark plunges into a speculative mining venture which threatens his financial security and his stormy marriage to Demelza. When the old attraction between Ross and Elizabeth begins to rekindle itself, Demelza retaliates by becoming dangerously involved with a Scottish cavalry officer."

Currently Reading: Winston Graham's The Black Moon (Poldark, #5)

Last time I had a relatively bleak update. Same this time. I'm keeping up with my reading, though this semester my studies are really trying to mess with that. I've also done a bit more work on my music, but not nearly as much as I wish I had (due to studies). I'm nearly at the point where I've got another song finished, I just need to work a bit more on the backing vocals. Then I can send the GB file to my bandmate for mixing, etc.

I think this year may be filled with disappointments when it comes to most of my goals - except the reading one! I'm doing better than I expected at the start of the year in that regard.

Friday, 24 June 2016

[JUNE UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals

Updating every 2 months...well, it's better than never updating at all, right?!?!

~ The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club : June Edition ~

I don't think I had heard about the Poldark series (which consists of 11 books or something!) prior to seeing this book for 50% off on Book Depository in the "bargain bin" section. Apparently my mum is familiar with a miniseries from years ago that was on telly, but I haven't seen either series (there are 2 apparently) myself. Reading the description of this book though, I decided I must buy it, and not just because it was at its bargain price.

This is the blurb from GoodReads:

"Cornwall in the 1780s - when powerful forces of revolution and reaction are at large in the world.
Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.
But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home - an act which alters the whole course of his life..."

So I bought the book, as well as books 2 & 3, and started reading. I was delighted by what I read. This book made me laugh and also made me swoon. The supporting characters are a great strength of this book, though of course Ross and Demelza provided more than enough intrigue to keep me hooked. But I love the quirkiness of the supporting characters, like Prudie and her "craw'ers" (lice), and Jud and his "tedn right, tedn fair, tedn British" (to paraphrase).

Just from reading book #1, and what little I've read of book #2 so far, I'd definitely recommend this series.

Currently Reading: Winston Graham's Demelza (Poldark, #2)

Ugggghhhh, not this again.

The only updates I really have are that I'm doing well with my reading goal...and I paid for some of the chosen artwork for Woody's A Girl's next album, titled OBLIVION, which has an outer space theme (both my bandmate and I are in love with the awesome artwork by this artist named April - you can view this artwork HERE.

I hope to get at least one more song done and sent to Billy this evening. So there's that...

Friday, 29 April 2016

[APRIL UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals

I'm still alive, I swear! (see? here I am)

~ The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club : April Edition ~

This series was recommended by a friend, who said she devoured them over a short week-long stay in a holiday resort. I was quite eager to get started on book #1, as a result.

It's been quite a wait between finishing this book and writing up the review. So I'm not entirely clear on what I was feeling when I did finish it. I do know that at the time, the next two books in the series had not yet arrived at my place from Book Depository, so I had to read something else in the meantime. I'm still reading that "something else" (book #3 in a trilogy), but soon I'll be ready to jump into the next book in the Selection series.

Back on point, perhaps? I did enjoy this read, however I'm not the biggest fan of love triangles, so I guess I was maybe bordering on 'bored' when it came to America and her lurve woes. It doesn't help that I'm not particularly sold on either America's love from back home, or the Prince. I don't seem to have any feels either way. So maybe I need to read on, and figure out whose team I'm on!

The writing was good and I did find myself gripped (a little bit) by the bitchy drama of a post-apocalyptic reality show. But you might say I wasn't totally enthralled and engrossed. I think one thing that might be bothering me slightly is that there doesn't seem to be much romantic struggle for America, except that she is into two guys and they're both into her (woe is her). Anyway, maybe book #2 is what it will take to get me really sucked in. Time will tell!

Since this was the only book I finished during April so far (except for two re-reads that don't count, according to my rules), I had to choose this book.

Currently Reading: Rachel Hawkins's Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)

DO I HAVE GOALS? Why yes, I do. But most of them aren't going anywhere. :(

I feel like it's all I can do to get my study done, get my work week done, and feed all the cats (and myself too). This may be why I haven't posted anything since Feb, and missed last month's update. Sorry, booo.

Anyway, I did achieve ONE thing since I last updated. I sent off not one, not two, not three, but SIX songs to my bandmate, considering them "finished" and ready for the final mixes and so on. In truth, I hardly ever consider a song finished, and I am hardly ever happy with the final take I send off to my bandmate. Thankfully he knows how to make them sound epic, and we also pay to get them professionally mastered, which makes them sound mindblowingly awesome (by comparison). So there's that. But being a perfectionist, it can be hard to admit defeat and send off a song "as is".

In one case, I told my bandmate that I couldn't imagine being able to improve on what I had already done, even though I wasn't particularly happy with what I had done. And one of the songs I like the vocals for least, he considers one of his favourites. So I guess it's a matter of opinion! That one I haven't yet sent off to him.

SO, that's where I'm at with my goals. Don't even ask about my novels.

I hope you're all doing well. :)

P.S. Well done to anyone who's got through the A to Z!
Most years I have participated, but no way was it happening this year.
I admire everyone who has done it this year. :)
I'm gonna have to go and visit some blogs!

P.P.S. Our new album is tentatively titled "Oblivion".
We both came up with the same idea separately,
so I feel like it's meant to be!

Friday, 26 February 2016

[FEB UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals

I'm on time this time!! Woo!

~ The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club : February Edition ~

This is definitely one of my fave books read in the last few years - which was a surprise, because I'm not religious, so not particularly into the romantic notion of angels, etc. However, these angels weren't romantic - they were jerks!

After reading Book #1, I wasn't entirely sure whether Raffe was a jerk or not, because what did he really think of the invasion of the angels? We didn't have much insight into his opinion by the end of this book - he always went silent whenever Penryn showed any distress over the state of the world she once lived in, a world largely destroyed by angels.

I quickly moved on to reading Book #2, and I enjoyed it as well. I did notice some unflattering reviews of Books #2 and particularly #3. And I have since read them both - thankfully I enjoyed them all. I must say though, that of all the books, Book #1 was the most incredible - fast-paced, action-packed, horrifying, and all in all a real page-turner. Generally, any book that makes me feel compelled to keep reading it, is a winner.

Currently Reading: Sarah Maas's Throne of Glass

Last time I posted about my goals, I mentioned that I was working on preliminary edits for ON THE OUTSIDE. Since then, I have updated my blog mentioning that I cut out a large number of words from Chapter 1, a very troublesome chapter (same old story). Well, I haven't done much since then. I've been grappling with the other things in my life, and the editing as fallen away. However, I still have the burning desire to keep going with it.

My studies began this week, so I have to factor them in (which I'm not doing too well at so far). I'm also still busy with kitty rescue stuff, but am trying to pull back from that a little. It so happens it's the busiest time of year for Aussie cat rescues, with lots of kittens being born during the summer months, and lots of people going on holiday and dumping their cats at the pound as they were too disorganised to find / pay for holiday care well ahead of time. We are all eager for this year's "kitten season" to end, though many in rescue say that kitten season never really ends.

So with all that, the editing has fallen away again. But I hope to at least get a little bit of it done this weekend. I'm still pleased about cutting out 8 pages of Chapter 1, though, even if I do have to add some of it back in for the remains to make sense.