great new books, new riding school, and, basically, new weather

leviathanSo, I was recently lucky enough to read Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan. It’s amazing. The world-building, the characters, the flying whales (nope, not a typo, flying whales), all combine together to make one of those books that always ends too soon–and makes a reader grateful for the promise of entire series. Especially when the story also has mechanized war-machines, steadfast companions, and worthwhile causes.

Westerfield has placed his steampunk environment into the familiar history of WW1, and he has a deft touch with the history that makes the political shenanigans accessible to the audience without overwhelming them with the portents of what is to come. Alongside the wonderful prose are gorgeous illustrations, perfectly capturing the movement and ferocity of the world that Westerfield has designed. So, yes, go read this book, it is wonderful. At some point, there will be a much longer review of the book up on Bookgeeks, but I didn’t think any should wait to buy it.

I’ve also found another place to ride! It’s a bit farther out into Cheshire, but they have a lot more land, and it seems to be a bit livelier… Two lessons so far (with two different instructors), but I assume it will take a few weeks to make a decision. The have a ton of arenas, a cross country course, and a farm ride–and there’s just a lot more room (and a lot more horses…). The drive up there is gorgeous–although I did run into a ton of traffic the second time I went up–it’s just nice to find that there are more places to ride around here.

And the weather, well, it’s been gorgeous for two days. And supposed to be nice tomorrow. And then rain this weekend.  So, not so much new weather I guess as improved weather for a bit.  Plus, even when it’s gloomy outside, it’s still a lot warmer.  Finally. In June.

Seriously, where is Spring? (Yes, I know it’s still February, but come on)



It has been snowing, off and on, since December–the most spectacular storm even went so far to shut down the University and prompt people to cross-country ski into work . And then get sent home early a few hours later, but, still, cross-country ski into work.  It was not a lot of snow by Minnesota standards (not even a foot, really), but it was enough to grind the entire country to a halt in surprise and to spawn what seemed like limitless stories about the shortage of salt/grit for the roads (we still seem okay) and the number of people who would slide/freeze/ski to their deaths because of the weather (not happened yet).  Mostly, though, it really seems to have delayed the daffodils and other early warning signs of Spring that usually come along with the now slightly longer and lighter days.  The snow isn’t really sticking around, but the cold has been loathe to let go (this week, finally, we broke out of the 30’s for about ten minutes).

Even with the cold, though, it’s definitely starting to look like Spring might arrive before, you know, July–if only because some of our trees are making brave efforts to bud out, and the bird song has gotten extremely loud and raucous again. That, and the squirrels who seem to think that tap dancing on our skylight is the best way to say good morning to the world. (Of course, every time I even think the word “squirrel” I think of Pixar’s “Up” so it’s difficult to get too angry.)

I’ve been busy at work looking into the data our study is generating (hey, it turns out that students would like more contact with…people who are willing to help them learn!).  It’s been fascinating if only because there are huge assumptions about what is going on…and then there is reality. It’s been an interesting winter to say the least.

a three month update…

From Drop Box

oops! So, in mid-September, I got a job.  Which, it turns out, severely cuts into blogging time.  Well, it severely cuts into free time, and blogging was the thing that went (as compared to reading, which was the thing that I now find time for on the bus and at lunch and far too late in the evening…).

So, I have, though, been lucky enough to have reviewed a number of young adults for Bookgeeks, and I had a wonderful few days vacation over the holidays.

The riding is also going well.  I’m at Finlow Hill–which is a smaller stable, but it’s working for me right now. I’ve also managed to join the local BHS committee–here’s hoping that it helps me get plugged into the local eventing community a bit more.

The end of December/beginning of January has been a good time for books. I re-read a ton of books I love (both of Kristin Cashore’s books, a few Agatha Christies, a few Mary Stewart’s books), and I read a number of new ones that I enjoyed (Jim Butcher’s newest Codex Alera book and The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas to name two). Other than that, life has settled, mostly. We are getting all ready for our trip to Nicaragua in April for a friend’s wedding and hoping that life just goes smoothly for awhile.