Okay, so I accidentally bought a bunch of Kindle books this week. I’m still working on the reports I was writing last week so I’ve decided that book bingeing is an entirely legitimate stress response and not a problem at all.
I’ve had a couple of beach walks this week and managed to spot some whale blows yesterday. Saying ‘whale blows’ sounds so weird but I looked it up and found out that’s what it’s called when you see puffs of smoke-like water. Blows are fountains of water spouting from a whale’s blowhole each time it breathes. I thought all of the whales were still up north with their babies. Maybe this one is a loner.
We’re three days into the bushfire season here in Australia. The first fire of the season near me that wasn’t a hazard reduction burn happened five days ago. I really hope Australia doesn’t go up in flames like it did last summer. That was the worst bushfire season I’ve ever known.
We were lucky last summer. The nearest fire to us was about half an hour away but the air was still thick with smoke and each time I ventured outside I’d see ash falling around me. Fingers crossed for a better season this year.
Word of the Week: Expergefactor. “Something that wakes you up” (from lifehack.org). The expergefactor in my life right now is the neighbour two doors down. They got a pool a few weeks ago and now they’ve got tradies doing landscaping around it that apparently requires the constant use of hammers. It starts at an ungodly hour. Every weekday. Can’t wait for them to be done!
Bookish Highlight of the Week: I won a copy of Lili Wilkinson’s The Erasure Initiative on Twitter today! Book mail coming soon! I love book mail!
This week I read:
Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions
First, the electricity goes – plunging the east coast in darkness after a devastating nuclear attack. Millions panic. Millions die. They are the lucky ones.
AFTER SHOCK …
Next, the chemical weapons take effect – killing or contaminating everything alive. Except a handful of survivors in a bomb shelter. They are the damned.
HELL IS FOR HUMANS
Then, the real nightmare begins. Hordes of rats force two terrified families out of their shelter – and into the savage streets of an apocalytic wasteland. They are not alone. Vicious, chemical-crazed animals hunt in packs. Dogs tear flesh, cats draw blood, horses crush bone. Roaming gangs of the sick and dying are barely recognisable as human. These are the times that try men’s souls. These are the tortures that tear families apart. This is hell on earth. The rules are simple: Kill or die.
Fact: During the night of February 1, 1959, in the remote reaches of Siberia, nine Russian hikers slash open their tent from the inside and flee into a blizzard in subpolar temperatures.
Fact: By morning all are dead, several having suffered gruesome, violent deaths. What happened to them has baffled investigators and researchers to this day.
It has become known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident.
Now, an American true-crime writer seeking answers to the enduring mystery sets out to retrace the hikers steps on their fateful expedition. However, nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover …
You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart – no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments – even at the risk of one’s life – is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten …
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.
Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.
The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell … where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.
Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed – until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilisation to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.
Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.
Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent’s expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.
As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.
Join Sophie, Agatha, Tedros, and the other students as they begin a new era in the Endless Woods – The Camelot Years – where Evers and Nevers alike must move beyond the bounds of school and into the biggest, boldest adventures of their lives.
The students at the School for Good and Evil thought they had found their final Ever After when they vanquished the malevolent School Master. Now, on their required fourth-year quests, the students face obstacles both dangerous and unpredictable, and the stakes are high: success brings eternal adoration, and failure means obscurity forever.
For their quests, Agatha and Tedros are trying to return Camelot to its former splendor as queen and king. For her quest, Dean Sophie seeks to mold Evil in her own image. But soon they all feel themselves growing more isolated and alone. When their classmates’ quests plunge into chaos, however, someone must lead the charge to save them …
In this fifth instalment in Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling fantasy series, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie, Agatha, and their friends must find a way to overthrow the sinister evil that twists lies into the truth and seeks to rewrite their story.
A false king has claimed the throne of Camelot, sentenced Tedros to death, and forced Sophie to be his queen. Only Agatha manages to escape.
Now Agatha and the students at the School for Good and Evil must find a way to restore Tedros to his throne and save Camelot … before all of their fairy tales come to a lethal end.
Beyond Good and Evil. Beyond Ever Afters.
The fairy tale of Sophie and Agatha comes to a dramatic conclusion in this sixth and final book of Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling fantasy series.
Who will sit on Camelot’s throne and rule the Endless Woods? Who will be the One True King? Prepare yourself for the End of Ends …
The race is on to uncover the identity of a murderer with nothing to lose – and everything to kill for. When Robbie Bishop, star midfielder for the Bradfield Vics, is poisoned by a rare and deadly toxin, profiler Dr Tony Hill and trusted colleague DCI Carol Jordan have their work cut out for them. Robbie was adored, so the public want answers – but the answers aren’t coming, and trails are running cold. Then a bomb explodes in the football stadium, causing massive casualties – and another man dies from poisoning. Is there a link between the cases? And what are the motives for these crimes? The clock is ticking for Tony and Carol – and the death toll keeps rising …
Starship Captain Ed Carew leads a carefree life of smuggling, gun-running and other illicit pursuits in a far future ruled by the fascistic Expansion Authority. But when an Expansion judiciary ship captures Carew leaving the planet of Hesperides, an out-of-bounds world now governed by the fearsome Vetch extraterrestrials, Carew and his crew are sentenced to death …
Unless they agree to travel through Vetch territory in pursuit of a human vessel that set off for the Devil’s Nebula one hundred years ago. Why are the Expansion authorities so eager to track down the ship? Will Carew and co. survive the journey through Vetch territory? And what might they find when they arrive at the Devil’s Nebula?
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship – the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
Dave, John and Amy recount what seems like a fairly straightforward tale of a shape-shifting creature from another dimension that is stealing children and brainwashing their parents, but it eventually becomes clear that someone is lying, and that someone is the narrators.
The novel you’re reading is a cover-up, and the “true” story reveals itself in the cracks of their hilariously convoluted, and sometimes contradictory, narrative.
Nightmarish villains with superhuman enhancements.
An all-seeing social network that tracks your every move.
Mysterious, smooth-talking power players who lurk behind the scenes.
A young woman from the trailer park. And her very smelly cat.
Together, they will decide the future of mankind.
Get ready for a world in which anyone can have the powers of a god or the fame of a pop star, in which human achievement soars to new heights while its depravity plunges to the blackest depths. A world in which at least one cat smells like a seafood shop’s dumpster on a hot summer day.
This is the world in which Zoey Ashe finds herself, navigating a futuristic city in which one can find elements of the fantastic, nightmarish and ridiculous on any street corner. Her only trusted advisor is the aforementioned cat, but even in the future, cats cannot give advice. At least not any that you’d want to follow.
Will Zoey figure it all out in time? Or maybe the better question is, will you? After all, the future is coming sooner than you think.
Della can’t work out why her adored older sister Suki screams in her sleep. Suki has always been Della’s protector, especially after their mother went to prison and her boyfriend took the sisters in. But who has been protecting Suki?
Della is in trouble at school for having a big mouth, but after she stands up to the class bully other girls rally to her cause. When Suki tries to kill herself, Della decides it’s time to tell their secrets and speak out about the terrible things that happened to Suki. Bound by love and trauma, these two sisters must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.
Based on the author’s personal experience, this gripping and essential story explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse. Written from the heart, with tenderness, compassion and humour, Fighting Words is about finding the words to talk about the most difficult things in young adults’ lives.