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Updates from the Lair 7/13/14

Updates from the Lair

Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!). 

I’m in CANADA! I’m writing this on Saturday so I’m currently preparing to leave for Canada, but by the time you read this, I will be waking up in Canada and frantically practicing for the first presentation of my research ever! And I can’t freaking get rid of this freaking headache D: I’ve been slowly responding to comments and commenting back, but between being completely exhausted, drugged, and traveling for three weeks straight, it has been a bit rough. So if I haven’t responded to you yet, it isn’t because I don’t love you, it’s because I love you too much to write a crappy response ;-).

Update on back pain and life stuff (feel free to skip to the books ;-) ):

Let me start by saying this has been a completely nutso week for reading and life. I’ve been teaching computer science to high schoolers and organizing the rest of their learning while driving back and forth to Lansing, MI (1.5 hour drive from the camp) every other day for doctors appointments. I met with my neurosurgeon when an appointment time miraculously opened up. Turns out I have a massive hemorrhaged disc on the left side of my spine, but none of my symptoms are on the left side. Instead, I have a smaller hemorrhage on the right side that apparently is causing the excruciating pain in my back and leg. The left side bulge apparently “should have been cut out last month” it is so large and they are completely baffled as to why my symptoms are the opposite of what they should be. Therefore, my neurosurgeon wants me to get some more tests to try to figure out what is going on and not do unnecessary surgery. So I had an EMG on Wednesday where they stick needles in muscles from my butt down to the my calves to see how the nerves are responding when I flex (flexing muscles with needles hurts btw….). They also applied a current to my lower leg and foot but I didn’t really care about that at that point since the needles were out and my muscles were spasming from laying flat…. During this time my neurosurgeon upped the strength of my Vicodin and started me on Valium for the muscle spasms and to hopefully make me able to sleep. Between high schoolers, sleeping only a few hours each night, and being drugged up, I just haven’t had the brain power or will to read/blog/do anything besides stare at the wall. So why am I typing up this blog post instead of staring at the wall? Because it makes me happy to continue to do normal things when I can and telling you about my week makes it easier for some reason <3.

My Book Week

The Queen of the TearlingI was supposed to love this book. I enjoyed the first chapter when I read it about six months ago, so it seemed the perfect time to finally finish it. However, The Queen of the Tearling falls back to traditional fantasy in a lot of ways including ridiculous levels of description and a very slow start. Given the state of my brain currently, I just don’t have the patience or concentration for this right now. I have DNF’ed it, but with a “it’s not you, it’s me” sentiment ;-).

Trial by FireMy reading group decided to start tackling September releases since there are so darn many of them and we started with Trial by Fire. The beginning has some unrealistic moments, but once I got to the magical world part, I’ve been enjoying myself quite a bit. A reading group member has already decided to DNF since the writing is pretty simplistic, but that is just what I need right now and the magic is fun.

The House of the Four WindsI loved the cover of The House of the Four Winds and decided to give it a try this week since I’m in the mood for female pirates and adventure. The prologue did not disappoint! I’m already completely hooked on this book with it’s tongue-in-cheek humor and wonderful female characters. I’m at about 6% I think, so I’ve hardly even gotten in to it, but unless things go horribly wrong, I’m smelling a four-star rating at least :D.

HoundedFinally, I started Hounded as my next audiobook and OMG if you listen to audiobooks and enjoy urban fantasy you MUST listen to this series. I’m at about 75% and it is amazeballs! The narrator is simply fantastic, especially his narration of Oberon, the MC’s faithful and mind-speaking Irish Wolfhound. This audiobook just makes me so happy and always puts me in a good mood. I want an Oberon now please!

And in case you missed it, these were my posts this week:

Reports from Other Lairs

Check out Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday for the reviews and discussions I found this week!

Next Week’s Reading

(books up next on the reading list, thoughts?)

City of a Thousand Dolls Storm Siren The Terror of the Southlands

So I grabbed City of a Thousand Dolls from the library since I downloaded the sequel and I have a set date for the review of Storm Siren so I’m bringing both of those in my suitcase to Canada. I still need to finish Trial by Fire and The House of Four Winds, so I figure that will take up the plane ride to Canada anyway. I’m also thinking of starting The Terror of the Southlands since I need happy and fun fantasy right now and I loved the first book. However, I’m really undecided in general, so feel free to look at my For Review Consideration list and tell me what you think I’d enjoy right now.

Happy Reading!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – Anya

© 2014 – 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Canada?! I’ve never been. Is it…Canadian-ish? O.o

    I’m so sorry your back problems are getting worse! And all that travel…ouch. Here’s praying the doctors figure out what’s up and fix it pronto!

    The books look great! I actually have Hounded on my shelf, but I haven’t read it yet (like just about everything).

    Feel better!
    Kel (Booked til Tuesday) recently posted…Top 10 Favorite Animated MoviesMy Profile

    • Haha, very Canadianish! It was my first time too, but it honestly didn’t seem much different than the states anyway, except for how bicycle friendly Vancouver was! Bike lanes everywhere!

      Thanks hun! <3

  2. Ugh, I really hope things work out for you, medically. That sounds pretty nasty to deal with, and I can empathize with medical issues getting in the way of doing much else you enjoy.

    I kind of had a feeling you were going to dislike or DNF The Queen of Tearling.

    Have fun in Canada!

  3. Sucks to hear that you’re still going through all that back pain. Steps in the right direction, at least, and here’s hoping your doctor can do something that will make it easier for you in the long run. Never been on Vicodin, but I have been on Percocet, and while the whole “not being in pain” thing is definitely nice, I do like being able to actually focus and move my body the way it’s supposed to, which narcotics just don’t let me do. Not sure if Vicodin’s easier on you than Percocet was on me, but I sure hope so!

    • I don’t know if I’ve just gotten used to it, but I’m able to function pretty normally now fortunately! It’s hard to tell if my legs not working completely is from the drugs or the nerve problems, haha.

  4. I am going to stalk your review for The Storm Siren. I have a copy, and I want to know the level of religious preaching from the book before I grab it. You might be taking a bullet for me on that one.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…DNF Review: Let’s Get LostMy Profile

    • I don’t think there was any religious elements at all actually. I’m now curious why you ask, haha. It’s very epic fantasy with magic and such ;-)

      • The publisher is Christian fiction. Kara was worried about that when we saw it at BEA.
        Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Rain ReignMy Profile

        • Huh, wow it is, I didn’t realize that, haha. On Goodreads it has Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins for some of them so I’m confused about who is publishing it where, but there was definitely not anything Christiany in it and I would definitely pick up on that sort of thing since I’m very much not in to those kind of books

  5. Hahn League of Pirates! That looks so adorable. Cool how we did a buddy read without knowing! I finished Hounded the other day. I don’t love the narrator. Sometimes he is ok, sometimes his voice acting sucks and he sounds so fake and cheesey. I don’t like his interpretation of Atticus very much.
    Tabitha @ not yet read recently posted…Review: Sinner by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

    • The League of Pirates books are so funny and have adorable illustrations and newspaper clippings, so fun!

  6. Anya, that sounds rough! I hate going to the doctor and the word surgery scares me. I hope they figure everything out. Have fun in Canada too!

    I’ll definitely be checking out Hounded on audio, I read it summers back but never continued on with the series due to other books piling up.
    Kristen recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: The Shadow HeroMy Profile

    • So agreed! I keep being referred to different surgeons and I get shivers every time I hear that word D: The audiobooks of Iron Druid chronicles are definitely the way to go, hope you enjoy them!

  7. Anya, I’m so sorry to hear of your back troubles – how frustrating! I hope you’re able to get some good answers and some help soon. Of course you can’t enjoy slow books right now; you need books that keep your mind off things. Glad you’re enjoying Hounded, and good to hear that the new Lackey book is promising!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Sunday Post – 7/13/14My Profile

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