So, my grandfather died, and my car was hit by a truck, and the insurance companies are still giving me the run around, and I'm taking three classes, and working, and my comprehensive examinations are THIS WEEK, and what have I been doing?
I've been reading: non-academic pleasure reading. (Also, I cleaned the bedroom, which is way more impressive than it sounds).
So, what have I been reading?
David Weber's Honor Harrington series:
This is some seriously good hard science fiction with a distinctly militaristic bent. And awesome. Honor is a (female!) strong, capable warrior, who kicks ass, takes names, and has a treecat. Yep. The first novel On Basilisk Station is available free from the Baen Free Library, which I love more than bagels. And I really like bagels.
J.R. Ward's The Black Dagger Brotherhood series:
I lovingly refer to this as my vampire porn crack. Exceeding well written, this series could boil a river in midwinter. Yes, it is that hot. The female characters have minds of their own, and the new take on vampires (they are actually a separate species, and can only be sustained on the blood of the opposite sex of vampires) gives this paranormal romance an interesting twist. The series is not perfect (same sex attraction is not addressed until the most recent book, there is some gender role stereotyping, especially in the behavior of the male characters) but it is well worth the read. Start with the first book, Dark Lover.
Tamora Pierce's Alanna the Lioness series:
Man, I love these books. They are young adult books that I encountered in high school, and are excellently written, with one of my favorite female knights ever. Alanna doesn't want to go to a convent, and her twin brother, Thom doesn't want to become a knight. Instead they switch places, and Alanna becomes Alan, a page in training. Alanna has to work for her shield, both against her size, and against the Duke of Comte, who she distrusts with good reason. Plus, there is always the chance she could be discovered before she earns her shield, and be sent home in disgrace... Alanna's coming of age is documented with grace and bluntness, and watching her struggle with love is moving. I still want to be like Alanna when I grow up.
So, that's some of what I've been reading, for the past few weeks.