Main image
14th April
written by Steph
Guys! The dissertation! It is killing me! BUT. It is also kind of almost done! I don't want to jinx myself (despite being a scientist, sometimes I am oddly superstitious), but I now have about 75% of my thesis written! While there will surely be plenty of edits to occupy me, the bulk of the writing that remains at this juncture is the intro and discussion for my final experimental chapter, and then my final, general discussion chapter. That's it! Somedays I wake up thinking I am never going to slay this beast (it's like the Hydra... I never seem to have a chapter completely finished and put to bed), but I know I've been working hard and so long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other (or I guess, one word in front of the other), I'll eventually win out. I've read somewhere that writing a dissertation is largely an exercise is perseverance rather than brilliance, so luckily I have stubbornness in spades. Right now I'm hoping/planning/fearing defending sometime mid-May, and once I have, then I'll finally be freeeeeeee! And I can fling myself black into blogging's sweet sweet embrace. So yes, I'm sorry that I pretty much only update once per month around these parts when I have a new review up at BookPage, but if ya'll can give me just another month, hopefully my rag-tag blogging will be at an end as I'll have the mental real estate to properly devote to this space. Tony and I have also been making some headway on planning our big trip, and I keep saying, "Oh, I should write about this! This would be helpful/useful." And then I don't. But again, once I'm no longer writing a 100+ page document that culminates my academic career, I will also be more revealing on the trip front as well. Mostly, I want to thank all of you who commented with words of support and offered up ideas and suggestions. Right now we're just taking things one day at a time, but the earliest we'd be setting out is late August, so there's still plenty of time to get all the tips and low-downs before we head out to parts unknown!

What are these "books" of which you speak?

Anyway, back to books (like back to basics, but better). In the April issue of BookPage (which has been out for TWO weeks now... April, why you gotta go so quickly?!), I review Kiwi author Alex Adam's first installment in a post-apocalyptic thriller, White Horse. Fiction editor (and good friend), Trisha, was really surprised that this is what I chose to go with, but y'all know I need at least one dystopian fic per year. Plus, when you're writing your thesis up, it feels like the end of the world, so apocalypse lit just seemed right. I'm no stranger to "the world is dying but I must sally forth in order to survive" type novels, and to some extent, this is well trod ground, but Adams manages to make it all fresh. It was incredibly harrowing to read, and the writing was rather sublime in parts, so if you've got a hard-as-nails  constitution that can stand books that get rather explicit in their gore, then I recommend it. Check out my full review here and let me know what you think!


  1. Jenn aka the picky girl

    Yea! A post! By the way, your comment on the blog today cracked me up.

    Glad you’re almost finished with that sucker. I didn’t do doctoral work, but my thesis was about that length, and oh, the pain! Get some comfort reading lined up.

    As for this book, I’ve got to check out the review. I’m not big on dystopian literature, but a fresh take? Hmm. I’m curious.

  2. 04/15/2012

    Oh, I was looking forward to this one, but now I’m REALLY looking forward to it: thanks! (Good luck with the writing!)

  3. 04/15/2012

    Hey, dissertation, listen up…stop killing Steph!!! And be nice. Making Steph cry is not a way to make friends.

    There. I also gave it my fiercest teacher look, so I’m pretty sure that’ll help.


  4. Congratulations on making it to the 75% point. Only a few weeks left and you’ll be free! Good luck with those last few sections.

    I love dystopians and hadn’t heard of White Horse – thanks for pointing it out.

  5. 04/15/2012

    Glad to hear you’re about 75% done! Good luck on getting the rest done, and take as much time from the blog as you need. 🙂

  6. 04/18/2012

    I’ve been away from blogging so long that I’ve no idea of the new books out. This sounds really intriguing. Btw, I’m back at WordPress ha ha. How ever were you able to comment at Tumblr? I looked for ways and ways to reply there but couldn’t.

  7. kay

    I had heard of White Horse but hadn’t read a review of it yet. I’m even more intrigued now!
    But more importantly, good luck with your dissertation! Don’t forget to take a few deep breaths here and there, and you’ll get through it! 🙂

  8. 05/02/2012

    Glad to know that your thesis is almost over, Steph! Advance Congratulations to you!

Leave a Reply