This is Another Good Book Thursday

I’ve been re-readin Aaronovitch again, trying to a sense of the whole series (except I skipped Foxglove Summer because I draw the line at unicorns).  Also went back to Pratchett because Mollie wanted a recommendation.  So what have you been reading?

76 thoughts on “This is Another Good Book Thursday

  1. I’m reading “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle to my eight year old and it’s interesting b/c that was the age I fell in love with it. I think it’s a little too intense at times for him. Both my sons seem to be really sensitive and have a hard time with fiction when there is even a little fighting or hurt feelings.
    But I hope we can keep going, partially b/c I’m excited about the movie. It was the first book that I stayed up all night to read, it was the first book that made me cry. I also think Calvin O’Keefe imprinted on me very intensely b/c I’ve always had a thing for smart, tall, redheaded men. I married one and I’m always looking for redheaded heroes. 😉
    Reading it as an adult, I still enjoy it, even though I don’t think it’s “perfect” like I did when I was eight. I think as an adult I love most all the details of the “ordinary world.” The Murrys’ farmhouse with the sweet dog, Fortinbras, to cuddle and protect you, drinking cocoa with your family in the middle of a stormy night, having an eccentric but loving mom who cooks dinner on a Bunsen burner. Can I just live there?

    5+

    1. Just found out yesterday that there’s a movie of Wrinkle in Time slated for release next year. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

      3+

      1. Emily, yeah I have mixed emotions too. Even with the great special effects we have today, I’m not sure it will translate well. That’s one of the reasons in reading it one more time before the movie comes out.

        1+

      2. I think the casting of the Mrs. Characters is terrible and I really can’t see Chris Pine as Mr. Murray.

        0

        1. Winfrey, Witherspoon, and Kalen? I thought that sounded great.
          I can see Chris Pine as Mr. Murray. Yes, he’s pretty, but he’s a good actor, too.

          4+

          1. I waited a couple of days to reply because I knew the trailer was dropping and there was a chance I might change my mind about it, and I also wanted to re-read the book (for what is probably the 40th time. Seriously).

            http://ew.com/movies/2017/07/12/a-wrinkle-in-time-first-look-oprah-reese-witherspoon-mindy-kaling/

            At the end of this, Ava DuVernay makes my point about why the casting is bad, IMO: “But in this, because of the things that Mrs. Which says, her Oprah-ness is really helpful.”

            Mrs. Which, who does not (contrary to the article and yes, I know the article is not the movie and neither is the trailer) have a knack for materialisation, she sucks at it because she’s old, does not go around spouting things like “Only you can stop the darkness.” What, it’s a forest fire? Mrs. Which is wise the way Granny Weatherwax is wise – she’s cantankerous and frosty and not given to putting up with any crap from anyone and she bosses people around just because she can. She’s waaay more CCH Pounder than Oprah.

            If she really wanted to mix things up in her casting, make Oprah Mrs. Who, a creature so bad with human language that she can’t express herself in it and has to quote when she needs to say something.

            None of the actresses inspire in me a sense of confidence and wonder and a belief that they have power beyond my wildest imaginings. I wouldn’t cross the street with any of them, let alone the universe. I can’t see any of them as beings with the need and the backbone to drop three children in the heart (err, brain?) of darkness with a quotation from the Tempest and a pair of glasses. I don’t feel a sense of ancientness or wisdom from any of them (I am deeply suspicious of Oprah’s spirituality/wisdom/depth/whateveryouwantto call it since she declared on her show once – and goodness only knows how long ago this was – that she was so special she had 2 guardian angels. It wasn’t phrased humbly like she was saying that given how her life started and how it was then she must have had extra help, it was said with a sense of entitlement, like she deserved extra from God/the universe because of who she was, like she was better than other people).

            I’m hoping that their costuming shown in the article is a stand-in for the scene where Mrs. Whatsit transforms into the centaur-like creature.

            I love the idea of the multi-ethnic casting, the girl playing Meg looks like she has a bright future in front of her.

            The Camazotz cul-de-sac is just as creepy as I hoped it would be.

            0

    2. The casting for that movie is amazing, and so is the director. I’m excited to see what they do with it.

      I have to go back and read those again. Just bought them all for my oldest granddaughter.

      5+

  2. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff, as usual. Crosstalk, by Connie Willis, was enjoyable even though it telegraphed its plot points a lot for me. What made it work was how she revealed those plot points and how good the characters were. When the plot points I’d figured out many chapters before became obvious to the protagonist it was done so well that I found myself enjoying it in spite of my annoyance that she couldn’t surprise me much.
    I also read a nonfiction book called What The F? about profanity and how it works in our language and culture. Lots of interesting stuff in there.
    And I’m done with the second book in Bob Asprin’s Phule’s Company series. They’re brain candy.

    2+

    1. I wanted to throw Crosstalk because the main character let her family walk all over her.

      Crusie heroines may have mother issues* but they’re otherwise independent.

      *My kid came up to me the other day and gave a mini-dissertation on repeating themes in Crusie novels.

      1+

      1. I know I have dogs, food porn, and bad mothers (and not by plan, either, it just happens). What else did I miss?

        1+

      2. I know people, both women and men, who have invasive families like that, so it rang true for me. I’ve read too many books where the protagonist is independent and capable and where they handle problems in a rational manner and yet still keep an emotional balance, and those books leave me flat, because those aren’t what most people are like, they’re someone concocted after hours talking to a therapist. That smacks a bit too much of authorial wish fulfillment to me. So running into a character that responds like a normal person instead of superlative makes me like them a bit more.

        0

  3. I’m on the library’s list for The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand. One hardcover and one large print also e-book. The good news with the e-book is I know where I am on the list, I’ve gone from 315 to 294 for one copy.

    0

  4. I just re-read Martha Wells’s Murderbot story to see if it held up to a re-read. I’m happy to say it does!

    Mostly, I’m between books right now. There’s a new Seanan McGuire (Toby Daye series) coming in September, and Donna Andrews has a new cozy mystery coming out the beginning of August.

    Oh, just thought of a series I like and might not have mentioned before, although it’ll be a while before the next release: Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacy series: http://gardnermysteries.com/books/captain-lacey-regency-mysteries/ There are twelve in the series (and you can get the first several in a boxed set for practically nothing), and the next one is due in March 2018. For anyone who reads CS Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr series, the Captain Lacy series sort of reminds me of those books.

    0

      1. I haven’t read that one. I read the first in that series, but I’m not as enthusiastic about it (or the books written as Mira Grant or the Incryptid ones) as I am by the Toby Daye books. They’re all clearly well-written, and McGuire is an amazing storyteller, but the non-Toby-Daye stories just don’t speak to me.

        0

    1. I’ve been reading the Toby Daye series, and that was going to be my recommendation for this week!

      1+

  5. I just finished the latest Prince Charles biography. By the midpoint I was reading one paragraph a page. In some sections later on I was reading one paragraph every few pages. While I agree with some of his positions on the environment and agriculture and architecture (not all but some), I really did not need to read his speeches over and over and over again. Also I think the only two people Sally Bedell Smith really liked in the whole family (excluding William and Harry who she mostly could not get any dirt on), were Queen Elizabeth and Camilla.

    As a relief I am now starting Night Shift by Charlaine Harris.

    1+

  6. I’ve read some great books recently – English teacher on summer holiday!

    1) The Evenings by Gerard Reve, a 1947 novel translated from Dutch about a really odd but normal young man, Frits, as he sees in the NY. Different and banal all at once, a wonderful window into the past.
    2) Letters to a Young Writer, Colm McCann – inspirational mini-essays from a great teacher and writer, plus I am now ear-wormed by his music recommendation of And Now the Weather by Colm Mac con Iomaire (no idea how that would be pronounced).
    3) Angel Catbird, vol 1 of Margaret Atwood’s graphic novel.
    4) On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Tim Snyder – if you are not a fan of the cheetoh President, you would probably enjoy this.

    About to start The Cardinal’s Hat. Love my reading time.

    1+

  7. I recently read “Only Yesterday,” a brief history of the 1920s by Frederick Lewis Allen and really enjoyed it. Chock full of stuff I didn’t know, including APPALLING parallels to the socio-economic-political climate of today. Strongly recommended for all those looking for perspective, and/or arguments as to why we should continue to #Resist.

    6+

    1. Loved this – it was required reading for my university course on 1920s US literature.

      2+

  8. “Alif Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson. What appears to be a thriller inspired by the Arab Spring takes a turn into the mythological. The romance turn I reached yesterday was just wonderful.

    Not a book, but the Little Witch Academia cartoon on Netflix is great. It’s funny, the animation is top notch, and its themes are all about inspiration and passion. The base metaphor the creators used was of their world of magic standing for the animation industry, and the arts at large. The protagonist is wowed by a “low-brow” demonstration of magic as child, which drives her to become a witch herself, full of ideas and determination, except that people look down on her chosen role model, and magic is dying for its insularity and refusal to change.

    2+

  9. I just finished THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER, by Martin Edwards, which is nonfiction about Christie and Sayers and the other founders of the Detection Club, a private writing group which I believe is still in existence. Lots of material not just on their lives, some of which were really sad, but on their writing and how it related to the society and times they lived in. Then on Tuesday Daniel Silva’s latest, HOUSE OF SPIES, was released, so now I’m immersed in that, and I will say that it’s a refreshing change from all those Golden Age mysteries I’ve been reading lately. I highly recommend his Gabriel Allon series to anyone who likes spy thrillers. Beautifully written, with a grounding in present-day politics that can be rather scary at times.

    0

  10. On the subject of good reads, sort of, I have a question about Maybe This Time. At one time Barnes & Noble showed that you were preparing to put out a sequel, more or less, about Alice. Are you still planning to do that?

    2+

    1. Yep, I have about the first 15,000 words of Haunting Alice done. I went through a spasm at the beginning of this year where I put all my WiPs up and that was one of them. We’re revamping the website so I don’t think the links are there any more.

      But first I have to finish Nita.

      6+

      1. My own book, Maybe This Time came out yesterday. I tried several times to change the title but my publisher said no other title worked as well. You are five time the writer I am so it’s embarrassing. I am re-reading Nora Roberts Black Rose because it had a 47 yr old heroine. And I am on an older heroine kick. Next for me is Beverly Jenkin’s new Blessings book – Chasing Down A Dream. I love that series. Then I am going back to Pern and Anne McAffrey.

        4+

        1. Oh, don’t think twice about the title thing. Happens all the time. It’s a really terrible title for my book, but we couldn’t think of anything else. It probably fits your book much better.

          3+

  11. I am working on the first Courtney Milan book in the Cyclone series, Trade Me. I am not far enough in yet to be sure, but I am already involved in the characters and enjoying it. I loved Hold Me. I found it unflinching and interesting and honest.

    My YA book is Wren to the Rescue by Sherwood Smith. I enjoy her books. They are a slow build, but always worth it to me. I am so excited to finally read the conclusion to this series!

    2+

    1. I LOVE Trade Me and its sequel.

      And I just read almost every single book by KJ James and each one was really really good. British historical M/M, almost every one of them cross-class or interracial couples. Really sweet and really dirty at the same time.

      And since i was just on vacation by myself I read Roxane Gay’s short story collection and The Boy on the Bridge, which were only disappointing because my expectations were so high – once I slowed down and stopped reading the stories in Difficult Women back to back, I liked them a lot more, and Boy on the Bridge was great it just wasn’t as great as The Girl With All the Gifts.

      1+

  12. I’m reading Beatrix Potter to the granddaughters and working my way through Julia Cameron’s the Artist’s Way, which I am liking and finding out that I really have been very creative this year as well as getting some much needed writing done. My writer-friends are waiting for the next installments of the chapter book to critique. They have waited long enough and so have my characters.

    0

  13. I just read “Once a Rebel” by Mary Jo Putney and am presently reading “Seven Stones to Stand or Fall” by Diana Gabaldon. It isn’t as satisfying as an Outlander novel, but it is interesting spending more time with some of the minor characters.

    The Putney book is the last in a series that I’ve enjoyed, so it has been fun seeing how the last character ended up.

    0

  14. Just finished a reread of Tanya Huff’s military scifi Torin Kerr series and then read the newest book.

    I love how seriously she takes the impact of war on both soldiers and civilians and how much potential is wasted, the fact that she does this in a fun read is remarkable.

    Also got to a heroine who is so severely bugged by apostrophe placement…

    2+

  15. I just finished The Cinderella Deal again (again, again). It is one of my favorite books ever. I’m heading back into Bet Me again. These two are probably my most favorite from you but that’s not quite the truth since I happen to love them all. These just keep floating to the top with Agnes and the Hitman.

    6+

  16. This week, I read The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe. I adore her characters, and absolutely loved this book. It’s on Amazon now for only $1.99, and I’d missed this series when it first came out in 2002. It was fabulous to learn so much about sea turtles, and all while enjoying the rebuilding of a mother daughter relationship, plus a new romance. Great storytelling.

    0

  17. I’m reading Democracy in Chains by Nancy McLean. It is subtitled “The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America”. It is about an economist from the mid to late 20th century, James M. Buchanan and his construction of a political philosophy based in what has been called voodoo economics that is the intellectual foundation for the current extreme (imho) right wing politics. The take home message is that there are very wealthy and powerful people who truly believe that their property rights are more important than any human rights and are trying to get a new constitutional convention to rewrite our current constitution. There is a lot of history and important background in this book and it goes well with the book I read earlier this spring, Dark Money by Jane Mayer which goes into the numerous ways that hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into US elections at all levels to try to use the democratic process to subvert democracy. (Again, imho.) I don’t love reading these books but I am struggling to understand how to make a difference and these are both fascinating and I am learning so much. I also have read White Trash and Hillbilly Elegy but I ended up thinking that I needed to understand not angry poor white people but the already privileged who seem to think they deserve even more.

    I do have to apologize here, though. I have been loving this good book Thursday blog and I am using it to find new light reading to counteract the darkness I am finding elsewhere so I don’t mean to bring anyone low.

    I am re-listening to Ben Aaronovitch (thank you, Jenny et al, it does get even better with re-reads). I am also about to listen to the new book, The Painted Queen, which is the last in Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. It must have been finished after she died; it is co-written by Joan Hess. I have a deep fondness for Elizabeth Peters and Amelia Peabody; I found her in my early 20’s when I had finished all of Georgette Heyer and had been yearning for romance with some humor in it. (Barbara Cartland was very big then; not funny and I couldn’t identify with her heroines.) I am hoping to love this last book about Amelia.

    4+

    1. Let us know how you like the last one. I also love Amelia Peabody but I’m leery of reading a book finished by someone else.

      0

  18. I just realized I’m a comedy slut. I just finished rereading Going Postal, and started Making Money, and there’s ANOTHER joke where the protagonist says, “Hello, I’m Moist,” and this time somebody offers him a raincoat, and I laugh like a loon. Naming your hero Moist is the gift that keeps on giving, especially if your reader is an Easy Laugher.

    9+

    1. “I’m sorry. See? Events have conspired to make me name myself every time I apologise.” – Sorry Carlisle, The Changeover by Margaret Mahy

      “You must be joking!” “No, I’m Sirius.”

      4+

      1. Sorry!!!

        Was totally my book crush as a kid 🙂

        Laura was also pretty amazing.
        Terrific!” exclaimed Sorry. “Chant, can I be on your side? I’d hate to be your enemy.”

        The Changeover is now over 30 years old but it still holds up credibly as YA (although there are some things that are likely to jar with modern audiences).

        1+

        1. And I am counting down the minutes until the movie comes out!!! The cast includes the fabulous Lucy Lawless, and Timothy Spall, and what I’ve seen of it so far looks amazing and powerful.

          0

    2. Plus there’s all those people who get bothered by the word moist, and I get a kick thinking about how ridiculous Pritchett would have found them.

      1+

  19. I read volumes 3, 4, and 5 of the Jem and the Holograms comic. It’s different from the show but in a good way.

    Also, a YA book called Dress Codes for Small Towns, which I thought I wasn’t going to like at first, but then it won me over with friend crushes and cuddle piles and the way being misgendered as a young woman can make you doubt yourself.

    1+

  20. I’ve come up for air. I’ve just finished the Forgotten Coast series by Dawn Lee McKenna. I’m in love. Once the sink is empty of dishes and I can see over the laundry pile, I’m going to re-read. I went so fast, I’m afraid I missed something. That would be unacceptable because these books have such wonderful flawed, funny characters. I’m really not sure how to categorize…mystery, love story, family, circles within circles. The settings are vivid and real and the descriptions are perfect. I can almost taste the seafood. Reading the series in one big, delicious gulp was wonderful, with just a little bit of backstory that was easily overlooked. Finding this series was like Christmas and a birthday.

    2+

  21. I am about to go on a 2-week holiday and am looking for some good books to bring along to compete with my knitting. Wanted: contemporaries, fantasy or sci fi with romantic elements. Must have: good writing, witty dialogue and both heroine and hero over 30 (over 40 even better). Must not have: billionaires, hockey players, motorcycle clubs, unicorns, leprechauns, serial killers, tattoo artists, or bad editing. I would love any recommendations.

    1+

    1. Here’s my short list of not quite forty heroines (don’t you just hate when the heroine says “back when I was young” and you find out she’s only 23). A Soft Place to Fall by Barbara Bretton, Spitfire by Carla Doolin, Table for Five and The Ocean Between Us by Susan Wiggs, A Place Called Home by Jo Goodman and Someone to Watch over Me by Judith McNaught. That’s all that I can think at the top of my hat.

      0

    2. If you haven’t read them already, I highly recommend Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion and its sequel, The Paladin of Souls. It’s excellent high fantasy featuring protagonists well over 30. The love interest in the first one is quite a bit younger, but she’s pretty kick ass all the same. I don’t remember a ton of witty dialogue, but I do remember making a lot of Good Book Noise while I was reading both. And now I know what I’ll be re-reading over the weekend. Thank you!

      3+

    3. I highly recommend Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. They’re addictive. Writing is excellent. Each book has made me laugh out loud and cry. Does not feature any of your Must Not Haves. Does feature time travel with exceptional historical detail.

      0

        1. Her Frogmorton Farm books (The Nothing Girl and The Something Girl) are also great. There’s something about her writing style that I love.

          0

    4. Fantasy with romantic elements: Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series (the first book in the series is the weakest, so don’t let it put you off), Patricia Briggs’s Mercedes Thompson series, anything by Ilona Andrews (although my fave is the Kate Daniels series, but others here like the Clean Sweep series best).

      SF with romantic elements: Lindsay Buroker! Especially the Emperor’s Edge series. And the dragon one, forget the name. Oh, wait, those are more fantasy/steampunk, but also some SF elements. But the Fallen Empire series is SF with romance (but note that the most recent books are more YA/NA SF Romance, while the first ones are more grown-up, so you’ll probably prefer the first ones, as I do). Lindsay Buroker also has a pen name for stories that are more Romance with an SF setting, rather than SF with romance. Ruby Lionsdrake is the name. They’re too romance-y for my current tastes, but I read one and it was well done.

      One less well-known author, fantasy, medieval-ish setting, is Carol Berg. I’m not sure why she’s not better known. Really good writing and storytelling. In fact, I think there’s one I haven’t read, and I need to get it!

      I’m not entirely sure about the ages of any of the above protagonists (except for the YA/NA subseries), but if they’re not over 30, they at least act like adults, not sweet/silly young things, which is what I assume you’re trying to avoid. The Clean Sweep protagonist is young-ish, but old for her age. Other than that, none of them have the taboos you mention that I can think of. Well, some of the antagonists may be serial killers of one sort or another, and some would say that Kate Daniels and Toby Daye are serial killers too, but only of bad guys.

      Happy reading! Oh, and there’s even a knitting character in one of the Lindsay Buroker Fallen Empire books (although it’s a bit obvious that it was written by someone who doesn’t actually knit herself, but it’s still fun). I think it’s the last one in the not-YA/NA part of the series.

      0

      1. Sorry — the preceding was meant for Kelly. Not sure why it didn’t nest. I prob’ly hit the wrong reply button.

        0

      2. Thanks for this, Gin. I am an avid reader of the Toby Day series, and also the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega books by Patricia Briggs. I read anything Ilona Andrews writes, usually multiple times. I have never read either Lindsay Buroker or Carol Berg, so I will definitely check them out. Thanks for putting some new names on my radar. (And I am always happy to read a character who knits.)

        1+

        1. Definitely try Lindsay Burkoker. If you like the other authors, I suspect you’ll like her stuff too. I think she has a boxed set of the first few books of the Emperor’s Edge series that she keeps at a really low price to get people to give her books a try. They’re like potato chips in that you can’t eat just one.

          0

  22. Thank you everyone for your great recommendations! I had been stuck for a while looking for good books to read.

    Based on your recommendations, I just finished _Still Life_ by Louise Penny. I really enjoyed it and have ordered the next in the series.

    I also read all of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch based on a recommendation here several months ago.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I learned about Terry Pratchett here a couple of years ago, so I truly owe you a great debt.

    Keep up the good work – you’ve introduced me to some great authors and made my world a happier place!

    2+

    1. When (if) you get further into the Gamache series, do not read How the Light Gets In out of order. Trust me on this, you do not want to do that. I thought “They’re mysteries, I read the first books out of order, I can read this one now,” and I was wrong. So very, very, very wrong.

      0

  23. I am reminded that I never thanked the people who advised me about Dorothy Dunnett’s books. I have decided to delay starting the Niccolo and Lymond series, but I did buy a paper copy of one of the Dolly books (these are not available as audio books, unfortunately for me) and will start to read it with my own eyes as I am able. So thank you, your comments were incredibly helpful!

    2+

    1. I too have started to reread the Dolly series, just nabbed the first today. Aren’t libraries great!

      0

  24. I just finished “The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life” by Sharon Pywell (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30319080-the-romance-reader-s-guide-to-life). The title makes is sound light and frothy but it’s the complete opposite. It features sisters, a dog in high heels, a stalker, several murders, and pirates. I bought it on the recommendation of one of my librarian friends and am glad I did. I know I’ll read it again. Highly recommended.

    I just started Joshilyn Jackson’s The Almost Sisters. I so love her books and each is better than the last. This is no exception. I really wanted to stay home and read today. Sadly, work interfered.

    I recently read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is hilarious. I’d have been friends with Simon in high school. I have the author’s latest book on by TBR pile.

    Also on my TBR pile is the latest Chronicles of St. Mary’s book by Jodi Taylor. I dearly love all of her books and can’t wait to dive into the newest one. I love the Rivers of London books, btw. I’ve read them all (including Foxglove Summer).

    1+

  25. I had read and enjoyed “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly months ago, but was reminded that I should recommend it when I heard an interview with the author on my local NPR station. It’s an intense read, because it deals with the story of the “rabbits” – women who were horrifically experimented on in a Nazi concentration camp, but it’s ultimately redemptive. It’s based on the true story of what happened there, and weaves together the story of one of the Polish prisoners, a Nazi doctor who ran the experiments and an American socialite who worked to rally America around The Rabbits.

    The blurb probably does it better justice than I can:
    Lilac Girls is a novel of three unsung women and their quest for love, freedom, and second chances. Inspired by the real-life character Caroline Ferriday, godmother to the Ravensbruck Rabbits,’ Lilac Girls illuminates a poignant and harrowing hidden event of WW2 history.

    Obviously reading about these kind of atrocities can be extremely difficult – so it’s not for everyone – but the shifting between the characters experiences helps to provide some breaks from the intensity of the concentration camp while also highlighting the stark contrast between the plight of the prisoners and the privilege of New York’s elite. If you go into it prepared for this type of story, and are a historical fiction fan, this is a very powerful read that will stay with you in the best of ways.

    0

  26. I just came back from my vacation where I started a few very bad (obviously self-published) ebooks (seems it is really hard to toss them from your kindle account but I swear I will!)

    Then I discovered “Trade Me” and “Hold Me” from the already mentioned cyclone series by Courtney Milan – and there’s also a short story called “The Year of the Crocodile”. I liked them although I sometimes find the problems are very complicated.

    Finally, I returned to my beloved Seasons series by Denise Domning. As a history major, I am always surprised how superficially some authors dare to approach the Middle Ages, but Domning really does it well. Her characters are very believable, the (love) stories have their individual flavor, and it seems she really did her research.

    Oh, wait, I also read some Sarina Bowen ebooks recently from her “Ivy Years” series. I like the way she tells stories – I don’t like the explicit sex scenes which sometimes go on for pages. Really, I’m not a prude, but as we learned from the masters, sex scenes too must serve a purpose besides telling exactly who did what with which body part. These just bore me.

    1+

  27. I went on a Julie James streak last week and read all but the most recent of her FBI/US Attorney series. Very funny, and I loved her characters. Lots of smart people who are excellent at their jobs. I was really craving contemporary romantic comedy, so it was perfect for my mood. And they are romantic comedies; the fact that a lot of characters are in the criminal justice field doesn’t really lead to suspense or mystery plots except kind of in the first two. There’s one character in the series who ended up in federal prison for taking down Twitter for two days, and every time the subject comes up, I can’t help but laugh. His girlfriend broke up with him on Twitter, he got drunk, hacked the site, and then realized he was in trouble after he saw the news about it following a two-day tequila bender in Tijuana. Everyone, including him, acknowledges that it was wrong, but also that it was kind of a ridiculous reason to end up in prison.

    1+

  28. I’ve been rereading some of Margaret Maron’s books.

    I went through most of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries and decided they were ok but I still prefer her regencies.

    And I’m thinking I might go read some Ivy Compton Burnett. I haven’t read anything by her in years.

    1+

  29. Just finished Rhys Bowen’s her Royal Spyness, just some light fun about a mystery solving broke royal in the 1930s

    Need to the read the Martian next

    0

  30. I gotta say, I love Good Book Thursdays. I’m placing hold after hold at my local library and enjoying the chance to read loads of new stuff that I might otherwise never have heard about. Really liked The Rosie Project, and am almost done with VE Schwab’s trilogy on the many Londons.

    It’s so interesting to me how many people are reading fantasy-based fiction, and loving series of them. My library no longer shelves them in a segregated section — they’re right there among the Austens and the Hemingways now.

    Anyway, thanks for the great recommendations. I would like to know in future Thursdays what books people turn to for re-reading, since that’s my criterion for a book I really really love.

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  31. I am also an English teacher in summer break-but I also teach psychology and theory of knowledge-so my reading as of late is eclectic to say the least.

    I read Truly, Madly , Guilty by Liane Moriarty
    Cop Town by Karin Slaughter
    Into the Water Paula Dawkins
    A Social History of Knowledge vol 1 by Peter Burke
    The Logic of Life by Tim Harford
    Suspicious Minds:How Cultire Shapes Madness by Ian Gold

    Always looking for recommendations!

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