53 thoughts on “This Is A Good Book Thursday: JBR

  1. I just finished Linda Nagata’s The Red trilogy, and even though it was all kinds of things I don’t normally read, I Could Not put it down. I mean, it is near-future military, robots, drones and a LOT of shooting, but the characters got inside my head and would NOT let go. If you lean even a little towards spies, combat and teamwork, you might try them – they’ve been haunting me for a week since I finished them, and nothing else measures up quite.

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    1. Thanks. It sounds interesting, maybe a little lIke Tanya Huff’s Torin Kerr series, which I enjoyed.. I just ordered it from my library.

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  2. Lindsay Buroker’s Forgotten Ages series had been on sale recently. Comprising Encrypted, Enigma and Decrypted it is an adventure, fantasy and a romance.

    I’m so glad I read it. It was entertaining, reminding me of the feeling of reading Enid Blyton series that starts with children who ran away from a bad situation to live on an island in the middle of a lake.

    Not exactly the same, Buroker’s book has a kidnapping of a cryptographer at the start. There’s a mystery that runs through all the books.

    I have NO idea how they do as standalones, I just read in sequence.

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  3. I read Geoffrey Trease’s ‘So Wild the Heart’, recommended here, and really loved his world-building. It was fun to visit Regency Oxford and Italy. Also really enjoyed Sarah Wynde’s short story, ‘Thirty-six Questions’.

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    1. My library doesn’t have that, so I’m reading The Grand Tour (about halfway through) and enjoying it very much, but cursing him on every page for his refusal to use footnotes. Some of us are addicted to primary-source material and want to be able to find it! (Not that manuscripts somewhere in Wales would be very findable, but still.)

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  4. I just read Nora Roberts Jewels of the Sun on a friend’s recommendation. It didn’t grab me right away, so I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it without the recommendation – when a best friend tells you to read the book that got them into romance, you read with respect. And I’m so glad I did, because it was so, so lovely. Except now I have a book hang over and just want to go to Ireland

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    1. That’s one of my all-time favourites, but I thought the other two in the trilogy were weak, and not keepers. Her other Irish trilogy is fun: originally published under the name Sarah Hardesty. ‘Born in Fire’, ‘Born in Ice’, and I can’t remember what the third was born in. Oh, ‘Shame’, I think.

      7+

    2. My library network has a bunch of Nora’s books (over 300 probably doubled) and 105 ebooks I know I’ve must have read that one, but what I want to ask Jenny or other authors is, can you keep a book from going into the library network or do the publishers handle that?

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      1. Not sure what your library network is, but it’ll come down to how those rights are specified in the contract between author and publisher. Most things are negotiable, depending how much clout the author has.

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      2. Not sure what you mean by network.
        Libraries decided what books they’ll buy, and I’m all for it. Libraries make HUGE buys and they get my books to a lot of readers, so I’m a big library fan. Well, I was a big library fan before I became an author, libraries saved my life when I was a kid, but even practically speaking, libraries are great for authors.

        3+

        1. By network I mean my library is part of a cooperative of 29 libraries in my area and we all get to share the wealth, so if I put in for a book and my library does not have it I can get it sent from a member library to my library. Awesome isn’t it? Now e-books must be so new maybe patrons should request that more be added.

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          1. Really, all we care about is getting readers, second is sales (because getting readers gets us more sales, plus we kind of do this so people will read us . . .). So interlibrary load is great: more eyes on our words. For print books, it doesn’t matter. I’m not sure how e-books work in that system.

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          2. I’m a librarian – your library may be pooling funds with other libraries in your system, going in on a contract with a content intermediary like OverDrive or Hoopla.
            Why you have to wait:
            Holds for all the libraries may have only one queue (where no one library’s patrons get privileged over other libraries’ patrons)
            If they’ve got the funds and options, your library might have an arrangement where certain e-book/e-audiobook copies are “our-library-patrons-first”. With OverDrive, that’s called an “Advantage” collection.
            What causes the most delays is how most publishers (rarely something authors can impact unless they self-publish or have lots of control in the contract) license e-books as if they’re physical books – only one person can read the digital copy at a time and copies ‘wear out’ over a certain number of checkouts or time period. Some vendors have a different structure, where they charge the library per ‘checkout’, so everyone could be reading the same e-book at the same time, if they wanted. But there seem to be more publishers who want to work with the former model than the latter, and if the publisher won’t license their e-content, or particular titles, to the vendor your library works with, you’re out of luck. :[

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        2. True. I found Bet Me in the library one day, never having heard of you. It was on cassette, and I devoured it. Then I borrowed everything the system had, and over the next few years bought all your books so I didn’t have to wait when I needed a Dempsey or dog fix.

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  5. I just reread Barbara Delinsky’s book The Coast Road. Lovely book from a husband’s pov about his marriage after his ex-wife lapses into a coma.

    I bought a new book from her booklist. Looking forward to reading more.

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  6. This is NOT brown-nosing at all, but I just happened to stay up until 3.30am finishing Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. I’d just bought it, and forgotten I’d read it ages ago, and I must say, I appreciated it much more now. Such fun.

    Just Beginning to Read: Erie, by the wonderful Tim Winton. If no one has read his work, I suggest Breath, and then Cloudstreet.

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  7. I just finished Alyssa Cole’s short story “Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight” and it was wonderful if way too short.

    I’m reading “Vintage Murder” by Ngaio Marsh and I’m enjoying it, but it’s too early to decide if it’s rec worthy.

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  8. Quite enjoying Melissa F Olson’s urban fantasy series, just finished blood gamble which is the 5th book about Scarlet Bernard whose special talent is negating the effects of the supernatural and noticed how much she has changed over the course of the books.

    She’s still not a perfect character but she has changed and grown in believable ways (which was my frustration with some other long running series, the characters seemed stuck in limbo).

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  9. A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders. Third in a series. Flanders is a social historian specializing in the Victorian era, including The Invention of Murder. Her fiction is contemporary, set in London, as much social comedy as mystery. Female protag works as a senior publishing editor, male protag for Scotland Yard. Sprightly fun. Involving, too, because I didn’t remember until at the end a character reminds us that London is now covered with security camera. If a lazy, incompetent policeman had reviewed the film as he should have, the mystery would have been cleared up at its beginning. Lazy incompetence has its place.

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    1. I had a wall-banger book a while back where someone was being chased on foot through central (to a non-Londoner) London and the cops lost her. No one checked the CCTV footage to see where she went.

      This week I finished the audio of The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb, still part of my Gothic/house book kick, and enjoyed it.

      I also finished White Trash Zombie Unchained by Diana Rowland. It’s the latest book in her series about a white trash girl named Angel making the most of her death and zombie-hood. They are so much fun. I’ve loved watching Angel change and grow and still stay herself.

      A couple of weeks ago I wolfed down A Perfect Storm by Jodi Taylor, the latest St. Mary’s short story, and loved every word of it.

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  10. I just finished The Duchess Effect by Courntey Milan. It was very fun, with a heroine who adores bold clothes to the point of garish… she types as she sits in her cherry and lime striped sweater.

    And I am listening to Ruby Dixon’s Fire in His Blood. It’s a post-apocalyptic dragon romance that I am really enjoying. She gives me all the things I want in a funky paranormal romance but regularly don’t find. The heroine is believable in her decision making and tough, really tough, not pretend tough in the blurb. And the hero is sweet and doing his best as they struggle with a language barrier as well as vast cultural differences. I recommend her Ice Planet Barbarian series as well.

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  11. So I treat myself to 2 Dove chocolates at night. I unwrapped one and read the saying on the first and it said “Happy Un-Birthday”, the second said “Read the last page first”! And more often than not I do read the last page first.

    3+

  12. Needed some distraction from real life, so have been rereading Linda Howard books. Her books like Burn, Veil of Night, and Dying to Please are very escapist.

    I hadn’t noticed it before, but this time through it’s obvious how little dialog she has compared to some other authors’ books, such as, oh, say, a Jennifer Crusie. There will be pages of set up, and not always from the heroine or hero’s POV. But she does it so well; I find it all so interesting that I don’t think “hurry and have some action!” which I would if it was less well written. (I threw in a semi-colon in honor of LH; she uses them a LOT.)

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    1. Veil of Night was really entertaining – it was hilarious how the hero kept interrupting a robbery every time he tried to buy coffee.

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  13. I just finished “The Librarian and the Spy” and “A Covert Affair” by Susan Mann. Enjoyed them much more than expected. Read the second one first due to sale, then had to go back and get book one. This is the rare (so far only) case I’ve read of a contemporary romance in which both protagonists are CIA personnel, the procedural details seem really sound, the violence is neither excessive nor egregious, no secondary characters meet a horrible end so as to motivate the protagonists, the dialogue is good, the travel details are good … I was really impressed, frankly. Both books seem so much better-researched than most suspense-y romances. Looking forward to the next.

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  14. Just started reading The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. Yes, it’s for kids but SO GOOD. If we were still doing book club, I’d submit this.

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  15. I just read The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. I was a retelling of a fairy tail when the lord chooses a miller’s daughter. But here it isn’t romantic, because after all miller’s daughters can’t say no to lords.

    I laughed at the start when it mentions they don’t pray to gods because they have enough problems with wizards and fairies to invite more supernatural intervention.

    2+

  16. Just finished The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. It was excellent, I forgot that women could be so clever and that women can be so brave. I was very proud to read about these wonderful women.

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  17. Yesterday I worked all day on This Is Us. I decided the book I wanted to take was Faking it. I got halfway through it between my two scenes. This is such a good book. I also gave it to my best friend for her birthday earlier this month. Highly recommend.

    1+

  18. Just finished A Conspiracy in Belgravia, following A Study in Scarlet Women, by Sherry Thomas. I’m a sucker for Sherlock revisitations, and this one’s good. I had to page through them again once I finished the second one to see where I missed clues, and I still can’t find them all. Really twisty. And I have to wait another year for the next one?! grrrrrr

    1+

  19. ‘The Churchills: In Love and War’ by Mary S. Lovell
    Reminiscent of the voice used in the Smithsonian Channel’s ‘Million Dollar American Princesses’.
    It was on an old reading list I made for myself and impulsively added to my stack at the library. Fascinating.

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  20. I just finished The Graces, which is like a more atmospheric version of The Craft.

    Now reading the new Patrick Ness, which was inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Mrs, Dalloway? Okay.

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  21. Am glomming Alexander McCall Smith because I am interviewing him for the local literary festival next week, and am loving it. Gentle, funny, charming, and erudite, with dogsssssss. Yayayay. Have read 44 Scotland Street, Corduroy Mansions and Sunday Philosophers Club this past week.

    1+

  22. Recently read Stoneskin : a Prequel to the Deep Witches Trilogy by K. B. Spangler. Awesome teaser for a sci-fi series featuring a sentient universe that enjoys scritches and singing. Covering almost a decade of the heroine’s life, we get to watch Tembri grow a thicker skin (literally), travel the universe, and gear up for her life as a Witch during wartime.

    Shameless self-plug! I wrote some short stories for a shared-world steampunk-zombies book. Tales of the Automazombs: A Desperate Plan – “imagine a shambling corpse, augmented with mechanical limbs, whose task is to devour plague-infected flesh”. Surely nothing will go wrong.
    There will be free ebook purchase opportunities this weekend, I am told.

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  23. A bit late, but I just finishes Patrick Rothfuss’ Wise Man’s Fear – King killer Chronicles Day Two. He’s amazing. Both this and the first are long, over 1000 pages, but it was so good that the amount of detail just enhanced it. There’s a brilliant part where he’s training with women warriors that includes a discussion on anger (as a life force) and how men & women handle it and use it. Book 3 hasn’t got a publishing date yet, so I may have to reread 1 & 2 until it comes out.

    1+

  24. Good Read Thursday is one of my favourite things on the net just like Jenny ison of my favourite writers and I’ve got so many great recommendations it’s about time I started giving back.
    I just read Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre and loved it though not entirely sure yet if it’s a work of genius or slightly disappointing at the end. I love Le Carre and think he’s one of our greatest living writers right up there with Jenny. If you haven’t read him before, you should definitely read The Spy Who Came in From the Cold first. And if it’s been a while I would re-read it. I did even though I only re-read a couple of years ago. It’s not really a sequel more a companion piece and with a deep tristesse. O Tempera O Mores.

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