This is a Good Book Thursday (Uh, Wednesday): The Turkeys Are Coming

We’re heading into heavy holiday season in the US.  Good time to hide in a good book.  What do you recommend?

69 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday (Uh, Wednesday): The Turkeys Are Coming

  1. I’ve been retired for a while now so some days I really don’t remember what day it is, no longer on a schedule, but it looks like we’ll have two days of good book Thursday this week. Manana is good enough for me. I don’t know if I’m going to continue John Ellsworth’s lawyer series about Michael Gresham. The machinations involved in bringing a case to trial is one thing but the violence to the team is quite another thought altogether. There is enough going on in real life. On the good news front I have a copy of Trust Me On This to get me through this funk.

    1+

    1. ARGH. I just got an e-mail from Jane headed “It’s Wednesday.” Those British, so laconic, and they always know what day it is.
      I have to stop posting at 3AM. SORRY.

      6+

  2. I read Rebecca Cantrell’s A Trace of Smoke and A Night of Long Knives and loved them. But I needed a break before I head into book three. I read Lee Child’s The Midnight Line which was thought provoking.

    And now I need to read a few cozies.

    0

    1. Thanks for the recommendation – just read the first book and very much enjoyed it. Some mystery uncleared, which I am hoping were set ups for book two. Looking forward to it.

      0

  3. Are you sure? I know you guys are ahead of us on the East Coast but it is Wednesday on the West Coast. However, I am out of reading material that I actually feel like reading at the moment so this is good timing.

    1+

  4. Beverly Jenkins – Forbidden.

    Ridiculously engaging romance set within post civil-war America. For this in the know, it’s the one featuring Rhine Fontaine. Maybe you’re a Rhine Whiner. I wasn’t so came into the book without preconceptions. Heroine Eddy needs to be turned into a poster lady like Rosie Riveter because she is so DETERMINED. Love her to bits.

    Damn, do we need MOAR!!! MORE DIVERSE BOOKS.

    2+

  5. Also reading a Lee Childs. I love his books, but find them rather rough, so I usually have months between books. The good news is I still have quite a few to go!

    And however suggested The Lineman – thanks, really liked it.

    0

    1. I just read the Lie Tree this week and found it hard going. Her writing is highly recommended so it must be me. Let us know what you think of Skinful of Shadows. Perhaps, I should give her another try.

      0

      1. I absolutely love Hardinge, and think she is a wonderful stylist. That said, I liked her first book and Skinful of Shadows more than The Lie Tree. So far, SofS is definitely my favourite. Makepeace is a terrific heroine, the world is beautifully realised and I think it is terrifically plotted. I think she is a Marmite writer – you either enjoy her prose or it’s not your cup of tea. Very idiosyncratic, and in my case, compulsive, I literally could not put book down and finished it last night.

        0

        1. Okay. I will try one of the others. I just tried to read Heyer’s The Conqueror and if I had started with that one, I would never have read another. Talk about an unsympathetic character.

          1+

          1. I loved The Conqueror! Admittedly, William isn’t a pleasant guy, but Raoul is a sweetie. That book really brought the era alive for me, and I was blown away by how Heyer conveyed a sense of the medieval without using a lot of thees and thous, weird phrasings, etc.

            3+

          2. The Lie Tree is for a slightly older audience than Hardinge usually writes for, and I liked it, but didn’t find it as appealing as her younger books. Definitely try something else by her, she’s one of my favourites.

            0

  6. I recently started my annual re-read of Pratchett’s HOGFATHER. This time, on audio, to stretch it out for the full however-many-weeks it is until Christmas.

    2+

    1. That book cannot be read often enough. Especially the part where the parents think it’s so cute that Susan the Nanny takes a poker to the basement to kill the monster so the little girl can get to sleep, and then they hear the monster screaming.
      And I love the idea that belief makes gods and monsters appear. It’s SUCH a great book. And that’s even before you get Death trying to be Santa Claus/Hogfather.

      We should do a December book club on that book. In fact, I so decree that we’re doing Hogfather for the book club in December. I’ll put a post up on it. Maybe tomorrow since we don’t have a post for tomorrow now. ARGH.

      8+

      1. The Hogfather DVD is truly excellent. We listen to Alice’s Restaurant at Thanksgiving and watch Hogfather for Christmas.

        3+

        1. When my husband and I first started dating Alice’s Restaurant was the Christmas gift I ever gave him. He loved it. And eventually me. So it worked out.

          1+

  7. I recently discovered Peter Grainger’s DC Smith detective series. I listened to the first four back to back, but had to wait for the next two to show up on my library’s hoopla list. The 7th is out on Kindle, but the audio won’t be available until next year.

    These are my kind of detective stories. They aren’t sweet or unbearably dark. There’s a good balance of procedure and character development. The characters are well-realized. DC Smith is a bit Columbo-like; easy to underestimate until it’s too late. The books are (mostly) set in Norfolk, which is a nice change from London.

    0

    1. I recently discovered DC Smith as well and went through all the available audiobooks. I’m looking forward to the next one. Before that I went through both of Ann Cleeves series on audio as I’ve been in a mystery mood of late. Cleeves is much darker but has distinct and strong detectives and great character development. They are set in Scotland.

      I just finished “Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz (Foyles War) and loved it, both for the murder mystery and the reader/editors story. I’m sorry it won’t be a series although it makes sense. Again, this was audio and the narrators were terrific.

      1+

  8. I finished Mary Stewart’s French stories, and am now in Greece – currently finishing ‘This Rough Magic’. Having a great time, and they’ve been keeping me sane amid all the stresses of trying to buy a house. My offer’s been accepted, and the agent’s started the sale process today, so I hope I can relax a bit.

    14+

        1. When we had a brand new house 40 years ago, the first year I bought bunches of perennial seed and started them outside instead of inside with a clear plastic shower curtain over the trays on really cold nights but uncovered during the day. Those were some of the hardiest starts I ever grew. This method was suggested to me by someone who grew starts which she sold to other nurseries.

          Three years ago I harvested seeds off my lilies and started those also by a method I found on youtube. I ended up with almost a hundred starts. It took another two years for me to discover they ALL turned out to be mauvish pink trumpet lily that are easily 8 feet tall – not what I expected but it was a fun experiment.

          3+

    1. First, congratulations on the house!

      Second, I remember being quite surprised the first time I read This Rough Magic. Quite the twist in there.

      Third, I pulled Touch Not the Cat off my shelf this week and started reading it again. One of my favorites of Mary Stewart’s.

      0

  9. I am a bit of a mishmash this week. I just read volume 1 of Fence by C.S. Pacat because I love her Captive Prince Trilogy. It was fun, but really to soon for me to feel connected to the story yet.

    I am also starting Nalini Singh’s new book, Cherish Hard. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but her books are always comfort food to me.

    0

  10. Just finished Foxglove Summer, book 5? in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. Very enjoyable. More and more, I am finding these to be comfort reads.

    In the uncomfortable reads department, I am partway through A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly. It’s excellent writing, fabulous in terms of New Orleans history, and a solid mystery, but reading about the way society worked, the various gradations of color, treatment of the slaves, etc., is harrowing. I keep having to put it down to read something else for a while.

    4+

    1. Couldn’t agree more about A Free Man of Color. I read it for the first time recently and was like WOW THIS IS SO GOOD all the way through but man, it’s tough. The milieu is just infuriating + heartbreaking + terrifying.

      2+

  11. I’m reading Nancy MacLean’s extraordinary, and surprising, “Democracy in Chains” (which could be read as a prequel or sequel to Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money”) in my kitchen, but I have a Fannie Flagg (“Can’t wait to get to heaven”) by my bedside and an Eloisa James and a Lisa Kleypas to follow. Fanny, Eloisa, and Lisa never give one nightmares! (Nor does Jennie 🙂

    1+

  12. For Christmas Reading I like. Hot Toy by Jenny and a four short story set by Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux. I think it’s called season of gifts.
    Right now I’m reading my first Jenny Colgan book. Little Beach Street Bakery. I got the reccomendation here and I second it. I love this book. Two days ago I finished The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, a magical ride by Jen Crusie, Anne Stuart, and Eileen Dreyer. I can’t tell who wrote what, and I loved the story.
    I have a Christmas book out for kids Mom IsThere a Santa Claus by Susan J Berger. I has the best illustrator!!!

    1+

  13. Someone — and I think maybe it was one of you lot? — recommended a series by Laurie King as an update of the Sherlock Holmes stories, all set after he retires and starts keeping bees. I am just loving the first one –The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I can sense a romance in the distance, but at the moment the heroine is still a self-absorbed but valiant teenager trying to turn herself into the hero she’s going to become. The writing is wonderful, I am believing in the tone of the period, and I find it possible to set the image of Benedict Cumberbatch and the modern days of internet detective methods aside and still believe in this portrayal of Holmes, Watson, and the new girl. I am pleased as punch.

    3+

    1. I loved The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and some of the others in the series (I’m way behind, though…) Also some of her other mysteries, too. A Grave Talent is the first in another series and is impressive.

      My all-time favorite of hers is Folly, which is a standalone. As far as I recall there’s a related book (also really good, but I’ve forgotten the title), but they’re not part of a series.

      3+

  14. I recently read Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged, by Ayisha Malik, and was instantly reminded of No Sex In The City, by Randa Abdel-Fattah. They’re both about Muslim women dating in western cities, and manage to touch on a lot of social issues without being preachy. They’re both very funny, and have great community too.

    3+

  15. Finished John Sandford’s latest Virgil Flowers book, Deep Freeze, a few days ago. I had to break from my Nalini Singh streak because I couldn’t renew the Sandford and had to return it to the library. It was fun, as Virgil books generally are. He went back to a small town where he had a previous case and stayed with his friend, Johnson Johnson, whose name I really enjoy (apparently he was named for a boat by a slightly inebriated father). Sandford likes to include subplot mysteries that verge on the absurd but occasionally lead to violence anyway, and this one may have had the best. A ring of people in the small town was altering Barbie and Ken dolls by adding audio that made it sound like they were having orgasms. This is incredibly stupid but also profitable and annoyed Matel enough for them to call the governor and send a PI to serve cease and desist orders. Virgil has to deal with that distraction while he tries to solve a murder. This made me want to go back and re-read other books in the series since I’ve only read most of them once. Still, that will just have to wait until I’ve chipped away at my current TBR pile(s).

    1+

    1. Recollection is Johnson Johnson is the name of the protag and yacht owner in the Dolly Bird series by Dorothy Dunnett.

      1+

      1. I remember Johnson Johnson as a comedy routine from the Ed Sullivan show – one of the comics he would have back over and over again.

        But my memory is iffy.

        0

    2. I love Virgil. They’re always a fun read. This one didn’t surpass the one with the dogs as my favorite, but I really loved the ending.

      2+

  16. Just reread Traitor’s Purse by Allingham. There was a sale on some of her novels so even though I usually like to read things in sequence, I started with this one which I love.

    And because there was a sale I also got Coroner’s Pidgen which I’m in the middle of.

    Now I’ll have to haul out the paperbacks and start from the Black Dudley.

    Woe is me. ; )

    1+

  17. Reread Heyer’s No Wind of Blame. These days it’s the dialog and character relationships and development. It’ll do me for a cozy.

    Quick go-through of The Sweet Life in Paris, David Lebovitz’ account of moving from San Francisco to Paris and settling in. He’s charmed, annoyed and maddened. Bakes and cooks Great Stuff, recipes included. Reread is prep for his new book, L’Appart, where the maddening factor goes way up; again, recipes included. Buying and refurbishing an apartment in Paris causes daily crisis and nearly derails his sanity. I followed initial installments in his blog posts, so interested to read how the details come together in book form. Lebovitz has consistently brought the wit, and it’s a delight to see how his writing skill progresses.

    2+

  18. I’ve been re-reading Westlake’s Dortmunder books. I love a good comic caper. Everything always goes wrong and you know that nothing really bad is going to happen. Comfort reads at their best.

    3+

  19. I’m reading Brian Doyle’s the plover. It’s rambly with a big heart, and I read it bit by bit on the streetcar in the morning. It’s about a grumpy fisherman who’s done with people in general, so he decides to take his modified sailing boat and just sail west from Oregon. Only problem is, he slowly collects people who join him, turning the whole point of his trip sort of inside out.

    1+

  20. Just finished _How Not to Let Go_, by Emily Foster, whom I discovered through the Creating Our Own Lives podcast. The beginning was confusing (I later found out it’s the sequel), but I really got into it. This is the only romance book I’ve ever read where the protagonists love and understand science and research! The characters felt very real.

    For example, “I collaborate with my other housemate, a gigantically nerdy Jamaican guy who laughs with a silent shoulder shake that cracks me up every time….I catch the flaw in the study design, and Linton instantly starts redesigning it to fix the flaw. We high-five, because: science.”

    There is so much yes for me right there. Linton is not the romantic interest (too bad; I would be into him), but he feels 3D instead of a throwaway token character.

    0

    1. Check out the second book in Courtney Milan’s Cyclone series. the hero and heroine meet on her SciFi blog about various apocalypse scenarios when he points out an error in her calculations. in real life he’s an adjunct science professor at the college she’s attending as an older student. I realize the fact that I’ve forgotten all of the science parts is getting in the way of me giving a convincing recommendation, but the characters feel like real people who both love science but aren’t defined by it. I can’t speak to the science accuracy, but the depiction of university professional and student work felt well rounded and real

      1+

  21. I enjoyed Eloisa James’s new Wilde in Love, and it kicked off a reread for me of her older stuff. I apparently read the first two Essex Sisters, but didn’t finish the series. Can’t remember why, though I’m thinking that younger me got annoyed with the third book’s heroine, as she’s just really mean by the second book, and I didn’t feel like giving her her HEA by reading about it.

    0

  22. I listened to Neil Gaimen’s Norse Mythology which is fantastic. There’s a spot near the beginning where Thor and Loki are having a disagreement and I actually had to pull over I was laughing so hard because all I could see was Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston acting out the scene. The “death” of Loki was different than I’d remembered, but his sourcing is pretty comprehensive so I must be wrong.

    1+

  23. I’ve been working my way through Tessa Gratton’s Gods of New Asgard, and it is more intense than I expected, but also they are making me really excited for the next one! It is sideways history – the Vikings not only landed in Newfoundland, they colonised the place, the US us the United States of Asgard, the tech is similar, and the gods walk among the people. Also magic. And Trolls.

    0

  24. I just finished the audio of Rex Stout’s Black Orchids, 2 novellas tied together. The Blackstone Wolfe books have a great reader. These days I picture Timothy Hutton and the rest of the A&E cast, who also were great. Now on Pratchett’s The Truth (stop tha press! haha). I plan to seek the audio Hogfather, what a great idea.

    0

  25. While doing some research on magic rings, I unexpectedly found one of my favorite books from my pre-teen years: H. Warner Munn’s “Merlin’s Ring”. Gosh, I loved that book so much! Lovers who keep reincarnating through the ages, and there was a long, tragic section about Joan of Arc. And then there was the opening sequence, which still defines sexy for me: the woman is trying to thaw out her frost-bitten man with her body heat and bear skins and a roaring fire. Oh, swoon!

    I am so scared to order this book. What if the suck fairy has come, and it turns out to be really, really bad?

    Another puzzler: it turns out that it’s Book Three. I had no idea. The book seemed (to my young mind) to hang together fine as a stand-alone. This seems to be something of a theme to my childhood reading: I picked up book two or three, and never realized there was something that came before.

    Callbacks that hint at previous adventures just seem like the normal way a hero or heroine’s memory should work, to me. I think the same thing happened when I first picked up an Elizabeth Peters. I *think* it was #6, The Last Camel Died at Noon, but I find it hard to believe I started that far in. Anyway, I finally twigged to the fact that it was a SERIES, and there were many, many more wonderful Peters books to be enjoyed. I think that was the same time we got internet, and access to Amazon.

    Anyway, that’s how backstory should be, in my book. A callback that seems like a throwaway line, and doesn’t really disturb the current story. Just adds a little extra spice.

    2+

  26. Someone on this list recommended ‘Squirrel Girl’ by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, and I’m so pleased they did. It’s hilarious – probably the most un-angsty YA novel ever written. I loved it to bits.

    0

Comments are closed.