73 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday

  1. ‘Bet Me’ was great again, and I’ve nearly finished ‘Welcome to Temptation’, which I’m somehow reading from a slightly different angle (realized my base location is in front of the farmhouse, looking towards the road; whereas I’m sure originally I was looking towards the dock. And didn’t realize I had a base location in a story until now.) ‘Faking It’ to follow. All doing an excellent job of comforting me in a tricky time.

    11+

      1. I’m so pleased that Goodreads finally added a re-reading option. I know it’s ridiculous, but I like doing the reading challenges and I am an extreme comfort re-reader and I want to get credit for it!

        2+

    1. I just reread those same three books last week!

      This week, since I’ve been overwhelmed by the state of our union, I decided to read The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m not sure why I thought a dystopian novel would be a good choice for dealing with stress. Maybe because I couldn’t find my copy of Agnes and the Hitman (and I’m pretty sure I have it in both hardback and paperback). Guess I should clean this weekend.

      1+

  2. I just finished ‘The Red Notebook’ by Antione Laurain for a new (IRL) book group I joined. While I enjoyed the story, and the ending, though at times I fell out of the story as it drifted into the thoughts of minor characters. It did not make sense until I read how the author wrapped up the ending. I am not sure if it is my recent problem of not being able to sink myself into new authors or if it was just how the story was written. I do find myself curious about the other books by this author. Also recently finished ‘Change of Fortune’ A Miss Fortune Mystery by Jana DeLeon. The series is fun and usually pretty quick reads.

    1+

  3. I’m reading a book called In Other Lands where the main character is, so far, a thirteen year old know it all and I love him.

    1+

  4. I’m reading Agatha Christie, by Laura Thompson. (This is the one that came out in 2007, not the more recent version, though they seem very much the same.) There’s something novelistic about the way it’s written, and I’m really enjoying it.

    2+

  5. I just finished Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas and it was delightful. It also did a decent job of turning a character who could have been a stereotypically obnoxious Alpha hero into a kind, clever and sensitive person. I really just enjoyed the entire thing.

    3+

    1. I’m enjoying it a lot, too. Only nitpicky nit is some of the interplay between the Doctor and her mentor. Some of their dialogue clangs in my ear/eye, i.e. it seems out of character for each. But sometimes those things have to happen in order to move the story along, and it does at a great clip. A few minor imperfections do not change this good story!

      P.S. Thank you, Jenny, for adding the Brown Bread link in my Wednesday post!

      0

    2. I got that from the library, but I don’t want to start it until my next day off. Reading at work means too many interruptions, and I’m looking forward to it too much to do that.

      0

  6. Rereading Outliers. Reading “Mama Does Time” as a funny romance suggestion. Unrelated, what happened to crusiemayer.com? It just comes up blank with Chinese characters up top. I really miss your guys’ dueling blog – to date, all time best craft talk I’ve ever read.

    3+

    1. We took it down when the partnership ended, which was probably dumb. I think Bob has it saved somewhere. He’s at BobMayer.com.

      5+

  7. I just finished the third book in the Illuminae trilogy. I would highly recommend the trilogy, but you have to start with the first one. And buy it in actual book form, because there’s illustrations in there that I do not think will work on a Kindle or audio.

    1+

  8. It’s been a rough winter, so I’ve reread all the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novels I could find, comfort reads. Rereading a Heyer now; super comfort read. But I just bought the new Kleypas on Seren’s rec (also Kleypas is just excellent, along with being a really good human being who deserves all her success).

    7+

    1. It has been a big comfort reread winter for me too, what with the cats and illness and politics and all. Mostly my Brit versions of Jenny, like Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde–warm, funny, quirky characters.

      I’m *forcing* myself to read new books now, which almost takes more brain power than I have.

      2+

      1. You might enjoy Bella Osborne? I’ve only read one of hers, Escape to Willow Cottage, but it reminded me strongly of Katie Fforde with added depth.

        1+

      2. Discovered Trisha Ashley this December and have now read everything, just about. And through her discovered Katie Hewitt.

        0

    2. Rereading a lot too, when we got a snowfall in early March which was really nasty, comfort reading is the way to go. Agnes was the winner so far and Faking It is up next with a Mary Balogh thrown in as well.

      Up in the Arctic; cold, really crisp mornings, light fluffy snow, and the sun is shining until 9 ish. Going back home today to rain and moisture for the skin. Very dry air up here.

      0

  9. I started a new (to me) courtroom thriller series this week titled Incriminating Evidence by Sheldon Siegel only because the main character is a former priest turned divorced criminal defense attorney. Still trying to wrap my head around that. Also in the lineup is a book I saw in KU with the title Kickass Sidekicks: Murder Mysteries with Detective Duos by Julie Smith could be fun. I’ve always enjoyed the relationship between partners on TV especially Danny and Steve on Hawaii 5-0, not the show that’s too bizarre, but the way they banter back and forth while racing at breakneck speed to a crime scene.

    1+

  10. I am still slogging through “The Path Between the Seas.” It should be exciting and boy, is it not. Pushing on only because I want to know the history for a potential project of mine, but can’t help thinking “I could get the salient points from Wikipedia in a lot less time.” I guess I want to read the whole thing just to substantiate my decision that I won’t be reading anything else by that author?

    1+

  11. Just finished the latest In-Cryptid novel by Seanan McGuire last night, Tricks for Free. Funny and fast paced and smart, just like Seanan (who is also an awesome human being) so it was a great way to end the evening. Not sure what I’m reading next, besides online boards on how to beat Win 10 into submission with a fork.

    3+

    1. I read that one last week! Huzzah! Twas good and theme parky.

      I just got “Imposter Syndrome” by Mishell Baker so that’s my next one.

      1+

  12. I had a couple of literary disappointments, but am listening to Kleypas’s Hello Stranger. I just started, but she is always comforting to me and I really love that her heroine has all of these people telling her she should stay away from her hero, and she thinks about it, and she does what she wants. I was expecting her to fight the budding relationship and it was such a pleasant surprise to have her be so decided and proactive (which is totally in her character, I just have stunted expectations). I am also working my way through Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series in anticipation of the next book. Also comfort reading. Anna and Charles are just dear.

    7+

    1. Am reworking my way through both series. I binge read them and a few other series, and I’ve got a few too many werewolves up in my cranium to keep them all straight. Love the relationships between Mercy and Adam, and Anna and Charles.

      0

  13. Lab Girl. I had heard it was great but somehow I thought it was going to be something different – more stereotypical. But it’s wonderful and she’s a fantastic writer.

    2+

  14. I’m rereading TJ Klune’s How to Be a Normal Person. It makes me cry, except when I’m laughing out loud. I apparently really like a hero with resting grouch face who will sputter incoherently at the idea of expressing emotions.

    2+

  15. I just finished two books (I read one in paper at breakfast and another on my Kindle at night when my eyes aren’t up to real print). Luck, Love & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert was well written, but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the previous book I’d read by her, which I’d loved so much I immediately ordered the next. (The one I loved was called The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. WF, with quirky characters.) I’d recommend this one too, but I had problems with not liking the protagonist as much as I would have liked to.

    The other book I read was Kristan Higgins’ Catch of the Day, which was a nice contemporary romance set in a fishing town.

    0

  16. I read Sizzle by Jennifer Crusie (for the first time). It was cool, and I could see both the characters and themes she’s interested in in other stories (friends, getting a guy to listen to the heroine, great repartee, good story line), as well as the differences, namely, the things I’d like to know more about. (I had the sense that the story was just the story, and that additional depth had been left out in order to focus on the story.) Very interesting. I have a lot of Crusie to reread at this point.

    0

  17. Just finished listening to ‘Together’ by Julie Cohen. The story is told backwards, is amazingly well done, and beautiful. With a very clear reason for the sequensing. It had me in tears for parts of it, which does not often happen.
    I don’t want to give any spoilers, so no plotlines from me. But Julie has gotten into tackling very sensitive subjects, such as Alzheimers of a parent, surrogacy and loss of a child in other stories (Getting away with it, Dear Thing, The Summer of Living Dangerously) in a very gentle, feeling and non-judgmental way.
    Another author who has made the jump from being a good Mills and Boons type writer to awe inspiring!

    1+

  18. I’ve just started The Beavers of Popple’s Pond, by Patti Smith (NOT the musician — this one is a naturalist in Vermont). Short vignettes about starting a new approach as a student of wildlife — sitting down in the forest and interacting calmly and positively with creatures there to the point where they accept you as an individual, and begin treating you as an Honorary Rodent (to the beaver families) or Honorary Moose and so on. I just love the insights into the worlds of these animals that she gained as a friend of the family, rather than just a theoretical expert.

    Oh, and recently coming to learn that Lois McMaster Bujold is another Georgette Heyer fan. It’s like a touchstone, really.

    2+

  19. This post made me realize it is not Friday, as I had imagined. *thunk* I’m reading a Penny Reid romance, “Neanderthal Marries Human.”

    1+

  20. I’ve been using story as an escape this week, so I read quite a few.

    Unrequited, by Emma Gray, is a YA set in Sydney (yay local fiction!) that was originally written to coax the author’s boy band-obsessed teenage daughter into reading more. It’s sweet, funny, and occasionally heart-breaking, and it has a positive overall message about following your dreams and making your own path in life. It also had Paloma Faith stuck in my head for days afterward.

    Knit One, Girl Two, by Shira Glassman is a short, sweet, f/f romance about an indie yarn dyer and an artist. Also contains fandom, feminism, and family drama, but the author manages to bring it all in naturally, without being heavy-handed.

    I also read Hard Hitter and Brooklynaire, by Sarina Bowen. These two could both have been extremely problematic (millionaire trope, work romance, professional athletes – not my thing at all) but the author is awake to the potential issues and handles them well. The heroines set boundaries around workplace interaction (hooray!) and the heroes are aware of and respect the lines (more hooray!). I will be reading more of these once I get paid again. Must really stop spending all disposable income on novels…

    5+

    1. I get most of her books from the library. My local one doesn’t carry Sarina Bowen, but I got an online card to a major city in my state. I feel like most large libraries have an online only option… For the sake of our budgets 🙂

      0

    2. I recently read Hard Hitter, too, and I liked it. Not just the workplace boundaries, but also the way Bowen handled the fact that Ari was just getting out of an abusive relationship and wasn’t sure she was ready to date. Patrick respected that, too. Will look into getting the rest of the series.

      1+

  21. I’ve found a new to me mystery series, and it is unlike anything I’ve read before and I love it. The author is Timothy Hallinan, his protagonist is Junior Bender, and Junior is a private eye for criminals. I was going to say they are not hugely violent, although there is violence (some gore, off-screen killing) in all of them. The protag’s relationship with his teenage daughter, the daughter’s girlfriend, and sundry recurring humans is touching and truthful.

    1+

  22. Rereading Ursula Vernon’s _Clockwork Boys_ duo (and I only got the second one last week!) Very good band-of-misfits fantasy adventure, with some interesting character and romance parts. (I think the latter are maybe more ambitous than accomplished, but I’m okay with that. It was an interesting setup.)

    0

  23. I just noticed the two cats in the illustration. (-: Reminds me of my two — lover boy, and the skulker in the shadows (she just needs 10 minutes to warm up, and then she’s on the lap, too. Or the hip. Or the middle of my back. I guess I’m the warmest thing in the house.)

    I got done with Ivanhoe, and I think it’s very relevant for today’s writers. Scott published it back in 1820, and it deals with a lot of racial issues. There’s a Saxon/Norman divide (which the foreword says was historically inaccurate, but oh well), and then there’s the Jewish characters and the Saracens who make fleeting appearances. There are also gender issues — the best person in the book as far as I’m concerned is Rebecca, who is shown as being more skilled in knowledge-based arts (medicine) than anyone else in the book. The men are mostly skilled in bashing each other, and refraining from bashing each other in gallant and praiseworthy (supposedly) ways. (Although, the jester shows some skills in non-warfare, so there’s that.)

    A lot to think about there.

    4+

  24. Two books. Everything I Want to Eat, Jessica Koslow. Cookbooks are often ethnographies, and this one certainly qualifies. Hipster L.A., Silverlake. Koslow started with jellies and jams, moving on to egg dishes, then grain bowls. Of course locally sourced. I read the book the afternoon it arrived, straight through, all except the recipes. Photos are hilarious, staff and customers. Like I said, ethnography. We’ve eaten at Sqirl, and now I have to go back for the tumeric tonic.

    Wrack and Rune, Charlotte MacLeod, 1982, part of my continuing read of the Peter Shandy series. He’s an agrology professor and a whiz of an amateur investigator who made his fortune with a hybrid rutabaga. Sly look at academics, small town and rural life. Must be soothing some need within me.

    1+

  25. I finally read A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev. Now I need to make time to read the rest of her stuff. I really enjoyed the hero and heroine and their friends and family. There’s some fairly dark elements in it, but it’s basically charming and funny. The only thing I really wished for while reading it was more attention on the heroine’s work and studies. She’s studying sociology and works at a women’s center teaching job skills and helping women find resources and education. The hero thinks about how passionate she is on the subject and how much he loves talking to her about it, but we don’t get many specifics of that in dialogue or in her thoughts.

    Much as I enjoyed it, references were lost on me because I have no knowledge of Indian cinema. It didn’t prevent me from liking and understanding it, but I may need to do some Wikipedia skimming before I read her other books just because it would probably add something to have a basic grasp of the subject. I also want to try Indian food now. These characters did a lot of cooking and eating; it made me want to eat all the food Dev described.

    0

    1. Ooh. That was a hella well written book. She really handled the darker aspects with sensitivity but not glossing over them.

      I highly recommend you try large and varied amounts of authentic Indian food. Fusion food just isn’t the same. If you want to cook some, try Madhur Jaffrey, because I feel that she has a sense of the story that food tells. https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/madhur_jaffrey

      My favourite book of hers is “A Taste of India.” So far out of print and I’m looking for local used copies but may decide to bite the bullet and buy one internationally.

      There was a site called BollyWhat that gave the low down on Hindi-language Indian film.

      2+

      1. Thanks for the link. I may have to try cooking depending on whether I can find a good restaurant. I’m in southern AZ; might not be the best place to find good Indian food…But my cooking skills are pretty limited, so I’ll try for takeout first.

        1+

  26. Sorry, this is like a full essay, but this books sounds eccentric and I feel like this needs some set-up 😉

    Okay, let’s see for a reader there is comfortable with something more erotic, I really liked the novella “Taking Flight” by Tamsen Parker. It’s really hard to describe, but it’s a contemporary erotic romance about a divorced Jewish woman who has converted to a more devout Orthodox form of the faith. She marries a widowed man in the same religious community (he has lived within this world his whole life). I want to stress, there is some cajoling from their community, but it is definitely their choice, not a forced marriage scenario.

    They don’t know each other very well (b/c dating is frowned upon) and they discover to their surprised delight that they both like kinky stuff in the bedroom. So their marriage works there, but they have a hard time connected outside of their sex life. A lot of time, this scenario of “we connect in the bedroom, but not in real life” doesn’t work for me. It feels like a contrived setup so the author can put in lot of love scenes but still keep the story going.

    But I thought the author made all the right choices. It’s a novella, so it doesn’t go on very long and it ends at the right moment. We only ever read from the heroine’s POV and she is still a bit of outsider, stumbling through community norms so we feel for her sense of confusion both for the culture she’s in and understanding her husband. It really works and incidentally the only other book with “connect in the bedroom” that works for me (that I can think of offhand) is “Welcome to Temptation.”

    I read this for a TBR challenge. The whole thing really pleasantly surprised me. There were some moments in love scenes/sex scenes that were honestly past my personal comfort level, but I skim read those. And I always felt the author wrote the characters beautifully. Their choices were just that, their choices and they were right for them even if it wouldn’t be my choice. I know very little about BDSM or Orthodox Judaism, but it *felt* like the author had done her research and portrayed everything respectfully.

    1+

  27. This caught my eye. Excellent explanation of how a lot of the articles about DNA changes of Scott Kelly vs Mark Kelly are just wrong.

    1+

  28. I’m reading, or rather, listening to, The Basque History of the World, by Mark Kurlansky, read by the wonderful George Guidall. I got it because I hadn’t heard anything read by him for a while, and he’s a long time favorite. It’s really good. Their early history was fascinating, a people who simply ignored invaders and conquerors to remain ultimately themselves. Franco put a dent in that, but so far it seems that they’re rebuilding their unofficial nation.
    As for other books, I just finished Dark Witch, Nora Roberts, and I have the rest of the series. She’s dependably good, even for the number of books she cranks out. I wonder if she’s cloned herself…
    And finally, I’m also in the middle of How to Unfuck your Habitat, by Rachel Hoffman. I like how she looks at how we keep our homes from a very different perspective. First, that any ad or TV show that shows a perfectly uncluttered place doesn’t have real people living in it, unless they’re so wealthy that they hire someone to keep it looking that way. Once that’s acknowledged, she goes on to talk about cleaning for all types of people: not only those of us who are just too busy or lazy to deal with it, but people dealing with mental or physical issues. Her perspective is pretty brilliant.

    2+

    1. Nora has a work ethic like no other, and she loves to write. I don’t know how she does it, either, but she does it.

      Must try the Hoffman book.

      1+

  29. this week I’ve been reading the first 3 of (I think) 5 books in the Gower Street Detective-series by M. R. C. Kasasian, starting with “The Mangle Street Murders”. I haven’t read much mystery novels last 10 years or so, but when I asked a friend for reading-ideas for not-too-taxing-and-heavy-but-still-awesome-reads, she suggested this series. It’s actually quite good, with a charming, often lying, not goodlooking young woman as the main protagonist, and her rather excentric guardian; the PERSONAL detective Sidney Grice. It’s all set in London during the 1880’s, which is rather refreshing (if such a word can be used for books taking place almost 140 years ago) after reading a lot of books set in modern days lately. I just finished the third book before I read this post. I haven’t yet decided if I should go for the next part immediately or read something else and think things over.

    I can’t sleep when I read Kasasian (apparently), so for my “fall-asleep”- and “between finished book and picking a new one”-book I’ve chosen “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot. I read the first book, “If only they could talk”, some 15 years ago after hearing an excerpt of it during a listen-and-understand-test in English class at school, and I really liked the description of a veterinary surgeon’s life and work in England in the 1930’s. It’s not a nailbiter of a read, but it’s charming and relaxing and I really enjoy it.

    I’ve also finished the 2nd book in the Sister of the Dark, The Nicci Chronicles by Terry Goodkind; “Shroud of Eternity”, together with my fiancé. It saddens me to realize I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did his first series, The Sword of Truth.

    Jenny, I would also like to ask… Do you think there is any possibility to get your Twitter account to post the Argh Ink post links automatically when a new post is added? I think that should be possible with a wordpress-based blog and it would be so great to be able to easily access the new posts in that way. If it’s too troublesome I understand, I just thought I should ask. 🙂

    Now that some of you said you’ve reread Bet Me and other Crusie novels recently I feel like rereading them again, and I did reread all of the books just a couple of months ago… Apparently I’m in dire need of comfort reads.

    0

    1. I’ll have to google and see if I can figure it out. One drawback is spamming my Twitter account with Argh stuff. I try not to annoy people. It’s one thing when people sign up to spammed in e-mail, another thing to say, “Hey, here’s something else I said you should click on.” Seems pushy.

      2+

      1. Good point, but it’s not like you’re writing 15 Argh Ink posts per day, either. Or how about an Argh Ink Twitter account then, for just the Argh Ink updates? That’d be a solution, too 🙂

        On the other hand, they don’t HAVE TO follow if they find it annoying. Twitter of today also has multiple ways of filtering and muting and adjusting what you see in your timeline, so if people would find it annoying they can decide themselves what news they want to see and what not.

        It’s no MUST of course 🙂 It was just an idea (that I’ve had for a couple of years now but never dared to suggest). I’m using Twitter a lot myself, and being a user of assistive wear (braille and speech synthesizer) I’m all for shortcuts to the things I like to read.

        Thanks for reading and concidering! Only connect the blog to Twitter/create an Argh-account if that feels right for you. Otherwise let things be as they are now. <3

        0

      2. Jeannine and Kay have it figured out on our blog (it’s automatic). I don’t know about how you manage your Twitter account, but I’m following so many writing people that my feed is totally full of spam. I only see the posts of people who post about 15 minutes before I get on (if I log in during a non-busy time). If I want to read someone’s Twitter, I google their account and read it directly, instead of off my feed.

        Twitter can be a good way to connect people to one’s “real” work, or it can be a real work in itself, with fresh content several times daily, or a nice curation/filter of the tweets that the author likes.

        Personally, I rarely see you on Twitter, and I am not subscribed to your blog (but I visit often, and subscribe to almost every post — which is super-easy, and there’s a link at the bottom of each email that tells me how I can manage my subscriptions).

        Just a data point; everyone is going to want to manage their social media in their own way.

        0

        1. I think if I did a lot on Twitter so that the Argh tweets weren’t the only thing on there, it would be better. But I’m just not Twitter-oriented. I think I’ll do better on Instagram Maybe. Really, I’m just a blogger, which is sad because blog appear to behind the times now. Oh, well.

          1+

  30. I have three books started that were recommended to me by one of my sisters. The first one is Ready Player One by Ernest Kline, followed by Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, and the third one is The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. All three are Fantasy/SF and right now, none is really holding my attention which is why (I suspect) I have three going at once. She also recommended A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which is sitting next to the aforementioned three. I will persevere as I think they are likely to get more interesting.

    0

    1. That is our city’s READ for the year, Ready Player One, author speaking and about thirty activities built around the book. Picked from a final short list of five nominees.

      0

  31. A far too busy week behind me and another one in the offing, so I’m comfort reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Dalemark Quartet. Just finished Cart and Cwidder, and about to start on Drowned Ammet.

    And I read T Kingfisher’s Nine Goblins, thanks to a recommendation on here, and loved it.

    0

  32. You need to be careful on those automatic
    Tweets. There are some embarrassing examples out there where by cutting a sentence off early they change the whole meaning. One governor ended up saying the state didn’t care about education or words to that effect…

    1+

Comments are closed.