60 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday in March

  1. I read The English Wife by Lauren Willig, which I adored. It was a slow reading week, that was all I read.

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  2. I’m reading T. Kingfisher’s CLOCKWORK BOYS and before that I read her NINE GOBLINS. Has anyone else here read her books? I’m enjoying them a lot.

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      1. Oh, I loved that story! I didn’t make the authorial connection. There are so many good books and authors recommended here, a girl loses track.

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    1. I read Nine Goblins and loved it. I actually read several of her books and loved them all, but I never read Clockwork Boys. I guess it is new and I should download it. Thanks for the tip.

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    2. T. Kingfisher is also Ursula Vernon who won a Hugo? Nebula? for her webcomic Digger which was astonishing and heartbreaking and lovely. And yes, I have loved pretty much everything of hers I’ve read, even the things for younger people like Castle Hangnail.

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      1. And the author of Dragonbreath and the Hamster Princess kids’ books which I may have read before I gave them to my grandkids.

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    3. I also read Clockwork Boys this week and have moved on to The Wonder Engine. I really enjoy her characters.

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  3. I’m back with Alexis Hall, reading his Spires series (though I’ve yet to come across any links between the stories). Started, out of order, with the novella ‘Waiting for the Flood’. I nearly didn’t buy ‘Glitterland’ after reading the sample, but am glad I did. I’ve just started ‘For Real’. I’ve loved all his characters, and the romances; plus they’re funny as well as full of emotion.

    I’ve also been devouring ‘Grow Fruit’ by Alan Buckingham, and annotating it with notes from other research I’ve done, so it’s all in one place.

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    1. I am so glad you are enjoying Alexis Hall. I am torn over Glitterland. I love the stories and the characters, but he really should have dropped the accent as the book progressed. Trying to read a cockney accent kept pulling me out of the story. Glad you liked it too.

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      1. Yes, I was distracted, too. I don’t watch enough popular TV to be really familiar with an Essex accent; and I wasn’t convinced by the way he transcribed it.

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  4. Someone (I’m too much of a lazy-arse to go back and look up who it was) recommended The Baleful Godmother series by Emily Larkin. Unmasking Miss Appleby etc. Anyway, thanks! I whipped through them this week and they were good reads. Regency with a magic twist and a thread of something serious – PTSD, gender inequality etc.

    3+
  5. Firstly, I’m ok.

    Secondly, I had a flat tyre on Tuesday and, in an effort to get to the spare, I took all my bags out of the boot/trunk and dumped them in the back. Tyre sorted, with some help from as road side vendor and I trundle off to fuel up. The nearest station that gives me loyalty points is on a route I don’t usually take. The dude at the station said that I was a pint short of oil, so I said I’ll fill at home. We are not a self-service country, but I like to do stuff for myself, especially if it’s cheaper. I took out my diary to write it in. I put my phone in the door storage. I paid by card and put the purse on passenger seat. Thirdly, I drove off, got to the nearest intersection and stopped at the red, I was about three cars back from the light. Saw a guy stand on the pavement/sidewalk and peek into my car. He piqued my instincts so I looked at him, waved and pointed and said, “Hiiii, I SEE you,” and started to shift the car into gear to move away. He hesitated, then BANG!!! Smashed the rear window, dove in and made off with my hand bag. I get really calm in those kind of crisis situations because I absolutely KNOW that it is beyond my control and I start to thing of what to do next, I even do this at my worst emotional levels. That said, my first thought was, “police” then, “whew, not the laptop”, followed by , “Ugh, I have to cancel the cards.” As I calmly drove to the police station about 2km down the road, I realised that my phone, diary and purse were safe. I did NOT need to cancel a card. YAY.

    He got the coins (LOTS), the Fitbit charger (damn), maybe another charger, my just-in-case case filled with lipbalm, lipstick, comb, eyeliner, the sinus, pain, and nausea meds AND the spare phone with the Kindle app.

    And that is why I have no good book to recommend this Thursday.

    I’m considering not loading the app on another mobile. Then I’ll have to read for my studies. Oh yeah, he got my student card. I have a Police case number and will get another card soon.

    Finally, I’m fine. Not even a delayed traumatic reaction. I was more mad when the chemist didn’t deliver my meds on Monday. Why- it was within my control, they f-d up. The car is repaired. All is well.

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    1. Glad you’re fine. But don’t punish yourself be forgoing the Kindle app, will you? I mean, it’s fine if it would make you happier, but it sounds like a bit of an ‘ought’.

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      1. I have very limited self-control when it comes to novels. This might be what I *need*. I needed to know I didn’t need that spare for reading on. I can use an old phone for parents to call me on.

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    2. Oh, kid, I’m sorry.
      Although I’m amazed you didn’t chase him down and beat him to a pulp. You must have been tired.

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      1. Thanks. I think I calculated everything so fast, the window fully broken, laptop was in the back on the floor, I couldn’t leave it to the next opportunist. Even if I’d put it in the boot, I drive a hatch. The seats fold down to access the back.

        Just like how my instincts told me he was shady, they told me to drive away.

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        1. Oh, you were smart to drive away, I’m just surprised rage didn’t shoot you out of the car.

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          1. I think that of it happened while I was walking, there’s no way I wouldn’t have started a foot chase.

            When ever there’s something panic-inducing for others I don’t even start shaking. Even at the police station. I haven’t had any sort of delayed reaction either.

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      1. Lol. Great minds. Am considering taking a Sangoma to the spot and doing a cleansing.

        Remember tho’ he hardly got any money. He must be livid. All that effort for a cheap phone only.

        It’s a very busy area. The police say they might find the things that people consider useless.

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        1. We have little old ladies who curse people and hit their pictures or paper descriptions with a shoe for a consideration (I’ve never explored the option)

          I’m glad you’re okay and you didn’t chase him down, he might have been armed or led you right to his gang. It just wouldn’t have been worth it.

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    3. Whoosh. Oh, my. Seems like you handled events pretty well. Still. That you’re okay is Everything.

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    4. I’m so glad you were thinking straight and went right to the police station and you’re ok. It makes me rethink placing my pocketbook on the floor instead of the passenger seat.

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      1. Once I chased a guy who stole my pocketbook in a parking garage. He dropped it on the landing of the stairs.

        What I remember is how everyone told me that I was an idiot for having chased him. They still use the incident to tease me about my stupidity.

        I wish I had had family & friends like you guys. Yes, it was a silly risk. But tarnation, I yelled “Stop, Thief!” and got my stuff back. I wish I had told myself that I had succeeded.

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        1. My aunt – a little woman of about 5’3″ – tells the story about her purse being snatched in NYC in the 1960s.

          She said “I knew what to do – every New Yorker knows what to do – let them have the purse. And as he dragged me two & a half blocks, I kept telling myself let him have the purse.

          But my hands kept saying – OH NO – this is MY purse. MINE.”

          I think she said she had $10 bucks in it and she still held onto it until he let go. But he did let go.

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  6. I’m reading my RITA books – behind the 8 ball here. So far no “Must glom onto everything this author has written” moments, but I have several more books to read (by the 7th! Yikes!) so hope springs eternal.

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  7. I read A Study in Charlotte, the first in the Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro. The main characters are present-day teenage descendants of Holmes and Watson. Enjoyed it very much and will read more of the series.

    I’m in the middle of A Clash of Spheres, the 8th in the Sir Robert Carey series by P.F. Chisholm, aka Patricia Finney. I rarely read Elizabethan era stories but I adore this series, most of which takes place on the Scottish borders. The writing has so much *energy* — I can’t think of a better way to describe it — and Carey, who was a real person, is a fascinating character.

    Also, for light reading and comic relief, I’ve been reading the Poor Relations series by M.C. Beaton.

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    1. I’m going to give that book a try. I’ve spent the last few days looking up my favorite authors to see if they had anything new coming out and came across Joann Ross’s blog from six days ago with a picture of her new Kate Spade handbag. Too rich for me, the only thing I have to compare it with is a pair of coffee/tea mugs with a design of an old timey typewriter with the saying “You’re My Type” on them. They were $1.99 each on clearance from Home Goods.

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  8. I’m reading The Alice Chronicles by Kate Quinn. It’s super engaging (based on real female spies in WWI then picking up the story in 1947.) It took a little getting used to as each chapter switches from past to present, but I think the author handled the transitions well. I’d recommend.

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  9. Just finished first of a ‘tec series, Britain, post-WWI, two disparate, paired female protags. Competently written. Notable for lack of chapter-ending hooks, and, yes, I went to bed early successive nights this week. Loooong expository why, how and whodunnit finale. Almost lost patience several times, but it’s the first of a series and I’m extending good will. On the other hand, latest book of a many-volumed and recently-petering series I’ll probably toss. Latest appears on first look as most petering of all others, so just no.

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  10. I am working on Carry the Ocean, another Heidi Cullinan book, and am really enjoying it.

    The first protagonist is a young man with autism. He is literally a genius, in his second year of college working on a double major of applied physics and something else that I don’t remember. Oh, and his family is great. The way they work to communicate and give him the best possible quality of living is fascinating.

    The other main character has just graduated high school and has been recently diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. His family is pretty awful. They feel that he should just ‘get over it.’ No medication, no professional help. And so as you might guess, our hero is struggling.

    Then these two young men meet and become friends. The way they are learning to cope and help each other is great. I hope it ends as strongly as it has begun.

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  11. I had three days off this week, so I read Kissed By The Rain, by Claudia Winter, and First & Then, by Emma Mills. They’re both lovely contemporary romances, but First & Then is a YA described as a mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Friday Night Lights, which turned out to be a pretty good description. The teenagers are fully realised, flawed characters, and while the author doesn’t shy away from how tough life can be, the whole thing is pretty damn adorable.

    Kissed By The Rain is about a German lawyer whose cousin has taken off with a family heirloom that she needs for her upcoming wedding. She follows the cousin to Scotland, where she figures out a lot of things about herself that she’s been ignoring while having unlikely adventures with her two crazy great aunts, who followed her. I’ve mentioned this before about Claudia Winters’ work, but the translation into English is excellent.

    I’ve also just started reading Dangerously Fierce, by Deborah Blake, and am loving it so far!

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  12. I am still jumping around through the Vorkosigan saga by Lois Bujold. Still having LOADS of fun with it. Out of order as usual, but it’s quite rewarding to read the in-depth story of something you’ve gleaned the barest gist of in other volumes. I particularly liked Memory, which left the protagonist ashamed and almost suicidal in one sequence, but pulled him back out of it in unexpected ways. One of which turned out to be his cousin (“you idiot”) Ivan, who essentially saves his life at least once.

    Also cheated by reading the currently final volume, Gentleman Jole etc. — which was a great read despite (or maybe because of?) the fact that nothing really happens in it except a very mature & intelligent love relationship. So touching.

    Thanks once again to everyone who advocated this series. You were all so right. 🙂

    2+
  13. Hey all. Thanks for the love and Lols!

    Read Gavin De Becker’s Gift of Fear. I know I recced it here when I first got it. But recent incident reminds me how useful it is.

    I think I’d chase a guy in a bag-snatch in town, but didn’t in a car robbery through the squatter camp/shanties.

    4+
    1. The Gift of Fear is imperfect, but the best of what’s available. I gave used copies to all my immediate family one Christmas. I really should reread my own copy again.

      2+
  14. I have actually read 2 novels. “What a Difference a Duke Makes” by Lenora Bell and “A Match Made in Bed” by Cathy Maxwell. Both are historical romances and were advanced reader copies.

    Bell’s book was more fun. It reminded me a bit of Mary Poppins crossed with Cinderella. An orphan woman comes to London to find her parents and takes a job as a governess for a Duke’s bastard children. The Duke is a duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and engineer. It’s that last one that makes him fun and very non-ducal. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    Maxwell’s book bothered me a bit more. The heroine had a lot of shit thrown at her and besides being told she was angry, which she got over without really doing anything about it, she just rolled with the punches. I mean, good for her to accept reality and move on. She’s a better person for it than I am. I wanted to rail against all the men of that time for screwing her over. There will be a sequel for this one which I likely will also read.

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  15. I’m reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown, and Lonely Planet’s guide to Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.

    I’ve mostly been watching Olympic figure skating on the NBC app and listening to Elvis (Presley) while visiting my 100 year old grandmother.

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  16. I read Amanda Quick’s Mystique, a medieval romance with brilliant structure. It was pretty good. It made me laugh that this book was published right after The Lion King came out and that last scene seemed to be inspired by the last scene of the movie.

    2+
  17. I am ticked off.

    I checked out a new mystery and, to avoid spoilers, did not read the jacket flap copy.

    So I did not know the book is #1 of a trilogy. The whole first book is world-building. All set-up, nothing- NOTHING – resolved.

    The least they could do is put “Book 1” on the cover.

    Boo, hiss.

    5+
    1. That’s so frustrating. You’d think that a mystery would be resolved in book 1, even if it was part of a series. Was it at least an interesting read for a book 1?

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      1. Yes, the set-up is interesting – a mystery from the past, with a parallel mystery in the present. I generally enjoyed the characters and setting. However, I’m still not sure if I’ll read the other books in the trilogy, because now I don’t trust the author.

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  18. I opted for easy re-reading this week. Some stuff called “Strange Bedpersons,” “What the Lady Wants,” and “Charlie All Night.”

    SB now seems like a before or after version of “The Cinderella Deal,” which I like better. “Charlie All Night” is one of my all-time favorites, and not just because I like the song “River of Dreams.”

    2+
  19. Listening to the last two books in Rachel Aaron’s “nice dragon” series and really really enjoying them.

    book three ends on a hell of a cliff hanger so I wanted to make sure I had book 5 available before I started book 4

    Julius the dragon is nice and will always try to do the right thing which makes him initially a bullied pariah in his dragon family…but he’s also smart, resourceful and loyal and this works in his favour.

    Julius’ first real friend Marcie the mage and her ghost cat is ambitious, clever and driven by academic curiosity.

    Also his family is full of interesting characters like Bob the seemingly crazy seer (and the pigeon who appears to be the love of his life) and Chelsea who acts as their mother’s enforcer and might have hidden depths

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