Thursday, November 8, 2018

I’m having a fraught week.  Apologizing profusely for the second late post in two days.  I’m reading Krissie’s next book so we can talk about it in Slack–title right now is Thirty-fourth Street Time Warp, but as I explained to her, I keep seeing Tim Curry in a corset, so I’m thinking a change might be in order–and putting together the last of Nita which has spiraled completely out of control, so AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.

What are you reading?

56 thoughts on “Thursday, November 8, 2018

  1. Fraught seems to be the style of the week!

    Talia Hibbert’s Just for Him series was 99¢, I think on Amazon. I already own them and love the bleep outta them, but somebody else can find joy in them too.

    She writes diverse characters with a wide range of backgrounds. She has an amazing sense of emotional expression. I just can’t get enough but I’m trying to savour her work instead of devouring it.

    4+
  2. I needed something that really engaged me, after a few duds, and am enjoying Nora Roberts’ ‘The Obsession’, which I first read a couple of years ago and had forgotten until I started it again. I love that the heroine’s a photographer and is doing up a house – though both on a far grander scale than me – and I’ll skim the violent bits.

    5+
    1. I read The Obsession quite recently and I enjoyed it. Cute dog, cute guy, good characters. AND I didn’t skip the sex scenes, which weree unusually short for being Roberts. Hope you’ll enjoy your read!

      1+
  3. The Book section of the Washington Post gave a shout out to the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books podcast, which I never knew about, yikes:

    https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast/

    I’m enjoying Episode 200, and there is also a transcript to read if you prefer that to the audio, about what books made us romance readers. It’s fun on many levels but we will all enjoy the shout out to Jenny’s Bet Me 🙂

    I have finally (!) after all the encouragement here started reading Heyer’s “Grand Sophie” – what a delight so thank you for the regular reminders.

    8+
  4. I’m 2/3 of the way through the second story in the Kate and Cecy and Sorcery Trilogy. The Kindle’s on the charger, so I can’t look up the actual title. It’s by Patricia Wrede and a co-author she likes.

    I’m loving it. 🙂

    9+
  5. This week I started a series by Lynne Spreen the first book is titled Dakota Blues, about a fifty year old woman soon to be divorced and even sooner to be fired human resource exec. from California. Karen travels to No. Dakota to the funeral of her mother. While there she is let go from her company by her cost cutting, take no prisoners, asshat of a boss. She uses her time there getting reacquainted with friends and family, meeting an old boyfriend and being talked into taking an elderly neighbor on a ride in the woman’s RV to Denver to see the woman’s new great grandchild. Road trip, my favorite though not a grand adventure as may be expected. But so worth the read, I’ve got Key Largo Blues waiting in the wings.

    2+
  6. I’m finally listen-reading NK Jemison’s The Fifth Season. Not my usual fare style-wise (too distant pov for my usual tastes, and some weird mixes of tense and person, including SECOND person but she makes it work!), but still compelling. I may need to get to the end before I can decide whether to recommend it. I liked the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but this is very different, at least as I recall the HTK, which I read quite a while ago.

    1+
  7. I Was Told There’d Be Cake, because the title is excellent, and the first essay is about struggling to get rid of a drawer full of ponies, because dating is the worst.

    7+
  8. I’ve run out of Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton series, until the next one comes out, so I’m reading Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling Lethal White. I’m really, really enjoying it so far. And I’m trying to be good and hold off on getting Wundersmith, the sequel to Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. I LOVED Nevermoor (it hit my Diana Wynne Jones and Harry Potter sweet spot), and I’m saving Wundersmith for when I really, really need a book to save me.

    4+
  9. In tones of utmost sincerity, I would like to say that there is nothing wrong with picturing Tim Curry in a corset.

    I finished the Broken Earth trilogy last week. Loved the writing, loved the themes, but I’ll also note that the books were incredibly dense in terms of world-building, and so layered through different times/places that my internet-atrophied attention span was really struggling. By the end, I was having to pause and rummage through my brain to try to remember which part of which character’s history had happened when, which disrupted the rhythm a bit.

    Still reading Song of the Dodo on my phone (I finally checked how many pages it is, and discovered that I may conceivably still be reading this book for roughly the next hundred years). And I spent a significant portion of the morning reading (or mostly re-reading) a bunch of essays on various themes — feminist, anarchist, anti-racist works, and the like. Good stuff, though not all appropriate for what I am looking for. I think I need a break to do some practical things soon, like grocery shopping, and eating food.

    6+
  10. I bulleted through Ilona Andrews’ new novella, Diamond Fire and loved it. It’s a great coming of age with some heavy themes. The only problem is that now I really, really want the next book and have to wait. Sad sigh.

    4+
    1. It’s a common complaint with Ilona Andrews’ book. They do aserialized web book on their sure which helps keep me patient.

      0
      1. The Innkeeper is my favorite of their series.
        I liked Diamond Fire a lot more than I thought I would. I wasn’t sure about the change in POV but I’m interested in the next book in the series.

        0
    2. I stayed up until 6:00 am reading Diamond Fire. So good. It was interesting to be in Catalina’s POV; there’s so much you don’t get about her magic and her personality in the original trilogy because it was from Nevada’s perspective.

      There’s a deleted scene from the upcoming Hidden Legacy book on the Ilona Andrews blog. Not an excerpt – it’s an opening that they scrapped, but it’s a pretty decent length and might help with the craving.

      1+
  11. I just finished Stuart Macbride’s The Blood Road. If you’ve got a taste for Scottish crime/police, this bloke is brilliant. Definitely not a comfort read, especially this one, which deals with the buying and selling of small children. But the series is intelligent and often funny, with a wonderful lead character. I keep thinking that the book I’ve just read must be his best one, and then he writes another one even better.

    2+
  12. I haven’t been in the mood for anything new this week, so I’m going back and forth between two oldies — Carry on Jeeves by P.G Wodehouse and Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Each time I reread Doomsday Book, I spend a lot of time reading the Medieval English bits out loud and trying to decipher them. Strangely enough, I get better at this each time — or maybe more patient. It reminds me a lot of trying to sound out Anglo-Saxon, actually.

    8+
    1. I love the Doomsday Book, but the last time I read, I was struck by how much hangs on missed phone calls. It’s still a great book, but it’s funny (now) that they’ve got the time travel nailed but voicemail, not so much.

      5+
  13. I’m reading “The Martian,” because it was on sale for $3 Kindle. I have a web page open that helps me convert all the numbers from metric to feet, tons, mph, Fahrenheit, etc. With it would stick.
    It’s a lot of problem solving, but since I’ve seen the movie I’m imagining the actors. Otherwise, not a lot of characterization. Often funny.

    4+
  14. Ooh a disappointing week here. Remember a while ago we had that discussion about how #metoo had changed how we read? It was that.

    It was a regency, and it was doing OK until the hero came home, the heroine was asleep (they weren’t having sex at this point) and instead of going ‘oh she’s asleep, I’ll say hi in the morning’, he gets undressed and hops into bed with her. Then climbs on top of her and starts kissing her and then Things Happen. But we’re not sure she’s woken up until about 2/3 of the way through (I kept reading in horror). ARGH.

    I wouldn’t have read another, but she’s very popular so when another offering by the same author came up on my recommended list, I gave it a go. This time, Hero and Heroine are messing about but No Sex Please says the hero. Except she calculatingly tilts her hips at just the right time and whammo. (yeah yeah, ignoring the whole logistics issue, or the Part A and Slot B…). Hold on one goddamned minute. That’s rape. But he likes it, so it’s OK? AAARRRGGGHHH.

    Maybe I wouldn’t have been so sensitive to this even a year ago?

    9+
    1. I tried to go back and read “The Flame and The Flower” a couple of years ago (after a discussion on here about it). I was not as upset about the fact that he thought she was a prostitute; and, of course, she had to protest, but it would really be okay? Because they ended up loving each other? And maybe because I was 14 or 15 the first time I read it? (Which would have put it at least in 1978. I did not realize it was first published in 1972!). Don’t forget: Annabel Lee. As a teenager, love is Dramatic and Passionate and all about angst. And not long after that, we had Luke & Laura, and of course, Lady Diana. I believed in the fairy-tale. But I couldn’t finish the book 3o+ years later.

      I was more upset about the age difference between the two. Wasn’t she 17 and he was 35? That seemed just more wrong to me. And I’ve dated men who were 20 years older than I was. But not at 17. (And this was before #MeToo). Doesn’t count for Diana, she was older than I was, so she was automatically a grown-up. 🙂

      And it *doesn’t* “follow the usual bodice ripper plot”. (I keep hearing that from other reviewers–not against anyone here). All of the others followed it. Love it or hate it, KW changed romance from super sicky-sweet to passionate. Anger and passion, yes, but the heroines *had* a sex life. (As they probably did in real life, we just can’t bear to think of grandparents & greats and great-greats like that).

      jmho. 🙂

      4+
      1. Loved it when I was a kid – it was different than the other ones I’d read. Don’t even want to touch it as an adult. Won’t go near Joanna Lindsay again either- I may be remembering wrong, but I’ll just leave the pleasant memories alone.

        2+
      2. The books I’m referring to were published 2011 and 2012, so I don’t think we can call it generational difference, but definitely before #metoo.

        0
  15. I just finished the The Life List, a first novel by Lori Nelson Spielman. it was recommended by Susan Elizabeth phillips and Sarah Addison Allen, two very different authors, both of whom I adore. I just loved it. I strongly recommend it
    I am so thrilled to hear you are finishing up a truck draft. I love Nick and Nita do much. I’ve been trying to draft out the second half of Lord Bryons Daughter using NaNoWriMo as my nudge. I am experiencing strong interference from my day to day existence.

    7+
  16. I am slogging along, way behind all of you guys who have been so darn helpful recommending books that I HAVE to find at a library, HAVE to put on hold, and then here I am, reading books that have been reviewed many times here.

    Flavia de Luce, for example. Plucky Canadian heroine disguised as an 11-year-old British chemist (amateur for the moment). I like her. And I particularly like the undercurrent of sister rivalry & chicanery. It resonates with me because I am one, and have two.

    Kate Daniels. I’m onto Book 7 when the library gets it in, and my new method of carefully mapping out the eyeball mayhem in advance has made it more readable for me. Really enjoy the secondary characters.

    About to start the Others series by Anne Bishop. Heroine on the cover of Book 1 looks apprehensive and alone on a dark night. Might have to use my Kate Daniels reading technique just in case.

    And Nevermoor is now on my Someday list, if I can ever catch up!

    Sheesh.

    6+
      1. I was cruising through the first book of the others and until I realised that women in the book seemed to be relegated to being either shopkeepers, supernatural characters or villains.

        None of the background police,couriers or politicians were women and I bounced off the book hard because it didn’t provide any kind of a world building explanation for this.

        Does this get any better as the series goes on?

        0
  17. Thank you to whomever recommended Kristan Higgins. “Good Luck With That”. I have enjoyed all of her books. But this one! I had to put it down so I could breathe. That’s how much it affected me. I told my best friend that she *has* to read this book. I’m just glad I wasn’t reading it at 2 am. 🙂
    If anyone else has read it, then you know what I’m talking about. I’m just trying VERY hard not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it. But it is very much worth the read. 🙂

    6+
  18. I’ve been re-reading the Fool’s Guild series of mysteries by Alan Gordon. The first book is “Thirteenth Night” and is (sort of) a sequel to Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” The mysteries are fun and the settings are intriguing, but the real joy for me is watching the main characters interact and evolve. They’re people I wish I knew.

    2+
    1. I’ve only read the Swedish translation of the Twelvth Night-manuscript (blasphemy!), but I loved it so much that I read it like 3-4 times in a row. This is what, 10 years ago? One of my most enjoyable Litterature science/history reads for school! Anyway, thanks for your recommendation – it sounds fun and interesting. I’m definitely gonna check it out!

      2+
  19. I’ve finished and started several books since I last checked in. Most recently, I tore through Dark Light, Jodi Taylor’s sequel to White Silence, as soon as it was released. Having run out of new offerings from my current two faves (Taylor and, of course, Crusie,) I’ve branched out – read the first of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (Yes, I know I’m way past “fashionably late” to that party.) May try some more, but they’ll be a little ways down the list. Had a few quibbles.

    I’ve started Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, and I’m enjoying that very much. I’ve finished The Eyre Affair and started Lost in a Good Book. And speaking of books involving time travel – after waiting for six or seven weeks, I was just FINALLY able to borrow the library’s e-book of To Say Nothing of the Dog! Thank goodness for an impending long weekend for binge reading!

    0
  20. The Disasters, a YA sci fi book that’s tagged “The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy.” Maybe more Firefly but yeah. I really like it, and I know the author so this makes me extra happy!

    1+
  21. I checked out These Old Shades by Heyer for my trip and am looking forward to starting it when I’m not so tired that I’m dizzy.

    7+
  22. Someone(s) recommended Spymaster’s Lady (Joanna Bourne) and I finished it in two days (would have been one if I hadn’t had to go to work :}). Great book! Wish the library had the whole series.

    7+
  23. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. so far one chapter is from now and the next is Victorian, so I’m wondering how this is all going to come together. But she is an excellent writer – I’ve been reading her since my mother gave me The Bean Tree many, many years ago. So I’m not worried. Yet.

    4+
  24. I’m still working through the works of Suzanne Brockmann, on book #18 in the Troubleshootera series, but it’s not gripping me the way the previous 16 did (and #17 was a compilation of novellas/short stories).

    Next week I’m teaching Othello for the first time in many many years, so I ought to be rereading that to prepare, but I keep falling asleep while trying to do Boring Adult Stuff. Sigh.

    I did read a new-to-me O. Henry story called “The Guilty Party,” recommended to accompany Othello. It was… Weird. 😳 looking forward to talking to the AP English students about it, since I assigned it to them for the weekend.

    3+
  25. I had no idea what to read after I finished “Out of Spite, Out of Mind” by Scott Meyer last week. I don’t really know how, but I ended up with “The Undateable” by Sarah Title, first book of the “Librarians In Love”-series. It was nice enough, I don’t regret reading it, but it didn’t manage to really crawl onto my mental possibly-rereadable-list.

    Then I picked up the first of Jasper Fforde’s “Thursday Next”-books: “The Eyre Affair”. Has anyone here read those? Marked it as “to read” sometime last year, and was reminded about it earlier this year after reading “The Invisible Library” – it was a “you may also like…”-recommendation. BAM. Reader’s block. Argh. I’ve read 21% but just can’t go on right now. I don’t think it’s the book that does it, my head’s just too messy to take it in… I think. I HOPE.

    So I’m back to Middle-grade books with rereading the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”-series by Rick Riordan. Only halfway through “The Lightning Thief”, but at least I can read. Yay! <3

    2+
    1. I felt duped by The Eyre Affair because it (B) imagines that Bronte didn’t finish the story and (A) because it flattens a Bronte’s tale of character development into a cartoon that tourists can walk in and out of.

      Too cutesy.

      3+
        1. what a pity, they sound so good when you read the blurbs. Well, I guess I can give it another shot sometime. Or not give it another shot, should the urge never arise.

          1+
    2. I wanted to like Fforde, but I think I kneecapped him by placing him in the same league at Pratchett. Fforde is clever, but the books seemed shallow in comparison. Of course, most stuff is shallow in comparison to Pratchett, but it just seemed as though the book (the first one) was more about being clever with a classic than it was about the characters or the underlying themes. More of a game than a story. I don’t remember anything about it now, although I loved the heroine’s name.

      2+
      1. No one write like Pratchett. No one. It always annoys me when a book is compared to Pratchett, because that book is only going to suffer by comparison, and I go into it with expectations that will never be met.

        2+
      2. I really enjoyed all of the Thursday Next series. That said, Jenny’s comment about more a game than a story certainly rings true.

        0
  26. I’ve been reading Heartland by Sarah Smarsh which I have been enjoying but needed a break from Serious so am also reading The Fifth Elephant by Terry Prachett for light relief.

    I tried listening to Alyssa Cole’s Duke by Default but the wandering accents made me crazy and I quit part way through. I also couldn’t suspend my disbelief as far as I needed to. Anyone else read that? What did you think?

    0

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