65 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday: May, 17, 2018

  1. I’m a noob here – I just read my first two Crusies! I’m also new to contemporary romance fiction, and I’d been looking for modern books I’d enjoy as much as I enjoy Jane Austen – stories written with obvious intelligence, a sense of humor, and (ideally) what I call a Good Bad Attitude. I kept coming across the name Jennifer Crusie, so I downloaded “Crazy People” to my Nook because it was the cheapest one available and because I figured a collection of short stories might be a good sampler. I enjoyed it so much I then blew through “Crazy For You” and loved it!

    I especially connected with Quinn’s hesitant desire to do something to change her life, and being from Dayton, I got a kick out of the many Ohio references. (As an added bonus, I was an art major in high school and seriously considered becoming an art teacher.) So which one should I read next??

    (Sorry to hear about your SBP, Jenny! Were you still in Ohio when Hurricane Ike blew through about ten years ago? Our power was out for more than a week – hope yours gets back on a lot quicker!)

    1. I’d suggest reading Crusies chronologically by release date, but virtually all of them stand alone, so they can be read in any order. The earliest ones are shorter (I think) and thus a little less layered, so they might not be as satisfying if you read in reverse chronological order. Otherwise, Bet Me and Welcome to Temptation are both at the top of most fans’ lists of favorites.

        1. Welcome to Temptation comes before Faking It, and they have some of the same characters.

    2. I’m partial to Faking It, Maybe This Time, and Agnes and the Hitman. Faking It is kind of a spin-off from Welcome to Temptation though, so you might want to read those in order. If you decide to go for the category romances, Getting Rid Of Bradley is fun.

    3. Bet Me, Welcome to Temptation, Faking It, Maybe This Time are my favorite Crusies. Maybe This Time gets re-read once a year, and I have to keep myself from reading it even more often. Honorable mentions: Agnes and the Hitman and Charlie All Night

      1. I’m a long time lurker who reads but doesn’t generally post but I’m really surprised to see that ‘Fast women’ hasn’t been mentioned. Whilst I love them all, this is top of my Crusie list!

    4. My favorite is Bet Me and was the first one I read. Gin is right that her later books are more layered than the category romances she wrote first. I’m with others that I’d then suggest Welcome to Temptation, Faking It and Agnes and the Hitman.

      Of her categories, I love “Getting Rid of Bradley” and “Charlie, All Night.” The main couple from Strange Bedpersons appears in “What the Lady Wants” so that may affect your reading order but their appearance is brief. Anyone but you is also great, especially because of Fred, the dog.

      Agnes plus 2 other books were co-written with Bob Mayer. She also wrote 2 books with 2 other women – Dogs and Goddesses and The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, both a bit mystic.

      Maybe This Time is a bit more gothic and Wild Ride has demons.

    5. Thank you for reading!

      I was living on the Ohio River ten years ago so yep. Ike didn’t hit until September, and that post was from June, but we used to get SBPs pretty regularly.

  2. I’m reading a lot of books on royalty. Including well, “On Royalty.” Right now I am reading through a looooong book on Prince Charles by Sally Bedell Smith. It’s interesting how the author goes between trying to make him look better/be sympathetic vs. mostly kind of vilifying Princess Diana for being a schemer, but frankly, they both look bad and behaved badly at times.

    1. I can’t stand Charles. I was married to a man who could have been his brother. Very much “It’s all about me” kind of people, which doesn’t leave much room for anyone else in their lives AND they both have/had mommies who bailed them out all the time.

      1. This is what happens when we allow our opinions to be formed by what we read.

        I find Charles- at least during his marriage to Diana – a whiner. He has done a lot of good for disadvantaged kids, but he does whine when things don’t go his way. And he is astute with money, or at least has good financial advisors.

        On the other hand, I really did not like Diana. She was incredibly manipulative. She did not seem to keep friends for a very long time and she twisted things to suit her particular PR needs. I had a half-sister who sounded exactly like her so I am prejudiced. I feel the two take-aways from her life are: 1. Marry money. 2. Always wear your seat-belt.

  3. I finally finished The Chalk Man with many interruptions. It’s one of those “I can’t stop thinking about it after finishing the book” books, highly rec. If I can keep my nerve I’ll get through Joe Hill’s Strange Weather but given the general state of things I’m likely to go hunting a funny historical romance or fifty to get me through closing on this house. Who is reading funny romance? I need recs!

  4. I’m reluctant to recommend something I haven’t finished, but I’m really enjoying “Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers. I may have seen it recced here?

    It’s just a fun space opera book. To me it reads like Farscape fan fiction and to be clear, I mean that as a very high compliment. So not quite as “grungy” as Firefly, more light hearted than Star Trek.

    1. I like that way of describing it! I struggled until I started to think of it as a series of short stories instead of a single novel.

      1. This is interesting. I have tried to read it before and keep thinking I need to come back to it. This “short story approach” may be what I need.

  5. Hi, I came looking for a Twitter link for Jenny to thank her for a joke from one of her early novels that consistently pops into my head and always makes me smile.
    But I found the link to the signed books for PP and ACLU and I’ve sent the link to friends to join in the support.
    So thank you Jenny – for the laughs and the good vibes!
    – “Brace yourself Bridget”

  6. Sandman. It’s my first ever foray into graphic novels and it’s a whole new world. You can’t just escape into story, you have to slow down and pay attention.

  7. I finished Beauty Like the Night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I have just dipped a toe into Anne Stuart’s latest. All good here 🙂

  8. I just keep falling asleep. That’s what I do when I’m healing, but it seems strange when I’m feeling pretty good and not on pain pills or anything anymore. But it’s pretty much think about reading, dishes or pretty much anything else and … fall asleep.

  9. Finished the new Sebastian St. Cyr mystery by C.S. Harris, Why Kill the Innocent. It was good; they always are. The victim in this book was a pianist who taught Princess Charlotte (this is set in 1814). Reading a murder mystery always means you learn about the person who died. In this case that made me especially sad because I liked her so much. She was a brilliant performer and composer that couldn’t perform or publish her music after she reached adulthood because she was a woman; she’d lost most of her family to illness, including her children and the twin brother who sometimes published her music under his name so it could be heard even though he hated taking the credit; and her husband was awful in many ways. Shortly before her death, she stumbled into palace intrigue that put her in danger, but she kept pushing at some of it because she was attached to Princess Charlotte and wanted to help her. If this wasn’t an entry in a series, Harris could have written a stand alone historical mystery with Jane, the victim, as the protagonist. As Sebastian reconstructs the weeks just before her murder, you get a sense that she was ready to break away from the social restrictions and bad relationships that were hurting her so she could finally live her life as she wanted. The experiences tied to that palace intrigue had pushed her to it. I would have loved to read that story and see her get what she wanted at the end. As it is, you still get to know her through the investigation. I’m really impressed that Harris managed to make me wish for a book starring someone who was dead when the story started. Sebastian actually says, “I wish I could have met her.”

    This is set in January of 1814, during an especially brutal winter in London. That actually happened. The Thames apparently froze solid enough for a Frost Fair on the river and it’s part of the book. Hero, Sebastian’s wife, is working on an article about the families of men impressed into the Royal Navy, and that’s also a thread that runs through the book. There’s great of historical detail about the effects of the winter and the press gangs on the poor, and the attitude toward the poor at the time. There’s also a lot about Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Wales. Highly recommend reading the author’s note at the end; it’s always worth it with this series.

  10. I’m still stuck in the past. I’ve pulled out my old Double-Day books and have started another Kathleen E. Woodiwiss book. “The Wolf and the Dove” I’ve read this book since it came out and just love it. The only thing is I hate it when an author picks out an unusual name and doesn’t tell you how to pronounce it. The heroin is Aislynn. I think it came out in 1975 or so, so for years I changed the pronunciation every time I read it. I’d say Aisleslyn (like Aile), AAAslyn. then a couple of years ago I went to a website that pronounced names for you. Turns out it is ASHlynn. There’s another character in the book named Hlynn, which I’m assuming is Helen.

    1. I have a similar problem when initials are used and I have no idea what they mean. For instance this morning I read a overview of the new movie “Book Club’ and in it the initials CGI were used. It took me a while to figure it stands for Computer Graphic Imaging. Why can’t they write out the term and then use initials for the rest of the article for those of us who are less informed? And what in the world does the Q stand for in LGBTQ?

        1. Or sometimes Q means Questioning for those who are questioning their identity. You might also see an I at the end for Intersex

      1. I like QUILT BAG as my new go to term.

        Per Wikipedia:
        An acronym for “Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans (Transgender/Transsexual), Bisexual, Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer”, used as an inclusive self-designation for minority sexual and gender identities. Coined by Sadie Lee. (October 2006), “Final Call: Kate Bornstein”, in Diva Magazine, issue 125, page 114

        1. So if it is already LGBT then why add a Q? It makes no sense. Next what does SBP mean?

          1. SBP is storm of biblical proportion. As for the Q, I think it has to do with how someone identifies.

          2. The Q also stands for questioning, this is in support of teens etc who are navigating these waters for the first time.

          3. LOL and a hooray for Nicole in WI. I googled SBP, and there were so many definitions! Pretty sure it wasn’t the State Bank of Pakistan, and I was startled to see that sweet baby penis is apparently common amongst Kanye fans.

            Then Nicole said SBP was a storm of biblical proportion. Tangential with the QUILTBAG community, I thought, what kind of fluidity was causing such a ruckus? Then the shoe finally dropped and that’s when I LOL’ed: it’s literally Storm of Biblical Proportion. SMH at my own misfiring synapses.

            (LOL: laugh out loud, SMH: shaking my head — for some reason, I never can remember this one.)

      2. It used to be a rule in formal writing that we’d spell out the initials for the first reference, and then we’d be able to use just the initials later.

        But, internet is unpaid, informal writing for the most part. The reader has to take up a lot of the load. Usually, Googling it will work; you don’t even have to click weirdo sites for the most part. Often, Urban Dictionary will have it right there in the blurb.

  11. Have been comfort reading for a while now, re-read Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie, was confusing, probably why I’ve only read it once before. Should have made his Great Aunt Matilda the main character.

    Then I discovered Elizabeth Hoyt at a new library, light historical romances just what I need right now

  12. Lois McMaster Bujold just published a novella “Flowers of Vashnoi” — so my evening plans are set!

    1. I woke up to the news! I’m going to finish reading this post, then sort out getting Kindle on my new computer. I’ve been afraid of losing all my notes, but honestly, who am I fooling? Posterity doesn’t want my notes, and even I probably won’t look at them much.

      1. Everything seems to sync between my Kindle and the Kindle app on my iPad, so hopefully you won’t lose your notes.

        1. I am so pissed off with Kindle. Now, apparently, I can’t have an American Kindle download, so the only access I have on my new computer (with a Japanese Kindle download) is the new novella (which was great) and a Kristine Higgins book that I must have bought from Amazon Japan. I am going to have to fool around on the slightly shady sides of the internet in order to get access to the books I legally bought.

          And I finally crawled out of my depression enough today to post something on Google Plus. In the last six or seven weeks, stuff has changed, I think. I had to fool around for 15 minutes to get it to talk to me in English (my Japanese is OK, but not really literate), and then I had to fool around for another three minutes before I remembered that I needed to be signed into a different account to do what I wanted to do.

          Instead of feeling accomplished, I just feel cranky.

          But the novella (Bujold’s “The Flowers of Vashnoi”) was really good. It’s the kind of story that you think about for days after, teasing out the subtler points. I blogged about it over on Eight Ladies, and next week, I want to do a Spoilers Galore! thread on the short story itself.

  13. I read “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah over the weekend and loved it. The book manages to combine funny stories about his boyhood, deep love for his mom, and lots of information about the true evil and complete ridiculousness of apartheid.

    Then the digital library recommended “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling so I started that. So far it’s fun.

    I have Envious Casca by Heyer checked out too. It’s the only mystery of hers I haven’t read. I’m going to start it when I’m less tired.

    1. I love bios by comedians, and that really is one of the best. I also really liked the one by Joan Rivers many years ago, and read that one at least three times.

      1. I know I’ve read books about or by Joan Rivers, one title I remember is ‘Having a Baby Can Be a Scream’.

        1. I didn’t realize Joan Rivers wrote so many books until I googled just now! The one I read was *Bouncing Back*. I may have to check into her mystery fiction!

  14. You know what I read? The SBP link off yesterday’s post, and boy was I glad. Jenny’s posts are like little short stories. This one was fun, intimate and had that literary whiff that makes feel like I didn’t just read something, I read something special. Thank you Jenny for making my day today, a decade ago.

  15. I just finished a series of novellas by Aliette de Bodard. They are sci-fi set in a universe heavily influenced by Vietnamese culture. I’m not sure I liked them, but they are powerful stories, very well written. A bit darker that I like though.

  16. I just tore through Kevin Kwan’s books: Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. I was curious because of the movie trailer. SO GOOD. I really enjoyed his writing style, which was super engaging and funny, and I liked the story too (which is a classic–boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy takes girl home, and oh, btw, boy is ridiculously rich and does the girl want to deal with this). I want to gush about this more, but I suck at writing recommendations, so I’ll just fall back to commands: Go read this.

  17. I am in the middle of a two week long business trip to Johannesburg. I am really sick, had to go to the doctor and get put on meds, am by myself in a hotel room, too tired to kmit (boo hoo), and am stuck getting room service in a hotel that only has one item which is both gluten-free and vegetarian. Do I sound sorry for myself? I am trying to stick to re-reading some light things that aren’t taxing on the brain cells. I just re-read Dark Horse by Michelle Diener, Accidently on Purpose by Jill Shalvis, and the fourth Alex Craft book by Kalayna Price. I am listening to Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime on audible; it is fantastic and I am in South Africa so very thought- provoking. However, I am listening to just one Chapter a day to make it last through my trip. I need to find another light book to read so am looking for inspiration from this post.

    1. Oh, I hope you feel better.

      Get the hotel to get Mr Delivery (famous SA delivery service) to get you something from Conscious 108 or another good vegan eatery. I know of this one because a vegan-loving DJ tweeted about it. Also ask about local Indian food places.

      Most South African 3-star places are better than Europe 3-star, so give it a try, most S. Africans try to help.

      1. Ack! They’re now called MrDFood. Sigh. Somebody didn’t think that through. Or maybe they did. Suffice to say I cook a lot and I buy Ready-to-eat from Woolworths or I call in my order and pick up because I hate waiting.

    2. Oh, you poor thing! I was once stuck in a hotel room halfway around the world with a baby with chicken pox and my older girl who expressed her stress with frequent vomiting. Luckily, I had family around who could visit and drop off goodies, but my poor sister — her daughter caught the chicken pox anyway, and it just was a stressful time.

      I think I wound up watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show with the five-year-old. Not quite appropriate, but she managed to survive a childhood of inappropriate story.

      I hope you feel better soon!

    3. Poor you, Check their children’s menu as well, My sister was ill in a hotel too and the plain food for children was exactly what she needed. Though she had to get grumpy with the room service man, because she wasn’t a child

    4. How frustrating! When everything is going well, every second place you look has all the GF options you can imagine. When things are challenging all I can ever find is “that biscuit”, and I think they’ve had it, lonely in the jar since 1997…..

  18. Casualty of War by Charles Todd was excellent. But they always do a good mystery. Unfortunately I started it at 9 pm which meant I stayed up until 3 am to finish it, saying every time I got to a new chapter “Well, maybe just one more”.

  19. Wow thanks for the neat books that have been recommended in these posts! (I downloaded “A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet” and “Flowers of Vashnoi)
    I just finished the second Martha Wells Muderbot Diary — Artificial Conditions. LOVED it. And I just started Thomas Keneally’s “The Daughters of Mars”, historical fiction set in WW I, featuring two Australian women who volunteer as nurses (and escape the farm back home). Very good so far.

  20. I’ve been reading blog posts. I also listened to Courtney Milan’s A Kiss for Midwinter. It’s listed as book #1.5 in the Brother Sinister series. It isn’t like me to jump into a series but I needed/wanted something to listen to as I attached the binding the quilt. It was good. A very pragmatic doctor woos a woman who he knew had been pregnant at 15. She has a really great father. I was also really pissed off at the doctor who tended to her at the time of her pregnancy. This was set at a time when women weren’t told about sex until their wedding day if then. It was well done.

  21. I’m halfway through Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn and really enjoying it. It’s post-apocalyptic, but not scary. More of a murder mystery in a future society.

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