This is a Good Book Thursday, August 9, 2018

I’ve been reading a lot of Georgette Heyer lately.  When she was good–The Grand Sophy, The Talisman Ring, Cotillion–she was phenomenal.  When she was mediocre–Bath Tangle, anyone?–she was still damn readable.  What’s more, she’s re-readable.  I must have read The Grand Sophy a dozen times and I still love it.  I learned a lot from that book, especially what a great supporting cast can do for a great romance.  I still love that bit of dialogue when Charlsbury–kidnapped and shot by Sophy for his own good–says “I am devoted to Sophy . . . but heaven preserve me from marriage with her,” and Vincent says, “If heaven did not, I fancy Rivenhall would.”  It’s such a lovely throwaway line that says that the community already knows what’s coming in the next scene when Charles Rivenhall puts his hands around Sophy’s throat and says, “Will you marry  me, vile and abominable girl?”  and Sophy says, “Yes, but only to save my neck from being wrung.”  Sigh.  That’s my kind of romance.  

What did you read this week?



107 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, August 9, 2018

  1. Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone.

    First anti- hero Mastermind that I ever rooted for since Artemis Fowl.

    I don’t have the words to categorise it. Thriller, romance whatevs. It’s a BRILLIANT read.

    It’s in first person which is usually a deal breaker but since the MC is so removed from emotions that it didn’t feel uncomfortable.


    1. Btw, the author’s aka is Victoria Dahl who wrote romance too. This book is so damn good. I had to come back with this
      info because it might get you to select it.

  2. I just finished The Trophy Child by Paula Daly. Spent most of the night reading it in fact. It was a very clever thriller, though not scary, and I enjoyed it very much. It is set in the Lake District in England and it features a tiger mother. There are some clever twists at the end which totally surprised me.

  3. That is my favourite line too ( “If heaven did not, I fancy Rivenhall would.”) It always makes me happy, a little extra boost to the warm contentment of reading Georgette Heyer.

    This week I read Emma Bull’s ‘War for the Oaks’ as recommended on Lani’s site. It was fun, and now that I think on it, the love story reminded me a little of Heyer’s philosophy – the hero was heroic, in the Freddy style. Although actually a dab hand at the dragon slaying.

    1. Heyer has a way with the throwaway line that means more than it says. In No Wind of Blame, the mother says, “Sits the wind in that quarter” when her son informs her he must be off to give a promised ride to the female protag. We see the mother persona
      , the relationship between son and female protag in new light, and the female protag jumps from second lead to lead. All through an innocuous comment.

      1. I love it that she’s so staggered when she first realizes what’s happening, and then she adapts and approves. It’s that supporting-character-reaction that cements that the community is all for the relationship. Heyer does that beautifully. I just reread Cotillion to look at the plot again–that’s a Swiss watch of a romance plot–and the way Freddy’s father treats Kitty is so much like that; he knows the engagement is a sham and he wants it to be real, so he tells her how happy he is with his son’s choice of wife. It tells you all you need to know about how the family will welcome her. Just lovely.

        1. I’ve admittedly only read a few Heyers, but so far Cotillion is my absolute favorite — even above The Grand Sophy. Freddy is just such a delightful hero to me and the ending scene always cracks me up. I’m slowly choosing new Heyer’s to listen to because there’s something absorbing about listening to her works in audio. I’d been looking at The Talisman Ring and now, since you endorsed it, I think that might be my next one.

          1. Freddy may be my favorite Heyer hero of all time. It’s competence porn again, it’s just practical competence. And they fall in love so naturally.
            But Sophy and Charles butting heads is still so much fun. I just re-read The Talisman Ring, and it’s still quite wonderful, too. I love that breakfast scene where Eustacie and Tristam realize that she’s going to babble at breakfast and he’s going to sit silent FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and they’re appalled with each other. And there’s the whole ventre-d-terre bit and Eustacie telling Sarah that he said he’d feel sorry for anybody in a tumbril, and Sarah saying, “You really cannot marry Tristam.” So much fun.

  4. The binge-reading continues apace, sporadically and annoyingly interrupted by sleeping, showering, meals with the hubby, commuting (though I’ve grown fond of red lights,) and my supervisors’ and co-workers’ unreasonable insistence that certain tasks be completed timely- tasks like posting the staff payroll. (Prioritizing is obviously a lost art.)

    After finishing and thoroughly enjoying “The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes” late last week, (I have to track my reading progress by reviewing the dates of the Nook Order Confirmations in my e-mail,) leaving “Dogs and Goddesses” as my sole unread full-length Crusie, I decided to take a side trip and check out Jodi Taylor’s “Chronicles of St. Mary’s” series. Someone here – I apologize that I’ve forgotten who – recommended it, and to that Cherry I send a sincere, heartfelt “Thank you!” Taylor’s Goodreads profile lists her influences as Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and Jennifer Crusie. ‘Nuff said.

    Late last night, I finished #3, “A Second Chance,” and I feel as if I’ve been through an emotional spin cycle. It was heart-and-gut-wrenching, but I will have downloaded #4 either by lunchtime or before I leave for the salon this afternoon to get my hair re-redded.

    1. I’ve mentioned it, but I’d be surprised if someone else hadn’t, too. They are incredibly addictive, which is why I’m going to make matters worse and tell you that there are “between books” novellas available one at a time digitally or bundled together both digitally and in print.

  5. I just finished Barbara O’Neal’s THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS. It was everything I love in a BON book. I’ve also been working my way through thrillers by Ruth Ware. She is wonderful.

  6. The last time you mentioned Georgette Heyer, I went on a 45 book Heyer binge! It was lovely, I might have to do it again. But I’ve been rereading all the Ilona Andrews, waiting for the last book in the Kate Daniels series to be released.

    1. I’ve been flat on my back for so long at this point that all I’m reading are comfort reads, although I actually watched Rachel Maddow on my computer yesterday which was my first TV since the hospital. I think I’ve now reread all of the Heyer I love and some I couldn’t remember as well (there was a reason for that), and the stuff I love still rereads as marvelously as the first time. Yesterday was The Unknown Ajax. When she was good, she was so good there’s no one to touch her. I’ve always loved her characters (most of them) but the rereads are giving me a much stronger appreciation of her plotting. The way Sophy got Charles Rivenhall out of his engagement was absurb and delightful and absolutely possible, given the over-the-top characters of Eugenia and Bromford, and I did not see it coming. Lovely stuff.

      1. Venetia was my favorite during my binge. I loved the moment when he’s thinking of proposing and she’s trying to remember the name of a healthy tonic for her brother. And very much the community at the end, all well aware that he’s head over heels. Also, bizarrely, The Foundling, which I thought was a terrible romance but an excellent story. I also find Ngaio Marsh to be excellent comfort food. I’m still hoping my library picks up the next 18 books of hers, but I read the first 18 in happy succession a few months ago.

        1. There is a scene in Frederica very similar to what you described, which is another favorite read. Frederica’s brothers are so much more likable then Venetia’s.

          1. I like the brother in “The Reluctant Widow” as well. He loves his dog so much and thinks everything is such fun. Of course, Elinor has been thrown into a situation that she has no control over-even sarcasm fails to penetrate the mind of Nicky or his older brother, Ned. Of course everyone in the community thinks that “Lord Carlyon knows best” which only irritates Elinor more. I love all Heyer romances!

          2. Oh, I might have gotten them mixed up! I looked in the library app to see which one I hung on to until the last possible day. I guess I’ll have to reread both of them to be sure. 😀

      2. The Grand Sophy is one of my favorite comfort reads. I took some comfort reading time last month and read Heyer and Heinlein and Elsie Lee. I think Anne Mccaffrey is next.

        1. In a box somewhere here, I have almost all Elsie Lee’s. She does not hold up in some of them on rereads because it is Cold War and dated. But I still like some of them.

          I also have one of her cookbooks around someplace.

          1. I reread Elsie Lee every so often. They were marketed as Gothics, or light romance, or Regencies, and I read most of them when I was about twenty (during the Cold War, now that you mention it). I found that I got much more out of her books when I was about thirty — I think she was a bit too sophisticated for a college student and I picked up much more from her throwaway references when I was older.

            I do think that her Regencies are some of the best non-Heyers, with a Regency flavor but definitely not a Heyer spin-off. PRIOR BETROTHAL, and THE NABOB’S WIDOW are, I think, the best. SECOND SEASON, THE WICKED GUARDIAN, and AN ELIGIBLE CONNECTION also worth a light read.

          2. Should also have said that I treasure her cookbooks, and one of the best recipes in them is one for chicken in champagne sauce, which became my dinner party standby. ELSIE LEE’S PARTY COOKBOOK can still be bought for a reasonable price.

          3. Good to know about the cookbook. It came with another used book I bought and I remember looking at some of the recipes and thinking that they seemed very do-able but I never actually tried any. Sometime on good book Thursday maybe we should talk about good cookbooks.

          4. You might want to hang onto the Elsie Lee regency romances. My sister told me they are hard to get and very expensive.

      3. I love most of Heyer but These Old Shades has always had a special place in my heart. I didn’t realise how complex her writing was until I tried to do a book review for a library assignment in high school (dark ages….late 60s!)

  7. There’s a new Murderbot instalment so that. Also just started Kylie Scott’s latest. Her books are always good. And I just read a new Elizabeth Bear novella which I think I may have read in an earlier/shorter incarnation. Interesting world, so I hope she does more.

    1. My copy of the next Murderbot is in the mail. Martha is an old friend, and a heck of a writer. I own and love all of her books – she always has such interesting characters. If you’re looking for something from her back catalog, try The Death of the Necromancer. It is set in an alternate world, similar to France in the late 1800s, but with magic.

  8. I am so pleased to have a new British mystery series and author to recommend: Judith Flanders, Sam Clair series. The first book is “Murder of Magpies.” It’s a contemporary series with a sleuth who is a book editor in London. Her writing makes me laugh out loud. Here’s a sample: “. . . He didn’t suffer fools gladly. Although who did? Were there fool sufferers who lined up, panicked there might not be enough fools to go around?” Mysteries set in England are my favorites. I highly recommend this series.

        1. I’ve read some of those. Was wondering if it was the same lady. Cool. Just started The Murder of Magpies and loving it so far.

        2. On your recommendation, I downloaded Murder of Magpie’s from the library.

          Thank you. A new author to me and she is so much fun.

  9. I’m reading non-fiction, Factfulness: 10 Reasons We’re Wrong About the World. It’s an eye-opener. Also the chapter about how human brains are wired for drama and story is relevant to writers. *g*

  10. I’m in the middle of This Is the story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Pratchett. A lovely collection of essays, many of which reflect on her life as a writer. Just fab so far:)

  11. This weekend I mowed through “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rios, absolutely loved it and am planning to re-read it very soon because I think I missed some stuff. Reading too fast, wanted to find out what happened.

  12. Sigh. I just inadvertently wiped out my comment. What I would give to have been born with co-ordination.

    My bursa in my heel still needs to heal itself so I spent a lot of time with my foot up and on ice this week and reading. And they were mostly very enjoyable.

    Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries #3. Martha Wells. It was really good. I found the voice of the murderbot more distinct and defined in this. I really am going to have to try some of her other works.

    Thief with No Shadow. Emily Gee. I don’t know if someone here recommended this or it was a library recommendation but if it was someone here, thank you. The characters were excellent and it had my full attention from the first. I found the plot pretty much predictable but it is YA so that is to be expected.

    The Blue Sword. Robin McKinley. Another YA and another book I cannot remember where the recommendation came from. Sort of a fantasy based on Colonial India. Light on the romance. The heroine, Harry was really believable. Another fun read.

  13. Still having a good time with “The Expanse” series by James Corey. I thought there were 3 books, but there are more. If they keep their quality, that’s a good thing! Mad because on impulse I bought an audio version of Heyer’s “Sylvester”, but it is abridged, and now I don’t even want to listen. Grrr. Always check!

    1. There are quite a few of The Expanse. I’ve been trying to pace myself on them. I think I’m through #5. There is also an excellent television series.

  14. I just re-read The Grand Sophy and also love those lines at the end. I think Charlsbury was wonderfully done, as was that whole scene-sequence at the end.

    I have weakness for The Black Sheep, which I also read this week. The hero isn’t particularly young or handsome or considered much of a catch, but I find him quite endearing and love his way of saying and doing what he wants, when he wants, without artifice.

    I’m currently re-reading Friday’s Child.

      1. It’s fun, too. I really like everybody in this one, even the annoying ones. And the end is a hoot.

  15. I flipped my way through My Lady’s Choosing, a choose your own adventure romance. It was fun and I was pleasantly surprised with the wide range of endings. I thought it was going to be suitor A, suitor B, or The Bad Ending, and it wasn’t…

    Spoiler below this point:

    My first ending( I checked out most of them) I left all the suitors behind, went to Egypt, became a lesbian and discovered a lost temple.

    My other favorite ending is where I went into business with a madame to start our own brothel, thus offering the villain of the piece a chance to pull himself out of debt and find his life’s calling, also spurning all traditional suitors and marriage.

    Like I said, I was impressed and it was fun.

  16. Murderbot #3. Yay!! ***** Tapping fingers for October now.
    Also I’ve been re-reading Donna Leon’s Brunetti mysteries. I love these for the feel of Venice, the descriptions of meals and Brunetti’s happy family life as least as much as for the mysteries. So bored with miserable detectives.
    I was a teenage Heyer addict – started with Arabella at 10 and read my favourites so many times by the time I was 20 that I feel little need to re=read them now even 40+ years later. However I do re-read my favourites every now and again and often it’s the supporting cast and the comedy that draw me back. She was so good at male friendships too. The Foundling is one of my favourites, though it’s not a romance as we would define one now but a great comic novel. I totally adore the backwards race. And the nemesis thread in Friday’s Child… I also vote for Frederica and Venetia as well as The Grand Sophy…

  17. Just finished Miami Days, Havana Nights by Linda Bennett Pennell. History/mystery/research. Love that kind of thing.
    On to Claire Davon’s first book, Shifting Auras.
    Did any of you ever read Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time? I remember finishing it and wanting to go collar a listener and scream, “Richard III was a wonderful man!”

    1. Several times. And I was just telling myself recently that I need to read it again very soon.

    2. Oh, yes, between Daughter of Time and Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour, I spent high school trying to convince everyone he’s been wrongly maligned.

  18. I’m having trouble really getting into anything right now. I’m trying to read some books, but I’m just not engaging with stuff. It’s not the books, it’s me.

    Meanwhile I know we’re supposed to leave positive feedback, but I’m alarmed at multiple reviews I read for Kristan Higgins’ Good Luck with That. It’s about women who struggle with their weight by absolutely hating themselves. Women with various different struggles with their weight/food/body image find this book incredibly toxic. I just wanted to give people a heads up, because I know chances are some here also has those issues.

    1. That’s good to know. Normally I’d pick up her books without a second thought, but treatments led to me gaining about 100 pounds that I struggle with accepting that they really will likely never leave me so I’ll skip that one. Bet Me is so much better for when I’m feeling awful about being the chubby one of my friends.

  19. Apparently all I have read the last week is Wintersmith and (almost) Making Money (Pratchett both of them). I thought I had read more, but…apparently not.

  20. This week, I’m reading “Rich People Programs” by Kevin Kwan. It’s #3 of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. This trilogy is good, soapy fun, which I’ve missed since All My Children was cancelled.

  21. I finished rereading They Found Him Dead, which is one of my favorite Heyer mysteries. I think I’ve reread them all now except Penhallow, which I disliked so much that I won’t try again.

    I’m out of town visiting friends and happened upon their copy of Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, so I settled down to a vacation reread. I had forgotten that many of the characters she introduces here keep reappearing, much older, in the Miles books.

    Also started Baby’s First Felony by John Straley, one of my favorite mystery authors. His style and his Alaska characters are a delight. This is the seventh in a series. The other six came out years ago.

    1. I read Penhallow a few weeks ago and won’t read again, but I thought Heyer did a really great job of showing just how devestating it could be to grow up thinking you were one thing and then suddenly finding out it was all false, as well as showing how taking an action to fix a problem can create far bigger problems. I don’t think anyone ended up happy in that story.

      1. Apparently Heyer had had problem with her publisher, and PENHALLOW was a deal-breaker. I don’t know any more about it than that.

        1. I haven’t read it, but what I read was she was trying new territory and it was a lot darker than her other books. It was published during WWII and therefore the darker tone was not what people were in the mood for. (WWII being dark enough.)

  22. I picked up another freebie for my Kindles from the Fussy Librarian. As soon as I finish a re-read of the “Wearing the Cape” series by Marion G. (for George) Harmon, my TBR list includes:

    Whiskey Rebellion: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 1) Liliana Hart

    Jildijard Gorg Huff

    From the Badlands Gorg Huff

    I’m Not A Villain! Mia Archer

    Cordelia Cooper: Born in Magic Paula Goodlett

    Anoria (A Family of Wizards Book 1) Paula Goodlett

    I’ve Seen You Naked and Didn’t Laugh: A Geeky Love Story Eden Butler

    Heroes & Villains: A Superhero Collection Trish Heinrich

  23. Long-time lurker… finally surfacing from a major reading slump with books to share.

    Reading a go-to author for me: Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick. Finished Promise Not to Tell over the weekend, and now reading The Other Lady Vanishes. Loving the 1930s California coastal setting in the latter.

  24. Took a comment from last week’s GB Thursday as spur to reread Tell Me Lies as a MacBeth Cross. Soon forgot that motive in the shock of discovering how much the book has changed for me. Read it on first pub. Loved the snark, which made it – I thought – frothy, also appreciated lead characters and the sense of friendship. This time around, the story diverted into a situation definitely darker than I remembered, clouded with melancholy, and the atmosphere threatened to the point we *need* a pastoral retreat to the farm. Two themes I hardly noticed – did I? – first time around: How accepted beliefs can be ripped away in a second, leaving those bereft to work their way to a new reality. How community can seem stifling until an overwhelming crisis allows for individuals to offer comfort, sweeping in fresher, scouring air and widening the horizon. Once I settled into this new atmosphere, I realized all the remembered fun is still present but the story totes a more serious weight.

    Thanks to another comment here, I’m about to read my first Joan Hess.

    “Here George” by Sandra Boynton and George Booth arrived! My husband, who brought in the mail, well, his head is still spinning.

    1. I recommended this to my sister years ago as a fun, light mystery. She then explained to me that this was good but not light. She particularly was upset about what Emily, the daughter, went through. Not having children, it did not affect me as deeply but she really was wrung out by Emily.

    2. Tell Me Lies was a bitch to write because it was so dark. I’d started it years earlier and just didn’t have the skill to write it. The real black hole was Emily. A little girl who loses the father she adored and who finds out everybody lied to her, yeah, that’s what every romantic comedy needs. Tore my hair out over that.

      1. I loved Emily and also her friendship with Mel — pretty darn accurate for their ages. And all Emily’s other relationships – especially her mother – seemed true. About a third of the way into Emily’s first scene, I thought, wow, good, works. Never stopped working. I thought you were at your best with Emily, her reactions, her relationships. And, yes, Puppy!

        1. I will have to reread Tell Me Lies. I have forgotten so much about the book, bits are coming back to me, but… Must re-read.

          I’m up in the Arctic renovating. I’m so tired at night I can’t even remember my name. Was Tell Me Lies the book with the woman washing her husband’s car and finds lacy underwear?

  25. I just finished “A Study in Honor: A Novel” by Clare O’Dell. It’s a retelling of Sherlock & Holmes where Sherlock and Holmes are black lesbian women. The story is set in the near future in our timeline. After the election of a Democratic woman as president, Kansas and Missouri have declared independence and are revolting against the USA. A few other states follow. Texas and Arizona are on the sidelines, offering underground support to the rebellious states.

    That’s the war from which Holmes has retired to a civilian life where she meets Sherlock. I really liked it; however, if you like Trump or Paul Ryan, this book may not be for you since these people are named and insulted in the story.

  26. Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors right up there with Terry Pratchett. It got me thinking about the paperback copies I have of her books in the bookcase in my bedroom. Most of the paperbacks are from when I was in high school and junior college in the mid-1970s. Some are falling apart as you can imagine. I thought I had about 10 or 15 of her books but I wasn’t sure so I went and counted them. I have 30 paperbacks and four hard bound copies. I had no idea I had so many of her books and almost all of them are the romances. Time for a reread!

  27. I always read a chapter or two of whatever book I’m reading before turning off the light. At the moment I’m deep into edits and have learned over the years not to crack open a new to my novel. Who needs to stay up half the night reading something captivating when they know they have work to do ? So how do I solve the problem of reading, but not too much? I read something familiar, something I love, something that leaves me feeling satisfied. I’m currently reading the Jenny Crusie collection. Bet Me will be up soon. My all time favorite.

    1. If I’m up in the middle of the night and my ativan isn’t kicking in to help slow my anxious worrying, I’ll pick up a favorite Crusie and reread my favorite pieces to remind me of good, strong characters and happy endings. Which one I pick up varies depending on my mood and what’s bothering me the most but Crazy for You and Bet Me are probably the two I return to the most. They calm me down and make me smile because they remind me that metaphorical dragons (Quinn’s crazy original boyfriend and her awful principal, Min’s mother and ex, plus her self-esteem issues) can be conquered.

  28. I still remember the first time I read These Old Shades by Heyer. I’d never heard of the expression ‘shades’ so I had no idea to what the title alluded. I also fell in love with villainous heroes/anti-heroes. Devil’s Cub was quite racy where she needs to shoot the hero to save herself. I also liked the set up of April Lady that’s about a rocky marriage.

    I just reread Loretta Chase’s Your Scandalous Ways. Heyer-esque, with a charming hero and a divorced woman turned courtesan. Layered with humorous womanly wisdom.

    I’m enjoying my warm, flow days of reading, a little gardening, and just doing stuff. Then more reading.

  29. I read Competence by Gail Carriger, which was fun, albeit pretty late in a series so not really one to just jump in on.

    Am now reading Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. I like the superhero/friends plot but am not really feeling the romance, mostly because the guy doesn’t seem to have much personality.

    1. I LOVED Competence!!! It might be my favorite in The Custard Protocol, as much as I loved Rue’s books. There was something extra delightful about seeing the twins’ mindsets and POV.

  30. I’ve just finished ‘Mennonite in a little black dress’, which was hilarious. Also an old book of CJ Cherryh’s – ‘The Paladin’. I’m a big fan of Cherryh – her books are slow moving but they are also intensely engaging. I read this one on a plane, and it kept me happy, though I’ve seen criticism of it on the grounds that the pov character, a veteran swordmaster in exile, thinks several times that he should rape the girl who comes to him begging for sword training.

    Any sort of rape usually turns me right off a book, but this didn’t. Partly because it felt to me as if he was trying to persuade himself that it was a good idea, while knowing that it wasn’t. But mainly because he ACTED with complete honour all the way through, and I never felt as if the young woman was in any danger from him. They did end up in bed together, but only when she asked him freely.

    Now I’m reading the new Karin Slaughter, ‘Pieces of Her’.

    1. The Paladin is the C.J. Cherryh I have reread the most. She writes in several different styles, and some of the are quite slow, though those seem to win most of the awards they aren’t my favorites. For lightning fast page turners by her I recommend Merchanter’s Luck, The Pride of Chanur and Cuckoo’s Egg.

  31. I just finished The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – so much love! While there isn’t a conventional romance in it, there is so much love and affection between the characters, and so many competent women. Definitely a comfort read.

    I’m now reading Karen Chance’s long-awaited next installment on Dory’s story – Shadow’s Bane. As usual, it’s a fast-paced romp, but last night I suddenly realised how much work she’d done to make trolls one of the good guys.

    1. I loved “Shadow’s Bane” as well. I don’t think it is a good entry to the series but deeply satisfying if you are familiar with it. So glad to see Dory & Dorian connecting and Dory be willing to be happy. Nothing but good times ahead!

    2. I loved The Long Way…! I’m currently working on a Closed and Common Orbit. I’m liking it, but I feel like it’s moving more slowly or it’s less comedic (or I’m just in a crabbier mood) so it’s taking longer because it’s not holding my attention for hours at a time.

  32. I also tremendously enjoyed the new Murderbot story, Rogue Protocol. And I just finished Rhys Bowen’s latest Her Royal Spyness mystery, 4 Funerals and Maybe a Wedding. Not the best of the series but still very good.

  33. A while back somebody (I don’t remember who, sorry!) asked about stories with Latina heroines, and I have recently read two that I don’t think were mentioned at the time. Grin And Beard It, by Penny Reid, and #TheRealCinderella, by Yesenia Vargas.

    The first is part of a spin off series from Penny Reid’s Knitting In The City books, which I mostly really enjoyed, and it’s very funny. Both lead characters have issues to work through, but the contrast between their public and private personas doesn’t feel forced or emo and the conflict is believable.

    The second feels like a mashup of several YA books/movies but the heroine is half Puerto Rican and there are at least two more Latina characters who will get their own books in the series. It’s not deep, but it is sweet, and the female friendships are a highlight.

    1. Not a romance, but I have always loved The House on Mango Street. It’s just beautiful and funny and touching and wonderful.

  34. I reread Fast Women this week. 🙂

    Working on rereading Pratchett’s Susan Sto Helit books.

    I have book 5 of the Percy JAckson for the weekend and my daughter passed on a book called “Fourteen Goldfish”, I think. That is also up for this weekend.

    And it’s the Perseid meteor show this weekend. Go outside and look up, if you can! Sunday night is supposed to be the best showing.

  35. I finished Paul Doiron’s Stay Hidden, his latest Mike Bowditch Maine game warden mystery, and really enjoyed it.

    I’ve also been listening to Juliet Blackwell’s Haunted Home Renovation series of cosy mysteries set in the San Francisco area. They are really fun but I don’t like the love interest. His ego is a little too fragile and he’s rather a bit to bossy for my taste.

    1. I’m a fan of Juliet Blackwell, also. I think you’ll like the last two books of this series.

  36. Still listening to The Nix, but only when I’m driving somewhere – and as I’m trying hard not to go anywhere – I’m not getting through it very fast. I have a feeling I’m not going to like the ending, but we’ll see.

    The only other time I listen is when I go to bed. I put on a Peter Grant with the timer set to 30 minutes and I’m asleep before it goes off most of the time. I’m in love with Kobna Holbrook Smith’s voice.

  37. I’m working my way through SEP’s Wynette, Texas books. My favorite of the bunch is Call Me Irresistible and the one I originally wanted to re-read. But instead, I’m dragging out the anticipation by doing all of them all over again.

    1. My ONLY complaint about Call Me Irresistible is that I feel like Meg should have received more apologies and sucking up and “pound of flesh.” Not from Ted, who I actually find quite sympathetic, but from everybody else who treated her like such shit, especially her friends and family. Almost every single person in this book owes her an apology, and most of them shrug it off, which drives me insane. I get that Meg likely doesn’t want the apology, but dammit I want it for her. That’s the only thing I would have liked to see—a little bit more, “sorry we were so terrible to you.”

  38. I just read Jake Tapper’s The Hellfire Club. While it’s laden with intriguing American political history that this Canadian finds fascinating and timely, I found it plodded and then tied everything up at the end a little too tidily.

  39. I’m reading Beating Ruby by Camilla Monk, book 2 in the Spotless series. I’m loving this series so far! Not, strictly speaking, a romance (the couple isn’t a couple until a few books in, I understand), but a suspense-thriller/rom-com romp. I love the voice of the 1st person narrator, a mid-20s software engineer named Island (for reasons that are never shared). These are exactly the lighter, action-packed, fun stories I need right now.

  40. I’ve been rereading Pratchett and Heyer.

    Heyer over the years: When I was in my teens, I loved These Old Shades and Devil’s Cub most. Then there was a stretch of years when Black Sheep was my favorite. Points here and there, stories like The Masqueraders, Arabella, and Sylvester topped my list.

    In the past decade, I mostly reread The Quiet Gentleman, Sprig Muslin, The Talisman Ring, and The Reluctant Widow. I like situations in which a competent woman is recognized as surprisingly intriguing by a smart guy. (Okay, that happens a lot in Georgette Heyer novels.)

  41. I’ve been on a Veronica Mars re-watching binge (although I refuse to touch season three – I’m not going through that again). I’d never read the two novels that came out after the movie was released before, but I’ve just gone through them like popcorn this week. They were exactly what I needed.

    And now I’m skim-reading the Sebastian St Cyr books by C.S. Harris, because I’m in the mood for the Sebastian and Hero interactions.

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