This is a Good Book Thursday, April 18, 2019

I think my reading mojo is off. I seem to be obsessively re-reading instead of looking at the new books I have. Comfort reading, even though the days here are now beautiful and sunny, and taxes are over, and there’s nothing stressful on the horizon except finishing my damn book. And yet . . .

What did read this week that was comforting? Or interesting? Or exciting? Or just plain good?

68 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, April 18, 2019

  1. I finally read ‘Any Old Diamonds’ by K. J. Charles, and did enjoy it – although it took me a while to really warm to the characters. It was definitely worth rereading the Sins of the City trilogy first: I wouldn’t have picked up on the deep background which added a layer of fun.

    Those stories are told from the p.o.v. of both main characters, whereas ‘Any Old Diamonds’ just focuses on one. This makes the twisty plot more mysterious, but I think distanced me rather. So good, but not my favourite of hers.

    9+
  2. Read Dreaming Spies by Laurie King, and re-read Behold, Here’s Poison. I needed a bit of Randall-the-amiable-snake this week.

    11+
  3. Using Kindle Unlimited for some regency oldies by Joan Aiken and Alice Chetwynd Ley. I also read The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau, which I’m afraid didn’t float my boat – there was quite a bit of info-dump at the start.

    9+
  4. I read Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad and it was amazing. Still reading my way through Invisible Library series, on book 4 The Mortal Word. (Where has the Invisible Library been all my life?) Next read will be Fire Season by Stephen Blackmoore. Need to finish The Body Keeps the Score, there is a lot of good stuff in there.

    8+
    1. Oh! I didn’t know there was more in the Invisible Library series, thank you!

      But I cannot remember if I read the third book or not, so I am off to check my library.

      8+
  5. I ordered “Burnout” based on conversation here. It came over the weekend, and I started it last night. Pretty good so far – and I think my husband wants to read it too.

    Otherwise, I’m working on Book 6 of the Expanse. There are characters that I love, others I despise, and it is action packed. I do recommend the series, if you’re into space opera.

    8+
    1. I also started “Burnout” after it’s being recommended. And after just finishing “The Geek Feminist Revolution” which was alos recommended here.

      I’m finding both illuminating-tories over data.

      For some reason I’m reading non-fiction instead of new fiction or comfort fiction. I wonder why.

      10+
    1. I really enjoyed that one! I’d been on a bit of a historical novel binge and that was one of my faves.

      7+
      1. I recommend this to my book club bases on reviews. I’m always a little leery to see if the others like my choices, so am glad to see you have enjoyed it.

        5+
  6. I have Burnout which I am hoping to read on the journey home. (3 flights out of the arctic) That’s if I don’t sleep through each flight. I think I am burnt out. Frazzled, for sure.

    8+
      1. We own a duplex in a small community in the Northwest Territories. Renovated both sides for health care workers. This trip was to clean up and furnish one side. Unfortunately it was quite the party place. The carpets tell the story. I think they drank some kind of drink made with Kool-aid. Those stains are never coming out. Back to wood laminate.

        Gas is 1.97 for a litre. Once bought an apple for 4.50. Very expensive. The sun is goes down at 11 pm now.

        4+
  7. I’m comfort reading too. It’s not warm here today, it’s cold and rainy. But the real reason I’m sad is that my oldest dog, Zoe, is very unwell. I woke up to a kitchen filled with vomit and pee. She peed on the floor right in front of me, which speaks volumes.

    I made an appointment for the Vet but when the time came to leave I couldn’t find her. An hour of searching and I had given up when I looked out the kitchen window to see her trapped in the lilac bushes. Rescheduled the appointment and now I’m pretending to work while waiting to leave. She is very old for a medium-sized dog and I”m bracing myself for the worst.

    25+
    1. I am so sorry. It is so hard to deal with a pet’s illness. They keep hoping you will make them feel better because you are god and can do everything. And there are some things you can’t fix for them.

      10+
    2. If it helps, waiting too long to end things is not good for Zoe; you don’t want her miserable at the end. I waited too long with Wolfie and I still feel guilty about it. You’ll do the right thing.

      13+
      1. When it comes to the fur-children, I’ve always waited too long but I never seem to grasp that until after the decision is made and it’s done.

        5+
    3. I am so sorry she’s not doing well. I hope the vet can help her feel better and that she has a few good years left.

      4+
    4. It’s most likely pancreatic cancer. I brought her home (drugged up with pain meds) to say goodbye to my ex and the one child who couldn’t bear not saying goodbye. We go in at 8 in the morning to end her pain.

      It’s the right thing to do, but I still can’t stop crying.

      26+
      1. I still cry over Lyle, but he was only three when he died. Wolfie was sixteen; that’s a pretty good run for a dachshund. Sweet old baby.

        Milton’s ears are gray and he has a heart murmur, We do a lot of cuddling.

        14+
      2. I’m so sorry.

        It sucks that doing the right thing is not the same as doing the fun thing. It is the kind loving thing but anticipating empty arms doesn’t help.

        2+
      3. I’m so sorry to hear this. Doing the right — and kind — thing is hard. Cry — you’ve earned your tears. Take comfort in knowing Zoe will no longer be in pain. Hugs.

        0
  8. I read Dark Matter by Black Crouch (about multi-verses), thinking it was good sci fi but it turned into fantasy and I’m not a fan of that kind of fantasy. It reminded me of how some Stephen King novels end–a bit on the random side that leads you feeling a bit less than fulfilled. So that led me to comfort read some romance novels. They never let me down. :o)

    8+
  9. Okay, that picture at the top of the page.

    How many times have I read about someone in an old book curling up in a cosy chair with a good mystery and a Box of Chocolates. Yes, a whole box! Oh, I so fantasize about that.

    Occasionally I make do with a few Lindts. And then a few more.

    (I usually take off my silk stockings first.)

    19+
    1. I, too, honed in on those chocolates while giving myself a limit of 5 black jelly beans a day until the bag is gone, ok ten but that was when I forgot a day.

      A portion of Longfellow’s poem reads On the eighteenth of April of 75, hardly a man is now alive — and so begins today with the Mueller Report.

      6+
  10. Last week’s book “The Glitter and The Gold” by Cornelia Vanderbilt Balsan is barely worth reading. Most of her book she talks about how she came to be active in politic and charity without going into any details that would raise it above the mundane. I have read quite a bit of Edwardian biography and based on this you would miss most of the social underpinnings.

    This week I am reading Bill Bryson’s “The Road to Little Dribbing”. His writing is so much fun – a little curmudgeonly, but fun.

    9+
    1. Mary Jo Putney wrote a novella that was inspired by “The Glitter and the Gold”. It was much more interesting than the original. If you like this trope, I suggest you try MJP’s The Wedding of the Century. It’s currently available in a two-book anthology called Weddings of the Century.

      1+
  11. I’m going back and reading Barbara O’Neal’s The All You Can Dream Buffet, because I somehow missed reading it when it came out (yay Cymbalta) and all of her books are auto-buys for me. I’ve never read it before but it’s already a comfort read for me – delicious and inspiring and relaxing.

    7+
  12. I was just trying to download the latest from R.J. Blain, no luck it doesn’t come out until *next* Tuesday, when I noticed The Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) Starter Pack is only $9.99. Since it contains the first 4 novels and 3 novellas in this series, which I paid almost $50 for buying separately, it’s well worth it (My wife loved them too).

    Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Magical-Romantic-Comedy-count-Starter-ebook/dp/B07PPB56NK/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=r.j.+blain&qid=1555610117&s=digital-text&sr=1-3

    It’s also available via iTunes/iBooks, etc.

    I also recommend her other series of fantasy romances, that take place in the Royal States of America, written under the name Susan Copperfield. It starts with Null and Void.

    I also read the latest Violet Carlyle book from Beth Byers. She’s been putting one out every six weeks or so, yet I’m not seeing any drop-off in quality. Murder at the Ladies Club is just as fun and engaging as the previous ones.

    I had previously recommended the first book in her new series, Death by the Book, which several people pointed out sounded a lot like Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson, although that one wasn’t a murder mystery. Well, after reading Miss Buncle’s Book it’s quite clear, very early on, that it’s because Death by the Book is an homage to Miss Buncle’s Book. The characters are tweaked slightly, and there’s a murder mystery added, but I think it’s a very well done homage overall, and quite fun on it’s own.

    6+
    1. re: Beth Byers. Yes, I see the Amazon entry for Death by the Book now has an introductory note “Inspired by classic fiction and Miss Buncle’s Book…” But that line was NOT there last week when I first looked the book up after your, and other Arghers, notes in Good Book Thursday. Maybe I’m just feeling jaded, but if you are going to wiggle through a kinda, sorta apology for “borrowing” someone else’s work, you should at least give the original creator’s name.

      3+
  13. Read two new books in the past week: Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth and D.E. Stevenson’s Miss Buncle’s Book. The first one was OK, a bare-boned adventure with hippos and lots of corpses, but not much in the way of characters. The second one was a pure delight. Loved it. I’ve never read this author before, and now I look forward to reading more of her books. Whoever recommended it here (and it was here a few weeks ago) – thank you so much!
    Now, I’m half-way through Wild Country by Anne Bishop. So far, not bad, although I’m not liking it as much as the previous books in the series.

    6+
    1. Wild Country got better in the second half as I recall. Otherwise yeah, I felt the same.

      I’m rereading the Kate Daniels even though I just finished the series a couple months ago. So yeah, a rereading binge for some reason. But also reading Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire which I’m enjoying so far — sf somewhat like Ann Leckie and Martha Wells (Murderbot).

      5+
    2. I really love DE Stevenson. Technically there are four Miss Buncle books, but really only the first two are about Barbara, in the third she is a minor character and I think she might get mentioned in the fourth. Just so you are aware. Of her (many) other titles, a fair number (and I think the entirety of the Mrs Tim series – which are all about Mrs Tim) are set in Scotland.

      3+
  14. In the “new” category, I’m still reading Allegro Court. It’s on Joe (my Kindle Fire) and I can’t read it on any other device, so it got relegated to being my “bathroom book.”

    On the laptop and at work (because it’s on one of my thumb drives) I’ve been re-reading Harmon’s Wearing the Cape series. Again. Because I keep finding gems and jewels, like in a Crusie book. Example: “My stomach joined my heart’s quest for a lower elevation and I leaned forward to rest my head on my knees, so tired I could cry.”

    All my other reading is pill bottle labels. “Take 1 tablet by mouth twice daily.” “Take 1 tablet by mouth daily at bedtime.” Of course I’m going to take them by mouth! None of them are suppositories or lotions.

    7+
  15. I reread Fast Women. I loved it again! It was so great. I loved how tight the plot was, and the twists and turns and the characters!
    I noticed how the Astrology was a motif and wondered if anyone here really believes in it or is it just a hobby?

    1+
  16. I just finished Cici and The Curator by Sarah Wynde. Charming, unexpected ending. Very unusual and I loved it.
    Also finished The Cliff House by Raeanne Thayne this week. My review of that is on my blog. And I have a copy to give away

    8+
  17. My favorite book this month is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. It’s non-fiction about a therapist who has a bad break-up and goes into therapy herself. She weaves in true stories of her patients. Sad and hilarious.

    4+
  18. I read Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower. It is told by a god who alternates between talking to one particular person and telling her own history. Like her ancillary books there is a lot to think about packed into the story.

    6+
  19. For anyone who likes realistic YA, I recommend The Boy Most Likely To, by Huntley Fitzpatrick. The story is told in alternating chapters by 17-year-old Tim and 19-year-old Alice, but first person doesn’t bother me.

    Tim is a recovering alcoholic, struggling to stay sober after his father kicks him out of his home. When a girl from his past shows up with a baby, his life gets even tougher. Fortunately for him, his best friend’s family is very supportive, especially “hot” Alice. Alice is dealing with her own family’s issues as she works toward her nursing degree.

    The Boy Most Likely To delves a bit deeper than most YA into how to do the right thing, even when it’s hard.

    3+
  20. I started Trade Me by Courtney Milan. I haven’t read a romance with protagonists this young in ages. I’m not in a rush to finish it though. Partly due to a week of migraines so mostly watched mysteries on Netflix.

    3+
  21. I read Anne Bishop’s Wild Country, which I enjoyed a lot. I see what people mean about the ending that comes very soon after the climax, but it didn’t worry me. So nice to be back in this world!

    I also read Dorothy Cannell’s Death at Dovecote Hatch, a follow-on from Murder at Mullings. It’s hard to believe that these were written this century–they’ve got such an old-fashioned feel about them, and they describe small town life so beautifully. I would definitely describe them as cosies, but very enjoyable ones.

    1+
  22. After seeing it in the comments last week I am 3/4s of the way through book 3 of the Others series by Anne Bishop, really enjoying it. Loving being able to just check the comments for some good book recommendations.

    0
  23. I’ve been obsessively re-reading the Louise Penny books despite a to-be-read pile that needs a room of it’s own.

    Perhaps next week will be different.

    1+
  24. I got barred from my library till I pay the fine from forgetting to return my last couple of paper books. Oops. Most of my reading is from the library, online, so that’s put a dampener on it. I’ll get in there tomorrow to pay. In the meantime, I’m working through Harari’s Sapiens and loving it. It’s a history of humankind and I’m up to the start of the agriculture.

    3+
    1. My library has just removed the system of fines altogether, on the grounds that it puts people off. It’ll be interesting to see how it works out.

      3+
  25. This is funny – I am rereading Jennifer Crusie (Wild Ride, Agnes and the Hit Man, Bet Me, Crazy for You and anything else I have on my kindle) which is what brought me to this blog. I am writing again, and want to try romance as a change from mystery, and no one does romance quite like Jenny.

    I want to write with older characters. I have met some sassy seniors lately and 50 is still sexy. Any suggestions on good reads with mature (I hate that term!) heroines?

    2+
    1. I’m at that age where I’m finding that I’m older than “older” characters. (I’m older than Elizabeth Bennet’s mother, for goodness sake! That was an unsettling day when I figured that out, I can tell you.)

      Lois McMaster Bujold wrote Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen about her heroine at 70, embarking on a new phase of her life (she’s Betan, so her 70 is like our 50; she can expect at least 30 or 40 more years).

      I think most of the older, sassy women I read about are in biographies and autobiographies. Mae West, that sort of thing. Often, I have to cobble their stories together in my head from Wikipedia, Wikimedia and then other assorted internet sources. Too many cool, creative women seem to have just chucked the public parts of their careers in their 50s. I’m thinking of people like Clara Driscoll, who had a big hand in designing Tiffany’s famous lamps.

      Other women just found a literal beard — some guy who suddenly had a creative burst when he married his muse, and then drifted off into obscurity when she died before him.

      1+

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