This is a Good Book Thursday, May 23, 2019

I read a new book this week, but it did not enthrall, so I went back to some old stuff, more Michael Gilbert and Wodehouse’s Leave It To Psmith because sometimes you just need farce.  I kept getting visual migraines, which are not headaches but these weird zigzag patterns in my vision, and that made it hard to read, too.  I know: audio books.  But I hate being read to.   Still Psmith was a great comfort to everyone except Baxter, who deserves whatever he gets, including a flower pot to the head.

What did you read this week?

86 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, May 23, 2019

  1. Finished Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and thoroughly enjoyed it. It took a bit of time to adapt to the shifting viewpoints (they’re all clearly labelled, it was just me being slow) but it was just what I needed. Except now I have to wait for the next book in the series.

    4+
    1. I just found out that book came out so I need to get it. I may lean toward buying it in print rather than e-book because I don’t know if they are going multimedia on this series.

      I wanted to talk about the first few pages of that book here today, actually (I got the e-book sample): It starts out with an “exciting” beginning” for 2 pages, then goes,

      “Let’s back it up a little. About four hours, to be exact. I know they say to start your story at the exciting bit, but you need to know what’s going on here so you can actually care about me getting vaporized.”

      I normally haaaaaaaaaate prologues, especially Action Prologues, but that was seriously great to just cut that shit short.

      5+
  2. I’m reading A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn. I’m about half-way through, but still haven’t connected with it. I’ll read a couple of pages and then put it down. I feel like the main character, Veronica, is oddly disassociated from the events that, presumably, revolve around her. She’s just reacting to things in an intensely analytical way without any emotional connection or response at all. I’m all for strong, smart women, but this seems a bit much. I’m going to try to finish it, in hopes that it will pick up.

    4+
  3. Last week I read Lotharingia (thanks for the recommendation!), How Long ‘Til Black Future Month, and The Bride Test. I liked them all but they were very different. Lotharingia was history but very influenced by the author’s personal reactions to places and events. Black Future Month is still haunting me—some of the characters so vivid and their situations so dire. The Bride Test was the lightest of the three but still had a sympathetically drawn autistic character and an immigrant whose journey was partly inspired by the author’s mother’s own experiences. It was a good week of reading.

    5+
  4. I’m sorry you are dealing with those migraines so frequently, Jenny! I get them about once a year and that is miserable enough for me! :{

    I stumbled on Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman this week and really enjoyed it. 5/5. It was funny, real and insightful. I appreciated the positive interactions the main character had with her kids too.

    I went back to the library and got Other People’s Houses by the same. Didn’t like it as well. 4/5. More drama with the kids (this is something I can only handle in small doses) and there was a lot more head jumping – like a paragraph thrown in whenever the author wanted us to know something about a character but didn’t want to invest more time in relating it than that…. but still worth reading. She has three books total so I will check out the last one soon.

    In the pre-teen/YA arena, I’ve been reading Grace Lin’s “Year Of” series and am trying to finish Dumpling Days. I’m struggling because every time I read it, I get hungry (SO much food in that book, as hinted at by the title). I should just push through and finish it in one binge read rather than reading some every few days. I definitely recommend the series though – autobiographical fiction with drawings throughout.

    5+
    1. The thing about the visual (“aural”) migraines is that there is no pain, just bizarre jagged flashing lights which in most cases (and in mine) start in the middle of your field of vision, gradually expand until the just disappear. Takes 5-10 minutes. No pain. Your vision is somewhat obscured, particularly at onset. I generally feel sort of wrung out for bit afterwards.

      I didn’t understand for many years that they are, in fact, migraines, because people always associate migraines with pain.

      For those of you who’ve never experienced (or heard of) them, there are some videos on YouTube that give you an idea of what they’re like, if anyone is interested.

      8+
      1. I thought I was losing my mind when I first started getting them. These big black and white zigzags across my vision. They were especially fun when the labyrinthitis hit. But no pain at all, just the idea that my brain was suddenly getting interference from somewhere, like really exciting static on a TV screen. I decided it was probably Cthulhu since everything else had already attacked me.

        15+
        1. My optical migraines were in the center of my vision and were fragmented like a bee’s eyes. Does that make sense? 🙂 Also, I’ve never read Wodehouse. Should I start with any particular book?

          3+
          1. No optical migraine makes sense. What the hell, eyes? It’s like Peter Max took over my vision.

            Wodehouse is farce, so you have to go in with the idea that the whole thing is going to be absurd.
            The most famous are probably the Wooster and Jeeves books: Bertie Wooster is a Young Man About Town (think early twentieth century, what ho!) who has the brains of a cuttlefish but fortunately also has a butler named Jeeves who is brilliant and devious. Laurie and Fry played them in the TV series.

            I like Psmith (the P is silent) because he’s so cheerfully amoral and optimistic. Leave it Psmith is nominally about Psmith meeting and wooing an equally smart young woman named Eve but there is also an immensely valuable diamond necklace that needs to be stolen, a lavish country house with many slamming doors, thrown flower pots, and that wart Baxter.

            Anything with Uncle Fred is also good and Blandings Castle is always good for a snort. There’s one about stealing a pig there that’s a gem. Pig-Hooey maybe?

            There are many, many Wodehouse books, and they have at least half a dozen snortable moments; one of my favorites will always be the nefarious Baxter trying to sneak up on our heroine and falling down the stairs, hitting only the third and the tenth step. Anything bad happening to Baxter makes me chortle.

            5+
          2. Thanks Jenny. I read a Jeeves story once and wasn’t impressed. I’ll try the Psmith ones.

            3+
          3. The PSmith Series was really cheap, as I remember, but it’s mostly about PSmith as a schoolboy. Still funny, but Leave It To Psmith is just gold, if only for the most insane plotting I’ve ever read.

            3+
        2. I’ve had those visual migraines for years and, when they first started, I was afraid I was going blind or something. Now I just set the timer for 30 minutes and find something to do that doesn’t require being able to read or see details.

          As for reading this week, I’m still re-reading my way through Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. I’m not sure whether it’s the stories, the sense of community, or the fact that the main character is close to my age, but these stories have really clicked for me.

          Next up is Orlando by Virginia Woolf – checked out from the library because it was referenced in another book I read and I was curious.

          2+
          1. I could not figure out what was going at first, and then I googled. I thought I was hallucinating. Plus it came right before the labyrinthitis when the room would literally turn upside down in my vision, like a photo posted badly to Instagram.

            3+
        1. Luckily, I’ve only ever had the visual ones… would be a double whammy to end up with both.

          3+
  5. Yes, Leave it to Psmith. Probably my absolute favourite Wodehouse. And while The Efficient Baxter is indeed annoying, I love him as a character.

    Just finished Maeve’s Times. A collection of absolutely lovely Irish Times article by the absolutely lovely Maeve Binchy, from 1964 to 2010. What joy. Found at a library sale

    8+
      1. Lol. I never liked people saying, “Absolutely!” in place of “yes” and I’ve found myself doing it recently. It must’ve been something I read.

        3+
  6. I’ve been reading Harry Potter (for the first time!!) during the day, some Jayne Ann Krentz in the evening, and more JAK on audiobook. The HP is in hardback, and the JAK in the evening is ebook. I don’t usually have so much going on, but I really want to read the HP, so I do that during the day and in the evening while watching (or half-watching) TV, and then if insomnia attacks, I’ll read the ebook while trying to go back to sleep. Then while driving or active, I’ll switch to the audiobook.

    But I’m really enjoying HP. My daughter has loved it for years, but I never took the time to read along. She’s THRILLED I reading it.

    13+
  7. Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews, this has the potential to become a series. I’ve been a fan of Mary Kay Andrews since her Savannah Blues series with Weezie and Bebe. And then I discovered her Callahan Garrity series written as Kathy Hogan Trochek and that is what this story reminds me of. Two stories intertwine in this book the first being about a grandmother trying to raise her granddaughter after her mother is murdered at her workplace. The second is evolves in chapters that have Drue’s father then a policeman now a lawyer (Brice) and his investigator (Zee) a former detective. Drue has found in the attic of the house she has inherited from her late mother clippings of an unsolved murder decades ago, also a binder from the police department that had gone missing. Because she is bored at her job (at the law office of her father) Drue takes matters in her own hands and goes into investigator mode to solve the crimes.

    Monday with the help of Argh people I got answers to my question of Social Security survivor benefits and checking the link provided by Gin I also read through some of the questions people ask and it seems some are not aware of the benefit. Thank you all.

    8+
  8. My cup runneth over. I am a little over half-way through the new Patricia Briggs book and enjoying it, started the Bride Test and liking that one as well. Forthright had new release. I am saving that for when I need comfort. And I am finally reading Nalini Singh’s latest guild hunter book. After a long dry spell it feels like an embarrassment of riches.

    Does anyone happen to have a recommendation for a good cookbook of Instant Pot recipes? More on the healthy side of things preferably. Thanks!

    3+
    1. I like the Melissa Clark Instant Pot cookbook and also the Urvashi Pitre Keto instant pot one. If you use the NYT cooking site, there are many commenters who offer instant pot conversion guidance also.

      3+
      1. Get the instant Pot, which is a modern electric pressure cooker, but it is so much easier to use as it has different presets for different things. I use it constantly and when I just got my last blood work back it was wonderfully normal. Soups, chicken, cornbread, cheesecakes. Easy to clean and safe to use.

        4+
      2. Instant pot programmability makes it really easy to use at altitude, for varying portion sizes/quantities and by the disabled. I can confirm all of that personally. Also, communities of users mean many helpful resources if you have questions and device can also be used to make rice, yogurt and as slow cooker. It’s not perfect but it is super handy and makes life much easier at least for me.

        5+
      3. Instant Pot, while it is MAINLY used as a pressure cooker, also has other settings which let you cook other things. Every IP cookbook I’ve seen focuses almost exclusively on pressure recipes, but it “combines the power of 9 machines in one being a Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Warmer, Steamer, and Sterilizer.” This expands the types of recipes you can use it for.

        5+
      4. My favorite difference between a stovetop pressure cooker and an instant pot is that slightly-smart pressure cookers, like the I.P., *won’t explode if you forget them*. You set them and walk away and when they’re done cooking they let the temperature drop to 170F — that’s very safe food-holding temperature — and just wait for you.

        I think of mine as the Helpful pot rather than the Instant one.

        7+
    2. I just bought the “Lose Weight With Your Insta Pot” cookbook Costco had on the last trip through; good recipes, nothing so insanely complicated that I know I’ll never do it.

      3+
  9. I haven’t had much reading time, but I did start Lori Gottlieb’s “Maybe You Should Talk To Someone,” about being a therapist (and how she became one) and handling her patients, and how she decided to go to therapy herself when her boyfriend of 2 years decided to dump her because he decided he didn’t like her 8-year-old son. (Grrr!) So far it’s very good.

    3+
    1. I heard Lori Gottlieb’s interview with, I think, Terry Gross (NPR), a little while ago. She sounded grounded and fun and funny – and humble. Thank you for the reminder to read the book.

      2+
  10. Finished book 2 of the Steeplejack series by A.J. Hartley. Really hoping that Dahria gets an honest chance with Ang. Starting the third book today.

    3+
  11. I read Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief, which was ok. But then I read her memoir Blame It on Paris, where she describes her meeting her French husband and their subsequent marriage(s). Her writing style for the memoir is so different from her romances–humorous, ironic–I much preferred it. She goes to France to study but does not have the infatuation with Paris that you typically expect. However, she does develop a crush on a French waiter, and keeps dragging her friends to the restaurant until they refuse to go unless she asks him out. Much of the humor comes from the clash between their American and French cultures. When preparing for the wedding reception in France, the family quickly fill up the refrigerator. Laura makes a salad with mayonnaise and is horrified when told to put it in the room next to the kitchen, where it will sit for 24 hours. But when she carries a salad with oil and lemon to the next room, her mother-in-law is shocked–it must go in the refrigerator to preserve the taste of the lemon! This is a fun book, with beautiful descriptions of Paris, which Laura learns to love.

    7+
  12. I read ALL all four of the Ars Numina books by Ann Aguirre. There’s more to come in the series but I really admire how well they standalone! Book 2 with the Prince and the Doctor made me laugh frequently.

    5+
  13. I love Psmith. I enjoy Wodehouse overall but Psmith is my favorite.

    I have been reading Ruthanna Emrys – Winters Tide and Deep Roots – which is lovecraftian alternative history (?) – and I haven’t read lovecraft so I’m pretty addled on the underpinnings but the explaining is very very well done and subtle and I’m beguiled by the writing which is so lovely and so focused on community and how it is defined and created and destroyed. Anyway they are unexpectedly great.

    4+
  14. I discovered Karen Charlton has 2 more books in her Detective Lavender series – Plague Pits and River Bones #4 and Murder in Park Lane #5.

    I started Death on the Nile last night, mostly because I needed something easy to put down as my 3rd grader son wanted me present while he wrote his paragraphs on elephants for a project. His project has to be written in German so I was there for moral support and my phone to translate a word here and there.

    4+
  15. Kill All Happies, a YA with a great cast of characters that really feels like a community. It’s beyond speedy almost to manic in pace at first, which almost put me off, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

    4+
  16. I’ve been pretty stressed, so I’ve gone back to my old reliable cure: you may have heard of her? Jennifer Crusie??

    Cuddling up with The Cinderella Deal at the moment. 😆

    20+
    1. My dad is slowly fading, so I need comfort reads too. I’m alternating between Jennie and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. So fun and comforting to read my all time favorites again.

      11+
      1. I am sorry Stephanie about your dad. That is a really hard thing to live through. Hugs.

        4+
      2. I’m sorry about your dad, Stephanie, that must be so hard. I’m glad Susan and I can help a little, but know that I’m thinking of you, too.

        3+
  17. My mom got optical migraines all her life and called them “the jigglies.” I started getting them for the first time last year; mine tend to look like beautiful, gloing Aztec rugs (!) but it does make reading difficult.

    Anyway, I tried reading A Discovery of Witches but it’s not for me, so that’s heading back to the library. I am next in line for the third Murderbot novella, so I’m hoping to get my hands on it for Memorial Day reading. I’m really enjoying that series!

    7+
    1. I gave up on Discovery of Witches about two thirds of the way through when I realised that in that entire time the protagonist hadn’t really done anything much. Things had happened to her and around her and she was dragged along for the ride, but if she didn’t have any agency by that point in the book then I wasn’t interested in sticking around to find out if she got some.

      3+
      1. I realized I was reading Discovery of Witches for the ancient books in the British Library. Then the story switched to a vague castle and then rushed into an unimaginable (I couldn’t picture it) American setting. I was looking forward to making it to the end of the book — but it didn’t end! I didn’t know it was the first book of a series. Tarnation.

        4+
  18. Just finished D.E. Stevenson’s The Two Mrs. Abbots and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t even know what attracts me to this author, but her stories are so charming, light and shining like soap bubbles, a pure escape from the here and now I don’t like too much. I can’t get enough of her.
    Also read The Gate of Ivory by Doris Egan. It was OK, not great but readable. It’s an older book, published in 1990, a blend of fantasy and SF.

    6+
    1. Oh my goodness. I love Doris Egan’s Ivory trilogy. I think Gate of Ivory is great. It’s one of my all time favorites. I just wish it were available in eBook format. I have to go and dig out my paperbacks every time I want to reread them.

      3+
  19. Thank you to whoever recommended, a while back, Barbara O’Neal. I just read her “All you can dream buffet” and enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve put down, so to speak, a lot of contemporary romances lately but this one hit the spot. I’d classify it as a traditional man-woman romance, with a road trip, lots of food, and lovely friendships among the 4 main women characters (ages 20’s to 80’s), and of course a little magic.

    Another romance with 4 women friends, also wonderfully written, Robyn Carr’s “Four Friends.” I’ve not bonded with her other books, so far at least, but this one is a keeper.

    My latest favorite mystery: “The Knowledge,” by Martha Grimes, where London’s Black Cab drivers come to the rescue (of just about everyone) and provide much of the entertainment along with some enterprising children (who also help discover the murderer). This is one of her (Grimes’) Richard Jury series, which can sometimes be dark, although almost always entertaining and engrossing. This one is, after the murder, funny, farcical, warm and fuzzy with delightfully empowered kids, dogs, etc. Note: No kids or dogs or cab drivers die! “The Knowledge” is fun, a little magical (hand in hand with the astrophysics), and also a little serious about the wonder of finding, keeping, and losing friends.

    I used to read each of her Richard Jury titles when they came out and I’m thinking I have to go back and pick up where I left off many years ago.

    Hmm. I seems that my reading preferences lately are for stories about friendships. I’m also listening to an audio Dickens’ “Our Mutual Friend.” There are some not so great audio versions, so pick the one you like. This one’s narrator is David Troughton. It’s my favorite Dickens and listening to it while cooking or doing other chores is much better than listening to the news or my own thoughts. Entering Mr and Mrs Boffin’s world and all who surround them is endlessly entertaining. (The audio book is 35 hours. I’m getting a lot of tidying done.)

    6+
    1. Yes! All You Can Dream buffet is one of my keepers that I re-read every couple of years. It’s perfect.

      4+
  20. I finished The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, by Kelly Harms. I really enjoyed this novel. The writing was great, loved how she handled the sex scenes, new romance, and character arc of the protagonist.

    7+
  21. I’ve had a good ten days, all down to recommendations here: Ngaio Marsh’s ‘Artists in Crime’ and ‘Death in a White Tie’, Judith Flanders’ trilogy beginning with ‘A Murder of Magpies’, which I enjoyed more and more: great characters and community, and I recognized the publishing world she describes (it’s just that absurd). And I’m now three-quarters through Linnea Sinclair’s ‘Games of Command’, and completely hooked.

    So that’s two new authors I love. Thanks, everyone.

    11+
    1. Based also on this blog, I read Death in a White Tie, which was the earliest Marsh novel at my library. I did like the book, although how sad it is when the murder victim in a mystery book seems to have been a nice person. And the background love story came across as unbelievably sudden, so I’m on the hold list for Artists in Crime, which will hopefully explain things.

      Also reading Lotharingia, which I’m loving. I never know how to describe something I really like about some authors, but Simon Winder has it in spades — a kind of verbal humor that tickles me every few sentences and makes me want to phone up friends and read them passages. Also loved the fact that it was a ‘personal history’, which was clear from the hilarious tale of his gloomy 13-year-old self trying to avoid learning or speaking French while on an exchange stay in France.

      It’s a long book, and a heavy hardback, so it may take me months to finish, but very worth it.

      7+
  22. I read the anthology Past Crimes, which is free for Kindle at the moment and consists of three novellas by Ashley Gardner, each introducing a different series. They were all good reads. I love this way of getting to sample an author’s work before buying (although in my case I had already read a few of hers, but anyway, it’s a great promo tool). My favorite was the first story, in which the heroine is a cook and the hero is a mysterious man she encounters mostly as a delivery man, but who seems able to play any number of roles. I just bought the first full-length novel in that series. The second story takes place in Ancient Rome, one of my favorite eras, and was also very good. The third is part of her well-known Captain Lacey series.

    6+
    1. The cook series (Kit Holloway, for anyone else interested) sound intriguing. Requested it from the library!

      2+
  23. I was reading a book by an author I like, in a genre and setting I like, earlier this week, and realized I was thinking of it as “work” — as in: I had to read this book or else …

    I don’t even know what the “or else” was, just that it felt like a chore. So I put it aside for another day/month/year. I don’t think the book was bad, and I’m sure it would even be fun at some other time, just not right now.

    So I got the new Patricia Briggs book that I’d been resisting because it’s a tad pricey, but it was worth every penny. Definitely didn’t feel like it was work, something to be gotten through, or else ….

    7+
  24. I read ‘The Clockwork Wolf’, which is the second book in Lynn Viehl’s Disenchanted & Co series. I’ve tried Viehl’s other books and don’t like them nearly as much, but the Disenchanted series is gorgeous. Steam punk plus magic plus a bit of romance and mystery.

    I also read a wonderful YA, Erin Gough’s ‘Amelia Westlake’, about two very different girls at an elite private school who create a fake student (Amelia) to show up some of the injustices at the school. It’s funny, smart and utterly charming.

    3+
  25. I read The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves. Loved it. Main character has social challenges due to mental conditions and works hard to overcome huge psychological obstacles. Plus there’s a sweet love story tucked in there. Zero boring parts.

    4+
  26. Finished Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman and am now working my way through the back catalogue. Excellent! I laugh out loud and smile wistfully a lot.

    Finished Why Mommy Swears by Gill Sims, while waiting for some more Lipman books to arrive. I cracked up laughing a lot and learned some neat new fuck-word-combos I hadn’t been aware of.

    My first optical migraine happened while I was talking to someone and her face turned into a Picasso painting. Another one happened on I-95 while driving. That was fun.

    9+
  27. Mostly I’ve spent the week recreating a ladies’ group calendar in Excel, which calculates holidays and events scheduled by the national, state, district, and local groups. Once the local group’s meeting schedule is set for 2019-2020, I’ll add that information, export to plain text, and use it to print the 2019-20 yearbook. On January 1, most of the dates will neatly update to fit 2020-2021, except for the local group’s meeting schedule and probably some trivial details from the district and possibly the state. I now have this baby nicely calculating the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, and Easter, and — my smugness knows no bounds! — the Belmont, third race in the Triple Crown, which falls five weeks after the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. This means the Belmont often, but not always, falls on the first Saturday in June, and I judge a calendar program by whether it’s possible to schedule the Belmont as a repeating event.

    I have been reading THE NEW PIE by Chris Taylor — not fiction, but the authors are creating some VERY interesting pies. I almost never eat any — the last time was Christmas dinner — but these look so fascinating, and they look as if the crust might be worth biting into — that I might make one. Or more. “Spiced Apple Cider,” “Aunt Melba’s Peach,” “Hair of the Dog,” “Bubbling Butterbeer,” for HP fans, and popping garnish.

    In fiction, I’ve just started in on THE GOWN, by Jennifer Robson. “The Gown” is the one made for then-Princess Elizabeth for her marriage in 1947 by Hartnell, and the flavor of just post-war London is spot on. The reviews say that Part 2 is set in the present day, but I’m not there yet. Very impressed with what I’ve read so far.

    6+
  28. I haven’t read it yet, but I discovered Jackie Lau on Twitter yesterday, and the book being plugged was *Ice Cream Lover*, which came out on the 21st, and it looks exactly like the kind of thing I need right now: light, sweet, sexy and full of sugar highs. It’s on my Kindle, waiting for a few hours of free time . . . maybe Sunday. Possibly today, if I absolutely need a hit of fun.

    So, I bought it just for the concept . . . and then I discovered that Book One features pie and Pi Day puns. So, I think I’m going to be a very, very happy reader on Monday (-:.

    7+
  29. I thought I was the only person who’s not a fan of audio books. I’ve started the Nursing Home Murder by Marsh and already had a laugh out loud moment. The future victim things about how cold his wife is and wonders why he ever married her. He puts it down to a brief enthusiasm for polar exploration.

    6+
    1. I buy audio books for long driving trips or around town when I have lots pick up. Listened to many a Crusie on the road. Sometimes I can be found in my car, in the drive way because it’s a good part.

      Bought The Goblin Emperor on audiobook, first book not giving me same vibe. Will try again on a long trip.

      1+
  30. I read a bunch of stuff, but the one you might like is a recently rediscovered Golden Age woman writer called Moray Dalton. I read The Strange Case of Harriet Hall, and I loved it — it starts with a young woman looking for a job in 1936 London and wishing she’d been trained for something and then finding a personal ad looking for descendents of her father… Dalton has half a dozen newly republished ebooks and I snapped them all up.

    5+
    1. Harriet Hall sounds like fun. I looked it up and discovered Dean Street Press. This UK publishing house has picked up out-of-print titles and sells them through Amazon.

      One of their lines is called Furrowed Middlebrow: British women authors who wrote between 1910-1960.

      2+
  31. I’m still reading Power Surge. I’m on Chapter 37 of Clancy’s Without Remorse (I think I’m going to re-read all the Jack Ryan books up to the Bear and the Dragon.) That is all.

    2+
    1. Is Without Remorse the one with the Navy Seal?

      I missed a Jack Ryan book or two and then looked at the heft of the books I’d have to read to catch up and just gave up.

      1+
      1. Yes. Without Remorse s about John Kelly, former Navy Seal, who becomes John Clark by the end, a CIA Operative. Emmett Ryan, Jack Ryan’s dad, a Baltimore police detective features prominently, but Jack just does a cameo, home for a weekend from Boston University. John Clark is a major character in most if not all of the Jack Ryan books, though I haven’t seen him yet in Patriot Games, which I’m reading now.

        0
  32. Just finished The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn. A little slow to get into but then I loved it. Going to reread Getting Rid of Bradley by that Crusie person. She always makes me smile. And I love her character Zack Warren. I visit with him once a year.

    6+
  33. I’m currently working on We Hunt The Flame (Hafsah Faizal), which is technically YA (but, I mean, who cares?). It’s a fantasy adventure with a strong Arabian Nights flavor and what’s shaping up to be a solid romantic subplot, or possibly more than one. It’s absolutely captivating and I’d have finished it days ago if this wasn’t absolutely the busiest three weeks in my year. Instead, I keep finding myself waiting until I feel like I can give it the attention it deserves.

    2+
  34. I decided to try Donna Andrews and like them although I suspect her brand of crazy relatives may grow annoying.
    I read the latest CS Harris. Her (?) books provide a wonderful picture of the era, but her detective follows the tried and true approach of waiting until the murderer has killed so many people that the murderer and the detective are the only people left.
    But the hero’s wife is great.

    2+
  35. I read “Band Sinister” by KJ Charles and loved it so much that I immediately read it again. That one is staying on the device.

    3+

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