This is a Good Book Thursday, August 8, 2019

I’ve been doing so much re-reading lately that I began to wonder: is reading an old favorite a safety issue?  That is, I know I’m going to love it, so there’s no risk involved?  Is this the belt-and-suspenders, keep-the-training-wheels-on, don’t-go-out-after-dark version of entertainment?  Because I’m rewatching movies, too (Red never disappoints) and TV (David Tennant’s Doctor Who, I’d forgotten how great he was), so I’m thinking yes on this.  Which means I must become more adventurous.  New stuff, Jenny, try new stuff.  

How adventurous was your reading this week?

99 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, August 8, 2019

  1. I’m currently re-reading the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud. I love that series – it’s the perfect YA balance of black comedy, fabulous characters, action and a fascinating premise for my taste, with just enough hint of romance thrown in to keep me happy. And teenage ghost-hunters in an alternate London overrun with ghoulies and ghosties.

    I’ve also just finished reading The Clockill and the Thief by Gareth Ward, second book in the series, which I enjoyed. Steampunk spy kids.

    1. Thank you for reminding me about the Lockwood and Co series. I read the first couple and loved them, then forgot about them. I’ve just ordered the third!

    1. Tennant’ Good Omens is fabulous as is his co star Michael Sheen. I am in love with both their characters bi cannot thank Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett enough for both of them.

  2. I’ve spent most of the summer so far gorging myself with Mary Stewart rereads. Sheer bliss.

    Who doesn’t want to revisit Lucy and Max saving the dolphin in This Rough Magic, and the passionate aftermath?

    Or sit again with Vanessa in that quiet Austrian meadow and discover the amazing truth about Old Piebald.

    One more to go….The Moonspinners.

      1. When I, and after me, my sister, first read Nine Coaches Waiting we swore we would name our sons Raoul. I was going to use the French spelling and she claimed the Spanish spelling. My Mom, who brought it home from the library for me when I was sick, just smiled and advised that we might want to see what the kid’s last name would be before we chose.
        In the end it didn’t matter because my sister has 2 daughters and I don’t have any kids.
        But I do have the now pretty fragile paperback copy of that and 5 other of her titles that I bought in high school. Visiting Evian or Thonon les Bains was a lot more interesting after reading that book.

        1. Yes, Mary Stewart was perhaps the first travel writer I came across. When I eventually visited Crete, I searched for the windmills. Only a few remain of the type she used in The Moonspinners.

          My Brother Michael is my favorite. When I saw Delphi, I could pick out bits of what she was describing from the busy tourist site it has become. Her descriptions really are dead on. It’s like learning to see history.

  3. I’m on vacation — in a small house on a rocky island in Maine. High tide is like floating. I brought 3 books Arghers recommended: The Strange Case of Harriet Hall, Death in a White Tie, and A Surfeit if Lampreys. They were all first reads for me.

    Most of all, each story had the right person conduct the (key) murder. I have seldom felt so satisfied. The two Ngaio Marsh tales went further in the fun depths of the characters.

    Prior to this trip, I’ve been rereading books. So new stories were startlingly engrossing. My family laughed while I told them I didn’t care. It was wonderful and truly a vacation treat.

    1. I am heading to a similar island off the coast of Maine, and I’m thinking of mysteries as well! I finished all the Marsh books in the library last month. While the writing stays solid, the issues get really weird? A whole lot of reefer madness and white slave trade crops up in peculiar ways.

  4. Listened to just about all of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel before it was due back. I loved the premise and thought he presented it extremely well.

    Currently listening to Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novak. This one started off with a bang and I’m very excited to keep listening.

    I’m also listening to Beyond the Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt. Very interesting concept that explores how new technology is only useful when we identify the limits we self impose without or before the technology and stop using the new technology with those same limits. Example, a software was introduced in the seventies that made calculating all the figures easier in a factory setting. Prior the software, it was so difficult that people only ran the numbers once a month. With the software, people still only ran figures once a month from habit and not rethinking their process. This put them in almost the same position without the software, and it wasn’t a win. Very interesting concept he explains way better. Audio book is a bit difficult to listen to, though.

  5. I am next in line for the ebook Under Currents by Nora Roberts. That’s out of 103 people waiting for it. I also had put in for the tree books but they are so far down the list and are still on order that I’ll cancel them and give someone else a chance. In transit is Kristan Higgins, Life and other inconveniences so I will be busy for a while.

  6. I read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. It was good, but I thought it was pretty slow and wrapped up a little too neatly.

    I met a reader last night who recommended Rocket Men by Robert Kurson, Circling the Sun by Paula McClain and Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran. She made them sound very appealing, so I’m going to try them. Is it strange that I’m afraid?

    1. I’ve found Paula McClain’s works to be interesting and well written, so fear not!

  7. PSweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews, Book 4 of Innkeeper Chronicles. Excellent as always. Seems to be a pretty good standalone.
    Highly recommended.

    I disliked the early Kate Daniels books and didn’t read further, but I really enjoy Fates Edge, Innkeeper, and Hidden Legacy series. Go figure.

    1. Me too. I dislike Kate Daniels as a character, so her stories didn’t work for me. But the Innkeeper series was fun, and I love the Hidden Legacy series. Looking forward to its latest, which is supposed to come out in the fall.

    2. Personally, I like Andrews’ Iron and Magic, a sort of spin-off of the Kate Daniels books. I can’t handle the violence and venality of an average murder mystery but somehow I have no problem with the Andrews’ body count. Maybe because it’s less immediate, as I don’t know people who are like the Andrews characters?

    3. I didn’t dislike the Kate Daniels books exactly, but they bored me (the two I tried) so it was a while before I tried the other series and was hooked.

    4. I had the same experience, but then one day I had nothing to read so I went back and then loved them the second time round. No idea why, but it might be worth revisiting.

    5. I liked the Edge series first time through but it doesn’t work for me as a re-read. I enjoy hidden legacy and innkeeper and I respect the Andrews’ ability to know when to change the focus in a series without sabotaging the worldbuilding and keeping it engaging. My liking for the Kate Daniels series is based on a bunch of weird factors – how Kate changed slowly through the course of the series instead of suddenly! being made whole through the gracious miracles of friendship! and love!; it is a series that a dear friend who passed away suddenly and violently and I used to read together and bicker about; the ways in which the Andrews have given fairly peripheral characters stories and novellas/books of their own which has extended the world building nicely and I am really REALLY grateful they did not go all LKH as they became more successful and that they let the KD story wind down.

      1. I googled LKH, and it appears to be a brand of centrifugal pump used in the dairy industry. I suspect that’s not what your reference means.

        1. She may have meant Laurell K. Hamilton who many of us started by liking in her early works and then came to despise with a deep and abiding disgust. LKH likes to say that her books are hard and not for everyone. I think her writing deteriorated to no plot and the same tired sex scenes over and over again.

          1. 100% exactly this like Jessie said, so nicely and without all the tantrum raving I generally throw in there.

          2. But I keep trying, because when Hamilton gets it right she nails it. Like I keep trying Mercedes Lackey, for the same reason.

            I reread the Kate Daniels, but not all the peripheral tales. Am looking forward to Sapphire. Andrews deals with power in interesting ways and includes the personal down sides: I like that.

            Am currently rereading early Dick Francis. My current one is from 1970 (which I remember well) and the misogamy is balanced by having some powerful women at least. The clothes are fun.

  8. I think people can only cope with so much novelty, and have limited reserves of courage, especially when addressing things that are meant to be entertaining or fun. If I’m rereading a lot, it means I’m stressed about other parts of my life that I have little control over, so I’m choosing to live in a book I know will please me, and possibly even have some lessons for where I am now.

    If other parts of my life are boring, I will read more adventurously. I have not been bored since the election. I’ve been horrified and scared, and deeply unhappy, and that means for several years now, I’ve been seeking out things that address that emotional landscape.

    1. I agree. I think of rereading old favorites as comfort, not safety. Like eating comfort food and wearing comfortable, tried-and-true clothes when you are tired and stressed. You are spending your emotional reserves elsewhere, so you are conserving energy by investing in a sure thing.

      1. A friend of mine refers to comfort reads as thumb sucking books. She doesn’t mean it in a derogatory way at all – just a recognition that there are times in our lives when the courage runs out and we need to retreat into a corner and suck our thumbs for a while.

  9. I seem to have run out of comfort reads (and watches), so I’ve been venturing outside my comfort zone with reasonably good results. I never watched Veronica Mars originally, so with the new series coming out, I marathoned the original series, which I enjoyed a lot, and then the new series, which I was lukewarm about.

    For reading, I was desperate for an audiobook (eyes too allergy-affected to want to stare at words), and I share a kindle account with a friend, and she had Yoon Ha Lee’s books in audio, so I started listening to them. Very much not my usual reading (space opera, but darker than, say, Lois McMaster Bujold), but fascinating. I’m working on (hmm, “working on” makes it sound like a chore, and it’s not exactly) the second one, which I’m not finding quite as compelling, but it’s still good. These books got quite a bit of buzz in the SFF world when they were released, which was a few years ago.

  10. I find I don’t reread a lot unless I need to calm my mind and even then usually only just before bed and I don’t need to read the entire book. I reread a couple of books on a yearly or so basis but even then I find myself skipping large chunks. If I have to do a lot of traveling and dislike my current audio book or if I have to drive in the city, I’ll put on a book that I’ve listened to, usually a Jim Butcher or Louise Penny because I like the narrators, so that I have something to keep me from thinking too much but that I don’t have to pay attention to if I need to stop listening so I can pay attention to my driving.

    I think my version of the comfort of a reread is to read middle grade books.

    I’ve been listening to a couple of Holly Black middle grade/YA and enjoyed them. The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is a YA vampire novel and Doll Bones is a middle grade ghost story about a group of friends having one last adventure.

    I also listened to Kristy Harvey Woodson’s Lies and Other Acts of Love which was entertaining even if I did want to slap the young main character a couple of times. The story alternates between the POV of a grandmother and her 22/23-year-old granddaughter.

    1. If you like MG books, check out Stephanie Burgis — she writes everything from MG to adult and they all have a kindness and whimsey to them, even when there are villains.

  11. I’ve seen posts lately from people who can’t stand the fanfiction style of writing popular on Tumblr and AO3 (for both fanfiction and writing prompt original fiction). They find it a very insular and masturbatory style, where the characters are all the same mold of power fantasy. Writing porn, in a sense.
    I can see where they’re coming from, but the people making these posts are almost universally those who either prefer reading nonfiction, or prefer deep world-building over character/plot in their fiction, though, so there’s that.

    But as for reading old favorites, I think that it has its place. People may be burned out being adventurous in the rest of their life. They might still discover new things in their rewatch/reread. There might be a large pool of old favorites, so they haven’t read this one in a long while. It might be a means of them connecting socially with others (e.g. Rocky Horror showings). So it’s all dependent on context.

    If you need something new to watch, I highly recommend Killjoys. All of the episodes are available for streaming on the Syfy website, if you have cable access to them on TV already.

    My reading: finishing up on A. Lee Martinez’s “Monster.” Starting on “Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins next.

    1. Well, that was fast. Her Royal Highness was an extremely breezy read, classic romcom structure, very cute.

      On to the Emily Skrutskie sequel.

  12. I re-read before sleep because I want happy dreams. I heard that Austen’s Sanditon (an unfinished novel) was (is?) being serialized, so I re-read the 1975 version (Austen “and Another Lady”), which is delightful. I just started the 2009 (paper) version by “Jane Austen and Juliette Shapiro.” I’m still in the all or mostly Jane chapters (first 10+ I believe) so time will tell if it becomes a “re-readable.” It doesn’t have to be an Austen, that is impossible, but it could still be fun and satisfying!

    I’m also enjoying Cita Stelzer’s “Working with Winston” (2019). It’s the simplest kind of biographical non-fiction and I’m enjoying it a lot. These are chapter length vignettes on each of Churchill’s secretaries, who were as one might imagine extraordinary women living and working in extraordinary times. Each would make an interesting heroine in whatever novel you are writing. There is also a particular photo of Churchill where I finally “got” why smart women were drawn to him. He was a bit of a devil, which did not come through any other Churchill photo I’ve ever seen.

  13. Last night I started reading Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane. It’s one of the few times I’ve resented having to sleep! I just want to keep reading this new novel about friendship, because the female protagonist is an interesting woman. Bonus: Info on trees and other plants, b/c she’s a horticulturist.

  14. Sometimes what’s old is new again. I got to go see “Harold and Maude” at an actual theater last night. I hadn’t seen it since the early 19080s. So lovely and it was like seeing it for the first time.

  15. I’m re-reading and listening to Tanya Huff’s “Valor” series, starting at the beginning. I had missed that she continues with the character through another phase, so I”m looking forward to reading those. I’m listening to “Unseen Academicals” for now.

    1. Sorry. I’ll have to fight you on that one. Christopher Eccleston is the BEST doctor. (Although I haven’t seen the current female one, so reserving judgment on her.)

      1. Okay, David Tennant makes a great Doctor, but so does Tom Baker. They are tied as my all time favorites,

          1. I was behind the settee too back in the day.

            It’s why I couldn’t watch Peter Capaldi, he was too much like the old school Dr Who, the urge to hide back there was too great and I am to big to fit anymore.

            I did really enjoy David Tennant and Matt Smith for their child friendly Dr Who

      2. Nine was special. He had an intrinsic compassion that I found the others lacked, until 13. She was cool, although I haven’t yet watched them all.

      3. Agreed, and although I completely understand, from a professional point of view, Eccleston’s preference for stage over screen, I grieve for those of us far from the UK.

  16. This is paraphrasing but when asked why he wore the exact same thing everyday, Obama said that it was one less decision and one less stress. The idea being that all decisions, even good or neutral ones cause some stress. So don’t waste time stressing about things that you don’t have too.

    I periodically reread bits of Proust. I loved him as a teenager because he was so real in observing people and it helped me get a grip on understanding emotional maturity. I doubt I could start reading him now if I was not familiar with him because his work is really layered. But the things I notice now are not the things I noticed 50 years ago. Now I am caught up in the writing as a whole.

    The new things I read this week was Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher and The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab. Both were very enjoyable reads.

    1. There was a bit of a movement a few years back with some high-profile professional women deciding on a “uniform” for their lives, for exactly that reason — one less thing to fret about if your wardrobe consisted of a bunch of identical slacks and identical blouses and identical cardigans/blazers, so all you had to do in the morning was grab one thing in each category and you were good to go. I think if I were just entering the workforce now, instead of decades ago when I actually did, that I’d be inclined to adopt just such a uniform, although I might allow for a variety of colored tops, since I do love color. But it would still be a matter of just grabbing the first thing, since everything would go with everything else.

      1. That’s what I do except for days when I’m making a presentation. I recommend it.

  17. Started reading books by new to me authors, few started of with great promise. Got sucked into a three book series, “written with” a best selling writer, mother/daughter, morphing into marriage struggles over secrets. By the third book I read the first, last chapters and the epilogue.

    The saggy middles. Jaded reader today. Tried to be adventurous.

    Did read two new books, enjoyed beginning to end. Back to a few re-reads for now. Your books are so well written that reading them again is very satisfying.

  18. I’m seconding everyone before me that has said that rereading is comfort and calming for the days when life is stressful and adventurous enough without some extras. I’m all for no extras right now.

    I was 0 % adventurous this week, for I only reread the 3 books of the “Trials of Apollo”-series by Rick Riordan. Still think there’s amazing character growth and I love his world and characters, so that’s that. Can’t wait to read the next one!

  19. As recommended I read Minor Mage by T Kingfisher. Very good, and fun, YA fantasy story. Or possibly slightly younger than YA, I’m not sure how those things work, the protagonist is 12, and it feels like that might be the target age for it.

    I also read Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen. A Lady Georgian/Her Royal Spyness mystery. Georgie and Darcy are on their honeymoon in Kenya. Hijinks, and murder, ensue. Pretty good if you’re a fan of that series, which I am obviously 🙂

    Also read A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais. The latest Elvis Cole and Joe Pike mystery. More Joe Pike than Elvis this time, but pretty good.

  20. Re-reads are comfort for me too. They also come in handy when the new to me books don’t work and I must have something to read.

  21. Re-reads are partially comfort, partially safety and partially “I am so stressed out I want something I can read which takes me away somewhere nice but I don’t have to concentrate on catching every detail because I am so stressed out that my brain is fading in and out and I don’t want to have to try to figure out where I lost the thread…”

    If you know what I mean.

    I’m re-reading “Faking It” for the gazillionth time. How do I know it’s a gazillion? Because this is the third copy I have of the book because the other damned copies fell apart on me.

    I left one copy with a friend when I was back in the States visiting. It was losing its cover but she didn’t care — she is a Crusie fan too and knows that the best books are those that have been read to death. Needless to say, she was delighted with the gift.


  22. I love to re-read old favorites. They make me happy.
    As to new materials – I just finished the latest Anne Gracie’s novel, Marry in Secret. Enjoyed every moment of it. I love her writing. So far, I read everything by her and I own most of her books, except a couple of her earliest stories, I think. She invariably satisfies my reading itch; she is a really delightful writer. Now I want to re-read the first book in the series, Marry in Haste, and to my surprise, I discovered I don’t have it. Need to go and buy it. 🙁

  23. I just reread Manhunting, one of my favourites of Jenny’s books, although I like them all. (I have Bet Me nearly memorized I think.)

    New books: Gods and Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is terrific. It starts a bit slow but by the final third I just finished in a mad rush (despite sleep). A Cinderella of sorts in Mexico in 1920s meets a god and it’s about family relationships and fascinating characters and I really liked our heroine.

    Am also rereading some AO3 stories I downloaded (since taken down for a while by the author) because I want to read it now knowing the big surprise in it. (Course of Honour). I reread a lot, especially after the double-tap concussions which severely limited my brain’s capacity for comprehending new stories/worlds/people for a long while. Some books I still can’t cope with, such as Dorothy Dunnett’s historically or Karen Lord’s science fiction. But I’m still improving and Dunnett has become my goal as “full recovery”.

  24. One of my best friends never rereads books. She doesn’t own them either. She only gets books from the library, reads them once, returns them and never revisits them. She says there are too many books in the world to be rereading things.

    I reread my favorites ALL THE TIME, hoard them and am having a hard time cleaning out my bookcase. Although sitting here I can see that one shelf is full of books that aren’t really my thing. I can get rid of those.

    I just listened to The Christmas Hirelings again, it’s a very sweet story with a nice ending. And quite short. Four hours on audio, I think.

    Writing mystery again is making me very happy, but I’m still so easily distracted. It’s a curse.

    1. I don’t get the whole not re-reading thing. You can’t get a whole book on one reading, and the good ones have something new to offer every time you go back to them. They’re a slightly different experience each time you read them. The best books can still surprise you when you re-read them for the zillionth time years later, because there are layers that you hadn’t noticed before.

      1. My mental example of that has been DR. ZHIVAGO, ever since my grandmother explained to me, a teenager at the time, that reading it at twenty and reading it again at forty was reading two different books.

        Lois McMaster Bujold tends to say that every reader brings a different reading experience — not only to every book, but to every time a book is read or re-read.

        And we used to reckon that a well-written book could be read at least three times — the first for the story, the second for the details/clues, and the third for the structure and, with some authors, the omissions as well as the inclusions. That was when my online group was analyzing, in exhaustive detail, the Amelia Peabody mysteries for both the current story and various multi-book plot arcs.

        1. Yes, I like that three times thing. My first read is often very fast, because I want to know what happens, so when I reread I slow down a lot and savour the writing instead.

    2. Does she ever want to reread and just doesn’t allow herself? Or does she really not feel the draw?

  25. Not only did I read only one book in the past week, it was something I’ve read half a dozen times before. So I’m with you on the comfort of re-reading. “Summer Campaign” by Carla Kelly, will never not love that book.

  26. I read some great books this week. ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ by Lori Gottlieb, which was recommended by someone here. She’s a therapist, and it’s a mix of stories about her clients and stories about her going to a therapist. I loved it for its big-heartedness, plus the slow, painful changes in the people she worked with.

    Also ‘Falling Together’ by Marisa de los Santos. I’m coming to really love her books – there’s a freshness about them, and again, an open-heartedness.

    Also ‘The Case of the Late Pig’ by Margery Allingham, which was fun.

    1. I’m glad to hear that you liked Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. I was really interested in it after reading a review of it, but it will be a very long time until I can get a copy from the library.

  27. Comfort reading is good. I keep going back to the Phryne Fisher series, every time I see them in the library, when I am looking for something new.

    I know there are new mountains to climb, new worlds to explore (book wise) and I do try to borrow books other readers here recommend to move out of my comfort zone.

    Just energy, when you feel tired or overwhelmed, it is going for what you know will make you happy.

  28. For me, re-reading has very little to do with comfort reading (except for the comfort of knowing for sure you’ll like it). I, too, find people who don’t re-read very puzzling, though one of my best friends is like that. He only re-reads poetry. (He’s a poet.) Of course, he had a far better memory for details of writing than I do, having taught English for many years.
    When I re-read something it’s because I want that particular flavor. For instance, I’ll want to read Beauty, or Sunshine, not just something or other by Robin McKinley. Flavors may be a good metaphor for re-reading: just because you’ve eaten chocolate ripple, and there are so many other flavors to try, why would you not want to eat chocolate ripple again?
    And Yoon Ha Lee (mentioned above) is anything but a comfort read–even though I know what happens, and mainly remember how it happens, I spend the whole trilogy feeling as though I’m perched on the edge of a cliff.

    1. Waxing philosophical about reading, I forgot to mention what I’ve read this week. I finished my complete re-read of the Corinna Chapman books, and am in the middle of re-reading S.K. Dunstall’s Linesman trilogy, and read The Accidental Veterinarian, by Philipp Schott, a book of essays which made me want to clog his email with all of my own stories of working in a veterinary hospital, and I just finished Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre which delighted me for the first two-thirds, and then somehow lost me, but not badly enough to keep me from starting the next book.

  29. I reread for comfort (especially in the winter when I’m sick), or when my brain is too broken to digest anything new. Plus, of course, old favorites, like Jenny or Dick Francis, which are simply my happy places.

    I just finished A New Leash on Love, by Debbie Burns. It’s a contemporary romance that takes place in a shelter. I’m working on a cozy mystery set in a shelter, so I finally opened this one, which I picked up at RWA Nationals a few years ago. I like it enough that I’m going to see what the author has written since.

    Currently reading the new Donna Andrews (humorous mysteries with quirky characters), Terns of Endearment. (Yes, the title is a pun…that’s not a typo.) I love every word Andrews has ever written, and so far this one hasn’t disappointed. Almost as comforting as rereading is something new by a favorite author you know can be depended on to provide what you’re looking for.

  30. For me, re-reading is the real test of how much you like a book. If you couldn’t imagine reading it again, it’s no real friend, whereas the re-readable books are like old and dear ones, with nuances you may have missed or failed to notice, or possibly even forgotten. I’ve even re-read a handful of books right immediately after finishing them — mostly because I was realizing as I finished the book exactly how well the author had set everything up at the beginning, and wait — was that person in the first scene actually…..? And the impulse was to immediately dive back to find out.

    Hence the joys of re-reading the Twelve Houses series recently. Every volume, including my least favorite one, gained something in being revisited.

    My favorite Crusies for re-reading are Faking It, Cinderella Deal, and Maybe This Time. I don’t know quite why, but those are the old friends I go back to.

    I love hearing about people’s favorite re-reads, by the way. To me, the true test.

    1. My funniest re-read was Northanger Abbey. Although I had read all of the Austens (including Sanditon), most many times, I had, for some unknown reason, completely overlooked Northanger Abbey for literally decades. (Perhaps because it is less well known than most of the others?)

      Then one day I had it in my hand and read it in more or less one sitting. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I read the last page, I turned back to the first page and began to read it all over again. So, I read it through twice in one weekend. Just to enjoy Austen’s prose and wit.

      I know I have said it here a number of times before, but a literature prof of mine said that it is not the story but the telling of it that makes a great book. Often the stories of great books are quite banal and trivial, but, oh, how the words are put together!

      1. I love the BBC production of Northanger Abbey. The actress who plays Catherine does a lovely job of making her both a hyperimaginative, naive teenager and a likeable, slightly mischievous character.

    2. My favorite Crusies to reread are Bet Me because Cal and Min are so much fun, Anyone But You because of Fred and Welcome to Temptation for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it was the one that lured me into this wonderful world.

  31. Listening to The Getaway Girl on my commute, I have two observations: 1. My commute is too short to read an entire book in just a week. 2. You can feel really, really peculiar listening to an explicit sex scene in traffic.

    But I’ve got Bet Me queued up next.

    Reading, I’m doing Seanan Maguire’s Veleveteen vs. It turns out you can’t get them on Kindle, for contract reasons, but they are available on her home page for free. So I downloaded the html.

  32. Has anyone read Toni Morrison? _Beloved_ blew me away. Favourite book of my undergraduate degree. I also enjoyed _Sula_, although it didn’t destroy me the same way.

    She won the Nobel Prize. She was also from Ohio, like Jenny. 😉

    Quote for romance:
    “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”
    ― Toni Morrison, Jazz

    Quote for wisdom:
    “The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.” ― Toni Morrison

    As they’re saying on Twitter, rest in power, queen.

      1. Apparently I read everything she wrote until Beloved and then stopped. I’m going to have to catch up.
        I found her books fascinating but I never quite found her characters coming alive for me except in Beloved. Not sure why…

  33. Chachal recommended “The Secret Life of the American Musical,” and I’m enjoying it. Today it also proved a great conversation topic with my 95-yo musical-loving friend.

    I re-read Crusies to find the layers I missed on the first gallop through. Like Jinx, I sometimes get to the end of a book like “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and go right back to the beginning to see how the author did it. And sometimes I re-read just to find a scene or even a paragraph that made me feel a certain way, so I can feel that way again.

  34. Just over here re-reading The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery for the nth time, and given this week I think wanting some safety is perfectly normal. I have several new authors lined up to try next though.

  35. I’m currently retreading your books because I haven’t found anything new this week, and I’ve been missing your writing! I’m hopeful that someday we’ll get Alice’s book. ❤️

  36. I have been re-reading too, but I kinda wish I wasn’t. I want to discover new books I love as much the ones I love already. And I think I want to read ‘good’ books – I’ve been reading a few books that read a bit like self-pub fanfic, and I’m not knocking it, it’s entertaining, but really, I’m hanging out for the well-written, well-plotted, every scene thought out Nita and Nick.

    I took the middle road this week and read Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier – a book I had never read by an author I’ve loved previously – the Daughter of the Forest series is an all-time favourite, particularly Son of the Shadows.

    I’m also part way through Sabriel by Garth Nix, which is another new to me – enjoying it, but so far it’s unlikely to make it on to my keeper pile.

  37. Sometimes I fear rereads. I’ve lost love for the author, or grown a different direction as a reader, and what I used to love isn’t the same for me. It takes out a piece of me and stomps it. It builds the sadness, the lackof the same amt of love of reading. I’m finding that I love new less, and drift away from the old loves, leaving precious little behind. But I still love rereads, I just face it sometimes with fear of losing it. How sad. :'(

  38. I reread very specific stuff – non-fiction science, which requires all of my attention and a higher percentage of my brain than I usually deploy and then both fiction and non-fiction where I am attached to the voice and that ranges widely across genres and fields but tends to be about community in some way that is meaningful to the underlayer of my mind – the sunken 90% of the consciousness iceberg wants that very specifically. This last is why both the Dempsey books, Maybe This Time and Bet Me are in permanent heavy rotation on the kindle.

  39. I just reread a book from my childhood Hail, Columbia by Patricia Beatty and parts were still good and parts were distressingly racist. And a whole story about a flood that I remembered wasn’t in the book at all. Maybe in one of her other books? Everything I remembered loving about suffragettes and Astoria in the 1890’s didn’t disappoint.

    I also listened to Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. I loved it but just finished it so am too close to give any kind of analysis.

  40. I have been having a great time reading Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean. I’m a little more than half way finished and I both want to speed up so I can see how the author resolves things and slow down so that it doesn’t end too soon.

  41. I’ve been reading the Liaden series books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I have reached my limit of “another planet, another crisis” but the interactions between the characters keep me going. I have Terns of Endearment downloaded and Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristin Higgins but I keep buying the next in the Liaden books. They are like a package of cookies—not that good for you but you can’t just read one. Or at least I can’t.

  42. During the only assembly I remember from elementary school, our headmistress Mrs. Green forbade us to reread books because there are so many books available that our time should be spent reading new material. (She didn’t use those words.)

    It’s strange that I so strongly recall her speech — I could not have been older than 12.

    I also remember that after winning the award for number of books read during the summer, other kids started winning the award. One year I read and reported on 23 books while the award winner read 6.

    There’s much that stumped me as a child that I still don’t understand.

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