47 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, July 16, 2020

  1. This has been a terrible week for reading for me (except re-reading Bet Me, that was fun). I have a few promising books started, but I am worried mentioning them will jinx it.

    My favorite NA is probably The Deal by Elle Kennedy. It’s not a “heavy” book by any means, but (this is a little bit of a spoiler?)

    the heroine was raped as a teenager and I feel like the author handled it perfectly for the type of book she was trying to write. It has had a big impact on the character, but it doesn’t overwhelm every facet of her life (it’s also years in the past by the time book opens).

    I found the rest of the series a little bit more cliche, but this one was enjoyable.

  2. I, too, liked The Deal. I’m not much of a fan of new adult, since I am far away from it. I prefer Bowen/Kennedy’s Top Secret and Him/Us cause they are a nice combo of growth and goofy fun. What’s fun for me about new adult, is remembering that time in life as having issues but also having a sense of fun that sometimes you forget as you get older.

    Well written stuff.

  3. I finished It Occurs To Me That I Am America on Monday and started How To Be An Anti-Racist on Tuesday.
    A re-read of Bet Me is next on the horizon. I must confess that when I get stuck on my WIP, I take a walk and re-read Manhunting. The new copy I just picked up contains a forward by you. That alone is motivation to keep going.

  4. I want to thank whoever it was that recommended Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie. I enjoyed that a lot, although the heroine kept confusing me as to which of the three mages she found more desirable. Anyway, it was a fun read. I may have to read the second one.

  5. I started listening to Peace Talks, the new Dresden Files novel. So far, so good.

    I also got my copies of my friend’s new books – The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for:
    Pests and Diseases and Vegetables and can’t recommend them enough. The information is practical and the writing is clear and concise. While some of the info is cold climate gardening specific, not all of it is. They are working on books 3 and 4 right now.

      1. I was talking to a friend about your chipmunks. She used to live in Australia, where they have possums, which apparently are deterred by floppy netting fences that give way if they try and climb them. (My only thought was building a fruit cage to cover your plot, out of chicken wire – but that’d be a much more major undertaking.)

      2. I am calling a pest control specialist to consult about rampaging chipmunks. They have started chewing away the wiring to my water fountain, among other depredations. Similar your chipmunks, they also ate all my peas and herbs. I will let you know what the specialist recommends. It will likely involve traps around the obvious boroughs, and repairing the holes that they have dug in the wood under my back porch. Chipmunks were a normal (and cute) part of the landscape — and not destructive for the first 25 years that I lived here. Then my new next-door neighbor started feeding them, and there has been a mass migration of ravenous chipmunks ever since. Retraining my neighbor to not feed the wildlife has not worked.

        1. People who feed wildlife can create serious problems. I get that it’s a really nice thing to do, and makes people feel good, but it’s seldom a good idea. We used to have a whole lot of small birds here, as well as the bigger and more aggressive ones like magpies and noisy miners. Then my neighbour started feeding the magpies. It was cute, because they would hop up onto his knee and sing to him, and magpies are the best singers. But it also meant they chased all the little birds away, and we no longer have them.

  6. I’m behind the curve on NA. Read another Nicola Yoon, “Everything Everything,” which I may have mentioned last week. I’ve started a bunch of books, but am most taken with Susan Straight’s excellent memoir “In the Company of Women.” But it made me sad yesterday, so I switched to the 2nd Discworld novel.

  7. This was a week that involved kidney pain, that featured finishing re-reads so familiar that there are grooves worn in my screen’s pixels. Only the Murderbot Diaries were a “new re-read” (first time).

    I got an email from Amazon alerting me to a new book by Seanan McGuire. I’d love to recommend it – she’s talented and prolific and I’m sure it’s another winner – but every time I see her name, I think of the “Velveteen vs.” series of stories. I was introduced to Velma “Velveteen” Martinez through Wearing the Cape: Team-ups and Crossovers. I wanted to read her (Vel’s) stories. But…

    Due to contract terms, the ebook editions of Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots and Velveteen vs. The Multiverse are now out of print. The stories remain free to read online.

    For justice!

    Free To Read Online. But no ebooks. What kind of stupid contract was that?!

    Read Velveteen vs. online for free. Tell anyone Gary sent you. Feel free to enjoy Seanan’s other great series, while you’re at it.

      1. Yes, they are, and I have them. And I’d love to say I listen to them, but the dotter has asked me to turn down the volume on my playbacks. I wanna read the books on my Kindle.

        I’m going to have to do some cut-n-paste and run it through mobicreate.

        Or use earphones.

        Better, I want them to let her sell the ebooks where I can buy them so she gets royalties.

      2. I lied. (I didn’t mean to.) What I bought were the MP3 files, physical CDs of the audio books. Naturally, I don’t own a confuser with a DVD player, at least not until I unpack the new USB portable DVD.

  8. I tried a sample of a regency by a new-to-me author. In the first chapter there were four historical errors that were so egregious that I couldn’t even finish the chapter. Where was her editor? Reverted to re-reading trusted authors.

  9. I must admit that NA is a new term to me. YA I am familiar with, but NA I had never heard before I read this post…

    I ran into a reader’s block about a week ago after reading the first 3 book sabout Robert Langdon by Dan Brown: “Angels & Demons”, “The Da Vinci Code” and “The Lost Symbol”. Just couldn’t read at all after that. So I’m listening to Donald Duck comics created for blind kids from when I was a kid myself. Comfort listening deluxe.

    Don’t know how to get out of this total block. Maybe I should reread Bet Me again, that usually helps… and makes me crave donuts like crazy. 😉

    1. A friend recommended The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey, which I enoyed, so I motored on through Diamond Solitaire and am now almost finished reading The Summons.

    2. That’s my problem: reader’s block. Thank-you for giving it a name. Of course, I could always visit Discworld because maybe I need Luggage.

  10. Oh and I meant to share that I am still reading Ruth Downie’s Medicus, about a Roman physician in Brittania, with good what-pitfall-will-happen next daily minutiae along with the overarching mystery.

    I also finished Klune’s House on the Cerulean Sea this week, and it was an absolute gem. Great combo of found family, fantasy, adult waking up to a broader more compassionate world, and kids adventuring story with a dash of romance. Loved it.

  11. Barbara Samuel’s new one, The Lost Girls of Devon, arrived on Monday evening and I’ve already snarfed it up. 4 generations of women, the Devon coast, an old love, and a mystery. Made me want to visit Devon, even though it’s never been on my radar prior to this!

    1. I just finished ‘The Art of Inheriting Secrets’ and just got ‘When We Believed in Mermaids’.

      Although my favorite if hers is an oldie ‘In the Midnight Rain’

  12. I’ve just started Elizabeth Peters’ ‘Guardian of the Horizon’, which is the fifth in my reread of the Amelia Peabody series, having started at ‘The Last Camel Died at Noon’, and then skipped the one after that. I’m planning a break after this one, before reading the next three set before and during the First World War. I’m enjoying them, but don’t want to spoil it by overdosing.

    1. I hope you plan to read SEEING A LARGE CAT, THE APE WHO GUARDS THE BALANCE, FALCON AT THE PORTAL, and HE SHALL THUNDER IN THE SKY in order and together — they were plotted together and have a multi-book story arc.

      1. My sequence has been ‘The Last Camel’, ‘The Hippopotamus Pool‘, ‘Seeing a Large Cat’, ‘The Ape . . .’, ‘Guardian if the Horizon’, so bookended by the two Lost Oasis stories. Which isn’t, of course, the order in which she wrote the books, the last one being a late addition. Then I’ll read the next three, where she goes a bit deeper than in the rest of the series, I think. I do agree with you about the arc, and would have read them like that until ‘Guardian of the Horizon’ came along, which I don’t want to skip.

        1. I thought it was a terrible idea to go back and attempt to insert another book into the arc, especially as my Amelia list-sibs and I had analyzed the books so minutely that there wasn’t much free space on the characters’ timelines. AND, my major gripe, when you insert a book in that way you have to

          1) start the new book at some point after the conclusion of a previous book, with all the regular characters at a particular point of growth in their individual arcs;

          2) plot a book which involves an adventure but also character growth;

          3) END the book with the recurring characters having grown / changed BUT ALSO at the point of growth / change where the next book, already published, starts.

          Needless to say, GUARDIAN OF THE HORIZON had some problems.

  13. Have been rereading Diane Duane’s teen/YA Young Wizards series. Also the Feline Wizards series. Now working on the new Jim Butcher.

  14. Besides reading House on the Cerulean Sea, I re-read all 4 of Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. The first one,Troubled Waters, remains my favorite.

  15. I read the first two of Beth Byers’ Severine DuNoir Historical Cozy Mysteries, Mystery at the Edge of Madness and The Mysterious Point of Deceit. 1930’s New Orleans a girl who found her murdered parents at age 11 was sent to be raised by nuns and now returns to New Orleans at the age of 18 to take up her inheritance, finding that the rest of her family has designs on the money she inherited. I’ve quite enjoyed the first two.

    I read Jim Butcher’s new Harry Dresden novel, Peace Talks. Good, some more character development, but a lot of setup for the next book, which comes out in October.

    I reread Merline Lovelace’s Samantha Spade mysteries. I really like those. An ex-cocktail waitress from Vegas got her degree in management the same day she discovered her lowlife husband cheating on her, and ended up joining the Air Force. As a newly minted 2nd lieutenant who still has problems with authority she ends up loaned to DARPA to run one of the military’s small units full of PhD’s that tests inventions from mom & pop inventors for potential military usefulness in Dry Springs, Texas. Along the way she starts tripping over dead bodies.

    1. But the layout of the Samantha Spade books – or the first one at least. She double spaces between each paragraph– it would drive me mad to read it, no matter how good the story.

      1. She doesn’t double space (line break) between each paragraph in the eBooks I have (Apple Books). She does put a double space between scene changes.

    2. Merline had a very successful military career before she retired to write romance. I bet those books are terrific; she’s so smart and careful.

  16. If you liked The Year We Fell Down you should also try Bowen’s Accidentals. It’s about a girl whose mom dies and whose rock star father who has been paying child support but otherwise uninvolved comes to get her and how they build a relationship during her senior year in high school. It’s beautifully done. There is a teen romance in there but the most important relationship is father daughter.

    My moms chipmunks just ate the electrical wiring in her car and it’s a total loss. Apparently insurance will cover it.

    I’m deep in rereading … Heyer, Bujold….

  17. Full disclosure: I don’t like romance as a subject. Love stories usually annoy me and make me want to slap the characters for being dumb. Jennifer Crusie is one of the few romance writers that I nott just enjoy, but absolutely LOVE. I’ve re-read all of them many times. Okay, now that I’ve said that, I just read The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory and LOVED it. I’ve requested all her other books at the library. I reccomend it not just to romance readers, but to anyone who likes well-written characters and a good story.

  18. I had a hip replacement on Tuesday, so it was pretty hard to concentrate on a book. The only one that consistently engaged me was The Rough Collier, the fifth book in the Gil Cunningham medieval mystery series by Pat McIntosh. I love this series so much, mostly because of the character development, and because there’s not a single minor character who doesn’t seem real. So that kept me going for a couple of days, but everything else was hard to get into, even the easy romances.

    I think it really helped that it was the fifth in the series, so I knew the characters well, and was very invested in them.

    1. Hip-replacement sounds like ouch. Wish you a speedy recovery and hope that the reading-pleasure returns as the hip heals.

  19. Ok – this is many days late….but if you never read Anne Bishops ‘Others’ series the first book ‘Written in Red’ is $1.99 today on Amazon.

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