This is a Good Book Thursday, July 9, 2020

Thus week I’ve been glomming Mhairi MacFarlane, a good change of pace after last week’s Dick Francis. More kissing, less bleeding.

What did you read this week?

51 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, July 9, 2020

  1. I’m happily rereading Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody novels. I started with ‘The Last Camel Died at Noon’, and then jumped to ‘The Hippopotamus Pool’, which is where (aside from the first, ‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’) I think she gets really good.

    1. I just finished a re-read of Crocodile on the Sandbank. Amelia is so much fun to read about. And in the later books Ramses adds to it as well.

    2. I love that series. CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK was originally a standalone, and only later chosen when her publisher wanted her to do a series. A happy choice . . . . As long as some here are interested in Egyptology, ARCE (American Research Center in Egypt) is hosting podcasts and the first, released the other day, is Aidan Dodson on Tutankhamun and his family. It includes discussion on Tut’s parentage and the 2010 DNA study, which I can still get into a good argument over . . . . Here’s the link:

  2. So far I’m enjoying the crap out of Hideaway by Nora Roberts. Must be the mood I’m in. The pure drama queeness of character Charlotte ( think thirties actress Bette Davis) and the over the top adult child Caity, the whole Sullivan clan, (we all know Nora has a deep and abiding love of all things Irish) the surfer sheriff and his deputy but not the crooks. I’m not that far into it so on a hot summer day it serves a purpose.

    1. I’m losing the mood. When I started reading this book, not that it is really bad, but now at 2/3’s in I’m beginning to drift off and think while sometimes rolling my eyes. For instance it started out with family togetherness, with Caity playing with her cousins. I wonder now that she is an adult and even after living through the trauma, do any of her cousins resent that she is the first thought of her family and given great gifts, from the grandparents, a house, go to the head of the class for auditions, etc. Not that anyone is struggling and except for one instance the cousins are gone from the story. It’s all about Caity. I know it is her story, but does she have to be so damn wonderful? She even makes the best soda bread. Get over yourself, Mary, and finish reading the bloody book you know you want to. And it’s Nora enough said.

      1. Depends on the back story, my friend is a great favourite of her grandparents, but since they had picked her dad and made her mother marry him only for him to be a disaster, I don’t think her cousins resented it. She was a very nice person.

  3. When I packed for the hospital, I basically brought a change of clothes and a book – Bet Me. I didn’t read it then, but it came home to my bedside table and I interrupted another book to read it. Ahh. Now that I’m done, and attempting to pick up the other book, I’m really not that interested in finishing it. I think I need to go find some of my other Crusies and reread them too.

  4. I’m reading the Hard Play series by Nalini Singh. Not as good as her pay/changing series but still happy.

    As a bit of extra happy, her first book of the series is free right now on Amazon

  5. I’m not reading novels at the moment because I’m researching the 19th century life for my next historical project. That’s why I downloaded ‘Parallel Lives’ by Phyllis Rose which analyzes the marriage lives of five ‘celebrity’ couples: the Carlyles, the Dickenses, the (John Stuart) Mills, the Ruskins, and George Eliot and George Lewes. Great book! Presently I’m in the middle of Lucy Worsley’s ‘If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home’.

    If you’re also a fan of non-fiction that is as entertaining as a good novel, I can recommend both.

    1. I remember really enjoying Parallel Lives when it first came out many years ago. I’ve never looked at Dickens the same way.

  6. I can’t gush enough about “The Daughters of Erietown,” first novel by Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize winner for her journalism. (Also married to Senator Sherrod Brown, which thrills us in Ohio) Begins in the 1950s, follows the lives of several women in a fictional blue collar town on the shore of Lake Erie. Not funny or romantic exactly, but true, as good fiction can be.
    Also enjoyed “Meg & Jo” by Virginia Kantra. Obviously a retelling of Alcott’s novel. Next year will see Beth & Amy. Kantra takes liberties, but follows much of the novel.

  7. I’m up to Recursion in my Wearing the Cape series re-read. I’v just started the first Murderbot series re-read. I finished re-reading Doing It All Over by Al Steiner. I’ll have new reading material soon.

  8. Started Medicus by Ruth Downie. Early days, but pulled me in right away.

  9. The library came through with Network Effect, so I have been deep in Murderbot’s world when not overwhelmed by actual work. I had to work until 10:30 Tuesday night, which made me cranky because all I wanted to do was have dinner and finish the book. Now I’m rereading parts of it, as I sometimes can’t remember who everyone is and what their many and varied relationship statuses are.

      1. I can’t always keep track of who is married to whom or the other familial relationships. (Or their various genders, but that’s less of a distraction.) I should make a spreadsheet…

  10. Rereading a lot. I’ll start a new book (one of 700+ unread on my Nook), make it through 100 pages, grumble “No,” delete it, and pull out a reread. I’ve worked through several of Wen Spencer’s Elfhome series, and just finished Cruisie’s Agnes. I love Agnes. Truly a comfort read for me. Oh, and after reading the original blogs from Bob Mayer and Jenny Cruisie, I had to reread Don’t Look Down. Still as funny! At least I’m slowly whittling down my To Be Read pile on my Nook.

  11. Late (too late) last night I finished Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows, which left me wanting more. She’s used up so much of Sherlock Holmes in one book; can there possibly be a sequel? One can hope.
    It did not compel me to turn to the beginning and start over at once as The Goblin Emperor did, but the narration sucks me in just the same.

  12. New for me this week was Susannah Nix’s Experimental Marine Biology. It is a from-friends-to-lovers romance, #5 in her series of stand-alone books about brainy girls and their love life. Enjoyable and easy read.
    Also I’m re-reading Sarah Wynde’s Tassamara series. I’m already on book #4 and love them as much now as I did on my first reading them. The stories are a mix of romance and paranormal, with some humorous undertones. Light, sparkling, ghostly. Yummy. My single sad note: the series has only 4 books plus a couple of short stories, which I’ve also read. I want more of Tassamara.

  13. Finished reading Coping With Stress by Dr. Bruce Rabin, which is full of very practical steps to better cope with stress in case that is a problem for anybody right now. Short version; we can’t get rid of stress but we can train our brains to be less reactive so we protect ourselves from stress hormones and other things that take a toll.

    Also read More Than Neighbors by Shannon Stacey which was very heart warming and had a cat and a dog, always a win.

    And now I don’t know what to read so here I am looking for recs.

  14. Mostly reading HWSW and skimming through Jekka’s Herb Cookbook by Jekka McVicar.

    I’ll geet back into the fiction as soon as I clear up a few little things that are monopolizing my brain.

  15. Just finished The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne and I loved it. Brilliant heroine, equally brilliant hero, fantastic supporting cast, great villains, cloak-and-dagger adventure and a satisfying ending. If you have a soft spot for Regency but grow bored with endless legions of Dukes with Duke Problems I highly recommend it.

    1. I love Joanna Bourne. It is probably time for a reread. The only one in the series I had problems with is The Black Hawk.

  16. Last week I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert and really enjoyed it. It was romantic and distracting, but the main characters were individual to a point that I don’t usually find in Chick Lit.

    Then it was back to Suzanne Enoch for a trilogy set in a gaming club owned and run by women. The first two, A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes and Taming an Impossible Rogue provided just the kind of distraction that I needed in this awfully hot and humid weather. I hope the one I’m starting now, Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke, equally entertaining.

  17. Rereads: Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick, The Witness by Nora Roberts, some books in the Magical Romantic Comedy series by RJ Bain, On A Cold Christmas Eve by Bethany M. Sefchick (she’s newish for me and I love her), The Clairvoyant Countess and Kaleidoscope by Dorothy Gilman, and I started a reread of Inner Simplicity by Elaine St. James.

    I also checked out and returned several books to my library’s online collection without reading them. I have high hopes I’ll want to read something new. Someday. Any day now.

    I am so glad I have my iPad! When I packed to move, I was sure I’d find an apartment and work very quickly. Yeah, I tend to be unrealistic in some expectations; I’m not sure this means I am an optimist, however. All of my books but one are in storage and not accessible. Plus, I don’t currently have room for physical books and would find it a major chore to carry them around if I move locally again. Saved by ebooks! I do miss physical books.

  18. My cousin recommended CHERISH HARD, which I’ve just begun but think I’ll really like. Finished A HISTORY OF ENGLISH FOOD — thank you for the recommendation! Also enjoying THE DUPLEX COOK BOOK [Full instructions for cooking with the Duplex Fireless Stove; I love fireless cooker cookbooks!] You warm the fireless by unscrewing electric light bulb, pulling apart the connection at the end of the stove cord and screwing the detached portion into the light bulb socket; then you turn on the bulb, thereby turning on the current. To turn off, pull apart the connection at the end of the stove cord . . . basically, you heat the fireless, pop the food in, seal it shut, disconnect that elaborate electrical hookup, and let the residual heat cook the food. Give me a Chambers stove any time — it ran on gas, you turned it on and then off to let residual heat cook the food, and you can still get them: refurbished, with new insulation and retrofitted with invisible modern safety features to code like intermittent ignition devices and up-to-date connectors and valves.

    THE LIFERS’ CLUB, by Francis Pryor — archeology mystery. Francis Pryor may be familiar to fans of TIME TEAM, so I am not worried about the archeological background being inauthentic!

    And I have been enjoying the FRANCES PARKINSON KEYES COOKBOOK. She wrote romance back in the day — her publisher once telegraphed to ask, “Will heroine be seduced?” — and her son replied for her, “A Keyes heroine is NEVER seduced.” Ummm . . . . She was also the wife of a US Senator from New Hampshire, and was present when the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was originally dedicated — I expect to do a program next year using her letters about that occasion when November 2021 marks the centennial. The cookbook is divided into recipies from New England, from the Senate Wives Club (Mrs. Harding and Mrs. Coolidge were members and there are recipies from both), from the South — she spent much time in Louisiana — and world-wide from her travels.

  19. Someone here mentioned Jayne Castle’s Harmony books last week, and I have spent the whole last 7 days obsessively rereading them. Now I’ve moved onto the Arcane Society books. I’m not sure if I should say thank you or not. I’ve been enjoying the reading (dust bunnies!) but I’m not getting much done.

    1. If you haven’t yet, try All Night Long by Krentz. Nothing paranormal, just a straight standalone romantic suspense. One of my top five favorite books. If I could order a specific guy, Luke would be #1. Number 2 would be Shane from Agnes and the Hitman.

        1. Also love this group because I don’t feel so alone with my obsession for re-reads 🙂

  20. I had Days Off which coincided with hot weather which meant sitting at the computer as if I were at work did not appeal. Thus since July 3 …

    read ‘The Astonishing Mistakes of Dahlia Moss’ and ‘The Questionable Behavior of Dahlia Moss’ by Max Wirestone – very very funny geek-private-eye hijinks;

    re-read ‘Slippery Creatures,’ ‘Spectred Isle,’ ‘Any Old Diamonds,’ and ‘Gilded Cage’ by KJ Charles;

    read ‘Boyfriend Material’ by Alexis Hall, had it on pre-order and it simply landed in my Kindle so I read it and OMG LOVED IT, which meant I immediately went and bought a couple of his other things, so also read ‘Glitterland,’ which is even more beautiful and heartbreaking than the new one;

    and finally, read ‘A Little Light Mischief,’ F/F Regency novella by Cat Sebastian.

    Will shortly sign off the internet and start reading the other thing from the Alexis Hall back-list, which will probably lead to buying more books. Alas.

  21. I read Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory and Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. And I finished listening to Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book.

  22. Just finished If we Ever Met by Mhairi McFarland. Loved it. Her best book yet.

  23. Reading Divided in Death by JD Robb, I got out of order on the series, but this should put me back. Nothing more enjoyable then a futuristic murder with a tough heroine

  24. I pre-ordered Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows on audible and was really looking forward to it. I loved the Goblin Emperor. I finally quit listening to it about 3/4 through. I have to preface and say that I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan to begin with. I also do not like short stories and this book had that kind of vibe. The narrator pushed it over the edge for me – VERY dramatic, the American and surprisingly Irish accents were just odd. I can’t really go into details because that would include spoilers but I guess I just didn’t like any of the characters. I feel the need to re-read my murderbots 😄.

    1. I live in England and my best friend growing up was Irish, her family had lovely accents. Listening to the American television Studio’s idea of an Irish accents can be painful.

  25. Boring woman here. Re-reading Lake Silence by Anne Bishop, and finding it interesting how this time around, it’s a book about Agnes Crowe, the lodger, rather than the rather wonderful protagonist who the book has been about the last several times I re-read it. It’s all about the details overlooked because the plot was pulling you forward, but if you de-fang the plot by knowing it forward and background, there is all this stuff you missed. Such as, for one thing, I finally realized that Lakeside is based mapwise on the city of Buffalo NY, and the Finger Lakes in the Others series are a dead ringer for the ones in our universe. Live and learn, I guess.

    Meanwhile, instead of reading new things, I’ve gotten hooked on the HGTV series Home Town. For a long time I’ve had, and felt ashamed of, a strong prejudice against white people from the Deep South. I hear them talk, and their voices bring up George Wallace and David Duke and Phyllis Schlafly, and I just cringe inside. But the couple doing home renovations in this show about a small town in Mississipi are genuinely nice, and empathetic, and they love their clients of every race and background. So I’m kind of shocked, but really enjoying it. So, TV but not literature, but that is where I appear to be at.

  26. The Physicians of Vilnoc saved me last night. Nice detection of plague-causer with a background of how contagion affects communities and communication. Wish real life were like that.

    Besides needing the story as an antidote for general current events, my recovery from knee replacement has me in pain, with stomach upset, and feeling completely sorry for myself. My husband has hip replacement surgery the day after tomorrow.

    I think I’ll fast forward to October.

  27. Someone(s) here recommended Nathan Lowell (The Wizard’s Butler initially and then the Golden Age of the Solar Clippers). Thank you!!! Deceptively ordinary, all of them, but engaging, even addictive (and all available on Kindle Unlimited, which I join a month at a time whenever I come across four+ books on it that I want to read). As well as the two aforementioned books/series, I’ve now completed Lowell’s Tanyth Fairport adventures (fantasy, featuring a traveling herbalist who passes from middle age to croneship (cronedom?) in search of answers to her emerging powers of magic) as well as the Smuggler’s tales (featuring two young women spacers and and a speedy explorer space ship). So much fun. I would never have thought of reading them if it weren’t for Argh.

Comments are closed.