This is a Good Book Thursday, August 13, 2020

Have you ever noticed how there’s usually at least one book by a favorite author that you don’t like? It’s not the writing because, obviously, same author. I figure it’s because those books don’t have the right white space for you to move into, there’s something about them that makes you step back and refuse to engage so the book lands with a thud. I’ve been doing a lot of rereading of authors I really like and there’s always at least one that I get halfway through and think, “What the hell?” and start to skim and finally skip to the end. It doesn’t put me off the author, but it does make me more careful before I dive in.

Or maybe that’s just me.

What did you read this week?

87 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, August 13, 2020

  1. In reference to books I dislike which were written by my favorite authors, I blame myself for being a reading snob. Austen: I only like Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice. Sayers, Pratchett, and Heyer: I like most of their books, but not all. Generally, I like a book; often, books I like are written by the same author.

    1. So funny! I was writing my comment while you posted yours and my mind also went straight to Austen!

  2. So right! I started reading in English via Jane Austen and for many years, I reread all her books at least two or three times a year but I would always skip Emma. I really really didn’t like her, just like Jane Austen expected actually. My two favourites have always been Persuasion and Mansfield Park. I suppose I just liked heroines who stayed unwaverlingly true to themselves and eventually got the guy through that.
    I liked the latest film version of Emma though but mainly because of Bill Nighy and Johnny Flynn who was a splendid if unexpected Mr Knightley, very much more likeable than in my memories of the book. It is tempting me to read it again. Also I know I will read it differently now that I am much older.

    1. When I was twenty-one myself I found Emma unbearably irritating. When I was in my thirties she was still irritating, but less so.

    2. My grandmother said the same about DOCTOR ZHIVAGO — that reading it at twenty and reading it at forty is reading two different books. LMB has also mentioned that every reader has a different experience with the same book.

      1. To LN, Mary Anne, & Ann: Your comments reminded of this quote–thought you might enjoy it as well:
        Reading books in one’s youth is like looking at the moon through a crevice; reading books in middle-age is like looking at the moon in one’s courtyard; and reading books in one’s old age is like looking at the moon on an open terrace. This is because the depth of the benefits of reading varies in proportion to the depth of one’s own experience. – Chang Chao

    3. I just saw the latest Emma with Bill Nighy as well. The vivid color scheme was beautiful and I found the strong comedic slant to be a very interesting take on it. I’m not sure if I agreed with the portrayal of Mr. Knightley, however. I thought the actor played him a little too young and too emotional. Could just be me though.

      I agree with everyone who had trouble warming up to Emma and Fanny Price as characters. I can’t get into Northanger Abbey either. I like Sense, Pride, and Persuasion better.

  3. Hmmm, I’m now trying to think of an example of an author where I didn’t like an author in a “one off” kind of way and it wasn’t just a sign of the parting of the ways. Particularly with series. So many I leave b/c I feel the author gets too in love with their own voice. I really didn’t like Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. Well-written, but just bounced off of it. I’ve liked the Cormoran Strike books though. Usually if I don’t like an author’s book, I take a long, long break before trying again. If I ever do.

    I actually have never read Mansfield Park b/c I had more than one English teacher/professor tell me it was deadly boring and the main character was a pill. Maybe I should give it a try. I do love Emma, but I think I would probably find her really annoying in real life. I am drawn to very big, difficult personalities in comedies. I think it might be an id thing. And with Emma, it might just be b/c I love Clueless and saw that first.
    This reading week has not been very successful, but I’m enjoying 24/6 by Tiffany Shlain. I’m not quite ready for a “Tech Shabbat” (especially right now when it’s so hard to meet any other way *but* online) but I’m always interested in remaining thoughtful about how I interact with technology.
    I had to bribe myself to give up Twitter this summer (even though I know it’s horrible for me personally) and my treat will be a surprise bundle of books mailed to me from a local book store. But I’m already wondering if I will be able to stick with it or have to come up with another 3 month bribe. . .

    1. ‘Mansfield Park’ was ruined for me by having to study it for A level. My teacher was lazy, I reckon: for the two-year course we only read six set texts – the absolute minimum; with no contextual reading. So everything went at a snail’s pace.

      Fanny Price is shy and as good a girl as she can possibly be; bewildered by the more sophisticated and self-absorbed people around her. So not my favourite heroine (I do like Emma, though her blunders make me cringe – I fear I’m a know-it-all too). I have been meaning to give MP another go for a long while. There was an appalling film adaptation that had very little to do with Austen’s story.

        1. No: I couldn’t watch that either (bailed out early in the first episode: Fanny is NOT feisty); but there’s a film that makes her into Austen writing about the slave trade (which of course is an elephant in the room, since Sir Thomas visits his plantation in the West Indies).

  4. Argh !!! Hoopla used to have all of Michael Gilberts books, but now they don’t.

    A couple days ago there was either a Kindle Daily Deal or a Bookbub deal for ‘Small Bone Deceased’ and I checked Hoopla and they were all gone (so mad I didn’t bur it)

    1. Long Journey Home is not in digital which makes me nuts, that’s the one I want to read most. Most of them are great, but I loved that one even with the violence.

  5. I agree with you, but in the opposite way. I have a few authors where I absolutely LOVED one of their books but don’t like anything else they’ve written. For example “The farm” by Tom Rob Smith. That is one of my favorite books, but I strongly disliked his other books. Doesn’t even seem to have the same “voice” if that makes sense.

  6. I’m giving up on my attempt to post on Working Wednesday and going to copy and paste my update here instead; then try an Instagram link in a separate post:

    I’ve just finished the initial edit on my current job; just need to write a really tactful email to the author tomorrow. I don’t think he’s going to appreciate my nit-picking: he’s incredibly slapdash. I dutifully asked for a follow-on (must keep earning), but am happy there’s nothing immediately. I really want to do my accounts, which I haven’t touched since last year. Plus lots of jammier things, but the accounts are a real black cloud.

    Plan to take a couple of gardening days next, and try to fill the gaps in my borders and get rid of the plagues of greenfly and cabbage white caterpillars in the front garden. Meanwhile, I’ve just posted my first ever videos on Instagram – a mini tour of my back garden: (Links to follow)

      1. Thanks – that’s my idea. It should get better and better as the wall plants get bigger and hide all the walls and fences.

  7. I finished Kathleen Jennings’ Flyaway, that was recommended here, a few days ago. I liked it, and will look for her next work, but I wasn’t highly enthusiastic. However, I found much of the language so rich and tasty that I felt drunk on words.

    I had a COVID test yesterday, so you know I’m not feeling well. I’ve got lots of things to read that I just can’t concentrate on, my fever-fuzzed brain refusing to focus on words I don’t already know. Whether or not my test comes back positive, I’m not going back to work until I’m fully over this, because it is a highly unpleasant disease.

    1. I got a test yesterday as well. I had several symptoms, and since I live with very old people I just couldn’t be comfortable without checking. Today I’m re-hydrated and feeling fine, but will continue to isolate until the results, I hope by Friday. Hope you are finding more good reads as you suffer through whatever has got you down for now.

  8. Oh yes. They can’t all be winners. For me it’s usually that there’s a plot that doesn’t really engage me for some reason.

    Then there are a couple of authors that I used to find fresh & funny, but that now churn out a best-selling book every six months, which all read like cardboard cutouts of prior plots and characters and phrasing. I keep buying them, I guess hoping for that original feeling, so that’s my bad. But I couldn’t relate details of any of them and they are forgotten as soon as they are read. They don’t even count as comfort reads anymore.

    1. Hate that. Can’t even get into series anymore since it’s like it always happens anymore. 🙁 I bounce from single book to single book, seems like, and not ever a recurring author.

  9. I read Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. It was amazingly good and very satisfying. It was my first book by Hibbert, but I will now look for everything she has written.

    I also read a new release by an author that wrote a book in 1997 that I loved. She has written many other books that were very good, but it has been years since she has written one that I really enjoyed. This one was really bad. I think it is time for me to take her off my reading list, but I just can’t give up the hope that she will come back with something wonderful again.

    Yesterday I started The Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. Although she is quite famous, I have only been reading science fiction/fantasy for 10 years or so, so she is new to me. I read The Parable of the Sower earlier this year and really liked it. I’ve only read a chapter or two, but she has just introduced a character who is running for president with the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Oh, dear. I’m afraid I’ve just lived through what happens next. We’ll see.

        1. The 1980 Convention. Reagan’s speach “Let’s make America great again”. It is probably on the internet someplace.

  10. I keep going to the library, getting more books, and not reading them–not enough concentration for it, apparently. So, I’m sticking with comfort re-reads–this week so far, Jenny’s Maybe This Time (looking forward to the novels about Carter and Alice being finished some day!) and Heyer’s Cotillion. Someone here referenced it, and I’m so enjoying re-reading the snark.
    “These unsuspected depths, Frederick–I have wronged you!” …
    “I ain’t such a sapskull as you think!”
    “I have always known you could not be, my dear boy.” And so on.
    Also marveling at her ability to keep at least three subplots entangled with the main story.

    1. I love Cotillion! It’s the first Heyer I “got” maybe b/c I adore Freddie so much. I just love a good-natured hero, even if he’s not the brightest.

  11. Coincidentally, at Baen’s Bar Miles to Go conference, someone asked for our favorite Bujold. I said,

    I would need to build a spreadsheet to track how many times I’ve read each story. Sometimes I read in cascades. If I read Mountains of Mourning, I know I’m going to skip straight to Memory, and follow that with the Miles in Love trilogy. One of the very, very, very few paperbacks I still own (vs thousands of ebooks) is Borders of Infinity, the trilogy with the shell story to tie the three novellas together. And, of course, the first story is MoM which, as Raina’s knight, Miles has to confess to her in Memory and I have to follow. And there’s another trail in there. You read A Civil Campaign and it draws you to Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance.

    Then there’s that book in four and a half volumes, The Sharing Knife. The half volume is Knife Children, and it all fits together, and I love it every bit as much as the Vorkosiverse.

    But wait! There’s more! I think the current label is “Five Gods Universe.” The Chalion books, at first, but then she left Chalion for other locations and now there are the eight Penric and Desdemona novelettes (or novellas, I can’t keep that straight.) I love them all, as much as Sharing Knife and as much as the Vorkosigan Saga. Hell, the only Bujold that I’ve only ever read twice is Spirit Ring. It was okay.

    So one answer is Spirit Ring is the book of a favorite author that I don’t love.

    Much the same for Crusie stories. Need the spreadsheet, as I’ve long since lost track of the re-read count. Except… Anyone But You. D’rather read anything but that. (Sorry, Jenny.)

    1. Thank you. I was failing to think of an example. I like The Spirit Ring, quite a lot, really, and when I first read it I thought her gift was just not for fantasy. Boy, did she prove me wrong!

    2. I adore Bujold’s Knife/Chalion/Penric books, but could not get into the sci-fi. Maybe I’ll try again based on your recommendations.

  12. One thing that I notice when re-reading or binge-reading (as opposed to picking up titles as they emerge) is recurring tropes, fall-backs, or missteps by the author. E.g. read a series over the past week; written by a Brit, set in the US; the Britishisms were distracting. These were not huge OMG things, more like saying ‘at the weekend’ which I’ve never heard an American say.

    The thing that would knock half a star off for me, though, was the recurrence of grudge-holding jump-to-conclusions MC. This is not always a thing that’s a problem; there are scenarios where a character has good reason to hold a grudge. But if he’s holding a grudge because he’s jumped to a conclusion AND he’s resolutely refusing to listen to the person trying to explain what actually happened, that’s annoying for me.

    Best books for this week: ‘The Last Kiss’ by Sally Malcolm (post-WWI M/M romance); ‘Semper Fi’ by Keira Andrews (post-WWII M/M romance).

  13. Every time I see another remake of Emma I feel like I want to tear out my hair. It is the only Jane Austen I really don’t like. The whole idea of using your friends as puppets in order to feed your own ego is not a premise I enjoy. Yes, I realize that the whole point is the character’s growth away from such superficialities, but you have to bond with the character enough to want them to improve.

    As for Mansfield Park, I consider it lesser Austen. It will never come near Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion on the all-time hit list, but there are still some pleasures to be had.

    I started 2 books where I really enjoyed the characters and /or setting this week but I felt that the outcome was too predictable to finish. I think that this is more a function of not being able to borrow or purchase what I really feel like reading and the pile of books all due at the same time than big deficiencies in any of the books themselves, but I still couldn’t care enough to read the middle.

    Perhaps that’s because I enjoyed Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn so much that the others paled by comparison. Both of the MCs were at turning points in their lives which they handled in rather different ways, but one of them actually came from a loving and supportive family. I really get tired of the he/she never saw real love while growing up so didn’t know how to recognize it jazz. I usually identify with one or the other of the main characters, but in this book I felt ties to both of them.

  14. There’s a Kay Hooper book that I swear I’ve read at least 6 times and I still can’t tell you how it ends and who the villain is/was. I also can’t tell you the title but the cover was school bus yellow with black gloves (I think) on it. It’s part of her Bishop series (ESP and the FBI), in case anyone is interested. Main character might be Isobel but I won’t swear to that. And it’s told in flashback form.

    I did discover that there’s a short story collection of Ben Aaronovich’s Rivers of London work. I bought it on Kindle. It’s the short stories that were printed in the back of the Waterstone? books and at least 1 new to me one. I enjoyed it.

  15. The older I’ve become, the more I enjoy Sense & Sensibility, which was an Austen I didn’t like in my youth. In both Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, what I really have never liked were the secondary characters — who I’m assuming were representative of parts of society at the time whom Austen must have struggled to deal with as well. But I don’t re-read those books.

    I’ve been re-reading the Sharing Knife series, which is like a warm blanket, with nuances and the the amazing psychological observation powers of Bujold, which never disappoint.

    But at the same time, I’m reading Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson. Because the topic pertains to caste systems in India, the American South during and after slavery, and Nazi-era Germany, she keeps mentioning some of the horrific treatment of the low caste people in each setting, which is daunting. For example, I learned that US president Andrew Jackson (D. Trump’s favorite predecessor) used a set of reins for his horse that had been made from the skin of slain Native Americans.

    After a dozen pages or so, I retreat to the Sharing Knife for some hope and change. :/

  16. I’ve been really asthmatic this week so I dug out one of my older comfort books, actually two,
    84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. I enjoyed them so much.
    The movie was excellent really caught the spirit of the book.

    I was wondering if my Canadian friends saw the CBC report about beavers with satellite dishes 📡 it was funny. My daughter in Auckland sent it to me BUT I don’t know how to forward it on to you. Sorry hope you enjoy it

    1. I recently reread Helene Hanff’s LETTER FROM NEW YORK, which I certainly recommend if your comfort read is 84 et seq. Also Q’S LEGACY, on the book trail.

    2. I’ve read 3 Hanff. Really like. Would read more but having trouble finding the other books.

        1. Thanks! Have bern looking but was trying not to spend too much $$ on a used copy so as to stretch out my money in order to afford the other 300 books in my Amazon shopping cart. Lol!

    3. There is a lodge near me with a smiley face on it. Next time I go that way, I’ll grab a picture.

      1. Thank you Lian, it was good of you to put this up. I hope our other Arghers enjoy it as much as I did.

  17. I also encountered this phenomenon with many of my favorite writers. There are always one or two books I dislike among the multitude I like. I guess nobody can deliver all the time on the same highest level. But I noticed that even the worst books of good writers are better than an average book of a mediocre writer. It is just that we expect more of the writers we trust.
    The following is actually a report of the last two weeks (not one) of my reading.
    Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. It was a re-read, but I first read it years ago and didn’t remember much of the story, so it read like new. Delightfully absurd and illogical; magical all around. I don’t often go for children and YA stories. Most of the times, they bore me silly, but this one definitely worked, even for a jaded adult reader like me.
    Diana Wynne Jones’s Castle in the Air – a sort-of sequel to Howl’s moving Castle – was also nice, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much.
    Kate Clayborn’s Love Lettering didn’t work for me. Too slow. DNF at 16%, and the action hasn’t really started yet. Mostly, it was just a continuous internal monologue. I know that many of you here love this book. Unfortunately, not me.
    K.J. Charles’s The Magpie Lord. This story was fast enough to satisfy me. The action started on the first page. I liked it, but not sufficiently to read more of this writer. I don’t think M/M romance is my cup of tea.
    Nothing to do with books, but I watched the ballet movie on youtube – La Bayadere (1994) with Isabelle Guerin as Nikya by the Paris Ballet. Beautiful! The costumes, the luscious sets, the music, the choreography by Nureyev, and of course, the dancers – everything was exquisite. There was even an elephant there. It was a treat for the senses.
    One scene struck me as something that might be considered politically incorrect in the current American climate. There was a solo of an exotic male dancer, accompanied by a group of brown boys, representing dark savages. The boys, probably students of a Paris ballet school, were covered from heads to toes with brown makeup under their sparkly but skimpy costumes. The whole dance looked wild, the music, the movements, the colors all blending together scrumptiously. I wonder what the proponent of the recent American civil rights movement would say about it. Would they demand that the scene was cut out of the movie because the boys were brown?

    1. I saw the Bolshoi Ballet’s ‘La Bayadere’ via Fathom stream a couple of years ago, and they also used blackface junior dancers. I wouldn’t have said cut the scene but I did regret that they made that choice. All of the characters – all supposedly in India – were played by white dancers. Either ethnicity is a thing to make a point of in your staging, or it isn’t. If you are making a point of ethnicity, and you do it by using performers who are not *of* that ethnicity, then there had better be a good reason. There was no good reason to have those juniors in blackface. (There are plenty of other things wrong with that ballet, starting with the story, but I don’t ask for miracles with 19th-century ‘romances.’)

  18. I agree with you. I have Authors that I love and yet they all have books I won’t reread. Right now I’m reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips Lady be good. I will not read her book kiss an angel or honeymoon. Same goes for most of my other authors. even Georgette Heyer.

    1. That’s funny because I adore Kiss an Angel and Honeymoon leaves me cold. It never fails to amaze me how much fellow fans can differ.

  19. This week I read Boyfriend Material which was widely recommended and for good reasons, it’s really a great romance. Loved it.

    I must now go see Jane’s garden tour. My own garden is looking slightly sad after the heat wave but my pumpkin patch and melons are going strong.

    Am now trying to think of books by fave authors that didn’t work for me. I think it’s rare that I don’t like a book by an author whose voice/characters/story type works for me. I tend to have more of an issue with hit or miss authors; I like one book, not the next, etc. And I tend to stop reading those authors after a few misses.

  20. Mixed bag this week. The best news is that the Marshall Foundation has arranged for an e-book edition of the four-volume Forrest Pogue biography of George C. Marshall, so I bought all of them. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but I found this biography very readable and I’m a serious admirer of General Marshall — someone suggested that ALL the installations currently named after Confederates should be renamed after Marshall, an if it weren’t for the confusion, I’d support the effort enthusiastically! Politics in 2020 being what it is, I find it very restful to spend time in the company of a man of great integrity — the measure of Marshall’s integrity is said to have been that it’s what convinced Congress to do something unpopular in an election year! extend the military draft in 1940.

    LUCIA’S WAR, by Susan Lanigan a Jamaican in London in 1917. Note that in addition to the usual credit acknowledgments, the author thanks the Mueller She Wrote podcast and its successor, the Daily Beans, for processing all the Trump stuff so she could get on with writing and not carry the psychic burden of that man.

    OHIO TOWN, A PORTRAIT OF XENIA, by Helen Hooven Santmyer, who wrote … AND LADIES OF THE CLUB. OHIO TOWN is non-fiction but a fascinating look at an Ohio town from the Civil War to about 1920. If you ever set a story in a place, this is the kind of material to make the background authentic.

    CATHEDRAL OF BONES, by J. G. Lewis . . . never thought I’d be happier that Roberta Gellis isn’t living, but this book did it. Apparently the author is descended, or thinks she is, from Ela of Salisbury, wife of William Longespée, illegitimate son of Henry II and half brother to Richard the Lionheart and John. [Not putting her down, but medieval genealogy is not for amateurs; it’s especially vulnerable to wishful thinking.] She did do some research, so it could certainly be worse, but no one edited for language — heroine’s energetic son “lets off steam,” for instance, and other Age of Industry expressions appear here and there — and while I do know that a LOT of men in the 13th century were named William, including Ela’s husband and her oldest son, that’s no excuse for assigning another historical William, William Talbot, the name Bill. [Looks for sturdy castle keep wall to pound head against.] There are currently four books in this series, but I think I’ll skip the other three. Gadzooks!

    1. Also winced at everyone — all good Catholics — happily consuming butter during Lent in the 13th century!

    2. I lived for twenty years in a tiny town just north of Xenia. The only thing really remarkable about it was the savage tornado that hit it and absolutely devastated the place. If you live in Ohio, tornados are normal, but that one was a beast. There was a tornado warning here in NJ last year and Mollie freaked because there are no sirens, no warnings unless you’re listening to the weather. Of course, there’s also only one tornado every ten years, but as Xenia could tell you, you only need one. She said she kept saying, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT A TORNADO CAN DO?” and her husband just kept telling her to relax. Nope, we both saw Xenia afterward.

  21. My son has been after me to “hurry up and finish the latest Harry Dresden case by Jim Butcher, “Peace Talks,” so we can discuss it!” Well, I tried. I went back about three books to try to pick up the latest characters, and got totally lost. (“Who ARE these people??)

    I finally admitted this to my son, and he told me I should start at the beginning of the series (fifteen novels thus far.) I told him I would, but I only have the last three on my ereader, and I’m too darn cheap to buy the first twelve. (I donated ALL tree books when I downsized. Oops.)

    So he sent me the link to them in Amazon, with a hefty (to me) gift certificate to purchase all of them.

    I forgot how much I enjoyed Butcher’s writing. It is snarky, magic-saturated, just plain fun. I’ve finished the first two books, and hope to get caught up in the next two weeks so I can discuss with my 29-year-old!

    1. I heard that Peace Talks is so cliffhangery that I am going to wait to read it until the next book comes out so I can do them in one go.

      1. Peace Talks is the first half a novel that got split into two, the second half being Battle Ground, due at the end of September. So the ending isn’t quite a cliff hanger. But there is a big reveal and then after the revelation scene is over the book ends. So waiting is probably a good thing.

  22. I read the newest Harry Dresden as well. I do like his writing.

    I tend to be non-critical about books, but sometimes an author i really like jumps the shark and I stop reading.

    Stay safe everyone.

  23. Interestingly enough, I just finished the first book by a favorite author that I really didn’t like. So apparently I’m on theme. Yay me? I will say, the ending was wonderful, but I’m not sure it was worth the depressing slog through the first 90% of the book. Mind you, it was an incredibly well-written book, so maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace to read it right now.

  24. Spoilers if you haven’t read Convenient Marriage or Why Shoot a Butler?…

    The Convenient Marriage is the only Heyer I’ve only ever read a couple of times. I’m not a fan of the tropes involved, and I hate that the husband (whose name I can’t even remember) lets Horatia tie herself in knots rather than letting her know that he knows. He’d rather put her through hell than having an actual conversation with her. Nope.

    I feel a little the same way about Why Shoot a Butler? – he knows the woman he’s fallen for is having a hell of a time, but makes it worse by sulking and holding out for her to spill her secrets to show that she trusts him (he’s done nothing to actually earn her trust other than not handing her in to the police) rather than making life easier and actually talking to the woman he’s supposed to care for.

  25. Just re-read the three main Mary Poppins books–a mistake to do it all in a row, because the repetitive structure grates. Also, I knew she was conceited and priggish and curt. But this time through, she seemed out-and-out cruel.

    So I googled “mary poppins abusive” and oh my, what a rabbit hole. Plus an interesting dinnertime discussion on what type of being she is.

    1. I’ve struggled with those issues of cruelty & abusiveness as the downside of strength among leaders & warrior types (my mother was basically a drill sergeant during much of WWII).

      But little boys are fragile, worried things on so many levels. SOMEthing has to shape them into men who’ll inherit stately homes, or banking empires, or all the other stern, impassive roles that bring all the eventual rewards their way. And the nannies and governesses got that task, and had to be stern & strict to do it.

      It’s one of the things I treasure about Georgette Heyer’s “Sylvester,” which pulls a lot of these threads apart and examines the topics of discipline, sensibility, pride, vanity, courage and lovingkindness, providing both the psychological education and the happy ending that is so satisfying.

      But I think that the drill sergeant qualities of Mary Poppins suggest that Julie Andrews was probably as miscast as the horrifyingly unCockney Dick Van Dyke in that Disney spongecake of a movie.

  26. Author I am going to recommend today: Susannah Nix. I got the first three Chemistry Lessons books on sale awhile ago, went through them over the weekend and then read the fourth. I REALLY loved Applied Electromagnetism in particular, it’s now a top favorite of mine ever. I really related to the heroine and the hero is so sweet! Adorable!

    As for the actual topic, I agree with Jenny that there’s usually one book/series by an author you like that you just aren’t into. I love Seanan McGuire but I was really not into the Parasitology series–due to plot reasons there’s a lot less snark, there’s a lot of running and chasing and it gets old, and everyone is absolutely obsessed with this weird children’s book about broken doors and quote from it all the time and you’re just like, “Why are you so obsessed with this?”Less of the stuff I liked, and hammering in things I did not like so much.

    I am also reminded of Peeps/The Last Days. Loved Peeps, but the sequel had different characters who were obsessed with being in a band (like, dire stuff is happening, but let’s talk about your band) and saying the same made up slang word just constantly. It got old.

  27. Wednesday’s t’do list – something I didn’t like written by one of my favorites.

    [ ] Tomorrow I’m going to break out the clippers, trim my beard and hair, what’s left of it.
    [X] Tomorrow I’m going to gather all the gently used Rubbermaid containers and give them a wash in the tub. I used the bathroom sink.
    [ ] Tomorrow, I’m going to remount a working fan on the wall over my bed in place of the one that died. I have three (3) replacements still in the box.
    [X] Tomorrow I’m going to learn at least three features of my amazing CoolPad cell phone and start carrying it with me and keeping it charged. Else why own it? I learned to leave it on the charger when I’m not using it. I learned to bring the charging cord – it’s different. I learned to take pictures.
    [X] Tomorrow I will take out the recycling to the big rolling trash can with the green lid. The can is next to the garage. I live in the garage. The cardboard pile has been growing for weeks. I took my recycling to the can. (YAY!) Nobody took the can to the curb. (BOO!)
    [X] Tomorrow I will gather the tiny stack of bills that can’t be paid online and write the checks. Both of them. Eventually I will mail them. Checks written and stuffed in envelopes. I swear I owned a book of “forever” stamps.

  28. Ahem…Kindle Daily Deal Alert – the first Anne Bishop Others book ‘Written in Red’ is 99 cents today.

    Also Kate Clayborn’s ‘Love Lettering’ is $1.99.

    I feel like the Arghink Town Crier when I do this – but all for the love of Good Books !!

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