This is a Good Book Thursday, September 10, 2020

This week I read Rainbow Rowell’s The Attachments and Fangirl and loved them. Eleanor and Park, not so much, but mainly because at this point I can’t take angst. It’s me, not Rowell, who’s the problem.

What are you reading?

8+

85 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, September 10, 2020

  1. I loved Attachments and some of Rainbow Rowell’s graphic novel work, but her other stuff hasn’t sparked my interest, but my least favorite was another friend’s absolute favorite. To each their own.

    I’m really enjoying BOYFRIEND MATERIAL by Alexis Hall after taking a while to warm up to it. Luc, the main character, is so high strung with such low self esteem that I had a hard time not reaching into the book and shaking him saying “You need lots of therapy! Not a fake boyfriend!” his defense mechanism of being flip and funny about everything grated on my nerves rather than charmed me –

    *but* (before someone wonders why I’m mentioning it for good book Thursday) I stuck with it and now I’m loving it. I have to admit my favorite thing is Alex, the upper class British twit side character that is Luc’s co-worker. He is very sweet and very dim. I feel Alexis Hall has taken the Wooster archetype to almost surreal heights here and is having a lot of fun with it.

  2. After you mentioned Connie Willis’ ‘Crosstalk’, I read it in a few sittings. Very entertaining, although it leaves me with a few questions (spoiler alert, if you are thinking about reading it unbiased)




    How can the heroine be so successful if she is constantly kept from work by her family? What is she doing in that company, anyway, besides having her assistant change her meetings?

    If she is such a smart woman, how would she agree to have this extremely bonding EED after dating the guy for only six weeks?

    And finally, something that I might add to that list we developed a few days ago concerning the rating of novels: the terrible trope of a person who is confronted repeatedly with the appeal “This is really important, please hear me out” and will just as constantly reject that by telling the person to leave her alone and go away. It might happen once if you’re caught unawares, but here it goes on all the time.

    And yet, I liked the book a lot and couldn’t wait to get back to it when I had the time. Go figure. Seems that interesting writing beats holes in the plot.

    1. I just read it too. I also liked it a lot. AND I agree with everyone of your quibbles about it. Plus I started out liking Maeve a lot but by the end of the book I found her extremely tiresome. And I can’t think of any job where having your family show up at your work incessantly would not get laid off. Unless you were the boss.

  3. I’m getting to the end of “Don’t you forget about me” by Mhairi McFarlane. I’m enjoying it quite a bit, including the main character’s self discovery. I’m sure there’s at least one more confrontation with her ex, but she’s talking to her love interest, which I’m glad for.
    I’d be done with it by now, but I’m trying not to stay up too late. (The cat wakes me very early in the morning, so in order to get enough sleep, I have to go to bed early.)

    1. Callled it. Stayed up way to late last night to finish this. And am paying for it now after my 5 am feline wake up call. 🙁

      But the ending was satisfying.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson and the latest in the Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery series, “A Royal Affair” by Allison Montclair. Both are well written and entertaining.

    “Shadows in Death” by J.D. Robb was mostly annoying. The repetitiveness of both the formula and the back and forth between the characters is becoming boring. This one in particular was a how-to guide on police investigation and behavioural analysis. Only a few flashes of humour saved it.

    Another aspect that irks is the timeline. The series begins in 2058, and more than 50 books later it is only 2061. In about 3 years, 50+ high-profile cases have been solved, a book has been written and published, and a film adaptation has been released and has won several Oscars. Surely the author could have spread the stories over 5 to 7 years without changing anything other than the kid’s age.

    Sorry for the long rant.

    1. I haven’t read it yet but it is in my e-library shelf. I agree with the same aspects of getting old. I have to suspend A Lot of disbelief and the it’s so formulaic I feel I could write one. Yet I continue to read them. At least it doesn’t keep spending pages on her flashbacks to her horrific childhood — it was so much a part of most of the series I almost stopped reading. It was ** too ** much.

      1. The descriptions of Eve’s childhood trauma were too much but they lost impact with each retelling.

        I can’t seem to give up the series either. I had actually stopped after “Witness in Death”, but took it up again about five years ago, when I was searching for something new.

        1. Still reading them, still enjoying them. I find I can finish one of JD Robb books in about three hours, and I still enjoy them. Suspending disbelief.

    2. I am listening to Shadows in Death right now. I just ignore the timeline, other than to think that in retrospect she might have wanted to start the series a few decades later. The first book came out in 1995, when 2058 seemed way further away… Maybe that world just moves faster than ours. I mean, it hardly ever takes more than a couple of weeks between the murder and the conclusion, no matter how weird or complex the case is. That’s definitely not real life! I’m guessing that part of it is a desire not to age the main characters too quickly.

      One thing that I have occasionally noted is that the technology of this future world is still mostly tracking–and not entirely keeping up with–current technology. Also (and this is not really a spoiler as I am still in the setup to the real part of the book), no one arranging a professional contract killing would spell it out detail in the communications leading up to the killing.

      At this point I just listen to them because I want to know what’s happening in everyone’s lives. Plus the bad guy always gets caught. I’m a big fan of justice right now.

  5. Read Hester Browne’s The Finishing Touches. Liked it very much,

    I’m so jaded about books now. I don’t like feeling this, more dread the book will be awful instead of anticipating a great story and where are the characters going to take me.

  6. I’ve been rereading the first three In Jo Beverley’s Company of Rogues series (bar the very first, ‘An Arranged Marriage’, which doesn’t really work for me’): ‘An Unwilling Bride’, ‘Christmas Angel’ and ‘Forbidden’.

    Off topic, in response to Kelley’s query yesterday, I’ve just posted two unexciting photos of elephants at Chester Zoo, taken this week and in 1963: https://www.instagram.com/p/CE9rpIMHgAN/

      1. Oh, the elephants were definitely exciting – especially in 1963: it was the first time I’d seen one. It’s my photography (especially this week, since I’m no longer using a Box Brownie) that’s tame.

        1. You can’t exactly ask the elephants in a zoo to pose for you. Some zoos have staff photographers who can spend hours waiting for a good shot and have access to the areas closed to the public. The point of this picture was to commemorate the occasion that you started and it does that quite well. Save the technical quibbles for a different occasion.

    1. I love that you remembered the elephant photo and did that again. And the first one looks like it was pretty exciting. The elephant was right at the edge! It might not’ve been in reality but it looks like it was.

      1. Oh, it definitely was. The Box Brownie’s wide-angle lens made all the animals look much further away than they were – so if not for the elephant I might have given up.

    2. Thanks, Jane. I love that you still have the old photo, and clearly your love of, and aptitude for, photography was already apparent way back when.

  7. I read and enjoyed Love Lettering (a pun–female protagonist is a calligrapher/graphic designer) by Kate Clayborn, published last December. Apparently she’s got others equally nerdy about things like type font. It’s the first time I’ve seen the term kerning used in a romance novel, or any novel, really. Lots of references to serif and san serif fonts.
    Also re-read Strange Bedpersons, because I couldn’t bear any of the Regencies I had, which had unlikeable characters or annoying plots. Jenny’s use of language makes me laugh, even though I knew what was coming–“a rutabaga with hair,” for example. Also, I lived in Yellow Springs, so the references to a hippie commune in the 60s were amusing, though I didn’t live there til the 90s and 00s, and not in a commune.

    1. I have to read those books! Using the term kerning? Awesome! I am a total font and graphics geek. If I had the skills, I would totally design my own font(s).

    2. I like the concept of Love Lettering. I’m in the process of listening to it on my evening walks. It’s kind of slow to start, but I’ve heard very good things about it from others so I’m persevering.

    3. I’m almost finished with Love Lettering, and loving it. The heroine seemed excessively timid to me at first, but grew, and grew on me as well. I thought the progression of attraction, given that two fairly reserved people were involved, was really nicely done, and I was enjoying every character by the time the last chapters arrived. Looking forward to finishing it tonight.

  8. I haven’t been reading much, which is so unlike me when life is “normal”. I have been rereading. And then I’ve done a little rereading that isn’t like rereading: I’ve started reading my before-bed philosophy books again. I had to re-buy two of them because the others are (everyone now) in storage! These are in storage here in Plano, so I can get access to them once I set some things up, if I can find out which box they are in.

    I read them at night the way some people read the Bible before bed, kind of randomly and letting the passages speak to me. One is “It’s Easier Than You Think” by Sylvia Boorstein, which is basically a primer on Zen Buddhism. The other is “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, which contains his journal entries over the course of his adult life; he would have preferred to be a Stoic philosopher than a general and then an emperor. It blends well with both Zen Buddhism and Thich Nhat Hanh’s “The Miracle of Mindfulness,” which is my third book. Sometimes, when I read more than one of them before bed, the texts align in message, which is always cool.

    When I read these regularly before bed — and think on them — I start to kind of even out my mind. I need that even more than ever now. It helps so very much, it appalls me when I find I’ve let doing so go. Ah, my ever-wandering mind. Perhaps “not all who wander or lost” (probably have the quote wrong), but some times, they are. 🙂

      1. I kind of liked “or lost”. It makes the question “are you wandering” or “are you lost”? Much closer to how I operate.

  9. So two caveats here: 1) This is not a book, it’s a podcast; and 2) I haven’t listened to it yet:)

    It’s called “Meet Cute” and it’s a free podcast series of short, original audio RomComs (15 minutes I think). I heard about it through someone hubby knows who’s involved with the folks making the podcast.

    It is on my “to listen” list when I’m done some story work on my books. But popping link in here in case anyone wants a little pick-me-up of fun this week–which I’m told is the goal of these shows. If anyone gives them a try, be interesting to see what you think:)

    https://meetcute.simplecast.com

  10. I made a previous comment that’s stuck in moderation. New for me so thinking probably made typo somewhere. Waiting to see if it magically appears before reposting…:)

  11. I finished roaring through the Jim Butcher Harry Dresden series (all 17 books) and spent 90 minutes discussing them with my son (I’m in Washington, he’s in Hawaii.) Very enjoyable! The first two chapters of the next book, Battle Ground, are posted on the internet, so now we are discussing that. I’m suffering Butcher withdrawal.

    I read Silver in the Wood, per the recommendations here, thank you! I got the second in the series, Drowned Country, and I’ll see how that goes. I will be returning and returning to this series; lots to think about.

    I also read The Duchess War, by Courtney Milan, and really enjoyed it. Different perspective on historical romance; the woman’s secret doesn’t come out until half-way through the book, and it is surprising. The Duke is unpretentious, and their wedding night (lots of fumbling between two virgins) is BELIEVABLE. Recommend this one. I found it on BookBub for a very low price, don’t know if low price is still available. It is part of a series.

    Finally, broke down and purchased the Murderbot series; it is not at all what I expected, and I’m cautiously optimistic that I will like it. Very different.

    1. ‘The Duchess War’ was my first Courtney Milan, too, and I was similarly impressed. Liked her use of Leicester as a location as well: made a nice change from London/Bath/grand estates.

      1. Ditto on it being my first Courtney Milan book and loving it. Did you read the prequel novella she came out later, about his mother and father? It was good, but parts of it bothered me.

    2. I’m saving up to get both Peace Talks and Battle Ground in audio later this month so I don’t have to wait when I finish the first to start the second. Love the books, but love them even more when listening to James Marsters narrating!

  12. I love most of what Rainbow Rowell writes, but I hated Attachments. Eleanor & Park is very teenage angst, but it’s good.

    I’m on a bit of a nonfiction kick. I’m currently reading Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl I just finished Jen Lancaster’s Welcome to the United States of Anxiety and liked it. I also finished Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker and it was fascinating.

    1. Kara, I just started Welcome to the United States of Anxiety and love it so far. I’m reading Cate Lawley’s Cursed Candy series. It’s cute, well written, and fun, just what I need during these times.

  13. Someone here recommended Jayne Davis’s The Mrs Mackinnons. Thank you, whoever you are. It was a wonderful book, one of my best reads this year. I’ll definitely read more of this author. It’s not exactly a romance but rather a love story and a healing story set in 1799 in England. Lovely!
    Also I’m reading Carola Dunn’s The Black Sheep’s Daughter. It is one of her earlier novels, a sort-of regency romance with the focus on propriety in the London haut ton. The book is weak but amusing. Despite its many flaws, I’m enjoying its mindless fluff. I’m sure I’ll finish it tonight.
    Strange thing about this book. On Goodreads, it’s recorded without the leading ‘The’. Maybe the British and the American versions have different titles? Or Goodreads had made a mistake?

  14. One of the Murderbot books went on sale this week so I’ve added it to my voluminous TBR stack.

    Books I actually did read this week: re-read all four of Joanna Chambers’ ‘Enlightenment’ series – there is a linked book coming out soon, yay.

    Plus: The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher. Glad she got to tell that story before she died.

    Also: M/M beauty-and-the-beast retelling, novella, set in 1940 in England, called ‘Briarley’ by Aster Glenn Gray. Quite stylized and could have gone longer – I prefer a little more ending with my happy endings – also a few editing missteps, but enjoyable and a good companion to ‘Deven and the Dragon’ by Eliot Grayson which I liked a lot. That one was well-constructed, well-edited, and funny, with a high-stakes conflict.

    Also: another M/M novella, this one a contemporary set around a TV dance show, called ‘Dancing for Him’ by Jeff Adams. The behind-the-scenes details read true, the glimpse into a dancer’s life likewise; one MC is an electrician and there is competence porn. Low conflict, sweet rather than hot, did enjoy.

    Finally, ‘In Strange Woods’ by Claire Cray, which someone described as ‘gay Twin Peaks’ which is fairly accurate. Drama and multiple mysteries kicked off by a gruesome murder (offstage). Grief, incipient alcoholism, a long-lost twin brother, some sketchy people who turn out to be all right, and a nicely-developed romance.

  15. I have started rereading the The Pot Thief Who … an 8 book series .. I really am enjoying them the second time around. These are gentle mysteries with a twist of humor, They are set in New Mexico where I lived for several years, so part of my enjoyment is remembering the scenery of the southwest, and the food. I have fond memories of hanging out in old town where the protagonist’s shop is located.

  16. I read The Nancys, by RWR McDonald. It’s narrated by Tippy Chan, an 11-year-old girl who lives in a small New Zealand town and is obsessed with Nancy Drew. (But it’s not a kids’ book.) When her celebrity stylist uncle and his boyfriend from Sydney come to stay, the three of them set out to solve the murder of Tippy’s school teacher.

    The Nancys is very high on the list for my book of the year. Not only is it funny and sly, with innuendos that made me fall about laughing, but it manages to be warm hearted without ever falling into sentimentality. I wish I had an Uncle Pike.

  17. Read Fire in Ice by saharra Sandhu. Intriguing sci fi/ fantasy using African Legends. Still reading The girl who Adored Rembrandt by Belle Ami. Then I’m going to finish up the Jude Deveraux I started on the plane home.
    I need mystery recommendations for my friend who just had open heart surgery. I got her an audiobook membership for her birthday tomorrow.
    She read and loved all Christie, all Dorothy Sayers all Jacqueline Winspeare, the Royal Spyness series. And I am sure much more. Your thoughts, please?

    1. For your friend, possibly M. Ruth Myers’ Maggie Sullivan series? Set in pre-WWII and wartime Ohio, featuring a private eye much more realistically written than most.

      Or: Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series? Edmund Crispin?

      One I read last year and really liked: Green for Danger, by Christianna Brand. English wartime mystery, there are seven titles in the series.

    2. If she’s into vintage mysteries, how about Margery Allingham (perhaps start with ‘The Fashion in Shrouds’), Ngaio Marsh (‘Artists in Crime’), Georgette Heyer (‘Why Shoot a Butler?’). Or for something really daft, ‘Appleby’s End’ by Michael Innes.

    3. What about Elizabeth Peters? She’s sort of in the same vintage category of mysteries. MC Beaton falls in that category too, although I have mixed feelings about her books. And what about … oh, can’t remember the name, 1920s(?) heroine, it’s been made into a tv series, and it’s been mentioned here before. Not Agatha Raisin (that’s Beaton). Maybe someone else here knows what I mean.

      If she wants to branch out into contemporary, she might like Donna Andrews’s bird series. Funny and great community. Light on the mystery, more about the characters.

    4. Judith Flander’s Sam Clair mysteries are fun. Sam is in publishing. These are very amusing. Sularii Gentill’s Rowland Sinclair are the period between the wars in Sidney, Australia. Very well written.

    5. I only know older books that she probably already knows.
      Josephine Tey: The Franchise affair, A shilling for candles, Brat Farrar; the Richard III one might be a bit too apposite. From a similar era as Dorothy Sayers, but quite different in feel.

      Mary Stewart; I love her old romantic mysteries, Moonspinners, Nine coaches waiting, My brother Michael, Thunder on the right, and all the rest; the newer 3 or 4 (Stormy Petrel, Thornyhold, Rose cottage) are similar in period but mostly mild romance with just a touch of low-stress mystery (like Rosamunde Pilcher) – perfect for me in these stressful times. All available as ebooks.

      Several more such vintage writers have been re-issued as ebooks recently: Elizabeth Cadell sometimes wrote mild romance (I prefer those, so I can’t advise you which to get for a mystery-reader), sometimes more romantic suspence, and her whole back catalog came out this year as ebooks. D.E.Stevenson is slowly being re-issued as ebooks; I haven’t read many of hers yet.

      Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series and all four of Charlotte McLeod’s mystery series* are good, if you like the cerebral puzzle type of detectives, and they’re all available as ebooks.
      * The short “grub and stakers” series are more tongue in cheek, humorous detectives, whilr the short RCMP series deals in more serious danger; the two longer series based in Boston and around an agrucultural college are more in the Agatha Christie or Nero Wolfe style of detective. She might like those.

      Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael medieval monk’s historical mysteries are out in ebook as well.

      From a contemporary writer, I love Alexander McCall’s detective books set in Botswana: The no.1 Ladies Detective Agency and the rest of that series.
      The Tannie Maria books are in a similar vein, set in another part of Africa by a different author, a bit more recent. There are two books out, one of them is The satanic mechanic, but I’ve forgotten the author’s name as I liked them less than the no.1 Ladies Detective Agency.

      I’ve seen others recommend Ngaio March but haven’t read her yet.

      1. Sally Andrew; first book, RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER and a mysterious title, DEATH ON THE LIMPOPO, which should be Book 3 in the series. Amazon lists it, but it isn’t for sale, nor listed in Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk.

  18. -I’ve now read all the Murderbot novellas, thanks to your suggestion. My fave is how the protagonist just wants to watch media and is annoyed by humans/robots.
    -Loved THE AI WHO LOVED ME, by Alyssa Cole! She makes me so happy by mentioning climate change and World War IV but still making me laugh at teaching Li Wei how to be human.
    -Now rereading Courtney Milan’s HOLD ME. She captures science and graduate school so well. I revel in smart protags! As do we all!
    -Also read the Try Guys book and left a Goodreads review

    I wanted to let you know that on one of my doctors’ groups, one said she couldn’t read romance anymore (sick of the tropes), and someone said, “I enjoy reading Jennifer Crusie.” I enthusiastically agreed and mentioned that you were interested in diversity, so I tried to link to your “Answering Melissa” blog. Couldn’t find it except archived on Goodreads, so all the comments were lost. Is there any way of reviving it?

    Finally, maybe some people here might like Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. There are some interesting takes on familiar tales. Full disclosure, I was one of the August authors and rewrote Snow White to ask, 1. What happened to her mother, and 2. How did Snow White manage to evade death so many times? https://www.fairytalemagazine.com/2020/08/death-and-mother-by-melissa-yuan-innes.html

    1. It’s republished now; thanks for letting me know. I took the whole blog down when it got hacked, and I haven’t got most of it up again, so anything else you want, let me know and I’ll put it back up.

      Search for “Answering Melissa.” All the comments are there (255) except I did another post just to continue comments so the blog wouldn’t break. “Melissa’s Post, Part 2” has another 91 comments on it.

      1. Thank you for republishing that. I’ve just been working my way through the discussions again and absorbing more stuff I didn’t remember from the first time.

  19. I am still reading the five library ebooks I was reading last week. Two jobs is hard on the reading time, but the census for this area is going to be finished by September 30 even if they agree to an extension nation-wide, so I have to make extra money now. So I can afford books, among other things.

  20. I just posted 2 pictures on Working Wednesday pix of the smoke. The sun has gone from being a white dot to a flamingo pink disk as it slides down toward the horizon. The air is practically unbreathable. I am going to have to wear a mask if I want to go outside and grill the hamburgers tonight (my preferred way to cook them so I don’t end up with a layer of grease all over my stove).

    1. Bummer. We have extremely hazardous air from the smoke here in Central Oregon also. My tastes go straight into escape reading, and crossword puzzles during this “stay indoors” period.

  21. After rereading The Perilous Gard I reread Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. I haven’t reread Fire & Hemlock for years and I wasn’t sure what all the steps to the ending were all about. Fortunately, my copy of the book ends with an essay in which Diana Wynne Jones explains her literary lines of thought in the book. The essay really broadened my understanding of the whole story.

    Not sure where I’m going next with rereading Tam Lin stuff. The catalyst for this was a non-Tam Lin story — Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. I love the way that Lessa drives every major movement in that story.

    Maybe Winter Rose by McKinley. I’m afraid that if I try Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin again after many, many years I won’t like it. I’ve ordered Janet Yolen’s version of the tale. Any other Tam Lin retellings you would recommend? (Off now to listen to Fairport Convention’s song.) Thanks in advance!

    1. I tried to recommend Roses and Rot by Kat Howard since it’s Tam Lin but with sisters instead of lovers but my comment wouldn’t publish for some reason on my iPad.

      1. I’m having a lot of problems posting comments here – it’s got worse and worse. I’m on an iPad too; though I’ve been assuming the problem’s with the web host for the site rather than my device, since I’m not having problems elsewhere.

    2. I would highly recommend The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska. It’s a YA, evocative story that draws heavily on Tam Lin, and a Polish legend. Every year the witches turn up to sacrifice a boy from the village to the sea to stop it from claiming the island village of Caldella, and one year the Witch Queen claims Lina Kirk’s crush, Thomas Lin. Lina sets out to get back Thomas, but finds herself more and more intrigued by the heartless Queen who stole him. Bisexual dark fantasy romance and it reminded me of Robin McKinley’s Door in the Hedge short stories.

  22. I’ve subscribed to Kobo Plus because so many of the books mentioned here aren’t available in my library, and been pleasantly surprised that many of them are there.

    “The Chai Factor” by Farah Heron. Multicultural romance with a female engineer, male musician/teacher disguised as a Canadian lumberjack, a barbershop quartet and various LGBTQ secondary characters. I did enjoy it, but felt a little as if she was trying to include one too many things.

    “A Gift of Ghosts” by Sarah Wynde. I think that was recommended here. Really enjoyed it. Nice little spin on paranormal romance. Interested in reading more in the series.

    Various in the Ravenswood series by Talia Hibbert. Liked the first one, “A Girl Like Her” the best. Great, unapologetic female heroine.

    Just started “Helen of Pasadena” by Lian Dolan. Read “Elizabeth the First Wife” and really enjoyed it, but I have snort laughed through the first 50 pages. More Women’s Fiction than romance (it starts with her husband’s funeral. He was killed when his scooter ran into the back of a float during the Rose Bowl Parade because he was texting his mistress).

  23. I read Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton about two writers who get hired to ghostwrite people’s dating profiles, and end up hitting it off with each other (on their client’s behalf). It’s definitely influenced by You’ve Got Mail, but it’s also got stuff that felt very true to modern dating. I loved it. I think I would have enjoyed it no matter what, but mostly I loved it because it got me through a power outage earlier this week.

  24. 3 quarters of the way through Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ inheritance games and really enjoying it. Plucky heroine and interesting mystery.

    Not up to handling much beyond YA at this point (although I did manage a loose listen of Harrow the 9th a few weeks ago which was amazing)

  25. Yesterday, I finished Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Wow. The description on Amazon made me think it was going to be a light, funny, ha-ha type read, but it was much deeper than that. It moved me so much that I dreamed about it last night. I believe it’s going to be a book I return to again and again.

  26. I was camping last weekend and ended up getting caught up on Beth Byers’ series.

    I also started Boudica: the Life of britain’s Legendary Warrior Queen. It’s very, um, dense, I guess is the word I want to use. So I’ll be at this for a while.

  27. Hmmm… I am a vacation jinx….. all I wanted to do was sit on a beach and read a book.

    First time was the hurricane at my sisters in NC.

    Now I’m in OCMD and it’s been raining all week.

    No beach, but lots of books, so not all bad.

  28. In my job I do some cataloging of titles and I’m always finding something that is intriguing, humorous, or both. Today is one of those days. I can’t vouch for the books themselves, but there is a Christopher Moore series called Fool which so far has three books –
    Fool
    Serpent of Venice
    Shakespeare for Squirrels

    Reading the blurbs on Amazon almost have me purchasing these. If you’ve read them, let me know!

  29. I’m enjoying WHEN WOMEN RULED THE WORLD, the Egyptologist Kara Cooney’s take on the half-dozen women who are known to have ruled Egypt in Pharonic times, and what she thinks the dynamics were. It’s quite different than the more usual soap opera stuff various male Egyptologists came up with, and she makes plenty of correlations to the modern day.

    HIEROGLYPHS AND ARITHMETIC (hieroglyphic is the adjective, not the noun, please) is somewhere between beginner and intermediate level — it explains how mathematical concepts are written in the hieroglyphic form (if the scribe were required to write ‘ten loaves,’ he would write ‘loaf ten,’ using the singular of loaf and then the hieroglyph for ‘ten,’ an upside-down U). Writing style is sort of POPULAR MECHANICS level — clear enough for anyone, but presumes a previous interest in the subject.

    THE ELEMENTS OF A HOME gives a history of this-and-that components of a home, from Door and Window to Bed, Monogram, Plate, Playing Cards, and Wineglass. It’s a reasonably well-furnished home!

    THE WATERGATE GIRL is a memoir by Jill Wine-Banks, a former federal prosecutor who is now a legal advisor to cable news and various specialist podcasts, including Talking Feds. Her account of the eighteen minutes of missing tape was very interesting; she was assigned to question Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s secretary.

    Looking forward to THE CARTIERS; apparently someone in the family was rooting through an attic and found family letters that had been stored there . . . .

    And a book called THE OPERATOR, by Gretchen Berg, about a phone operator who hears something not intended for her ears . . . . it always surprises me that even with authorial license, a character can make sense of such a brief — it Had Better be brief — scrap of conversation. I used to pop into closed-door meetings When Absolutely Necessary and never, in decades, heard enough of the subject to successfully blackmail anyone, or determine that a crime was about to happen. Just unlucky, I guess.

    Also beginning THE SANTA KLAUS MURDER, a Golden Age country house murder newly reprinted

  30. A Kindle, a Mobipocket Reader, and a CoolPad phone walk into a bar…

    Well, not yet, but someday. One of my Kindles is hiding, the one named Joe. Jo has been docked to the charger all week. the old Kindle, the one with buttons instead of touch screen, has gone back and forth to work, but seldom gets used. The Mobi Reader app on the mini computer and one or the other of my USB libraries have been exercising all the eyeballs.

    Flint’s Ring of Fire series, specifically 1634: The Galileo Affair, 1635: The Cannon Law, 1636: The Kremlin Games, and A Holmes for the Czar. There’s one story in the anthology, Ring of Fire IV, that tickles me 52.7% to death – “Scarface.” He’s a famous/infamous soldier of fortune (with PTSD), she’s a survivor of smallpox with heavy facial scarring. It’s a match made in the Germanies.

    Currently open is Tell Me Lies.

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