99 thoughts on “This is a (late, sorry) Good Book Thursday, March 25, 2021

  1. Rereading “Rise” by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire). Not for those who are new to the Newsflesh series, but good. A wide variety on the stories from some being super depressing (note: series about zombies, duh) to “hey, this is actually cheering for a zombie world!”

  2. Hey, I’m glad you’re here.

    I think I mentioned already somewhere here that I’m reading Yang Sheng by Katie Brindle. It’s a lovely, easily readable dip into ancient healing and I’ve found it to be very useful.

    Like anything, it takes daily practice, but if you follow the free classes on Instagram, they are so easy to keep up with.

    And its really great how many free resources her Hayo’u Method offers because it’s shows their commitment to service and health first.

  3. I read 4 short stories/novellas by Charlaine Harris, which made me think fondly of Jane the bird killer (sorry, can’t find the the post where she got up and killed a bird to demonstrate what you need to include as normal to a character that is not normal to the rest of us) – see opening line from Charlaine:

    “On this particular spring Tuesday, Anne DeWitt was thrown off her regular schedule. Between brushing her teeth and putting on her foundation, she had to kill a man.”

    They are kinda weird, but enjoyable.

    Tried to read a sample of a Robertson Davies book, but because there was a forward, AND an introduction AND a biography at the front end, I got to read 3-5 pages of actual novel. Oooh was I irritated. I an therefore re-reading the Salterton Trilogy, which I already own in paper. So there.

  4. I have mainly been reading C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St Cyr series. It’s not perfect and some of the books drag a little but I like the characters enough, especially Hero, to want to continue. Book 9 really annoyed me though. It had some supposedly French characters with not quite right names. No, Damion is not a French name, it should be Damien. As for Harmond Vaundreuil, every time I read that one, it jarred me out of the story. That superfluous n in what should be Vaudreuil and Harmond? Is that meant to be Armand? And Alexandrie, that’s an ancient city and a Claude François song :), not a first name.
    If these were fantasy novels, I wouldn’t mind but these fictional characters are interacting with real historical figures (with their proper names).
    It’s funny really how much these small mispellings really bothered me. I don’t need full authenticity in a historical novel but I need veracity.
    Also, how hard is it to get hold of a French native speaker to get these things right?
    I mean, if Jenny wants to get her guns right, she goes to Bob.

    1. I kind of fell out of love with that series at some point. Not sure why or exactly when I stopped. But I still recommend the first several. I really loved them, and I’m a little afraid to go back and re-read for fear that whatever stopped me later will also appear in the early ones.

      1. This series is an example of one where I skim like crazy, seeing the discussions lately have been about what do you skim when you’re reading. I skim for the moments when Sebastian and Hero are on the page together.

  5. Just read another romance by Julia Harper (pseudonym for Elizabeth Hoyt, which is also a pseudonym – so many pseudonyms). The book I just read was Hot which was funny and a quick romp.

    I found these books when I attended a talk by Hoyt. She mentioned them but said they hadn’t done commercially well; she usually writes historical romances. My thought was, since her work as Harper is quite fun, that perhaps the titles of the books are not quite on mark? A good title and cover can draw a reader in. Either way, the books are worth a check out. The plot of Hot starts with a bank robbery in which the robbers are wearing a Sponge Bob and Yoda mask. These two criminals alone are worth a giggle.

  6. I love Georgette Heyer’s mysteries. Actually—and I know this statement will be considered blasphemous by most—I much prefer them to her Regencies. I bought all of them a couple of years ago and had great fun reading through the list. ENVIOUS CASCA is probably my favorite. (I never can remember with the newer title for that one is, excepted the word “Christmas” shows up somewhere.)

    1. A Christmas Party is the later, more commercial name of Envious Casca, the reading of which got me through the holidays 2020. Thanking the mentioner here.

  7. I read a bunch of Ava March books this week – M/M historical romances. Good – but there was a lot of smirking. We don’t like excessive smirking. She’s definitely second tier compared to the A list: Cat Sebastian, C.S. Pacat, K.J. Charles, Joanna Chambers and A.J. Demas.

    Which brings me to the topic of sex in romance books, that some of the Arrghers touched on a blog or two ago. I’m not in the he-takes-him/her-by-the-hand-and-the-door-shuts-gently-after-them camp; I absolutely want and read for some juicy details. However, I prefer when the sex develops the characters and/or the plot instead of the “we will now interrupt this plot for a sexual interlude and then get back to our previously scheduled narrative” approach. (And for the record, this doesn’t make for a great musical either – when the song halts the action instead of pulling it forward.). The A listers above have each mastered the art of writing delicious (or not) sex scenes that gently forward or yank the plot ahead.

  8. Monday it was finally my turn to borrow the first Murderbot book from the library. I opened it up before bed, just to get started, and ended up blazing through the entire thing.
    Tuesday I was able to borrow the second installation and ended up staying up late to finish that one as well.
    Wednesday I learned that the wait time at the library for the third book was Six Months… so I did the only logical thing and purchased all five of the available books.
    They’re scheduled to be delivered Friday before bedtime.
    I’m looking forward to a weekend full of late evenings!
    Thank you to everyone who recommended this series, it is fantastic!

      1. Sounds like I am apparently the only person on the planet who read the first Murderbot book and was able to walk away.

        I guess there is one in every crowd 🙂

    1. Just remember, you have to start the fifth one well before bed if you don’t want to be up all night reading!

  9. I’m working on short stories at the moment so I decided to get some inspiration from earlier masters. I found a new compilation of F. Scott Fitzgerald and also downloaded a James Thurber collection. I haven’t read all of them yet but as had to be expected, there were some good, some strange, and some very funny ones among them.

    If you have more suggestions concerning short stories, I’m always grateful. Like I loved the Connie Willis Christmas stories that somebody mentioned here.

    1. There’s a James Thurber short story I especially love called something like The Night the Ghost Got In. If you come across it, do try it!

      1. That’s the story that got me hooked. As a 16-year-old exchange student I had to take a speech class (I’ll be forever grateful for it!) and that is the text I prepared for my final assignment. It was so much fun!

        1. Ha! I also read part of that story aloud for a class assignment. Except I couldn’t finish because I was laughing so hard.

  10. As I was finishing up my Loretta Chase, and giving the side-eye to the historical fiction on my bedside table that I haven’t completely given up on, I decided a reread of The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. At first, I almost regretted it, because it is dark and somewhat sinister in the beginning, and somewhat jarring from my previous fare. But once I got into it – maybe 10 pages – I was swept up again. It was written quite a while ago, before the term steampunk came about, but it is steampunk, mixed with Egyptian magic, set primarily in London around 1816. There’s time travel involved. One of the bits I had remembered was the hero coming to the realization that other people from the future were nearby because they were whistling the first several bars of Yesterday.

    Still only about halfway through, but I’m glad I did the reread.

  11. Hey all. I don’t think of myself as an adult who reads manga, but now I am. Read volumes 1-5 of Aya Kanno’s Requiem of the Rose King. Yep, you know it, War of the Roses. So so good. I was rooting for Richard III from the start. 1-5 only take us up to Richard as a late teen. If you like his period, gender twists, great artwork, give it a go.

    Also: finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Brilliant. Onto the Big Four in April.

    Thanks for all of the Christie fave book recs last week – I want to get to the Marples – but have mentally committed myself to reading in order.

  12. The only new thing I’ve read this last week is an excerpt from the upcoming Murderbot novella, and it makes me even more anxious for the release date., which will be right after my second vaccine shot, which, despite my impatience, is perfect in case the second one makes me want to stay in bed and read. https://us.macmillan.com/excerpt?isbn=9781250765376

    1. Woo hooo! Thanks for putting this up.

      I just requested it as a pre-order for my birthday on the birthday list since it comes out after.

  13. Currently reading You Were Never Here, which I picked up from Bookbub and it’s a winner. YA thriller, family secrets and superpowers. I have no idea whodunnit.

  14. I read Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, which I think someone here recommended. Loved it so much. In some countries it is called Tuesday Mooney Wore Black, which is nowhere near as interesting a title.

    And also Rachael Herron’s The Ones Who Matter Most. This was a ‘my husband just died and now I’m discovering all the things I never knew about him’ novel, which is one of my favourite tropes. And she does it very nicely. A warm-hearted book. I’ll read more of hers.

    1. I think I was the one who originally recommended Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, which a number of other Arghers subsequently read and I think liked it as well.

  15. I finished several books last week. Some of them took longer than others.
    Jessie Mihalik’s Chaos Reigning was the latest book in the series. I liked the previous two books, and this one wasn’t bad either, especially as a sci-fi flick. It isn’t worth much as a romance (its secondary subplot), but overall, a fast and furious ride. Enjoyable.
    Kristin Cashore’s Winterkeep was not nearly as good as I expected. I liked this author’s previous books. I wanted to like this one too but I couldn’t.
    The same applies to T. Kingfisher’s Paladin’s Strength. I expected better. I loved many earlier books by this author, but this one didn’t work for me. In fact, several of her later books didn’t work for me. I might stop buying her, which makes me upset.
    T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea had me torn in half. According to reviews, readers love it. I loved it too, at least the first three quarters of the book, but I hated the ending. It was false. I didn’t believe it. The first three quarters felt like a sweet but poignant story, with a tragedy upcoming. A totally believable story, despite its fantasy setting and magical creatures involved. The artificial happy ending with its whiff of revolution was a set-down, an unexpected conclusion sewn to the story with huge and ugly stitches that wouldn’t hold. It didn’t feel organic, didn’t fit the rest of the story. I understand that many readers want their happy ending. I do too, always. But this one lied.

    1. Trying to figure out how to discuss Cerulean Sea without spoilers! This is definitely a situation where YMMV. I agree part of the ending was a little unrealistic (for fictional values of realism!), but I thought the important part of the book was the relationships between the 2 men, the relationship of the protag with the children, and the protag’s growth and development, and that rang true to me even at the end. So overall I was satisfied with this book even if some events at the end perhaps didn’t, um, fit. But I do understand where you’re coming from. Hope you fare better with the next book you read! 🙂

    2. I haven’t even read Bitterblue because I loved Graceling and Fire so much.

        1. I loved Bitterblue today – my favourite of the three. So I’m a little nervous about reading Winterkeep since it’s a direct sequel…

  16. I’ve only finished A night in Boukos by aj demas snd I really liked it. Hardly anything happens apart from our two protagonists wandering through a city foreign to them in search for their ambassador. Very gentle, really nice, no juicy scenes (spoiler), but i didn’t miss them.
    I’m definitely a character over story reader: with Harry Dresden e.g. I always loved the parts where we meet him in his everyday life. But then the story/adventure always picks up speed and the normalcy is left behind.
    Now reading Something
    Human. Im not quite sure what to make of it yet. H/h have rescued each other from the battlefield and hide in a temple. They talk. A lot.
    I’d have thought one would be less talkative in such a situation, at least at first. Nothing really has happened yet.
    Well, something has bugged me: one of them was having a bath in spite of a leg wound. Did he leave the leg hanging outside? Hm.
    I’d love to get more action. Well, maybe I like my books to have a good balance of story and characters.
    Not much else read if you don’t count excerpts. I like the very gentle Jayne Davis romances, esp the two Mrs McKinnons. After readingthe first pages of “the 4th Marchioness” I might give it a try.
    But my assignment for the Yale course Science of Well being is doing something to foster one of my 5 signature strengths. I opted for fostering my “love of learning”. Which is also one of my biggest weaknesses I realized, because I struggle with the kids not being equally thrilled by learning. Well, not yet. I for sure didn’t develop that while at school, so there’s hope…
    Ds’s strongest strength is kindness, so someghing to be proud of!

    1. I like Jayne Davis a lot. So far, I’ve read everything by her but the latest. She never disappoints, even though some of her stories read better than others.

    1. Dear Deborah,

      Just saw a shoutout for your book, Wickedly Dangerous, by Eloisa James, author of historical romances primarily, on her YouTube channel “What Eloisa Is Reading.” Go girl!

      1. WHOO HOO! I actually met her in person at an RWA National Conference the year the book came out. I went to get her to sign one of her books, and when she saw my name tag, she said, “Oh! I loved your book!” I was pretty much, “Jesus, take me now.” It was a great moment.

        I’ll have to check out her YouTube channel. That’s so cool.

        1. Sorry for the delay in responding, Deb, but I had to backtrack to find it and then try to figure how to copy the link. Fingers crossed that this will work: https://youtu.be/bLvl7dRtB2A. It is on her YouTube channel and was uploaded on January 10, 2021. Enjoy!

  17. The skimming conversation had a lot of meaning to me this week as I skimmed through 1/2 of a chapter in one of my reads. I have read alot of her books and was willing to see if it got better. It has but it took along time to get going.

    I started Patricia Briggs newest and love it so far. I also finished Deb’s Furbidden Fatality. I really liked it and I am looking forward to the next one. Fun people there.

      1. Hey, I liked it too! You had a lot to shove in there – story, characters, their relationships, history – and none of the labor shows. Defines cozy. Imma going back for more.

  18. I was expecting to have a wholehearted recommendation: ‘Rescue Me’ by Sarra Manning, a romcom with rescue dog, set in North London. But it was too drawn out; needed one of Jenny’s edits for pace. It’s chracter-driven, though, and funny; might well work 100% for someone else.

    I read a couple of books by this author years ago, and have one of them in paperback, which I was planning to reread after this new one; but I think I had the same reservation with that one, which is why I haven’t reread it before. Near-misses are so frustrating, especially when they’re so nearly really good.

  19. After a year of not enjoying reading especially, not able to focus, not liking anything new, not wanting anything old, I binged on Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey mystery series, polishing off the first three novels and four novellas in a week. I enjoyed them a lot, rather astonishing myself, although by the third novel, if the hero hadn’t come through big time, I’d have ditched him. Saved in the nick of time!

  20. I read 6 full-length books (including one of my own and 2 ‘In Death’ re-reads), plus 3 shorter things (all M/M, one a re-read of KJ Charles’ Rag & Bone), and DNFd another thing.

    That thing surprised me. It was Stella Riley (I love her Georgian romances), ‘The Black Madonna.’ 25% in I still wasn’t sure who my protagonist was. Nothing was really happening. Everything was politics and nothing was fun. So I bailed. The goldsmith/moneylender Luciano was by far the most interesting character and may well be the protagonist, but 25% in I should not be guessing, right Arghers?

    Another disappointment (though I did at least read 100%) was ‘Mr. Right Across the Street’ by Kathryn Freeman. There were quite a few good things about it but I fought mounting annoyance at the way the heroine kept punishing the hero for having a life before he met her.

    Much enjoyed: ‘Pinot and Pineapple Lumps’ by Jay Hogan and ‘Paladin’s Grace’ by T. Kingfisher.

    Keeping on Kindle for inevitable and possibly frequent re-reads: ‘Eight Acts’ by A.L. Lester and ‘A Heaven to Reach For’ by R. Cooper.

  21. I read Patricia Brigg’s Dead Heat. It was full of descriptions of horses and how each horse is different to a rider. Some people found it too much about horses, but I wanted to be a horse girl when I was a kid, but too much moving around. It was a good read, and quite moving.
    I’m listening to an old favorite, The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold, and enjoying it tremendously. All that riding around on horses.
    I started The Weight of Ink, and I think it’s going to be one of those books I finish, bit by bit, keeping it on the bedside table.

  22. About 3/4 of the way through THE FLATSHARE, which I picked up after seeing it recommended here. Really enjoying it.

    Also started a contemporary mystery, THE DARK ANGEL by Elly Griffiths. It’s book #10 in a series I’ve never read before, and I’m iffy about it so far. I’m very intrigued by the opening premise (archaeologist in Italy digs up ancient bones…. and finds a cell phone there, which rings his number)… But I so far find the British heroine (written by an American author) pretty tepid, and her personal life (which gets a lot of focus) is way too confusing.

    And in audio, listening to THE WITCH ELM by Irish author Tana French. Not sure where it’s going, but finding it compelling so far.

      1. Pretty sure she’s British. She has 2 major mystery series set in England. The book you are referring to is an outlier, being set in Italy. I think you might have enjoyed your intro to the series better if you had started with one of the earlier books. The relationships are indeed confusing for someone starting at the end of the series. I like archaology and I like the series generally although the relationship between the heroine and the detective annoys me.

      2. I have just started reading the series by Elly Griffiths and am enjoying it immensely. I am only about 5 books into the series though.

      3. I like this series by Elly Griffiths but you have to start with the first one otherwise the romantic relationships will make no senses whatsoever!

        1. Yes, I’m definitely getting that impression. Fortunately, much of this book is set in Italy, away from all that.

  23. Reread the Briggs Alpha & Omega series, went on and reread all the Mercy series, just finished a reread of Bishop’s the Others series. Always enjoy how excellent the world and character building is with both authors.

  24. I am reading the boyfriend school by Sarah bird. Recommended here. At first I loved it. Funny voice, romance convention. Love the Authors she met and her gradual journey into becoming a romance novelist. Loved the description of her thoughts on becoming a romance novelist. But now I don’t care anymore. She’s on her third boyfriend, is obviously self-destructive, and I still have 100 pages to read. This isn’t really a romance at all, it’s women’s fiction. But if it was a Romance it could’ve benefited from a good edit.

  25. I have one library book to read – Vanessa Yu’s magical Paris tea shop. And then I think I’m going to try to get the murder bot books.

  26. I just finished “Life and Limb” – the 1st book in a series by Jennifer Roberson about 2 men who were born with an angelic spark are tasked with fighting against Lucifer and his demon army from Hell. I don’t think I’ll continue with the series. I like the concept, but I had a hard time overlooking Roberson’s writing tics in this book.

    I’m starting Arkady Martine’s second book – “A Desolation Called Peace”. Although, based on previous comments, I think I’ll read “Stone Circle” from Elly Griffiths since I totally missed this book coming out in 2019.

  27. I discovered a new to me author, Evie Dunmore. Read and thoroughly enjoyed Bringing Down the Duke, followed by A Rogue of One’s Own, then pre ordered the third book in the series, but sadly must wait until September for it. Really enjoyed the storylines, the historical details, and especially loved her heroines.

    1. I read A Rogue Of One’s Own last week and loved it. So much righteous outrage! I have to try and order the first one now.

  28. Just finished Last Strand by Jennifer Estep, which was good (it’s the last book in the Elemental Assassins series). I’ve also been reading, and enjoying, the Dreamhealers series by M.C.A. Hogarth. And I thought The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner was surprisingly fun.

  29. My unsatisfactory read this week has been PIONEER FAMILIES OF FRANKLIN COUNTY, VIRGINIA, which is a well-researched book by Marshall Wingfield. He has a lot of information on Wingfields, and it’s really pretty good for other families, too, but by some odd coincidence, none of them seem to be mine . . . in a time period when the court records seem pretty clear that my relatives lived there and were early settlers. They seem to have been in the part of the county that was set off as Floyd County in 1831, which no doubt accounts for it.

    Comfort reread was Ann Bridge’s THE DARK MOMENT, about the creation of the modern Turkish state after WWI. Ann Bridge (pseudonym of Mary, Lady O’Malley, wife of a diplomat) isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and many of her books are definitely period pieces, but this one took advantage of her friendship with the wife of a Turkish ambassador (and a lot of other research), and a summer spent with the ambassador’s household in 1939 (I think) right after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk died in 1938. No one was doing the usual vacation traveling because of WWII, so the people who’d worked with Atatürk were concentrated in the more traditional summer retreat, and, of course, since he’d died so recently, they talked about him nonstop.

    HEADLINERS, by Lucy Parker, was my Screwball Romantic Comedy. The Wibblet took me even more completely by surprise than it did the hero and heroine. I was just sitting in the (parked) car, whooping and snorting, while the groceries thawed.

      1. Thank you! I took advantage of the suggestion to change it — I think WordPress is convinced I want to set up a blog, which I don’t have time for, but it did eventually let me use the old photo (Christmas 1958, and of course I was reading; the only good pictures of me are taken when I have my nose in a book and am not conscious of the camera).

        Since I don’t have to worry about Publicity, thank goodness, a photo which can be truthfully described as Not Recent is just what I like. I have a friend whose chosen FaceBook photo was of herself as a mushroom, age three.

  30. Charles Finch’s newest, Extravagant Death. Most poignant of the series, leaving one to wonder what comes next. First books in the series a bit stiff – like it’s Victorian setting? – but Finch and I have gotten more comfortable as we go along. Oh. This current one is an outlier, set in America, in and out of the Newport cottages.

  31. I have been rereading a lot this week (Murderbot anyone?). I tried to read Middlegame by Seanan McGuire and abandoned it. It seemed to have two different prefaces both of which looked interesting then switched to yet something else that looked unrelated and I gave up. I couldn’t figure out where the story was going to go, or if there was one story or multiple stories based on the snippet I read and I did not feel like investing the work into finding out. I just wanted a story.

  32. To my joy and delight I have just discovered that a whole stack of Diana Norman books are now available on Kobo and Amazon. I’ve been looking for them for years – managed to find a few second hand, but most were out of print. Now they are available digitally.

    In later years she published as Ariana Franklin, and those books are wonderful. But so are the earlier ones. Tomorrow I am going on a spending spree. Historical romance adventure. And so good!

    1. I really like Ariana Franklin’s books. Had no idea she used to publish under a different name!

    2. Thank you. I have checked out one Diana Norman and one Ariana Franklin to see how I like them. Interestingly the digital library only has one Diana Norman but a whole bunch of Ariana Franklin.

      1. Yes, same here at my library. Which was why I was so pleased to find them online. I think she hit the biggish time with the Ariana Franklin books, which is why they are still around. But she was a very fine writer all along.

  33. It’s been a week for re-reading the Wearing the Cape series, and I’m up to Teamups and Crossovers.

    I mentioned reading Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Con on my phone. I’m not making much headway. Had I been asked before, I would have sworn to be a Great Fan of Robinson, based on six books in his earlier backlist, starting with Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. I think I confused my love of puns for good writing. Alas, I have matured. I still love puns (okay, not that mature), but I have learned to prefer good writing. This book is not that.

    1. I did so love Robinson’s Callahan books… when I was 13 or so. The most recent ones have been so disappointing that I’m afraid to go back to re-read the early ones.

  34. Knitting patterns. Does anyone know what this means:

    Gauge: 23.5 sts x 27.5 rounds = 4″ in mixed Twisted Rib (half in 1×1 and half in 2×2)

    Ok, I get the sts x rounds = “; I get Twisted Rib (thanks youtube!). But when they say a MIXED twisted rib, and half of it is supposed to be 1×1 and half is 2×2 then what? I’m not going to knit 27.5 rounds, I will likely knit closer to like 35 or 40 rounds (cause youtube told me I should have extra outside my 4” square). So does “half in” mean that the first 20 rounds are 1×1 and the second 20 are 2×2?

    I am very closer to finding this designer’s ravlery page and just asking them–is that rude? Is there knitting etiquette? I am new to this world.

    1. I agree that the mixed twisted rib for a gauge swatch is odd; I’m not sure how i would interpret that. I frequently write to designers on Ravelry and I find that most of them are very prompt and happy to help. I dont think it violates any etiquette rules, unspoken or otherwise.

      1. Haha, good to know I am not the only one stumped. And ok, nice to know that other people also reach out to designers and it’s ok. 🙂

    2. I don’t know knitting etiquette, but I do have a friend who’s a serious knitter, and I could ask her if you wanted (email me at Gin@GinJones.com) Alternatively, Roxanne (RoxRox is her handle, I think) is an expert knitter on Ravelry, and if you can find her, she used to be a Cherry, and I bet if you tell her you’re part of this community she’d be happy to answer a quick question. She’d probably do it anyway, because, as noted, nice person, but she’d probably get a kick out of the connection to the precursor to this community.

  35. I read the four books of Octavia Butler’s Patternist series for a book group I just joined. Wow, they are dark. So, so, so dark. I then went looking online for essays/literary criticism/commentary about the use of rape and non-consent in Butler’s work because these were the rapiest books I’ve ever read and I’m including my adolescent love for Johanna Lindsey’s pirates in that analysis. I’m feeling pretty dubious about the book group as a result, but after a year in isolation, I need to do something sociable…

    I’m now washing away the taste of the Patternist series with DE Stephenson, some of whose work has shown up in Kindle Unlimited. The most recent has a foreword explaining how her work is really different from anyone else and I sorta rolled my eyes and thought “Maeve Binchy, please?” but they’re very gentle British romances written mostly in the 40s and 50s. Definitely a product of her time period and culture, but soothing in that period way.

    1. Had to come back to say Stevenson, not Stephenson. I think I’ve had it wrong in my head for decades, but I just went to open up the next book and realized I wasn’t spelling it right.

      1. I have enjoyed many DE Stevenson (her father was a first cousin of Robert Louis’s) books, but especially MRS TIM CHRISTIE.

  36. Re-reading ‘In The Name of The Wind’ and ‘A Wise Man’s Fear’ by Patrick Rothfuss. I wish he would finish up the third book already. I think it’s been over 10 years since book 2

    1. I used to say “I’ll be retired on Social Security before he finishes book 3”. Now I say “I’ll probably be in my grave.” I heard last year that he had actually finished it but was having problems (Jenny and Nita anyone?) but it is just a rumor, not confirmed. I think I will go make a martini to tide me over the disappointment.

      1. I read this article and it was much better than I expected. Usually these things are written by people who don’t knit.

  37. I love Stella Riley’s Roundheads and Cavaliers books. The Black Madonna dates back to 1992 and is one of her earliest. They are romantic historical fiction rather than historical romances – at least the early ones are. However even though I love it
    I thought there was a bit too much info-dumping in the early part of this one. The sad thing is… you probably gave up on it just when it was about to take off.

    1. Well, in that case I’ll go back to it. 🙂 When I find an author I like, I tend to do a Full Read even if I don’t end up loving every single title – thanks for the feedback!

  38. I’ve been rereading m/m romance because I really enjoy the lack of power imbalance between the characters. No need to navigate toxic gender politics, which is especially topical and spectacularly unpleasant in Oz right now. Sean Ashcroft, Eden Finley, and Sarina Bowen have been particularly comforting.

  39. Read WILD SIGN, Patricia Briggs’s most recent Alpha and Omega book. I really liked it. The two most recent books in that series have seen a lot more screen time (page time?) for a character that was previously disliked by pretty much all the other characters, and I’ve enjoyed learning more about her. It’s also brought more time with and information about Bran, and while I enjoy reading about him, I also want to smack him a lot of the time. Anna and Charles still delightful.

    I’ve started re-reading SHIFTING SHADOWS, the short stories from the Mercy Thompson/Alpha and Omega series during my work week since short fiction is easier to concentrate on when there’s not much reading time. Still really enjoy those stories.

  40. Currently reading Camilla Monk’s Spotless series. Absolutely hilarious – I’ve been laughing out loud at bits. Started with the first book and have spent last few days reading out bits to my husband inbetween giggling.

    But love Georgette Heyer’s regency books – a great comfort read.

  41. I always get a little kick of happiness when someone mentions Heyer. I too have been re-reading her mysteries, specifically, for the past few months. Why Shoot A Butler? and A Blunt Instrument are my favorites, the first for its chase scene and the second for its banter.

    Now that I’ve gone through all of her mysteries, I’m moving on to re-reading Elizabeth Daly’s Henry Gamadge mysteries. Set in the late 30’s and the 40’s in Maine and NYC, they feature an unassuming amateur detective and deliciously convoluted solutions. No romance. Not much banter. No action sequences. The treat is the gentle calm of the writing: I find them utterly transporting.

  42. I discovered Georgette Heyer during the pandemic and I think she saved me. Binged on ebooks of this Queen of the genre. Better than a holiday abroad for this Canadian.

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