This is a Good Book Thursday, August 26, 2021 August 26, 2021 ~ Jenny I read a book about minimalism this week. It had limited appeal. What did you read?
107 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, August 26, 2021”
I am still re-reading rather than trying new stuff. I am currently re-reading Ilona Andrews first Hidden Legacy trilogy. I much prefer Nevada and Connor to Catalina and Alessandro. Maybe because Alessandro doesn’t feel very authentically Italian…
I also prefer Nevada and Conner, but although I do like Catalina I don’t like Alessandro at all. He doesn’t feel authentically anything to me.
I’ve immersed myself into the Nathan Lowell Solar Clipper Series. Have read and loved books 1 to three. Now I need a bit of respite before continuing with Double Share, i.e. book 4.
In the meantime I started with In the doghouse by Samantha David, but I struggle. The head hopping is very strong in parts, we even get the dog’s perspective.
The portrayal of France might be right, I can’t judge this, haven’t been to the South yet, but in general all of the characters have a kind of caricature feel to them. The actor, the heroine, the daugjter… The 13 yr old girl is behaving rather strange – and I do have a 13 yr old daughter and her friends for instant comparison.
I’m not even convinced by the dog aspect, though there my “expertise” is only second hand. I wonder about the fab reviews on Goodreads, but then I seldom click with passionate books (must be the capricorn in me?).
While on vacation (sadly over too soon, we’re back home, leaving summer and arriving in autumn, so we had to forgo our bathing suits and light clothes for layers. I need to get out our warmer jackets, sigh) I also read some nice excerpts of Lauren Schippen’s The infinite Noise, Celia Lake’s Outcrossing, Luken’s Deep Water.
I might get the Lake book as the other two are rather expensive for ebooks. Real books have the huge advantage that they can be swapped. Dh ist still waiting for his chance to finish Quarter Share…
I read Celia Lake’s latest, Sailor’s Jewel. It’s set in 1902 on an ocean liner where Rhoe and her brother Cyrus are taking a trip to New York before she takes her oath to Belisama in the Healing Temple.
It’s a good one, with a gentle and somewhat slow-burn romance, and some interesting interaction with merpeople and magic.
Thanks for letting us know Celia Lake has a new book out. I only discovered her a few months ago but she is now on my autobuy list!
Thanks from me, too. I love slow burn!!!
You missed your chance to say: “It had minimal appeal.”
It was funny though anyway!
I thought it was subtle actually 🙂
That’s too on-the-nose.
I am rereading 84 Charing Cross Road and the Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff, and really enjoying them. One part she writes if anyone else talked to her she would bite, for some reason that made me think ‘Jenny Crusie.
I enjoyed the movie but haven’t seen it for a long time, it never shows up on the old movie channel.
I also read the new Amanda Quick The Lady has a Past, it seemed like a reread, perhaps because of the familiar cast.
OMG – I loved those two books and 84 Charing Cross Road has been on my rereadable list forever. Thank you for represencing them here. Books about books are always close to my heart.
Not too long ago I reread LETTER FROM NEW YORK and APPLE OF MY EYE, also by her, and there’s a fairly new biography which I haven’t read: HELENE HANFF, A Life, by Stephen R. Pastore, if you’re interested.
I listened to The Trials of Morrigan Crow which I really liked. It’s a middle grade magical adventure story about a young girl who is supposed to die on her 11th birthday but is whisked away to an alternate realm where she discovers that the curse that was to kill her is something completely different than what she was lead to believe.
I also finished Dark Waters by Katherine Arden, another middle grade adventure about a group of friends and their battles with the Big Bad.
I have the new Louise Penny Gamache book in my Audible queue but I’m not sure I have the emotional strength for it right now. It seems to deal with the fallout of the pandemic and the question of exactly how horrible we can allow people to be and I’m not prepared for that at the moment. It may wind up being something completely different but right now I just can’t.
I’m listening to the second Alex Verus (mage in London, kind of Dresden Files-y) by Benedict Jaka right now.
The latest Pendergast novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is waiting for me at the library.
The Nevermoor series gets better with every book. I love them.
I’m in the middle of the new Louise Penny, and really enjoying it, but it does lean quite heavily on questions about the morality of mandatory euthanasia for the elderly and infirm following the pandemic since one of the main (non-regular) characters involved in the murder-mystery element is a statistician with controversial views. So not the lightest of reads.
Reading that back, that makes it sound absolutely horrific. It isn’t, and as a book I’m sure usual fans of Louise Penny will love it, but does reference a delicate topic.
Thanks Frances. I was hoping someone was reading it and could enlighten me. I will save it for later.
I read “Voodoo Shanghai” by Kristi Charish, the 3rd installment in her Kincaid Strange series. I resented this series for the longest time because it wasn’t a new installment in her Owl series. Who was this Strange bint and why was she taking away the author’s attention when she clearly should have been focused on delivering my next hit? But, I finally gave in and read the book and really liked it. Unfortunately, both series are incomplete and end on cliff-hangars. Bah humbug.
I also finished Donna Andrews’ latest Meg Langslow series, “Murder Most Fowl”. This is the 29th book in the series and it’s such a comfort read. Although, I think all of the characters, except for the sons, have the biology of Nero Wolfe and Archie. That is, there is a dog – Spike – which the heroine inherited from an elderly aunt, I think – in the first or second book. Which came out in the year 2000 so the dog is now more than 20 years since he wasn’t a young dog when Meg inherited him. He is still the bite master and capable of taking down villains, heros, side characters, and anyone with a pulse in a single leap.
Finished Rachel Reid’s Role Model – very good M/M romance with the grumpy/sunshine trope and real growth for the MC. Heard her interview recently on the BGF podcast and it was delightful – looking forward to the close of the series next year.
I also like the Sanmatha Wayland M/M hockey player series – anyone have any scoop on when the next one is arriving?
Onto the next in reading order for Agatha Christie, The A.B.C Murders. Also scored 6 of the British library crime fiction golden age mysteries with the cool covers at a church book sale (so glad it was back – with masks!)
And bedside, end of night reading is Delia Ephron’s Sister Mother Husband Dog….light essays…very different style from her sister Nora’s essays, even more self-confessional, but enjoying them. Did not realize she was the co-writer of lots of great movies and a novelist.
Bought the first in the Rachel Reid series on your recommendation. No scoop on when the next Samantha Wayland M/M hockey player series is coming out…but I can recommend the M/M Eden Finlay/Saxon James hockey player series.
If you like m/m hockey stories, I would recommend reading Thrown off the ice by Taylor Fitzpatrick.
I will warn you though that it has an incredibly poignant ending.
I cry everytime I read it.
Thanks to you both, will check those authors out!
Yes, it is a sad ending
I’m still rereading the Wearing the Cape series. Also, webcomics: Grrl Power. In today’s comic, we see Maxima fighting Vehemence, a supervillain who absorbs energy from violence.
Maxima has maximal appeal.
I’m halfway through Hench and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say I’m enjoying every delicious word. More to report next week.
Alessandra Hazard’s latest in the M/M A Little Bit Straight series came out and I gobbled it down in one sitting. So guilty but oh I adore her stuff.
And I thought I’d moved on from Eden Finley’s hockey players to her football player series but there was a bit of a left turn back to hockey players with some rock musicians thrown in for variety. All good. BUT – one of the hockey player was a Canadian (of course) named Caleb, and I want it to be officially noted that there aren’t a lot of Calebs up here in the Great White North – I’ve never met any – lots of Ian’s and Scott’s and Ali’s – but no Calebs. Research, people, research.
My neighbour is named Caleb, as is a friend in nearby town.
Maybe it’s a Québec name??
Post-secondary instructor in Manitoba, Canada here! I Have seen thousands of young adults since 2004. I searched my hard drive and got a number of hits for Caleb. Not nearly as common as Liam though.
I’m listening to Marking Time by Elizabeth Jane Howard; the second book in the Cazalet Chronicles. I read Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I’m currently reading Snowflake by Louise Nealon, which is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read, but I’m really enjoying it and would recommend.
A book that was recommended to me was Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny, because it’s supposed to be funny, but the book description left me uncertain and I’ve never read this author. I decided to do a search on this website to see if anybody had mentioned this author in the past. I didn’t find anything, but it did bring up a blog post Jenny did in 2005 that made me laugh. Great photos too!
Thanks for the bonus blog post, Tes!
That was hilarious. Thanks.
Thanks, Tes, that made my evening.
Thanks for posting this; I laughed out loud while reading it!
That was so funny. Makes me want to go back over all JC’s blog posts.
As it happens, I just read this very positive review. The library has it in translation, so I got that a few days ago. I couldn’t get into it at all. I flicked through it, but it’s not for me. It may partly be the fault of the translation. My eye catches on strange expressions, and then I start translating them back and thinking of better translations. Guaranteed to take you out of the story.
I have that problem with translations even when I don’t know the original language. (Although knowing it makes it worse–yes, stopping to back translate things destroys the pace!)
Thank you for this review Clare.
Enjoyed The Switch by Beth O’Leary, though it took a while to get going, and was a bit too contrived to completely wow me. Also enjoyed Magician by K. L. Noone: sweet M/M romance, and I loved the nature of the magic. But her pacing was all to pot: it got slower and slower towards the end.
I’ve nearly finished Someone to Cherish by Mary Balogh; not her best, but a comfort read. As others have said, she’d do much better not to include an enormous cast of characters from previous stories in the series. For one thing, it makes me doubt the storyworld – dozens of blissfully happy couples just doesn’t convince.
Loved the New York trip post — that was before I discovered the blog, so I’d never read it before. Very evocative, especially since Jenny was kind enough to actually write it while Still In New York.
I’m still slogging my way through the 15 library book pile (because nearly all my waiting list books appeared at once). Finished all but the latest (Harry’s) Westcott series. I felt they went downhill from the random two I started with, but believe me, I couldn’t write a series of books about a huge extended supportive family to save my life, so I’m no good judge.
Greatest thing has been FINALLY getting the physical copies of two Bujold Penric books, which I have been loving every word of. I’m late to the party, but so glad to have finally scored them. Particularly liking the one where Penric has turned eye surgeon for some good people.
Somebody should elevate Lois Bujold to sainthood.
That eye surgery sequence is so well done. She’s good at so many things, but particularly good at turning medical technicalities into story. (Mile Vorkosigan’s birth scene has stayed with me as vividly as anything I’ve ever read).
I started Hench the day Jenny recommended it & found myself finishing it that night. Some of its moral murkiness troubled me — not so much the “I am providing tech support for a guy who kidnaps children” as the “I will expect your sympathy when the consequences of this choice turn out to not be great” — but it’s so well told & so propulsive. Couldn’t stop reading, was very sad to discover it’s too recent for there to be a sequel yet.
Also started reading The Right Sort of Man. Only a few chapters in, unsure how much I like it. Characters strong, mystery hasn’t got its teeth into me yet.
Read the first couple of sections of Civilisations, by Laurent Binet — alternate history novel about a world in which the Incas invade Spain, rather than vice versa. The first section’s in the style of a Norse saga, the second presents itself as the journal of Christopher Columbus. So far it feels like an intellectual exercise more than a story, but I’ll probably keep reading at least a while longer.
And I’m reading Jane Smiley’s biography of Dickens. I’ve tried and tried to enjoy his books and I mostly just can’t get there, but my word he’s interesting as a character & a social history pivot point, and Jane Smiley brings a lot of working novelist insight to the table. Really good.
Also I’m reading Squirrel Girl! I am madly in love with Squirrel Girl.
I adore Squirrel Girl. And Tippy Toes. I love the Twitter chats with other Marvel characters.
Same boat with Hench! I am not done yet, but I was on board right until that moment when it became blaming heroes for damage. Waiting to see how it’ll play out before making a final judgment. There is a need for distinction on who/what is being hurt and why, I think.
It’s a very interesting concept, though, and it drives me nuts in big action movies where half the city is decimated and there isn’t even a byline spent on it.
Imagine the cost to the city to constantly be rebuilding from damage in big fights like that. From a numbers perspective, there must be instances where it’s better to let the villain do what they are doing vs pay for the damages in stopping them bc it’s literally cheaper to let them rob the bank. Sounds like an insurance review in deciding to recall something on a car. =_=
Either way, book/audiobook so far is great!
Leaflemming, I like Dickens because I began reading his books when I was a kid, the same time I read Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling and a bunch of other 19th century writers.
I think that early acquaintance allows me a measure of forbearance that I wouldn’t give writers whose works I am reading for the first time in current days.
Leaflemming, in Civilizations when the Incas invade Spain, do they instantly get wiped out by small pox, measles, mumps and chicken pox? I am wondering how far the book veers from life. The Spanish would not have had it so easy if native populations hadn’t been decimated by European diseases. So I wonder if that comes up in this book?
the reason Civilisations starts in the style of an Icelandic saga is that it’s about how smallpox & other European diseases make it to the Americas around 1100AD in this world, along with a breeding population of horses. Same huge die-off, but no follow-up invasion. So that when Columbus gets there in 1492, the main effect is to alert the now-disease-resistant Incans to the existence of Europe.
Oh, wow, I must get my hands on this book! I was attracted by “The first section’s in the style of a Norse saga, the second presents itself as the journal of Christopher Columbus” but if disease-resistant America is the premise I’m really interested.
And I have it on my holds list now.
She was against kidnapping the kid, as I remember. Didn’t know about it until he showed up, shortly after which she was collateral damage.
Marvel actually addressed the collateral damage from superheroes bit several times. Certainly in all the money people were making cleaning it up, and the deaths of innocent bystanders. I think Age of Ultron hit that and the first Daredevil. I looked at it as more of “these characters” rather than “superheroes in general” because the super they were fighting against was such a venal asshat. He really did need to be stopped, although possibly not in the way that his ex stopped him.
I really liked the community there–big community freak here–and the way her obsession evolved and changed her life, losing friendships and gaining them as she changed.
I think Marvel was the first set of movies I’ve seen address it, which was fascinating seeing it play out. In some ways the concept reminds me of the Watchmen (comic, not seen the movie). There may be more, but it seems more common not to address it and just move on.
And she was against the plot with the kid, but she isnt against general crime. She’s aware she’s working for villains, they do bad things, and she brushes that off in all the examples she gives while researching the report. “A measly bank robbery”. Her point still stands – the cost of the robbery was likely less than the cost of stopping the robbery in action by a superhero, but she is still not addressing the guilt of most of the victims she finds – meats and henches.
I do love how she’s changing in the story, though. I really love the diversity of cast, as well. I am quite enjoying it, it was just that point that threw me. It feels like swimming with sharks with chum in the water and then getting mad should you get bit.
I’ve been rereading more Pratchett. Finished “Reaper Man”, which is still one of my all-time favourites, then read “The Fifth Elephant” and “Night Watch” because Sam Vimes.
Now reading “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins, the prequel to the “The Hunger Games” trilogy. Great book so far, 45 % in. I had expected the female tribute would be a cheeky, unruly, arrogant, mean rebel, but much to my surprise she turned out to be incredibly sweet. Not at all a Katniss Everdeen, but still not a wet hen or someone that folds easily. I really like her so far. Too bad she’s not the main character of this story… Oh well. Very curious to see where this will lead. I suspect it won’t be pleasant, but who knows. At least it’ll be an interesting ride.
Another busy reading week….
Last Guard, by Nalini Singh. As others have said, her Psy-Changeling series (and its continuations) are starting to have a sameness to them. Overall I did enjoy it, and give Singh credit for writing a hero who uses a (high-tech, futuristic) wheelchair. And there are cute bear-cub changelings. A lot of people from previous books show up (I guess that’s bound to be an issue with the 97th — or whatever — in a series). Probably my biggest beef was the heroine’s name: Payal. I kept seeing it as “PayPal” and it threw me out of the story several times. I’ve got clients for whom I’ve integrated PayPal into their systems, so maybe others don’t have this difficulty?
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton. Well… I’m not sure how to classify this book. It does have a romance, but also flying houses and very genteel lady pirates (they use the flying houses as their ships). The ladies of the Wisteria Society frequently steal from or try to assassinate each other, but it’s mostly in good fun. Queen Victoria, in her widow era, makes an appearance. There were some very amusing ideas in this book, but after a while I just wanted people to be a bit more normal.
River Marked, number 6 in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Mercy and Adam go RV-camping for their honeymoon. Based on the first five books, I was totally unsurprised that they ended having to fight a monster. They had interesting assistance, though, and it was kind of nice to have a somewhat different cast of characters than books 1-5. I’m working my way through this series for the first time, and felt this was a pivotal book: Mercy and Adam deal with the fact they can’t always protect each other no matter how much they want/need to. Mercy also learns more about her magical heritage.
The Book of Firsts by Karan K. Anders. The buzz on this has been so good I perhaps was a little let down, though I still gave it a B+ and am looking forward to the sequel. I did get distracted trying to figure out where this book was set. In the introduction there’s a line that says the book uses Australian English, but the book takes place from September to June and it gets colder during December-February. That doesn’t sound like Australia to me! Anyone have any insight on this?
Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer. In case you’re like me and can’t keep her titles straight, this is the one where a beautiful 29-year-old lives alone in Bath with only an extremely annoying companion, over the objections of her family; the plot has her take in a 17-year-old runaway heiress. Much verbal sparring with the girl’s rich-but-rude uncle leads to romance.
I decided a while back that Georgette Heyer makes for good bedtime reading. She’s generally low in angst, and since I’ve read them all dozens of times I don’t have to keep reading to see what happens next. That policy has been helping me get to sleep earlier!
Book of Firsts is definitely not set in Australia, although the author is Australian. It’s a speculative city in a hypothetical futurish setting, but it’s kept very nebulous.
The Book of Firsts is set in a magical realism version of Iceland or Greenland, if I remember correctly, that has escaped it’s mooring and floated south before it was reattached to the mainland by the famous bridge. That’s on her blog, not in the book..
And I think that Nalini Singh really wants to write another kind of story, but can’t quite make the jump from her proven format, which is why the romances are feeling a little staid. Just my interpretation. And the narrator of the audio book pronounced the name as Pile, which was interesting. I do applaud her from breaking with traditional western names for her characters.
Okay, good to know it’s a fictional country. That explains the weather — the place is probably still in the northern hemisphere. That also explains why the seniors had to fly for 7 hours to get to the island for their senior trip.
I also first read the name as PayPal, Julie.
And I’d been wondering about where the Book of Firsts was set. Since nowhere made sense, I settled for fictional, too.
I’d assumed it was somewhere in the Gulf states – but I didn’t get beyond the sample. Helpful info if I ever give it another go.
Thel last Psy-Changeling that gripped me was Kiss of Snow – Really well managed! I waited for Kaleb’s story but my life was terrible at the time and I couldn’t afford to buy if my library didn’t have it. So I kinda lost me yen for the books.
People have said some very good things about Singh’s Rock Star contemporaries.
I love the name thing with Payal. I read a Mercedes Lackey with a character named Kayne many years ago. Then Kanye became famous and upon re-reads, my brain kept on switching out on me. Payal is a relatively common North Indian name and a common word for anklets.
It almost makes me want to try to read the book now! Mainly because it’s reminded me of a line in one of the popular songs. Have fun with a jaunt into Indian Cinema. I don’t use the B name for the industry because it’s not a copy of something. It’s a force of its own. https://youtu.be/bC7RmYYMqTw
Older film so vocals are in the older pitch style. Thankfully newer music is different. This reminds me, I haven’t watched an Indian film in far too many years.
Anklets? Did not know that. I went to grad school with someone named Payal long before PayPal existed.
Have you looked at A SUITABLE BOY? Book by Vikram Seth, also a DVD version.
Lud! I read that when I was far too young, 15 or something. I did re-read repeatedly when I was in my early twenties. It gripped me very hard because it truly is epic in style, if not time frame and MC’s journey. So I had to let it go, it’s a book I felt on a cellular level. As a result I’ve steered far from any film/series based thereupon!
Completely agree with the Payal / PayPal thing. Drove me out of the story one-too-many times and I flipped forward and read the end and was meh. I liked that he chose the wheelchair instead of some random robotic type of surgery, etc., but so much of the beginning just felt like people going to meetings. I’m already doing meeting after meeting in real life (virtually), so it just wasn’t the escape that this series normally is for me. Which is a shame, because I have really enjoyed so many of the other books and will continue to buy the next one because I have faith this was a set-up book for a bigger showdown later.
Some of you might be interested to know that the Kindle version of the very-excellent A Deadly Education by Naomi Norvik is on sale at Amazon for $1.99.
$1.99 at B&N too.
That is such a good book. And the sequel comes out next month.
Hmmm….. I’m re-reading all the Sebastián St Cyr novels by C S Harris.
I love the Sebastian St Cyr novels and I cannot imagine not reading them as soon as they become available. But they are so dark, I also cannot imagine rereading them.
Thank you for that warning! They’ve been on my TBR pile for a while on the basis of good recommendations, but I don’t want to read anything dark just now.
They’ll just have to wait a while longer.
I like the evolution of the characters & the history she weaves into the story.
Read this week: Eight full-length novels, two novellas, one novelette, and 30% of ‘Loch Down Abbey’ by Beth Cowan Erskine. I really wanted that to be a Christie-esque (or better yet Marsh-esque) 1930s country-house mystery full of interesting and/or charming characters, with a dash of romance and some wit. Instead I got POV scenes (which didn’t add up to an actual story) from way too many characters, none of whom I cared about at all. Did not live up to its excellent cover, and I quit.
Five of the things I read were re-reads, of which four were mysteries, of which I will only mention ‘Rat Race’ by Dick Francis, which I’ve loved every time I read it. Recent e-book reissue includes a great introduction by the author, talking about his experience as a pilot (also his wife’s, also the fact that they actually ran a small air-taxi firm for a while!).
Notably good M/F histrom, ‘After the Wedding’ by Courtney Milan, immediately precedes ‘Devil Comes Courting.’
And finally, one of the novellas was ‘Penric’s Fox’ by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I liked very much. A+ on cover art, too.
I am finding a string of duds again this week. My list says I read several books and finished them. They were…OK. They left very little impression behind.
I am nibbling my way through Network Effect so that I won’t run out of Murderbot too soon.
I’m continuing my Vorkosigan reread. Finished Memory, and then buzzed through Komarr, A Civil Campaign, Winterfair Gifts and am halfway through Diplomatic Immunity.
Love all of them plus Cryoburn. I actually like them more than Miles’s earlier stories.
Me too. I got tired of the battle obsession of both Miles and his adversaries, and much preferred the focus on persuasion and psychology (and politics) that sort of seeped in to replace it — at least in the protagonists.
@Gary Hayenga, It took me a week to recover from my Vorkosigan and Penric reread. I am now in the last of four volumes of the Sharing Knife. What am I going to do when I’ve finished reading them all over (she wailed). I need a recommendation. Please?
Before my Bujold reread, I read the Shardlake series by C.S. Sansome. (Marvellous! Truly.) And have tried various mediaeval mystery series (Doherty, Pat Macintosh), which were so-so. I hunger for a new series. Or stand alone.
oh oh how could I forget! I’m listening to The Return of Captain John Emmett (just post the Great War, survivor investigates the events leading to an old friend’s suicide. Not Sebastian Faulkes but really absorbing. Possibly some romance (not sure yet)).
Just finished Forgotten Suns by Judith Tarr which was a fun romp through space. Seemed to start and end as a YA but then became something else in the middle. Was puzzled because Tarr couldn’t seem to make up her mind whether one of the main characters was a young independent adult who was sophisticated enough to travel from world to world and help save the universe or a young child who would be grounded by her parents upon return. Weird. But still fun overall.
Lots of re-reads past week. I breezed through several of Anne Bishop’s The Others series.
One new book for me was Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s When Stars Collide – a delightful romance about two stars, a prime athlete Thad and an opera diva Olivia. I couldn’t resist this one quote. Olivia misjudged Thad in the beginning of the book, and now she is trying to apologize. He seems reluctant to forgive her transgression.
She could only grovel for so long. “I’m a soprano. Sopranos aren’t supposed to apologize.”
He actually laughed.
I just got this from my library !!!
It’s a great quote, but Olivia was a mezzo soprano. Since mezzos usually play the one who don’t get the guy, they are given less latitude to be divas.
I don’t have much of interest to suggest; I’ve been reading GOD’S WIFE, GOD’S SERVANT, about the title “God’s wife of Amun” and the women who used it.
Also DAUGHTERS OF EDWARD I by Kathryn Warner, the expert on Edward II. These daughters are, of course, his sisters — he had a handful. This is scholarly rather than soap-opera popular.
And then there’s THE EMPRESS THEODORA, PARTNER OF JUSTINIAN, also well researched. The difficulty in writing about Theodora is that the main surviving work about her is the Secret History of Procopius, and like all secret histories, it’s so salacious and slanted it’s unlikely to be very accurate.
Comfort reading, Elsie Lee’s SINISTER ABBEY, a 1960’s gothic complete with cover of heroine fleeing a Dreadful Danger. I love Elsie Lee, but have to say that I notice that everyone smokes constantly, and I THINK the men all wear hats . . . . but she does lively dialogue that is still funny today, too.
Somewhere in my house is a box containing almost all of Elsie Lee’s novels: both the contemporary and the regency. Most are falling apart. Some are really dated but at the time they first came out there was nothing else like them.
I have all her fiction except something called DOCTOR’S OFFICE, which is listed as an actual book but I’ve never seen a copy anywhere, including the Library of Congress and the British Library. One of my cousins knew her and also has most of her books, but not that one.
On the other hand, having just done a quick search for her at the LoC website, I can offer you ADVENTURES OF ELSIE THE COW, which comes up in the search.
This comment is not about books, but it’s definitely about a great story. I watched The Wind Rises – the last anime film by Hayao Miyazaki. I love everything he made, but I never watched this one before. It came out in 2013. Such a powerful movie. I almost cried in the end. I highly recommend it to anyone.
I love The Wind Rises. One of the great masterpiece films of the last decade, no question.
I’d been saving Attachments by Rainbow Rowell for a day when I really needed something sweet and gentle. Today was that day, and Attachments delivered. I started reading it at lunchtime, and I’d finished it by dinner.
I’m also re-reading The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee, because I needed a bit of kickass, snarky action.
Started Hench on your recommendation! Only halfway through but I am really enjoying it.
And hi, from a long time reader. I picked up a freshly released Crazy for You when I was 14, it became my gateway book to romance and I have been a solid Crusie fan ever since. Grateful for all the smart, snarky, and lovable characters (and dogs) you have brought to life.
Hi, Blythe! I’m grateful to you for reading (and I love being a gateway to romance, too).
My gateway to romance was Welcome to Temptation. Until then, I didn’t know romance books could be witty and intelligent :).
Good book Thursdaya are also my Official Weigh-In Days. I’ve been dieting for 19 weeks. I’ve averaged 1431 calories per day. From the calorie calculator website I got:
To lose 1.0 Lb/week: 1775 cal/day
To Lose 1.5 Lb/Week: 1525 cal/day
To Lose 2.0 Lb/Week: 1275 cal/day
I noted that every .5 pounds per week required a reduction of 250 calories, or 0.1 pounds per 50 calories, thus:
To lose 1.0 Lb/week: 1775 cal/day
To lose 1.1 Lb/week: 1725 cal/day
To lose 1.2 Lb/week: 1675 cal/day
To lose 1.3 Lb/week: 1625 cal/day
To lose 1.4 Lb/week: 1575 cal/day
To Lose 1.5 Lb/Week: 1525 cal/day
To Lose 1.6 Lb/Week: 1475 cal/day
To Lose 1.7 Lb/Week: 1425 cal/day
To Lose 1.8 Lb/Week: 1375 cal/day
To Lose 1.9 Lb/Week: 1325 cal/day
To Lose 2.0 Lb/Week: 1275 cal/day
1431 is closest to 1425, or 1.7 pounds per week.
19 x 1.7 = 32.3
Actual weight lost, 34.0, so Right On Schedule.
All that so I wouldn’t have to write “261 pounds, 2 pounds more than last week.”
Your latest blog post is TWITCHING. The letters are dancing all over the page. I managed to read some of it before my eyes gave up. (I checked the previous ones–they’re normal.)
I will look at it from the Dashboard on the home computer. If necessary, I will kill it. Hurting anyone’s eyes is Not On!
I say Home Computer because I’m not seeing any twitching from the work computer. But I’ll look at the html code. And everything else.
I’ll see if I can see anything from my phone or pad.
Please check it now.
Still twitching/strobing/flickering. I’m looking from a Mac running Safari 14.0, but I thought the fact the other posts all looked normal probably meant it wasn’t my end.
But I just tried Chrome and it’s fine there, so it’s a Safari problem.
Thanks for checking. I’ll have to read up on Safari to see what about my code it does not like, and avoid that. I hope it wasn’t the nested lists – I liked those.
It’s the nested lists. Safari doesn’t love them. Alas, the cure is… beyond my scope. In fact, the only true cure is to take screenshots and post those in place of the lists. Not gonna do it.
I just got a copy of Hench from the library (love the library) after hearing about it here last week. But first, to finish Shutter, the latest in my YA Horror kick, which I am really enjoying. A creepy take on ghosts and demons with a squad of teen ghost hunters at the core. Adult horror is apparently too much for me, but YA horror is my sweet spot.
Also feeling remarkably smug for (FINALLY) learning how to use the library’s ebook borrowing system. Really. I should have figured this out ages ago….
I love the library’s ebook system. When I have nothing else I want to read (I am rationing Murderbot to once a month at most), I go to the libraries website and pick something up. So nice to be able to check out a book in the middle of the night and not have to pay money for it. I suppose I could buy something from Amazon but free is better.
Read a new book and new to me author. The Lost Art of Mixing, Erica Bauermeister.
There is a prologue. Pressed on. Found the characters engaging. Ms Bauermeister writes with compassion with respect to dementia. Well written as she describes what I have been told by someone in the middle stages. Other than rereading snippets of Jenny’s books because I can’t Sleep, that’s all this week.
I listened to People You Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. Great writing/voice, complete adorable hero and, interestingly, a pattern plot. It jumps around over 12 summers and these vacations a couple of millennials who are platonic best friends take together.
I don’t know that I 100% agree with the placement of all the vacations (by the time you find out what happened in Croatia, it’s feels like a non-event), but overall well done.
This is my first Audible experiment and I won’t try it again. It was a 10 hour listen and I’m pretty sure I could have read it in 7.
There have been a few books that I wanted to listen faster to. Wait… a few books to which I wanted to listen faster. Sorry, I dangled a participle. Anyway, the player I was listening… to which I was listening had controls to speed up playback. I thought that was Audible.
I was reading a light romance earlier today (while a determined cat napped on my chest), in which the heroine, determined to forget the sheikh, put on the audio version of LORD OF THE RINGS and, sure enough, for fourteen hours of hobbits managed to distract herself. Had me grinning to myself.
I think the only book I’ve listened to at standard speed is William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: A New Hope. I was listening at 1.5 I think. But my partner made me turnit down, and it was worth it. There was more happening than I was catching going faster – like I didn’t even hear the background music?
But most books I kick it up to 1.5 or higher. It will sound super weird after listening awhile to get off and go back to hearing people talking at normal speeds, though. XD
That might be worth experimenting with!
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