This is a Good Book Thursday, February 10, 2022

I just finished a book I enjoyed but really don’t want to recommend because I won’t be reading it again. It was good, I read it straight through, but there’s nothing in it that I’d want to revisit. That makes me think that the reason we reread is less about the quality of the writing or the plot and more about the emotional moments in the story, the parts that make us think (subconsciously), “I want to feel that way again.” An entertaining book isn’t enough, there have to be those moments . . .

Or maybe not. What did you read this week?

86 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, February 10, 2022

  1. That’s so true Jenny. I have actually reread some books this week which have those emotional moments: Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s thief series.

    I remember liking those books the first time I read them but I had no plans to revisit them until Tammy suggested them last week. This time round I have absolutely loved them and they are now definitely going to go on the frequent reread list.

  2. I reread for the vibe of a book, usually comfort of some form. So yes, it’s about an emotional connection.

    This week I am slowly working my way through Witness For the Dead because I wasn’t ready to be done with The Goblin Emperor and listening to a Linda Howard that I haven’t picked up in years. It was available for immediate borrow from my library, but I am enjoying it. It’s amazing how much I forgot.

    Oh, and Hoopla had A Little Familiar in audiobook. It’s by the same author who wrote A Suitable Consort and has a lot of the same sweetness with the added benefit of being a Halloween story with lots of gardening and baking in the background. That one will probably be another comfort reread.

      1. I enjoyed it, but it might have been a right place, right time sort of thing. It’s sweet, not too sexy, and a similar level of “I’m not worthy” angst. The Halloween theme was a bonus for me, plus the backdrop of crafting and homeyness. It was short and I listened to it in pretty much one sitting while working on projects through the weekend.

  3. That’s spot on, Jenny.

    I’ve read quite a number of books lately that I’ve enjoyed, but the books I re-read are those I fell in love with and those are the ones that have connected to on an emotional level.
    LN, the Megan Whalen Turner Thief Series had a similar effect on me.

    Otoh, I do treasure those books that make me think deeply about a topic and want to have discussions about with friends. Well, mainly dh, because my other friends are hardly ever interested in the same topics or rather adverse to reading books in English.

    I can’t recommend any book this week either: Mainly because what I read didn’t interest me enough right now. I might have liked Loretta Chase’s Duke in Shining Armour some other time but right now the plot felt too flimsy and I’m obviously not patient enough with the concept of the Disgraces – entitled young men wasting their health (I’ve sadly always been non-fun when it comes to drinking), time and wealth afaik. I’ve liked or even loved other Loretta Chase books that deal – iirc – with not much more than how the h/h come togehter, so it’s certainly just me this time.

    Also, I’ve more or less finished The Worst Guy and saw what Jane and others liked: the h/h got each other and those parts I liked, too.
    What I noticed though is that I felt very uncomfortable with some aspects, like the need – esp. in the hot scenes – for “possession” and branding the other (i.e. female) partner.
    I kind of get it that one wants to be the centre of the other one’s universe. But for me that doesn’t include stamping my mark on him/her. Even if a hickey can be fun.

    Also, I might be rather tired of all those beautiful young people and their acrobatics in bed. Often enough I miss the laughter and humour in romance novels.
    Imho passion gets old fast, but having fun together (in and out of bed, but the former is less often described) keeps being simply great – and is possible with wrinkles and less than sparkling skin.

    So now I’m reading the title Jenny recommended last week and it’s such a pleasure to read the voice of 85 year old Blix!! I’m not too far into the book, but it’s refreshing.
    And I guess I’d like to grow into Blix. Well, my cleavage won’t be sufficient and I could do without Cassandra, but apart from that, it’d be interesting.

    1. I also read Matchmaking for Beginners and enjoyed it. For me, a few too many passive characters that don’t seem to care about sorting out their own lives. But that’s why they need a matchmaker I guess.

  4. Despite mostly working, I finished The Case of the Murderous Dr Cream: the Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer. Not a book I would reread, but I thought it was a good mix of history, sociology, and science. And the story itself could easily be fiction.

  5. As I mentioned in Wednesday topic, I have been enjoying a reread of Jenny and Bob’s Wild Ride. I came upon a sentence that made me laugh because I can picture and hear Jenny herself saying it right now: “Cold. It really shut down your ability to deal with life.”
    Don’t know if J or B wrote the line but it’s in Mab’s thoughts.
    Liking Mab and the sense of family / community she ends up surrounded by is why I am enjoying this reread.
    Matchmaking For Beginners was a first read that I loved last week. It reminded me how much I like magical realism. Thinking of starting a reread of Sarah Addison Allen. Time for some Garden Spells, I think.

    1. Someone spoke of the sequel to Matchmaking For Beginners so I bought it. Happy Catastrophie is terrible. Main character from the first book spent the second book trying to convince her love interest to have a baby with her. I have never understood why 1 person needs to make another person be a parent. Disgusting!

      1. That’s so weird. I would have expected her to just do lots more matchmaking in a sequel. If a sequel had to be written at all. Instead of which, sounds like it’s gone all romance epilogue on you.

  6. Okay, I have a complaint about Martha Grimes. Well, two complaints really. Why is Jury always attracted to the bad-uns. Or the ill-fated ones. Always unlucky in love is Richard Jury.

    Also in the second to last book I read, I believe a child was killed. Right at the end – like the second to last paragraph. (I listen, rather than read, so it might have been a little different than that – the last page certainly.) I had been hoping for something good for that child so it was especially brutal. I may be done with Martha for a while. I read the next book in the series hoping for some clarity – but it wasn’t mentioned.

    I went back to Tales From the Folly for a palate cleanser. Aaronovitch never dissapoints.

    1. Yes! I stopped reading Martha Grimes because he kept falling for the baddies. I think it may have only been two books I read, but it was enough to put me off.

    2. That’s the last one of hers I read. She got us to care about the child and then killed her off at the end. I will not read another one of hers again.

    3. Eeep. I’m reading my way through her at the moment. Which book is that? Spoiler please, I want to skip that one.

  7. I should have been whittling down my TBR list, but rereads are what I did. Once More with Feelings by Night Hawk, Doing It All Over by Al Steiner, and books 1 and 2 of Variations on a Theme by Grey Wolf, with book 3 still in progress (Chapter 47, so far.) All three of those are to be found on – an Adult venue. All of those are also “Do-Over” stories, where an old guy is somehow turned back into an adolescent or teenager with memories intact.

    Hunt the Stars is open in the Kindle – the others could be freely read on line – but I’m only at chapter 2.

    This was a week for video. I started but DNF’d Cinderella on Amazon Prime. I needed some romantic comedy, and settled for What Happens in Vegas. Then I watched Monsters vs. Aliens. The latter two were just what I needed.

    That’s not all the video. YouTube was my friend, looking for answers. What should I grow hydroponically? When should I harvest? How do I harvest? I subscribed to a few people, like CaliKim29 Garden & Home DIY and EverCrest (aka “The Mythical Mom”). I watched videos about unboxing and setup. I watched videos about harvesting various crops. Videos about cleaning. I am ready to make soup! But nothing is that far along. Something I’ve noticed as the tomatoes and basil grow, is that the water level drops faster and faster. My water can is getting a workout.

    Something I didn’t want to reread was my diet diary for the last week. I have not exceeded limits. I should not be gaining weight. And yet, I am up nearly four pounds from last Thursday. Official Weigh-In Day number 43 measures 254.2 (115.3 kg). It’s the carbs. It has to be the carbs. I’m cutting out brown rice for a week to confirm, but I’m sure it’s the carbs.

    1. My hold on Hunt the Stars came through a few minutes ago so I will be starting it soon.

      I am not trying to lose weight in any organized fashion, but I’ve gotten down to what I weighed in college. Unfortunately I am now two inches shorter than I was in college so I need to weigh less than I do.

      1. But do you really need to weigh less? Because nothing has changed except that your spinal discs have flattened. So you have the same body you had before, just compacted.

        1. I have to convince my doctors to measure my height again because I’m standing straighter since I had knee and foot surgeries. I thought I’d be down in the only overweight strata now that I’ve dropped pounds, but I’m still in a heavier category because they say I’m only 5′ 6.5″ — I was 5′ 9″ for decades, and I’m sure I’m around 5′ 8″ now.

          1. I have checked the charts and graphs. To be considered “merely overweight,” I need to be about eleven feet tall.

            If you want to lose weight, and the losing doesn’t itself pose a health risk, go for it! And measure your own height. If your health service is like mine, there’s an online portal where you can leave a not. “Since the surgeries, I’m 5′ 8″.”

  8. Totally agree that I can read a book, love the writing, thoroughly enjoy it, be hugely impacted by it – and never read it again. Like 100 Years of Solitude. I can’t recreate the experience of reading that book for the first time so I’ve never touched it again. Whereas…other books, there are moments I want to experience again and again. Dialogue moments, or funny moments or sexy moments. I notice that when I reread Crazy For You I love Max and Nick’s dialogue, I love Thea and Quinn, I love Nick and Quinn’s sexy moment; I even love being inside Bill’s warped head and listening to him hate Quinn’s haircut – makes me laugh every time. Whereas with Bet Me, I love the scene the most where Min defends Cal to his parents – woman as protector. Love that. So mostly, I’d have to sum up and say it’s the unique moments that make a book rereadable for me.

  9. I read Vespertine this week, thank you, Lupe. I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud so much at a book in a while. You were right – it’s not a funny book per se, being about demons possessing humans and ghosts of the dead, etc. – but the demon who possesses the main character is so snarky that I kept being surprising into laughing. And the overall arc of their relationship was fascinating to follow.

    I also read two books based on libraries – The Invisible Library – well I’m reading it because a couple of people recommended it here but having a hard time getting into it – think it’s the characters? Does it get better? And I read Spells and Sensibility (thank you, Alexandra) which is a fussy short plump librarian and a tall skinny soldier M/M romance. Lovely, warm writing. (And once again, the Duke of Wellington wanders through my fictional life, more than any other historical character.). It also explores the D in BDSM, without the B, the S or the M, which is always interesting and also made me do the mental exercise we talked about last week on this site about whether you could just substitute a woman for a male character and have it read the same. I couldn’t imagine reading a man domming a woman and not being faintly repulsed by that – there’s just too much CONTEXT behind there. Whereas it was kind of fun and hot when it was a male librarian domming a male soldier.

    1. Glad you enjoyed Vespertine. I recommended that one to my aunt too. It’s definitely out of the ordinary, but clever and well done.

      Spells and Sensibility sounds fun. I added it to my wish list. You have ruined me a bit with Kindle Unlimited though. I am more hesitant to purchase books than I was before. I guess I want to get the most out of my membership. But this one is worth the $5.99 asking price?

      1. Hmmmm, maybe not. I would recommend almost any Avon Gale, Iris Foxglove or a Eliot Grayson (not her contemporary ones), all on KU. And if you’re looking for something a little more hardcore, then Alessandra Hazard.

          1. I keep meaning to ask you – have you read Peter Cabot Gets Lost? I think you would love that. Not on KU though, sorry.

          2. Tammy, I know you whole heartedly recommend Cat Sebastian and I have put her on my “Try Again” list. I tried her a couple of times years ago and dnfed. But I have Peter Cabot on my hold list.

    2. Okay, I give up. Looked up Vespertine and got a lot of Bjork music and a M/M angsty romance, but no demons/ghosts.
      Please help, your descriptions sounded like fun.

      1. I had that problem too the first time I looked for it! Vespertine is by Margaret Rogerson, if that helps.

  10. Thanks, Jenny, for the recommendation of Maddie Dawson’s Matchmaking for Beginners. I read and enjoyed it, then found the sequel, A Happy Catastrophe. Stayed up late to finish it last night. It felt darker to me—well, an all-but-abandoned child, an artist in angst, a relationship or two floundering, so, yes, darker—though everyone got to HEA.
    Some of this thread about moments in reading: I feel that with theater. I once saw a performance of King Lear so fabulous I didn’t ever need to see it again—though I have. And with music—Hilary Hahn or Itzhak Perlman in concert. And if I ever get back to Chicago Art Institute, O’Keefe’s clouds won’t affect me the same way.

  11. I feel that way about places as well as books, theater, and art. I could return to Yellowstone every year, but San Francisco — been there, done that. And some places will never be the special moment I once experinced at them.

    1. Thanks for posting this, Jane! I looked it up even though I can’t do the Zoom on Saturday. Nest ferch Rhys is intriguing. She was very young when her father was killed and she fell into Henry I’s hands and bed. Besides being married off to a Marcher lord, she was later abducted by her cousin. She was returned to her husband, but her husband was eventually killed by her cousin’s family. I don’t like some of the remarks male historians have made about Nest — you know, making assumptionsn — like the fact that she had many children somehow indicated that she beguiled men sexually.

      1. In the days before birth control, many children didn’t indicate anything much more than fertility . . . .

  12. I rarely reread books anymore. I used to quite a bit, but back then my selection was much more limited. Now my virtual to be read pile is getting quite large. But, to paraphrase something my wife says, sometimes you just want to go spend some more time with these people.

    I too read Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson this week. Someone must have recommended previously because when I went to look it up on Amazon I discovered that I had already purchased it and it was sitting in that virtual to be read pile. And it was quite good.

    I read Wicked Words by M.J. Scott, the second book in the TechWitch series (it’s going to be a trilogy. The first book is Wicked Games. She is a hereditary witch, but she’s the only one in her family without any magic. So she becomes a freelance computer consultant solving network and systems problems that no one else can figure out. And then when she’s hired to figure out why the participants in a new virtual reality game are going crazy it turns out that a demon has figured out a way to use the game to possess people.

    I’m halfway through Margaret Ball’s newest Applied Topology book (starting with A Pocket Full of Stars). My wife went back and reread the first six before reading it but I just plunged in. I know a bunch of other people here liked those as well.

    1. I don’t reread much, but I do re-listen all the time. That way I don’t get lost if my mind wanders while I multitask.

    2. Thank you! I lost track of Margaret Ball after MATHEMAGICS, and the short stories she did for the Chicks in Chainmail anthologies. Just bought a couple and looking forward to them!

  13. I’m enjoying my reread of ‘The Hands of the Emperor’, after finally getting round to ‘Petty Treasons’, which though it’s a prequel really wouldn’t work if you hadn’t read ‘The Hands of the Emperor’. I’d wondered whether either would work for me, now I’ve read and been disappointed by other books by Victoria Goddard; and also realized when I got to the end of The Hands – which I loved – that all the circularity and repetitions weren’t to a good purpose, but due to slack editing. But I find I like the characters and world so much that I’m happy to dawdle there again. Although Kip’s need for validation does get a bit much.

  14. I re-read mostly for the characters. It is like visiting old friends. Of course, you don’t visit people you dislike, right?
    Speaking of re-reading, I just re-read Manhunting. Gosh, it was hysterical. Sometimes I laughed so hard I couldn’t see the text on the page. Such a joy. Was it your first, Jenny?
    The new books this week included Tamara Berry’s Seances Are For Suckers. It was a decent cozy. I don’t read many books in this genre and I didn’t enjoy this one much, but objectively, it wasn’t a bad book. I’m glad I finished it. A fake medium and a fake ghost in an old, crumbling British castle was a combination worth reading about.
    Also, read Jessie Mihalik’s old-ish sci-fi novella The Queen’s Advantage. That book was a quick and pleasant diversion. It was a book equivalent of a doodle, in comparison to the profound literary paintings, like Bujold’s Vorkosigan novels. But I enjoyed it all the same. I already read and liked Mihalik’s Consortium series and I ordered her new book, Hunt the Stars from my library. I like this author. She is reliable: she always delivers a fun read.

    1. I really enjoyed Seances Are For Suckers. But a fake medium solving crimes cozy mystery is right in my wheelhouse. I enjoyed the sequels as well.

  15. My book club is reading Herve le Tellier, a sci-fi novel that if you don’t know that going in to it, you wonder. A long string of short stories of individuals. But once you get going, quite gripping.
    Still hanging in the with Brother Karamozov, only 26 hours to go…

    Other lighter reading is not working for me right now, lots of DNFs.

  16. Two re-reads for me this week. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs, no 10 in the Mercy series. I found the next two in the series very grim, but I like this one in which Mercy gets kidnapped, rescues herself, and ends up in Prague, while Adam is forced to be diplomatic. Next I re-read Silver Silence by Nalini Singh. I think that Valentin may be my favourite hero in the Psy Changling world. Though he has some strong competition from Riley.

    1. As I was falling asleep last night, I wrote a haiku for each of the books I read this week:

      Kidnap leads to Prague;
      Adam hates diplomacy,
      Mercy courts chaos.

      Silence had no chance.
      She’s Silver Fucking Merchant
      Riding on a bear.

  17. My recommendation this week is Almost Romance by Nancy Balbirer, a nonfiction book by an actress/author on the 30+ year friendship/sometimes FWB relationship between her and Howard (Howie) Morris, one of the creators of Grace and Frankie. They met as teenagers in college, liked each other right off, but he always had a girlfriend. At one point he wrote a play ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP, cast himself and her in it, where they had to make out every night. At the end of that she asked him why they weren’t together, and he gave her a long spiel about how she wasn’t good enough to be his girlfriend. Anyway, they FWB at times, marry and procreate with others and get divorced and end up on opposite coasts but still stay friends.

    Nancy writes Howie an email about her recent breakup with a kinky director, which he thinks is so funny that he reads it to the entire G&F writer’s room and then refers to Nancy as the one who got away. One of the writers, a failed matchmaker, can’t resist and messages Nancy to get together the next time she’s in NYC, tells her what Howie said, and invites Nancy to a group trip they’re all taking to Ashland, Oregon.

    Spoiler alert: after 32 years, they get together 🙂 Loved this. Very IRL romance novel.
    It also hit some emotional points for me because of my crush issues, because it reminded me of that except that these two had things go better.

    I will say that as a person who has been dying and wishing for true love her whole life, I truly do not comprehend that if you “know” on some level that THIS IS THE ONE, why the hell you’d run from it. Especially for 30+ years. I don’t get it. I’ve been starving for so long when I don’t want to be, how do you CHOOSE that? How do you choose to pursue relationships with people you don’t care about so much instead? Why is this a thing? I don’t get it. That said, I’m glad they finally got together. But part of me thinks “what a waste of time, all those decades stalling about on Howie’s part.”

    It kind of makes me wonder if this will ever pan out with regards to the crush (apparently my mother and therapist think it could, hahahah). Somehow I never quite get rid of the feelings or him in general even though I know I should, you know? Even after Dramatic Cord Cutting, he’s still around 😛 We were enjoying being around each other and going to cast parties together during the run of the play, and he’s said he’s interested in performing there again sometime (even if he wouldn’t do the one I’m in now), and he said we’d keep in touch and finally friended me on social media (yeah, yeah, I know…I avoid that stuff but here it is anyway now that he knows I have one). Realistically, it probably never will, I know I should just give up and stop talking to him altogether, etc. But I still care, sigh. There’s just been something unusual about this whole damn relationship compared to everyone else and I’m still trying to figure it out.

    1. I’ve been watching figure skating and the Nero Wolfe mysteries and rereading his books. For those books, it’s because I want to spend time with Archie. And now that I saw the tv show, Fritz.

      There are definitely books I admire and have no desire to reread. Laura Kinsale comes to mind. Fascinating books but no desire to reread.

      I do reread the Queens Thief and I think there it’s about revisiting the world and not wanting to spend time with the character? I mean, I would probably want to throttle Eugenides myself. But the world is fascinating.

      And with sone authors it’s the words. Joanna Bourne maybe it’s all of the above?

      Certainly I am more likely to reread authors that make the characters come alive …

      I do have a new JR Robb so will read that next.

    2. I got married at 27. I can’t explain why people run away. But I do recall feeling panicked about whether it was the right decision and the right person—it seemed so monumental and a commitment for my whole life . 35 (!) years later it seems to have been but it did feel overwhelming and I can imagine people being scared away by it.

  18. I’m re-reading The Unknown Ajax, by Heyer. Hugo is one of my favorite heroes. I adore his humor, and the way he handles his brash and critical grandfather. Plus, I really enjoy the adventure in this story.

  19. I re-read the first two Murderbot stories in preparation for reading the next one. I finished Rogue Protocol and immediately ordered the next one from the library. I picked that one up yesterday and would have started it last night, except I watched the Men’s figure skating and stayed up way too late so I could see Jason Brown and Nathan Chen have their fabulous routines.

  20. Re-reading, for me, is always about revisiting those emotional moments. An author who makes me really care about the characters will get my eyeballs over and over again, vs. an author who simply writes a good book. 🙂

    Which segues to what is sure to be my 2022 Complete Read project, i.e. Harper Fox. This week I re-read the short ‘Out,’ then read the long post-WWII novel ‘Seven Summer Nights’ and its novella-length sequel, which have to do with a country vicar & an archaeologist, both of whom served in the English army, with some semi-magical folkloric historical investigations around the vicar’s ancient church and some purely awful machinations by a high-up military man who wants to bury the archaeologist’s testimony about certain events. The novel gets very suspenseful for a while.

    I read seven other full-length things of which four were just OK, one was good but full of story points that made me want to run away, and one was Olympic fun (‘Cold War’ by Keira Andrews).

    The last wrapped up my Con Riley Complete Read and rocketed to the top three on my list of her books. ‘Recovery’ concerns a twentysomething alcoholic photographer and an older man and the photographer’s AA sponsor’s adult son. Refreshingly, it is NOT a love triangle; it’s a romance plus learning how to be a friend.

  21. I read The White Magic Five and Dime, a tarot mystery by Steve Hockensmith and Lisa Falco, which I think someone here recommended. Loved it so much, I immediately ordered the other two in the series from the library. Almost at the end of the third one and bummed that there aren’t any more.

    1. Several someones here, possibly completely independently of each other, recommended The White Magic Five and Dime, including me 🙂

      I really wish he would write more of them.

      1. Gary .. there are 2 more books in the series The Tarot Mysteries. I think I saw somewhere on his facebook page that there is some kind of issue with the publisher which has delayed more books in the series.

    2. Deborah if you are interested in Tarot mysteries, try the ones by David Skibbins.. They are different than the White magic Five and Dime which is a series I love, Davids books are a bit darker but I found a few of them interesting. I believe the first book in the series is Eight of Swords.

    3. I met Steve Hockensmith a long time ago at a writer’s con (I can’t remember which one now) and he was just the loveliest person. I really enjoyed him–glad to hear he’s still at it! I’ll have to go get this one.

  22. I’m rereading the Others series by Anne Bishop, and really enjoying it second time round. The villains are thoroughly villainous and always come to a horrible end, which is satisfying.

    Also ‘Human Kind: A Hopeful History’ by Rutger Bregman. His premise is that people are not basically selfish and driven by self-interest, but are essentially good. It’s a fascinating book, well researched and very hopeful.

  23. TINY BUT MIGHTY, Kitten Lady’s guide to saving the most vulnerable felines, by Hannah Shaw, who has a YouTube channel as the Kitten Lady. She specializes in rescuing kittens too young for shelters, and I learned that “kill” shelters are generally municipal animal shelters more correctly described as “open admission’; they have to take any animal brought in, are municipally funded, and have to do what they can for all animals with limited resources. They can’t bottle-feed orphan kittens every couple of hours including overnight; no one has the staff for that. “No-kill” shelters take the animals they can care for, but then turn away those they can’t. Volunteer fosterers, anyone?

    CATHERINE PARR: HENRY VIII’S LAST LOVE, by Susan James. This is a good serious biography of Kateryn Parr. I had it already, but reread it because the author was interviewed yesterday on the Not Just the Tudors podcast. It’s well researched, and brings out some things about Kateryn — her spelling, apparently the fashionable way to spell it in early 16th century orthography. Dr. James reviewed lots of material and enjoyed detailing the things not usually mentioned about Kateryn, such as her interest in jewels (she loved diamonds), fashion, and fine fabrics, as well as her excellent education and written works.

    Cookbook of the week: ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN THE KITCHEN: A Culinary View of Lincoln’s Life and Times, from the Smithsonian, by Rae Katherine Eighmey. Lincoln and his wife both left a fair amount of written material and it included culinary information. This author researched thoroughly to recreate the foods associated with Abe: Phillip Wheelock Ayers, whose family lived three doors down from the Lincolns’ Springfield home at the corner of Eighth and Jackson, described how Abraham Lincoln walked the few blocks home from his Springfield law office, put on a blue apron, and helped Mary Lincoln make dinner for their boys. Other neighbors’ homey reminiscences told of Abraham shopping for groceries and milking the family cow stabled in the backyard barn with his horse, Old Bob. Includes recipes adapted for modern ingredients, though I’d put the author in the “reënactors” group; she went for as much authenticity as possible in recreating these 19th-century foods.

  24. Have you read Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir? I adored this book! I read it through on my kindle then immediately downloaded the audiobook and devoured it again! It’s not a romance but it has one of the best relationships in it I’ve ever read. Definitely, definitely recommend!

  25. I read Jill Shalvis latest ‘The Family you Make’ & Amanda Quick’s ‘Lightening in the Mirror’ and returned them both.🤔

  26. It occurred to me that what I don’t share on Good Book Thursdays might be as important as what I do share. Without further er, dew? Here is my abridged To Be Read List:

    Give the Devil His Due: A Tarot Mystery (Tarot Mysteries Book 3)
    Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco
    Acquired on February 11, 2022
    Some of the Best of 2021: A Original
    G. V. Anderson, ‘Pemi Aguda, Elizabeth Bear, Kate Elliott, A. T. Greenblatt, Glen Hirshberg, Kathleen Jennings, Cheri Kamei, Jasmin Kirkbride, Matthew Kressel, Usman T. Malik, Sam J. Miller, Annalee Newitz, noc, Sarah Pinsker, Daniel Polansky, Peng Shepherd, Cooper Shrivastava, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, Carrie Vaughn, E. Lily Yu
    Acquired on February 10, 2022
    Candide 1694-1778
    Acquired on February 9, 2022
    Just Friends Boxed Set: College & New Adult Romance Series
    Marie Cole
    Acquired on February 5, 2022
    Death Warmed Over (Phoebe Monday Paranormal Cozies Book 2)
    Patti Larsen
    Acquired on January 13, 2022
    Merry Little Mystic Murder (Phoebe Monday Paranormal Cozies Book 1)
    Patti Larsen
    Acquired on January 13, 2022
    The Chocolate Collection
    Trisha Ashley
    Acquired on December 23, 2021
    Trisha Ashley 3 Book Bundle
    Trisha Ashley
    Acquired on December 23, 2021
    The Glass Magician
    Caroline Stevermer
    Acquired on October 20, 2021
    Awake & Dreaming (connections)
    Alexandra Caluen
    Acquired on August 7, 2021
    Kris Longknife: Mutineer (Kris Longknife Series Book 1)
    Mike Shepherd
    Acquired on June 11, 2021
    This Case Is Gonna Kill Me (White Fang Law Book 1)
    Melinda M. Snodgrass
    Acquired on August 26, 2020
    Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children Book 2)
    Seanan McGuire
    Acquired on August 18, 2020
    Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children Book 1)
    Seanan McGuire
    Acquired on August 18, 2020

    There are more unread books in my Baen Library and in my Ring of Fire Press Library. These are just Kindle books. I also stopped going back at August 2020. I have even older books that I’ve meant to read. Someday.

    1. I definitely recommend these two:

      Kris Longknife: Mutineer (Kris Longknife Series Book 1) – Mike Shepherd

      Fun space opera.

      This Case Is Gonna Kill Me (White Fang Law Book 1) – Melinda M. Snodgrass

      1. Thank you. Everything on the list was recommended, mostly by someone here. I will Get Around to them. Eventually. I think This Case Is Gonna Kill Me was recommended by Marion G. Harmon in his blog, as well.

        1. After reading Candide you can listen to the eponymous opera/musical by Leonard Bernstein (with Stephen Sondheim, among others) with Barbara Cook singing Cunegunda. Voltaire was consistently dark about humankind’s ability to be kind to one another. Bernstein tries to follow suit, but the final a capella ensemble song is all about future possibilities.

          I have always wanted to use the word “eponymous” in a sentence. My life is fulfilled.

          1. The reasons I picked up Candide were two: 1) In M.G.Harmon’s Wearing the Cape: Teamups & Crossovers, Astra (Hope Corrigan) is given a snow globe which will magically take her where she needs to go. The first place is a universe very close to her home ‘verse, but not quite. How not quite is borne home to her when she meets her sister, Faith, who died when she was about three. Faith studies multiverse theory, and says she seems to have made a Candide selection – the best of all possible worlds. 2) In Grey Wolf’s Variations on a Theme Book 1, when Angie (accidently) reveals herself to also be a time-traveler soul re-doing her life, she and Steve wonder if the universe they now exist in is a Candide selection. Their lives are vastly improved.

            Then I read the wiki for Candide and went to Amazon on a mission.

            I wonder if Candide was an inspiration for Pollyanna? I have vague memories of that Disney film starring Hayley Mills.

  27. I wanted to wait until the next Good Book Thursday for this but I am too excited.
    I mentioned earlier starting a reread of Sarah Addison Allen. In the process of doing that I made a discovery: she has a new book coming out!!!
    Sept 13, 2022. Other Birds.
    I am so happy.
    I finished the reread of Garden Spells, which I love every time. I am halfway thru First Frost. Loving it.
    Dare I hope my other 2 Sarah’s put out a new book, too. Another – Gift Of- book from Sarah Wynde?
    Anything from Sarah-Kate Lynch?

  28. I’ve been too tired too read new things, so I’m re-listening to the audiobooks of Nathan Lowell’s books about Ishmael Wang (quarter share etc.) at bedtime.
    I know they’re not Jenny’s cup of tea, but very low stress stories written in a slightly distant voice, in which nothing much happens, the protagonist just goes through his life with his career steadily advancing, is about what I can handle at the moment, and it helps to get my mind off my too-busy work so I can go to sleep.

    This may be a sort of “damning with faint praise” kind of recommendation. But on the other hand, it’s the third time I’m reading them since the start of the pandemic, so they do hit that specific spot very well, at least for me, as my audiobook library is not very large yet.

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