This is a Good Book Thursday, February 24, 2022

Yesterday, I freaked when my charger blew up and my wifi died and both MacBook and iPad went blank. Not my week, so I started Alice in Wonderland on my iPhone and then gave up because I was too tense to deal with anxious rabbits.

What did you read this week?

81 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, February 24, 2022

  1. I finished up the last of the Bedwyn family with Slightly Dangerous. I think it might have been my favorite of the series. I also let my friend borrow the series, and she’s enjoying them too.

    Last night, I picked up Network Effect for a reread.

      1. Mine too. It had more than a touch of mystery and politics and generational disapproval and likeable characters from the working class, which made it quite different from the nobility romances which we are all somewhat addicted to. I also liked the fact that Alleyne’s return to himself pulled in the other family members in a very vivid way.

  2. I am still on Liad or rather I have moved to Surebleak. I am on book 17 of the Liaden Universe. I enjoy some of the books more than others but the less good ones are still gripping enough that I keep reaching for the next one.
    This one centers mostly on Theo but I like the glimpses of Kamele, her determined mum, too.

  3. I read Evie Dunmore’s Portrait of Scotsman, which took me a bit to get into, but I ended up LOVING. Basically, it’s a marriage-of-convenience story and until they’re married they’re basically separated, so I found it slow going until we got to the marriage part.

    Without spoiling it, I found the ending really brave and satisfying. There was a moment when a conflict could have been hand-waved away with “It’s ok, I forgive you because I love you now” but the author let the heroine stick to her guns and go “No, this was not ok and it’s never going to be ok if we don’t rip it out at the seems and try again” and it made for (to my eyes) a really fresh and satisfying ending.

  4. Three rereads, two of which were intentional, and one new read.

    Reread Terry Pratchett’s Men at Arms and Georgette Heyer’s Arabella. They are just so satisfying.
    Thought I was reading anew but it dawned on me as I went along that it was also a reread…City of Lies by Victoria Thompson.
    And a new to me read… River Marked by Patricia Briggs. I am enjoying this series and I’d never heard of the author until Good Book Thursday so thanks to all.

    1. I’m glad you like Patricia Briggs. She gets a little dark for me sometimes, but still an auto-buy.

  5. My library holds are finally coming in (not the Thursday Murder Club — I’m still #32 on the hold waitlist for the first book and #179 on the second book 🙁 ).

    So I’ve just started the Last Graduate by N. Novik and it is quite fun so far. But odd to experience the MC having a positive experience during normal school activities — friends and admirers everywhere, rather than resentment and murderous magical entities.

    Still, gotta hurry because of the onslaught of holds….

    1. I once had a brunch where a bunch of us were sitting around talking about how grateful we were to be out of high school. When the most offbeat of us all piped up, “I loved high school!” the rest of us stared at her as though she was an alien species. She had gone to a small all girls Catholic school where everyone did everything and they didn’t waste all their energy on who was “in” and who was “out” the way people had at the schools the rest of us had attended. We didn’t need murderous magical entities to not have a positive experience during normal school activities.

      1. Same here – a small Catholic girls’ high school run by very liberal nuns. My family life was chaotic and here, in HS, I found a family. They gave me stability and adult role models.

    2. I loved the Last Graduate right up till the last sentence, and then I wanted to go find Naomi Novik and kill her.

      1. I instantly checked to make sure another book was in the pipeline. It says a lot about how much I loved that book that I was ready to read the next one after a cliff hanger like that. (I have actually reread it twice now)

  6. Once upon a time Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey was an enjoyable reread, so for the first time in about 25 years I picked it up. Totally unacceptable sexual exploitation of an employee. It doesn’t even matter that she was agreeable and he never threatened her with retaliatory behavior. She was always clearly aware that he was her boss and that she got preferential treatment. And she expected to get preferential treatment. I don’t think I will ever be tempted to read this again.

    1. Marissa Lingen or Jo Walton calls that when a book is hit by the Suck Fairy – something that was delightful and is remembered with fondness becomes intolerable to current day you. The idea of a Suck Fairy is so compelling?

  7. My beautiful Sub Press edition of Holy Terror by Cherie Priest arrived so I’m reading that now. Bite-sized bits of horror! Just the thing for this week.

    Read The Billionaire’s Last Minute Marriage by Amanda Cinelli (HP) and I don’t think I’ve ever picked up any romance with an autistic heroine, let alone a Presents, and it was pretty great to see the emphasis on the things she excelled at and was valued for. But also it’s a nod to Greek mythology and just terribly readable all around.

  8. ‘Witness for the Dead’ left me wanting something more cheerful (I think she stopped midstream, really). I tried a number of samples but didn’t like any enough to buy the book, and am rereading a couple of old Jayne Ann Krentz’s – currently ‘Hidden Talents’. Tho’ they’re feeling a bit too familiar.

    Also researching a new printer, which is overdue – should have bought it last May along with my new Mac. But I’ve finally run out of home-made cards, having made a few dozen during the first lockdown, when all the bookshops and newsagents were closed. I liked them so much I’m keen to make a new batch. I’m tempted by a Canon printer with bottles of ink rather than ludicrously expensive cartridges. There’d be no holding me (I’ve been rationing myself for years).

    1. I have a very nice printer with bottles of ink. It’s still expensive, but better. Just make sure you run it regularly so it doesn’t clog.

  9. I read Red, White and Royal Blue – OMG, I adored that book! I actually went back and reread parts of it before I was finished it which was …just crazy. Jenny, you were so right about this one. It was fun, romantic – and hey there was lots of sex, not terribly explicit but still pretty sexy – and had moments of poetry. Completely satisfying.

    Fun fact – the week before on her Tumblr, someone asked Catherine Cloud if the book the MC had on his shelf, that was identified as being an M/M romcom with a pink cover was Red, White and Royal Blue – her response was coy and not definitive but sounds like it was. Thanks again for the reco.

  10. Yay! I am glad you are back online. After today, I really needed something positive and community based. I am sick to death for Ukraine and the word came down from on high that we aren’t to look at anything but work related stuff in case Russia hacks our bank, so no more GBT for me at work. I will miss checking for updates and following conversations as they happen.

    I don’t have much to recommend this week. Nothing clicked, but of course some of that may have been me…

    1. Kingfisher’s Paladin series is fun, in the usual grim-light way Kingfisher has. I also enjoyed the recent Bread one that won awards. (Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking) It has a sourdough starter as a character of sorts.

  11. I’m not in the right headspace right now for immersing myself in a book, it seems. I’ve read one that I might have liked quite fine at another time. It was worth it anyway because one friend of the main protagonist appeared who was the hero in one that I really liked and he’s just so true to how he was portrayed in his own book.
    As I don’t feel like watching the news now even less than in the last weeks, I feel escapism reads and movies coming up. Have started today with a soppy one with a bit of magic. The film was so and so, but the main lead was picture perfect and so I’ve looked up what else he acted in. Ended up re-watching What’s Your Number? (also not a great movie, but fun) just to spot him. Crazy – four Marvel guys in one movie (Cap, Starlord, Martin Freeman, Falcon).
    One more day then three days off. I already dread the amount of work that will await me afterwards, but I’m soooo done, really tired and looking forward to sleeping in. The kids have one week of for Fasching, dearly needed as well. Fasching/Carneval isn’t much a thing for the last couple of years and though in some places they planned to re-vive it there won’t be any festivities now – not because of Covid, but how can one party at such a time.
    I’m stopping now and will dive headlong into escapism.

  12. I read DOWN A DARK RIVER by Karen Odden. It was a very good historical mystery and the start of a series. Both the main detective and the secondary characters were interesting.

  13. Books in progress followed by the top of the TBR list:
    Variations on a Theme (Book 3) by Grey Wolf is still in progress, since he publishes three chapters each week. I read Chapter 53 yesterday.
    A Fresh Start by rlfj. Another Do-Over story while I wait for the next chapter of Variations.
    Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik. I’ve reached chapter 3.
    Candide by Voltaire DNF Deleted from my Amazon account. The format was photographs of pages, which made my eyes hurt. Then I turned around and searched www dot gutenberg.org/, which had it in various formats For Free, all of them better than Kindle. Just started.
    The Chocolate Collection by Trisha Ashley. I read the first book.
    Trisha Ashley 3 Book Bundle by Trisha Ashley. The first book of the Chocolate Collection is the first book in this volume, too.

    Give the Devil His Due: A Tarot Mystery by Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco
    Some of the Best of Tor.com 2021: A Tor.com Original by numerous authors.
    Just Friends Boxed Set: College & New Adult Romance Series by Marie Cole
    Death Warmed Over by Patti Larsen
    Merry Little Mystic Murder by Patti Larsen
    The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer
    Awake & Dreaming (connections) by Alexandra Caluen
    Kris Longknife: Mutineer by Mike Shepherd
    This Case Is Gonna Kill Me by Melinda M. Snodgrass
    Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
    Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
    A 1632 Christmas by Eric Flint and others. I started it, but lost momentum after Christmas. (a story of The Ring of Fire series)
    The Grantville Inquisitor by Bradley Sinor (a story of The Ring of Fire series)
    The Horsewoman by Karen Bergstrahl (a story of The Ring of Fire series)
    The Marshalls by Mike Watson (a story of The Ring of Fire series)
    The Unexpected Sales Reps by Virginia DeMarce (a story of The Ring of Fire series)

    1. Update: I will give A Fresh Start credit for an interesting start. Carling Buckman, 75, is in the mall with his two teen granddaughters (he was the adult for the elder’s driving permit), in a store like Pier 1 Imports (but smaller). He’s looking out the store window at the kids, meeting with their friends, and holding a brass lamp. He says, “I wish I was a teenager again.” Poof. He wakes up on his 13th birthday. (Yes, it was al a Din’s lamp.) From that point on, the book gradually becomes the biggest Marty Stu adventure ever written. I gave up. I skipped to the back, where President Carl Buckman was congratulating his successor. That flushing sound? That was this story departing my computer. I’m skipping the rest of the list down to Give the Devil His Due: A Tarot Mystery.

      On a totally different note: A Rock Cornish Game Hen with a 5.5 ounce V8 stuffed up its… cavity, will not fit in a Mainstay (Walmart Store Brand, $19) toaster oven. The same baby chicken with a cavity full of Brown & Wild Minute Rice laying back and thinking of England fits just fine. Lunch was Most Excellent.

  14. This week I read seven full-length books and two shorts. Two of the full reads were my own books (it’s update season). Two were by an author recently featured on the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, which … I like those guys and what they’re doing, but I’m forced to concede that our tastes are not quite the same. 🙂

    Of the others, I really liked ‘Dancing Lessons’ by R. Cooper. Being a dancer myself, I want the art form treated seriously when used as a a character’s profession, which it definitely is here. Both MCs were sympathetic; it was a slow-burn romance involving recovery from a very bad breakup, and I particularly liked a lightbulb moment toward the end when the recovering MC realizes his self-talk is in the voice of the guy who done him wrong.

    Also loved the short ‘Secrets on a Train’ by Nell Iris, in which two commuters fall in love over the course of a week, communicating almost entirely in writing because they’re always in a silent car on the train. Until the Friday, when they actually talk. I could have read many more pages about these guys. No sex, no angst, a lot of sweetness. This is staying on my Kindle for future bedtime-story use.

  15. I’ve begun AN ANNOYANCE OF GRACKLES (Applied Topology Book 3), by Margaret Ball. Having finished A POCKETFUL OF STARS and AN OPENING IN THE AIR, I’m working my way through the whole series. My cousin had to be reminded that Margaret Ball wrote for the Chicks in Chainmail books, but is now starting the series, too.

    Also finished, and enjoyed, her book SALT MAGIC and have begun its sequel, TANGLED MAGIC, which clearly will also be fun to read. Regency fantasy.

    Non-fiction biography, more or less, THE DARK QUEENS, by Shelley Puhak. The queens in question were Brunhild and Fredegund, with a very lengthy list of supporting characters. Not much has survived about these ladies the way we have material on medieval people, and apparently one of the reasons is that “The queens ruled during the shift from one writing medium to another. The papyrus the Merovingians primarily used deteriorated easily in the cold and humidity of Europe; the animal-skin parchment preferred by the dynasty that supplanted them did not. It is amazing that we have as much from the period as we do: letters, wills, and testaments; contracts, charters, and bills of sale; poems, witticisms, and hymns; and, of course, historical chronicles.” Lots of Drah-Mah, and probably a good bit of it was rewritten into GAME OF THRONES.

    Cookbook of the week: WHAT KINGS ATE AND WIZARDS DRANK: A Fantasy Lover’s Food Guide, by Krista D. Ball. A random list of headings: Well Fed On the Road; Backpacking through the Wilderness ;There Is a Horde of Orcs Chasing Me. Can We Stop for Some Rabbit Stew?; My Hero Is a Carnivore. He Needs Venison Stew!; Fishing Foraging Berries and Other Delights; How Do I Carry These Leftovers, and Other Challenges?, and My Heroine Is Going to Starve to Death, Isn’t She?

    1. I got the sample of the cookbook which sadly has so much front matter I couldn’t get to the actual text but I did like this disclaimer:

      Note: This publication contains the opinions
      and ideas of its author. It is intended to provide helpful and
      informative material on the subject matter covered. It is sold with
      the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in
      rendering professional services in the book. If the reader requires
      personal assistance or advice, a competent professional should be
      consulted.

      1. The recipes are mainly in Chapter 12 — that is, the ones the author has actually made. Of course, grinding flour between rocks produced about two teaspoons of flour ground fine enough to use in biscuits, plus a few chips of rock for added mineral content.

        “I stuffed some leftover beef into the middle of the pita bread and folded in half. It didn’t have an amazing taste, true, but I’ll say this for them: they were filling. One small puck the size of my palm with a bit of shredded beef kept me full for hours.”

  16. I very much enjoyed a reread that most will recognize without me naming when I tell you there are Dove bars in my freezer and a pitcher of lemonade in the frig. Nudge nudge wink wink.
    I am starting a reread of Sarah Addison Allen’s Sugar Queen which I haven’t read in a long time.
    I have something else but I need to research something first so…back later.

    1. Obviously, I know which book you mean, like everybody here 🙂 but talking about fictional lemonades makes me think of another of my favourite books which I haven’t seen mentioned since I have been hanging out here:
      Huntley Fitzpatric’s My life next door.
      It’s one of the loveliest YA romances I have ever read (and I have read lots).

  17. I read several books this week. Just finished Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson and really enjoyed it – thanks for the rec! That was following a binge of Penric and Desdemona so it was interesting to see the similarities and differences of their demon/carrier relationships.

    Simultaneously, as I have a lunchhour book, a before bed book, and commuting audiobooks, I listened to False Colors by Heyer, marvelously read by Phyllida Nash, and the audiobook of Broad Strokes by Bridget Quinn about ’15 Women Who Made Art and Art History in That Order.’ I can’t decide which is better – to read the book with the illustrations, or to listen to the audiobook so well read by Tavia Gilbert.

    Regarding Alice in Wonderland – lots of ‘Eat this’ references would pull me into the parallel immediately!

  18. I took Jenny’s recommendation and read Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. It was the perfect antidote to different season every day weather we’ve been having this week.

    1. Not my usual kind of thing, but I also enjoyed Matchmaking for Beginners on Jenny’s recommendation.

      Now I’m finishing off Julia Quinn’s earliest books. Definitely not recommended but I’m a completist. Also starting to watch Legion on Disney+. It is amazing. Cannot imagine how they will keep up this pace. A fusion of 70s aesthetic of Loki with the genuine insanity of Wandavision except it was made before them. Also Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza. By the guy who did the Fargo TV show and had the good sense to stop at 3 series.

  19. I read The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun, which is a perfect romcom in book form. Yes, formula and some cardboard cutout-y side characters but so well written that you don’t notice the writing, a clear voice, and I enjoyed it immensely.

    It’s m/m and (as always) I wonder what dynamic this changes. I think this could have gone either way, but if it was m/f it would have been different, been about female competition or friendship, and I want to say more but spoilers.

    Anyway, highly recommended. The world is a distaster and we could all do with some fictional HEA I think.

    (PS also re-read The Billionaire series by Alexis Hall because Arden St Ives is such a wonderful character to spend time with and I really feel like we earn the resolution at the end of the series. Character development!).

  20. Also, this:

    C.S. Lewis on re-reading: “We do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been given its sop and laid asleep, are we at leisure to savour the real beauties”

    Yes yes yes.

  21. Coming back to talk about Virgin River. I have not read the books and I won’t.
    The first time I watched the series I enjoyed it because of a few key factors. I love Annette O’toole. I love Tim Mattheson. And the relationship between their characters is compelling. Annette’s character Hope does some things within their relationship that are wrong but easily ignored the first time around but glaringly annoying on rewatch.
    I also really like Preacher, Hope and Christopher.
    The main female character goes from whining to fawning to being completely unrealistic in her expectations of her love interest. Yuck.
    The main male character does several things that are martyrish in nature and makes me want to smack him. Then he swings to ott grand romantic gestures that are out of place and unbelievable.
    There is a third female character who is in love with martyr male. Her version of love is so childish. Why any woman wants to be with a man who has made it clear he doesn’t want to be with her, I will never understand. And to be pregnant with his kid and try to use that to trap him – you don’t want someone to love – you want a prisoner.
    If I didn’t already have a dozen unfinished books I would rewrite this one with characters who are adults with a moral compass.
    Rant ended.

    1. I haven’t watched the series, but I read Preacher’s book years and years ago. It was sweet and he was a lovely character, though I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn’t stand up to reread. I didn’t much care for the rest of the series, but I remember him fondly.

    2. I read the books and that is why I only watched one episode of the series on Netflix. I’ll stick with my memories of the books.

    3. Agreed! Inconsistent characters acting against their own best interests and those of the people they supposedly love. Constant lies and secrets. Very uninspiring.

    4. I found the books MUCH better than the show. You might read the first one to see if you like the characters better

    5. Annette O’Toole, I remember her from a movie with Robert Urich back in the nineties, I think. It was a Lifetime movie about two pilots, lovers. An airline disaster film with testy passengers on board and she has to get to the problem area and save the day so the plane can land. I wonder now whether it could stand the test of time. Don’t remember the title.

    6. It’s been a long time since I read the Virgin River books but I took a look at the synopsis of the TV series and as far as I can recall it has only the barest resemblance to the books. I don’t think Jack ever had a baby with anyone other than Mel, for example. I don’t think Jack was a martyr. I don’t think Hope and Doc have a relationship.
      So I wouldn’t write the books off based on the series.

  22. Fantasy book by Martha Wells on sale $1.99 in US (I assume) on Amazon Kindle – the Wizard Hunters. Haven’t read, but I know lotta fans here!

    1. Thanks – but this title isn’t available at all on Amazon UK, except as an audiobook. (Just to save other Brits the hunt.)

  23. I read Guy Gavriel Kaye’s ‘Tigana’. Such a beautiful book, a romance in the broader sense of the word. Splendid characters, brutal overlords, and some reversals that made my mouth hang open.

    Also finished ‘Human Kind: a hopeful history’ by Rutger Bregman. If you want to feel a bit better about our species, in the midst of awfulness, this is the book.

    1. I had a boyfriend in my younger days who was Guy Gabriel Kay’s best friend (both Winnipeg boys). Guy was a lovely man, partially deaf, and had worked with Christopher Tolkien to complete his father’s Silmarillion. My boyfriend wasn’t much of a reader and so hadn’t read any of his books although he owned them. And one weekend I idly picked up the first of the Fionavar Tapestry series and couldn’t put it down until I read the entire series in one shot. My boyfriend complained to Guy that he had stolen his girlfriend from him for the weekend. I told Guy how much I loved the series but lightly mentioned that his depiction of women tend to be somewhat surface and he listened to me carefully. His next book was Tigana. And I think he fixed that issue.

  24. I just want to send a message of support to all the Europeans and everyone who has ties with eastern Europe. I feel heartsick over the invasion of Ukraine; living far away from the conflict, I can’t imagine sitting on the edge of it.

    (I’m clumping the UK and all the islands together with the Europeans here.)

    1. Thanks. We are European, even if no longer in the subset of Europe that’s the EU. Ukraine feels a long way from here, too. But it’s making me think that’s probably what many people thought about Czechoslovakia and Poland in the late 1930s.

  25. Moving away from dark romance I actually bought a box set that was on sale The Complete Getaway Series by Jay Crownover with ‘family, friends and forever and funyuns’, that was listed in the blurb.
    The second is an 11 triple box set Witmer, Fort Balerno and Charmed by Jean Stokes borrowed from KU.
    What I am reading now is a Kristen Ashley book, Still Standing, I bought over a year ago but I feel I’ve read it before one way or another. About an innocent wife duped by her husband who has been arrested for embezzlement and left her holding the bag. the only job she could get was to deliver messages for a criminal element??? and meets up with the hero. What I don’t understand is that she has a Masters in library science, why she doesn’t she move away and get a job elsewhere. But then we wouldn’t have the drama and angst of an Ashley book.
    It’s a snowy/rainy/back to snowy day here so I’m planning to snuggle on the sofa and read it away.
    My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine. I can’t imagine history is repeating itself over and over with all that Europe suffered decades ago.

    1. Library jobs are actually pretty rare, so maybe that is a factor? Most public and collage libraries are downsizing

  26. I listened to Kismet by Lauren Blakely narrated by the stellar team of Julia Whelan and Shane East (swoon-worthy British accent). It’s not my normal fare as first person narrative wears me out, but this was so well done. Adults facing conflicts as adults, talking to each other. Great stuff.

    I read Tell Me Lies which is still great after all these years.

  27. It’s now Friday, and I’m enjoying the new chapter of Variations while also enjoying a tall glass of tea, Earl Grey (decaf), hot. Sweetened with SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia, Valencia Orange flavored, Like the chocolate flavored sweetener enhances my coffee, the orange flavored sweetener brings out the bergamot in the tea. Bless everyone who shares their food secrets here. I hope I put them to good use. 🙂

  28. I read Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead about a Black man in Harlem in the late fifties and early sixties who owns a furniture store but ties to his father and cousin keep pulling him to the fringes of a life of crime. Completely different from my own life but the characters are so well drawn. It is funny and heart wrenching.

    Now for a complete change of pace I’m reading Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. Also funny but a little fluffy about a woman who writes fan fic, the star of the tv show who also writes fan fic in the same universe and their somewhat improbable meeting and relationship.

    1. Funny; I dnfed Spoiler Alert because of how heavy it was. The relationships both protagonists had with their parents just weighed me down.

      1. Oooh, I can see that. I think the fact that he is a famous actor just puts it all in fantasyland for me but so far the scenes with his parents especially are pretty heart wrenching.

  29. Has anyone read the Hillary Clinton novel? My brother read it. Says it was good although very political. He didn’t recommend I read it right now because politics is so triggering for me.
    Also, has anyone watched Welcome To Earth? National Geographic and Will Smith. I can’t even adequately express how phenomenal it is. I hope they make more!!!
    Holding space for the Ukraine and begging for peace!

  30. I just finished What the Lady Wants. I love that you had “the Donald” pegged that long ago in this book, and in Strange Bedpersons. Every time I come across those two comments it makes me laugh. If I can’t find anything else to read, I reread one of your books. Your writing does not get old!

  31. I was reading Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson but my mind kept slipping away so I’m reading Thursday murder club again.

    1. It’s going to take a trip to the genius store. But I think I can fake it until next week when the snow melts.

  32. I read a novella and a collection of short stories by an author whose books I used to like and sort of still do but also sort of hate myself for liking. I was reminded why by the time I got to the end of the stories. She’s very pro taking a healthy interest in sex, but apparently in the early 2000s had not really absorbed the concept of asking for consent. There’s a scene in the final story that could have word-for-word been transferred to a dark story about a stalker, but because you’re told the guy is honorable it’s okay. (He’s actually shown to be honorable and devoted and an all-around nice guy toward the end of the story, but his actions at the beginning are iffy at best.)

    The consent issues throughout are equal opportunity–women are just as likely to fondle without asking and pressure the men.

    On the other hand, I think the novella had been rewritten between its initial version and the standalone version. There’s at least one scene I remember pretty clearly that is framed differently in the novella. I would be tempted to buy the original version just to check, except the price is too high. Possibly I will find the collection in a book pile.

    Anyway, it is always interesting to read stories later on and see how one’s world view has shifted!

    1. I was listening to a JD Robb book this week and was thinking the same thing about context shifting. Nothing definite, but they definitely read differently to me now.

  33. I re-listened to all the Murderbot books, again! Maybe the 20th reread? I just hope that Kevin R. Free is the reader for the next 3 books in the series that TOR & Martha Wells have contracted.
    Also reread/listened to Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers, for a completely different type of robot protagonist.
    BTW just found your blog & love it.

  34. I finished the 4th Murderbot book a week or so ago and am now re-reading it to see what I missed in my speed read through to make sure it ended up okay reading. I also finished reading Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher.

    I have just downloaded Salt Magic by Margaret Ball after seeing it recommended here. I read a couple of her books that I liked a number of years ago ( Flameweaver, and Changeweaver); I am curious to see if I like this as well as those.

  35. Long-time-lurker. Second-time-commenter.

    I’ve really struggled to finish books lately. I blame the state of the world, which I seem to have reacted to by finding everything I try not quite right. I want something to make it all better and possibly that’s an overly tall order!

    Having said that, I did finish Matchmaking for Beginners, which was recommended here. Nothing earth shattering but it was nice, although I didn’t love the female lead. Didn’t dislike her – just didn’t really “get her”. She seemed a bit bland (but see above re general dissatisfaction).

    I started the Sharing Knife but DNF’d. For the moment so don’t hate me. I normally love LMB but clearly this is not the moment for this series for me so I’ve put it down to try again when I’m less critical.

    I reread a Rachel Bach trilogy: Fortune’s Pawn / Honor’s Knight / Heaven’s Queen. And I finished all three but I know I love this set. It’s one of my fall backs when I need a sure thing. (Pretty much any Heyer romance is another fall back but that’s for world-ending emergencies, not just the world is a scary place times.)

    I listened to quite a few books this week too but my listening tends to be non-fiction. However, in case others like the non-fiction audio here’s my week’s rundown:
    – Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown – interesting if you want to think about emotions, what causes them and what sort of behaviour they might lead to.
    – Immune by Phillipp Dettmer – great for understanding the immune system & the first book on the subject I’ve finished thinking I could actually remember some of it.
    – The Genesis Machine by Amy Webb and Andrew Hessel – about synthetic biology, possible futures and policy. I found it fascinating but I’m very interested in synthetic biology and I work in policy so …
    – Just started Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst – I am very interested in why and how people behave the way they do and, so far, this is fascinating (though I have to take notes as I listen because it’s quite complicated for a layperson).

    Have just requested samples of Vespertine and Salt Magic based on recommendations on here. Thank you. That led to an algorithm rec of The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher so I’ve got a sample of that to try too.

    Happy reading and positive book vibes to you all.

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