This is a Good Book Thursday, June 2, 2022

It’s summer and it’s gorgeous, although temps in the 90s in June is worrisome. WTF? Thank god you can read inside. And outside. Anywhere really. I’m still working on Lavender’s Blue because we are now at the granular level, figuring out what’s underneath and behind the characters, and I’d forgotten how much fun it was to talk about the deep lives of the book people. It’s like gossip, only creative. Did you know the mayor’s wife is named Honey and used to be married to the police chief? Me, neither, but it makes me happy.

What did you read this week?

107 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, June 2, 2022

  1. I read “Just Wanted You to Know” in Crazy People by Jennifer Crusie and it’s one of the best stories I ever read. I think it would be a great Kindle Single.

  2. I had a nice chat with my brother at my niece’s wedding and I recommended The Goblin Emperor to him. So obviously I had to dig it out on my kindle and I loved it even more this time because I knew Maia would be ok. Objectively, I knew he would be fine eventually the first time I read it but I didn’t know what hurdles he would go through. This time, I could relax and enjoy!

    1. I got it on audio book and pull it out for a revisit often. Although I always skip the execution scene. But yes, it is nice to know going in that he will be ok on all levels, poor kid. He deserves a break.

        1. Execution scene. Those are two words that send a chill down my little twisty spine. I will probably skip it, too, once I get the book.

    2. I have had this book on my wishlist for months. I am ordering today. You have sold me.

  3. This week, well yesterday, has presented me with so many choices! My hoopla loans refreshed, so I can continue the series I have been listening to in audio book. CM Nascosta put out her first audiobook, so I bought that.

    She and Sherwood Smith both had new releases become available on Tuesday, so I bought those too. And I am about half way through A Lady for the Duke by Alexis Hall which is witty and sweet and chocked full of emotions.

    Oh, and we finished what is available of the current season of Stranger Things. We saw part of the twist coming, but not all of it, and it added to the story in a good, layered way. The initial darkness has lightened, mostly because the group is back together in chunks and if there is a theme for this show it’s that everyone helps everybody else all the time, almost no questions asked. That, and no one ever knows where their kids are. I was not a child of the 80s, so I don’t know how accurate that is.

    1. Which Sherwood Smith? I honestly haven’t read anything of hers since the Inda series so I’m behind.

      1. I will have to look it up. I don’t know if it was a surprise release or if I just haven’t been paying attention. It’s billed as a stand alone romance, which considering my slow reading speed and attention issues, sounds about right.

        1. The new one is Titled The Wicked Skill.

          And when I was younger I read Crown Duel (which is actually two books smoothed together, court duel being the other) obsessively. I still enjoy it and occasionally reread.

          1. Totally with you! I love Crown Duel and re-read it regularly. The scene where he visits her in prison – love that.

          2. Yes! Poor guy. He is trying so hard to keep everyone safe and alive.

            His origin story, Stranger to Command, is also good, though without the romantic aspect, so I don’t reread it much.

          3. Yes I’ve read it once and that was good. Anyway, I took a look at The Wicked Skill. I’m going to wait for your review…

          4. I promise not to tap my foot at you. Working on patience these days. Hey, separate convo – how close to Philadelphia do you live?

          5. I have a four hour layover there in a couple of weeks and I thought if you lived close to Philadelphia I could deke out for a coffee IRL. Oh well.

          6. Wow. The prospect is both thrilling and terrifying. I have never had a friend I met on the internet first. When is it? Unfortunately it’s probably in a black out zone for me to take time off work, unless it’s a weekend? I might be able to swing that. Although I am not sure what it says of me that I haven’t made the effort to go and see my sister yet…

          7. I know right? What if it turns out we really dislike each other in person? And then we have to be coolly polite on line after that?? Hey I like to live dangerously. It’s June 23rd. But don’t drive two hours for that – that’s a recipe for ensuring my flight is delayed.

          8. Bugger. That’s a Thursday. One of my coworkers is off for the next three weeks to go rv-ing so no one else can take time off. But we are so close!

          9. Crying face. If you ever decide to attend the Little League World Series,
            let me know. I have a guest room

          10. Lol. Yes. It’s basically my town’s only tourist industry. Teams come from all over. Japan usually makes it up to the very end.

            No parking and terrible traffic everywhere for two weeks, also no hotels available for any other reason. It’s a nightmare. I have lived here all my life and never gone to a game, though you could hear them from my grandparents back yard.

          11. Well here is another plan. We wait until Jenny is at some convention and then all the Arghers who can descend en masse and we become her cheering section (Bob’s too but only if he stops shooting defenceless teddy bears) and then we have a big get together.

    2. I was a child in the 80s. While I’m sure every generation has parents who don’t know where their kids are, I can report that where I was, it was not at all ubiquitous.

      We are only a few episodes into the season and not loving it as much, but our daughter thinks we will by the time we watch all 8. Hoping that will be the case!

      1. It started out pretty dark for my taste, but resolves into the team problem solving that I have come to expect from these writers. Now, I did watch with half an eye while working on my in front of the TV project and left for closed my eyes for the ongoing graphic bits. Not my thing.

        I think that Dustin and the supporting characters really get a chance to shine later on, calmly and matter of factly facing scary monsters.

  4. I read the next two in T Kingfisher’s Paladin series – Strength and Hope – not as good as Grace but still delightful. I’m hoping she’s writing another one…

    Read Alessandra Hazard’s latest in the Calluvia series, Dearly Despised, delicious as always, which made me go back and re-read my favourites in her Straight Guy series.

    I read two ARC’s – Iris Foxglove’s ARC of Summer of the Witch (still prefer her Starian series), and Alexandra Caluen’s ARC of Sextette – Edwardian, three connected stories of MC’s who are all friends, lots of poly delight and adventure on the side. Chacha1 – what made you decide to try an historical novel? Totally different voice for you – I was impressed.

    And to round things up, I read another of Lesli Richardson’s mash-up of poly, BDSM and gubernatorial politics.

    I need something palate cleansing now, non smutty.

    1. I actually started with historical (first book inspired by a seminar during grad school, M.A. History, good for nothing but being a writer) but my two Georgian novels are unpublished right now for reasons. ‘Sextette’ grew out of both of those, however. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading it! And apparently not hating it! <3

    2. I thought Summer of the Eitch felt mor e like the Starian books maybe because I’d the setting (plus I have a weird love of the demons). I hope they keep playing in this world.

  5. Since I spent the week decluttering, most of what I read was excerpts from books as I moved them around between hard drive and back-up media. The music stuff included all my audio books that are in MP3 format. I did “read” (listen to) all of Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I also read Hasseler’s Security Trilogy. Claws for Suspicion is a few chapters further on.

    Yesterday was chapter 95 of Variations on a Theme. Tomorrow, chapter 96.

    Official Weigh-In Day #59. 249.0 pounds. I’m not sure what that is in shillings or pence. Franc-ly, I don’t care. Euro-nly as fat as those clothes make you look. (Currency humor. Har.)

  6. I finished The Proposal by Mary Balogh, enjoyed it. Now I’m listening to The Arrangement, the next in her Survivor’s series.

    What I really enjoyed the most this week was listening to Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. Mostly about space travel, problem-solving, and friendship, with such enthusiasm for science and possibility.

    1. Ooh, good reminder that I haven’t listened to Project Hail Mary yet. Gotta see if it’s available at the library. Great timing, because I’m kinda’ desperate for a good listen.

      Oh, heck. Not in audio in my library. May have to read the ebook instead.

  7. Only a Promise is my favourite of the Survivor series. Reading bits of books again. Bet Me again. Another Dick Francis book will be next. Watching the Trooping the Colour. Lazy day today.

  8. Looking for a good read, particularly while riding the stationary bike; that means reading a paperback because hardcovers are too heavy. I started Travels with my Aunt which I’d enjoyed eons ago, but find it dull this time around. I want something with a woman protagonist; I’m very tired of men. (I think I need a woman author as well.)

    1. Have you tried the Ile Rien series by Martha Wells? Some men characters, but definitely a female author, and … I think it’s Fall of Ile Rien (second book in series, but the one I started with, and didn’t realize there was one before it until much later, so didn’t miss it) that has a female protagonist. I think they’re on Hoopla if your library has that, not sure if the library would have them in paperback.

  9. I read my way through Elle Kennedy’s hockey series starting with The Deal. It’s kind of interesting how a lot of current romances have gone sort of soap opera/telenovela, it’s a shift in structure/format.

    Not sure what to read next. Waiting for What Moves the Dead to come out. *drums fingers*

  10. I read the latest in Lindsay Buroker’s Dragon Gate series – “Sky On Fire”. Things are starting to accelerate towards the final book in the series which should be out sometime in September 2022.

    I also finished “Two Gun Witch” by Bishop O’Connell after reading an article by the author on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog. I liked the premise enough to buy the book, but lost interest half-way through the book. I’m not sure why, but I think it could be because the author uses the 3rd person viewpoint and so I felt detached from the protagonist. Everything was fine when the protagonist was emoting all over the place with angst, but as soon as she began feeling better, I lost interest.

    I’m currently reading “Steel Guardian” by Cameron Coral. This is a book about how an android hotel caretaker while looking for a hotel to clean during the great Machine-Human War apocalypse is forced to take charge of a human baby. The android gathers some allies on the way while ducking war robots and human warriors, on its search for a safe place with a hotel to clean and rational humans to stay in that hotel. The reviewer mentioned a kinder, gentler Murderbot and I was there for that. So far, it seems interesting.

  11. I’m listening to Summer of Night by Dan Simmons which is a very slow burn horror novel that I am enjoying very much. That’s good because I have over 11 more hours to go.

  12. I ended up going. Ack and rereading Putting the Fun in Funeral by Diana Pharoah Francis. And it ended up being just as fun the first time around. I just love her friend group. You can really see why she put up with years of abuse to protect her friends.

    Then I read Soaring Flight by Melissa McShane, the latest in her Extraordinaries series where they are now dealing with the aftermath of the Napoleonic war.

  13. I’m on an Anne Tyler kick. I read Vinegar Girl & Clock Dance. They were both good but I liked Vinegar Girl best. VG is her version of Taming the Shrew.
    I checked A Spool of Blue Thread out on Libby app. I am trying to persuade myself to buy her latest: French Braid.

  14. Easy rereads this week, BLACK SHEEP and THE GRAND SOPHY, by Georgette Heyer

    THE LADY WITH THE GUN ASKS THE QUESTIONS, by Kerry Greenwood. I have the earlier edition — this one has some new stories — and I’ve been reading it one story at a time. Phryne is always fun!

    RECIPES FOR ROYALS, by Dahlia Clearwater. The recipes look fine, but the introductions are Too Cutesy for me. This is for fans of THE CROWN, which I haven’t watched, and the author has also written a cookbook for fans of BRIDGERTON..

    QUEEN ELIZABETH II: An Oral History, by Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald Strober. This is an assemblage of quotations from people who have interacted with the Queen or her family, with a few extra bits, and is definitely a dip in and out book, but quite interesting.

    THE PALACE PAPERS, by Tina Brown, is a balanced, well-researched assessment of the royal family. What I particularly like is that the tabloid stories are deleted. The history of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is given in absolutely exhausting detail, so if you’re curious, this is where to look. Diana is covered a little lightly, but Tina Brown had written a previous book about her.

    THE CURSED CANVASES: (The Ladies of Almack’s Book 4) COMING June 7

    THE GRIEF OF STONES (The Cemeteries of Amalo Book 2 in the Goblin Emperor universe) COMING June 14

    1. I read Georgette Heyer, too. I have to be in the mood, as they start off slow, sometimes. But it’s good writing.

  15. When ill with Covid I started to listen to Return of the Thief, but when the threat of war started to become imminent, it got to close to what is happening not so far away from here.
    I’ll pick ot up some time later.
    Trying to catch up with work and trying to finish as much as possible because officially my holiday starts on Monday. Maybe I end up taking some work with me, but while in Italy I’ll dive into history books on medieval illnesses for sure. DS is doing a project on leprosy and his teacher is totally mia when the kids would need him, so maybe I can point ds into the right direction and ask the right questions for him to be able to work on his paper.
    I haven’t loaded up my ebook library yet. I don’t have a clue which genre takes my fancy. Maybe a textbook on Italian.
    Which will be a far cry from the rather smutty books by Jay Northcote that I read over the last weekend (“Practice makes perfect” has a really cute couple, and “Watching and Wanting” was strangely addictive). I had tried JN before and wasn’t thrilled, now my mood and the stories fit.
    What I’m sooo looking firward to is catching up on sleep on holiday, the pressure of being behind with everything has bad effects on the quality of sleep…

  16. We went to see Operation Mincemeat a couple of weeks ago – a whole plot based on creating a rich life for a fictional character. It was enjoyable, an excellent story (which I knew, but that was ok) and a not bad movie. Colin Firth is always worth the time.

    And then we went as a family to Top Gun Maverick and off anyone wants to study a perfect extempore of fan service. I loved it from the opening bars, and now my son is playing the themesong on the piano and the nostalgia is killing me.

    All my reading has been of the enjoyable escapism, nothing worth a proper recommendation.

    1. I’m going to the new Top Gun tomorrow with some of my high school friends who were the ones I first saw it with. 😀 So far I’ve seen nothing but positive reactions which is making me happy.

  17. I was very much looking forward to the latest (months ago) release of a favorite author. I’d been saving it since I was so swamped with work these past months. I thought, based on the cover and the blurb and her previous books (or at least her first, which is my fave), that it would be a rom-com. It was not. I started getting suspicious pretty early when I couldn’t figure out happy endings for all the characters, so I skipped ahead to find out. Well, I avoided reading any spoilers about the book, so I won’t spoil things here . . . but I wish I had read spoilers so I wouldn’t have been so disappointed and distressed. I switched to to the second in T. Kingfisher’s Paladin series, and the search for severed heads is so far much more comforting and funny. I’ll go back to reread the first book by this author, but I might not ever go back to the latest one. Why do publishers market things so misleadingly? Argh.

    1. Right!? It’s not fair to the book to be misrepresented and then I am just MAD about it and can’t even give the book a proper chance because I spent so much time thinking it was something else.

      1. That’s the thing, isn’t it. You go into a book with your mind in a particular set, and if the book isn’t what you’re expecting, it’s hard to turn around and enjoy it for what it is. It’s the same for me if the book is the first in a trilogy or duology, and there’s no indication of that on the cover. So I’m expecting a complete arc, and it ends halfway through the story. Unforgiveable!

        1. Also this! It’s so disorienting when you are running out of book and there are too many loose ends… And then you realize that there are supposed to be other books. I can handle HFN, but cliff hangers are really annoying.

          1. Yes to all of this. Now that I know what the book is really about, I *might* go back to it, but it won’t be any time soon.

            Who am I kidding? There are too many books out there to go back to one that was so much of a disappointment. And you can bet I’ll be looking at more than blurbs and samples now. . . .

        2. The one I just read finished 71% through. That annoyed me. There were 2 freebie short stories afterwards and they were good, but I was expecting more book, dammit.

  18. My reading week started with Con Riley’s latest, ‘Austin’ – M/M set in and around a private school in Cornwall. This particular series is hands down my favorite for books about grownups in which children & adolescents also play significant parts. The kids are not plot moppets, they’re complicated messy individuals whose stories arc just like those of the adults. And the focus on teaching as a profession (and as a *value*) is superb.

    Then I read two longtime favorites from Dick Francis: ‘Hot Money’ and ‘Straight.’

    Next, three books by a new-to-me author, Z.A. Maxfield; M/M set in Orange County, CA with characters connected to a biohazard / crime scene cleaning service. Picked up the first one on sale and binge-bought the other two (it’s The Brothers Grime series). Found them angsty, funny, sexy without being wall-to-wall sex, and mature. Be warned, the descriptions are vivid.

    Then I read ‘The Proposal’ by Mary Balogh, which had some pleasant surprises. Chiefly: humor! The hero has a sense of humor about himself! He’s so socially awkward. Also, Balogh’s trademark manipulative + malingering ‘other woman’ figure (in this case the hero’s not-much-older stepmother) is, refreshingly, given a redemption arc, which occurs mostly off the page as it should. Minor intrusion by a Villain from the Past which potentiates some emotional closure, minimal intrusion by the mobs of connected characters.

    Finished reading ‘Priceless’ by Robert K. Wittman with John Shiffman, memoir of an FBI agent whose specialty was art crime. Fascinating and fleet-footed, provides the setups, high points, and conclusions of all his major cases. Would make a great TV series.

    Finally, ‘Marked by Fire’ by Mia West, first in her Arthur/Bedwyr series, which resulted in another download. I’ve been an impulse buyer this week. 🙂

    1. I impulse bought all over the place. It must be contagious. And Z.A. Maxfield actually has some Audio books included with Kindle membership! I am excited. Almost nothing I want to try is included on Audible.

  19. My reading in the past week was eclectic.
    Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was as charming as many of her stories. A re-read, of course.
    Mimi Matthews’s The Siren of Sussex was a cute Victorian romance with a non-standard hero: a half-Indian half-English dressmaker aspiring to be the best couturier in London. I enjoyed every book I’ve read by this author and I’m going to read more of her.
    Alexander McCall Smith’s Tiny Tales was a sweet collection of short stories by the master of the genre. Funny, poignant, or contemplative, all the stories are very short. They emphasize their author’s keen observation skills and his deep compassion.
    The illustrations by Iain McIntosh enhance the book even more and make you smile every time your gaze falls on those tiny B&W pictures. They look like visual fables or old-time magazine comics. Or perhaps anecdotes in images. Lovely and ironic.
    Overall: one of the best collection of short stories I read in my life. A little gem of a book.
    Jessie Mihalik’s Hunt the Stars was a terrific sci-fi romance flick. The writing was superb, the descriptions colorful, the pacing very quick, and the tension gripping. I liked the characters too, but they seemed the weaker part of this novel. It is definitely driven by the plot. But I enjoyed the book all the same. It starts the author’s new series, and the next book only comes out next summer. Alas! I can’t wait.
    Dorothy Sayers’s Gaudy Night was a part of my Peter Wimsey re-read project. A complicated novel about a place of an educated woman in society. It read like Sayers’s manifesto. I guess the concept was all-important a century ago, but it has lost its immediacy by now. Nobody in the Western world disputes it anymore, except some religious fundamentalists, and they wouldn’t read Dorothy Sayers anyway. But on a personal level, the book sported too much philosophy, too many allusions, references, and quotations for a regular mystery reader. The author flaunted her lofty education and vast knowledge at me, and I didn’t like it.

    1. Funny because I enjoy the erudite nature of a Sayers novel. Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon are my favorite of her novels. To each their own.

      Also, seems like the themes raised in Gaudy Night continues to have relevance. Case in point, Afghanistan? Moreover, even in the Western world, it seems we are fighting the fight for women’s rights all over again.

      1. Continue, not continues.

        I wish we didn’t have to keep fighting the same old fights all over again.

    2. I absolutely get that all those quotations won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but they introduced me to many authors, and created a rich world.

      1. Actually, Olga, your dislike of intricate technical details is exactly what I like. This is great! I think we could find good books by looking at each other’s dislikes — except that we like Bujold and have a lot of other “likes” in common.

        Along this line of thinking, I’ve started a reread of The Nine Tailors. Immediately, I’m getting a kick out of the fastidious description of the bells.

      2. Plus the romance between Peter and Harriet was so grown-up and – finally! – a romance.

  20. I read Book of Night, the new fantasy-horror novel by Holly Black. I’m not big on horror and don’t like grim, but got sucked in nonetheless.

    I’m now conducting a re-read of the Jayne Castle Harmony novels. Can’t go wrong with dustbunnies.

    1. I only carried on reading that series for the dustbunnies, dustbunnies know how to party

  21. I needed something totally different. I’ve had Tamer: Enhancer Arch-Duke of Dinosaurs, A Tamer FanFic by Dave Barrack for months. Tamer: King of Dinosaurs is by Michael-Scott Earle, a controversial author alleged to have gamed the Amazon programs for their payout. Dave says his fanfic stands alone, He puts it this way:

    I’ve never written a book before, so fanfiction seemed like a good place to start. I figured I’d be giving myself whatever the opposite of a handicap is by playing in someone else’s sandbox. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about all that pesky world building.

    FYI, there are sex scene in the book (spoilers I guess) and they don’t fade to black. I would describe them as explicit but not raunchy. Obviously those are both entirely relative terms.

    So I’m reading that. Besides, it was free.

    Also besides, it beats dealing with customer service. Etsy says an order was delivered May 28 – customer service says “Oops. If you don’t get it by the sixth, let us know.” AeroGarden says an order is complete – but again, not delivered. They’ll get back to me. I want my stuff. I wannit now!

    1. As an Etsy seller, I can only commiserate with the shop you bought from. No matter what service they use to ship, this happens. Drivers scan things early to meet a quota and then the seller is left holding the proverbial bag. I would say that 8 times out of 10 it turns up late, but it is nerve-wracking on both ends. Plus the scammers. A fair amount of people ( present company excluded) claim damage or loss for a refund. Ugh.

      1. I should have read all the reviews, for one seller. Two were 5 stars and effusive. Three were 1 star and said they didn’t ever get their order. That order is still labeled “Not Shipped Yet” and estimated delivery earlier this week. That isn’t the one I was whining about. I should cancel it.

        1. Yikes. I don’t know why people like that bother to have a shop. It can’t be worth the stress and aggravation…

    2. Tamer Enhancer is written by a guy. The same guy (Dave Barrack) who writes and illustrates the webcomic Grrl Power (yes, that’s Grrl with “rr.”) I read this line and thought, “I wonder what Jenny and the Arghers would say to that?” The line?

      Then again, she was a romance author, and I suspected that much like on Earth, ‘romance’ was code for ‘female oriented smut.’

  22. Kate Quinn’s The Diamond Eye. Based on the true story of a Russian woman who was a sniper in WWII, fighting against the German invasion of Ukraine. And in 1942 she was part of a delegation to the US to try to get American support for a second front against the Nazis, and befriended Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Quinn is SUCH a good writer. And this is a gripping story.

    Now, for something completely different, I’m reading The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young. It’s the story of the cows on her family farm, and it’s so lovely. And of course reading about how cows go about their lives when they are allowed to raise their calves, and roam, and spend their time however they wish, brings back in greater clarity how badly we have messed up our relationships with other species.

    1. Lian always makes me want to read ALL the books she loves! And I never realized before that I yearn to know about the ideal life of cows. Off to check my library website…

    2. “how cows go about their lives when they are allowed to raise their calves, and roam, and spend their time however they wish”

      This would be the only way I’ve ever seen cows raised. Except for milking dairy cattle twice a day. The eight steers in the field behind me certainly do. Mr. Matlick’s Angus cows certainly raised their calves in the field behind where I lived as a child.

        1. The (mostly former, thank you economic forces) dairy farmers I know here milk the cows, after a few days? weeks?, once a day until the calves are old enough to be weaned. Dairy cows, after all, are bred to produce vast amounts of milk, far more than enough to raise a calf, and not to dry up for ages and ages.

          1. Sounds very different from most dairying, where calves are removed from their mothers very early – especially the boys, who are sold off for meat.

    3. I mean, I assume the cows aren’t feral or totally free-range and there is a fence around the farm? Also, do they feed and water the cows at some point or provide medical care? Not clear on this premise. Lian, can you clarify? Thanks!

      1. Not that you have to, Lian, but I’m really curious. I may see if my library has a copy so I can find out for myself!

      2. Jeanine, yes, there’s a fence around the farm, but the gates between the different paddocks and the woodland are always open, so the cows can decide where they’d like to be on any particular day. It sounds as if they move around quite a bit, like wild herds.

        ‘For many years we have noticed that if you give cows the opportunity and the time to choose between several alternatives – for instance between staying outside or coming in for shelter, or walking on grass or on straw or concrete, or a choice of diet – then they will choose what is best for them and they will not all choose the same thing.’

        And yes, they provide food and water and medical care. The book is really worth a read, and the cows are delightful.

        1. Shelter? What climate is this? I really want to read this book.

          1. I really want to read this book, but my library only has it in paper, so I will have to wait for my request to come in, and then find time to go get it on my lunch hour. I have become addicted to the instant gratification of ebooks.

          2. In Britain they’re traditionally housed in barns in the winter. The grass stops growing, so I don’t suppose there’s enough for them to eat, apart from anything else. Sheep stay out, but they get given extra feed.

          3. I’m in beef cattle county and lots of ranchers provide shelter from the wind, usually a long 3-sided lean to. The cows mostly don’t need protection from the cold in the form of a heated barn but they need protection from the wind.

          4. I’m afraid I will break the thread commenting so much, but here goes with the only Reply button I can find. (My reserve on this book is in, so Monday I will be able to pick it up and start reading.) Jane B, here in Kentucky the grass doesn’t stop growing for long, although it slows down, and people supplement with hay, but the cows stay out year round, seeking shelter from the wind in clumps of trees. Sheep, on the other hand, (not many people raise sheep) are traditionally housed in barns.
            It sounds like maybe (other than the south of England) Britain is colder than I thought, despite Dorothy Wordsworth’s description of people freezing in snowdrifts in the Lake District. She never makes it sound much colder than here in most of her journals, but I’ve never looked up the weather there. (I kept Oslo on my list of weather reports after my friend moved back to Boston, and that city seems much warmer than I had thought.)
            Apparently I can discuss cows endlessly.

          5. That’s interesting about sheep: I understood they couldn’t be raised intensively/indoors. I think we need Corina on this. As to British weather: it’s more likely to be cold, grey and damp than snowy in the winter – unless you’re talking about Scotland or the hills of northern England and Wales. But the days are short because we’re further north than the mild climate (due to the Gulf Stream) would have you suppose. So for six weeks or so in midwinter, it’s only light from about 8 to 4. Maybe the long winter nights are too much for cows?

        2. We watched a news piece about the cows in the Canadian Maritimes in which the cows are kept in barns in the winter; cold, blizzards, freezing wind, etc. when the cows are let out in the spring, (when the grass is growing), the cows run out and kick up their hoofs. Happy to be outside. They looked like happy cows.

  23. I read “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus. I liked it. I’d consider it women’s fiction rather than romance, although there’s a very strong love story at the center. But it’s mainly about women in the 1950s/60s and the milleu of sexism they’re steeped in and how the main character pushes against it, with some success. Also, the most amazing dog who is such a good boy in how he cares for his people.

    It feels a bit anachronistic to me in how the character behaved/talked (although that’s somewhat the point), and I felt like I could tell with the story structure that this was a debut novel – it felt a little all over the place structurally at times…but the characters are really lovely, even if maybe a bit too much to be totally believable outside of a fictional context.

    I feel like I might have personally enjoyed this more without the backdrop of current events/the leaked Roe decision making all of the misogyny in the story feel like a coming attraction for the future….but that’s certainly not an author/story thing…and there’s enough ultimate triumph there that it is also proof that even when things are awful, you can find a way….so if you’re more of a half glass full person, that might be your take away.

  24. I read a cozy mystery that I barely made myself finish. Not only was the story slooooww, but there were so many errors that I wanted to call the publisher and yell at them to get a new editor. “She towed the line.” Seriously?

    Just started Beach Read by Emily Henry and I’m already loving it.

    1. Hi, Deborah! I’m having trouble finishing Claws for Suspicion. I’m not in the right mood. Also, I think you should have co-written with Bob. Then when the Ex shows up, she has a hit man take his ass out. (If that’s what happens further in, don’t tell me. No spoilers.)

      I’ll finish it when my mood improves. (See dealing with vendors in a post or two somewhere above.)

  25. Is there any way to purchase signed copies of your books?! I’ve spent years looking it’s my dream to own signed copies I’ve read almost every book you have ever written and cowrote!!!

    1. Thank you, Kay.
      We sold out of the signed copies years ago, but there should be new books and signed copies in about a year or so, fingers crossed.
      Welcome to Argh!

      1. Omg I never in a thousand years thought you would read my comment or respond! Please excuse me while I freak out and tell everyone I know!

        I found a signed copy of welcome to temptation from 2000 I about died!!! Happy to have found this forum to chat with those who also love your work!

        1. LOL. Nobody here freaks out when I answer. The thrill is gone.
          Really, welcome to Argh.

  26. Last night (very late) I finished “Daniel’s True Desire,” which is the second in Grace Burrough’s True Gentlemen series. I got kind of stuck in the middle by the sudden and baffling changes in scene to rooms where people were conversing without any explanation of who they were or what they had to do with what I’d just finished reading.

    This time I pulled up the Amazon reader reviews and read a series of remarks about this volume, and then the similarly interrupted volume #1, and finally realized that not only was this a series of books whose main characters appear in the same setting, but it’s got a lot of characters who appear briefly, or as bit players here, but who were the stars in at least one previous series by the author.

    It explained the loving attention paid to these new (to me) names without background, who kept saving the day, or having yet another unmarried daughter, or a close friend who was active in parliament, etc. etc.

    In a way, I’ve enjoyed Grace Burroughs’ version of the Heyeresque Regency Novel. I’ve liked the researched historical detail here and there, and have enjoyed for a change running into a lot of characters who are oddly enough NOT dukes or earls or whatnot. And the love relationships in this series have struck me as deeper and more friendship-based than in many a Regency Passion Play. But somehow I am still not finding a favorite here. Still searching.

    Maybe the answer will be somewhere in a world of happy cows?

    1. Have you tried Evie Dunmore? It’s not regency, but the characters are clever and the romances believable. I particularly enjoyed A Rogue of One’s Own.

      1. [Leaping on the first cow-related reply button I see: I don’t think the blog likes me now] The sheep in barns in winter are not kept inside, they only have the opportunity to go in, and their supplemental feed is offered there.

        I imagine the shorter days in English winters does have an effect. Midwinter days here are at least nine hours long.

  27. Didn’t read much of anything but write-in ballots. The votes are counted and the election will be certified here on Monday. Can’t wait. Oh, yes, I tried to read my minutes so I could transcribe them. I have horrible penmanship.

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