This is a Good Book Thursday, July 7, 2022

This week I read Rest in Pink, the first two acts. Over and over again. And a lot of jpgs of Dick and Jane. Turns out Richard is a dick. Who knew?

What did you read this week?

122 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, July 7, 2022

  1. It’s been weeks and weeks and weeks since I read anything new. Or re-read any old fiction. And non-fiction? Fuhgeddaboutit.

    I think this is my first true reading slump. Fueled by work annoyance, home busyness, lack of reliable car, and my doomscrolling Instagram.

    I do read a LOT on Instagram though. Posts with long captions (paradox) about Yoga, Tai Chi, Food, Health, and Social Justice.

    Am watching Avatar, The Last Airbender because I always wanted to but never did. Now I am. That’s the aim. Do what I want. And I want more.

    Also have a 23 day Duolingo streak on a new language AND a heritage language. Now if only I could gamify my daily life that way! Lol.

    1. There is an app called ‘Habitica’ that is designed so you can gamify your life. Apparently it is actually a proven productivity tool. 😊

    2. Ursula Vernon (aka T Kingfisher) and her husband have talked about Habitica (and gamifying daily activity in general) on their podcast, Productivity Alchemy. I haven’t listened to it recently, but the early episodes I listened to are entertaining and also potentially interesting if you’re looking for a variety of productivity tips (and Ursula’s blunt assessment of some popular ones: “it’s a cult,” she says of some, while also acknowledging that what works for one person will seem bonkers to another person).

  2. Kindle app says I got 18% into a new murder mystery before it got tedious.
    Reread 2 SEP books; Ain’t She Sweet and Dance Away With Me.
    Reread a Rachel Gibson book: It Must Be Love.
    Having better luck with TV. The new season og Only Murders In The Building is fun.
    Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren is good.

  3. Loved Courtney Milan’s “The Devil Comes Courting” set in 1870s China around a fictional transpacific telegraph line. Loved both the characters and there’s a scene towards the end that made me break out in happy crying. Can’t wait for the next Worth book.

    Also finished Daniel Abraham’s “Dagger & Coin” series which I think Tammy recc’d a few years ago. Solid right the way through and unusual to see banking in a fantasy world. Clara was my favorite character; really loved her resilience through some fairly awful events. Been thinking about the way truth and lies interact ever since.

    1. My gosh I can’t believe you remember that! I loved that series and yes, loved Clara, although Geder’s character arc was fascinating. Also, never thought I’d get interested in medieval banking systems but, there you have it.

      1. I cheated 🙂
        My tbr list includes where I got the recc from, very handy when it can take me years to get around to reading something. I just wasn’t sure it was the same Tammy! And very good recc – much preferred it to the Expanse. Geder was fascinating and awful – an almost petty form of evil. But also the way the Spider priests absolutely believed in their truths, even though they were wrong. A very good illustration of how religions or beliefs schism.

        Long Price quartet is also on my list but not sure I want to dive back into sthg that intense right away.

          1. I’m not that fancy 🙂. Word for tbr, excel for read. Pretty basic but also pretty robust & flexible. I think my tbr doc is about twenty years old now!

  4. 1. Variations on a Theme Book 3 up to Chapter 110.
    2. The Shepherd’s Crown Pratchett. In progress. I cried once already.
    3. The Jennifer Crusie Collection, by herself. First Book, “Welcome to Temptation” in both Kindle and Audible.
    4. Spying With Lana, Case #29: Chaotic Neutral by Sean Harrington.
    5. Spying With Lana, Case #30: The Tarantula Hawk’s Kiss by Sean Harrington.

    Official Weigh-In Day #64: 254.2 pounds. Not sterling. A GTH week, diet-wise. (There was no wise with my diet.)

    1. Adding up all the calories consumed last week (Friday through Thursday) I should have lost 3/4 pound. Instead I gained 3. Phooey.

      1. You do know calorie counting doesn’t work, don’t you? It’s a misleading over-simplification. What I’d do (what I did when I lost weight) is focus on healthy eating – stuff I like that’s also not high in fats or sugar, and isn’t processed. I avoided all low-fat or sugar-free products; in fact anything ersatz. Luckily, I love fruit, salads, many veg, fish & chicken. I ate more of what I like that’s also good for me, and minimized my consumption of things I like that aren’t – although I didn’t ban anything: I refused to get into a battle with myself. What always helps (I need to get to this point again) is when, after a while, I lose my taste for really sweet, rich foods.

        Apologies if this is out of order.

        1. Thank you Jane. Yes, I’m aware that calorie counting by itself is misleading. Even the Calorie Calculator website admits that and suggests other schemes. The bulk of my diet is to control my sugar insulin – did I mention that I no longer take meds for diabetes, having controlled it entirely with diet? A1c 5.2, which greatly pleased my PCP.

          Yes, there are other things I can do. I am gradually – very gradually shifting from a good New Wingland meat-and-potatoes base to a more vegetable-heavy diet. Yes, more chicken. Yes, more fish (fillets and steaks, not breaded fish), though I’m not giving up beef. As for sugar-free… I’ve been drinking diet colas and the like since 1980. I can’t stand regular soft drinks. The only shift there is to decaf versions, and decaf tea and coffee. The caffeine irritates my heart, you see. I realize that I am maintaining, for the most part, and grousing over the same five pounds that I lose, gain, lose, gain. I’m a curmudgeon. Ignore me. Even a tiny bit of exercise would make a huge difference. And I’ll grumble about it.

          1. I am always open to diet advice. And I started exercising, if you can call an eleven-minute walk around the block exercise. Walked Friday. Walked today (Saturday). My hips and feet are not on board with even this modest program, but I’ll walk when up comes the sun on its namesake day. I might limp toward the finish.

            Speaking of Good Book Thursday, I moved on to the second of seven books of The Jennifer Crusie Collection, which is “Tell Me Lies”. I thought I might read along with the Audible book. Jennifer, your books do not match. The book in the collection matches the standalone version (both Kindle) but neither match the *Unabridged* version from Brilliance Audio via Audible. There’s a lot more text in the audiobook than in the Kindle version. The Kindle version appears to be abridged.

            I didn’t compare the first book, “Welcome to Temptation,” with the audiobook. The next book is “Crazy For You” and I will be reading and listening, both. Can I say that this drives me crazy?

          2. Grumbling about exercise. I walked around the block on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I took Monday off to see my Urologist. It’s 10:30 PM Tuesday night and I just took the walk again under the full moon. When I feel up to it, I’ll add the next block, or at least the next cul-de-sac.

    2. Regarding Variations on a Theme, allow me to quote from the author’s blog:

      Posted at 6/21/2022, 1:48:35 PM

      Hello everyone!

      I completed the last bit of Book 3 last night. My laptop crashed at an unfortunate time and cost me an hour of recovery time, but all is well.

      Book 3 is currently 142 chapters and 551,000 words or so. It’s possible that the chapter count might change (chapters sometimes merge or split based on editing), and the word count will certainly change.

      Book 1 was 89 chapters. Book 2, 116 chapters. War and Peace has 587,287 words. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo – 530,982 words. The entire Lord of the Rings series (including The Hobbit) – 576,459 words. I’ve read the entire Lord of the Rings series (including The Hobbit), and Grey Wolf is no Tolkien. I don’t know why I’m hooked on this series. It must be all the sex.

    3. I hardly ever advise on diets because it’s gotta be what works for the individual. When I’m in serious mode, though, I give up variety and mixing it up and just eat the same thing every boring day. I try not to make food fun or interesting. Just eat to live. So it’s basic protein, veggies and salad. I even batch cook and freeze, prep so as not to make it a time/thought consuming part of the day. I saw a good idea to make salads in mason jars and keep in frig, use as needed. I try to eat 5x a day to stave off hunger. Anyhoo, good luck with your methods.

  5. Best read of the week: The Love Hypothesis. Thank you for everyone who recommended it. I bought it reluctantly but it totally paid out. Fun, funny, smart and romantic. I downloaded one of her (Ali Hazelwood’s) novellas too and also loved it so what the heck, downloaded her other two or three. She’s a newish, hot talent and so great that she only writes about women in STEM.

    I read this at the same time as Call Me Maybe – I don’t read a lot of rom-com’s so perhaps I was reading too many last week? Anyway, I couldn’t get into it – for the weirdest reason – too much dialogue. I love dialogue! I live for dialogue! But it wasn’t written as novel dialogue – with pauses and editorials about the way each of the MC said things – just straight dialogue for great chunks of the book so I felt like I was reading a screenplay. Anyway, wasn’t to my taste.

    Another fave last week – Becky Chambers’ A Psalm for the Wild Built – one of the hopeful sci fi’s she specializes in – friendship between a roving tea monk (listens to people, serves them the appropriate tea; we need this profession to exist in the present) and a robot who has emerged from a robot-wide, self-imposed exile from human beings. This is not Murderbot; this is the opposite of Murderbot – this robot is slow at math. Gentle humour, lots to think about, hopeful indeed.

    I also Nalini Singh’s Rock Hard and Angel’s Blood – yes, Lupe, you’re right; I don’t know if I’ll become a diehard fan but I did download the next Angel book (although it made me miss Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake who really is the ultimate badass although I wish she’d ditch a few of her boyfriends because I have trouble remembering who they all are at this point so I’m sure she does too. Haven’t read the last two books so downloaded them and started one – Hamilton’s written the same book 30 times now and I’m still up for the ride.

    Quick round-up of everything else: Eliot Grayson’s two goddess-blessed novels – not my faves of hers; she’s at her best when there’s a werewolf or a vampire in the mix; Anne Stuart’s It Takes A Thief – her usual solid yumminess; and Alexandra Caluen’s Come to Me (I’m making my way through your oeuvre, Chacha1).

    1. Phew. I am glad after all of the hullabaloo I kicked up last week, that something worked out.

        1. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge, especially in online and written format.

          And I did go off on a coworker about the plot of the Nicholas Sparks book she was recommending, because it made no sense… Shouldn’t have done that, but I was provoked.

          1. I think a Nicholas Sparks book is worthy of being provoked. Were there any visual representations of anger?

    2. Call me maybe started as an audible special so that explains the neverending dialogue.
      It didn’t bother at all but it’d be interesting to see what people who like to listen to books rather than read them think of it.

      1. LOL – a tea mink would be an even better idea! Someone who listens to you, serves you the appropriate tea and then wraps you in a lovely fur coat as you drink.

      2. Or a (clean) pink mink that wraps itself around a tea pot and keeps it warm.
        I think the pink part comes from the above exchange.

    3. Considering I am only 13 teabags into the Twining’s 40-bag Sampler, I would love to make the acquaintance of a Tea Monk. The cup I’m drinking just now is Chai with a mini-moo of 1/2&1/2. I don’t think it’s my cuppa, though I am enjoying it. I just prefer the breakfast teas and Earl and Lady Grey as steady beverages. I think I’ll add A Psalm for the Wild Built to the TBR pile.

      1. I drink a lot of tea & highly recommend Scottish Breakfast Tea. I am a former coffee fanatic but I now prefer SBT!

          1. I buy Yorkshire Tea, simply because I’m from Yorkshire. I don’t drink tea, but my friends seem to like it.

  6. I am having a “meh” week. I finished Lyn Gala’s alien romance series that was available on Hoopla. Long titles, that I am too lazy to look up at the moment. And then I downloaded the audio book for Girls Weekend by CM Nascosta again, because that is all I had the focus for. Apparently this is my new comfort read of choice. I really wish The Book of Thirds came in audio book form, because I am thinking of reading that again and I really need to give it a rest.

    Sigh, there is so much out there that I want to read and then am too meh to start it.

    Oh, I did start Best Knight Ever by Cassandra Gannon. She wrote Kingpin of Camelot, which I adored and recommend to everyone everywhere for silliness over a base of good people trying to help each other. It’s an irreverent fairytale mashup retelling, but solid underneath the farce. Guinevere is trying her best to save Camelot and everyone she cares about after Arthur looses his mind.

    This one is m/m between Tristan and Galahad. I have very high hopes, but haven’t gotten very far yet because I am in a mood and that wouldn’t be fair to the book.

    1. What’s the Book of Thirds?? Could not find it. And definitely going to try Best Knight Ever.

        1. The sequel is supposed to be called The Book of Seconds, so maybe you’re just ahead of your time.

  7. Y’all, is it mean that I am a little reassured by your slumps and meh reading weeks? I have kind of been in a slump since the pandemic started. This week I did read a new beach/vacation type book, but it’s like it went in my eyes and directly out of my brain (even the title!) And I started Stolen Focus (nonfiction) which I actually think I will enjoy, despite the fact that when I picked it up off the library holds shelf I was like, “Ugh, seems like a lot of serious reading. I don’t know if I even want to check it out.” I’m only about a chapter in, but so far it is engagingly written and really interesting. And my bedtime re-reads were the first couple of books in the Escape to New Zealand series by Rosalind James.

    1. Being reassured means that it is not just you who has a problem. By us sharing you can see we’re all feeling some way about something. *Gestures to state of the world.*

    2. So many people are in a reading slump, at least partly pandemic-related. I caught a few minutes of an NPR show, not sure what, where people were recommending summer books, and a caller asked what book would help her get out of her reading slump that started with the pandemic and a lack of attention span, so she could get back into reading for fun, and I was screaming at the radio, “Murderbot! Murderbot!” because 1) they’re irresistible, and 2) most are novellas, and even the novel can sort of be read as three or four novellas packaged together, so perfect for short attention spans.

      The actual recommendation on the radio was to go back to books the reader loved when they were teens or preteens, and recapture the joy that was experienced then. Still think Murderbot is a better rec.

      1. Well, I would hesitate to take up this advice. The danger with re-reading old favourites of your youth is that they might not hold up. I honestly wouldn’t want to ruin my memories of beloved pre-teen/teen books. A re-read of favourites of not so long ago would work better, at least for me.

  8. I also read Call me Maybe by Cara Bastone which was a lovely low angst romance that I enjoyed but not enough to immediately go fund the next ones.

    Following last week’s conversation, I started a reread of Joanna Bourne’s Spymasters and I’m doubling down, if you like historical and women who are awesome, and you haven’t read this, do, do, do!

    And I reread bits of Heated Rivalry again, trying to work out why I love it so much (and so much more than others by the same author). I wonder if a big part is the ‘oh no, not you’. Not just because of the external conflict, but genuinely, not you! Also Ilya very reluctantly falling in love is adorable. I definitely liked it more on reread than the first time, because you see all these signs more. Anyway, also highly recommended, even if m/m hockey romance isn’t your scene (you can skip at least some of the sex).

      1. I have a theory about Heated Rivalry – because I too am a huge fan of this book, probably my favourite hockey book and I’ve read a LOT by now. I do like her other stuff – especially Roughing – but not as much as this one. I think it’s a combination of extremely well drawn characters, a taboo relationship (always makes for an extra layer of interest), and a romance that builds from hate sex to love ever so gradually – not like from one chapter to the next, which is can be super irritating – as in “did I miss something??” Have you read the sequel The Long Game – I also loved that although more for the characters and how their lives turn out.

  9. I restarted and this time finished Red, White and Royal Blue. I had stopped the first time because I could see the upcoming conflict and it was stressing me out, but I trusted you all when you told me it would be ok and I am glad that I did.

    I also read When She Dreams by Amanda Quick and Nightwork by Nora Roberts. Both were good in a predictable way.

    I finished with Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy. I think it is my favorite of hers that I have read so far.

  10. I read Mr. Wicker’s Window (1952) which arrived Tuesday afternoon. The first chapter was very much as I remember it from elementary school, with young boys wandering through contemporary Georgetown (U.S.) and one of them discovering there’s a magician in one of the tiny shops who can transport you 200 years into the past. This was a completely new reprint, with laminated covers showing the original cover art, and inside, all the original B&W illustrations. I had vaguely recalled that there was a part of the book dealing with pirates that I didn’t like so well; turns out this covered 4/5ths of the book. The boy makes some friends in 1750-ish Georgetown, learns some magic, and embarks on the complicated pirate adventure before returning and being pulled back into his present time with all those memories intact.

    I’m very glad that (thanks to Sake!) this book was a kind of time transport for me. It was not the immersive experience that the Narnia series provided, but it really was a faint cherished memory restored, and that’s worth a lot.

    I’ve followed this up with starting an old Mary Balogh series about the difficult love experiences of a group of returning soldiers (The Four Horsemen trilogy). They’re strangely fraught but still provide the depth and insights into character that Balogh is so good at.

  11. I wanted to love The Cheat Sheet, but it was so obviously “both of them have had the hots for each other for years and somehow haven’t managed to get together for very weak reasons, there’s no plot here” that I was bored. DNF.

    Otherwise I read David Sedaris’s Happy-Go-Lucky and You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism. So, uppers there 😛 But well written.

  12. I am slowly trudging through Grace Burrowes’ Lady Violet series (I think I’m in #5), with quick bites of Murderbot in between. I usually like mystery and romance plots intertwined, but these are not really working for me. With each book I get bored bored bored with the set-up, but once the mystery is established and she’s working on it I’m hooked again. And it’s not that the romance bits aren’t interesting in themselves. The two parts just don’t seem to fit together right. (And why do all the covers say Victorian to me? There are no clothes in them, and yet.)
    I read The Love Hypothesis (why did autocorrect decide that should be hypotheses?) when my hold finally came in, and loved it, but discovered that I had DNFd one of her others because I disliked the characters so much. So I didn’t put anything else of hers on hold; I’ll just grab one if it shows up available. I will certainly be rereading Love Hypothesis, though.
    I read Jasmine Guillory’s By the Book, and enjoyed it, but felt it was somehow too long. Each individual scene felt necessary, but I think it could all have used some cutting.
    I am about to reread Wuthering Heights because my 17 yo co-worker is reading it for the first time and I’m discussing it with her. She likes to read one book at a time, not five or six like me, (she’s also an Advance Placement student trying to get into vet school at Glasgow, despite her parents’ natural disinclination to let her be an ocean away, so she studies a lot) but we have other tastes in common. Sherlock Holmes and Holmes spin-offs, for example. I’m in the middle of Realm Breaker because she loved Aveyard’s Red Queen series so much.
    I’m starting the third of Suzanne Palmer’s Finder series, reading it very slowly because it the last.

    1. because it is the last? because I want it to last? My fingers don’t know what my brain meant.

    2. I like the Finder series. Is it absolutely positively the last? Or is it just the most recently published? Seems to me there are loose ends enough for another book.

      1. The last published. (Autocorrect wanted “oubliette” instead of published. No!)

  13. Really good few weeks of reading, partially because I was selected for a jury trial (fascinating process, intense…and also lots of waiting around reading time.)

    Finally re-read Murder at the Vicarage (Christie) and it’s official, I prefer Marple to Poirot. It also makes me want to go and re-watch ALL the adaptations of this novel, to see how well they line up with the actual text. Great plot.

    Read Pat Barker’s Silence of the Girls. If you like Greek tragedy, the Trojan War, or mythology, then this may be for you. It’s the end of the Trojan War told from Briseis’ point of view, narrating and giving voice to all of the women in the story who are victimized by the war and subsequent slavery. Rushed out to get the 2nd one, quick read and I liked the perspective.

    Enjoying the manga Spy Family (Endo). Great in its ridiculousness – Spy must play family with an assassin and a child with telepathic powers in order to accomplish mission and no one in the pretend family knows about the “powers/skills” of the others. On volume 7 now and awaiting volume 8.

    I don’t know how I found this author, but have been binging through Jax Calder’s M/M romances and novellas. Finding them fresh and light, which MCs who have good banter and genuinely like each other as well as falling for each other – which I enjoy when I find it. There is a rugby trilogy (Playing Offside) and offshoots.

    Finished off with Half A Soul (Atwater), a M/F romance take on combining regency with Faerie/Magic. Women with half a soul (’cause Faerie reasons) meets the Lord Sorcier, grapples with The Ton, and finds her way just as she is.

    Currently reading nonfiction Accidental Saints (Bolz-Weber). Pastor in Denver’s series of essays about her experience living as a Christian and ministering to her congregation and herself as an imperfect human. Not sure why I’m digging this, as a lapsed catholic that still has faith but not community, not my usual thing, but I like her voice and it provokes some deeper thinking about how we treat each other and ourselves.

    Also: The Penderwicks (Birdsall) for some quick summer kids on an adventure fun!

    1. I’m also a reader of Bolz-Weber, she’s so down to earth, compassionate, and honest about our limitations, and our possible divinity.

  14. I finished Brian McCall’s “In the Shadow of Lightning” – Book 1 of his new Glass Immotals series. This series is set in a fantasy land where attributes like intelligence, charisma, strength, healing, can be set into a substance known as godglass. The general populace can then buy godglass artifacts and increase their intelligence, charisma, strength, etc until the godglass stops working. Unfortunately, the godglass substance is starting to run out. Against this background, this book features 3 major protagonists – Demir Grappo, his friend and adopted brother who is named Baby Montego, and another friend named Kizzandra Vorcien – who are trying to solve the murder of Demir’s mother.

    I love Brian McClellan’s books. They’re engrossing, action-oriented with lots of suspense They feature people attempting to do the right things against almost impossible odds and mostly they succeed. Which I really appreciate.

    I am currently reading Judy Lin’s book “A Magic Steeped in Poison” which is slow going so far. Ning accidentally poisoned her mother who died and also her sister who is dying. The only chance left for her sister is for Ning to win a contest being held by the Princess of the land and claim healing for her sister as her prize.

    Ning is young and unsure of herself, which means I get a little impatient with her hesitations. I’m assuming she will improve as the book goes on, but I don’t want to wait for her to become assured, I want it now. So, it’s easy for me to put this book down.

  15. I am still on a reread of Joanna Bourne. So satisfying. Unfortunately that means other books I try to read are not working out because she sets such a high bar. Which is bad because I read for at least two hours a day. I watch no television so I have the time. This is not me saying how wonderful I am because I watch no television. This is me saying I have the attention span of a two year old and one break in the program and my focus is gone. I wonder if this is why I reread so much?

    Murderbot and Scholomance here I come again.

    1. Joanna Bourne is one of my favorite authors. I respect her decision to retire but hope that she will change her mind. I miss her books! The audiobooks are fantastic, btw.

    2. I don’t watch any TV live: I record anything I’m interested in, then (if it’s not BBC) I can fast-forward through all the ads. Mind you, I realize the ads are much more frequent and lengthy in the States. (I couldn’t believe how long it took to get a weather forecast!) So I guess this cheat would still give a very hiccupy experience. How about Netflix or similar?

      1. The last time I browsed my friend’s Netflix, everything I was interested in involved an additional charge. It seemed bizarre to me to subscribe to something then be dinged with additional fees to actually fine something worth watching. I view my rereads as almost a meditation exercise – they take me to a more relaxed state.

        1. That’s hopeless – your Netflix, I mean. Ours is all-inclusive, for £7 a month. It was Amazon that did that when I tried it; like you, I thought it was a rip-off. I completely agree about rereads; and I usually watch just one programme a day, while I’m eating my dinner. I enjoy the visuals as much as anything, I think.

          1. I like having HGTV and the Food Network on in the background while I’m doing stuff. It’s sort of like having company that you can ignore…

    3. I read that too quickly, so it looked like “Schlomance,” as in “Romance, Schlomance”
      as in “romance, schlomance, what’s that got to do with the price of bagels?”

      Maybe that’s a romantic comedy book title, feel free to use it

  16. I read The Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley by Mercedes Lackey. It’s the latest book in her elementals series. It was definitely a “meh” for me. I have liked other books in this series but this one fell flat.

  17. Finally done with 6week summer grad classes and felt like I could read a book for fun again. Read Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel straight through last night and loved it. I don’t think she can write a bad book.

    Going to try for Book Lovers by Emily Henry tonight after work.

    I have a huge TBR pile waiting for me until grad school starts again.

  18. I’m still in my reading slump, although now it seems to have extended to tv shows too (but at least I am liking the second season of Only Murders), and I’m desperately hoping that the new season of Grantchester (starting this coming Sunday) isn’t a disappointment.

    I did like The Lincoln Lawyer, which surprised me, because as a lawyer myself, I usually dislike lawyer shows, but this was more of a mystery that happened to have a lawyer protagonist than purely a lawyer show. I liked the first half of the series better than the second half, since it became more of a lawyer show (lots of courtroom scenes that I find boring) in the last few episodes.

    Speaking of visual storytelling — there aren’t a lot of details, but Aaronovitch’s “Rivers of London” series may be coming to television. Apparently it was optioned once before and nothing came of it, so you never know.

    Meanwhile, hoping the upcoming (August) Mercy Thompson book will be good!

    1. I’m hopeful for the Rivers of London adaptation especially since Aronovitch has set up the company and it will include all his works (graphic novels, short stories etc.)

      Also waiting for more Mercy!!

    2. As a lawyer, don’t you find yourself yelling “Objection!” and “WTH, you can’t do that!” and “Don’t say anything except I want a lawyer, you moron!” at the screen during certain programs? Law and Order, for example.

    3. Aaronovitch started as a screenwriter, so this could be really good.

      And I know about options falling through. The worst one for me was Bet Me; they were all ready to go, they just wanted one change: Min had to be thin.

        1. And that’s why you’ve never seen a movie called Bet Me with a thin heroine. We said no.

  19. First, Argh isn’t showing up on Newsify. I’ve tried deleting and re-adding the feed, with no joy. Has the RSS feed been deleted? Newsify seems to be workingfir my other feeds.

    I too read Cara Bastone’s Call Me Maybe, and really enjoyed it. Went on to read her next, Sweet Talk, which was also good, though felt more contrived because it repeated the anonymous lover device. Then I read Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis, which was even better (thanks for both recommendations). I’m now on the third of her linked novellas, but as with Cara Bastone (only more so), they’re suffering from repetition: I like the heroes, but they’re all the same, as is the sex (the men are all huge, and hugely endowed, and the women small). Hope she slows down and comes up with new ideas, because The Love Hypothesis is great.

    I’m watching the last three episodes if Montalbano: the first two are repeats, followed by the finale. Trust it’s not going to be a Morse.

    1. I loved Montalbano. It sparked a fantasy of buying a decaying palace in Sicily and having lunch with wine on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. Then I watched the final episode and my fantasy was crushed by the betrayal. Take my advice and don’t watch it.
      Instead, watch the spin-off series The Young Montalbano.

      1. Oh no! Will have to check it out on Wikipedia. I love The Young Montalbano: the character’s written with more integrity – the scripts for the older version were quite variable. But like you, I enjoyed spending a couple of hours in Sicily once a week.

  20. For the second week in a row, nothing new works for me. I started and DNFed them, but I re-read a lot of old favorites. Ilona Andrews, Jayne Castle, Georgette Heyer – the usual selection. Just finished Venetia and am in the middle of False Colours. Lovely.

  21. I had indulged in Hot Pursuit by Eli Easton last weekend – her books are almost always comfort reads for me, like a simple favourite dish. Not sure about her layers (not sure if there are many if at all), but still… She set up the next installment featuring Tito, the shy nephew, only this one will be written by Tara Lain. They collaborated on book 1 and 2 apparently, then Eli had to write book 3 solo and Tara is doing the same with book 4. I was looking forward to book 4 but I’m hesitant because the books by her that I’ve tried so far were not quite my cup of tea.

    Then I jumped into the medevac book Cachal recommended, Wilde Love by Lucy Lennox. I’m a sucker for competence porn and love to read about medical stuff, and here I would have loved to get more of it.
    I loved the first half or 70 % even though Wes was too good to be true and a bit too much into self-sacrifice.
    Now I’m at 90 % and having trouble. It got a bit too saccharine for me.

    I’ve read some stuff by her before and seem to remember that I had similar thoughts then. But hey, with KU even a book you only inhaled for the first 70 percent is fun.

  22. 4 new-to-me novels, 1 re-read, 1 nonfiction, 2 novellas, 2 short stories.

    Fave fiction of the week was ‘Blooming’ by Sean Ashcroft, a new title in the M/M Otter Bay series. A few Australianisms lost amidst the Portland-adjacent scenery, but a sweet internet-friends-to-lovers storyline with bonus kittens.

    Favorite book of the week: ‘Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear?’ by Lev Parikian, an English orchestra conductor who made 2016 a year to rediscover birding. It’s absolutely delightful.

    And I have started off a new reading week by commencing and then abandoning two things that I picked up on sale and have no guilt whatsoever about DNFing before I even got to 10%. Next!

  23. I DNF’ed a book I wasn’t enjoying, so good for me. (I used to feel obligated to read the whole thing. Why?)
    I started the third in T. Kingfisher’s Paladin’s series. So far, so good.
    And I’m not getting notices for blog updates again, so I have an entire week of posts and comments to read here. (Yes, I haven’t checked Argh in a week. It’s been that kind of week.)

    1. Sounds as if we’ve got the same problem. Do you use Newsify? I’ve tried restarting my iPad as well as deleting & re-adding the Argh feed, but neither has worked.

      1. Nope on Newsify. A long, long time ago, I did the sign-up via email. If it’s the same thing Jenny/Mollie have now, it’s through MailChimp.

        BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you have any experience with goutweed (aka bishop’s weed, ground elder, and the thing that is taking over my backyard). I think the a previous owner planted it along the back fence. It’s now taken over the entire bed and is spreading into the grass. Most of the lawn is weed–I don’t care about that; weeds seem to be more beneficial to bees, insects, bunnies, etc. than grass–but it’s really ALL over the bed, and I have visions of it taking over the neighborhood. I took the advice to cut it back–not dig it out since it grows by rhizomes–cover it with cardboard, and cover that with wood chips. Months later, it’s as if I had done nothing. Any ideas?

        1. What I’ve always read is that you need to use black plastic to cover it entirely and leave it for a full season so that it cuts off all sunlight and heats up the soil under it.

          Not really good for anything else growing near or around it, though…. 🙁

          1. I have heard you need a full year—and you should mow it short before putting black plastic on it and extend the plastic 3 feet beyond the patch. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this

        2. My take on something that grows by rhizomes is: dig it out. Dig it out as soon as it resprouts. Then dig it out again. Each time there will be less and less of it. The next season or two (or three), you will get seeds germinating and you dig those out. The professionals would spray the whole mess with a heavy duty chemical that would kill everything: rhizomes, seeds, earthworms etc. Then add fertilizer and compost and till the whole thing up. My way is more work intensive but better for the soil.

          I have been battling an infestation of nut sedge that came to my house via a commercial compost that incorporated city yard clippings. It obviously was not thoroughly composted. But I have areas now that seem to be free of the stuff.

          1. I’m with Jessie on ground elder, although you could try covering the area with black plastic for a year first, which might weaken it, or at least draw the roots near the surface (you need to use something that blocks sunlight). It’s one of those weeds that will grow from the tiniest bit of root, and the roots break off so easily that it’s virtually impossible to get all of them out. I wouldn’t worry about your lawn: mowing ground elder should stop it in its tracks.

            I can’t think why anyone would plant it. I suppose it’s fairly attractive, but there are many similar umbellifers that aren’t invasive. Apparently the Romans brought it to Britain, for use in salads – although I’ve tried it, and it didn’t strike me as moreish.

          2. Thank you, everyone, including JaneB, who I couldn’t include in this reply. I actually just came across a website that suggests digging it out and immediately replacing it with a native spreading plant, in the hopes that the native will help crowd it out. I was going to remove the knockout roses and convert that side of the bed into a veg garden, so I need to think about this. As always, everyone on here is the best!

          3. The good thing about making into a veg bed is that they’re annuals, so you’ll be able to dig it out when it regrows. That’s what I do with the bindweed on my allotment, although I’m never as on top of it as I’d like to be – these things grow so fast in the summer.

  24. YOUR GUIDE TO NOT GETTING MURDERED IN A QUAINT ENGLISH VILLAGE, by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper. Advice for those who think they’re on the vacation of a lifetime (which indeed they may be). “It is possible that you will find yourself in a placid and tedious little corner of England; it is just as possible that you will end up in an English Murder Village. You will not know you are in a Murder Village, as they look like all other villages. When you arrive in Shrimpling or Pickles-in-the-Woods or Wombat-on-Sea or wherever it is, there will be no immediate signs of danger. This is exactly the problem. You are already in the trap. My advice: Stick to urban areas. Do not go to the countryside. Dispose of this book, and continue on with your life.” Amusing but short.

    TURMOIL ON THE THAMES: A Light-Hearted Regency Fantasy: The Ladies of Almack’s Book 5, by Marissa Doyle. The series is fun, but this installment is barely a novella; more of a longish short story.

    Reread: THE HOUSE OF HOPES AND DREAMS, by Trisha Ashley. This comfort reread features an Arts and Crafts house, my personal weakness in home architecture, and a lot of stained glass.

    And last, but not least, a comfort read cookbook I’ve had for many years, SAUCIER’S APPRENTICE, by Raymond Sokolov. “You hold in your hands a labor-saving device. I know this sounds like a preposterous claim for a cookbook whose first recipe requires two days to complete. But it is so.”
    It lays out how to create the basic mother sauces of French cuisine, and then how to use them to create a whole encyclopedia of other sauces. Some are very Victorian, but it’s a good read. If it weren’t for the vast quantities in making the mother sauce, I’d expect it could be done in an Instant Pot . . . . Fun to read, even if the prospect of my making anything from it is not great right now:

    “Sir: How dare you presume to print a recipe for Sauce Grand Veneur without truffle essence. Yours is no Sauce Grand Veneur. It is nothing but partridge soup, a mean swill unfit to serve even with the feet of the noble stag. Signed Outraged”

    1. Left out, which I shouldn’t have, DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT, which I started to read on the 4th. Don’t know whether I’ll reread the whole Williamsburg series, but I might. My favorite scenes in this one are both set in the Apollo Tavern, one with the Founding Fathers describing Washington’s experiences in the French and Indian War:
      ”Mr. Wythe refers to a very sore point,” Washington remarked, and the joke went round the table over the heads of the two younger men. ”A bout of dysentery and fever had left me so fence-rail thin that the horse was like to split me to the chin, so I rode that day with a pillow in the saddle-till horse and all were shot out from under me!” This too was very funny to his friends, and Washington shook his powdered head over the afflictions of his youth. ”They kept pouring rum down my gullet to keep me going,” he said. ”It is no wonder that everywhere I looked I saw two Indians! I have never been so outnumbered in my life!”

      1. I remember loving this series whenever I first read it, but I think it may have that same quality of being true to its time, rather than timeless.

  25. Coming late to the party but that’s because I was travelling to Italy on Thursday.
    I got up at 3 am to be on time at the airport then took a train from Pisa to Florence and was too busy wandering around Florence streets to come and hang out here.

    Bookwise, I read the Love Hypothesis like every other person on this blog and also enjoyed it enormously.

    I started the Grief of stones yesterday when it finally arrived on my Kindle and I am enjoying it. I would have probably finished it before arriving in Florence if not for the constant micro naps needed to survive the 3 am start.

      1. I know! This is my first proper foreign holiday in literally decades.

        I don’t class going to France as going abroad since that’s my home country and it basically consists of hanging out with my octogenarian mum.

  26. I enjoyed The Grief of Stones, however, I thought it was a little thin and it ended too abruptly. But given the big plot end left dangling, clearly there is going to be a next book. And I will be there for that.

  27. I’m reading A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall who writes very well, but I am not utterly engaged. I’m truly distracted by another heat wave this week, so it I won’t blame it on the novel.

    I am thoroughly enjoying watching Portrait Artist of the Year which was recommended by someone here (JaneB, perhaps?). It’s a gentle British competition similar in tone to Great British Baking Show. Amazon has one or two seasons, but I kept searching and bumped into Tubi, a free streaming TV app for computers, smart TVs, Roku, etc. and more seasons are available.

    While I am allergic to commercials and avoid if at all possible, I have been willing to mute while they are playing in order to watch this painting show. Fortunately, there are far fewer commercials shown than on traditional broadcast TV in the US, and most are for cleaning products.
    Such satisfying TV.

    1. Not me – I’m not into competitions. I do love Grayson Perry’s Art Club, but I doubt it travels. It started in the first lock-down, hosted by Grayson and his wife Philippa, who’s a psychotherapist. They each work on a piece on the theme they’ve set for that week, and the public send in their work too.

      1. It’s been me. I’m envious though: it used to get uploaded to youtube. I got hooked. Now no more uploads on German youtube…

      2. I thought I was the only one who hates competition TV. I just can’t bear to watch. In fact I won’t watch any reality TV at all.

    2. I am also reading A Lady for a Duke and really enjoying it. I like the slow growing attraction between the two main characters and all of the clothing details. I also like that there is humor but it’s not so over the top as some of his books (Something Fabulous, I’m looking at you.)

      I also listened to Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? It’s more women’s fiction about a woman whose Nigerian family is pressuring her to get married among other things.

  28. While I’m starting and DNF-ing books all over the place, I did go to see the film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. What a ride! Fascinating, maybe a bit long, full of feelings and ideas, fight scenes and jokes, family dynamics.

    Listening to The Curse of Chalion, always a pleasure.

    1. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is cuckoo bananapants, but it’s a hell of a fun ride.

  29. I read “Did I Say That Out Loud, Midlife Indignities and How To Survive Them”, by Kristen Van Ogtrop via kindle. Then told everyone I knew about it. Then went out and bought the hardback, because I want to send this book around to friends to read. SO good.

    (But be forewarned for anyone who might be triggered – a sad story in the middle, life lessons and all.)

  30. Despite being on holiday, I’m still having trouble focusing long enough to read something properly. I skimmed through I Kissed Shara Wheeler, The Charm Offensive, and Natural Born Heroes, all of which I intend to read properly at some point because from what I did read, they’re great. Might be time to go back to a dip in and out non fiction book for a while.

  31. Humor. I have some to share.

    I just read that 4,153,237 people got married last year, not to cause any trouble but shouldn’t that be an even number? (And then there’s the woman who married herself: Solo Wedding)

    Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.

    If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they would eventually find me attractive.

    I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

    When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body… men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

    A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

    Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

    America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

    Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

    My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

    Money talks …but all mine ever says is good-bye.

    I’m not fat, I’m just… easier to see.

    If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.

    Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us.” If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

    On average, an American man will have sex two to three times a week. Whereas a Japanese man will have sex only one or two times a year. This is very upsetting news to me. I had no idea I was Japanese.

    I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

    Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch.

  32. I’m finishing up rereading Sheila Simonson’s work and mulling what to read next .

  33. I was in a funk, and didn’t feel like reading either of my TBR books, so I got Sark’s 25th Anniversary Succulent Wild Woman, and it has been great. I read it when it first came out, and it is just as helpful, now. Being a senior woman, I can get away with all this succulence more than I could as a younger professional woman. Her work is so affirming, and positive. It perked me right up.

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