This is a Good Book Thursday, October 13, 2022

I didn’t read any books this week because some people here were inconsiderate enough to keep mentioning Shetland, so I thought I’d watch one episode, just one, you know, to see what it was about. And then when I got to the last episode in Season 7, I realized that I missing the last four episodes because they hadn’t aired yet, and the rest were only going to be available one episode a week, so I have to watch TV twentieth century style now, and I am not used to this, I want all of the episodes NOW.

Anyway, because of some of you enablers I’ve been in Scotland on a screen all week instead of someplace else on a page. So recommend some good books fast, because I’m about to try Vera. And Derry Girls. And Only Murders in the Building. Still haven’t seen Fleabag. TELL ME ABOUT A GOOD BOOK, FAST.

102 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, October 13, 2022

  1. Many apologies. For some reason, I thought Thursday was the 14th this week. Yes, I am frazzled.

    Really sorry this is so late.

    1. Oh, but I love Vera the show. I haven’t read the books, so it’s entirely possible they’re even better, but I adore Brenda Blethyn. (Hope I spelled it right.)

      1. I liked Vera for a few series until I figured out the pattern to identifying the murderer. Then it irritated me.

        1. I have a friend who doesn’t like the show, and she too has read the books. I think that may be the difference — I haven’t read the books.

      2. Brenda Blethyn is such a fine actor. But for me the series only held up for a while, then became too predictable. Whereas Shetland continues to be breathtaking.

  2. Oooh, Only Murders in the Building is so good. Pretend it is a book!

    My reading week consisted of Killers of a Certain Age, which was delectable. Not sure what to open next.

  3. I read Still life by Sarah Winman. This story is set at the end of the Second World War with the main character, Ulysses, returning to Britain from Tuscany and introducing us, the reader, to a cast of zany and funny characters. But, before long, Ulysses realises he can’t adjust to life back in Britain so returns to Tuscany with several of the characters in tow. This book made me laugh. It’s essentially a story about what makes a family.

    I also , thanks to Olga Godim’s recommendation, reread The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. I’d forgotten just how laugh out loud this story is; it’s full of quirky characters whilst at the same time brilliantly interweaving the horror of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The Girl in the story, Nombeko Mayeki, wants to be free from slavery, but to achieve that she is going to have to outwit many, mainly white, older men who are under the mistaken believe that they’re superior to her. Thank you Olga Godmin!

  4. I read Still life by Sarah Winman. This story is set at the end of the Second World War with the main character, Ulysses, returning to Britain from Tuscany and introducing us, the reader, to a cast of zany and funny characters. But, before long, Ulysses realises he can’t adjust to life back in Britain so returns to Tuscany with several of the characters in tow. This book made me laugh. It’s essentially a story about what makes a family. I also , thanks to Olga Godim’s recommendation, reread The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. I’d forgotten just how laugh out loud this story is; it’s full of quirky characters whilst at the same time brilliantly interweaving the horror of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The Girl in the story, Nombeko Mayeki, wants to be free from slavery, but to achieve that she is going to have to outwit many, mainly white, older men who are under the mistaken believe that they’re superior to her. Thank you Olga Godmin!

  5. New Time Police book is out today. I’m practicing my active listening face on zoom calls whilst tearing through it on kindle.

  6. Reading Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty. About 1/4 way through and not sure what to make of it yet but I really want to see what happens! Have been reading The Blackbird Sisters cozy mystery series by Nancy Martin about 3 sisters that are just trying to make a buck and find love after their parents spend the family fortune and flee the country. I really want the main character to develop more of a backbone, but the series is amusing enough for me to keep going anyway.

  7. I have several recent books on my hold list, including “Husband Material” and the “Golden Enclaves” but the 50 to 80-something copies have been purchased, but have not yet been put into waterproof jackets, logged in the currently available listing of the catalog system, or shipped out to the branches. So I’ve been on both Hold lists like for EVER.

    Therefore I checked out “Something Fabulous” by Alexis Hall. A review called it a “wonderfully queer mash-up/send-up of buddy movies, Austen novels, and classic rom-coms” which is correct, I think. Strange to read a book by a guy which is set in a Heyer-esque Regency world. But it’s skillful, funny, extremely easy reading and very enjoyable so far. To open it, I even overrode my prejudice against books about “dukes”. There are NOT a zillion of them in Britain, as I find via Google search. Apparently there are currently only 29. Somebody should tell the Regency novelist wannabes.

    1. Hall is a pretty big fan of Georgette Heyer, so I think of his historicals as something of a tribute.

    2. Alexis Hall did an interview somewhere (maybe Blue Willow) about his historical trans romance “A Lady for a Duke” and when responding to a question about whether he was worried about anachronism used that exact example. Basically he said that adding a dukedom to regency england was much more anachronistic, because dukedoms are big economic and political entities and it was about equivalent to adding an additional US state and ignoring the consequences. So basically he wasn’t too worried about giving a trans character a HEA 😊
      I think authors include dukes for commercial reasons – and it wasn’t always the case. Heyer only had one Duke I can remember, and most of Julia Quinn, Jo Beverly etc heroes weren’t dukes. Would be interesting if there’s an article somewhere about the rise of dukes as commercial catnip.

      1. That’s why I can’t read modern regency romances, way way too many dukes with anachronistc names. Give me a plain Mister anytime. There were plenty of those who were pretty rich in those days.

        1. Ha. I am the opposite. I don’t like most modern historicals because they have too many modern themes. I prefer the overly fluffy, unrealistic handsome rich dukes and women in exuberant ball gowns.

          I guess it just doesn’t feel historical when everyone’s ideas are too progressive for the setting? Bring on the antiquated social structures and unrealistic ideals…

          1. I think I’m with you, Lupe, if what you mean modern themes is making gay/lesbian sexual identification the plot for a public happy ever after. An Argh commenter once wrote that Freddy in Cotillion seemed like a gay guy, but I think that Heyer had a kind of male character who preferred dressing up to playing sports. Claude in The Unknown Ajax is an example; his tough guy brother is disgusted by Claude’s dandyism and his habit of flirting with lower class girls.

            The play She Stoops to Conquer, written in 1773, is a comedy about a girl who keeps up a pretext that she’s a servant because that’s the only level of women’s society the aristocratic young man isn’t afraid of approaching.

            So a guy can be shy with girls of his own class or he can be uninterested in both girls and guys (Heyer’s April Lady, I think his name is Netheringham) or, especially if he is a bad guy he can be too narcissistic to be attracted to anyone else (Francis in Heyer’s The Reluctant Widow).

            In novels that take place in the fictional Regency period lots of combinations work for me. But I wouldn’t be convinced by a public romance between two men or two women. On the other hand, behind closed doors would be plausible.

          2. Actually, Elizabeth, I was thinking more of M/F historicals. I like Lisa Kleypas, for example, but her latest was so progressive with her widowed leading lady running a business and trying to improve her living conditions for her workers. Or one of Courtney Milan’s, which was based in a Chinese community based outside of London. They weren’t bad stories, they just didn’t feel historical in the way my younger bodice-ripper reading self was expecting.

            In constrast, M/M regency is so new to me that I don’t have a lot of preconceived expectations. Although the very real consequences to being discovered is definitely part of the trope and why I read them. The dynamic is just so interesting to me.

          3. I don’t like it either when attitudes are too modern either. So basically I read Austen and Heyer even if some of Heyer’s racism makes me wince a lot. The Grand Sophy has a great heroin but that moneylending scene is cringe.

        2. Hear hear!! Dukes, 29. Well-to-do merchants and despoilers of Indian wealth? Many. Of course, the West Indian planters give me the squicks as well. Slavery still okay there until the 1830s, and probably long after that sub rosa.

      2. I think Heyer had a few, and what is interesting is that one, the Duke of Avon, pretty clearly has power and wealth and is pretty amoral; another, Sylvester, is pretty full of himself because uncle raised him to be self important; a third, the hero of the Foundling, has to learn to assert himself because the people who raised him both run his life and surround him with protections because he is so important. In other words she understands what being a Duke means and builds her heros character and plot around it. And I think it’s cotillion where a major secondary character turns down a Duke to accept a man who is a much worse match —both in a worldly sense and quite possibly in managing his temper—because that is wjo she loves

        Whereas I remember reading a book where tbe daughter of a marquis was a wallflower and finding it totally implausible—marquis are only step below dukes and also hugely wealthy. So yeah romancé authors now seem
        To stick a title on a character without any recognition of what it would mean.

        1. I think that was Friday’s Child. She turned down the Duke and her mother was furious, and then the Bad Guy abducted her and George came to save her.

          I e do like Loretta Chase’s Dissolute Dukes or whatever they are. Still waiting for the third one.

  8. I was reading “Bindle Punk Bruja: A Novel” by Desideria Mesa and “Only Bad Options” by Jennifer Estep, but dropped both books when Angela Lansbury died to pick up “Station Eternity: The Midsolar Murders #1” by Mur Lafferty.

    “Station Eternity” features a Jessica Fletcher analogue named Mallory Viridian. Mallory Viridian has a miserable, lonely existence because people around her keep getting murdered. And, unlike Jessica Fletcher, other people notice that they and their friends are likely to get murdered if they’re close to Mallory so they actively shun her like the plague. She finally winds up at an alien space station which only permit a few humans on board, in an effort to keep whatever curse is on her from falling on other human beings. After several months of being murder free, a shuttle of human beings, for some unknown reason, is allowed to come to the station. And, of course, then someone is murdered.

    So, there are loads of questions involved and I really like the storytelling. Also, the characterization of Mallory is interesting. When she’s not being the Investigator, she’s a whiny, clueless person. However, when a MURDER occurs, she becomes this really insightful, decisive, focused individual.

    As for the other 2 books, I think I’m going to DNF “Bindle Punk Bruja: A Novel” because the heroine – a mixed race Mexican immigrant witch – relies on her charm magic to make her way in the racist, sexist society that is the 1930’s American scene. Unfortunately, men who are exposed to too much of her charm magic tend to become obsessed with her. I really didn’t like it when she used her charm magic on a man she had just met who had asked her for help in choosing an engagement ring. Of course, this was only the beginning of the book and she may change by the end, but, bah, humbug.

    As for “Only Bad Options” by Jennifer Estep, it seems okay so far. However, it features chapters from varying viewpoints and I’m not really happy with the male’s viewpoint. “I am such a badass! However, woe is me, my life sucks!” Again, bah humbug.

  9. I read CM Nascosta’s story in Monster Love, thank you for that, Lupe. And I read two R Cooper novellas in the Familiar Spirits series, one was called Holly and Oak, which made for an interesting companion piece to Sebastian Nothwell’s Oak King, Holly King, since they’re both based on the same myth.

    And I re-read a bunch from my hockey/comfort book list – won’t regale you with those.

    1. Yay! The rest of that anthology was pretty much a miss for me. So I am in awe of what she did with a problematic topic and a short time frame.

      1. Based on your comments, last week, I didn’t even try the other ones. I simply returned it to Kindle Unlimited when I was done. Felt very conspicuous consumption-y but I did it anyway.

        1. I am hoping that she will collect all her shorts and issue them together. I would happily buy that. The rest of the authors pretty much leave me cold.

  10. On my trip I listened to ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ which is almost 18 hours; good reader, good pacing.

    I used an Audible credit and got the new version of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Masquerade.’ I’m suspicious of the new recordings, because I love the old ones so much. But this was great.

    I know that you (Jenny) don’t like listening to books, but for those who do, thumbs up for these two books.

    I was supposed to read ‘Talking to Strangers’ by Malcom Gladwell for my book club, but I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.

  11. Reading Station Eternity, because Midsomer Murders in space. Also just got Mary Robinette Kowal’s Thin Man in space, The Spare Man. If I run out of space-themed murder, today’s bookbub had Shelley Laurenston, Ursula LeGuin, Jo Goodman and an HP Christmas fake relationship.

    Only Murders in the Building is excellent!

      1. I just read the article about Midsomer Murders and the different ways of killing off a foe. The first thing that comes to mind was the one where the actress who plays the pharmacist on Doc Martin was a victim of death by commercial dryer.

      1. After ten seasons in over the years we gave it the Stephanie Plum treatment and stopped watching. Although I liked it when she called people “pet”.

        On tap after Mayor of Kingstown (still iffy) is McDonald and Dodds.

  12. I’m on the last (to date) of Mary Balogh’s Westcott series, which have read better as a reread marathon, given that I keep skipping the loads of repetition. They’ve been a cosy world to retreat into when feeling under the weather. But she is completely ridiculous with her huge casts of named minor characters. She’s just introduced a large family gathering of new characters, and I’m not even attempting to keep track of them.

    1. I’ve been doing a lot of Jayne Castle rereads in between St Mary’s Time Traveler books.

  13. I reread Captive Prince bk 2 and 3 and I still really like them. The central premise is so squicky and yet. I’m not sure they beat Fleabag and Derry Girls

    In other news, has everyone seen this fundraiser for Ashland Public Library? Bid to ask an author 3 questions (about their writing) and get a letter in the mail in response. About 40 authors are taking part (Loretta Chase! Zen Cho! Andy Weir!)

    No Jenny Crusie, but what would we ask? We have questionables! Because Jenny is awesome. 🙂

    1. Totally with you on Captive Prince books – squickier in the first book at least and settles out in books 2 & 3.

      1. Yes, I like the gaslighting plot in bk 2/3 and the character development. So frustrating, so topical, so well done.

    2. I think that once you realize that everyone knows who Damen is and is pretending not to, it gets easier. The dynamic changes for the reread quite a bit.

      1. I think maybe what Pacat was writing changed halfway through but because she was publishing on her website as she wrote each chapter we get to see, not quite the first draft because its been polished, but at least the shape of it.

        Despite some very uncomfortable scenes I always thought it was interesting to see a slave owner literally have to walk in those shoes. Except he never really has the mindset of a slave, he believes and acts as though he’s a prisoner.

        I saw Pacat has a collection of short stories in that world but not sure whether to get it. Has anyone read them?

        1. The shorts are good. I enjoyed them, but was too chicken to try Green But For a Season. I’m afraid that it will be too sad.

    3. They didn’t ask me or I would have said yes.
      You guys forget that I haven’t published in over a decade. You’re the only people who remember who I am.
      But yes, I’m still up for Questionables.

  14. I have been super busy with work this week because I wanted to squeeze in a midweek visit to a colleague who just had a baby. The baby was adorable but I haven’t been reading much. Will content myself with reading all the posts here to increase by TBR list.

  15. I was reading about new washing machines because my last load of laundry leaked and I think I’ve seen leaks before but chalked them up to an incontinent cat (sorry Toodles). I troubleshot…troubleshooted…investigated and didn’t find any clogs (surprising given the dog and human hair that gets shed on clothing) and then ran a rinse-and-spin small cycle and no leaks. Fingers crossed.

  16. We are enjoying Only Murders. It’s not a perfect 10 for me, but still fun and well crafted. Derry Girls is good too.

    KJ Charles has a book out today. That is going on the top of the the list.

    And I am reading (listening) Pack of Lies by Charlie Adhara. Did someone here recommend this author? It’s a fun mix of classic who done it (snowed in cast of suspects in a resort), supernatural with werewolves and some sort of bigfoot style monster, maybe? And a slow burn m/m romance. I’m not sure how it is going to end, but I am enjoying it.

    1. Her book is only on audible – sad! I have to wait until APRIL to read it. Tell us how it is.

  17. I’m mostly reading my own stuff and research for it (I love, love, love starting a new book, especially the first in a series, and I haven’t done that in at least a couple years before now), and my eye doctor put about five gallons of dilating drops in my eyes this morning, when I only need about 1/2 drop, and they stay dilated for 12+ hours (it’s been 6 hours, and I can kinda’ see a bit of my iris now, but that’s all), so I couldn’t even read my own book today, let alone anyone else’s. Mostly, I’ve been listening to a kinda’ meh historical cozy mystery series, but it’s the only thing I have enough focus for after writing a lot of my own story, because if my brain drifts off a bit and I miss chunks of the story I’m listening to, I don’t really care, and there’s nothing else I really want to read.

    So I’m wondering, what good books are people counting down the days to? I’m guessing everyone’s anxious for the next Murderbot, but that’s 2024, and even the new Martha Wells series (first book Witch King) isn’t due until the end of May. So what are we all looking forward to in the meantime?

    I’m anxious for Sherry Thomas’s next Lady Sherlock, which comes out March 14. I suspect there’s a Rivers of London book in the spring/summer too. What else are we looking forward to in late 2022 or early 2023?

  18. Happy Official Weigh-In Day #78. I weigh 254.8 pounds or 115.6 kilograms or 18.2 stone. I’m not sure what that works out to in stacks of books. Given the variability of books in page count and so forth, one would have to measure in stacks of a single particular book. Never mind. The numbers are down from earlier and trending that way.

    I picked up the short story Eros by Night by Anders (Holt), because I remembered this: “I’ve been re-reading The Book of Firsts, trying to figure out what makes it such a good romance and not erotica despite the nearly sixty sex scenes (by the author’s count). What did you read this week?” from the GBT, July 1, 2021, post. I bet you wouldn’t say the same thing for Eros by Night. She could have published this one at newsgroup or

    I had never seen or read The Hunger Games. I can’t say that anymore. Halfway through the first book of the trilogy, and loving the story, mostly, I opened up Amazon Prime and watched the first movie. Now I’m back to the book, no regrets. I’ll read the rest of the trilogy and watch the sequels. How did I manage not to see or read these all these years?

    The Variation on a Theme Book 4 serialization continues. I continue reading it.

    I binged the Webcomic Too Much Information by AndyOH. From the content page:

    Too Much Information is an online comic with varying degrees of mature content! It tells the story of Ace, a young geek that’s too nice for his own good, and a housefull of “interesting” roommates. It is frequently not safe for work, not suitable for young children, and likely to offend just about anybody from time to time. It includes artistic nudity, adult situations, and mild violence. But still, pretty tame overall.

    It isn’t finished. It isn’t likely to get finished. Andy’s health has declined. Still makes an excellent graphic novel.

    Gardening: Seeds came in the mail today. It’s time to harvest lettuce and make room for them. The basil in Jenny of New Jarsey continues to grow. “Feed Me Seymour” Day has been moved to every other Thursday.

    Food: I finished off a batch of chili, so I only have three bowls in the fridge. Each bowl holds a couple pounds, at the least. Have I mentioned a certain fondness for chili? Despite all that chili, what I’m eyeing for dinner is the Ukrops Apple Spice Cake.

      1. I have the bestest dotter! I woke up from my “nap” to find a new, unsquarshed Apple Spice Cake in the middle of my desk. She and her distilled vinegar spray bottle also helped get the old one out of my carpet and washed my house robe (which caught a lot of frosting on the first cake’s descent.) 🙂 🙂 😀

    1. In library school I learned that books _average_ forty pounds per linear foot. (You need to know this so your library does not buy shelves that will sag!) So you weigh six feet and roughly four inches of books. How tall are you? Will you fit on the shelf that those books would take?

      1. I used to be 68 inches (173 cm) tall. I’ve been shrinking with age. Now I’m 66 inches (168 cm) tall. If you sliced me into parts, I’d fit where the books do.

        1. I suspected you might. See, your weight is really proportional to your height–in some circumstances. (I have shrunk three inches, so far. The top shelves weren’t easy to reach beFORE this happened!)

  19. I’ve been MIA for too long so maybe this has already been read by everyone, but I recently binge read The Maid by Nita Prose. Soooooo good!

  20. After the wonderfully sweet Heartstopper, I’ve been looking for nerd-jock romances to satisfy that craving and I picked up Lauren Shippens’ “The Infinite Noise” which is a m/m highschool romance between a depressed nerd and a jock struggling with empathy (as in psychic powers) and was really quite sweet.

    “The Imaginary Corpse” by Tyler Hayes features a plush tricetertops detective in a surreal world of imaginary friends. Took me a while to wrap my head around the world but it ended up being about kindess and compassion and community and I really like that.

    The book I loved was “Take a hint, Dani Brown” by Talia Hibbert, which made me laugh throughout. A heroine with an addiction to post-its and an ex-rugby player with anxiety who reads romance and a delightfully mature dynamic between them.

  21. Four months after publishing the first Bruno book in 2009, Martin Walker published The Caves of Périgord. I read it this week and like it better than the Bruno series.

    What makes Caves of Perigord so good is 2-part: the quality of characterization of women and the convincing communities of people from 3 very different moments in history. The plot moves from the theft of a 17,000 year old stone painting which happens in the present time (the 1st moment), to the tribe who are making the art in the Lascaux cave (the 2nd moment), to a British, an American, and a French army officer who work with the French Resistance in Perigord during WWII.

    The lead character of the sections in the present time is an American art historian. She holds her own — despite being younger and less experienced than those around her — in the male-dominated worlds of art, politics, and history.

    A girl with the sight and ability of an artist is a main character in the ancient world of the Lascaux cave.

    The third section, depicting WWII in the Perigord, isn’t devoid of women, but the focus is on the complexities of men’s leadership, negotiating, and decision-making in wartime.

    I’m not really explaining why it all works, but it does. The people in all three sections are convincing. The Lascaux cave exists as described, as did the kinds of heroics and disasters of the French Resistance, and the tangled net of politics, art, and history which the modern characters have to unravel is very real.

    Also, I liked the majority of people in this book which is also a strength of the Bruno books.

  22. I read four more of my own books this week. Partly because of the whole rebranding thing (query: is there anything to clean up in here; dammit there’s a typo) and partly because I’ve been kind of unenthused about other people’s romances lately. I went through a period of being a very uncritical reader … am apparently over that. If I’m going to be hypercritical it’s probably fair to apply that to my own stuff.

    Started the reading week with nonfiction: ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ by Lori Gottlieb, which is half memoir and half ‘how therapy works’ and all really good. Reads like a novel yet reassured me that as I write about characters in therapy I am getting it acceptably right.

    ‘The Long Game’ by Rachel Reid – good but not a book I’ll re-read. I had a lot of sympathy for the MC who’d made a lot of sacrifices and zero for the one who hadn’t; as with many books I’ve complained of, the negotiation of some very serious issues was mostly hand-waved in order to speedily deliver an ‘it’s all fine, folks’ ending.

    ‘The Stand-In’ by Lily Chu – not sorry I read it, glad I got it on sale. Another case of a F/M romance-adjacent story that is really more about the FMC’s personal growth than about the romance. The MMC’s POV was needed here.

    Outside of romance, it was a Spocktastic reading week. Barbara Hambly’s ‘Ishmael’ (it’s really, really good) was on my wishlist and turned up on sale, so I nabbed it, and then AMZ helpfully informed me that two other Spock-centric titles were also on sale. ‘Yesterday’s Son’ by A.C. Crispin, a time-travel scenario, and ‘The Vulcan Academy Murders’ by Jean Lorrah, which is a classic whodunit with Kirk as the investigator. Loaded with Sarek POV and Vulcan world-building, also action scenes hilariously riddled with exclamation marks. All three books highly entertaining and pleasing to re-read.

    1. I like that you’re a not so secret Trekkie. Are you watching any/all of the current series?

      1. Yep. We are watching ALL of them except the one targeted to kids. It took me a minute to warm up to ‘Lower Decks’ but either it’s getting funnier or I found the groove. 🙂 Love ‘Discovery’ for inclusiveness and leading ladies, love ‘Strange New Worlds’ just in general, love ‘The Ready Room.’

        1. We have finished Strange New Worlds, are almost done Picard and about to start on Lower Decks and the last season of Discovery – which a fellow Trekkie refers to as: Star Trek: This Is Us.

        2. I love Lower Decks. I think for some people Beckett is their stopping point. I love that she’s in Star Fleet, she loves (not that she will admit it) being in Star Fleet, but she has not consumed any of the Star Fleet Kool-Aid. She’s a realist. I’m not going to give up the season 1 spoiler.

    2. I really liked Maybe You Should Talk To Someone.
      She does an advice column in The Atlantic, too, I think.

  23. The book I read this week was written about twenty years by a favorite author that I hadn’t seen before. It had a strange premise in that the h met a man at a roadside while on her way to meet her boyfriend at the airport. They had a two hour tryst and went their separate ways without giving each other their names. Charlotte marries her boyfriend they have two children, he dies and she is now a widow. A little over a year later her new next-door neighbor turns out to be the man she met and is now a DEA agent. An agent in hiding from a drug lord who has a price on his head. What I didn’t like about Charlotte was she kept comparing the two hours with Joe to that of her husband’s lack of sexual appetite. Throughout the whole book. What really kept me going were the side characters her children, her son’s friend Justin as in Justin-time-for-dinner, her neighbors, the dog Hoover even the annoying people Justin’s soon to be divorced parents. I’m not saying I didn’t like it just the annoying part of comparison.

  24. I went down a Lily Morton readin rabbit hole: I don’t care too much about her style if sex scenes and I don’t really buy the competeny of her heroes, but I like the relationship on eye level and that the guys are nice people (and no billionaires).
    After book 3 of Mixed Messages I reread Spring Strings and liked it far more than on the first read a couple of years ago.
    What I definitely like is the community she creates and that characters from previous books pop in but never take over. They work in the same industry, belong to an extended group of friends and acquaintances, so it feels natural. They are on Kindle Unlimited, too.

    Streamingwise I also loved Derry Girls. Not the easiest to understand if you’re no mother tongue. Revisiting the Troubles with my kids in tow is like a good history lesson.

    On rec from my colleague/boss I watched “Catherine called Birdy” by Lena Dunham on amazon prime. A treat! You cannot binge as it is “only” a film, but it’s lovely – even for a historian of the Middle Ages!

    Now I’m off to listening to KJ Charles newest one. I bit the bullet to pay highly for 2:45 hrs on audible. But the sample was just soooo good. Read by my absolute favourite narrator, too! It’s not the same as reading, but his voice and way of reading is a pleasure in itself.
    I’ll certainly get the printed copy as well when it’s out too many monghs in the future.

    1. So glad to hear about Catherine Called Birdy. The book is a treat, short, funny, moving. Looking forward to the movie.

      1. See, I read Catherine Called Birdy as a young person many moons ago and didn’t like it at all. My strongest impression was of stress and sadness, along with a great happiness that I didn’t live in those times. The movie looked a lot more lighthearted, without the abusive father figure.

  25. Forgot: Between one Lily Morton and the Spring one mentioned I read The Sunny Side. Simply because of the YUMMY guy on the cover.
    Plus I was intrigued how she would make a stoned airhead into a loveable MC.
    She pulled it off 🙂

  26. Ok, I finished The Golden Enclaves. I liked it but thought the first one was the best of the three. Would like to discuss but don’t want to worry about spoilers. Any chance of a Golden Enclaves discussion post? Or maybe a Scholomance discussion post?

    1. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve been thinking about trilogies and that one in particular.

      I just have to finish this third novel. . .

      1. Wait wait… I was waiting for the third one to come out to read the whole lot!
        Give me a week and I can join!

  27. Only Murders in the Building is quite fun and each episode is short. 21 episodes, about 30 min. each.

    I’m rereading the Thursday Murder Club series. I finished the newest one and had to start at the beginning again since I burned through them so fast. Great fun and character building. And I’m not the greatest of mystery fans.

    I also bumped into Bet Me on Kindle Unlimited, though I have hardback, paper and ebook versions already. Of course I do.

    I reup’d my KU for $1 for 3 months during the Amazon Prime sale earlier this week. I was quite surprised they let me have a special price again because I cancel before full price arrives.

  28. I’ve just read Richard Osman’s third instalment of the Thursday Murder club: The Bullet that Missed. Once again great fun. Looking forward to the fourth.

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