This is a Good Book Thursday, March 23, 2023

I missed Wednesday. We’ll do a Working Friday instead. It’s been nuts here. Never try to do four big things at once. I forgot to shower, too. Like for a week. TMI? Really sorry about that.

This week I read the side of a dumpster to make sure I didn’t put anything in there that I shouldn’t. It was riveting.

What did you read this week?

113 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, March 23, 2023

  1. I am just finishing my nth reread of the Touchstone. It is still holding my interest.
    I am looking forward to reading the vixen bride books recommended by Gary and Tammy next.
    I am also looking forward as always, on Thursdays, to reading everybody’s comments and lengthening my TBR list.

  2. Yay!

    I am reading the Secret Lives of Country Gentleman and it is as good as everyone said.

    And I borrowed a lot of books about mending and being an artist from the library that I am working through. No stand out there yet, but the general vibe is good.

    1. Mending? Interesting choice, and I didn’t know there were books about that. I can’t think what that would be a typo for, either.

      1. Nope, Mending is correct. There are a lot of pretty books with lots of pictures on how to functionally and creatively mend clothing. I enjoy a bit of hand sewing and like seeing what people do to turn holes into flowers, etc.

          1. When I mend artistically I usually use darning stitch covered with fabric paint. But there is this black cashmere sweater I bought at a thrift store for a dollar. I mended the tiny hole on the shoulder and embroidered a black spider over it, with little gold-thread eyes.

        1. I saw a post on Facebook where a dad and 2 sons have “forever jeans” – they are lovingly mended with wacky and fun fabrics and embroidery by wife/mom. It’s pretty epic!

  3. Dear Jenny,
    you know that from a dermatologist’s standpoint, showering daily is not good for the helpful bacteria on our skin at all. Don’t feel guilty for doing something good 😉

    1. For four winter months the county monitors my use of water, and then uses the average of those four months’ usage to calculate my wastewater charge, which is very expensive. This year, I re-used, saved, and otherwise minimized my water usage. That meant less showers too. I did not suffer, and my skin was less flaky this winter. So, no worries. I just kept re-applying deodorant on the non-shower days.

    2. True, but for some of us it also provides the necessary benefits of clearing out the sinuses and loosening arthritic joints.

  4. I just finished rereading Trisha Ashley’s The House of Hopes and Dreams and it was even better the second time around. I’ve got a new Katie Fforde waiting for me now, so yay.

    On the downside, I am reading the second book in a cozy series by V.M. Burns. The first one, The Plot is Murder, was good enough that I got the second from the library (I picked up the first one at Bouchercon last September). But the one I just started reading has already been problematic…not least when the protagonist celebrates her first book contract by having champagne with her grandmother and they open the very expensive bottle with a corkscrew. OUCH. I can understand that maybe the author has never had champagne, but none of her editors had either? Plus there was a major airport scene in the second chapter that seemed so unrealistic, I think the book is going to be a DNF.


    1. My French heart is wincing reading this. Of course, the only proper way to open a bottle of Champagne is to « sabrer le champagne 😀
      i.e. cut the neck of the bottle with a sword.

      1. I asked my husband about opening champagne bottles from his experience in the kitchen. And that’s the one he mentioned. Back in the day when he apprenticed, the chef would use a sword to open the bottle and take a slice of glass along with it. It was a technique and for show.

    2. I browsed a book once in which the first sentence was, “He grew up on a farm east of Sheboygan.“ I grew up in Wisconsin, and for those who might not be as familiar with its geography, any farm east of Sheboygan would be in the middle of Lake Michigan.

      1. I read a book once that started with mentioning “the Cape” as being north of Boston, and in retrospect, they probably meant Cape Ann, but at the time, I was put off by trying to figure out who might think that “the Cape” (i.e., Cape Cod) was north of Boston.

        1. I recall a story in which the protagonist was lounging in the shade of a pyramid at high noon. (Yes, it was intended as humor.)

    3. Love reading anything by Katy Fforde, Trisha Ashley or Milly Johnson. Like being curled up on a comfy chair beside the fire, wrapped in a warm blanket with a plateful of crumpets loaded with butter 🙂

  5. Still reading Sarina Bowen – two rather short novellas Lucky Shot and Must love Hockey. Very very short but with MCs I already know and like from the longer books, so overall very charming. Probably rather flat for anyone who doesn’t already know Bess and Jimbo though.

    Also read two novels by Michaela Grey – Off the Ice and Double Shifting. The former had BS medical stuff yet she knows how to write engagingly.

    Have ordered the paperback of Heated Rivalry (due next tuesday).
    Before that I MUST read whatever I can find on London to plan the itinerary of our trip with the daugther, write a packing list and organize whatever else we need like health insurance etc.

    1. Do check out the Churchill war rooms! They were basically abandoned after the war down and turned into a museum decades later looking just like the did at the time.

      1. Will do.
        Thanks for the rec!
        My daughter’s beloved English teacher (a very cool one) recommended them, too, so they are a must-visit already.

    2. I went to London with my 21 year old daughter in 2012. I would go back in a heartbeat. LOVED every minute of it. We bought a City Pass which included transport on the Tube, double decker buses and even trains for out of city travel (limited, but enough to get us to Windsor Castle). I highly recommend that!

  6. I read Major Pieces which is an excellent follow-on set of short stories and novellas to MCA Hogarth’s Princes Game – the second novella in particular is not to be missed by fans of this series. And I finished the two Jubilee Summer Books which are also post series, not as satisfying although I still love hanging out with the characters.

    I also read Every Other Weekend by TA Moore which is the most misnamed book in history – makes it sound like some kind of romcom and it ain’t. Fortunately, I’d actually read the description.

    Can’t really recommend An Orc in College – lots of great potential but not to my taste. The orc MC is strong, athletic, smart, moral, great in bed, magically talented – this isn’t a character, it’s a cartoon. He needs some pathology.

    1. We ALL need a touch of pathology, Tammy. It’s the spice of life and the key to humility. Too much is awful and too little isn’t really very credible.

      1. Interesting. I just saw the 3rd play this season from a repertory theater. Every play has had a female MC and every play has had milk-toast male characters. In the past several years, the only whole character male characters have been gay.

        I tried another local theater for a year and every play was about gay men. There wasn’t even a lesbian to be seen.

        The good part is that blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, addicts, Native Americans, and other groups have been portrayed. I’ve learned a lot culturally. No physically disabled folks, though.

        I think I’m not resubscribing anywhere next year. Seriously, I’m not against gay men.

        1. This isn’t a problem at the Lifeline Kids Series I attend as a majority of the roles can be described as Third Cow From the Left. What might give me pause about subscribing for next season is that the program was only available via QR code. The guy who acted as narrator was particularly good and I will be more likely to take a chance on future productions if I see his name listed. They didn’t even have a printed copy on display in the lobby that I could read before or after the performance.

          It is always a bad idea to have no variety in an entire season, unless you are selling it as a theme (e.g., the works of a single playwright). And at a time when theatres are trying to rebuild their subscriber base, it is self defeating to limit yourself to offering only what one person likes.
          When the owners of my book group’s favorite bar and restaurant retired and sold it to someone else, the new owner only paid attention to his personal friends and cheapened all the weekly specials. The previous owners welcomed everyone personally and rotated specials so that there were choices for more than one group of people. Afters decades of having a thriving business, the place went out of business in under 9 months.

  7. I re-read Dogs and Goddesses by Jenny, Annie Stuart, and Lani Diane Rich, this week. It was fun. The dogs are a hoot, especially Milton, the puppy, who repeats everything the others say just like a toddler. The movie references are great. I look forward to the surprise ending every time.

    I started A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher. It has a very dark beginning, but I have hope for better times as it progresses. I love the animated gingerbread people, already.

    1. I don’t remember what happened in A Wizard’s Guide to Baking (hell, I don’t remember what I had for breakfast), but I do remember loving it. So it must have turned out okay.

  8. I re-read The Goblin Emperor for comfort, I listened to Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe, which was pleasant but flat. I was supposed to read I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai for book club, but I read the first several chapters and just didn’t enjoy the tone. Maybe another time. I’m thinking maybe A Study in Scarlett Women is next. I read Cici and the Curator, set in a galactic culture, which had the advantage of being completely unpredictable. If there’s another Cici book, I would read it.

    1. Maine Betty, I would read another Cici book too! I really enjoyed Cici and the Curator as well.

      1. One of my favorite series to reread. For her last book in that series, I needed to be read the whole thing which was not a hardship. I love Sarah.

    2. Thanks for the tip. I pulled Cici and the Curator up on Amazon, devoured ‘read inside’ and immediately downloaded the ebook. Not my usual, but this looks a lot of fun.

  9. I reread The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna and enjoyed it but finally figured out what bothered me on the first read. We find out almost immediately that all witches are orphans; thanks to a “curse” put on them by a group of witches a couple of centuries ago, that was really a spell meant to protect witches from the witch hunts, and went wrong. So basically, a witch can have a child who is non magical and the witch will be fine, but if she has a magic gifted child, both the witch and the child’s father will die by some means. The story was fun, but it got me to thinking, that if a witch wants to have a child, she pretty much is committing suicide, and in a round about way, manslaughter for her partner. I don’t think that is what the author intended for her audience to focus on.

  10. I have a routine medical appointment with my cardiologist. I’ll be taking a shower today. I have another next week with another doctor, so I’ll shower next week as well.

    I did my dishes this week. I’m only a day or two behind, and I still have some paper plates and bowls left.

    Books. Reading. I did some. Also some watching. As part of my unpacking, I finally installed the bracket to mount my enormous 23″ TV/DVD player to a wall, and watched Jumanji: The Next Level. Then there were all those serial TV shows on Netflix.

    I mentioned picking up a second copy of Pride and Prejudice from Downpour, and already having a copy on Audible. The only advantage there is that I could and did download the book as MP3 files so I can “read/hear” it when the WiFi is out. Or in the car.

    I have a Murderbot diaries reread in progress. I could listen to that one, also.

    The Variation on a Theme serial is still being serialized (Book 4 Chapter 81 tomorrow), so I’m still reading it. My reread caught up to the current chapter yesterday.

    I haven’t finished Cupcake Girls, book 5 of the Vixen War Bride series, but it’s in progress.

    As part of unpacking, I unpacked two battery chargers (rechargeable batteries) and recharged eight AA batteries. One of my flashlights was getting really dim. Now it isn’t. I’ll be unpacking a 50′ extension cord for my refrigerator in order to move that appliance to my corner of the Owner’s Suite. For reasons. I read the specs on the extension cord – it is specifically suited for refrigerators.

    1. Interesting, because according to most electrical codes, refrigerators should never be on extension cords. In fact, they should have their own dedicated circuit/breaker.

  11. I’m currently listening to Watership Down read by Peter Capaldi. I’ve read it MANY times but it’s always wonderful and his narration is excellent. So many different accents!

    I’m also reading The Right Move, book 2 in Liz Tomforde’s Windy City series. It’s a sports-related romance series which is an odd choice for me since I don’t like sports at all. However I do love Rosalind James and her rugby series even though I know less than nothing about rugby so I thought I’d give them a try. I’m enjoying the series and thankfully there’s not a huge focus on the sports side of things.

    1. Thank you for that, Laura. Watership Down on Audible. I’ve been looking for something to get my teeth in.

  12. I’m reading The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un, Bright Sun of the Twenty-first Century. Lol it’s quite a name. It’s been interesting so far because beyond just talking about Kim Jong Un, his father, and his grandfather, the author also interviews a lot of defectors and talks about what life was and is like in North Korea, something I didn’t know much about before.

    I’m also reading Witchful Thinking, which is cute so far! I haven’t gotten too far in yet, but I like how the author seamlessly blends the modern world as we know it with witchy and fantastical things and creatures. Maybe I’ll finish both these books by next Thursday. Who knows?

  13. I’ve been rereading Trisha Ashley books and Kristin Higgans books thanks to Deborah. I like Ashley more than I remembered. I think I maybe read too many Christmas stories by her in a row and remembered that the plots are minimal and there is a lot of food and details of whatever project the heroine is working on. I forgot how quirky her characters are and how great her sense of humor. I particularly liked Every Woman for Herself and the bits from the magazine she ends up writing.

    But why oh why do her heroines keep agreeing to divorces without even running the papers past their own lawyers?

    I’ve also been reading a lot about the proposal to redo how the US collects data on race and ethnicity. I have to write comments on this and I’m not a person of color, a demographer, a statistician … fortunately I can consult all these experts and am doing so.

    It’s tricky because most of the civil rights community generally supports the proposed change but one group has suddenly decided it’s bad for them and opposes it.. and as far as I can tell they are misreading the research on what the change would do to their community. But they are passionate about it—it’s the first time I have ever seen someone speaking in tears at a census meeting .

    Sigh. I feel like I’m on the edge of a volcano.

  14. Tried several samples that weren’t my thing, but mostly finished The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen, reread Band Sinister (both great) and quite enjoyed Sarina Bowen’s Goodbye Paradise, though it didn’t feel completely finished, so I was expecting the second in the two-book series to deal with the same backstory, and was put off to see that it didn’t – it looked like yet another sports romance, so I didn’t go for it.

    1. Oh, and I was frustrated in my attempts to borrow the other two of Nora Roberts’ Dragonheart trilogy from the library. I borrowed the first in January, and the catalogue listed the other two as out on loan from my branch. I haven’t managed to coincide with them being on the shelves since, and now find they’ve moved them to other branches, and the reservation fee has gone up to a pound each – which feels too much. I shall have to wait a few years until I can find them in a charity shop, I suppose. But really, I’d just like to borrow them (I can see they’re not going to be keepers).

      1. Well, that makes me feel better about my library system. They may not have a lot of the titles I read about here, but at least reservations are free.

      2. Our public library in Vancouver allows free reservations from all its branches, and even from the other libraries of the province. I do it all the time, because my local branch is quite small. I didn’t realize it is not common, or that some libraries might charge a fee for getting books from other branches. Now, I feel blessed. I will never take this for granted again.

        1. Yes, I keep forgetting about inter library loan because there are different systems available for different parts of the state. But the system including the northern suburbs has worked very nicely for me in the past. And I use the local system constantly. They cleaned up their database about 10 years ago and now you can easily see what is available and how long a waiting list each title has. I give thanks every time I use it.

      3. We are very fortunate in Ireland too. You can reserve any book or film in the Irish library system for free. Books are sent across the country every day. We have a good digital library system too.

        1. I’m going to tell my local librarians they’re out of step! (Although I know it’ll be down to local government cuts.)

          1. My library reserve system has just broken down due to courier cost rises. I’d rather have a fee rather than no service, but at the same time if the fee is too high then its cheaper to buy the ebook. OTH some books aren’t available by ebook yet.

            Crossing my fingers they can resolve the issue – I love being able to order books from everywhere. Ironically small regional libraries seem to have out-of-print books which I want to read, I think because for city libraries space is such a premium. My local library doubled the loan time and the number limit, I think largely so that they could free up more shelves!

        1. Many years ago I put in for a book from another library and when it was ready to be picked up they sent me a note in the mail. In order to get the book I was obliged to pay for the stamp. So in passing one day I mentioned to the librarian (Bless her heart) at my branch about the stamp and she replied that she was going to bring that up at the next budget meeting. I kept my mouth shut after that.
          Jane, does your library have digital access?

          1. Yes, but only to a quite limited number of titles. They do offer an excellent range of newspapers & magazines, though, which I read on my iPad.

  15. I read Good Dog, Bad Cop by David Rosenfelt, the fourth K-Team book. The mystery in it was pretty good.

  16. I saw a play version of Pride and Prejudice at my city’s posh theatre. I enjoyed it as they spoofed it up and had same actors playing multiple parts and it was generally a big goofy farce. That allowed my to shelve my inner purist (Jane said that line, not Lizzie! Where’s Kitty?!) and laugh along.

  17. K.M. Shea’s Magic Forged was an unexpected pleasure to read, a quick and fun urban fantasy, especially after a number of DNFs I suffered recently. It was not high literature, but it had a wacky charm, a furious pace, and a sympathetic heroine. And the writing was decent, despite it being self-pubbed. I think this writer employs an excellent editor. This book was my first by Shea, and it is the first in a series.
    K.M. Shea’s Magic Redeemed was the second book in the series. Really nice. Urban fantasy adventures with a whiff of romance. I’m going to keep reading this author.
    K.M. Shea’s Magic Unleashed was #3 in this series, Hall of Blood and Mercy. Of the three books of the series, I liked this one the least. The characters’ development stopped at book two. The pacing was slow in the third book, and the tension almost non-existent, despite the final confrontation that loomed over the protagonists’ heads. More, the narrative seemed faintly boring, and the editing much worse than in the first two books. Despite my dissatisfaction with this novel, I’m still going to read the next series set in this world and see if there are any improvements. This author is capable of so much better.
    Madeline Hunter’s Heiress for Hire was an average historical romance. I’m not in love with Hunter, but I keep taking her books from the library and reading them, so my overall attitude would be more positive than negative.

  18. I started Mia Tsai’s Bitter Medicine (halfway through) on a rec here from Gary and I’m really enjoying it. It’s been so long since I read a new paranormal. I’m hoping it is eventually a series.

    I’m also starting (as of last night) the eARC of Salvage Right, the new Liaden novel from Lee and Miller. I have fun with all the Liaden stories but I do prefer the ones that follow Theo’s story arc. Hard to believe they started writing in this universe in the 1980’s and are still publishing!

    The eARC of Witch King by Martha Wells has been in progress for a while now. I’m finding it slow-going but it may just be me. There is always so much world-building at the start of a new fantasy series.

    1. Caasandra, where did you, how did you get an e-arc of Witch King? Martha Wells is one of my go-to authors.

      1. I have an account with edelweiss and NetGalley. The Wells arc came from edelweiss. Sometimes I’m approved and sometimes not, but I try to read and review before publication if I am. It’s free to set up accounts.

    2. Ooh, oooh, more Liaden stories to look forward to! Thank you for the heads up. (I was already waiting for the Martha Wells.) (I am a world-building addict. I would happily read An Economic and Ecological History of the Outer Planets–I don’t care which outer planets–without a drop of plot.)

      1. Or a treatise on the development of magical midwifery in Upper Ruritania during the Holy Roman Empire.

      2. Mary Anne,

        I purchased the eARC from It went up on Wed, I think. Just search for Salvage Right on the site and you’ll find it.

  19. I’m working my way through Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead – I love her books, but this is pretty harrowing. I read the end just to make sure it wasn’t going to finish badly, so I’ll keep going when I’m feeling robust.

    Meanwhile for comfort I read the third Miss Seeton book, Witch Miss Seeton, which provided lots of belly laughs. Also Miss Moriarty I presume, which I enjoyed a lot. And Ann Aguirre’s Strange Love, which someone mentioned last week, and was cute and funny, especially the dog.

    1. Lian, last week I think you mentioned there were 4 Miss Seeton books by Heron Carvic. There are actually 5, all available as ebooks. They are Picture Miss Seeton, Miss Seaton Draws the Line, Witch Miss Seeton, Odds on Miss Seeton, and Miss Seeton Sings. All the others in the series are at best OK; some are actually dreadful.

  20. I read This Could Be Everything by Eva Rice and was underwhelmed. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is one of my top ten favourite books, but nothing else I’ve read by her has hit the same sweet spot. Oh well, maybe I’ll just have to read The Lost Art… again.

    I’m now reading A Pair Of Feet by Monica Dickens, which is an account of the author’s experience training as a nurse during World War Two. It’s hilarious and I’m racing through it, while also thanking any deity who will listen that working conditions have improved since then. The job sounds horrendous but Dickens is such a good writer that I almost want to be working alongside her.

  21. I finished the latest Lady Sherlock book (A Tempest at Sea), and while it was good, there was too little Charlotte in it, and I probably won’t re-listen to it as much as I have the others in the series. Still looking forward to the next one (and I saw that she signed a contract for two more).

    I’m re-listening to the Rivers of London books, sort of in anticipation of Winter’s Gifts, although I prefer the Peter Grant books to any of the other characters as leads (and this one is Agent Reynolds, I believe).

    1. You’re right about Winter’s Gifts – it is about Agent Reynolds. I’ve been looking for the publication date in the US, but haven’t found it so far, only one for the UK. I’m hoping not to have to order it from overseas.

  22. Jenny have you ever ready “A Psalm for the Wild Built” by Becky Chambers? It is about a monk and a robot and so cozy. It’s set in a world where there are Tea Monks who travel around in a caravan and listen to people talk about their troubles and then make them tea. That’s all I needed to hear to download it!

  23. I read a bunch of stuff in the last couple of weeks and seem to be in a bit of fussy mood. I finally read Book of Firsts and enjoyed that, though I had to tamp down my sense of “these people are way too perfect for teenagers”. Then I read the sequel Four Kings and didn’t like it at all. The niggle about the characters being perfect became a scream, and there was no conflict. Any problems that came up got solved within about a page, mostly by the protagonists being, surprise!, perfect, to say nothing of filthy rich. Definitely not my book. This blog has spoiled me for books without conflict.

    And I read the latest Lady Sherlock, A Tempest at Sea, and it was a fun closed-room mystery but it doesn’t advance the main series arc much. And the author does that annoying thing of hiding info from the reader that the detective has, and revealing it late in the piece in flashbacks. Several times. I still enjoyed it but not as much as I’d expected to.

    And I read and enjoyed Diana Biller’s The Widow of Rose House. It’s a magic historical and well written, with an interesting set-up about how little practical power women used to have, but the characters struck me as a bit flat. The baddies are utterly awful, no redeeming features at all, and the goodies are very very good.

    And I read an NZ rugby book by Danielle Hawkins, Chocolate Cake for Breakfast. The first couple of chapters had me in stitches, so that was great. And it was really nice to read the kind of casual rural NZ feel that I know pretty well. Then it turned less funny and, probably realistically, bugger it, pushed the “NZers would rather wreck a relationship than talk about their feelings” trope hard. That wasn’t so much fun to read. But I must read more by her. My library’s got 4 more :-).

    And I read a few perfectly good M/M romances: EL Massey’s Like Real People Do and its sequel Like You’ve Nothing Left to Prove, and NR Walker’s To the Moon and Back, which had lovely guys as protags. I recommend these for light reading when you want to become convinced there are nice people in the world.

    And finally I read Margaret Rogerson’s Mysteries of Thorn Manor, which she describes as an extended epilogue to Sorcery of Thorns. It was a fun read and I enjoyed spending more time with those characters.

    Overall, I think I’m just in the mood for another Hands of the Emperor equivalent. Books about nice people but with depth. I should go reread Murderbot.

    1. Reb,
      totally agree with you on Book of First. I guess it’s inspired by Manga? Which is a kind of storytelling I know nill about. Yet I loath to be made feeling inadequate by the protagonists (didn’t mind it with one book series because only the main hero was super smart, wealthy and gifted, because he managed to make loads of enemies because of it but at the same time had a few good friends to hint that it’s worth sticking around).

      Also thanks for the thumbs up for the Massey and Walker titles. Moon is already downloaded 🙂

    2. I love Chocolate Cake For Breakfast. Would highly recommend Dinner at Rose’s for your next Danielle Hawkins read, it’s my next favourite by her (although they’re all excellent).

  24. Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. It reads like a dark, horror lite YA book. Riff of Bluebeard folk tale. I binge read it. Very good and I’ll probably read it again soon so I can savor it more.

    If you all enjoy YA, Linda Urban’s Almost There Almost Not was delightful!

    I am now reading a couple other books including Doc Susie biography of a woman doctor in Colorado in the late 1800s. Interesting and entertaining so far.

  25. I read and thoroughly enjoyed Suzanne Enoch’s new Regency-era novel Something in the Heir. I figured out some of the ending, but not all; I didn’t see the subplot coming.

    For my book club, also read an old mystery by Ngaio Marsh, Night at the Vulcan. I didn’t figure out whodunit.

    So, very satisfactory reads!

  26. The best book I read this week was (again) ‘The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen.’

    DNF’d ‘Partners in Crime’ by Alisha Rai at 22%, when it became apparent this was a crime-adjacent caper with tone problems vs a rom-com as promised by the cover and marketing. If it’s a romance, there ought to be something emotional between your MCs by 22%, and all I got was ‘we were great and then I freaked out about your family and ran away and ghosted you’ on one side and ‘I was a workaholic alcoholic and now I work for my grandfather and pretend I don’t want anything else.’ I wanted to like it. 🙁

    A few moderately satisfying M/M things of various lengths, nothing outstanding.

    New-read rec of the week is nonfiction: ‘Never Far From Home,’ a memoir by Bruce Jackson, assistant general counsel at Microsoft.

  27. I read A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore. It has an interesting premise, that ordinary people get tapped for the job of collecting the souls of dying people. There is death of course, and mythology and adventure, and touch of romance. I enjoyed it.

  28. So, instead of reading Wen Spencer’s Uriah Oregon series, I read the Vixen War Bride series recommended by people on this very blog. Very enjoyable. I stayed up way too late to finish the series.

    I then read Charlie Adhara’s Wolf series, again recommended by the very fine people on this blog. Also, another winner, and again staying up way too late to finish the series.

    I then re-read “Cici and the Curator”, apparently, along with a lot of other people.

    Now, back to Uriah Oregon. Hey ho.

    Or, maybe I should read instead Anne Bishop’s latest, “The Queen’s Price”.

    1. Uriah Oregon is bonkers. I haven’t read that in years because that series isn’t available as ebooks and the price for the used paperbacks is ludicrous.
      Another of her books that isn’t unavailable is a brother’s price. That one was great fun too. The premise was very good and very well executed too.

        1. I found a brothers price and dog warrior as e books at Barnes and Noble so maybe they are all now available? Where would you recommend starting?

          1. Alien Taste is the first one the Ukiah Oregon series. Dog Warrior is the last. There are 2 other books in between. I’d recommend starting with the #1, because the stories in all books are going in the chronological order of Ukiah’s life. You need the knowledge from the prior books to appreciate the later books.

  29. I’m going through some Things, so I reached for my comfort rereads: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Jennifer Cruise, in no particular order. I actually landed on Agnes and the Hitman, and it’s helping me through.

    Jenny, I know that you too have been going through some Things, and I wanted to let you know how much you’ve helped me (and likely countless others) through the rough spots. I hope knowing that helps you through yours.

  30. Read the Playing Game by Ainsley Booth and am halfway through Her Billionaire Best Friend because these books are great if you’re going through some stuff and need a good romance feel good happy fix. Also read Candace Camp’s A Momentary Marriage and it was fantastic; true love, a very good dog, marriage of convenience turns real, murder plots, whodunnit, ALL THE THINGS. I kept stopping reading to exclaim over how much I enjoyed smart people saving each other and being kind and awesome and how these are the kinds of book people I want to hang out with. (Before this I tried to read another book where the more I read the more I lost all respect for everybody in it and then I ditched that book because life is too short to spend with even fictional people you can’t respect)

  31. Legends & Lattes came in at the library for me – I enjoyed it but didn’t love it as much as others have. Still will happily read the next book by Mr Baldtree.

    Picked up an older 2010 Lyn Gala “Urban Shaman” which I very much enjoyed – a romance between a cop Miguel and a Conservative Jew turned shaman Nikolai. I’m not in a position to assess how well Gala managed the cultural interpretations but I found it intriguing and there’s thin line here between reality and magic with ghosts & spirits which I thought was well done. Trigger warnings for child abduction.

  32. I just read “Any House in a Storm,” by Jenny Schwartz. It was a fun read and while I am waiting for the next in that series I went back and read her Uncertain Sanctuary series set in the same universe. I haven’t enjoyed her other books as much, but I do like this world filled with sorcerers, goblins, and birds that can walk between realities.

    Tried to read the new Kate Daniels Wilmington Series by Ilona Andrews, but just could get into it. I think this was a reflection of my mood though, not the writing. I’ll try again next week.

    Has anyone read the Jesse Mihalik Starlight’s Shadow books. Recommend?

    1. I liked Jessie Mihalik’s Hunt the Stars (Starlight Shadow #1) very much. The second book Eclipse the Moon I liked less, but it was still pretty good. If you liked her Consortium Rebellion series, chances are you’ll enjoy Starlight Shadow novels.

  33. Speaking of Agnes & the Hitman – it is on The Funniest Book I’ve Ever Read: 17 Readers Share —Congrats Jenny & Bob!

    I have been binge watching Justified. I am in love with Elmore Leonard. Timothy Olyphant is okay, too. But Elmore…lust.

    I finished rereading Faking It and moved on to Bet Me.

    I did a comfort reread of the epilogues from Susan Elizabeth Phillips books. Those passages from Heroes Are My Weakness and Dance Away With me and Breathing Room are magic.

    I dug into Bob Mayer’s ‘The Novel Writer’s Toolkit.’

    The funniest thing I read all week was a job ad:
    Now hiring professional bear huggers. Must have ability to hike in strenuous conditions, have the courage to crawl…

    Posted by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish on Monday, March 13, 2023

    Anybody out of work?

    1. I saw the bear-huggers ad also!! Dream job or what?
      The ‘courage to crawl..” maybe not so much.
      I’m glad you have been enjoying re-reading some Crusie. Why misogynistic alcoholics like Hemingway got Nobels for literature when the real geniuses get shelved under ‘kitchen things’…

    2. I saw the bear-huggers ad also!! Dream job or what?
      The ‘courage to crawl..” maybe not so much.
      I’m glad you have been enjoying re-reading some Jenny. Why misogynistic alcoholics like Hemingway got Nobels for literature when the real geniuses get shelved under ‘kitchen things’…

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