This is a Good Book Thursday, April 13, 2023 April 13, 2023April 11, 2023 ~ Jenny This week I read Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Spinning Silver, and was entranced. I should have known; after all she wrote the Scholomance novels. What book entranced you this week?
115 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, April 13, 2023”
I finally got round to reading SK Dunstall Linesman SF series that has been recommended here many times and of course, it is excellent. Why did I wait so long? Their universe is wholly original and Ean is a great character.
I am now reading their Stars uncharted series which is also great but only has two books :(. Again very original SF ideas with endearing characters.
Apparently, they are writing some fantasy next. Can’t wait!
I am rereading Stars Uncharted right now, for the severalth time.
What a useful word you just coined!
It seems a little smaller than umpteenth.
Also more positive.
I love their books so much, and they are regulars on my reread pile. I wish there was more in the Stars Uncharted series.
I didn’t know they were writing fantasy next, but now I shall await eagerly!
Now I have read the second one, I can’t help thinking there should be a third book. Some plotlines could definitely be expanded.
I just had a look at their blog and they say they are working on a fantasy novel.
Thanks for mentioning it again.
I may have missed earlier mentions, or maybe wasn’t in the mood for SF at the time, so they’re new to me.
I just read the first Linesman book and was immediately gripped by it, and have now bought books 2 and 3.
I really love how people here have introduced me to writers and even whole genres that weren’t on my radar before, but find out I can enjoy a lot.
I’ve been re-reading books based in London. KJ Charles (Wanted, a Gentleman), Lily Morton (Risk Taker). The nice thing: I liked them both more on re-read than on the first read. Saw different things (more so with Charles though).
Now reading Puckboy #4 by Finley/James which came out today. Just a few pages in, so I cannot say anything bout it yet.
Yes, I’m still reading hockey books…
My home team (Munich Red Bulss) won the semi final play in the playoffs yesterday. DD and DH tried to get tickets for finals with no luck whatsoever (they spent rather long in the waiting line too – pure dedication).
I guess I’ve spread the “hockey-disease” by now, LOL.
And amazon told me the delivery of Heated Rivalry – paperbook edition – is delayed indefinitely, argh.
I read Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, a novel about a trans woman, her ex-girlfriend who has detransitioned back to living as a man, and his pregnant girlfriend. The author is trans herself, and it was funny and sad, character driven, and really quite good, I enjoyed it a lot. Recommended.
Also Into the Fire by Rachel Block, a contemporary country house mystery with a whole cast of secret hording unlikable characters, people being people* and a resolution it took me a while to see coming.
*My favourite quote from Good Omens: “most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”
Pratchett is a treasury of good quotes, the kind that are funny and pointed without being cruel.
*Blok. Autocorrect sorry.
Also, hoarding, not that it matters, I know.
I read those books by Naomi Novik a few years ago. They were wonderful.
I’m reading a slightly disappointing book by one of my favorite authors. It’s not bad, but I loved everything else I read by her in multiple genres, and this one just isn’t quite doing it for me. Of course, I’m not feeling my shiny best, so some of it might be me.
I just finished rereading The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. I know I read it years ago, and liked it, but it too left me feeling sort of meh. I may need to do a Crusie reread. Those books never let me down.
IMHO, Feeling our shiny best should not be a prerequisite for reading a good book. Here’s hopes for shiny you!
I just finished the fourth (and last as far as I can tell) Detective Elouise Norton book by Rachel Howzell Hall. It was written in 2017, so I have hopes that she’ll continue the series.
Just finished Devilish this morning, the last – and best – of Jo Beverley’s Mallorens series. Will skim bits in another couple set in that world, to decompress.
I loved that Naomi Novak series, and also her Temeraire series. What I admire about all three of her series is that they are in completely different voices. You’d never know it was the same author.
I read Keira Andrews’ Honeymoon for One and as Lupe said: sweet, better than usual, and an interesting look at what it is to be deaf or deafened.
And for you hockey book lovers, I read Game Plan by Amy Aislin. Not really recommending, not NOT recommending. Her books are always so close to good and…not quite. But…hockey.
Have started re-reading MCA Hogarth’s Princes’ Game series – oh LN and Lian, what have you done to me.
Sorry… not sorry. That’s what we are here for … to make you read more 😀
By the way, have you also read the mindhealer books where Jahir and Vasiht’th met.
They have a completely different vibe but are great also.
I’ve got the first one downloaded. I’m reading the post Princes’ Game series now – I’m all out of order.
Glad you liked Honeymoon!
I totally agree with you about Aislin’s books. The start in the first books of the series go well….then not so much…I can’t put my finger on what goes off. I still read them thought. Will probably read the new Vancouver Orcas series…at least the first few.
I am unrepentant.
I stayed up way too late last night finishing the third book in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series. I enjoyed the bits where he and his dog were together. But there were large swaths of this that weren’t as fun. Without being too spoilery, this book appears to be a set up for the next one, so some old characters are killed off, while others warned off and others changed irrevocably. It isn’t really a stand-alone, but rather a transitional book, bridging between the first two and the next (several?) in the series. But I might be done.
Don’t give up. There are some dark times, but the whole series was fun. There are several where Oberon has quite a large role – and even one that’s his alone. The audiobooks are great. I can’t easily find who it is, but he was really good.
I also like the Ink & Sigil books, and absolutely loved the audiobooks he did with Delilah Dawson, starting with Kill the Farmboy. I laughed until I nearly peed and highly recommend the audio version of Kill the Farmboy and those that follow.
Lisa, thanks for recommending Ink & Sigil. The audiosample is terrific!!!
I read this interesting article (https://www.vulture.com/article/emily-henry-romance-novel-profile.html) about not just Emily Henry but the whole romance genre. It reminded me a bit of some of Jenny’s blog posts and writings talking about the genre.
Thanks Zoe. She has a new novel out next month. One of the new authors I enjoy reading. The article was interesting. Waiting for Loretta Chase and Cruise/Mayer novels and rereading.
Finished biography of the wonderful E. B. White, and onto a re-read of Charlotte’s Web. Shocked at how much I’d forgotten since hearing it read in 1956. Fern saving Wilbur as a doomed runt piglet! Fern understanding Charlotte’s conversations with Wilbur! The rotten goose egg saving the web from Fern’s brother’s pen knife! But every sentence in the book was practically perfect.
I haven’t read that for literally decades, and now I want to again. My favorite E.B. White was always ‘The Trumpet of the Swan,’ which I still have on my childhood books hoard shelf.
I read Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef, which I enjoyed. Magical animals, a quest, a mystery, and possibly a setup for a sequel. It’s listed as mid-grade novel, but I think any age would enjoy it.
I also read Before She Was Helen, by Caroline B. Cooney, a mystery set in Sun City, SC. Some parts funny, some parts decidedly not funny. A good combination of suspense and humor.
I’m reading Judith Krantz’s “I’ll Take Manhattan” for book club. It’s so fun! I love how the main plot is fairly straightforward (Heiress tries to improve a failing magazine) while the subplots are both wild and prolific. It’s a style of writing I don’t really see anymore in romance novels (third person omniscient – so many P.O.V.s!!!) and it’s a really delicious way to create a larger than life character. Plus the depiction of 80s New York is amazing. At the same time, it’s a dense book, which makes it easier to enjoy in bite size pieces instead of glomming the whole thing in one day.
I might have to pick up some more Judith Krantz before my next beach vacation.
Ohmygosh – Judith Krantz – that takes me back. When I was a teenager I read everything she wrote. Scruples was her first big breakout book – the follow-up to it should be ignored but everything else she wrote was great.
That is so throw back for me as well. Those were TV miniseries that my young self was NOT allowed to watch..or read…had to sneak them from my mother’s shelves.
With the Bionic Woman playing the lead in Scruples! So miscast. And Valerie Bertinelli playing the lead in I’ll Take Manhattan – much better.
My dad liked Judith Krantz – I remember giving him bound proofs of Princess Daisy because we were publishing the hardback. Although he thought all the swearing was unrealistic – too American!
Brits swear, they just use different words to do it.
Of course. He was living in an old-fashioned backwater.
I am thoroughly enjoying a reread of Kerry Greenwood’s series Corinna Chapman. I have fallen back in love with Daniel and with all the characters that people these books.
I love that her writing is riddled with passages like this that make me laugh out loud:
“All mobile phone conversations tend to be the same. Except for the ones where the person on your end has an earpiece and is therefore walking along having an interesting argument with, apparently, the air. Ever since people got those remote control phones it has been very hard to distinguish a respectable businessman from a wandering loony. Who can tell, in the absence of other clues, whether ‘Sell Timeo and buy Dona Ferentes’ is a sane stock exchange instruction to a secretary back at the office or an attempt to deflect the attentions of mind-reading Martians?”
I love that quote! I walk several miles every day and sometimes answer people who are talking very loudly in my direction, when I notice a white thingy sticking out of their ear, and realize they are on the phone.
I’ve been DNF’ing all kinds of books, my monkey mind is all over the place.
I’ve started an Amanda Quick, The Paid Companion, which I’m enjoying. Among other parts of a complicated plot, it starts with a “reclaim the house from neglect and make a home” theme that I always enjoy.
I finished At the Feet of the Sun, and would have started it again from the beginning if there’d been time enough left before it was due back. Since I was the first to get the hold from the library I don’t feel right putting myself back in the hold queue quite yet. It was excellent. I can still feel the motion of the waves.
I finished Ten Thousand Stitches by Olivia Atwater and went directly on to Lord Longshadow, which I’m enjoying a lot, and reading three in a row by the same author is an endorsement.
Jenny, by curious coincidence I am rereading Uprooted right now.
I loved Uprooted and Spinning Silver. One of my favorite mini-genres is the retelling of fairy tales. When I finished them, I reread Card’s Enchantment, which is a re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty and Baba Yaga.
I’ve recently read some Michael Sullivan – Age of Myth, Age of Legend, Age of War – and enjoyed them. He writes the set, then publishes, which is nice from a continuity point of view. They’re engaging with lovely characters. Sometimes larger than life, sometimes not sophisticated, but thoroughly enjoyable. I’m waiting for the next one to be available. They’re well read, too, and I found them after listening to the Red Rising series, which is read by the same narrator, Tim Gerard Reynolds. At the end of one, Sullivan was recommended.
Currently rereading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on paper. It’s such fun. I’ll have to watch the movie again, too. It’s been a while.
I really liked Sullivan’s Riyria series – I stumbled upon it by accident and found it very satisfying.
I am re-reading Nora Roberts’ Born in ….. trilogy. I have Irish heritage, and I enjoy the descriptions of the Irish countryside and the pub atmosphere. I skip the sex, and it doesn’t really make a lot of difference. My favorite is Born in Ice, which is about a young woman who runs a B & B in her family home, and the American writer who comes to stay while he writes a book, and falls in love with her and Ireland. There are some inaccuracies, such as yeasted Irish Soda bread, and maybe others. I also enjoyed learning about glass blowing from Born in Fire. Born in Shame isn’t my favorite and has a kind of contrived ending, but the descriptions of the countryside, the animals, and the standing stones are lovely.
Loved those books.
Finished Gin Jones’ “One Cat for the Road”. The world building was intense; I will have to read more of the series to see how it works out. And, the cat, Sal, was absolutely awesome!
Oh, thank you! I had fun with the worldbuilding. And Sal is sorta’ based on my big orange boy, who’s part Maine coon, but not as big as Sal.
I am back to dnfing. I think that it’s the book, not me this time.
So I am rereading. Complicated by Kristen Ashley is hitting all the right notes. Plus, it’s long, so I won’t have to choose anything else for a while.
Just exactly what book was it that you dnf’d? (She asked, with a suspicious tone.)
Nothing you recommended. All is well 😊
Phew. I can enjoy my Saturday with equanimity now.
Penric’s Progress, a compilation of the first three Penric and Desdemona stories by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’d been meaning to read them for years, but the TBR pile just kept growing. Then I got the opportunity to interview her, and suddenly *I had to*. I love it when an assignment necessitates doing what I wanted to do all along. 😀
Where will your interview be published? I would love to read it as LMB is one of my favourites.
I finished reading The Sinister Booksellers of Bath which was wonderful, flailed around a lot trying to figure out what to read next and am now reading Chuck Wendig’s Dust & Grim.
I too read and enjoyed the new Booksellers. But did you think the ending was a bit abrupt?
I’m looking for a book or two to read while we are on our cruise. We have a few “at sea” days and I plan to find myself a comfy place to sit, some unholy umbrella drink to drink, snacks to munch on, and read my books. Paul has the same plan except he will probably be drinking beer. And he already has his books.
What I’m looking for is a book that has a good story, great characters, and very little stress. I don’t want to read anything that’s going to make me angry. I think I’m looking for something like if you crossed a cozy mystery with a Hallmark Christmas movie.
That’s the level of stress I’m looking for. Romance is okay, women’s fiction is okay, urban fantasy is okay, I’m not too worried about what kind of book it is, just that it has that feeling. It needs to be something that’s on paper, preferably trade paperback, or audio because I’m not taking my iPad so I won’t have my Kindle. I have the Kindle app on my phone but that’s hard for me to read on for extended periods of time.
Legends and Lattes, if you haven’t already read it. It’s been mentioned a lot on here.
I agree; Legends and Lattes is a comfort read for me.
I’ve been reading K.M. Shea recently. Urban fantasy with vampires, wizards, werewolves, etc. Very light and quick. Much lighter and not as deep as Patricia Briggs, but in the same vein. If you like such stuff, she might work for your cruise. She had 4 trilogies set in the same imaginary city of Magiford, and I read all four. I’m a fan. The overall story arc starts with her Hall of Blood and Mercy series.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of book has Paul chosen to go with his beer? And have you reached the point where you pass books back and forth?
I think he’s bringing a Louis L’amour he’s read a hundred times and a Larry McMurtry, not Lonesome Dove but one of his other westerns.
We do not have the same taste in books at all.
Just wait. After they had been retired for long while, my Dad started reading some of my Mom’s mysteries to offset all the newspapers he was reading online. She never touched the computer and so got down to the bookmobile more regularly (until she began forgetting to return the books.) After that point, they both read the cheap copies of stuff that my brother in France ordered on line for my Mom. But mostly they shred the non-fiction and history.
Thursday Murder Club?
Sounds like a Jennie Crusie to me.
Trisha Ashley Every Woman for Herself
T Kingfisher Paladins Grace
The Goblin Emperor if you haven’t read it .
I don’t know if you can find it in paper but I like Judith Flanders detective novels about a woman in publishing.
The year we fell down by Sabrina Bowen has a heroine who is learning to live with partial paralysis and I know that sounds grim but it’s a charming book.
Most Terry Pratchetts —my favorite here would be Wyrd Sisters
Pretty much any Loretta Chase
I’ve listened to both Thursday Murder Clubs and read Legends and Lattes and Goblin Emperor. I really wish I could go back and read them for the first time again.
I’m a bit leery of taking anything I really love with me, even an extra copy, in case they get lost.
Debbie recommended Paladin’s Grace. I may have to try that as I really like Kingfisher/Vernon. Since the other book(s) I’m thinking of taking are/is her horror novels House with Good Bones or What Moves the Dead (yup, I find horror comforting in a this-is-so-not-real kind of way), it might be all her all the time this vacation.
Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox is an ongoing comfort read for me. By Forthright, the beginning of a magical YA ish series based on Japanese mythology. The series ramps up as it goes, with the last couple being very full of drama and happenings, but the first three especially are cozy. Her print books are expensive, but all are available as audiobook on my hoopla app.
And Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is always good for gentle storytelling. Also Sugar Queen.
Read all over the place this last week.
Finished the last in the 5-volume graphic novel series Once & Future/Gillen. I really enjoyed these. Arthurian and other legends are awakened to seize the throne of modern day UK. There is a weapon-wielding grandmother, her slightly recalcitrant grandson and his partner, and some family dynamics along the way as they embody literally, the reincarnations of Arthur, Lear, Lancelot, Galahad, Elaine, etc. while also fighting other reincarnations.
Went on to Anna Quindlan’s mid-2000s book of essays Imagined London about her traveling to London and having a such a clear picture in her mind from literature of what it would be, and working through how the past, present and future live together there.
Quickly read Kate Noble’s The Dare and The Doctor, a M/F regency-set historical. The MCs, a botanist and a physician/researcher were great together, and a nicely done set of letters b/w them starts off the novel. Not overly fond of how the female villain was done, but that trope is so hard to avoid. Somebody’s got to be the antagonist, no? Even if their motivations don’t seem motivating to 2023 readers.
And finished with Fireforged/Burns. A M/M retelling/romance of the Hephaestus myth. Give me a myth re-telling anytime. Sweet sea nymph meets grumpy heart of gold welder.
Enjoy the sunny skies if you have sunny skies in your area this weekend!
I put Fireforged on my list, thank you.
I have just started rereading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. On my to read shelf is a library book, The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix.
office Wendy, have you read Thale’s Folly by Dorothy Gilman? It is a light, fun read with a romance and a little bit of mystery.
Er…that should have been office wench cherry…
Damn auto correct! Lol. I’ve been called worse.
And I have not read it.
Office Wendy sounds like the person who brings the tea around on a cart, with occasional pastries and always a smile.
I have NEVER had a job with a person like that, lol. Is this a thing outside the US?
We did have it in Canada when I worked at Procter & Gamble back in the day – but her job was phased out of course.
I don’t think such a person exists in the US either. But when I was a paralegal in a big law firm there was was a kitchen on each floor with free snacks freshly made.
I suspect it was because the business owners — the partners — had to work right alongside us plebes and it was primarily for their convenience.
The big law firms in Canada still do this. One at least that I know of has a chef that prepares full-on meals.
I can’t recall if the same law firm did but certainly the one I worked in after law school had a cafeteria for all. But IIRC we either paid for dinner or charged it to the client. The fresh snacks were free to all.
I think the big tech companies used to do this. Now that they are laying off thousands I would be surprised .
It can be a tactic to keep people in the office working longer hours. Tends to be big consulting firms and law office where they expect 12-16 hour work days with few if any breaks, especially from junior staff.
In some places, the tea lady (or tiffin man etc) are independent businesses who go to a number of different offices. I suspect online delivery mean their business model isn’t really viable anymore, but it was rather nice if you were going to be eating lunch at your desk anyway.
I loved Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Spinning Silver too, even though her Scholomance novels didn’t work for me.
This week, I read K.M. Shea’s trilogy Pack of Dawn and Destiny. It started with Hunted (#1), then Fated (#2) and United (#3). I liked this series less than the previous 2 series I read by this author, but it was still a nice reading experience with a spunky female protagonist. I think there is one more series set in the same world, and I look forward to reading it.
Amanda Quick’s Slightly Shady was a re-read of this 2001 novel, but I read it the first time so long ago, I didn’t remember any details. The book read fresh and gave me a few days of pleasurable diversion. It was formulaic but fun, like most of this author’s books. The heroine was feisty. The hero was brooding and autocratic. When they met, sparks flew, and the bad guys rued the day they ever thought to cross our protagonists. Every ingredients of an escapist novel was there. So I escaped into the author’s vaguely historical England, sat back, and enjoyed the show.
In the ongoing serialization of Variation on a Theme (Book 4), Grey Wolf had a little “oopsie.” He posted chapter 89 as chapter 88, then had to recover by posting the real chapter 88 and the relabeled chapter 89. I finished a reread of all four books – again – and caught up until tomorrow and chapter 90. I’m guessing at least another 30 chapters to get the do-over time-travelling solipsists (their self description) out of high school. They’ve all been accepted at their first-choice colleges with generous scholarships, but there is Much Drama in the works.
I’m rereading the Murderbot Diaries. Rogue Protocol is open in the Kindle ap. I no longer even try to keep count of which reread this is.
I’m also rereading Dogs and Goddesses with similar no-count attitude.
Past that is Netflix and chill. I should have Googled (or DuckDuckGoed) a watching guide for all the shows in the DC Meta Universe, in order to line up the dates of crossover episodes. I think Felicity Smoak may be my favorite character.
Also read some Bujold/Vorkosigan fan fiction.
Allow me to add O’Neill, Owen R.; Hunter, Jordan Leah. The Taking of Romeo Nine: a Minerva Lewis Story (Short Fiction) (p. 1). Kindle Edition. It was a riot. If someone here recommended it, please pat yourself on the back. 🙂
Also reading Vorkosigna fanfic – stayed up far too late last night because Miles had been poisoned and there was no way I was going to sleep before he got the antidote! 🙂
I reread David Feintuch’s Midshipman’s Hope, which was fun – pretty much an intergalactic version of Hornblower. Definitely not a romance – the m/f relationship was the book’s weak point. But it was also just a small part of the story.
Reread the Sword Dance trilogy by AJ Demas – I still think the first book is the best of the three, and is a huge favourite of mine. But the other two aren’t bad.
The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg was absolutely beautiful. YA MM romance, gorgeously written and very moving. Thanks to whoever recommended him as an author a couple of weeks ago.
And last night I finished Bite Me by Christopher Moore. Utterly hilarious, though it took me a few pages to get used to the narrator. I haven’t read anything quite so funny for years.
Yes, Sword Dance is the best of that series, I agree. But I enjoyed all of them. Perhaps a re-read is in order.
I’m reading Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron. Great memoir, After her husband died, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times and received an email from a widower she dated a few times before her marriage but didn’t remember. I think she wrote the screenplay for the classic movie: You’ve Got Mail. She and the widower who emailed her are now happily married. Of course there’s a lot more to the memoir and it’s well written.
I was doing a lot of rereading until my library sent me The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen which I raced through. Others have recommended it and I add my thumbs up to theirs. Then I read One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens which I heard about here. I enjoyed reading about her time training as a hospital nurse but the casual racism of the time (1940s England) was hard to take. I also enjoyed Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutano which was more about found inter generational family than truly a mystery although she does solve the mystery in the end.
‘Farview’ (Greynox to the Sea) by Kim Fielding, loved it. M/M alt-hist fantasy.
‘Something Spectacular’ by Alexis Hall, liked it a lot a lot – very funny at times, the central relationship is well-paced and emotionally credible, both MCs engaging. There is a *bit* much of a character who is not a MC and who was the least likable character in preceding ‘Something Fabulous.’ Queer Regency.
‘Tournament of Losers’ by Megan Derr, liked it a lot (M/M alt-medieval; more happy ending plz when there’s that much misery leading up to it).
‘In Lines of Light’ by K.L. Noone, liked it a lot (M/M short story, scifi).
‘The Girl With Stars in Her Eyes’ by Xio Axelrod, liked it, especially the music-biz intricacies. F/M contemporary. The MCs were 26 and 28 but this read like New Adult (they do not have their shit figured out).
‘What’s In a Name?’ by Pat Henshaw, liked it (M/M novella feat. instalove).
‘How to Fake It in Hollywood’ by Ava Wilder, didn’t much like it though I did read the whole thing. This is about an alcoholic and a careless drinker, fake relationship setup, many predictable things happen; the epiloguish resolution assumes that the work done off the page after the Black Moment will somehow balance out the BS that happened in the foregoing 90% of the book. For me, it didn’t. It also assumes that the reader will like these characters enough to care about their Black Moment. My reaction was to say something really rude out loud.
Another dissatisfaction was that both MCs are actors and yet neither of them are working as actors during the story, nor are they actively working on non-acting projects that are repeatedly referred to. To the extent that they practice their craft, they do it offscreen. Had this book been less about several of the ways a Hollywood life can mess you up, and more about being creative, I would have liked it more (though maybe still not enough to forgive the Black Moment).
I agree. While I finished the book, I did skim, and I didn’t feel good after reading it. Since all the work was done in the last bit of the story and off the page, I don’t believe in their HFN, let alone HEA.
I have had trouble reading this week because my allergy medicine is not available anywhere so although I started Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, I kept circling back to a comforting reread to distract myself from not being able to breathe well or stop my eye from watering. Although I am enjoying Lessons in Chemistry, the tales of academic infighting and money being allocated to the wrong people for the wrong reasons reminded me of my brothers’ stories from when they were in graduate school or working later. One of them spent decades working for a major university trying to see that donations went to the programs they were actually donated to. So the stories of misappropriation of both funds and work sounded very familiar and depressing. I have faith that some of the tables will be turned in the end, but I found it helpful to alternate with something I knew would .have a HEA
Read “A Strange & Stubborn Endurance” by Foz Meadows which I very much enjoyed, which I think was recommended here a while back. M/M arranged marriage in a fantasy setting. The MC’s trauma was handled well I think, the slightly formal prose suited the setting, and the political intrigue was interesting although there was a bit at the end which I felt was unnecessary. Still good, and I’d happily read other books in this setting, particularly if they’re in the queernorm nation.
Also read “Ithaca” by Claire North, which set in Ancient Greece, featuring Penelope as the MC and the goddess Hera as the narrator. Fascinating, rampant misogyny and strong angry women. Book one of a promised trilogy.
“Hellion” by Rhys Ford was enjoyable and undemanding, m/m romance between a cop and a tattoo artist. Really liked both MCs.
Glad you liked the Foz Meadows book. I really enjoyed it. There is a second book in this series coming out in December.
Oh good, felt like there should be 🙂
That’s good news. I really enjoyed the first one.
It was a intense reading week. I read Lair of the Lion by Christine Feehan. It was different with curses, lions, old magic, curses & a anxious hero.
I read book 20 & 21 in Stephanie Plum. Both were fun. I love this series.
I flew through book 3, 4 & 5 of the Grey witch series by Hailey Edwards. But book 6 shocked me. It went in so many cool directions – sea monsters, old vendettas, the return of the dead, aquatic demons, muder threats, revolutions and much more.
But I was frustrated by how passive the lead is. She has all these huge problems, powerful enemies, people at risk but she wont go after any of it. Not one thing. I re-read & counted.
Im taking a break from this series & looking for something new.
Definitely too many curses on my mind 🙂
Sounds like you’re into urban fantasy. Have you tried Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series? The MC is more of a problem solver than a curse fighter, or so I recall. First one is called “Dead Until Dark” — it’s a series that involves (mostly friendly) vampires.
Hey Jinx. I read the Sookie Stackhouse series and Eric Northman was my favourite. But the last book…oh damn. Did you finish the series? Did you like the last book?
Urban fantasy is such a fun, complex genre. But finding the next fav book is tricky.
Let the hunt begin!!!
I did finish that series, or think I did. But urban fantasy ultimately wasn’t the genre that I felt most comfortable with. I have always loved Georgette Heyer and Terry Pratchett, and at one point I read a description of a romance author who had said that her favorite writers were…. Pratchett and Heyer, of course, so I started reading Jenny Crusie and then fell into this particular rabbit hole of book suggestions. 🙂 Have you read all of Jenny’s books yet? If not, do!
Then, hopefully, some of the urban fantasy readers on this blog will issue their recommendations for you. And I hope also that you will find suggestions that you love!
Sounds like you’ve read pretty widely in the genre. Have you tried Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Seanan McGuire (Incryptid is fun or October Daye), Tanya Huff (the very funny Summon the Keeper, or the Smoke, or Vicki Nelson series), Wen Spencer (Elfhome series or “Eight Million Gods” is a good one-off set in Japan), Mercedes Lackey (Diana Tregarde or Elves on the Road series), Jenna Black (Morgan Kingsley), Karen Marie Moning (MacKayla Lane) and of course Nalini Singh?
A bit further out are Zen Cho’s excellent Malaysian set “Black Water Sister”, Lee Mandelo’s queer Southern Gothic “Summer Sons”, and Fonda Lee’s alternate-Asian Green Bone trilogy.
Hey Jinx. I’ve read most of Jenny’s books except The unfortunate Miss Fortune, Hot Toy & Be Sizzle.
I may hop to another genre this week. That helps sometimes. There’s always Stephanie Plum. Starting book 22 🙂
Hey Yuri. I read the fae series by Karen Moning because of the Barron hype. I love Ilona Andrews & I’m done with most of the Guild hunter books by Nalini Singh. Maybe I should check out the Psy Hunter series. I was saving it.
Thank you for the recs. It’s very helpful & I’ve heard great things about Seanan McGuire & Tanya Huff.
I’ve never tried Japanese uf. This sounds interesting.
Spurred by Tammy’s comment in Working Wednesday, I’ve been reading ChatGPT responses to my prompts. Holy sh*t, is this gonna disrupt marketing writing.
MJ, it sure is.
I’ve been rereading Michael Gilbert books, most recently Sky High.
I’m convinced he got the plot idea by trying to figure out how a real estate agent could be the hero of a book. Ok, this one also knows about explosives from his military work but it’s his house knowledge that saves everyone. (Am I the only person who finds themself reading a book and thinking I know where that idea came from ?)
Also I love this bit —so British. “ We have to keep the heating going,’ explained the Sergeant-Major. ‘Otherwise the damp would get at the papers. ”
This happens right before Harvest Festival. Only in Britain would a character apologize for fall hearing .
When we lived in England for a year back in the early 70s (my dad was on sabbatical) my parents only figured out why the bathroom was always cold by looking up and discovering the skylight was propped permanently open.
Heating of course. Not hearing.
I love Michael Gilbert. Such a clean, smart writer. The Quiet House. Everything he wrote, really.
Smallbone Deceased and The End Game . And as you say, every thing he wrote
This week I was entranced by a TV series – Colin from Accounts, an Australian romcom. Absolutely loved the characters. Binge watched it all in 2 evenings.
That reminds me of a movie I saw this week. Also an Australian production. Title is June, again. About a woman that suffered a stroke and dementia and has been living in a care facility when she wakes up one morning after five years and everything is clear. June escapes, going to her home and finding out it has been sold along with her belongings. From there she rounds up her two children who haven’t been talking, discovers the family business is going downhill. Well, you get the picture. She has a short time to get everyone settled, unfortunately. There is also a story about a cabinet that was made for her back in her younger days that she wants to locate. The movie was either on Amazon or Netflix. Noni Hazelhurst plays June.
Long-time lurker, finally sticking a toe in, hope you don’t mind 🙂
I finally got around to Scalzi’s Kaiju Preservation Society this week, one of the best things I’ve read in years. It’s light, the banter is wonderful, and it just flies by. A little too fast, given how great it was. Then I got to ARC the Scarlet Alchemist, and new YA book by Kylie Lee Baker, which was also damn good. Not perfect, but really lyrical and wonderfully grim, while also being quite darkly funny. I love anti-heroes who refuse to hero they way they’re told.
Bookwise, a very good week. Hope yours was too!
If you enjoy Naomi Novik’s writing style, and you watched any amount of television, you might enjoy at least some of the works of her online pseudonym, Astolat – one of the founders of Archive of Our Own. https://archiveofourown.org/users/astolat
Comments are closed.