This is a Good Book Thursday, June 22, 2023

I’ve been reading a lot of meh romances which is depressing, but I’m also reading Rocky Start, and because it’s still early in the process I haven’t started to freak about maybe it’s no good and I’m a terrible writer and I should just eat worms and die. Stay tuned for that much later. But then I found my favorite writing text book, Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction, was $1.99 on BookBub for the tenth edition. I must have three other editions of this, but not in ebook and not the tenth and for $1.99? Happy reader here.

What did you read this week that wasn’t meh?

98 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, June 22, 2023

  1. I read Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews. It was amazing. The book answers all the questions the readers have & packs some delightful surprises.
    I reread Iron & Magic and it gets better everytime. Hugh is complex and fun. One of my all time favourite characters. He could carry a ten book series.
    I reread Blood Heir and it was great.
    Moloch is uniquely creepy

    I tried space opera but it was kind of slow. Is it slow because of the world building? Dnf for now.

    All the best for your move Jenny. So happy to hear about the Lavender’s release. Best wishes!!! Happy moving 🙂

  2. Well, there’s that serial. No, sorry, it’s gone meh. I’m still reading it, though.

    I listened to The Curse of Chalion mp3 files while my interwebs were down. It was still excellent.

    Most of my reading was David Weber and his coauthors, House of Steel, What Price Victory, Dark Fall, A Call to Duty, A Call to Arms, A Call to Vengeance, A Call to Insurrection, and some treecat stories.

    There was a massive number of emails waiting when we got the Whirled Why Dweeb back on Tuesday. I didn’t read everything.

    1. The ‘A Call To …’ books are a lot of fun. If you liked those I would recommend that you try out the Tanner Malone series from Elliott Kay, Poor Man’s Fight, Rich Man’s War,

  3. I went “dry ironic take on romance” this week and read Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (which I LOVED and weirdly we’re rewatching 30 Rock at the moment, so everything is SNL-adjacent) and Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley, which was more about the concept of love than an actual romance. Both made me cry laughing several times though, which is more than I can say for the po-faced romantasy I won’t name because DNF

  4. I read Kristan Higgins A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE, which wasn’t meh at all (and may have been last week–I’m revising right now.) Since I have trouble reading a lot of romance anymore, I wonder what makes a book “meh” to you and to others. When I reread ones from my keeper shelf, I’m still captivated, but not so much with most new releases. And I’m not sure why. Thanks!

    1. I feel like a lot of the ebooks I get (esp. romance, usually of the $1.99 sale variety) come out meh. Like there’s just not much conflict or drama and it’s two perfectly pleasant people having a perfectly pleasant uninteresting, unsparky romance and I literally won’t remember the book after.

      Which is to say to Jenny that feeling same, not loving anything I’ve been reading.

  5. I finally stuck my nose in the Murderbot series. It’s fun, but I still don’t appreciate the pricing strategy they use at launch. Also rereading Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series, currently bogged down in all the exposition in book 2. Desperately awaiting LB next month!

  6. I had some meh this week as well, which shall not be mentioned. And then my in person friend who reads the same kind of books as I do was reading to try Blood Heir, so I reread that with her, which was fun. She is going back to reread the rest of Kate Daniels before we do the new novellas. I went to the Inn Keeper because they are more cozy. And picked up Lord Mettlebrights Man by Forthright for my reading, not listening book. It’s fun, tiny snippets written over the course of years that form a story about a side character. No major plot, just backstory.

    1. I love that you distinguish ‘in person’ friend, presumably from the rest of us motley crew.

      1. Exactly. She and I are pretty much friends based solely on books. We are the only people around here who have adventurous tastes.

        Thank goodness for you all.

          1. Yep. Also aliens and M/M. And the Book of Firsts, and Kate Daniels.

            I am trying to get her to read Murderbot, but she is being resistant.

          2. Tentacle friends are the best. Once you can share that with someone, you know you can share practically anything without judgement.

  7. I finished all the books in the Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts, moving on from “Bed of Roses” to “Savor the Moment” and then “Happy Ever After”. Conclusion is that they’re great brain-resting and comfort reads, but Carter is still my favourite love-interest and thus book 1 is my favourite of the four.

    Then I read “Wild Ride”. For the 5th time, it turns out. Definitely not a meh read.

    Now reading “Race the Wind” by Lauren St. John, part 2 in the “One Dollar Horse”-series, mostly because I just needed to have something in my ear while I fell asleep and I’d just finished “Wild Ride”. Unexpected success (for the MC, not so much for the reader) at the Badminton Horse Trials (in book1) turns to disaster when the teenage MC’s dad gets arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. Police seems determined to pin it all on him despite unconvincing evidence, and then a letter turns up telling the girl the only way to keep her dad out of jail is if she wins the Kentucky Trials, or else all evidence of his innocense will go up in smoke. But how can she leave her dad alone to face a joke-trial and go to the U.S. to compete, and can her one dollar-horse manage another big event so soon after Badminton? Let alone win it?

    Sven and I also finished the first book in the “The Sons of Krondor”-duology by Raymond E. Feist: “Prince of the Blood”. A first for him, reread for me. Took me until November last year to get him to read Feist’s books, but he seems to enjoy them a much as I have done over the last 17 years or so. We’ve now moved onto the second book: “The King’s Buckaneer”.

  8. I read Lian Tanner’s Icebreaker, YA science fiction set 300 years out where an entire ‘town’moves around on a giant icebreaker ship. Dystopian sci fi always worries me a bit even as well written as this one – can be disheartening or grim even if it ends well – but this had optimistim shining through it and redeeming characters that made it a strong read.

    Lisa Henry and JA Rock’s latest, Washed Up Former Child Star Ryan Lee, came out – it’s looks and smells like romance but really it’s a getting-sober/clean story with a dab of romance. I find addiction stories hard to read so wasn’t my favourite of theirs.

    And for you hockey fans – I read Light Up the Lamp by Kit Oliver, a new author to me, and put it in tier three of the hockey panthean – a solid effort and would read her stuff again.

    1. Okay now I’m dying to know more about these hockey panthean tiers. Is there a chart somewhere?

      1. Only in my mind.

        Pinnacle – Taylor Fitzpatrick
        Tier One – Avon Gale, Cait McNary, Rachel Reid, Catherine Cloud
        Tier Two – Samantha Wayland, Michaela Grey, Hannah Henry, Marina Vivancos, EM Lindsay, RJ Scott, VL Locey, Sarina Bowen, Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James, Eden Finley and Saxon James, EL Massey,
        Tier Three – Amy Aislin, Kit Oliver, NJ Lysk, Ariel Bishop

        Everyone else is Tier Four – either I wouldn’t recommend or they’ve only written one good hockey book and need at least one more to create a track record.

        1. I thought Rachel Gibson did several books about hockey players? See Jane Score was the book that started me reading contemporary romance. Then I read Welcome to Temptation. And I found Jenny

          1. This is strictly M/M hockey player romances. Someone else may have a pantheon structure for M/F?

  9. Meh read was a contemporary that I dnf’d on page 49 for slut-shaming.

    Picked up “Rebel Hard” by Nalini Singh and was surprised by a wonderfully culturally specific m/f contemporary romance set in the Fijian Indian immigrant community. There were a lot of P&P references which I enjoyed, as long as I don’t try to map it to the original. Ended up being very sweet.

    Also ended up reading two very different fantasies riffing on old Hollywood, published thirty years apart: Terry Pratchett’s “Moving Pictures” and Nghi Vo’s “Siren Queen”. Completely unintentional, but it was interesting see how they handled similar ideas, namely that star quality is magical, and in both cases somewhat sinister. Other than that very very different books. “Siren Queen” is dark, luscious and almost mesmerizing, although I’m still a little fuzzy on how the magic works.

    1. I re-read Rock Hard this week, which I think is the second in the same Singh series. It has its faults, but I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.

    2. I like the early ones in that series by Singh, expect for Abe’s (?) book. I could never get into that one. And the later ones get too samey for me. But the first four or five are good fuzzy cozy rereads.

    3. “Rebel Hard” is a different series. I also thought it was going to be another Rock Kiss book but this one wasn’t rock related – also NZ set contemporary but very different. If there’s a connection its tangential.

      I remember liking “Rock Hard” and “Rock Redemption” but Abe’s story didn’t engage me either.

      1. Huh. I never thought of them as different series because Gabriel and Charlie aren’t about music, but Rebel Hard is absolutely a different vibe. Makes sense.

  10. I had a lot of meh reading as well. Then, in honor of Julie Garwood, I decided to re read some of her books, which started me in romance, and I remembered why I enjoy her books so much. RIP Julie… I’m gonna miss those future Buchanans.

    1. Oh my gosh! I looked up her obituary online and realized that I have been following her since the 1980’s. From historical to contemporary. She will be missed.

  11. I completed 2 of Ames Mills duets, which were spicy and delightful and def. not meh.

    Then I started a new random suspense I found called I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. It’s about a boy raised by his serial killer father to BE one but he’s determined to use the knowledge to help the police find other SK’s. It’s interesting, so far not meh, but I’m less than 100 pages in.

    My highlight this week? Getting my fantasy book club to agree on Wild Ride as our July book! I’m so excited LOL and def. NOT MEH.

  12. Please Jenny don’t eat worms and die. We need more books from you!

    In the meantime, I have read some meh stuff too. The best of what I read this week is one of my favourite YA books, Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally. Annie is such a good character and I love to read about the running even if there is no way I would run a marathon.

    1. And not just books — I enjoy an anecdote here about enticing a wild cat into the house and there about lunch at a diner and somewhere else about dead stove hassles. In fact, just about anything Jenny writes is fun, interesting, and full of her highly observant take on the little things. And this blog she’s created! And battling about zombies! That pen of hers is magic.

      1. I second and third and fourth and the rest of the numbers this! No worm-eating allowed, we need our Jenny!

  13. Since I was struggling to see close up, I only read one book, and it was Hot Toy. The whole “fed up with Christmas” vibe is well done, while the “men are scum” vibe is also well explored. Lots of snark to savor, there. I think what captivates me about the story is the way the sisters support and understand each other, and find a way to do that for little Leroy. The fierce system Trudy uses to fight off the feds is pretty funny, too. I am really suffering from lack of reading. Movies have filled in. I watched Legally Blonde, and The Importance of Being Earnest- both with Reese Witherspoon, and The Secret Garden, a book I have loved since childhood, and read to my sons when they were little. It’s such a hope-filled story.

  14. I’m buying Writing Fiction on your recommendation, Jenny. I second LN’s request. Ignore those nasty, depressing voices. Live on and continue to write.

  15. I’m reading The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden. It’s a Victorian era romance/mystery/adventure (I’m not sure which descriptions apply, since I’m only halfway through). Both the heroine and hero write Penny Dreadfuls! That totally hooked me, and I haven’t been disappointed.

    I learned about it from a Goodreads historical mysteries group. I haven’t been able to keep up with their annual challenges, but I learn about some good reads there.

    1. There is a Jayne Ann Krentz book where the heroine writes Penny Dreadfuls. Or more likely JAK writing as Amanda Quick. I forget the name & then go back & find it. I inevitably reread it & love i all over again. Will put title in comments when I find it.

      1. I think it might be With This Ring by Amana Quick. They refer to them as horrid novels rather than penny dreadfuls but I think this is the book I was remembering.

        Speaking of horrors – I will have to do a reread to be sure – oh my!

  16. Jenny, let me know if or when you need another pair of eyes on the book.

    I’m reading, again on recommendation from my agent, a novel called Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt. I’m on page 114 and I’m still waiting for an actual plot to show up. So far there are a number of different POVs, none of them particularly grabbing me, one of them just plain not likeable. When I tell you that the most interesting character is the giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium (he also has a POV), that should tell you something. So far it is *just* interesting enough to keep me reading. Has anyone else read this one?

    1. Oh, I really liked that book (recommended to me by our mutual friend Mindy Klasky, btw :-)). But I can see how the slow plot pace and the unlikable character would rub some readers the wrong way. Marcus does steal the entire book, which I didn’t mind.

      1. Seeing Tammy’s comment, I misnamed the Octopus. He was Marcellus, not Marcus. (I was going on memory and it’s been six months since I read it, so not bad, considering.)

    2. I read it and really liked it. It is slow, yes, but so warmhearted. Not the fast-paced speculative fiction escapism I usually enjoy.

    3. I started it, but found it to sad for my state of mind. I agree that the octopus absolutely steals the show. I liked Tova as well, but had the undying urge to slap Cameron. He reminded me a lot of my brother in law. So I didn’t finish it.

    4. I read it and loved it. The whole book is less about plot and more about characters. And it has a wonderful set of happy endings.

    5. I am number 204 on the reserve list for the 22 copies my library has. Started at number 574. I’ll get back to you.

  17. I was getting ready to list my reading when I heard the unmistakable sound of the cat hurking up a hair ball. Now I’ve forgotten everything…

    I’m re-listening to About Time, the most recent Time Police book.
    I got Heyer’s Footsteps in the Dark, an early mystery. Enjoyable, but far from her best. I also have going Everything Was Possible, about the writing and staging of Sondheim’s show Follies, ADHD 2.0, and The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values.

    1. Thinking about you forgetting everything because of the cat’s hairball is making me laugh hysterically. Sorry Maine Betty -it’s just so much like something I would do.

  18. Yes! I forgot to mention – I listened to Remarkably Bright Creatures last week based on Argher recommendations. I think I liked it better than you are liking it, Deborah. I loved Tova and grew to tolerate Cameron – but I was INSANE about Marcellus the giant octopus – and the narrator for the audible book actually performed him, not simply read him, and so well that I laughed every time it was his turn.

  19. I finished Charlie All Night, which was fun! I like books set in radio stations for some reeason (e.g. Late Nights on Air, Elizabeth Hay and Republic of Love, Carol Shields).

    Not much other progress. Finished Dear Reader, Cathy Rentzenbrink on audio, which was good. Finally discovered Borrowbox so I can now listen to audio books when I have no audible credits. Will listen to Arthur Ransome The Picts and the Martyrs next. I think of it each spring when the daisies grow. The Great Aunt used to point out the daisies in the lawn with her umbrella/parasol/walking stick (?). That stuck in my head as a child. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t like them.

    Starting (on paper) Along the Amber route, C.J. Schüler as my non fic. Author takes that route from the Baltic to Venice. Interesting so far. I also finished Michelle Obama The Light We Carry, but it wasn’t really my sort of thing. Preferred Becoming.

  20. I listened to The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell. It’s told from different characters’ points of view and is narrated by a different person for each character, reminiscent of listening to old radio plays. The story revolves around contestants participating in a bake off hosted at the home of the grande dame of the baking world. Don’t be surprised if you envision Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as the hosts in this book. It’s a mystery and there is a death, but no spoilers from me.

    I enjoyed the variety of narrators and the peeling back of the layers of each character as the baking week continued. I don’t know if I would have felt differently about the book if I had read it instead of listening, but it was a good listening experience for me.

  21. I just realized GoodReads hasn’t been logging my reading dates, which drives me crazy and I’m going to spend way too much time today fixing it, but my favorite recent read was Two Man Station by Lisa Henry. (Did not enjoy the sequel very much, however. It was really a downer.) I’m in, like, the 8th major rewrite of my WIP, but I reread the book that comes before it recently and still really like it, which makes it easier to keep plugging away at the one I’m struggling with.

  22. I just finished “Translation State” by Ann Leckie. It’s part of her Imperial Radch series which focuses on 3 people: 1) Enae who had been hir grandmother’s companion and is now on hir first-ever real job for the Foreign Office to look for a missing Presger Translator; 2) Reet who is an orphan with strange urges to eat and/or dissect other people and who has strange DNA; and 3) Qven who was born among the Presger humans and was destined to become a Translator before getting sidetracked.

    Minor characters from previous books in the series show up which is nice. We also learn a lot about the Presger humans. We also learn that some humans no longer believe that the Presger are real; since because of the Treaty, they’re no longer a destabilizing force. And, of course, for many humans, if it didn’t happen right in front of their eyes, it’s not real.

    This book was not an immediate “Wow!” like “Ancillery Justice”, but it was a good addition to the series.

  23. I tried to read Reincarnation Blues. The first two thirds was really good and then it devolved into a slog of torture, slavery and other horrible things. It may get better but I’m not sure I have the patience to skip through it.

  24. I finished A Town Like Alice, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll probably read it twenty times more and enjoy it just as much each time.

    I then read a very meh book about saving a library – along the same lines as Bella Osborne’s The Library which I recommended a few weeks ago, but I enjoyed this one about ten times less. I’m glad I got it from the library rather than buying it.

    I then did a quick re-read of Rock Hard by Nalini Singh which, as I stated upthread, has its faults but is still very enjoyable.

    My current read is yet another re-read – Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell. I’d forgotten how wimpish the central character is at the start, but as memory serves she blossoms by the end.

    1. Re Osborne’s “The Library,” I mentioned it to a friend along with my whole zombie day after staying up late into the night, unable to put it down. She doesn’t use the library’s Interlibrary Loan system, so I offered to lend her my library copy, which wasn’t due for a couple of weeks. She dropped by and borrowed it, and the next I heard, she’d been up until 2:30am reading it, since she loved it like I do. Thanks again for recommending it!!

  25. C.J. Archer’s The Librarian of Crooked Lane left me torn. On the one hand, I didn’t really enjoy it. The narrative lacks focus and depth. There are multiple dialogs not needed by the plot and multiple scenes leading nowhere. The characters are all flat and emotionally distant. I couldn’t empathize with any of them.
    On the other hand, the story was fascinating, involving several subplots, and only one was resolved by the last page of the novel. The magic system was original: I have never encountered anything like it in any fantasy novel I’ve read. My curiosity is picked. I want to know how the other story lines unfold and how the magic and the heroine converge together. I might buy the second book of the series, after all.
    I’m continuing Amanda Quick’s re-read marathon. Her novel Deception was delightful. Engaging characters, both leads and secondary, intriguing plot line, high tension, and a satisfactory conclusion. I enjoyed it.

  26. The only book I read in the last couple of weeks that I can recommend turned out to be a romance that was pretty good. Love Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood, which I probably found because someone here recommended it but I can’t recall for sure. A fresh physics PhD who can’t get a job doing research is supporting herself by, in addition to teaching as an adjunct, working for a fake dating service (someone needs a date to a wedding so the relatives won’t find out he’s been lying to them about having a girlfriend so they won’t keep trying to fix him up sort of thing), but when she gets the chance to apply for a research position at MIT she discovers that her nemesis is on the hiring committee and the fake dating thing comes back to bite her. But way more in depth than that and I really enjoyed both the plot and the characters.

  27. ‘The Terror Before Trafalgar’ by Tom Pocock, a cracking good history of the period 1800-1805 focusing on England, France, and their naval engagements.
    ‘Cloud Ten’ by Fearne Hill, M/M contemporary workplace romance feat. an executive on the spectrum and an assistant masquerading as female (‘Tootsie’ in high-dollar construction), liked it, wishlisted the next in series.
    ‘Not That Complicated’ by Isabel Murray, M/M contemporary small-town English Bad 1st Impressions to lovers, plus dead bodies. Funny, decent character development, MC needs therapy.
    ‘Book Boyfriend’ by Kris Ripper, M/M contemporary set in NYC betraying some Britishisms, feat. cisgender MC with anxiety and genderqueer love interest on the rebound. I had some problems with this, essentially same problems I had with KR’s ‘The Love Study.’
    ‘Unrivaled” by Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James, M/M hockey romance in which MCs are on different teams and have a history of really, really not getting along. As in all by this writing team, people figure their shit out while accepting the help they need & learning to talk to each other. Thumbs up.
    ‘Barrow’s Boys: A Stirring Story of Daring, Fortitude, and Outright Lunacy’ by Fergus Fleming, a history of England’s polar explorations with a side of Africa; delivers exactly what it says on the tin.
    ‘All the Right Notes’ by Dominic Lim, my rec of the week. M/M contemporary featuring a thirtysomething musician and the one that got away…who happens to now be a movie star. All in one POV with interwoven past/present timelines that I didn’t find at all distracting. Stayed up till stupid o’clock to finish it so I could tell you about it today. 🙂 Will probably be in my top ten reads of 2023.

    1. That’s frustrating: All the Right Notes is only available as a very expensive paperback in the UK (or an audiobook, which I don’t go in for). No ebook. I’ll add the paperback to my wish list & cross my fingers.

      1. However, this did make me check my wish list, and some titles on there have now dropped their prices, so I’ve got several promising samples on my Kindle. Plus an armful of library books – hoping one or two will be good. I need a break from the old ebooks I’m ploughing through that mostly start well but go to pot halfway through. I keep thinking I’ve at last got something I can recommend here, and then it goes downhill like all the rest. Only a couple of dozen to go, though.

        1. That keeps happening to me too, it begins so well and then just peters out. I am gaining respect for people who get tired of trying new relationships. Even fictional ones are exhausting.

      1. BB’s POV character, the cisgender young man, does some stupid shit that is 100% in character as presented for his whole life. The love interest, who’s known POV guy for ages – they are Best Friends – also does some stupid shit. We see love interest through POV guy’s eyes, and their behavior + things they say do not lead him away from his course of action; he is led to, or finds it easy to, believe that love interest either knows or suspects the truth and will welcome the proposed action. Surprise, they don’t and don’t. They then flounce off to have a snit and the whole world (except, notably, his parents – I am their fan) blames POV guy for doing this thing. Even though the whole world a) has known forever that he’s in love with love interest and b) has known forever that he’s – as presented – on the demisexual / aromantic end of the spectra and c) has known forever that his ability to articulate his feelings is very, very poor.

        Like I said: it’s all in character. Anyway, let me stress that I thought the book is well-written and worth reading. But:

        The sliver under my nail was, as in ‘The Love Study,’ that the cisgender character with known issues is blamed for everything by (almost) everyone while the genderqueer love interest who in this case does almost identically stupid shit is Angelic Preciousness perceived as 100% in the right. They are both queer, but it felt to me like one is being faulted for being the wrong kind of queer.

        As you know, I like it when both MCs do equal amounts of work in a relationship and when they *really talk.* There is, in BB, a post-snit discussion in which a thing love interest said that was truly hurtful is called out and apologized for. But otherwise, eh. POV guy spends much of the book being very unhappy and I thought he deserved better.

        1. OK clear. Nothing you said turns me off the book so I will keep it on my list, but it’s probably not at the top of the list at this moment, given what you said.

  28. So happy for this group and their wonderful recommendations. I’d have missed out on Murderbot, Ancillary Justice and A Taste of Gold and Iron.

    After Gold and Iron, I’m reading Jessie Mihalik’s latest, Capture the Sun. It was a bit slow going at the beginning but the pace did pick up. I’m in a mood to just enjoy the story.

  29. I have the first Murderbot – haven’t read it yet; I want to be able to concentrate on it. Still haven’t taken The Goblin King plunge. On busy work days I burrow into rereads of Georgette Heyer and go back in time.
    I have been reading the (very long) unpublished manuscript by my Uncle Henry— Rumpole and the Crown Jewels. It is actually an enjoyable read- wants editing but the love for Rumpole and She Who Must be Obeyed really comes through. It is set in the ‘80’s during the engagement of Charles and Diana, and Hilda and Dodie are avidly following the Royals.

    And I’m late to the party but I added a few possible spy-related names of local businesses to the post from a couple of days ago.

  30. Thanks to my amazing accountability partner I have written as much as I’ve read! Yay!

    Started another Amanda Quick reread; the Burning Cove series.
    So far I’ve reread:
    The Girl Who Knew Too Much
    The Other Lady Vanishes
    Tight Rope
    & Close up

    Still to go:
    The Lady Has a Passt
    When She Dreams

    And just released in 5/2023
    The Bride Wore White

    I have enjoyed all of them!

    I also ordered the book on writing. Thanks for the rec, Jenny

    And, if you’re going to eat something before you die – why would it be worms? You’re a chocolate & bacon woman, remember!

  31. I’ve just finished Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, which I just loved. Coming on the heels of a long, long stretch where I’ve found it next to impossible to find any new reading that’s drawn me in, it was an absolute delight about an academic who struggles to deal with people and who takes herself off to the frozen wilds to research the last chapters she needs for her definitive Encyclopaedia on dryadology. Her annoyingly charismatic colleague, who may also be her only actual friend follows on her heels, and snow and faerie lore ensues. It sits somewhere between the Stariel books and Uprooted for me, and I think I’m going to have to get it in hardcopy to re-read.

      1. I’ve just put a hold on it after finding that my library does, indeed, have it. You just have to spell “encyclopaedia” without letting autocorrect take over. (Usually the search function offers alternative spellings! Not this time.)

  32. I’ve been reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which is fascinating and so well written. What an interesting woman she is.
    I’ve also been doing a stack of rereading. A Rake of His Own, The Year We Fell Down and The Year We Hid Away, all of them very satisfying and enjoyable.
    I tried the first Beverly Jenkins book too, Bring on the Blessings. It was a good read, very cosy, and the kids didn’t act out nearly enough for such traumatised children. But I’d quite like to read more in the series.

  33. This week’s good book was Role Playing by Cathy Yardley. A rom com that was actually funny and romantic, with lots of awwwwwww.

    1.99 is a steal for that craft book, woot!

  34. I’ve reread a couple of Georgette Heyer’s detective mysteries to look at her heroes. I’m impressed, as always, that Heyer can take a type, then make him an individual. Tons of fun to compare Randall in Behold Here’s Poison to Neville in A Blunt Instrument to Stephen in Envious Casca. I’m going to keep going through Duplicate Death and No Wind of Blame. I can’t remember whether there’s any love interest in Footsteps in the Dark — isn’t it about 2 couples in a “haunted” house?

    1. I’ve got a note to myself re Footsteps in the Dark: ‘not great; don’t reread’ – it’s her first detective story, and she hadn’t cracked it yet.

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