135 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, August 17, 2023

  1. Congratulations on finishing your umpteenth proofread of Pink. Can’t wait. I’m rereading Lavender so I am up to speed on who’s who and who did what before Pink arrives.

  2. Yay! Can’t wait for Rest In Pink.

    My hold on If Found Return to Hell came in, so I am working on reading that. I am struggling with the first person present tense, which I hate like poison, but otherwise I like it so far.

    And after much noodling around I am listening to another Trisha Ashley because I wanted something new but safe. She can be formulaic, but sometimes that is a good thing.

  3. Ditto on congrats on Pink proofreads 🙂

    Two excellent books in a row this week. Serendipitously after conversations earlier this week about stuff and attachment, I read Monica Byrne’s 2021 novel “The Actual Star” which has been on my tbr since it came out. This is a big thinky ambitious novel spanning three time periods, a 1012 Maya city, 2012 in Minnesota & Belize and a future global society in the year 3012. Serendipitous because the 3012 society in the novel is all about the principles of dispersion and non-attachment. It can be as easily read as a dystopia as a utopia but everyone has food, shelter and mutual aid and the author thought about what might need to be sacrificed to get there (including limiting possessions to what can be carried on foot). Fascinating.

    Then “Lavender’s Blue” finally arrived and I loved it – made me laugh lots and I’m really looking forward to Pink. Exactly what I needed to re-balance myself.

  4. I started reading the new Solar Clipper trilogy recommended by Gary H but there were references to people I had forgotten about so I have gone back to the beginning with Quarter Share and it is as satisfying as ever.

      1. Start earlier in the series as the SC Marva Collins series is mostly tying up a lot of things that happened in past books. I did not enjoy it as much as the earlier three series: The Shares books (Qtr Share, Half Share, etc), Smuggler’s Tales, and Seeker’s Tales.

  5. I read an SK Dunstall book called Stars Uncharted – liked it bit wasn’t as outstanding as the Linesman series so I’m moving on. Same story with another SE Harmon called Chrysalis. I’m reading the second book also but really not as outstanding as the Spectral Files series.

    Dodo, I read Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy – which was like additive candy so I promptly read the next one Sanctuary Found and downloaded the third. They really are a bit too sweet for me but…not resisting..

    I also read a short story by Lisa Henry, Now and Then.

    1. I really enjoyed stars uncharted. I found the whole body modification concept really fascinating.

      1. I did find it interesting. And not as interesting as the linesman concept. Plus it wasn’t as fundamental to the plot. More like a really big side element. And I loved the MC in Linesman so much!

        Anyway, I’m listening to another series that I’ll be sure to report back on – have great hopes for it – Terminal Alliance – great so far but I’m only on chapter eight. And you know how things can fade way sometimes.

        1. The janitors of the Apocalypse. I loved that book but didn’t feel compelled to read the sequels. I go one of my sons on those and he is planning to read the rest so I’ll see what he says 🙂

          1. My husband leaves the verb out entirely and only says about things he likes: “It good.”

    2. I’d doenloaded the second book after Locked up in Silence but got sidetracked by Cloud White by Fearne Hill. Loved it. Hadn’t expected that at all (a fem and a bearded barrister, not what I usually go for…).
      The story of Milo and Mungo, side characters in Cloud 10 and Cloud 9. Wanted to check where they appeared there and got hooked into re-reding those.
      But can you imagine – no hockey!!

        1. There’s rather a floodof hockey titles these days but it gets harder to find brilliant ones, isn’t it?

          Thankfully, real life hockey starts soonish. Pre-season has begun here.
          And there’s a nice series of talks with Kraken players /ads around Filson (?). My favourite goalie working as volunteer with horses… saw it with dh and he liked it, too.

    3. Tammy, I didn’t like Stars Uncharted as much as the Linesman series on my first read, but I ended up loving it on my second read, and went on to read the second book in the series. I think Linesman is still my favourite, but Stars Uncharted and its sequel comes in a very close second these days.

  6. I reread VoaT Book 3 and started a reread of book 4, the book in progress. This is the serial. Everything else this week was gardening stuff and YouTube videos and Netflix.

  7. While waiting for Pink like everyone else I’m reading random smutty fluff. Some good, some bad, but none outstanding.
    Off topic, but Jenny– isn’t it time to update your author profile? You have more than 20 novels now, and you no longer live in a cottage in New Jersey. Progress, right?

        1. I live in the state of denial. Or is it confusion? It’s Florida, so maybe the state of chaos.

          1. Me, too, Joyce. Florida EXPENSIVE chaos. Can’t believe how much everything has gone up. Read a report that says the highest rates of inflation / price increase in the USA are in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

            Which is the current locale of Casa Clever Cherry.

  8. I’m listening to “The Estate of the Beckoning Lady” by Margery Allingham, it has one of my favorite fictional parties, and I wish I had been able to attend.

    1. Oh yes… I strive for that feel but of course I can’t provide beaded vests, children carrying champagne, art displays, masks, or dead bodies.

    2. I always wished I could attend, and now that I think of it, it’s because I’m sure they would have let me be shy in a corner.
      Another one for the tbr Again stack.

  9. I listened to Hitting the Wall by Cate C Wells; a Stonecut County. Worth a read.

    Finished my Crusie reread with Fast Women.

    Moved on to an Amanda Quick reread with Seduction and Surrender. Both excellent. Will continue on this path with more AQ rereads.

  10. I usually sidestep any Mafia book but was intrigued by the titles in this series. They all start with The Woman in/with/on —- by Jessica Gadziala. A bit humorous, not too much “business” but gets the job done. Some of the storyline could be considered a bit wonky, but it is fiction, people. The couple always work their way to their HEA. Lots of characters who I hope to get their own story.

    Lavender’s Blue is Jenny and Bob’s return to the written page like they haven’t been apart for so many years. I hope the list of characters will be included in future books. I’ve always liked that feature and use it frequently to keep them straight in my head.

      1. Haven’t seen him in person in fifteen years. Heard his voice twice on conference calls with our agent. Much better this way, we try to kill each other when we’re in reaching distance.

  11. Congratulations, Jenny! That has to be a record! We will all appreciate your efforts in a few days. I can’t wait.

    I reread Tell Me Lies. The characters and the very gradual hints into all the lies the community, her family, and her friends have told Maddie over the years lead to some logical, if kinky, conclusions. I love that CL and Three are there for Em when Maddie is overwhelmed. I love that Treva has been stressing for years over something that just doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things. I love Henry and Anna, Gran, and Maddie’s ever-watchful mother. Small town life!

  12. At this point I’m counting the days until I can order Pink 🩷. My balance until then is, no lie, finishing The New Testament 😁. Grounding.

  13. Due to being stuck indoors with a heatwave I have read 3 good books! First up, Maisey Yates’ Brokedown Cowboy. Friends to lovers with grief recovery, she does emotional journeys so very well with lots of humor and humanity and hope. After which I read T Kingfisher’s newest, Thorn Hedge, a sleeping beauty retelling with more twists than a pretzel and a very sweet romance. And last but not least Lucy Parker’s new Codename Charming, with the sister and bodyguard who meet in Battle Royal. Codename stands alone, you do not have to have read Battle, but you’ll want to. A wonderful happily ever after journey for two characters who utterly deserve it. Bonus points for the sweary parrot and the cat.

    1. I love Lucy Parker.
      I’m listening to Codename Charming despite the disappointing narration. The characters and charm are carrying me forward, but this book would be better on page.

      Rereading Lavender to be ready for Pink next week!

  14. I plan to read Thornhedge on the plane to CA . Last night I bought all four of Katherine Addison’s Melusine books because they had a one day super low sale. The prices are higher today but still heavily discounted for those who want to check them out.

    I expect to do a lot of online reading about various artists we saw at the Baltimore Visionary Arts Museum.

    And I’m rereading Deep Secret and plan to reread more Diana Wynne Jones, in honor of DS’ toast last weekend.

    1. I love that book (Deep Secret by DW Jones) and its sequel. And also love the Visionary Arts Museum. We are on the same frequency.

    2. I loved the Melusine series and…warning…they are very complex and very dark. Sarah Monette does not have the same tone as Katherine Addison at all.

          1. Love these as well. The first time I read the third one I didn’t like the change in perspective but on re-reading I really came to appreciate Mehitabel’s voice. Dark and angsty but also wonderfully focused on the emotional lives of the characters, unusually so for a non-romance.

            Monette also did a short story collection I rather liked: “Somewhere Beneath Those Waves”, although some of the stories were sad.

          1. On the other hand, Eliot Grayson’s latest, Corin and the Courtier, about an interspecies M/M romance between a human and a dragon shifter is an almost no-plot smutty romp and I totally think it would be your jam.

    3. I read Thornhedge yesterday, and it did not disappoint. Sympathetic characters, intelligent writing, a twist on the trope, suffused with kindness.

      The price stung a little–$11.99 for a novella–but that’s trad publishing. It didn’t stop me auto-buying, but it did make me even more grateful that Jenny has decided to go indie. Lavender’s Blue is probably twice as long for half the price.

      1. Lavender’s Blue came in long. At 120,000 words. Pink is 96,000 or so. Vermillion– well, Jenny is still tinkering with it.

  15. I also re-read my own book A LOT this past week, a protector romance under a pen name that released today. I also read several books by my comp authors in that space: Susan Stoker (trad author), and then the indies: Anna Hackett, Brittney Sahin, Riley Edwards.

    I’ve read them all before, but this time around am studying the books more closely because when I write the next series, I plan to be more on-point in the genre. (I stumbled into realizing that was the closest genre to whatever the hell it was I wrote in book 1, so I was not strategic about the series.) If anyone here reads those authors, please share your favorites with me.

    1. I’ve read a few books by Hackett – my favorite is a Christmas novella “Winter Fusion”. Also liked “At Star’s End”.

  16. Reading The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard – first in a series of 5 and she has written a lot.
    Recommended here? If so, thank you! This is a long delicious book. Right now the series is much cheaper on Kindle than I paid for the first (kindle edition) novel in the series.
    I read her memoir, Slim Stream, many years ago, having picked it up in a second hand book in England. I didn’t like it nearly as much as I like The Light Years, but the memory of it has stayed with me.
    If you like EM Delafield or Barbara Pym, I predict that you will like The Light Years.

    1. Hmm, I love Delafield and can’t stand Pym. I’ve been vaguely aware of Howard, mostly through the nice things Martin Amis said about her – might give The Light Years a go.

    2. I love The Light Years! All of the books in the series are great, except I really didn’t enjoy All Change, the final book. I prefer to think of it as a four book series and that All Change doesn’t exist.

    3. I’m currently rereading the Cazalet chronicles. I love these books. She was such a fantastic writer and funny. The children are just brilliant in The Light Years.

  17. I’ve been listening to a cozy series by Molly MacRae. Loved book 1. Book 2 is topically a bit sadder than book 1, so I’m not sure if it’s not quite as good or if I’m just not enjoying it as much.

  18. I reread some of the Rivers of London books and watched a Korean rom-com called King the Land. It was good but reading subtitles meant I couldn’t work on others things while watching it.

  19. Like others, I’ve re-read some of Diana Wynne Jones novels – “Deep Secret”, “The Merlin Conspiracy” and “Eight Days of Luke”.

    I’m now re-reading C.J. Cherryh’s “Rider at the Gate”, the first book in her 2-book Finisterre series where human colonists are trying to survive in a world filled with telepathic creatures. No alien civilization though. This seems to Cherryh’s foray into the human – telepathic animal bonding genre, and it highlights the main problem with the bond. Telepathic animals have no notion about privacy, so if one bonded animal knows something, everyone with a bonded animal in range is going to know about it.

  20. In an effort to be less distractible so I could crank out some new chapters (successful), I re-read a ton of my own stuff this week. (sub-purpose, loading up Kindle 2 with my own stuff so I can hand it to my bestie who’s coming with me to Steamy Lit Con. She gives ‘distractible’ new meaning but swears she wants to read some of my shit, so: here ya go, baby!)

    In non-fiction, the short and fascinating ‘Alan Rickman on Jaques,’ single-interview release from Shakespeare On Stage series/compilation by Julian Curry (must read more of these). Recommended to read ‘As You Like It’ first, but if you just want to fangirl / fanboy Alan Rickman, works excellently for that.

    In romance, New Adult M/M ‘You’re a Mean One, Matthew Prince’ by Timothy Janofsky. I liked his ‘Never Been Kissed’ a lot, so this was on my wishlist; grabbed it on sale. Takes some getting into and also some mindful reading – the POV (title) character is a directionless rich brat, 21yo, banished from NYC to his grandparents’ Berkshires house after some extreme financial misconduct. This MC has a generalized anxiety disorder fueled by a lifetime of parental neglect / manipulation that’s a very short step from outright abuse. The love interest is a local college student temporarily housed by the grandparents. Forced proximity, holiday, terrible first impressions-to-lovers (via getting manipulated, again, into organizing the town’s holiday charity gala), then a huge and mostly one-sided blowup precipitated by Rich Mom, who’s a pretty irredeemable character. Anyway, it’s a good book and the development of the romance worked for me, as did the post-blowup reconciliation. POV character also gets to say some well-deserved harsh words to his parents on his way to finding a direction.

  21. Somehow I downloaded a kindle unlimited version of a book called The 13th Witch by Mark Hayden, probably a suggestion from Amazon after I had downloaded a sample of some other book, but if it’s kindle unlimited then I can just download the whole thing. Well my wife stumbled across it and mentioned that she was really enjoying it. So I tried it out after I had finished whatever else I was reading. And it was really good! And there are sequels, as well as interstitial short stories. So I’ve spent the past week reading the first five books of the series, and some of the short stories.

    Here’s the thing. I’m usually one of those people who when discovering that the pick I have started reading isn’t the first one of a series has to go back and start the series from the beginning. And while The 13th Witch was book one of The King’s Watch several of the characters and background incidents mentioned, like the main characters girlfriend, have such detailed back stories that it seemed as if there had been previous stories about them. So I looked them up and it turns out there is a previous two trilogies by Mark Hayden, the DCI Morton series and the DCI Morton/Conrad Clarke series. And Conrad Clarke is the main character of The King’s Watch. But The 13th Witch is book one of The King’s Watch and in it Conrad Clarke, medically retired RAF helicopter pilot, is introduced to the world of magic when Odin the AllFather taps him on the shoulder and asks for a help in repaying a debt. One of the ways to enables this is by giving Conrad just enough magical power to make a mouse sneeze. So the previous two series are not urban fantasy, but mystery/crime/action/adventure, and this new series is urban fantasy. So I decided to just keep reading the urban fantasy series, though I will likely go back and read the previous series after I finish it. And other characters from Conrad’s pre-magic adventures keep showing up. So if you decide to read this series you might want to start with Conrads pre-magic series, or you might not. I haven’t read them yet so I don’t know.

    In The 13th Witch Conrad Clarke is a 37 year medically retired RAF helicopter pilot who is a loose ends after recovering from a grenade that blew part of his leg off. He now has a titanium shinbone. And Odin, the AllFather, appears in his previously entirely mundane life, as far as he knew, and gave him just enough mage ability to qualify for The King’s Watch, a seriously understaffed magical police agency that had grown out of the Witchfinders of years past, headed by The Peculier Constable. Yes, that’s Peculier with an E. And the favor Odin wants from him is to apply for a position with them, thus the just enough mage gift to qualify for an audition, because completing the audition assignment is what will help Odin repay the favor he owes. And, despite having almost no magic now, instead of no magic at all, Conrad is extremely competent and resourceful. The characters are really great, the world building is excellent and the mysteries, both short term and overarching, are very interesting.

    1. That sounds good Gary. I like a character with little magic who doesn’t magically gain more in order to solve his problems later on in the story

  22. I just finished Give Me A Sign, a book about hearing-impaired/Deaf teens at summer camp. Probably needed more plot to keep me remembering the book later, but it was overall done pretty well. There’s a scene mid-book where our hard-of-hearing narrator got her hearing aids wet, had to take them out, and then goes to a convenience store, doesn’t hear what the clerk is saying but assumes she’s just asking if they want the receipt, and then police get called. That was about the one part that was pretty gripping/concerning.

    I did laugh when the inevitable “camp might go out of business” problem is solved by some not-named famous Deaf actress donated money, though. Gee, I wonder who?

  23. Karen Healey’s Bespoke and Bespelled was a paranormal romance novella, sweet and short. It has a sewing machine on the cover, which makes it almost unique in indie book publishing. The heroine, Marnie, is a 40+ costume maker in TV and film. And she has fabric magic. Not a bad combination, especially when paired with Rider – a gorgeous male film star – on a set where everything goes wrong. Marnie suspects sabotage magic. But while she is looking for a villain, she works hard to fix everything she can, both with her magic and her needle. Plus her budding romance with Rider. A light and charming tale.
    Continuing with my project of re-reading Amanda Quick, I read her Mistress this week. This historical romantic suspense was quick and satisfying.
    After Mistress, the next book I read was another historical romance – Alexa Aston’s To Heal an Earl. This one couldn’t compare with anything by Quick. In fact, the writing was barely adequate. I struggled to finish it.
    And then I made a pleasant discovery – S.L. Prater’s Wedded to the Wanton Witch. I don’t remember why I decided to buy this book – maybe it was free on BookBub – but I didn’t expect much when I started it. True to my expectations, it felt barely readable at first. But I kept reading, and the more I read the more I liked it. After finishing this novel, I can tell with absolute certainty: I enjoyed this story, this delightful mishmash of historical romance, fantasy, and epistolary genres. It was funny and intriguing and sweet. It is described on GoodReads as #3 in a series, and I’m definitely going to buy #1 and #2. If I like them as much, I’ll watch this writer in the future.

    1. I reread Mistress periodically as well. JAK/Amanda Quick during that era of her writing was just so much fun.

    2. I’m doing an Amanda Quick reread of several books. I was reminded how much I loved Seduction. That is the one where a madam is going to print the heroes love notes to her from years ago & the heroine challenges the madam to a duel.

      I love Amanda Quick & JAK & Jayne Castle.

  24. A few disappointing reads, including a boring and bland chick lit that I didn’t even care enough about to skim to the end. I disliked both main characters and thought they deserved each other, but not in a good way.

    The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies is my current read, and I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. The main character is gutsy and unconventional but Alison Goodman writes so well that Gus doesn’t annoy me the way a lot of other main characters in recent historical novels have. Gus has lost her faith and her father, may be losing her sister too, and throws her energies into helping women in perilous situations, while falling for an exiled nobleman who was convicted of murder and transported to Australia. My description doesn’t do it justice – and I haven’t finished it yet so it may yet crash and burn – but so far, it’s a definite recommendation from me.

  25. Technically I read this a few weeks ago, but I keep forgetting to comment on Thursday, and it was such a good book!!

    It’s “The Opposite of Drowning” by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese. Theoretically it’s a fun workplace romance set in the publishing world (that actually seems to get publishing right, as an industry) but it’s got this deliciously timeless, vaguely spooky vibe going on underneath.

    She’s a young Grace Kelly style WASP from an important family who’s trying to enjoy her last gasp of professional and personal freedom at this new job in NYC, before marrying and settling into the life everyone expects her to have. He’s a jaded, grumpy editor in his late forties who’s got a great friend group…and not much else. At first he thinks his crush on his young, gorgeous, hyper-competent colleague is cliche but harmless, if he doesn’t do anything about it. But when she seems like she might like him back, both of their lives kind of explode, in ways they haven’t intended.

    I don’t want to give too much away, except that the Hero is obsessed with history and ghost-stories, and that lends certain scenes a beautifully eerie, timeless vibe (at one point he’s half convinced they cause a natural disaster every time they have sex). It’s an expansive story about people who have to go off the beaten path to find their happiness, both when that comes to love and everything else.

    Anyway. HIGHLY recommend.

    1. A search on The Opposite of Drowning got me The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Er, what??? Apparently the only thing my library has by these authors is Ink and Ice. I was try that later.

        1. Yeah, I think it’s an indie. I got it off of Kindle. One of their earlier books (A Queen from the North) won some sort of indie book award the year it was published.

  26. I have read the first chapter of Lavender’s Blue, since my hold came in last night, and I must be careful not to read too late tonight because the alarm goes off at four-thirty.

    I’m rereading Witch King and enjoying it much more this time now that I know what’s happening. And the snark is delicious.

  27. I am rereading Ann Swinfen’s Oxford Medieval Mystery series. There are six books, starting with The Bookseller’s Tale, each with a mystery, each tracking a different aspect of daily life and each tracking Nicholas Elyot’s low key romance. Nicholas is twenty five with two children. His wife died in the plague four years earlier. You learn a lot about Oxford and book selling and making in the fourteenth century. I love this series.

    1. I really enjoyed The Bookseller’s Tale, Jessie. I thought the depiction of post-plague life was so affecting, and I really liked Nicholas as a character. I haven’t read any of the others yet.

      1. They are all good. The second one, The Novice’s Tale is even better. Although they are all good. The exploration of everyday life really captures what it must have been like.

  28. I have had a very book filled week. Partly because that darn library tends to fulfill holds all at the same time. I was trying to reread lavender then a Patricia Wentworth came up (Summerhouse), an Abby Waxman (I was told this would get easier), and then an Abby Jimenez (Part Of your world). Waiting are two mysteries in paper from the library and the latest Lucy Parker. Whew.

  29. I’ve had a good reading week, starting with a reread of Anne Bishop’s Marked in Flesh. Then Kim Fielding’s Astounding, which I think Chachal recommended. It’s an MM romance, with the impoverished editor of a failing SF magazine falling for a man who turns out to be an alien. It’s very sweet and I enjoyed it a lot.

    Then I read Subway Slayings by CS Poe, the second in the series about a detective with a massive anxiety disorder, and a forensic artist. This was another really good one – recommended by Tammy – and I’m so loving this series.

    Now I’m halfway through Dick Francis’s The Edge, which is suitably competent, exciting and dangerous.

  30. Rereading Lavender’s Blue in anticipation of Rest in Pink. Up popped a pre-order Miss Prim and the Duke of Wilde, Stephanie Laurens. Had forgotten I ordered it. Haven’t read many new historicals in a while. The premise seems to have a few points similar to Devil’s Bride, someone unknown, out to kill one of the main characters. Ordered The Shadow Earl recommended last Thursday. And, purchased The Beckoning Lady. Like a good Allingham. Contemporary, historical, and mystery. Should hold me for a while.

  31. What have I read lately? The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies, recommended here. I liked it. The sisters’ adventures are amazing and purposeful as they involve women’s secondary and often dangerous place in society.

    And KJ Charles Think of England. Another Argh recommendation.

    Ciji Wares’s American Spy Sisters series (the third one’s due out soon). Another author who ‘walks the terrain. I don’t usually read WW II fiction but have always enjoyed her books and these didn’t disappoint.

    I’ll be rereading Lavender soon. And then Pink. Yay!

    1. In Benevolent, does it bother anyone that the hero was robbing a coach and that basically gets handwaved away?

      1. The whole thing was too contrived for me. Too much plot – one of the stories, or maybe two, would’ve worked better.

  32. Five of my holds from the library popped up simultaneously in a week where I spent way too much time on hold with insurance companies, which I found rather frustrating. The best of the bunch so far is To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai. Although I didn’t find it quite as diverting as her first 3 novels, the main characters were interesting, the minor characters were kooky and it usually managed to distract me from an incredibly discouraging week.

  33. I read my notes—over and over again—for a presentation I had to give at a conference.

    On the plane on the way home I read part of an old Elizabeth Cadell book, but gave up at a “Big Misunderstanding.” I’ll finish the book eventually, just not today. For now, I’m trying to read all of the clutter that accumulated in my inbox while I was off at the aforementioned conference.

  34. Completely off-genre, but just read Willie Nelson, My Life, and enjoyed it enormously. Humble, contrary and funny. A great read. Re-reading Bet Me (one of my favourites) and also some of the Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series (these are like Crack-Cocaine for readers) and Georgette Heyer’s Venetia which I have read a thousand times now. Wet week in Ireland (shocker!). Happy Friday all.

      1. This is true, including comic books, screenplays, roadside signs, the backs of boxes, graffiti . . .

    1. Helen, I loved the Willie Nelson book as well! And I am not a country music fan at all. After watching Ken Burn’s excellent documentary, Willie’s book just called me. What an interesting life.

  35. Do you know if Rest In Pink is going to be available in physical formats? (Sorry if this was asked and answered somewhere else, I couldn’t find it.)

      1. Pink is a lot like the Scarlet Pimpernel: very elusive until it is ready to come out.

  36. Discovered new regency author who gets it right and surprises with a love triangle — editors used to say “only one love for heroine” which Sophie Irwin neatly subverts. She uses fresh language too. Still regency but not your normal tropes. I didn’t know I was bored by the sameness of the language until she changed it in absolutely energizing ways. She only has two books and I read the second one first which was fine. I liked better but Goodreads folk all like first one more. No sex! I’m hoping for a series…the titles make it sound like: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting (1) and A Lady’s Guide to Scandal (2). She came by Georgette Heyer in college, fell in love and wrote dissertation on Heyer. I think.

  37. I’m getting to the end of my Sophie Kinsellathon: currently making my second attempt at reading her “Wedding Night” book, which features two female MCs who are sisters.

    It’s not as easy to grasp at a first read as the previous ones I’d read — partly because of the dual MCs, whose chapters (at least at first) alternate, so I’m figuring out one person’s situation, then getting precipitated into another’s. Both are moving out of one serious relationship that has soured, and then working through the beginnings (or continuations) of another one, and both are older than her sweet-spot 20-somethings.

    And can I just say that these sister-to-sister relationships seem to be eluding me? I have been the sister of sisters all my life, but we interact much differently than these sisters. They are each spilling the most embarrassing information about their relationship challenges (partly because the plot involves a bunch of ‘omigod NOW what do I do?’ humorous predicaments) and yet neither one seems to have caught on to the notion that relationships need to be built, in a mutual way rather than an ‘is THIS my Prince Charming?’ way.

    At any rate, I’m going to finish this book after starting it twice before, but I think it’s not going to be up in my constellation of fun Kinsella novels to recommend. Am I getting this all wrong, though?

    1. Nope. I have read Wedding Night once (years ago) and didn’t really care for it, so I don’t think you’re missing anything. I still own it though, so I might read it again to see if my view is still the same.

      1. Some of it is very funny in its way, but the sisters were having such a hard time of it that it wasn’t as amusing as it might have been.

  38. Connie Willis’s new book, The Road to Roswell, started off the way all her books do. Everyone somewhat lost, conversational interruptions, missed connections and then went completely off the rails around chapter 3. I couldn’t follow her this time, but perhaps others will feel differently.

    Finishing the summer semester and getting reading for fall start, so not much reading time, but I am looking forward to Rest in Pink. Also have John Scalzi’s Starter Villian and the new Wells Murderbot novel in ARC form, so will try to sneak those in soonish.

  39. I just finished The Day of Battle, the history of the Army in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1945. Brutal fighting. Rick Atkinson is a master of the details of history. Sometimes too much detail.

      1. I’m guessing Bob means the US Army, Jan. My dad served in the 10th Mtn. division of the US Army in Italy during that period, but saw no active combat, brutal or otherwise. He was on skis in the Italian Alps, so not a bad place to spend a battle-free war.

    1. His new series on the American Revolutionary war is also first-rate. The British are Coming is volume 1.

  40. I re-read The Wee Free Men and A Hatful of Sky (Pratchett’s Tiffany books).
    Still trying find my copy of Carpe Jugulum.

  41. Hi Jenny. I was just reading the sample for Rest in Pink and it says:

    this is where Navy Blue had driven through the old rails and died, and (blank) had tried to kill Liz and George and gone through the temporary barrier and survived.

    I don’t remember (blank) trying to kill George?

  42. I’m rereading Lavender’s Blue in preparation for Rest In Pink. It resonates in interesting ways since I just threw that three day celebration and then spent 4 days taking DD’s new in-laws sight seeing. It makes me feel like a better mom :-). At least I don’t spend DD’s visits picking at her.

    And I’m reading weather alerts because we are in Santa Barbara County for another family event and Hurricane Hilary is expected to land Sunday ish as a tropical storm. The storm alert is much more detailed than I recall for Hurricanes in the DC area where we live, probably because it’s the first ever tropical storm warning for southern Cal. Both scary and a little funny.

    1. Also I’m wondering when Vince got his diner. It seems an awfully complicated set up to do in the six months since he arrived in town.

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