This is a Good Book Thursday, September 7, 2023

The good book I’m reading this week is Rocky Start, which is a relief because I’m also reading Vermillion under the gun. Never again do we schedule books so close together. It seemed like a good idea because I hate waiting for the next book in a series–the next Murderbot isn’t out until November–but I need more time with Vermillion. I’m freaking out, Bob was patient while we had a disagreement over the giant red bear, and then he decided to gaslight me by animating the bear with lightning on the cell tower–you know, you really don’t want to know the details on that.

Distract me from the giant reanimated teddy bear: what did did you read this week?

112 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, September 7, 2023

  1. Right now I’m having trouble reading emails much less finishing a book. So far I love the bride wore white. But I’m only getting about 30 pages a day. I’m not used to being slow. My friend brought me and said they’re auditing her taxes. I have to look up what went wrong. I’m assuming there’s a document missing but I can’t do any of that until I have my computers. My manager brought me and said I had to fill out these forms so I can get paid for the incredibly over the long audition but I can’t do that on the phone because it doesn’t seem to be a fill in-able form. I have to wait until I leave rehab. I changed my tickets for Peter Pan Gone Wrong to September 17. Not until the last minute was I able to admit to myself that there was no way I was getting out of here by September 5. The pain and the drugs have really slowed me down. I haven’t even done the octordle the last five days so I will come back to this post and read what everybody else is reading.

    1. Hang on, Susan! Keep us up to date. Perhaps you could lower those high expectations you have of yourself. You CAN’T do everything as usual and solve all problems from your bed in rehab: put yourself first.

      You impress me with your tenacity. (I have no problem sitting back and letting others take care of me.) But take care, please.

    2. I did the same thing, Susan, when I had my hip replacement in April. For some reason, I thought I would bounce out of bed and be all better. The first two weeks post-surgery were made worse by the burden of my (extremely faulty) expectations. Keep up the slow and steady progress!

    3. Dvds of Bugs Bunny saved my life after I had lung surgery. Each cartoon was 6 minutes long, which is the most you should expect of yourself right now. Give yourself a chance to heal without any other expectations.

    1. The reanimated bear? I don’t think he really wrote it, I think he was just gaslighting me.
      No, I will not ask to see it. Bleah.

  2. I finished Rest in Pink, of course I read the sample chapters and I am hoping that you really do get done with Vermilion asap, can’t wait to read it. I am hoping that Cash Porter really experiences intense and continuous pain.

    Last week I also finished a re-read. This year I am re-reading 60 books and doing a short podcast on each book. It was because I have been freaking out about being 60 next year. Big birthdays were never a big deal for me – 30, I got married, 40, I had two small boys to run after, and moved countries, 50, I was running after two larger boys and dealing with a money-pit of a house and a crazy job and the weirdness of living on a small island. But here is 60 creeping up, and I have a ton of unfinished projects, a big job and still, two boys to help launch themselves into worthwhile adulthood…There are questions, like am I in my last job? What will I do if I don’t keep working? Plus am breadwinner for 5 people (husband, sons and mother). The podcast took me back to childhood, and it was great whilst I was rereading short books like Where the Wild things Are.

    But last week’s re-read was a book I fell in love with 20 years ago when it was published, and it is just as good this time. If you haven’t read A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly, I highly recommend it, it is a beautiful, tough story of a young woman working her way through the thickets in turn of the century Adirondacks. I taught that book to nearly every class I taught for years because Mattie and her friend Weaver are amazing.

  3. I read Rest in Pink and found myself falling even more deeply in love with Vince. I dunno – he just got a lot of good lines in this book – what’s not to love. So I’m guilty of wishing Vermillion was coming out even sooner…shoot me.

    I also read Once Upon a Prince, thank you Chacha1 for the reco. A sweet sci fi novella retelling the Cinderella story from an M/M robot point of view.

    And I read Kit Sawyer – you were right, Lupe, totally fun and sweet and not as good as the Spectral Files series. Then I got inspired to start her PI series – but am having trouble even finishing the first book.

    1. Once Upon a Prince sounds interesting. Do you know the author? It seems to be a popular title and I can’t find the one you’re referring to.

  4. I am reading Rest in Pink too but I am not finished yet because I was busy rereading all of Nathan Lowell solar clipper series in order to read the last one and it took me a while.

    I did enjoy the latest trilogy and it provided a good conclusion to Ishmael, Pip, Natalya and Zoya’s adventures.
    I especially enjoyed the discussions about learning in the second book as it is the kind of questions I ponder with my colleagues every year.

    I know that some people found Ishmael too perfect but he isn’t really and I think you see that more as the series progress. He does get incredibly rich though to the point where it gets a bit ridiculous :).

  5. Was disappointed by a couple of library books – which I stupidly speed-read to the end instead of giving up early on. Then I reread Five Red Herrings (Dorothy Sayers) because I’m going to Kirkcudbright on Saturday. Ended up skimming rather, because it’s a puzzle book rather than being about the characters. But it was interesting to see what the area was like in 1930 – and Lord Peter & Bunter stayed in a cottage off the main street, just as we’re going to, though I’ve no doubt theirs was grander.

    Tried a couple of samples and then fell back into the Tyack & Frayne series by Harper Fox; just about to start book 9 (of 12). M/m + supernatural mysteries, with a great Cornish setting & community. They go a bit all over the place, but hoping she’ll pull it all together by the end.

    1. I enjoyed the first Tyack and Frayne book, Jane, but didn’t realise it was a novella until it came to an end. I like bigger books – are they all novellas?

      1. They’re mostly short novels, but variable in length. They add up to a really big book, with the supernatural threads and the central characters’ understanding of themselves and their families arcing through the series.

    2. The bit I liked in “Five Red Herrings” was the community of painters including the one who was completely sanguine about the possibility of arrest yet panicked at the idea of being trapped into marriage. 🙂

  6. Still reading Rest In Pink, but got sidetracked by a sample of When the Game Was War. I haven’t bought it yet, but probably will. I’m Hoosier enough for basketball to be special, and this Rich Cohen book is all about that specialness.

  7. I read Rest in Pink too and savored it. I didn’t rush through it and completely loved it.

    Then I read the next in line of the Alanea Adler”s Bewitched and Bewildered series and enjoyed it, but the next comes out next year and the series feels like it’s starting to drag a bit. But I think this is like book 14 or something

  8. Similar to Susan, I am having trouble making headway. The day job is eating up a lot of my headspace. I’m still working on Rest In Pink. After that, CM Nascosta has a new one out about the headless horseman. Spooky smutty fun, so I have that to look forward to. And I am almost finished with Harmon’s Spooky Series. I will have to find a new audiobook soon.

    We did watch Penelope, a movie from my youth that I had forgotten about. It held up to the ravages of time, I am happy to say. Christina Ricci is born with pig nose because of a witch’s curse on her family. The story is good, with a twist. I like all the characters and the sets and costumes are to die for. So that was a fun trip into nostalgia and magic.

  9. I’m slowly re-reading Rest in Pink. The book is full of good lines. Such a treat, and so much fun. I also read, To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis. Thanks, Jenny, for recommending her. I switched between reading and listening to the audiobook which was narrated by Steven Crossly who is an outstandingly talented narrator.

  10. I was determined to finish R.I.P. yesterday during my Working Wednesday day drama. (I think the washing machine had to stop and re-sync itself because I opened it to put another piece of clothing inside and it got confused.) I’d like to know if a tin roof sundae is an Ohioan thing. I had to stop reading and give it a think, what would New Englanders put on a similar sundae. And it came to me, Boston Baked Beans the sugary peanut kind not the Saturday night special. I remember getting red skinned peanuts (Spanish) from the 5 & 10 cent store (Woolworths) for a nickel hot and salty in small paper bag as a kid. They were also sold on Boston Common and then to be hounded by pigeons. Boston Baked Beans (peanuts) were sold in a box.

    Now the wait for One in a Vermillion and my new book heartthrob Vince.

    1. It may be a Midwest thing, because I’ve heard of it, here in Kansas. Dairy Queen makes a version of it called a Peanut Buster Parfait, that is layers of fudge sauce, ice cream and red skin peanuts.

    2. You hit my nostalgia button, Mary. Spanish peanuts gobbled down while walking to the T station and the crowded ride home. Speaking of The Commons, are you old enough to remember Bailey’s across the street? with its small marble bistro tables and little metal sundae bowls oozing and dripping hot fudge sauce and gooey marshmallow topping. A treat after shopping at Filene’s Basement with my grandmother. Thank you.

    3. There was an ice cream franchise called Farrell’s that made tin roof sundaes. Since Farrell’s originated in Portland and I have only seen them in Washington and Oregon, I don’t know if they were any place else. They also made a choffee ice cream soda, i. e. coffee ice cream with chocolate soda, that was heavenly.

      But as for tin roof sundaes, there was a local pharmacy when I was small that had a soda fountain and I believe they also offered tin roof sundaes, along with banana splits and banana Royale sundae, which I don’t remember the ingredients which is bizarre because I can generally remember food composition for decades, even when I can’t remember people or gifts I have given or received (Me: Where did this come from? Him: I gave it to you for your birthday two years ago).

        1. When I was in high school (early 1970’s) we would go to Farrell’s after performances of school plays and variety shows. Since this was on the other side of town, you had to be sure an upperclassman was involved because they were the only ones who had a license or access to a car.

      1. They had one in Minnesota. I also remember reading a teen magazine with an article on Donny Osmond describing a date at Farrells. Swoon. Donny Osmond AND ice cream.

  11. I sent Hubby and the boys back-to-school shopping and the youngest, who remembered how much I enjoyed reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder during our camping trip last year, bought me the sequel!

    So I’m reading Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson.

  12. I took my time with Rest in Pink and loved it. I deliberately did NOT read the chapters of Vermillion included in the back, because I know I have to wait for the rest of the book. I then started on Someone to Love by Mary Balogh, my first foray into the Westcott family. That dad was a piece of work – good thing he’s dead already!

    1. I always liked Anna’s self-possession in “Someone to Love”, and its interesting to see the the lost heiress trope turned on its head.

  13. This week I DNF’ed three books in a row and was feeling grumpy and world-weary about All Books in General.

    Then my library holds started rolling in, and I read two books that I loved loved LOVED: The first was “Love, Theoretically” by Ali Hazelwood, about a nice girl sort-of-employed as an underpaid but way overworked adjunct professor running among three different urban colleges and constantly grading papers in her spare time. To make ends meet, she works as a Fake Girlfriend on Saturdays: (‘hire me to go to reunions or family dinners when you want to look successful at love and life — [Absolutely NO SEX Involved!]’). She runs into the brother of one of her clients at one of those events, then meets two people through a job interview who turn her life upside-down. In very good ways.

    After that amazingly satisfying read, I tried “The Road to Roswell” (Connie Willis) because Jenny had really liked it, and it turned out that THAT book I really loved as well. So much so that I kept reading almost all night to finish it.

    The first book had way more sex in it than I’m used to liking, but it was done in an intelligent, relationship-building and affirming way. And in the second book, I really loved the first and second of the people she meets during a mad car trip that she didn’t intend to make in the first place. Especially after the first of those people finally learns to text. 🙂

    Plus the Roswell book reminded me of a Jenny Crusie novel in many ways — the deft plotting with plenty of quickly-drawn side characters, a clear-ish goal that doesn’t lead the MC to the place she expects to arrive at after all, and a careening progress towards that goal full of funny people, sometimes danger, and lots and lots of excellent dialogue. Oh, and a romance, to boot. 🙂

    What a great way to finish a book week that ended up being SO satisfying!

    1. In the process of reading Roswell and loving it.

      Also read through the first 100 pages of my second Ice Planet Octogenarians book. I like what I’ve written so far and I know what I think happens next, but I can’t seem to move forward. Very frustrating.

    2. I liked Love, Theoretically too. And I liked her book before that, Love on the Brain. I might try her first one again, even though it’s close to a set-up I don’t like, just because the other books I’ve read recently have been disappointing (Lavender’s Blue and Rest in Pink being the clear exceptions!).

      I read a first book in a new series by an author I’ve read in other series, and I’ve noticed I lose interest about halfway through repeatedly with her works. I’m now thinking it’s because–in my view–the author sets up expectations she doesn’t fulfill. She lays out that XYZ are important to a character and then XYZ are never mentioned or appear again, not even when those traits/qualities/characteristics/values are obviously missing in a scene. This last one was particularly frustrating for me because I was really looking forward to it.

      Now that I’m really thinking about it, I might wait a bit and then reread Lavender and Pink so that I’m ready for Vermillion instead. I know I won’t be disappointed there.

  14. I love all your recommendations and those I have not already read are now added onto the long, long to-be-read list. Sigh. What an AWFUL dilemma to have! 😉

    I belong to where I can order free books from other readers and, if I list the ones I have that I want to give away, I only have to pay for the postage to mail them on to new owners/readers. If you don’t belong, or haven’t heard of it, give it a try. They don’t have every book, of course, but I’ve found lots of your recommendations on there or at my library (my default choice)! I bought Jennifer’s books, of course, from Amazon.

  15. I read Rocky Start. Rose gluing the plastic doll head on a bottle, not any old bottle but a paregoric bottle, which I imagined as a dark blue narrowing at the top bottle instead of a rectangle clear glass with a red X on the label. Turns out the camphorated tincture of opium was used mostly for children, (according to Wiki). What! 4% opium. After reading the comments, it will be interesting to see where you go with bottle with the doll head, Jenny. Looking forward to Rocky start and Vermillion.

    When books can’t hold my attention, I listen to something. Listened/watched two excellent interviews on YouTube. JB Peterson interviewing Dr. Ellen Langer on Change Your Mind, Your Health, Your Life. All about mindfulness. The second was the Kunhardt Film Foundation interview with David Brooks, NYT columnist on Wisdom Through Experience. Both long interviews. Still thinking about the topics.

    1. There was a period in time when medicine was all about drugging people (read: women and children) out of their minds. Laudanum was Opium, as well. My take is that it was often a way of dealing with “difficult” cases- whiny, crying children, and opinionated women, plus depressed individuals.

      1. Or put the woman in an asylum. Cary Grant came home from school one day to find his mother was gone. His father had her committed. He was never told where she was. Found her years later. Or she was released. Can’t imagine the cruelty to women and children.

      2. Also horrific what they used to put in food – drugs and toxins etc. There’s a book and film about how they demonstrated the need for food standards – “The Poison Squad” by Deborah Blum. I haven’t read the book but there was also an episode of the Dollop podcast about it, which somehow manages to be both tragic and hilarious.

        1. I wrote a short story about poisoning. Found it, now to check on the validity of my premise. Thx

    2. Yep, Rose tells a friend of hers that paregoric was honey, alcohol, and opium. Then she asks her if she has any opium because she has honey and alcohol and they can make their own.

  16. The Harry Potter movie night, with orchestra, was fantastic! I realized that I had stopped seeing the films in the theater at some point, and just waited for the DVD to come out, so sitting on the side, very close to the screen, overlooking the orchestra was wonderful. I’d forgotten that Alexandre Desplat composed the music for it. He is so good at those soulful, sad melodies, and sitting just above the kettle drums for the scary parts was stirring. When we came out of the building, the smoke in the air was visible. We are getting smoke from Canadian wildfires. The Air Quality is now at 161, and I could smell smoke this morning. It must be awful IN Canada! So sorry, Canadians! It’s a lovely cool morning, but not a good time for a walk. Dang!

    For those of you who have helped me through this, I have no signs of a sinus infection, any more. The doc did say I probably still have a lingering virus, which is causing the headache. He prescribed another nasal spray antihistamine, and irrigating my sinuses three times a day with sea salt in distilled water. I was already starting that. My sinuses are “out of whack” and need to be reregulated. So, I must irrigate, spray one antihistamine, wait a bit, then spray the second antihistamine, every morning. Then irrigate two more times each day. Thanks for your support. It has been getting better incrementally. I am relieved.

    I read T. Kingfisher’s Thorn Hedge, and I can’t make up my mind about it. I don’t think it will be a favorite or a reread. It was interesting, but not endearing. The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguire was a good read, and it does have that Deus ex Machina thing, but there are hints in the very beginning, and ongoing, that the MC does not “fit in” with her gifted family, and yet has talents at drawing people to her. I liked it.

    Will there be time for the proofreading team to see Vermillion before it gets published? I worry. And, thank you, Mary, for the R. I. P. reference. I didn’t get that till you spelled it out. There are so many layers to these books! It’s inspiring.

    1. A very short time. Today is my last day on it and then Bob gets it back.
      Rocky Start will have two months in between books so we don’t make ourselves crazy again.

    2. Crossing fingers that you’re feeling better soon!
      It might not bother you but I find the salt water irrigation stings unpleasantly. My doc told me to add a little bit of bicarbonate soda in the water – makes it much more comfortable.

  17. I operate on the assumption that I’m going to live forever. I haven’t been proved wrong yet.

    The day got off to a good start. I was alive when I woke up.

    Hockensmith, Steve; Falco, Lisa. The White Magic Five and Dime: A Tarot Mystery (Tarot Mysteries Book 1)

    Rest in Pink – Crusie & Mayer
    1638: The Sovereign States – Flint & Goodlett & Huff
    Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose – Springer
    Wickedly Wonderful – Blake

    I went back to Rest in Pink to read the unofficial chapters of One in Vermillion. If I was suffering impatience before, I’m dying of it, now.

    Mid-week, Baen informed me that my book bundle was now available for download with all books at 100%. I’d already read the first 3/4 of Sovereign States. The remainder was the best part.

    Mid-week, Amazon informed me that my pre-purchase of the latest Enola Holmes was in my libraries. I may have shoved everything else to the side.

    Still enjoying Baba Yaga.

  18. My library hold for The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman came in. That was recommended by someone on here, I’m sure. I finished it! I skipped a lot of pages but that’s just me. I enjoyed. Thinking of checking to see if she wrote sequels.

    I finally read Amanda Quick’s book – The Bride Wore White. I liked it okay but not as much as I usually liked her. I rarely skip pages while reading or rereading her but I skipped a lot on this book. I found it hard to get into the main characters suspiciousness of each other.

    That did not stop me from wanting to start a reread of Amanda Quick’s book Deception. And I have checked it out a number of times from the library so I decided to buy it. Enjoying the reread.

    Loved the first 3 chapters of Rocky Start! Didn’t skip a word there.

  19. Saving Lavender and Pink for the long flight to Japan this Sunday. Going to a wedding in Okinawa and then to my daughter’s apartment in Tottori. Two weeks in Japan! I’m so nervous about the Jet Lag. What if I can’t enjoy myself because I’m too tired?

    Will try and sleep some on the flight. Meanwhile I’m fairly vibrating with nerves and excitement and I don’t leave until 6am Sunday morning. This is the furthest I’ve ever traveled…

    1. Have a wonderful time!
      I found Japan easier than shorter trips and less time zone change. Do try to get out and walk around as soon as you check into your hotel.
      Apparently sunlight helps reset your internal clock.

    2. I think I already said something like this on Wednesday, but support knee socks will help your comfort during the flight, and protect against embolisms from all the sitting.


    3. Kate, no noticeable jet lag going, a fair amount noticed after coming back. So: don’t worry. You will have a very excellent time and enjoy yourself extremely.

      One surprise: a lot of Italian food available in Japan. And desserts everywhere
      are to die for.

      1. Your first career seemed to specialize in uncomfortable (at best) travel options. Maybe you and your wife can see some of the beautiful spots in Europe via good air travel (shorter trip from the East Coast). The trip from California was 9 hours at least, but being in a group with my sister, her husband, his cousin Martha and getting to tour museums with their artist Uncle Arthur was marvelous! It was also a treat to hear French spoken with a strong southern accent (people understood him and reacted well to his industrial strength charm). Even the hard marble floors of the Louvre (I wore the wrong type of shoes), did not interfere with enjoying world class art! Taf

    4. If possible, walk up and down the aisle at least once every 2 hours; if not, do move your legs regularly to keep the blood moving. I know it irritates people, but that is not worth dying to avoid. The support knee-high socks are good too.

      Deep-vein thrombosis from long flights sitting down without moving is a real hazard; my mom (very healthy until then) had a brain infarct 2 days after flying from Europe to Indonesia, caused by a clot from that.
      It was very dangerous, she was temporarily partially paralysed on one side and never fully recovered.

  20. Besides a lot of rereading (Sheila Simonson, Mary Stewart) I read the first two books in Mary Balogh’s new series Remember Love and Remember Me.

    I’m always impressed by how well she captures the feel and everyday activities of the Regency period. I also think she has a number of series that seem to be built around working through a particular theme. This one seems to be why and how to tell the truth rather than keep dark family secrets. The first book is a good set up for the series. And it is a true historical—the conflict is basically about the consequences of men feeling they have the freedom to have lots of sexual partners in marriage and what that meant for their spouses and kids.

    The second one left me really annoyed. The hero and heroine are honest with eachother but they don’t tell his old, ailing, powerful grandparents the family secret that is why they don’t want to marry eachother and as a result the grandparents force them into a rushed marriage . I found the HEA implausible and the plot deeply irritating.

    I also read the latest “in death” by JD Robb and got exactly what one expects. That was very comforting in a week when I needed comfort.

  21. Last week, I half read, half listened to Donna Andrews 12 Jays of Christmas. I’m going to be sad when I run out of her back list and have to wait for new releases as this series has become my cozy comfort reads.

    This week I’m half reading, half listening to TE Kinsey’s latest Lady Hardcastle mystery, A Fire at the Exhibition. Love this series as well, set at the turn of the 20th century. Lots of charming banter between Armstrong and Lady H. Low angst and engaging village goings-on.

  22. I checked out too many library books and am trying to get through them before they hit due dates.

    I’m reading more Taylor Jenkins Reid: finished Malibu Rising, which I enjoyed overall. I am currently reading Carrie Soto is Back. Carrie is unapologetically arrogant about her career and how she’s going to whup asses, with no modesty (and of course is called a bitch), so that’s interesting. Not sure what to make of her otherwise, but you appreciate that she’s making a comeback.

    I also read the new October Daye book. I cannot get into spoilers and it’s on book 17, but seriously, that series is the best series I’ve ever read and the author keeps knocking it out of the park. These books are not dull!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I now have it on hold. And discovered that #18 is due out in October so I put a hold on that also. Of course, I am already #67 so a lot of people were more on the ball than I am.

  23. I read the first 3 books in Elise Sax’s Matchmaker mysteries. It’s fast paced, wacky fun. The mystery bits go in unpredictable directions but its pretty comforting.
    I’m also in the middle of 3 other books – Steelheart, a book by Sarah Maclean (forgetting the title) & the first book in the Jane Yellowrock series.
    I also finished Love beyond death. It’s a series about haunted inns, friendship, falling in love & renovation. This book had a bed & breakfast being renovated and it has paranormal prank wars.
    Did anybody read the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter? What did you think?

    1. I really enjoyed the first four or five books of the Jane Yellowrock series, after that the plots started to deteriorate and things kind of went over the top a few books later, in my opinion. YMMV

      1. I didn’t make it through the first book. I couldn’t tell what was going on and I stopped caring. I loved the idea, but not the execution.

    2. I like the Jane Yellowrock series a lot, and think you’ll enjoy getting into that world. She has a lot of smarts going for her.

  24. In the past week, I tried a couple new books I couldn’t finish, and finished one book I didn’t like. No point in naming those books, since the highlight of my reading week was a re-read of A.J. Demas’s Sword Dance series: Sword Dance, Saffron Alley, and Strong Wine. For those who don’t know, all three feature the same protagonists: a retired officer Damiskos and a eunuch dancer Varazda. The action takes place in an imaginary country based loosely on Ancient Greece. All three books have one common thread: a love story of Damiskos and Varazda. Their love grows gradually throughout the three novels, while the protagonists solve different mysteries and battle different dangers in each of the three books.
    Overall: it was a quiet M/M … well not exactly a romance, although there are many romance elements. As I said, it is rather a love story, charming and sensitive, with some sex games to spice up the text. I liked these books when I first read them and I enjoyed them even more on my second reading. I don’t often read M/M romances – they rarely work for me – but these ones did. Maybe because the homosexual love wasn’t the focus. The same story could’ve been written about the two lovers of the opposite sexes, and except for the pronouns and the rare bed scenes, the narrative wouldn’t have to be changed at all. Both heroes just happened to be of the same sex, but the focus was on their inner lives, their self-doubts and their joy in each other. And the mysteries of the plots, of course.
    I have the books on my kindle but I think I want to buy the paper books of this trilogy as well. I’ll definitely re-read it again.

  25. I’ve had a demanding week, so I listened to an old Barbara Michaels, Stitches in Time. I’m to re-read Rest in Pink today, and respect the heat.

  26. I am finally reading RIP. My hold came in last night, so I haven’t gotten far. Other than that I DNFd three books already this week that I expected to enjoy, and I’m about to return to the library (after putting another hold on it) a book that I like, but get bored with if I read much of it at once. As a relief from these, I’m rereading The Goblin Emperor for who knows how many times? I lost count long ago.

  27. Coming close to the end of REST IN pink and really enjoying it .I’m so ready for the next book, counting down the days.

  28. I finished Carrie Soto Is Back and really enjoyed it. I love tennis and have been to a few major tournaments, so the subject matter was definitely in my wheelhouse.

    I then tore through You, With A View by Jessica Joyce. Despite the subject matter sitting very close to my heart – or maybe because of it? – I absolutely loved it. Snarky hero/heroine, a road trip, family secrets… what’s not to love? It’s going on my list of favourites for sure and I’ll read anything else Joyce writes.

    I’m now reading Paladin’s Strength by T Kingfisher. I thought it would take me a while to get back into her universe, when in reality it took all of thirty seconds. I love her writing.

      1. I’m so glad there’s going to be a Paladin 4. Any hints about who the paladin is? My money is on the man who can’t go back to his wife because … actually I can’t remember why he can’t. Probably because of the whole paladins-going-mad thing. But he has cropped up in each book so far, very poignant character. He needs his own book.

        1. Shane and Marguerite.
          Marguerite is Grace’s friend who disappears at the end of the first book. Shane is the really serious one. I’m not sure which one had a wife.

  29. What happened to my comment? It disappeared. Will it reappear? Should I re-post it? There was nothing objectionable in it. No links, nothing. I’m confused.

  30. I read the new Walt Longmire mystery, by Craig Johnson, called The Longmire Defense. Walt discovers a rifle that was hidden in the wilderness for 50 years that may have been a murder weapon. Suddenly bad things start happening to everyone involved in the investigation and it can’t be a coincidence can it?

    Next will be the new Gunnie Rose book by Charlaine Harris. I don’t actually have any idea what it’s about I just bought it as soon as I saw there was another one in the series.

  31. I’m reading Jodi Taylor’s short story collection, The Long and Short of It. I need the distraction and it’s very distracting. I’ll probably read her second collection next.

  32. Connie Willis “To Say Nothing of the Dog” – sublime, funny.

    J.D. Robb “Payback in Death” – it’s a new Eve Dallas novel. I can’t remember anything about it two days later, but enjoyed it while reading it.

    Andre Norton – “Sargasso of Space” – a nostalgia sci-fi read. I loved her books when I was a teen and still enjoy them.

  33. I read “Everyone in my family has killed someone.” It was an interesting technique, but the constant commentary made it impossible to sink into the book, plus the back and forthing, with constantly updated reveals that were hidden at the time was really tedious. The story was good, but the book seemed to be more of a writing exercise that the author thought was clever, rather than a book written for the reader’s enjoyment. It was also weird that the narrator was supposed to be an indie author, but the actual author didn’t seem to have done much research about how that works, and how much money is made (the guy lives easily on his earnings, but only sells a few books, and spends weeks at a time not doing anything book related- the narrator actually says these things about himself).

    I also found a couple of new authors that I think I like, but I’m not being able to get into the books- but that might be me, not them.

    Looking forward to Vermillion!

    1. I had pretty much the same reaction to “Everyone in my family …” but didn’t actually finish it. Gave up on it after the second chapter, I think. I really wanted to like it, but it didn’t work for me at all. It felt very much like it was trying very hard to be lit-fic while being marketed as mystery, and I just don’t like lit-fic, so the sprinkling of lit-fic language (like referring to a one-headlight car as a Cyclops) felt pretentious and kept kicking me out of the story.

      1. You’re right- I hadn’t realized what that was. Just that it kept veering away from just telling the story. Super frustrating.

  34. Terrific, now Bob has to hire an Igor and a remote castle in storm country to reanimate a stuffed red bear, maybe he can get a discount on mad scientist equipment. I mean the landlords usually try to recoup some of their losses after the angry hordes have destroyed the place, when they discover all the grave digging and corpse looting

  35. Along with a complete read-through edit of a self-pubbed title about to get a relaunch, my reading week was:

    1. ‘The View Was Exhausting’ by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta, a solid F/M Hollywood romance. Probably will not re-read because both MCs were miserable for much of the book, and if it had all been in FMC POV I wouldn’t have liked it as well. MMC POV section came in the nick of time and really moved things along.

    2. ‘Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune: How Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen’s England,’ by Rory Muir. Fantastic resource, goes lightly over its exhaustively-researched ground.

    3. ‘Lavender House’ by Lev AC Rosen, a queer noir set in 1952 San Francisco. Atmospheric, sad yet hopeful, an excellent series starter.

    4. ‘Gouda Friends’ by Cathy Yardley, F/M rom-com featuring a burned-out NYC media agency assistant and her BFF back in San Diego. With no bullshit Big Misunderstanding or Big Secret, only realistic career concerns and a little ‘does this mean we’re in love and should we risk it.’ I liked it.

    5. ‘Sometimes People Die’ by Simon Stephenson, a well-written literary mystery that was depressing as f*ck. Compulsively readable, not the book to pick up when you want your POV character to be happy. He is not.

    6-9. An assortment of M/M shorts, all pleasant & reasonably satisfying, none a rave-worthy standout.

    10. ‘We Could Be So Good’ by Cat Sebastian, which for me was a rave-worthy standout. I loved it. LOVED it.

    1. I thought We Could Be So Good was good not great – until I reread it – and it was great. Cat Sebastian’s books often grow on you over time.

  36. A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting. A very entertaining Regency romance, doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    The Secret of Nevermore. Tammy, I remember you said you tried this and weren’t interest in continuing with the series, and I agree. It’s CS Poe’s first book, so I can excuse a lot, but she’s got so much better since this one. I’ll just have to hang out for the next in the Memento Mori series.

    Translation State. Wasn’t sure what to expect from this, but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t love it nearly as much as the Ancillary novels, but it kept me solidly engaged. I did feel as if she copped out a bit at the end, in that the Big Moment happened offstage. That was a pity.

  37. Read Elizabeth Bear’s Lotus Kingdom fantasy trilogy, starting with “The Stone in the Skull”. Vivid world-building and good characters, and I liked how it played with gender. I particularly liked middle-aged trans-queen and the arthritic dragon. Not a perfect HEA but quite satisfying.

    Annabeth Albert’s “Squared Away” – m/m romance, part of her SEAL series. Mark comes home when his sister dies, only to find his younger brother-in-law Isaiah taking care of the children. Mostly its about Mark learning to trust someone to be a partner, and to be a partner himself, which I really liked. Plus I loved how pragmatically Isaiah accepts Mark being demisexual.

    Best thing I read was a Draco/Neville fanfic by A J Hall called “Lust over Pendle”. It departs the canon somewhere around book 5 and is set post the war. Really enjoyed it, and I liked their banter and sarcasm. Was disappointed to find that A J Hall, an English IP lawyer, died last year. So I went to her website and downloaded everything she’s ever written. I was never a huge HP fan but it is the basis for a lot of really good fanfiction!

    1. The right word finally came to me – downhearted rather than *disappointed*. I always like to think of creators being happy out in the world.

  38. I was in post gall bladder removal week and so had time to really immerse in Rest in Pink and all the great characters of Burney. Very enjoyable- better than pain meds as a distraction, although not less addictive.
    I finished reading the first two Murderbots, which I hear name-dropped on this blog all the time. Haven’t read a sci-fi in a long time ( if you don’t count that scandalous tentacle book I picked up, also on someone’s recommendation. Was fun when my sister-in-law found it under my bed) but I really like the Murderbot character. Deals lightly with some of those rules of robot ethics that Isaac Asimov developed. Bonus: my boyfriend will read it. And I see Apple TV+ is planning a dramatization.

  39. Still idling away with French Fancy. At least I’m nearing 75 %. It’s not a bad book, it’s just me. All these perfect people… beautiful, rich – well, one of the MCs, ghe other is just brilliant. And can subathe to a perfect tan in spite of having to take antibiotics for lingering after effects of illness. I only got a nasty sun aversion/allergy that made me almost tear up my skin so bad was the itching.
    So, being distracted yet again with an excerpt. E.L. Massey has a new one out and the first few chapters were really promising and made me order the REAL book.
    Because dd is kind of imterested in hockey books now, too.
    Does indeed read currently one by Rachel Reid.
    And has concurred with me that we might need the second one that’s available in paperback. ‘Cause she doesn’t like ebooks and I cannot easily lend her my Kindle titles anyway.
    Why are there no mire paperbacks??
    And why are those that are available so horribly expensive.
    Rhetorical question. No need to answer ;-).

      1. We both don’t hsve a kindle, she doesn’t have the Kindle app yet either. Doesn’t like to read ebooks even though she’s much more versed in AO3 or wattpad than I’ll ever be. But that she reads on her iPad. Says she doesn’t want to spend too much time on her phone (unlike me). So real books it is.

      2. But thanks for the info. This might be something for the son. Who will stay clear of all my titles with half naked torsi 😉 but might enjoy my non-fiction ebooks.

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