This is a Good Book Thursday, October 12, 2023

The only book I read this week was Rocky Start, which made me think about how many times you can read a book before it becomes mush in your brain. Okay, I’m also rewriting Rocky Start, which is a different kind of reading, but I’ve been through it so many times now that I can’t keep it straight in my head. And yet I love rereading my favorite books. Some of Georgette Heyer’s, some of Loretta Chase’s, some of Dick Francis’s, some of Martha Wells’, some of Terry Pratchett’s, Connie Willis, Rex Stout, . . . the list of my rereads is long and varied, but the ones I go back to again and again are just as enjoyable the fourteenth time around. Comfort reads, every one of them. And thank god for comfort reads. With any luck, I can get Rocky Start rewritten to be somebody’s comfort read since Bob is in there, too, doing good work.

What did you read this week?

118 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, October 12, 2023

  1. I read your ‘replace all’ post yesterday and ha ha ha ha ha. It’s so good to have company in the land of ‘I’m such an idiot’.

    Aaaanyway, in books:

    ‘A Crime in the Land of 7000 Islands’ by Zephaniah Sole. A police procedural about catching a pedophile, so trigger warnings there and also for suicide and I’m aware I’m not making this sound like a good book, but it really was! Engagingly written, and despite all, hopeful. It shifts through time and storytellers in ways that should make it hard to follow, but absolutely doesn’t, just gently unfolds the story. I think some bits might have benefitted from a tighter edit, but still a strong recommendation.

    ‘Small Joys’ by Elvin James Mensah, about a young black gay British man in the mid-00s who is (ok it wasn’t an intentional theme) also struggling with mental health and abuse, but again, not grim! Full of love and found family and real relationships and people taking care of each other. Highly recommended – also I read this (read?) as an audiobook and the narrator absolutely nails it, especially the accents.

    Also The Talisman Ring (yay) and many things on game theory which I’m not recommending at all. (also The Grand Sophy but godammit I might actually understand the argument for some minor sensitivity editing of beloved books because it is beloved for me, but argh).

      1. That is priceless! And delivered with a straight face. I don’t know this fellow, but he’s brilliant.

        1. Taika Waititi is the director of some of the Thor movies and JoJo Rabbit where he also played “imaginary friend” Hitler to a young German boy during WW2. It’s a really good movie. ” Taika Waititi’s anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit takes on Nazis and an imaginary Adolf Hitler with plenty of laughs and a lot of heart – and despite the dark subject matter, it ends on a hopeful note.”

        2. Yes, also, among others, What we do in the Shadows (a movie about vampire flatmates living in Wellington), and Our Flag Means Death.

          It’s piitch perfect, I thought.

    1. Allanah, I saw KJ Charles raving about the “7000 islands” book on Goodreads and wondering why this book hasn’t become more successful yet (I guess the pedophile element might scare many readers off).

      Thanks also for the link to Taika Waititi – what a jewel!!

      1. Yes, it was on her recommendation that I started it, and that issue is discussed in the first chapter, I nearly put it down. I’m not sure I’d rave (see aforementioned comment on editing) but it was different and creative and so worth a mention on GBT.

        And you’re welcome, it was pitch perfect, I thought.

    2. The Talisman Ring is so much fun. I love the shenanigans at the inn, and Sarah and Eustacie.
      I’ve had to give up rereading The Grand Sophy because I just can’t deal with the viciousness of the anti-Semitic stereotypes Heyer uses to portray the moneylender. I’m not a fan of bowdlerising books, but I’d make an exception for that scene. Sophy is a wonderful character, but the book lets her down.

        1. Yep. Always makes me wince. And the thing is – with a few very easy changes, you could neutralize the character and the whole scene would be fine. Sigh.

  2. I read “Twice Shy” by Sally McDonald which was a nice little MM gem (bi grad 6 teacher and struggling younger guy raising his 2 orphaned nephews, meeting through PT activities, nephews are not pupils of older MC): both take it slow, the older one has some baggage but not dramatically so, just the usual stuff which can be very burdensome anyway. Alos both are not ripped for a change ;-),

    Now I’m reading “I’m your Guy” by Sarina Bowen, out almost a month early, in time for NHL season opening.
    40% in and loving it so far. Far more realistic than the “fantasy” versions by Finley/James and others where the league is as a whole is rather accepting of queer players. The hockey MC is struggling a lot due to his upbringing with a very homophobic uncle and cousin, representatives of the toxic masculinity of the past and real life present where the league not only banned pride jerseys but even pride tape only this week.
    Funnily enough, the story centers around Tommaso (the player) having to fill his empty house (on every level) and hires a designer (who has his own backstory) to help – and the discussions about wall colour and furniture etc. mirrow what’s going on in my own life.
    Only I don’t have an empty mansion but an overstuffed flat to be sorted out to start anew in a (as of now) empty little house.

    1. I didn’t realize I’m Your Guy was out early – will have to get! Thank you for the intel.

      1. I’m on her newsletter list and following on Insta. Didn’t expect it either but prefer an earlier date to a postponement 😉

  3. Hooray for Comfort Reads – I’m going to need them soon as I’m currently in the middle of “Woman on the Edge of Time” by Marge Piercy which was sold to me as a utopia book, but has an awful lot of real world dystopia in it so far. Well written though.

    Finished an SFF anthology I’ve been reading for a while – “Unlimited Futures” ed. Rafeif Ismail & Ellen Van Neerven. Some stand out stories including those by Ambelin
    Kwaymullina and Claire G Coleman; overall a thought-provoking read.

    And relaxed with Grace Burrowes’ “Never a Duke” which I found lovely. A historical m/f romance with Lady Rosalind Kinworth asking Mr Ned Wentworth for help when her maids disappear. Plus who can go past a man who embroiders?!

    1. I haven’t read that one, as Ned was a minor character in the series, but I might give it a try on your recommendation.

    2. I have fond memories of watching Roosevelt Grier (a rather terrifying linebacker) do needlepoint,

        1. Huh. He not only did needlepoint and macrame but also wrote “needlepoint for men”.

          But he also was guarding Ethel Kennedy when Robert was shot and is the person who took down Sirhan Sirhan.

          Interesting life!

  4. It’s October so I am listening to Maybe This Time. Spooky season is a good time for ghost stories. Also, my previous audiobook went through at the wall bad on me. And it was by an author that I usually like. And I paid for it! I was so mad.

    I still have a ton of Halloween fun waiting on my kindle but haven’t had the bandwidth or time to get to it. It’s time to be thinking about Christmas as traffic starts to pick up in my Etsy shop. I’m never as prepared as I want to be.

  5. I have started reading the Cassidy Hutchinson memoir, Enough, while reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming to my mother. Two things horrify me, so far.

    Enough is not a smooth read, especially alongside Becoming (she was let down by editors a couple of times in opening chapters).

    But more frightening, a 22-year-old with limited education, albeit a conscience and some street-smarts, was advising the guy advising the president, and by extension, the pres — both of whom appear less sophisticated than she is. Daily, hourly advice on crucial topics. Incredible.

    1. Oh I should also mention, I’m looking forward to comfort read suggestions because I just tested Covid positive, no doubt cause I spent 2 days in ER with my mom this weekend. #AlwaysSomething.

  6. Comfort read for the emergency room, Dark Moon Lost Lady by Elsie Lee
    Listened to the audiobook off maybe this time, the one I wrote Susan B James. I was looking for things to tell the cover designer and was pleasantly surprised to find. It was actually a good story and that I enjoyed listening. Course I had a wonderful narrator.

  7. Finished Bob’s Eyes of the Hammer. Well written, characters, story line and outcome. Started The Line. Reread bits of Loretta Chase’s Dressmaker series because we are in the Mediterranean and were on our way to Israel. Could not focus. Last night, switched to Murderbot; All Systems Red. Now onto Artificial Condition. Three more days and two long flights on Sunday.

  8. I read Sebastian Nothwell’s newest, Fiorenzo. It’s an odd book – a long one which is not a complaint, more commenting that it went a number of different places and I wasn’t sure where it was going to settle down. It’s alt-history of a Venice-like city in something like Renaissance times, with some very delicate world building. An M/M romance of a noble and a courtesan, and interesting doppelgänger stuff there. Some gender bending, explicit sex and some violence, so not a gentle book. Anyway, I liked it.

    I also read the most recent Finley-James’ Clueless Puckboy. Great premise but a disappointing read. I was actually mostly bored. I preferred the Ezra and Oskar stories in their Puckboy series.

    And I read another Nicky James. In my quest to find another Charlie Adhara, I’ve read a ton of the good, the bad, the ugly in this genre (which I’m defining as two guys solving cases together and getting romantically involved, one of whom is usually an oddball in some way; forget about the shifter wolf thing) and here is a list of what I think the best series are:

    TA Moore – Digging up the Bones
    LJ Hayward – Death and the Devil
    CS Poe – Memento Mori
    Nicky James – Valor and Doyle
    SE Harmon – Spookology

    1. Oh god, I forgot I finished Clueless Puckboy! Telling…
      Same here: I really liked the clueless MC, the hockey player but felt let down by the other one (a physical therapist. so great opportunity for competence porn).
      Agree: great premise, not well enough executed. I liked it better than Puckboy 3 and 4 though that doesn’t say much because I had similar problems there.

      1. Kinda sorta. Most of my cold-like symptoms are gone. I’m just not breathing terribly well so not up to my usual level of exercise, and I’m super tired. Unfortunately a lot going on right now so finally caved and asked my husband for more help. Thanks for asking.

        1. Please be careful with re-starting exercise too fast – it can be one of the triggers for long COVID when you’ve had a mild case. Give your heart & lungs plenty of time to recover. Hope you feel better soon!

          1. Yes that’s what I’ve read. Which is quite frustrating for me. But I am glumly adhering to the recommendation.

        2. Take care, Tammy. Post Covid respiratory & fatigue issues can be so enervating. Whilst you don’t have long Covid, a family member who did have it for 18 months & others I know with post Covid lethargy & breathlessness etc have had some significant improvement taking heavy duty (medicinal quality) probiotics. Other people not so much. I just put it out there for what is worth because I know the positive impact it had particularly when my relative at 45 felt his life had become overwhelming about illness & within 7 days he was able to shower himself & walk short distances etc & within 3 months was back at work, ocean swimming & living his life again albeit with some residual impacts from the virus. Best wishes

          1. Thank you, Elly, that is very kind advice. I want everyone to know I’ve been showering regularly. 😂

  9. I read Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews, Copper Beach The Private Eye by Jayne Ann Krentz, and Cry For the Moon by Anne Stuart

    All good but not as much fun as the Liz Danger trilogy I read last week.

  10. I finished up “Shattered” by Lisa J Morgan. It is an adventurous paranormal romance, with characters with various talents (clairvoyant, telekinetic, etc) are working together to stop disasters from happening. It’s the first of a trilogy, so now that the initial problem has been resolved, there is a major baddie looming for the next books. I enjoyed it, although I think it could have used a better editor, as some things felt repeated.

    I started back up on Deadly Education, and since I hadn’t been gone long, was able to get back into the swing of things there.

  11. A new version of “City of Bones” but Martha Wells. I have never read it before, so I can’t compare it to the original version, but I liked it.

    1. I read the new version when it came out too, and enjoyed it also! I can’t remember any major differences from the original, but that’s probably more due to my memory and the years in between than the books.

  12. I got 3 vaccinations on Tuesday, and was laid out on Wednesday, and not feeling too foxy today. I’m listening to Miss Percy’s Guide (to Welsh Moors and Feral Dragons), it’s the second book in Miss Percy’s adventures. I’m enjoying it enough to use an Audible credit. It’s got a very slow burn relationship, and an excellent sociopathic villain. Also dragons. Excellent narrator and many accents.

    I tried several novels that I eventually DNF’d without even checking to see what happens.

    I did find The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies, by Allison Goodman. I’m about 60 pages in and very happy. Set in 1816 England, the protagonist is single, middle aged, and has independent means. It’s a first person narrative, and I like her voice.

  13. Since I talked about Anne Bishop’s Shalador’s Lady last week, I reread it along with the Shadow Queen which is actually the start of that story arc. I have very mixed feelings about that particular world. The idea is that women (or some at least) have more power than men but at the same time there is a lot of violence perpetrated against women as well as against men. I also don’t like the stark dichotomy between good perfect women who deserve protection and villainous women who are « bitches ». I really hate that word. I think now I can’t unsee what Jenny saw :).
    Still there is some lovely stuff in those two books: the gardening, the gentle heroine and hero and as always with Bishop, they are an engrossing read.

    I also read Sarina Bowen’s latest « I am your guy » and it was a lovely gentle palate cleanser. I loved the interior design stuff (I am very obsessed with house decor) and as usual she writes sparkling dialogue and she makes you care about the sad hockey millionnaire.

    1. I keep thinking about that in the Black Jewels too. I’m worried about re-reading it now.

      Surreal really complicates that dynamic as she’s an assassin, a sex worker, decidedly snarky and a good person who doesn’t need protection. Actually most of the women don’t need protection, they are just more powerful so if they get involved its like bringing an uzi to a barfight. Plus the men are pretty binary on the good/evil scale as well. Its a very unusual gender structure.

      1. I think Surreal gets a really raw deal. She is in the « good » camp but she gets put through a lot.

  14. I haven’t commented in a while, and I’ve read a lot of books in that time, most of which I found through recs on here, so thank you all. Let me return the favor (to fans of Taylor Fitzpatrick and theundiagnosable anyway):

    Get ready to ruin your life (or at least your productivity for a while) with ~500K words of M/M hockey romance gold, the Superstition ‘verse, on AO3:

    (You do need an AO3 account; you can get one by requesting an invitation on their homepage, which might take about a week to receive.)

      1. You’ll thank me later. Plus it’s only fair, considering all the time I’ve spent in your recs.

          1. Oh sure, pick on the poor sick person here (self-pitying sniff – is there an emoticon for that??)

          2. You mean the person who has gotten to stay home in bed and read all day for a week? No sympathies here friend. Ha.

  15. I read The Road to Roswell, by Connie Willis. I can’t decide if it will be a reread, or not. I liked it, especially the many-tentacled person. It just hasn’t stayed in my thoughts the way many books do.

    I’m rereading the first books in the Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis. Book one- Simply Irresistible, gets going on the sex scenes pretty early, and there are many. Thus, I skipped much of that and may have missed some things. But I like the three MC women, who are half-sisters, and very different. I started it because it is set at Christmas time. I’m gearing up.

    Book two- The Sweetest Thing, is a long, lost, love rediscovered story. It has some really funny moments centered on the rivalry of two men for the MC. I haven’t finished Head Over Heels, a story about an asthmatic woman who can’t have sex without passing out, and a strong, silent sheriff. I remember some violence and drug running stuff coming up. There are also side references to dog fighting. So, it’s not a favorite, although the two MCs are both hotties.

  16. I am having a very unusual period of insomnia lately which is messing up my ability to read and means that rereads are pushing back the TBR pile. When I first read “The Long Game” by Rachel Reid, the copy I bought online started to shed pages, which I found very distracting. The library’s copy is much more reliable and is providing a bit more explanation of why the 2 MCs got and stay together. It is still much more sex than character development, but now that I am reading the whole thing, rather than skipping around, I am noticing more examples of what previously seemed unfounded assertions. For instance, the first time I skimmed it, I noticed that it said one character was great with kids, but didn’t see how he had become so close to these neighbors. This time I am noticing how he interacts with them and it now makes more sense that these little girls make yard signs wishing him well in the playoffs.

  17. I’ve been listening to The Strays of Paris (aka Perestroika in Paris) which someone recommended here (thanks). Nice gentle stuff but fun too, and makes me want to go to Paris!

    Started Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr. Enjoying it so far but only 30 pages in. Reading time has been a bit squashed.

  18. I finally finished reading One in Vermillion, and also “Do Let’s Have Another Drink! The Dry and Fizzy Wit of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother,” which was actually great fun. She was hilarious.

  19. I finished a re-read of The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart and am now working on a re-read of Cici and the Curator by SJ Wynde.

  20. Hello…it’s been a minute. I am having a horrible time in October with leisure time and busy workload and resulting short attention span…so I’ll share what I read in September:

    Great Christie Re-Read. A Murder is Announced. Announcement that a murder will occur that evening put in village paper. It does. Suspects abound. Perfect. Also I think both TV adaptations (1980s/2000s) are really well done.

    Thank you to the Harper Fox recs recently. I read the novella Winter Knights M/M present day starcrossed lovers and element of fantasy with King Arthur and Lancelot. It really works.

    Ada Calhoun’s Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give. Calhoun’s columns from the NYT reworked as short essays about being married…or longterm partnered…and all that entails to stay that way. Wry, and sometimes outright funny and touching. “You pay for their mistakes…They pay for yours” and “The Boring Parts” are some of my faves – overall upbeat.

    Comfort re-read was Balogh’s Lord Carew’s Bride (F/M). Shy MC strolls onto neighboring estate and meets “the gardener” who is also a shy MC with challenges of his own – and owns the estate. Holds up.

    Given my need to get back into reading, would love some recommendations for short stories/novellas that are M/M, or F/M that are non-holiday, and less steamy. Any faves that you all go back to and re-read again and again to break a reading slump? Much appreciated!

    1. I enjoy Alexis Hall’s Waiting for the Flood: m/m gentle romance novella. Mary Stewart’s 1950s & 60s romantic suspense novels are fairly short. Georgette Heyer’s Pistols for Two is a short story collection (I think it’s been republished under a different name – ??Snowdrift).

      I’m into novels much more than short stories, I’m afraid. And I’ve never experienced a reading slump; just times (especially in the bad old days of severe PMT) when every story felt wrong until I clicked again with an old favourite: but it helped then if it was a full-length novel, and led to others, so I wasn’t thrown back into everything being wrong again once I’d finished it,

    2. “Winter Knights” is lovely isn’t it? It’s one of my periodic Christmas re-reads.

      Second the recommendation for “Waiting for the Flood”. Other novellas that might work for you: m/m contemporary “Muscling Through” by JL Merrow, with a wonderfully kind blue collar hero, “Echo of Silence” by Nalini Singh (m/f, part of her Psy/Changeling series but should stand alone), and “Silver Shark” by Ilona Andrews (m/f, sf romance).

      If you like anthologies, “Hamilton’s Battalion” is a good historical anthology by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole with both m/m and m/f romances. “Charmed & Dangerous” is a lovely set of queer urban fantasy romance including authors such as Rhys Ford, Jordan Castillo Price, and Jordan L Hawk (I like the Ginn Hale but I think its the only one without a definite HEA/HFN).

      FYI I’m really bad at judging “steam” levels but I think those are all on the less steamy side. Hope something works for you.

    3. C.M. Nascosta has a bunch of shorts on her patreon and has published some as well. Smutty monster romance with a fair amount of common sense and heart. I really can’t recommend Morning Glory Milking Farm or Girls Weekend enough. Regular comfort reads for me.

      Also Ilona Andrews’ Kinsmen collection. M/F scifi adventure with a dash of romance. Silver Shark is my favorite. Short stories that you don’t have to read into their series to enjoy.

      In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle is pretty short. Maybe magical realism? No sexy bits.

  21. I re-read “Devil-May-Care” by Elizabeth Peters. It’s a story of young woman who house-sits for her aunt in an old house near Washington DC. Weird things happen so she has to investigate. I adore the descriptions of the cats when it rains.

    I finished “All The Dead Shall Weep” by Charlaine Harris. I’ve noticed a trend in her last 2 books in this series where the book doesn’t feel polished. It reads more like a synopsis than a story. I’m not sure if I want to continue with the series.

    I tried to read “Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas and found it hard going. It features a transgender male who is trying to join the male witches aka brujx in his clan. Not only does he feel male, but his magic is also male. The story was interesting and I liked it. Until the male love interest showed up. Then I got confused. I can deal with heterosexual romance and I can deal with homosexual/lesbian romances, but I don’t seem to be able to deal with transgender romances. I tried to read Yadriel’s romance as a homosexual pairing, but I kept reading it as a teenage female falling in love with teenage male. Arggh. I couldn’t finish the story, it felt too weird to me.

    I want to thank the ArghInk crew for recommending Alice Bell’s “Grave Mistake”. I loved this book! It was hilarious and poignant. I’m looking forward to her next book.

    1. Courtney Milan has a really good trans romance. I will have to look up the title. The love interest was bi and the main character had already transitioned, she always read as fully female. It was a great, thoughtful representation. I really need to reread that.

      *It’s called Hold Me

      1. Yes I liked it a lot. The first book in the series (about a M/F couple ) was also excellent. She in theory is writing at least two more in that world but who knows when .

  22. Week two of covid I read: Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style by Paul Rudnick (loved), Spellhound by our own Lian Tanner (loved), Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez (recommended here and I liked it a lot), Monica by Daniel Clowes (a graphic novel recommended somewhere which I did not like at all, wish I could remember where it was recommended so I will know to take future recs with a pinch of salt), and Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher (novella liked a lot).

    Farrell Covington, etc. is a story about two men who meet as college freshmen in 1973 and is the story of their lives mostly together but sometimes apart. Funny, full of catty asides and great supporting characters.

  23. Still mostly reading my way through Maisey Yates Christmas cowboys. today’s is Cowboy Christmas Redemption (Gold Valley). Giddyup.

  24. I read a couple of books that had been on hold at my local library, including The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes (Cat Sebastian) and A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Becky Chambers). Both were okay, but nothing that made me want to rush out and read more by either author. Starting on Anxious People (Fredrik Backman) now. I started it once before but got distracted and had to return it unfinished to the library.

    I DNF Trust (Herman Diaz), which had been recommended to me by a librarian friend of mine. It’s a award-winning novel, but was a miss for me. I got 18% into the book and gave up because it had been all “tell”, no “show”–just a massive backstory dump. I kept waiting for the actual story to start and finally gave up.

    1. If that was your first Becky Chambers, I really recommend giving her earlier novel, A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, a go. It’s the start of a loosely linked series of four novels, all good. (But do avoid To Be Taught if Fortunate, which is a depressing polemic.)

    2. And that’s not my favourite Cat Sebastian – not on my re-read list anyway. I think she’s much better with her M/M romances.

  25. Frustratingly, I read a book that had been compared to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, but never got funny at all to me. So, I re-read Diana Wynne Jones’s Dark Lord of Derkholm and felt much better. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Howl’s Moving Castle and is fine with Pratchett’s high-level, big picture views — it isn’t as intimate as his Tiffany Aching books.

      1. Right? I always love how DWJ sticks with the everyday details while everything flies off the rails, and how being sensible and organized are admirable superpowers.

  26. I had a week of really good books. Firstly, Call of the Bone Ships, the second book in the Bone Ships Trilogy, which I’m currently besotted with. The world building is just so good, and the story is gripping.
    Then I re-read Peter Dickinson’s Some Deaths Before Dying, which someone mentioned last week or the week before. Really enjoyed it.
    I don’t read a lot of YA, but I stumbled across one this week that was so good. An idiosyncratic, sarcastic voice and a great story. Completely Normal (and other lies) by Biffy James. It’s currently being shortlisted for a stack of prizes, very deservedly. I think it’s only published in Australia/New Zealand the moment but I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t get wider distribution.
    Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold, which I also enjoyed. Not as tense as some of her mysteries, and kind of a comforting story.

  27. I read Donna Andrew’s newest bird themed mystery, and she delivered a great story as usual. Her protagonist mentioned Charlotte McLeod’s “Rest Ye Merry,” more than once in the series, so I read that one, and wound up buying all of the Peter Shandy mysteries – they have such dry humor they remind me a little of The Rivers of London books.

    I just caught up, and the discussion of the Others by Anne Bishop last week triggered some thoughts. I have reread that series several times – although I think the first series is a little more re-readable for me. I was describing them to my father-in-law, and thinking about them, and realizing that thinking too closely about the idea that nature could fight back and keep humans confined/limited was both really intriguing, and somewhat uncomfortable to me – and I think of myself as so liberal… There is some humor in the series…I laughed so hard at the description of one of the character’s ex-husbands as Yorick and his vigorous appendage…

    Thanks everyone for recs!

  28. Thornyhold is one of my favorites. It’s a comfort read, and an interesting look back at earlier times. I love the mystical feel of it.

  29. I’ve done some re-reads, too.

    1. ‘Whip Hand’ by Dick Francis (a re-read, because it came up on sale). Well-crafted story with satisfying resolution.

    2. ‘The Wolf At the Door’ by Charlie Adhara, M/M paranormal procedural. Mostly procedural. The romance wasn’t quite there for me. I know some of you love this author / series but will confess I’ve hit my limit with serial killers for a while (and I understand it takes several books for the romance to really resolve). I *might* dip back in later to see what happens.

    3. ‘Role Playing’ by Cathy Yardley, F/M feat. two middle aged people! 48 and 50! Who bond through online gaming then discover they live in the same small town. There’s quite a bit of small-town and hostile-family fuckery here but it all resolved to my satisfaction (including saying No More to the worst people). I like Yardley’s writing.

    4. re-read my own ‘Drama Queen.’

    5-6. re-read ‘Proper English’ and ‘Think of England’ by KJ Charles. Adore both of them.

    7. ‘Tipping the Velvet’ by Sarah Waters, queer historical novel feat. a Kentish oyster girl who falls in love with a music-hall masher (male impersonator). It’s long, and the POV character is hard to engage with, and a lot of bad shit happens, but the slice of history is fascinating and eventually POV character evolves into deserving a hopeful conclusion. Glad I read it, not likely to re-read it, the afterword was informative & clear-eyed.

    1. I could not get more than 35 pages in with “Tipping the Velvet” – glad to hear that I’m not the only one who finds the protagonist hard going. Might give it another try some time if it ends well.

      And thanks for the Cathy Yardley recc – always nice to find stories about people over 30!

    2. I am one who adores Charlie Adhara. I started with the monster hunter book because I am leery of starting series with long arcs. I usually try a stand alone first.

      Idk. I zipped right through them, bought the audiobooks and did it again. And then again a while later. The relationship arc is just my catnip. They work through their baggage together like adults… And it gets less serial killer and more involved with wolf culture as the series progresses.

    3. I also adore Charlie Adhara – and I never would have recommended it for you. Not really your weltanschauung. (I did that for Dodo.)

  30. No One Is Alone by Rachel Vincent, reread. 5 stars
    Wickedly Unraveled by Deborah Blake. 5 stars
    Tiny Treasures by Deborah Blake. 5 stars
    Dance of a Lifetime by Don Pendleton. 4.8 stars
    1901 by Conroy, Robert [1934-2014]. Blurb: “A Thrilling Novel of a War that Never Was .” His first novel deals with an Imperial German invasion of Long Island when William McKinley was President. He promptly dies of a heart attack, leaving Teddy Roosevelt in the presidency. As usual with a Conroy novel, there is a romance subplot or two. The alternate history is derived from plans found in the German Chancellery after WWII that never came to pass – the idea being to take away US possessions after the Spanish-American war (Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hawaii, Panama Canal.) to give Imperial Germany an overseas empire. 3.9 stars

  31. I’m proofreading reading my son’s first plasma physics paper for his PhD
    Then I’m gonna read a Census paper on the undercounting of children by counties.
    Then i am gonna proof read my daughter’s PhD on cognitive dissonance and persuading people to change their political stance .

    And then I’m cross checking our recommendations for research to the census bureau against what they ended up doing so I can see what they missed .

    Periodically I find an old Torvil and Deane ice dance routine to break it up.

    They were the best !

      1. Actually she has a contract to write a more accessible version. So in a couple years when it’s out I will of course post it here !

    1. OMG Debbie – if they ever print your daughters PHD I want to read it!!! I am deep into cognitive dissonance / consonance and how they are effecting the way our world manifests.

      Please let us / me know if it publishes in a way we / I can buy it.

  32. Just read the new Donna Andrews: Let it Crow! This time Meg is dragooned into being on a blacksmithing (or is it bladesmithing?) reality show, and sure enough a body shows up. I just love spending time with Meg and her family and friends. Andrews continues to be an autobuy for me.

  33. I’m listening to Birder, She Wrote by Donna Andrews. Her novels are great comfort reads. I always enjoy her family/friends and the various animals that come her way.
    I’ve also reread some of Georgette Heyers’ mysteries – Detection Unlimited and They Found Him Dead. Now I’m deciding whether to listen to more Heyers or move on to Wodehouse’s Blandings novels.

  34. For those of you who are big fans of Victoria Goddard’s The Hands of the Emperor she has just released a new companion novella called The Game of Courts. It says that it can be read as a standalone. It takes place concurrently with the events of Petty Treasons. I haven’t read it yet.

  35. I read ‘Awakening Democracy’ by Heather Cox Richardson. I lived through much of what she discusses and too many of the Nixon people are still causing trouble now.

    And back to Foxglove’s Starian books with the King’s Mage. And then something else.

    1. King’s Mage is one of my favourite re-reads in that cycle, since it ties up some loose ends and gets Emile his own romance. I should warn you that the next book is not a fave. But then there’s the novella, Pieces of Silver, which is lovely.

  36. I read One in Vermilion. Rest in Pink left me with many questions and most of them were answered. I really liked that both Liz and Vince were able to make changes to their views about relationships to include each other. I’m looking forward to Rocky Start but still hoping for more Liz&Vince books.

    Also read The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. Recommended by a friend who has very different reading tastes than mine. I was hesitant the first few pages but then was hooked and read into the wee hours of the morning. Very much looking forward to the sequel coming out in early Nov.

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