This is a Good Book Thursday, October 26, 2023

This week I re-read The Deal because I needed a sure thing. (Hi, Sure Thing.). It’s been that kind of week.

In other news, I’ve decided that I have to go back to organizing this blog since we’re revamping the website (keeping Joelle-from-Moxie’s design because I love it, yes, even the monkey) so I should get this place organized and the first thing I decided to do was create a Good Book Thursday tag and log them all into the Reading category. Do you know how long we’ve been doing GBT? Since 2017. That is a lot of weekly posts to tag and categorize but I am on it. So I’m also reading 30 pages of blog titles. I’ve already retagged and categorized the Argh Authors, so the Reading Category is on its way to being accurate. You can see the impact in the Tag Cloud on the right (scroll down; no, farther than that). Also: Dogs and Cats is up to date for the moment. I was all about making it easier for you to read the blog this week.

Which reminds me, what did you read this week?

179 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thursday, October 26, 2023

  1. I reread the rest of “The Vixen War Bride” series – Uncivil Affairs, Repatriation, Cupcake Girls – and used MobiPocket Creator to make a placeholder empty Kindle Book with just the picture for The Dark Ones, due out in Nov/Dec.

    I reread the Assassins of Thassalon, leaving only Knot of Shadows in that series. I’ve mentioned this before – in the very first book in the “World of the Five Gods,” Curse of Chalion, Lois makes an emphatic point of the need to burn a corpse of someone who invoked a miracle of death magic, lest revenants inhabit the corpse and animate it. That mantle then had one of Chekov’s guns prominently on display. Four novels and ten novellas later, that gun is finally fired.

    I’m several chapters deep in Welcome to Temptation, the first novel contained in The Jennifer Crusie Collection of seven books.

    Other than that I Netflixed and Chilled. (Also Amazon Prime Video.)

        1. Oh yes I’ve got it on the list. I don’t pre-order since I believe I can invest my money better than Amazon can…

    1. Ha! I never connected the Chalion opening to Assassins, but you’re right. Man that was a long wind up! Too funny.

    2. I was just thinking it had been too long since I’d had a dose of Penric stories. Anyone know when the next one is due?

      1. Annie’s Book Stop Bujold interview now up [Thu, 05 October 2023] at the store’s website/YouTube channel, here:

        Somewhere in the interview she mentions enjoying semi-retirement for the lack of deadlines, and that she has nothing in progress. That was three weeks ago – she may have something in mind now. You never know.

      2. I don’t know when the next one is due, but I had a sudden yearning for Penric and Des this morning, so started at the beginning with Penric’s Demon.

    3. Alas, no reading for me for another 6 weeks. I joined a mystery knit along. Having a blast, learning a lot, and using all my time. I am listening to The Game of Thrones on audio. I guess that counts….

    4. I can’t figure out how to reply to the actual blog post, so I’m replying in a reply.

      I’m reading The Sweetheart List by Jill Shalvis, one of my fave authors. Have gobbled up the new Crusie/Mayer offering and eagerly awaiting Rocky Start. So glad you two are collaborating again!

      1. Well, and I should clarify that when I say Jill is one of my fave authors, so is Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

        That’s enough fumbling around on blogs today. I can barely post on my own

  2. Not quite “reading” but I’m still listening to Time to Shine by Rachel Reid and loving it even more than last week. Only I’m horribly slow when doing audiobooks as I tend to fall asleep almost instantly when not doing something with my hands simultaneously.

    I’m also listening to I’m your Guy by Sarina Bowen which I raved about last week. Since I’d bought the ebook from amazon, the audiobook is linked with the ebook and I can follow the book while listening. Which I don’t really do but I find it great nevertheless.
    Also, my fav MC Tommaso is narrated by one of my fav narrators (Jacob Morgan, Ted Hamilton doesn’t fit my inner voice for Carter, but he’s not bad, so…). Win.
    Since I know and love the story already, it’s not so bad that I fell asleep twice already with those two MCs in my ear. I have to go back often but I know what I’ve missed, so it’s not so bad.

    I cannot do the same with TtS as it’s the first time listening.

    Does this make sense to anyone but me?

    So: very slow reading week.
    Watched “Happiness for Beginners”, too. Didn’t love it though – tiny details like FMC being able to walk relaxedly with blisters throw me off. Nitpicking, I know…

    1. Thanks for the I’m your Guy recommendation last week (and everyone else too). I’ve raved about it in my comment, but may now check out the audio too…

      1. You’re welcome!! Happy to have made one Argher find a new wealth of books instead of annoying you with my ongoing fascination with hockey 😉

        More recs below your review.

    2. Audiobooks are also books, and thus it’s also reading! So you’ve been doing an excellent job on that front, I’d say. 🙂
      If “reading” would mean ONLY the staring at words on a paper with your actual eyes, then reading braille-books wouldn’t count either. Conclusion: Format is irrelevant, the story (or science or whatever, if you read non-fiction) is what counts!

    3. Years before audiobooks were much of a thing for the sighted, I had a blind friend who consistently used “read” for books he listened to, so in theory I’ve been completely on board with that usage for many decades. Nonetheless I now often second-guess myself when I use the word of an audiobook. But I still end up doing so.

      1. In which case I should have added a reread of Bujold’s The Spirit Ring audiobook. Discussing it last week made me do it.

          1. I don’t think it will ever be my favorite Bujold, but it’s a fair read. Letting Grover Gardener read it to me was better than reading it myself. 🙂

    4. I’m the same way with audiobook rereads — I tend to drift off, but I don’t care, because I’m familiar with the story, and can either rewind or just keep going. I try to save new-to-me audiobooks for times when I’m alert and not likely to fall asleep (the only good thing about insomnia!).

    5. I read “I’m Your Guy” based on your recommendation. I enjoyed it – thanks!

  3. Re-reading some J. D. Robb, and coming back to my feeling that things are just too easy for Eve as far as solving crimes goes. She has all the advantages, and she needs some disadvantages. I sort of want her to have to resolve a crime where she led and someone was wrongfully convicted. She relies a lot on gut, and then following her gut up, what if, once, her gut was wrong, and she didn’t look too far away? Give it some teeth. Or cut her off from Roarke’s resources, or Roarke himself.

    (There’s also the problem that Robb sort of knows that there is a problem with policing, but her ways at writing it don’t really reflect that, it’s always individual bad actors, never a sick system)

    1. I have that problem with J.D Robb as well, although to be fair, I think that she has been writing them for so long that attitudes about police have shifted dramatically. Maybe it is hard for her to change course?

      I stopped reading them after someone here pointed out that the timeline was much more condensed than I realized. I was listening to them out of order whenever the library got one and thought that all the events were taking place over the span of 10 to 15 years. But apparently not? Eve and Roarke are only a few years into their marriage. It’s silly, but Roarke’s hints about having children upset me. Eve hasn’t had time to do all the growth she would need to have that conversation. Also, while I could see them being very good adoptive parents to older kids who need a home, Robb seems to be setting up an arc for Eve to bear children, which feels like a betrayal of the character… End rant.

      1. I agree with you that I don’t want to see Eve have children; she and Roarke are fine the way they are. For what it’s worth, I seem to recall that Nora Roberts had said somewhere, probably on her blog, that she had no intention of providing Eve with babies despite all the fannish pressure for same. So there’s that.

        As for the problems with policing, Roberts started writing these books in 1995. And the books were set in the future (the first book was set in 2058). And they were set after something called the Urban Wars. Is it too much to hope for that policing might have improved at least a little by then? Either way, this series is geared more toward lighter escapist fare than a grim, gritty, and realistic police procedural. So the fact that it doesn’t reflect current concerns about the inherent structural problems in today’s law enforcement forces doesn’t bother me.

        I have a much bigger problem with Roarke being a former criminal whose current financial empire is based upon those criminal proceeds. But I like the characters and stories enough that I’m willing to ignore that. Having said that, I went back to read the first book recently, and it has not aged well. The series, and characters, have clearly evolved over time, as they should.

        1. It would be nice to see Roberts reference some systematic reform of policing in her world history. Maybe the Urban Wars re-set policing attitudes along with the attitude towards guns. Maybe I’ll add that to my head canon.

          I remember complaints in years past about series having a gun ban and low-meat diet as being pushing liberal values, the indignant tone of which I found hilarious. Why have a sci-fi series unless things are different – either for good or ill?

      2. I haven’t read the last few In Deaths – but – if Roarke is hinting at children it’s because Nora is caving to the fans out there who want them to have children. Because she has said adamantly many times that they will never have children & it won’t be an issue. Which, imo, I love Eve & Roarke but not everyone needs children & their lives are not conducive to good parenting. I say to those fans who want them to have children – for god’s sake – get real.

      3. LOL I really like that the timeline is condensed, because effectively what we’re getting is Eve’s daily grind, in a city big enough to have a dedicated homicide squad. We see her in court, and otherwise dealing with cases from x many books ago. But I agree, Eve does have an absurd solve rate!

        Contrastingly is the otherwise delightful Three Pines series which I gave up on because that is far too many murders in a small village 😉

  4. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, by Rick Riordian. Yes, I know they are technically kids/tweens books, but Rick is really good at drawing you into a story and keeping you racing along all the way to the end. I’m still trying to figure out why this one hooked me so hard. I literally couldn’t/didn’t want to put it down. I’ve enjoyed his Greek and Egyptian myth series too and they had groups – they would often split (or get split) into smaller groups and they back and forth into the main group – maybe that’s why this one stuck out more. I won’t lie – I tried this book – the first chapter or so a couple of years ago and just didn’t get into it at the time, this time I just couldn’t let go. This was heavily in Magnus’ view. There was a group, but we never separated from Magnus – I’m thinking that had something to do with it. It was so well done in Magnus’ POV that it seemed to or felt like it was breaking the 4th wall a chunk of the time.

    I’m getting ready to write a tween sci-fi adventure for NanNoWriMo this year – so I was checking out some fav tween authors like Rick Riordian, JK Rowling, and Neil Gaiman to be in the right head space and re-watching a bunch of my fav old 50s, 60s, +sci fi movies. All trying to figure out and remember a bunch of things that I always loved about them as part of my prep and being in the right headspace.

    I got so hooked it was hard for me to look at it objectively until I finished. The story wasn’t extraordinary – it was a hero’s journey classic – from his literal death, to the next situation/monster to resolve, to the next, all the way to the end. I think it was literally that super tight association we kept with Magnus the entire time.

    Off to think some more… I’m still trying to figure out what POV I might want to use. Magnus Chase and Harry Potter use opposite ends of the spectrum, kinda – but still achieve the same goals. I’m still getting a feel for my characters and the story, and I’m still not sure which POV might serve it best still. I need to choose soon though, NaNo begins next week! 😀

    1. I love Magnus, too. Very unapologetic about loving YA or teen books if they connect with me. Which not many do, but RR is marvelous in this way.

    2. I LOVE Riordan’s books and I’m 34. I don’t think we need to find excuses to read books that make us happy and relaxed, regardless of which group they’re “meant for” according to publisher or author. Riordan just has a delightful way of writing. Great comfort-reads and they do indeed drag you along well and good. Great world, great characters, excellent author.
      I hope we get to read your story! 🙂 Good luck with the NaNoWriMo!

    3. May I recommend Nobody’s Princess? Also it’s sequel, Nobody’s Prize.

      She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more out of life. Not one to count on the gods—or her looks—to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and a sassy attitude. That same attitude makes Helen a few enemies—such as the self-proclaimed “son of Zeus” Theseus—but it also intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.

      In Nobody’s Princess, author Esther Friesner deftly weaves together history and myth as she takes a new look at the girl who will become Helen of Troy. The resulting story offers up adventure, humor, and a fresh and engaging heroine you cannot help but root for.

      Follow the link to Esther Friesner and find other princess books.

      1. That sounds marvelous. Friesner is a maybe for me; sometimes she’s just right and sometimes I bounce off. We shall see which this is.

      2. Ooooh, I have to check this one out! Not only does it sound good, but I love Esther Friesner… she used to put together the Chicks in Chainmail combos! 😀

    4. I write middle grade (the category for ages 8-12, so pre-teen), so of course I read it too! It’s always a pleasure to find other MG adult readers. For SF, maybe try Donna Barba Higuera’s The Last Cuentista or her newest book Alebrijes? Best of luck with your NaNoWriMo project!

    5. I don’t have any problem reading good YA or MG. There’s some excellent stuff out there. Coincidentally, I just finished re-reading the Magnus triology myself. And I also just read and enjoyed the latest Percy Jackson. I am contemplating a reread of Ursula Vernon now.

      1. I absolutely love Ursula Vernon’s work for all ages!! (She writes as T. Kingfisher for adults, for anyone who hasn’t connected those dots yet.) Her Hamster Princess series is excellent. LeVar Burton reading her (adult fantasy) short story “Jackalope Wives” on his short story podcast is fantastic, when you have a spare hour.

        1. I loved Kingfisher’s A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking! Her other adult books sound a little scary for me, but that one was fun.

          1. Some of her work is not as scary as others.
            I love the Paladin series and Swordheart and the humor in them is amazing ; I believe all the amazing reviews of Nettle and Bone and What moves the dead but haven’t yet persuaded myself to read them z

          2. Liz, I highly recommend Nine Goblins. Not scary, and quite delightful. It was the first Kingfisher book I read and converted me immediately – though I don’t read her horror.

  5. I’ve been too tired to read at night from SO many cleaning and organizing projects. But I did want to mention that this blog still believes Jenny to be living in a small cottage in New Jersey. Is that the classic ‘famous person myth” thing so that people don’t bother you in your new house, or is that editing yet to do?

    My dining table is cleared off for a change, though, in case anybody was wondering. It’s like a miracle. 🙂

      1. Fixed? Really? 10:30 –

        Jenny Crusie is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of twenty novels, one book of literary criticism, miscellaneous articles, essays, and short stories, and the editor of two anthologies for BenBella Press. She lives in a small cottage on a small lake in New Jersey, surrounded by deer, bears, and dachshunds, where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.

        1. ah HA! It is fixed in the right-hand column on most pages:

          About the Author
          Jennifer Crusie is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author and co-author of twenty-three novels, one book of literary criticism, miscellaneous articles, essays, novellas, and short stories, and the editor of three essay anthologies. She lives in a cottage in Pennsylvania, where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.

          It is NOT fixed in the “ABOUT” page itself!

  6. I also needed a sure thing this week, and found it in a re-re-re-read of A Fashionable Indulgence by KJ Charles and Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier.

    For those who might not have read KJ Charles, The Magpie Lord series is alt-fantasy London m/m romance and it’s honestly, imo, genre setting. But A Fashionable Indulgence is more a comfort read for me – m/m regency (I think), it’s a fun Pygmalion story, and seems a little frivolous, but it’s not candy floss. It’s romance with a bodycount, and real emotions, and characters who aren’t at all generic, and it’s just a Really Good Book that I think is better on the first re-read than the first read.

    And then I picked up (in paper, from my shelf!) Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier which couldn’t be more different and is still wonderful. Ancient fantasy Ireland, the second in a trilogy but my favourite of the three – still better if you have read book one, Daughter of the Forest (a re-telling of the six swans Grimm fairytale). The writing is quiet, lyrical, the heroines are strong and brave and fallible, the setting is as much a character as those named, they just really gel. Yay!

    Now looking forward to some new Good Books to brave next week 🙂

    1. The Society of Gentlemen Regency m/m novels by KJ Charles fit right in with her recurring theme (justice, addressing social, economic, racial, and gender inequality) and multi-book plot arcs. Each wraps up neatly but reading all of them together provides a much larger story. I think she’s the best plotter in the Regency m/m world. Actually I think she’s the best m/m plotter I’ve ever read, full stop.

      1. Yes! The fact that she wrote A Fashionable Indulgence so that she could get A Seditious Affair to work, and Cyprian all the way through. I still don’t love Richard though! (Trying to say all this without spoilers!). And the plotting in Any Old Diamonds, fabulous.

        The covers though are terrible.

  7. Wasn’t in the mood for the novel I’m currently reading and wanted something lighter. I remembered a few recommendations for ‘I’m your guy’ last week, so I downloaded the sample and the immediately after that got the rest of the book.

    Really enjoyed it. The characters were great and enough interesting other stuff (hockey, which I don’t know a lot about, interior design, which i know even less about!).

    When I finished that I went back to New Guy which is the first in ‘stand alone’ series (which seems to link back to another series). Also good, but not as good, I think but I’m not finished yet.

    Anyway, these were my first Hockey books and there’ll be more!

    Also my first MM. I can definitely see why they are a thing, so there’ll be more.

    And my first Sarina Bowen, and there’ll be more. Great to find an author I know I am going to like.

    Success on three fronts. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. You’re in for a wonderful reading experience then, Frozen Pond! Sarina Bowen wrote a LOT of hockey books, most of them F/M and some MM (Understatement of the Year, the two Guy books and the Brooklyn Bruiser series) and most of them are not heavy on the hockey: what I love about her is that she manages to build a community where you can meet up with characters of previous/other books without them overpowering the main story. Like in I’m your Guy: they play against Brooklyn (and purple would not be a good fit on Tommaso’s accent wall because it’s their team’s colour) and Hudson greets their forwards Castro and Drake who are MCs in their own titles. I listened to Castro’s Book (Overnight Sensation ?) and fell in love with J. Morgan, the narrator there.

      I agree with Tammy on the brillance of Rachel Reid, she writes wonderful hockey books, but MM and heavier on the hockey (which I LOVE) – the Game Changer series. Time to Shine is a stand alone and feels more light hearted to me (can’t say why exactly).

      Ashlyn Kane/M. James have a series out, too, that I liked a lot because it’s not completely in fantasy-land where the NHL is accepting, but it’s also heavier on hockey.

      E. Finley/S. James have written a series based around a university hockey team (CU) that sucked me into this topic, and the Puckboy series (I love the first 2, not so keen on 3-5). It’s smuttier thank the Bowen book you read, and far more optimistic in regards to acceptance.

      There are many many more as the genre seems to have kind of exploded.
      But Tammy would know better 🙂

      1. Great, thanks for all those recs. I read less than most of you here so they’ll take a while for me to get through, but there is great comfort in knowing I have lots to explore. I’m saving the list!

        1. I think Dodo has covered all the ones I love here except for Taylor Fitzpatrick. Her published books are edgy though; she saves her humour for her A03 reads. Also – Catherine Cloud – much less edgy but hella hockey.

    2. There is just something comfortable about m/m isn’t there? I don’t know if it’s because men are more straightforward, or if I am just bringing less baggage to the genre as a reader…

      1. I don’t view the MCs through the same judging glasses.
        Jep, I’m bringing a lot of baggage to FM, too.

      2. Since most of the m/m we discuss here is written by women, I think it says more about the readers’ expectations and what gets published than anything else.

        Has anybody read any written by men?

        1. Jep.
          My accidental first mm when I was a teen way written by a man. Can’t remember the name now, but it’s a classic snd I will find it again when I pack the books for the move.
          Brent Hartinger (wonderful YA) is one, Bill Koenigsberg (openly straight) another – on the recommendation of my dh’s gay colleague who also loved e.g. Love Simon.
          Tales of the City by A. Maupin, the comics by Ralf König (famous cartoonist from Cologne) on the rec of my best gf (great comic lover/expert and queer).
          I guess Alexis Hall is male? Alexis being a male name in the UK.
          Must look up my titles on GR, there must be more.
          But you’re right, most authors are female and I often wonder about the accuracy of what they portray, especially when it comes to the smut.

          1. Thank you. It turns out that I have read a few of these (Alexis Hall and Casey McQuiston). And I never think of A Maupin as a romance writer.

        2. Alexis Hall is definitely male (and apparently quite surprised when he discovered its a female name in the US). Also T J Klune, John Goode, Elijah (EE) Ottoman, and I believe Kade Boehme. And M L Buchman writes m/f military romantic suspense – only male m/f author I’ve come across.

          Then there are a number of non-binary, trans and genderqueer (she says with trepidation, hoping she’s not misgendering anyone).

          Casey McQuiston (nb)
          Austin Chant (trans)
          Heidi Cullinan (nb)
          Roan Parrish (nb)
          Yoon Ha Lee (trans)
          Jordan L. Hawk (trans)
          Jack Harbon (nb)
          Neon Yang (trans /nb)
          Cole McCade (trans: he/him)
          Kris Ripper (nb: ze/zir)
          J.R. Gray (genderqueer)
          Meryl Wilsner (nb)

          I pulled these together for a friend who was specifically looking for OwnVoices writers. Would love it if anyone has corrections or additions!

          1. Also Gregory Ashe, who I like a lot, but the romance arc is often very slow burn (across a series) and the characters are all flawed, sometimes a bit damaged, (not the writing, but the actual characters, there are a lot of people being shits basically, not unlike life), and the stories can be violent, but I still like most of them a lot (there were a few misses for me). I do think each of his series has a different feel, even if they are all mysteries. The Lion and the Lamb is a good start, I think.

          2. Jay Northcote (trans, I liked most of the Housemates series quite a bit) and Adam Silvera (gay) also come to mind.
            The latter writes YA, not romance itself, but emotionally deep live stories.
            And yes, A. Maupin doesm’t fall into the romance category but his portrayal of gay love was one of the first ones I can remember reading. And that love us hard to find.

          3. Yuri, answering to your post about Brent Hartinger:
            I’ve read Geography Club first, then thr follow-up books.
            I always meant to read more of his books, but life intervened.
            I’m on his newsletter list, though, and his installments on life as a nomad around the world is very nice, too.
            He seems to be a great guy. Very open, introspective and observant.

  8. I read I’m Your Guy by Sarina Bowen and Time to Shine by Rachel Reid – both hockey M/M romances and both good but IMHO the latter is better and will go on my re-read list whereas the former won’t. Reid’s characters are unique and her writing is fun.

    I also read To Ravish A Rogue by CM Nascosta – very different from her usual books except for the smut (of course). It’s set in an alt-world, circa 1800’s, of magic and monsters, with a classic trope of pirate captain and the woman disguised as cabin boy. Except she’s a witch and he’s half human, half serpent. Delicious.

    Now back to the rabbit hole of A03 that I’m completely lost in…

    1. Usually I don’t concentrate as much on the quality of storytelling than on the connection the story allows me to have with the protagonists.
      Since I fell in love with Tommaso from I’m your guy instantly, I loved the book.

      With Time to Shine I’m pretty sure I have to get the real book, too, as listening first and reading next is just not the same for me. Always better the other way round.
      But I agree that her romances are SUPERB.
      Which is the reason why I allowed my 15 yo to borrow my copy of Heated Rivalry althought its content is probably way too mature for her age…

        1. My problrm is that I listen to TtS, so cannot immerse myself the same way than in a written book. But the real book has a delivery time of at least 3 weeks and that’s ghe time we’re going to move houses. I fear the package might get list…
          But so far the I’m loving those two, too. Great to see a demi/hyper work. Love, love love what I managed to listen to so far.

    2. I’m so excited for the sea monster cabin boy. I hardly ever do historical romance anymore, but this should be fun!

  9. I had a great reading week. I finished Tea For Two by CM Nascosta and loved it. It’s definitely going to be a comfort reread. I also feel a belated goth phase coming on. Black was never my color, but I have some chunky doc Martens that I am going to resurrect from my closet. And I found my tarot deck.

    Then I listened to Ten Things that Never Happened by Alexis Hall. Not quite the heavy emotional lifting of Boyfriend Material and I didn’t realize how Christmasy it was, but still sweet and fun.

    And I just finished How to Seduce a Scoundrel by KJ Charles. Loved it. It’s lots of fun, emotional growth, good characters.

    My only problem now is that I am spoiled. I have had three new books in a row by auto-buy authors. What am I supposed to read next? Definitely have a book hangover.

      1. Well, some of that is the vacation. I have time to chew through an audio book in a day or two. And I don’t have to decide between trying to exercise, really read, or my studio practice, in a day. I can alternate between them all.

        But it does feel lovely to connect with so many stories and finish them within a reasonable period.

      1. It’s more gentle than a normal hangover. I walk around with a nice fuzzy glow left from a good book. The only problem is that it can make me hesitant to start something else because I am afraid it won’t be as good…

  10. It’s been a busy couple of days so not much reading unless you want to count cleaning up the long list of useless e-mails. Although last week I did finish One in Vermillion. I love when it all comes together at the end and all the pieces fit into place. On Netflix I did go back to Virgin River and just finishing up the last few episodes before the break. One of the best episodes I watched was when Hope and company went to a spa and had themselves a field day. It was not your senior citizens gathered around a table at Jack’s Bar knitting. They really should have more adventures like that.

    1. A P.S to the knitting comment. I don’t have anything against knitting I was just noting one of the many things they could do to keep themselves active. And put a little bounce to the show so it is not a constant lovefest.

  11. I’ve also been re-reading the early Gregor Demarkian books (Not A Creature Was Stirring remains amazing), and The Winter List by S. G. MacLean, a sequel to her earlier Damian Seeker series, and in the same universe as her Alexander Seaton world. She also wrote a wonderful stand alone called The Bookseller of Inverness. She’s one of those authors who is excellent at being even handed, and showing both sides. The Damian Seeker series is set under Cromwell, and The Winter List is set immediately after, with people struggling with their choices and actions. Not that it’s all grim– Seeker has a Cromwell problem, in that Cromwell and Lady Cromwell are convinced he needs the love of a good woman, and keep trying to set him up.

    1. I really enjoyed the early Demarkian books, less so the later ones. I wrote Haddam twice, decades apart, and in addition to my fan praise, complained about the depicted iconostasis in an Armenian church (unlike the Greek Orthodox, etc., they don’t use them). She finally fixed it near the end of the series, whether thanks to my prodding or for another reason. (I think I had suggested the same rationalization she used, but it was the only obvious one so I don’t know if she even read my letters.) I also enjoyed many of Haddam’s other books, I think all published under her real name (Papazoglou, if I recall aright).

      1. I did realise that the point where they started going downhill was the point where her husband died. She lost a lot of her tolerance for atheists, which saddened me because I’d really appreciated that, and, weirdly, developed a hatred for the British Labour politician Tony Benn…

        I also disliked the retconning that Gregor and Bennis had always been in love, and felt that she needed a bit more editing: again, annoying because the earlier books had been so well plotted and written, and I really enjoyed them!

  12. I love rereading the GBT archives! I read the corresponding week for each year, starting with 2017.
    Great source of positivity and recommendations.

    1. Uh, “GBT archives”? Great Britain Today? Goeth Bertram Thus? Goose Beside Thames? Go Brooklyn Thugs? Get Before Time? Go Be Tidy?

      I’m a great reader of archives. I just need proper direction.

  13. I took The Goblin Emperor on my trip and reread it in spates between activities with family. It’s my go to book for plane travel, as it is a small paperback, yet a long story. Then, when I got home, I was exhausted from all the interacting and running around, so I’m rereading it again, and finally getting all the people and places set in my mind. The book is very complicated, and not only some of the characters have confusingly similar names, titles, and jobs, but the places inside the palace are a little confusing too. That is part of what makes it so fascinating. I wish there was a sequel, and it’s possible, as a few things are left hanging.

    Otherwise, I have been reading the saga of the chaos of the elusive electable House Speaker. Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, has a hilarious piece about that this morning in the news. He titled it “A Fifth String Speaker Suits Up…..” It is ameliorative to see humor in that disaster.

    1. Yeah, I liked The Witness for the Dead and The Grief of Stones too, but I’d love to find out what Maia does next!

      I also really loved Addison’s The Angel of the Crows — it’s a historical fantasy take on Sherlock Holmes/Jack the Ripper, but with some truly different angles. I think it’s my favorite version of the Holmes/Watson dynamic ever! (And the “angels” in the title are are very different take on angels, too.)

      1. She has another book coming, the Tomb of Dragons, but no release date yet and it seems to be about Celehar not Maia. Maybe Maia will appear?

  14. It might be because I’ve been disappointed in Nora Roberts’ recent releases that I went back to classic Nora and read the six Stanislaski books and just started Birthright.

    1. I miss when NR was more about community, and less about murder… I’m not reading for hoteliers who know all about serial killers, I’m reading for the redecoration porn!

      1. Yes! I really liked the bridal quartet where they each run part of the creative business. Like you, I don’t really care about the murdery bits. I just really enjoy depictions of competent people in creative businesses.

        And some of them felt… Weird. Like Shelter in Place. The plot was so implausible and ran counter to a lot of my active shooter training and I guess it just felt insensitive to people who have lived through something similar. Like, the sensationalism of the plot somehow de-legitimizes the seriousness of the topics?

  15. I’m very slowly reading My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows, a… parallel story to the first book in the Lady Janies-series. It’s in the same world as My Lady Jane, but this time in France, starring Mary, Queen of Scots. I’ve been binge-watching “Come Dine With Me” a lot this week, so hasn’t been much room for reading, but I’m trying. At least it doesn’t feel scary or intimidating like a lot of other books have done lately, so that’s a bit of progress. These authors are good at writing alternative historical fiction that’s nuts and relaxing to read at the same time.

    Still rereading Raymond E. Feist’s books in the world of Midkemia together with Sven. We’re now on the third book of the Serpent War Saga: Wrath of a Demon King. It’s fun to hear him come up with expectations on what’s coming or suspicions and ideas about the world and characters that I have known for about 17 years. Always a joy to get someone you love into a world you love. He’s generally hesitant to join my bookworlds, but so far he’s loved all of them once I got him started. 🙂

  16. Years before audiobooks were much of a thing for the sighted, I had a blind friend who consistently used “read” for books he listened to, so in theory I’ve been completely on board with that usage for many decades. Nonetheless I now often second-guess myself when I use the word of an audiobook. But I still end up doing so.

    1. Don’t second-guess; its all reading. “Normal” books, braille, audiobooks or talking books, e-books, it’s all reading. I mean, how about we say that the word “reading” can only be used for books written in our alphabet, because the others are only pictures to us? That’d be silly. Or do only book-books count? That’d mean that staring at an e-book wouldn’t be reading either.
      Ears, fingers, toes, elbows, eyes – it’s all reading!

  17. Read another Maisey Yates cowboy and switched gears to Nadia Lee because the new Lasker Brothers book came out (Finally Forever). The hero gives the heroine a library. With signed books. And an espresso machine. Then her Flirting With the Rock Star Next Door and Oops I Accidentally Married a Rock Star and they were both so funny I must warn you all not to read them in public. I don’t remember the last time I read a rom com that was actually laugh out loud funny. And for a complete shift, Dean Koontz’ The Good Guy. Guy in the right place at the wrong time saves the girl, HEA, the dog doesn’t die because it’s Koontz. And aside from all the reading it was Winterization Week because the freeze warning is here and we get a solid week of hard freeze. Goodbye until next year, garden. My counter is now full of green tomatoes harvested ahead of the frost.

    1. I read a whole lot of Koontz years ago, I don’t remember many specifics, but if you were to ask me up sum up his genre “weird things happen, but the dogs don’t die”

  18. I’m needing comfort and found it in Curves For Days by Laura Moher – great story, some heart and some laughs a grumpy/optimistic pair of Adults in a small town. New Author and can’t wait for the next one.

    Also loved Role Playing by Cathy Yardley again Adults – (empty nester one of the pair – I love reading about romance in someone more my age group), some laughs and heart.

    Because I read to escape the really depressing world at large and also what is happening in mine right now, I love some fun, a good laugh and a HEA. Got that in spades with Some Like It Lethal by Nancy Martin (3rd Blackbird Sisters novel). Laughed out loud at the antics of Spike the dog. Great recommendation from Jenny that series is.

  19. It’s been a trip way down memory lane for me this week.

    My son always gives me a book as a gift for my birthday and this year, I have had trouble getting into the book he selected. He made sure to tell me because he knows me that there is a romance in there but it is too high fantasy for my taste so I have put it to the side for now but it made me think about what I like in fantasy. Basically I like court politics and cultural clashes much more than battles, especially when they are against the big evil one.

    I thought then about rereading the Goblin Emperor or the Hands of the Emperor but then I remembered a trilogy I read and loved back in the 1990s .

    So, I am now in the middle of an epic reread of Janny Wurts and Raymond E Feist Empire trilogy, starting with Daughter of the Empire. I am really enjoying it. Mara is an excellent heroine and while I remember the main elements of the plot, I forgot a lot of the intricate details. I especially didn’t remember how ruthlessly she dealt with her first husband and how much she grows and evolves in good ways through the books.

    It’s nice when something you read a long time ago holds up to your memories of it.

    1. I don’t much care for fights or battles either. I usually skim them or flip past. One of the things that I liked so much about Meljean Brooks’ steampunk series was that she deescalated a lot of the fights before they happened. It caught me by surprise, but it was great.

      1. I am a big fan of Meljean Brooks’ steampunk. I never noticed that but the world building is excellent.

  20. I missed reading this site. I have been traveling for two weeks – went to LA to visit my friend – and didn’t go to the internet (except checking emails on my phone) for the duration of my trip. I read of course, but only old favorites on my kindle, so nothing new to report here.
    It was a wonderful vacation. My friend and I first met in Sep 1973, 50 years ago, during our first year at university, when we were both 17. We kept in touch since graduation, but it was distant: jobs, families, different countries, etc. Now, I spent two weeks at her house, and she drove me everywhere in LA. And the weather was gorgeous.
    Now, I’m home and started an interesting new book: Michiko Aoyama’s What You are Looking for is in the Library. It is translated from Japanese. A quiet, introspective novel, mainstream I think, that reminds me somehow of Japanese anime. I’m still in the beginning, but I’m going to continue reading it, despite its slow pace. I have never tried this author before. Has anyone here read her?

  21. I have been rereading Diana Wynne Jones and for the first time read Reflections: on the Magic of Writing.

    Her parents were clearly hellish (her son says that her sisters don’t remember it quite the way she does but she was the oldest so probably remembers it more clearly plus she ended up doing a lot of the parenting for her sisters).

    Two things really struck me about what she says about her writing.

    First, she really believed that things she wrote about came true.
    About Archers Goon she says

    Now those of you who have read this book will know that it hinges on a man called Quentin Sykes discovering a newborn baby in the snow. I had just started the second draft of this book when my eccentric Sussex friend went for a walk in the middle of a winter’s night and discovered a baby.
    He found it a very moving experience—but I felt acutely responsible.

    She also tells this fabulous story about being edited:

    Charmed Life: I know by the time I’d done the second draft it was absolutely perfect, it really, really was, I mean just as it is at this moment, you know. And this woman rang me up and wrote to me and told me exactly this sort of thing: “You must take out this chunk and that chunk and rewrite this and alter that,” and I was furious. And I thought surely we can do something about this. And thank God it was the days before computers.
    I said, “Send me the typescript back and I’ll see what I can do.”

    So she did, and I cut out the bits she told me to alter, in irregular jagged shapes, then stuck them back in exactly the same place with Sellotape, only crooked, so it looked as if I taken pieces out and put new pieces in. And then I sent it back to her, and she rang up and said, “Oh, your alterations have made such a difference.” And I thought, “Right! Hereafter I will take no notice of anybody who tries to edit my books.” And I don’t.

    It’s a collection of lots of essays and speeches so there is a fair degree of duplication but it’s really worth reading.

    1. That’s interesting, thanks Debbie. I haven’t read Reflections, but I heard DWJ speak at a conference once and was really struck by her belief in what she writes about. I remember her talking about her travel jinx too – the uncanny being very real to her.

      Charmed Life is indeed perfect how it is.

  22. I dnf Legends and Lattes. I’m sure it’s good that is just not my genre.

    I picked back through the Celestine Prophecy looking for something that I didn’t really find but it brought back good memories.

    I binge re-watched The Good Wife. It’s nice when you know the story well enough that you can fast forward thorough any irritating parts. BONUS; Matthew Goode is now the place-keeper for my nano novel efforts. He is soooo pretty.

    Now to 12/1 I probably won’t read a lot. Must. Focus. On. Writing.

    And, I must again express gratitude for Tammy – my wonderful accountability partner.

    Nothing but good times ahead, y’all.

    1. I had trouble connecting with Legends and lattes. I’m not sure why. Everything was there that I should like, but I just couldn’t get into it. A dnf for me as well.

    2. We’re dragging each other through the eye of the needle, Judy!

      And it’s too bad you and Lupe did not like Legends & Lattes – I really did. Loved the whole setting up of the bakery, and the way I thought oh no things are now going to go a particular way..and they never did. Ah well. You can’t love ’em all.

  23. Thanks for the GBT tag. Reading The Raven entries, Pulp Literature contest. Whoa, a lot of darkness this year. Will be interesting what is long and short listed. Next up is Murderbot, number 5.

  24. I finished I’m Your Guy and enjoyed it greatly. Then I reread a whole lot of Loretta Chase, as always finding things I hadn’t noticed or had forgotten. Every detail matters in hers. Now I’m reading Melissa Scott’s Dreaming Metal, which I have always loved and which my library no longer has, and which I bought since it was fairly cheap. I must not do that with every book I love. Now that my Social Security income is added to my now part-time regular pay, I have more money (for as long as I can keep working) but I must not let it go to my head and Buy All the Books.

    1. (When I say go to my head, I mean I have pre-ordered the new Murderbot, and then I pre-ordered something else, I forget what, and then I bought something before I bought Dreaming Metal. Whoa, there.)

  25. The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty: historical fantasy (12th century Indian Ocean area) about a legendary pirate captain who retired to take care of her daughter, who’s forced to take one last job. I loved the protagonist’s voice, the humor, the setting, and the heist-like found family crew!

    Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin: small-town witchy romance about a high school teacher who’s feeling stuck and her merman former best friend who left town right after graduation. A great cozy/funny/spooky read — reminded me a bit of Lana Harper’s Thistle Grove mixed with Alyssa Cole and/or Jasmine Guillory (all favs of mine!)

    re-listening to Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: a locked house mystery in a SF setting with necromancers and body horror. Incredible voice, truly funny and dark, extremely dysfunctional relationships, wildly talented author. (The other books in the series are completely different, fyi — they fit their protagonists, they’re not more of the same.) Moira Quirk is an excellent narrator, too!

    1. I love Gideon, and Harrow. I must read book three! The were both batshit in entirely different ways. The audiobook of Gideon is also absolutely excellent.

      1. The same narrator reads all three books! The third is completely different in a whole new way, and I really enjoyed it too. It’s a smoother, less thorny read than Harrow, but still trusts you to puzzle through it.

  26. Halfway through Rest in Pink here, of course after Lavender Blue with a book in between for palate freshening. I am experiencing a singular phenomenon. I have begun thinking in Liz Danger fashion–thinking, not speaking. Hmm. Not such a bad way to be. I find altered reactions and decisions revisted with crisper viewpoint. I detect a world with more colors. More calm and acceptance seeps in. Hmm. Earlier this week I read that the gap between close-in-time eclipses stirs subconscious upheaval leading to change. Currently, we are in such a time.

  27. This week I skimmed through the entire 2023 reading journal to compile my ’23 for 23′ list to date. This is a reading challenge I found out about in August, the challenge being to seek out books by BIPOC authors featuring BIPOC characters. Must say, it’s been a great way to re-train my algorithm (because of course, once you start buying X type of book, the AI is happy to tell you about more of them). Anyway, on to the week’s reading.

    1. started with a re-read of my own novel ‘Mistletango,’ the one where a dance teacher & an accountant meet on vacation in Buenos Aires.

    2. ‘Luke & Billy Finally Get a Clue’ by Cat Sebastian, m/m novella, 1953, two baseball players (longtime teammates) figuring it out. I could have read *a lot more* of their story, just saying. Really like her midcentury titles.

    3. ‘The Mechanics of Lust’ by Jay Hogan, m/m novel set on New Zealand’s south island. As always I love her ability to deliver a sense of place. This is not at all a bad book. For me, it was just a little too similar, from the character development to the central conflict, to some other titles of hers. One actual dissatisfaction vs mild disappointment: could we not have had more about the MC working with his sheepdogs? That part was fresh and engaging.

    4. ‘An Article of Lies’ by Lisa Oliver, m/m fantasy / alt-historical. Related to other titles but reads as a standalone. It’s an arranged marriage, two princes story with quite good world building, character development, use of conflict, and relationship growth. Pleasing MCs with good friends & families; realistic treatment of political BS. My only issue was the poor editing.

    5. ’10 Things That Never Happened’ by Alexis Hall, m/m novel, contemporary, with a Big Red Flag that is acknowledged and negotiated throughout (boss/employee relationship). The other big red flag is that the employee is deceiving the boss about a workplace injury. That was also acknowledged and negotiated throughout. The relationship development is completely credible, as is the employee MC’s motivation for nudging the boss toward a family rapprochement. This was a 5 star book for me.

    6. re-read ‘Work For It’ by Talia Hibbert, m/m small-town contemporary set in England, feat. a depressed attorney / writer from rich family and a socially-awkward farm manager / flavor developer who’s ill-treated by almost his entire acquaintance. They get off to a rough start and there is some deep sadness / trauma addressed in this book, but I really love it. Highlighted huge chunks of it. Also the person described as a writer spends a lot of time writing, so yay realism. 🙂

    7. ‘The Marquis Who Mustn’t’ by Courtney Milan, f/m late-Victorian set in a small English village that’s home to many Asian immigrants. I liked this a lot but had one serious problem with it, namely a last-act reappearance of the shithead con-man father of MMC, which prompts actual violence from the FMC and her cousin. The scene was unnecessary to the plot and it undid a lot of good character development. Otherwise, extra credit for safe sex, a creative solution to the MMC’s perceived debt to the village, and thoughtful problem-solving conversations between the MCs.

    1. 10 Things by Alexis Hall is next up in my to-listen-to-pile. I’m soooo looking forward to it from the sample I’ve heard. Wonderful British accents, sigh.

  28. I enjoyed Alexis Hall’s 10 Things That Never Happened. Then reread Husband Material, which I didn’t enjoy quite as much this time – but still good. Rejected several samples, and am now rereading Courtney Milan’s Trade Me, which is one of my favourites of hers: contemporary YA romance (though a few years old now, which shows because cutting-edge tech is part of the story). I didn’t enjoy the follow-up; didn’t connect with the trans heroine. There’s supposed to be a more direct sequel, but she seems to be stalled on it.

  29. Rebecca Yarros wrote this fantasy novel about young adults training to be dragonriders: Fourth Wing. I was resisting it a bit because it’s not a new premise. But it was so popular, I finally decided to take the plunge to see if it was worth the fuss. I was pleasantly surprised enough that I ordered the next book which is coming out next month. It’s about a young woman with physical ailments (not sure of the exact problem) who has been forced into a training academy for dragonriders where she is highly likely to die, either as a result of a training accident, immolation by a dragon, or simply being murdered. If someone here recommended it, I appreciate the recommendation!

    I also tried another book which had been sitting on my TBR for a while, Ebony Gate by Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle and I enjoyed it so much I immediately shelled out the cash for my own hard copy. It’s a urban fantasy about a young woman who has attempted to escape her, ha, demons, by starting a new life in San Francisco away from her family and clan. Slowly but surely, she gets sucked into a quest to save the city from malevolent forces using new and old skills and resources. It sort of has the flavor of a Big Trouble in Little China story. Looking forward to more of these books.

    1. I really hope Fourth Wing is worth the wait, because I am now 221st in line at the library. Down from I forget what a couple of months ago. They now have 32 copies, and my wait time is supposed to be only fourteen weeks.

      1. I enjoyed it too and have preordered the sequel. I found her contemporary less engrossing though and in one case pretty brutal.

  30. This week, I really enjoyed reading a book that was recommended here, No One is Alone by Rachel Vincent. Teen novel, with themes of family and friendship, and adjusting to major life changes. I will definitely read her other novels.

    I also read Margaret Atwood’s collection of short stories, Old Babes in the Woods. Parts 1 and 3 are interconnected stories. But I really enjoyed the middle section the most, which were lively and inventive non-related stories. She’s such a good writer. (Parts 1 & 3 are also good, but they were quieter stories dealing with aging, love and loss, and loss of partner in a long term relationship)

    1. If you liked No One is Alone you will also like Sarina Bowen’s The Accidentals which I think is one of her best books.

  31. I read the latest TA Williams cozy mystery set in Italy—Murder in Sienna. They’re soothing mysteries to me—lots of food descriptions and a goofy black lab. Also Mistletoe and Murder by Connie Berry, another satisfying, no-stress series. I picked up Ann Cleeves’ The Raging Storm at the library today. That will no doubt be much more angsty, but she’s such a good writer. I’ll give it a go. Can you tell I’m seriously prioritizing low-stress entertainment at the moment? Actually, I have been for at least a year…

  32. Let’s see…Scoundrel by KJ Charles (really enjoyed this), Cici and the Curator (MC who was annoying at times but wonderful dogs) and now The White Magic Five and Dime (just begun).

  33. I both read and listen to audio books while I do chores (I foster cats so lots of chores!). This week, I:

    Finished the Prospero’s War urban fantasy series by Jaye Wells. Decent UF with good world-building, but a bit more serious than I prefer in my reading.

    Read The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, a weird, lovely book about a policeman investigating a murder staged as a suicide, while the world prepares to end. Great writing, and somehow not as depressing as it ought to have been. I checked out the next book in the series. (yay libraries!)

    Listened to The Greater Good, book one of a zompoc series by Suzannne Sussex. Good, and I bought the rest of the series, but then decided I needed a break because some stuff going on in my life means I need lighter material

    Listened to several books in the Annette Marie Guild series (one from each of the three early series). Good but light urban fantasy; works well on audio.

    Now I’m listening to The Clockwork Boys by the brilliant T. Kingfisher. What an imagination she has! (I also bought it on audio in Chirp Books “bundle” sale, along with its sequel)

    1. I remember the buzz for The Last Policeman. I read part of it, and although I sympathized with our hero’s view that justice should be meted out even with a killer asteroid on the way, I found the situation too depressing to read about and I bailed. In a somewhat similar vein, there is at least one “murder on the Titanic” novel and indeed I think a whole series of disaster mysteries (murder on the Hindenburg, etc.), although there the characters don’t know what’s coming and for all I know, some survive the disaster. And of course a whole genre of stories in which the characters do know that certain doom is coming but the plot is something other than a mystery story. Those can be as varied as On the Beach and Eifelheim.

      1. Eifelheim? Patrick, I’m not sure if anyone else in the universe besides you and me has read Eifelheim.

        Are we talkng about the same book? Two eras? Modern couple in a sort of entropy mode talking about music and physics? Black death plot that includes aliens?

        1. Elizabeth, That sounds like the magazine version. Michael Flynn later expanded it into a novel where more than half of the scenes are in the Middle Ages. The no-spoiler version is that some of the characters know they will *probably* die from the Black Death but another set of characters know for near-certain that they’re doomed from a different cause. And yet the book is actually rather uplifting and, in an ultimate sense, optimistic. Partly depending on how many of Flynn’s premises the reader shares, I suppose. I’d be surprised if Gary J. has not at least heard of the novel.

          1. Patrick, That is the novel I was thinking of. My daughter worked for a company that was part of the book’s creation as a novel. I skimmed it at the time, and have thought of it often over the years, regretting that I didn’t read it with care. I think that was around the time I discovered Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book.

          2. Sorry, I never heard of this novel, or at least I have no memory of it. The only Flynn I’ve read is Fallen Angels with Niven and Pournelle, which was outstanding.

        2. Elizabeth, (This may appear out of sequence in the comments; we’ll see when I post it.) The Doomsday Book has a marginally happier ending (in the short term) than Eifelheim, but still a lot of Black Death, and it would take a stronger stomach than mine to read the two close together. But Eifelheim is still in e-print (and, I think, plain print), and is still in many libraries and is fairly cheap as a used book from internet dealers.

          1. Hi Patrick — Yes, Connie Willis was pretty close to how modern folks would react to a plague, too. Except I don’t think she included a group which was denying that the plague was taking place.

            I’ll look for a used copy of Eifelheim, as you suggest. I seem to remember that there were higher expectations for the success of the novel than came true. I doubt that was because of the story — in my opinion the title was too vague.

        3. Gary and Elizabeth,

          On looking it up, I find the novella was on the Hugo ballot in 1987 and the novel version (with the scenes in the Middle Ages added) on the ballot in 2007, but it won neither time. Especially in the novel version it does not, to my mind, closely resemble anything else fictional he ever wrote that I read, and to my taste it is by far his best book. Similar themes do show up elsewhere in his fiction, however. Michael Flynn died less than a month ago, but so far his family has kept his interesting blog online:

          1. Forgot to add that 1987 or even 2007 is plenty long enough ago to have forgotten a title.

          2. There are a great many books I can readily recall. Start with Step to the Stars by Lester del Rey in 1963, the first Science Fiction novel I ever read. I was 12. I usually mention that in connection with praising librarians, because the kindly old librarian (had to have been at least 20) recommended it. US Navy Mine Defense Lab base library, Panama City, Florida. The beginning of my love of SF&F.

            I remember a lot of books I read in the 80s. Eifelheim wasn’t any of them. That plot would have stuck with me.

          3. Gary, I only said that you probably would have heard of it (if only from its Hugo nominations), not read it. My own first non-children’s sf book was Norton’s Galactic Derelict, which my non-sf-reading father brought home for me because he thought I might like it. But somewhat later a kindly librarian did tell me, despite being underage, that I had special permission to take out sf books from the adult section of the (small) public library. (Incidentally, the author bio on Galactic Derelict does mention that Andre Norton is a woman. A myth has grown up that this fact was kept quiet a lot longer than it was.)

          4. Patrick, This time I’m the one who isn’t sure where my comment will show up in this thread. Just a bit of information: a new printing of Doomsday Book is coming out in the next few days. I only know because I lost my copy and ordered a new one from the new printing. I haven’t reread Doomsday Book for many years and have recently read several Connie Willis books — am looking forward to returning to Oxford in the plagues.

  34. I’ve mostly been reading girls’ school stories in preparation for an introduction I’m writing. I also read Scalzi’s “Starter Villain”, which was ok, but didn’t really grab me. Too much action I think, and felt like I wasn’t keeping up with all that was going on.

    Just seen a recent interview with Bujold posted on Ravelry which I will listen to later:

    1. That’s the same interview with Annie’s Books I linked further up. About eighteen and a half minutes in, the interviewer asks about challenges and Lois says that finding new, fresh ideas she hasn’t already written about has gotten a lot harder. The follow-up was “What’s next?” and Lois said “There’s nothing in the pipeline.”

  35. Totally aside from Good Books, I looked outside (7 AM) and there’s no daylight to speak of. That caused me to frown and page through my calendar for the end of Daylight Screwed-up Time, November 5.

    Has anyone heard whether congress has finalized plans to do something about DST?

    You can all take my twice-yearly anti-DST rant as given. In lieu of said rant, I once again encourage everyone everywhere in the USA to Call Their Congresspeople at 2 AM (1 AM Standard time) on November 5th to pass on your support of DST or Sunshine Act. I don’t care which side of the debate you are on, just make the call, please!

    1. Congress is dealing with the need to pass at least a temporary budget by Nov 17 so large parts of the government don’t shut down, what to do about Israel/Hamas and Ukraine and the need for more disaster relief, the need to pass several major authorization bills like the Farm Bill, and a whole bunch of made up priorities that the House Republicans want but the House Democrats Senate Republicans and Senate Dems think are nuts. And they are trying to do it with a House Majority that can’t agree on anything except they won’t work with Democrats. So far I have not heard anything about daylight savings time in my …yikes…27 years of Congress adjacent work life.
      However two states don’t follow it (AZ and HI) so maybe you need to try to get your state to change it.

    2. When I was working, I was team DST. Now that I’m retired, I don’t really care. Change it; don’t change it; it’s the same amount of day and night.

  36. I read the Novels of Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester. She’s written a very good bio of Heyer, but if you’d like to get the biographic details along with an analysis of every single one of the novels, then this is the book for you. I think I read some of the commentaries of the novels on her webpage, but it’s nice to have them all in one place with what amounts to an abbreviated biography.

    I also read The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston, which I missed when it first came out. Loved it, especially since it was not at all what I expected. I went into B&N today and decided to pick up The Seven Year Slip on the strength of how much I enjoyed the first book. I also got The Hexologists by Josiah Bancroft b/c of the buy one get one 1/2 price promotion. I’ve never read the author, but the blurb looked promising. I appreciate a couple who solve magical crime. Anyone read it?

    Reread Network Effect by Martha Wells last night to get ready to read and review my ARC of System Collapse (11/14 release I think). What a brilliant book.

    “Just remember you’re not alone here.”
    I never know what to say to that. I am actually alone in my head and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.”

    Looking forward to seeing everyone again in this next book.

  37. Okay, I think I’m out of verification. I don’t know whether this came out or not. I’m on BlueSky (and alternative to twitter). You need an invite to join. This is a long shot so is anyone interested in an invite code? I have one

  38. If you’re keeping the monkey, can you please consider removing the “X” watermark from it? It’s been driving me crazy for years.

    Haven’t wanted to be “that guy” but if you’re looking at it and updating anyway…thought it worth the mention now =)

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