Happiness is Talking About Books

I have so enjoyed the comments about Dick Francis this week. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to talk about books I love with people who love them, too. I’m going to really enjoy doing the Re-Read posts and enjoy even more the comments and conversation.

What made you happy this week?

+1

Argh Re-Reads: Dick Francis

So I’ve been thinking about a new series for here and the comments in the last post about Dick Francis decided it: I’m going to do every-now-and-then posts about my re-reads, one author per post, starting with the Dick Francis post I took down because it was a draft. Basically, it’ll be a paragraph about why I love these authors, whatever other info I have about their lives and writing, and then a Top Five Re-Reads with annotations. That’ll be fun for me and the comments should be interesting since we can talk about one author in depth. Some of my other re-reads will probably be Pratchett, Gilbert, Heyer, Allingham, Christie, Stout, Wells (although only her Murderbots, so maybe not), Aaronovitch and . . . well, there are a lot. REALLY looking forward to the conversations in the comments.

And now, Dick Francis. Continue reading

+7

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 8, 2021

Last week, for the first time, I DNFed a book through rage. I’ve been reading romances between rereading mysteries, trying to see how things have changed in the genre (a lot, but that’s usual, romance reinvents itself constantly) and I tried a book that was turning out to be substandard from the beginning (gorgeous heroine, gorgeous hero, heroine needs rescued but is surprisingly sexually predatory for a wimpy girl) and then I got to the point where the hero had been falsely accused of rape. I HATE THIS TROPE. Continue reading

+24

Argh Author: Gin Jones’ Laid Out in Lavender (Garlic Farm Mystery #2)

Gin Jones‘ latest Garlic Farm mystery, Laid Out in Lavender, is out today!

Mabel Skinner still hasn’t acquired a taste for growing garlic, but the app developer-turned farmer does have a nose for rooting out killers . . .

Dreaming she’ll someday return to her less pungent life of computer coding, Mabel continues to honor her deceased aunt’s legacy by running Skinner Farm. To make ends meet between harvests, she’s renting out the property’s mercifully downwind lavender field for summer weddings.

Mabel’s first clients are a retirement age couple celebrating their second chance at love in their later years. Hosting a rehearsal dinner with fresh foods seemed like a good idea to promote the farm—until the dead body of one of the wedding guests is discovered. The suddenly departed was the soon-to-be-ex-business partner of the groom, supposedly poisoned by goat cheese hors d’oeuvres provided by Mabel’s neighbor.

Despite the tragedy and the scandal, the groom insists on keeping his wedding date. But with the adult children from the couple’s previous marriages scheming to stop the new union, Mabel’s farm is reeking with suspects. And if she doesn’t uncover the murderer, her goat farming neighbor will get sent to the pen for life . . .

Buy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

To find out more about Gin and her earlier books, go to her website.

+4

Happiness is Beauty

I’ve had a rough week (who hasn’t?) so I was fairly down when I started reading this essay by James Farago in the NYT, “What a Tiny Masterpiece Reveals About Power and Beauty.” It’s profusely illustrated with beautiful images, but what really drew me in was how much the writer loves his subject, in this case, the way art draws artists from across cultures, cultural adaptation never seen as politically incorrect assimilation but joyously celebrated as evolution and above all, beauty. To make beautiful things is to grow and adapt and be open to everything.

This essay and its illustrations made me happy. What made you happy this week?

+11

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 1, 2021

Just for the record, we don’t do April Fool’s Day here, so when I say I finally read Aaronovich’s What Abigail Did That Summer and it was excellent, I am being very serious. And now I want more Abigail with foxes even more than I want more Peter Grant, even though Peter now has twins that should be the most interesting infants ever. Still, Abigail has foxes that talk to her while demanding scratches and cheese puffs. Team Abigail here.

What did you read this week?

+11

Argh Author: Richly Deserved by Brenda Margriet

Brenda Margriet’s latest novel in her TIMELESS Seasoned Romance Collection, Richly Deserved, is on sale now at a special price until April 1.

More than twenty years ago, Claudia Aronson escaped an abusive marriage. She built a secure, stable life, and is now only weeks away from realizing a long-held dream—opening her own art gallery. But her well-ordered world is threatened by the compelling, abrasive man essential to bringing her new venture into the spotlight.

Artist Titus Wilcox is reclusive, nomadic, and passionate. His solitary, drifting habits have fed his creative soul, but played hell with his love life. Soon after he meets the statuesque, seemingly-serene Claudia, however, he feels a compulsion to paint a new reality—with her.

When an antique painting reveals mysterious documents concealed behind its frame, Titus and Claudia unite in a hunt for lost riches—a pursuit that takes them into the remote hills surrounding the fabled gold rush town of Barkerville.

To these two skeptics, true love is as phony as fool’s gold. But this improbable search for buried treasure could lead to their hearts’ hidden desires.

Richly Deserved‘s Ebook Price $2.99 (will go up to $4.99 on April 1)
Now Available on Amazon, Kobo, B&N and Apple (Also Available in Print from Amazon)

+6

Nita: A Big Boat Blocking Traffic

My current fascination is the Ever Given, the huge ship stuck sideways in the Suez. For one, it’s such an apt metaphor for my life, especially with Nita in front of me, sideways, on my laptop. For another, the memes are hysterical. (I’d have used this for the happiness post, but it seems mean since the Big Boat is blocking 12% of the world’s shipping, which somehow makes the world seem smaller and more understandable but still hard luck on shipping and anybody expecting anything from China.) I can’t pick a favorite. There’s the “Steal His Look” meme which is a great visual joke, there’s the “This is the most action Cape Horn of Good Hope has gotten since 1850″ which makes me feel smart because I get it (I like a low bar), and there’s the Evil of Sauron and two hobbits . . . I love them all.

I think the world just needed a big boat stuck in the Suez Canal right now.

(Note: Right before I posted this, the Big Boat became partially unstuck. Still funny.)

+13