lycomayflower is here, quietly reading in the corner, in 2023

Keskustelu75 Books Challenge for 2023

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lycomayflower is here, quietly reading in the corner, in 2023

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 8, 2:44 pm

Welcome to my 2023 reading thread! Click here to go to my introduction post.

This first post contains an on-going list of the books I've read this year, with the most recent reads at the top. I am planning on pulling back from reviewing everything I read this year, so the list is simply that--a list of what I've read. Numbers in parentheses are page counts for each book. Click here to visit my 2022 thread.

Total Pages: 6,296

24.) Northranger (233)
23.) While Justice Sleeps (518)

22.) Crumbs (383)
21.) Weather Together
20.) The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich (239)
19.) The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece (428)
18.) Home Field Advantage (296)

17.) Frog and Toad: The Complete Collection
16.) Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen (149)
15.) Memorial Drive (223)
14.) Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. (149)
13.) Open Season (289)
12.) Ella Minnow Pea (208)
11.) All Systems Red (audio)

10.) For the Love of April French (335)
9.) Margaret's Unicorn
8.) The Cat Who Saved Books (198)
7.) A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (513)

6.) I Have Some Questions for You (438)
5.) A Court of Thorns and Roses (416)
4.) The Invisible Husband of Frick Island (337)

3.) Spoiler Alert (400)
2.) Death in Paradise (294)
1.) Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (250)

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 2:40 pm

Hello! My name is Laura, and this is the sixteenth year I've kept an LT thread tracking my reading. That's a long time to publicly review everything you've read, and I've been growing weary lately of feeling like I have to have something to say about every book I read. So this year I will only be tracking my reading here, as a matter of course. Should I read something I really want to say something about, I will review it on my thread. But for the most part, expect to see just the titles of what I've read plus a star rating (and maybe occasionally a word or few--like "recommended" or "hard but worth it." Please feel free to talk to me though! About what you're reading, what I'm reading, or just to check in. And who knows? I may miss the reviewing and jump back in before the year is out. And I will decide about what I'll do next year and beyond... next year.

I read pretty widely, but I'm most likely to read romance, memoir, mysteries, YA, sci-fi, fantasy, and literary fiction. I'm in my early-forties, work as an editor, am married to a fellow reader, and carry on living in the south (it's been the majority of my adult life now) despite constantly missing winter and wanting to move back north (I grew up in north-east Pennsylvania). When I'm not reading, I like to do photography, write, crochet, swim, and watch TV. I also keep a bookish blog at (currently on indefinite hiatus). Please feel free to talk to me here on LT. I love a good bookish conversation!

Fav Reads in 2022

The Boy with a Bird in His Chest
I'm Looking Through You
Miss Memory Lane
Boyfriend Material
I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Reads That Were Not My Cuppa in 2022

The Anomaly
The Cartographers
The Naturalist
Monster and the Beast vol. 1
The Apothecary's Garden

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 2:45 pm

Sometimes a reading companion, always on alert.

tammikuu 16, 2:50 pm

>4 lycomayflower: Ooooh, how was this one? I love him.

tammikuu 16, 2:55 pm

>5 scaifea: I love him too! Which made this a hard, HARD read, because he has basically been addicted to one thing or another (and pretty much always in a life-altering/ruining way) since he was a teenager. It's a good read, but it's really an addiction memoir. Sooo, very little really about Friends or anything else except in how it is directly related to his addiction struggles at the time. Worth it, I think, but definitely not, like, a fun celebrity memoir.

tammikuu 16, 3:02 pm

Oooof. Still, I'm adding it to my list because I believe you when you say it's worth it.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 3:29 pm

Yay, Laura's back! Delighted to see you, friend.

Also, I'd somehow missed up until now that you are a fellow crocheter. Any projects currently on the go?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 3:30 pm

>3 lycomayflower: definitely have 'em.
>8 MickyFine: Pssst....don't let on that I told you, but she does it upside down.

tammikuu 16, 3:34 pm

>8 MickyFine: Hi, Micky! I'm completely self-taught, and have done various pants-ed blankets and hats over the years. I'm trying to learn to follow a pattern right now, in the hopes I can find a granny square pattern I like/can make not look wonky and make a blanket out of them. To keep. As I've realized that I literally have never crocheted anything for myself.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 3:35 pm

>9 laytonwoman3rd: Definitely.

You HUSH. And it's more... backwards, I think, than upside down, really. *squints*

tammikuu 16, 3:36 pm

>7 scaifea: I am *mostly* trustworthy.

tammikuu 16, 3:44 pm

>3 lycomayflower: Thursday!! She wasn't there yet when I was here before. She really does look like she's sus about something there.

>9 laytonwoman3rd: >11 lycomayflower: Upside down and/or backwards sounds pretty impressive to me...

>12 lycomayflower:

tammikuu 16, 3:45 pm

>10 lycomayflower: That sounds awesome. I'm impressed at your self-teaching - if I hadn't had my Mom teach me, I'm not sure I'd ever have managed getting the hang of it.

As for the backwards of it all, are you left-handed? That might be the reason...

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 4:04 pm

>13 scaifea: M had just gotten home form his trip, come in, then GONE BACK OUT and was futzing with the truck in the driveway. It was hardly to be borne.

Yes. I am VERY impressive. *nods*

tammikuu 16, 4:04 pm

>14 MickyFine: Nope. I just hold the hook... funny? And I've been told I yarn over in the "wrong" direction?

tammikuu 16, 4:07 pm

>15 lycomayflower: Oh how DARE HE?!

tammikuu 16, 4:15 pm

>17 scaifea: RIGHT?! Poor bear.

tammikuu 16, 4:28 pm

>16 lycomayflower: Interesting. I know I had an amigurumi pattern recently that suggested yarning over "under," which gives the stitches a different look. Possibly what you're getting up to.

Ultimately, as long as you're happy with your results, your "weird" method doesn't matter. :)

And because it's a SPN gif fest, apparently:

tammikuu 16, 4:36 pm

>19 MickyFine: That's what I've always been told by other crocheters too. If it works (it's not falling apart) and you're happy, it's fine. But whenever I see videos of others crocheting I make *such* squinty headtilty faces.

tammikuu 16, 8:59 pm

A sigh of relief as you ride over the brow of the hill, better slightly late than not at all. xx

Happy reading year, Laura.

tammikuu 16, 9:09 pm

Happy new thread!

tammikuu 17, 1:28 am

Happy new thread for the new year Laura!

tammikuu 17, 5:36 am

Happy reading in 2023, Laura!

tammikuu 17, 6:48 am

>20 lycomayflower: I don't hold my hook properly, either, I think. You're supposed to hold it like you hold a pencil? does that even work?!

tammikuu 17, 8:32 am

Welcome back, Laura!

tammikuu 17, 2:56 pm

Happy new year Laura!

tammikuu 17, 3:41 pm

>20 lycomayflower: That's fair. I learn new (to me) stitches mostly through videos so I can imagine if you're doing things differently that would make it trickier.

>25 scaifea: Interesting. I hold my hook "normal" (or at least the same way as most crocheters on YouTube), but I hold my pencils weird compared to most people.

tammikuu 18, 10:02 pm

If only this lady were around to set y'all straight...she knew how to wield a crochet hook.

tammikuu 22, 9:45 pm

>29 laytonwoman3rd: I'd have loved to have learned from her!

tammikuu 22, 9:45 pm

tammikuu 22, 9:46 pm

tammikuu 23, 1:20 pm

>32 lycomayflower: Yay for Spoiler Alert! I just read the follow-up, All the Feels, last week and enjoyed it just as much.

tammikuu 24, 4:46 pm

>31 lycomayflower: I've never read any of Parker's stuff, but I know he's really popular with the patrons at my library. I keep thinking I should give him a go.

tammikuu 25, 11:32 am

I dunno why, but this seems like the place for this:

helmikuu 4, 7:46 pm

>35 laytonwoman3rd: I hope that kitty let you know, Laura, when she had finished reading!

helmikuu 4, 7:50 pm

>35 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Love it.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 1:51 pm

>33 MickyFine: oh yay! I'm especially curious to read All the Feels because we got so many glimpses into that couple's story already in Spoiler Alert. I'm excited to see how she weaves around what we already know.

helmikuu 6, 1:53 pm

>34 scaifea: Iiiinteresting. I'm trying to decide if I think I'd rec him to you or not. And where I'd say to start. I feel like his two main series are gonna be either you don't like them OR you've got new couch boyfriends. No inbetween.

helmikuu 6, 1:55 pm

helmikuu 6, 2:57 pm

helmikuu 6, 3:12 pm

>38 lycomayflower: It was super rewarding on that front. :)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 9:37 pm

>34 scaifea:, >39 lycomayflower:, >42 scaifea: If I may...I think if you're going to fall for Spenser, it will happen in Early Autumn. You can't have Jesse Stone, 'cause I claimed him a long time ago. You can read the books, but do so at your own risk, because you just can't have him.

helmikuu 7, 6:52 am

>44 laytonwoman3rd: It's difficult not to read that as a challenge.

helmikuu 7, 9:50 am

helmikuu 7, 12:47 pm

helmikuu 18, 6:49 am

helmikuu 18, 10:52 am

helmikuu 19, 8:47 am

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 9:16 pm

6.) I Have Some Questions for You, Rebecca Makkai ****

Topical but character-driven. A literary fiction page-turner that ultimately succeeds more in its literary bent than its mystery bent. The kind of mix of literary fiction and genre fiction I wish I could find more of.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 2:16 pm

7.) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, MacKenzi Lee****1/2

A reread in prep for reading the rest of the series. I enjoyed this thoroughly this time, more so than the first read.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 10:02 pm

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 2:38 pm

9.) Margaret's Unicorn, Briony May Smith *****

If you have any inclination toward picture books whatsoever, give this one a go. The illustrations are an absolute comfort and delight. I wanted to crawl right into every one of them.

maaliskuu 24, 5:12 pm

>53 lycomayflower: WOOT!

>54 lycomayflower: Uh oh. You hated it, didn't you.

maaliskuu 24, 7:39 pm

>56 scaifea: It... wasn't my favorite. *sliiiides you a cookie*

maaliskuu 24, 8:13 pm

>57 lycomayflower: *processes rejection while munching on cookie*

huhtikuu 6, 9:01 am


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 21, 2:50 pm

huhtikuu 21, 2:50 pm

12.) Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn ***1/2

Glad I read it. Felt more relevant to me now than I think it would have when it was written (2001). Was a bit done with the experiment before he was, but I read it in one sitting, so it didn't frustrate me much.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 21, 2:52 pm

13.) Open Season, C.J. Box ****

Scratched perfectly the itch I was trying to scratch--procedural elements with a rural/outdoors setting with a main character I can like. Will read more of these.

huhtikuu 21, 7:55 pm

>61 lycomayflower: Yay for Murderbot!

Kevin R. Free is a great narrator but ultimately audio isn't my favourite format for the series as I heard Murderbot's voice as feminine when I read them in print.

huhtikuu 22, 9:38 am

I really need to get round to the murderbot franchise. Someday.

I felt exactly the same about the Dunn. Because of course I did.

I also feel like Box is one of those I should read since so many of our patrons read 'em. So this is encouraging. (I refuse to read Patterson, though. Just NOPE.)

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 22, 11:12 am

>64 MickyFine: Oh, interesting! I started Murderbot in print and was slightly lukewarm. Then my husband was reading them in audio and said how much he enjoyed them, so I tried that and was much happier. But when I was reading in print I was hearing Murderbot as masculine!

>65 scaifea: I think you would like Murderbot. I was not quite as blown away by it as I think some are, but I did quite enjoy it.

Of COURSE you did.

I'll be very curious to see what you think of Box if you get to him. I'll warn you that this first one had a fairly decent helping of child peril and animal (not pet) death. I didn't think any of it was terribly excessive or graphic, but it's there for sure.

huhtikuu 22, 12:41 pm

>66 lycomayflower: Thanks for the warning about Box's first one. Ooof. Also, I may have to try Murderbot on audio, too...

huhtikuu 23, 12:21 pm

14.) Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret., Judy Blume **1/2

A reread. I know I read this as a kid (and from the state of my childhood copy, probably more than once), and I remember having sort of lukewarm feelings about it. Others of Judy Bloom's (particularly Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself) were absolute favorites, but this one I don't think I liked as much. I mostly remembered the stuff the book is known for (frank discussion of periods and of the adolescent girl characters' desire for their breasts to grow), though there are other things here the book gives equal weight (the difficulties of being "no religion" for an eleven-year-old girl in 1970s New Jersey; family dynamics). I think as a pre-pubescent kid I didn't warm to the book because I looked on the looming changes of puberty with a kind of resigned dread. I might have wanted to grow up in order to have more autonomy and control over my life, but I had no interest in the physical changes that would come with it (and I *certainly* wasn't doing any dubious exercises to get my breasts to grow. Pain in the ass, breasts.) I was a kid who would have been thrilled if puberty had just held it's horses for a couple of years until I would have been more ready for it. Alas. So it was probably hard for me to relate to these girls who seemed solely focused on "getting it," and while as a kid I loved reading books about experiences that were not my own, this one just fed my suspicion (common, I'm sure) that I wasn't doing growing up and being a girl "right." Upon this reread, while I love the fact that the book talks about periods and developing bodies openly (and provides, through the experiences of the several girls in the book, a few different illustrations of what getting a period for the first time might be like), it struck me starkly how none of the girls in the book cares about anything else aside from puberty and boys. They have no interests. They don't talk about anything else. Then there's the other thing the book is about: Margaret's struggle growing up with parents who want her to choose her own religion (or continue having no religion) when she's older. This scenario came about because her mother was Christian and her father Jewish and there was a schism in her mother's family when she married a Jewish man. Margaret talks to God about this struggle and takes it upon herself to go to different churches and temple with her friends and paternal grandmother. But the examination of religion is completely surface-level. There's nothing about what anyone believes or what it means to anyone to have a religion. The closest we get is Margaret's maternal grandmother, in an ill-fated reunion with her daughter's family, declaring that you don't choose religion, you're born into it. But the hollow religious experimentation just sort of comes to nothing. It's a big question to deal with, especially in a short middle grade book, and I think it's appropriate for the age range the book is aimed at for there to be some ambiguity and sense that there may not be a right answer, but that isn't the feeling I was left with. It feels more like a null conclusion than an ambiguous one. I know this book has achieved classic status, and I think in some ways that is deserved. It's important for girls (and boys) to know about female puberty, and the implicit lesson here that periods are thing that you can talk about is vital. But ultimately, for me, it still felt slightly alienating and hollow.

huhtikuu 24, 9:58 am

>68 lycomayflower: I felt the same way about this book, I think, both as a kid and as an adult. "I think as a pre-pubescent kid I didn't warm to the book because I looked on the looming changes of puberty with a kind of resigned dread." - Exactly.

huhtikuu 24, 3:16 pm

>68 lycomayflower: Your review is not only good, it's HOT!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 24, 3:29 pm

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 24, 4:43 pm

huhtikuu 25, 6:53 am

>68 lycomayflower: I read *Margaret* in sixth grade, when it "went viral" (in a 70s sort of way) in my elementary school. I felt like it really spoke to me, especially since my mother preferred pamphlets to dialogue. And yet ... I can seen your points. I'm sure if I read it today I'd have a similar reaction. Excellent review!

huhtikuu 27, 9:56 pm

>73 lauralkeet: Thanks! I'm sure there are many girls for whom it does and has worked wonderfully! Glad you are one of them.

huhtikuu 27, 9:56 pm

huhtikuu 29, 7:33 am

>77 lycomayflower: I *adore* Frog and Toad.

huhtikuu 29, 10:56 am

>78 scaifea: YES. Lovely and gently quirky and SOFT.

huhtikuu 29, 11:59 am

toukokuu 11, 6:01 pm

toukokuu 22, 2:44 pm

20.) The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Deya Muniz *****

A just slightly silly, absolutely heartwarming delight of a sapphic graphic novel.

toukokuu 23, 9:42 am

>83 lycomayflower: Ooh, putting that one on hold at the library! I love cheese puns.

toukokuu 23, 2:22 pm

>84 norabelle414: Ooo, you should enjoy then. I did a lot of delighted snickering at the cheese puns.

kesäkuu 3, 10:38 am

kesäkuu 3, 10:38 am

22.) Crumbs, Danie Stirling ***1/2

kesäkuu 6, 11:16 pm

23.) While Justice Sleeps, Stacey Abrams ***1/2

I think this is probably a better thriller than a 3.5, but for me personally, for whom this kind of thing is usually not really my cuppa, it didn't rise above my mehness toward the genre. Book club read, or I might have bailed about halfway. As it was, I largely skimmed the last thirdish.

kesäkuu 8, 2:40 pm

24.) Northranger, Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo ****1/2

Lovely and compelling graphic novel about two teenage boys falling in love for the first time, coming out, navigating homophobia, and learning about what secrets can do to people. Takes the premise of Northanger Abbey and resets it on a present-day ranch in Texas to really neat effect.

kesäkuu 8, 3:21 pm

>89 lycomayflower: OH yay! I put this one on the library order list, so I'm glad to see that it's good!

kesäkuu 8, 4:21 pm

>89 lycomayflower: What if one has never read Northanger Abbey?

kesäkuu 8, 5:21 pm

>90 scaifea: It was SO GOOD.

>91 laytonwoman3rd: Shouldn't matter. It's a nice layer if you know, but you won't miss anything if not. Course, you could just read Northanger Abbey. ;-p