Curioussquared reads off her own shelves in 2024, part 2

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Keskustelu75 Books Challenge for 2024

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Curioussquared reads off her own shelves in 2024, part 2

helmikuu 19, 2:42 am

Hello everyone! I'm Natalie. I have participated in the challenge on and off over my 15+ years on LT, and consistently over the past several years.

I'm located in Seattle, where I live with my husband and dogs. I do most of my reading curled up on the couch with my retired racing greyhounds Otter and Kermit, or listening to audiobooks while doing chores and walking the dogs.

I read mostly fiction, with a heavy emphasis on fantasy and sci-fi, romance, YA fiction, general fiction/literature, a scattered mystery here and there, and the occasional non-fiction title.

I've been keeping track of my books read since 2008, and I have traditionally aimed for 100, but I think these days I'm usually hoping to hit 150. I'm on track to hit 225 in 2023, which is an all-time high and I would be surprised if I get there again.

Another typical reading goal for me is to prioritize books off my shelves. I'm pretty evenly weighted so far in 2023, but I think library books will win out in the end (darn audiobooks!). It would be great to read more of my own books than library books in 2024. I have a separate thread I maintain in the ROOTs group, and in addition, I have a selection of books off my shelves I'd like to get to this year, which you can see in a post below.

Here are Otter and Kermit competing at synchronized comfort:

And a good game of tug!

helmikuu 19, 2:42 am

Favorite Books of 2023

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Possession by A. S. Byatt
Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
Hidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly
The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik
The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate Di Camillo
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Firekeeper's Daughter by Angelline Boulley
Painted Devils by Margaret Owen
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
Seasparrow by Kristin Cashore
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
System Collapse by Martha Wells
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
The Hands of the Emperor by Victoria Goddard

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 30, 8:59 pm

Books read in 2024

1. Take the Lead by Alexis Daria (library)
2. At the Feet of the Sun by Victoria Goddard (off my shelf)
3. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers (off my shelf)
4. Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade (library)
5. A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark (off my shelf)
6. Saturday by Ian McEwan (off my shelf)
7. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (off my shelf)
8. Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho (library)
9. Two Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig (off my shelf)
10. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (off my shelf)
11. Mild Vertigo by Mieko Kanai (library)
12. A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare (library)
13. A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland (off my shelf)
14. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (off my shelf)
15. The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells (library)
16. The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan (off my shelf)
17. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn (off my shelf)
18. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren (library)
19. The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal (off my shelf)
20. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (reread)
21. Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (off my shelf)
22. Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail by Ashley Herring Blake (library)
23. Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey (reread)
24. Illuminations by T. Kingfisher (library)
25. Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey (reread)
26. Slippery Creatures by K. J. Charles (off my shelf)
27. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (library)
28. Spinning by Tillie Walden (library)
29. Just Kids by Patti Smith (library)
30. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (off my shelf)
31. River Secrets by Shannon Hale (off my shelf)

32. Forest Born by Shannon Hale (off my shelf)
33. Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett (off my shelf)
34. Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb (off my shelf)
35. Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young (library)
36. Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire (library)
37. Who Cooked the Last Supper? by Rosalind Miles (library)
38. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros (off my shelf)
39. Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto (off my shelf)
40. A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher (library)
41. The Whispering Mountain by Joan Aiken (library)
42. Bride by Ali Hazelwood (library)
43. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (off my shelf)
44. XOXO by Axie Oh (library)
45. The Sugared Game by KJ Charles (library)
46. Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino (library)
47. Nothing Else But Miracles by Kate Albus (library)
48. The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren (library)
49. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (off my shelf)
50. Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune (off my shelf)
51. Baudolino by Umberto Eco (off my shelf)
52. I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai (off my shelf)
53. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (reread)
54. Subtle Blood by KJ Charles (library)
55. Brooms by Jasmine Walls and Teo DuVall (library)
56. Slow Horses by Mick Herron (library)


57. A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare (library)
58. Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldree (off my shelf)
59. Witchmark by C. L. Polk (off my shelf)
60. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (reread)
61. Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman (library)
62. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce (reread)
63. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (off my shelf)
64. Seafire by Natalie C. Parker (off my shelf)
65. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (off my shelf)
66. Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber (library)
67. The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart (off my shelf)
68. Stargazy Pie by Victoria Goddard (library)
69. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (off my shelf)
70. The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer (off my shelf)
71. At Blackwater Pond: Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver (library)
72. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown (off my shelf)
73. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce (reread)
74. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (reread)
75. A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare (library)
76. Stormsong by C. L. Polk (off my shelf)
77. The Second Stranger by Martin Griffin (library)
78. The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos (off my shelf)
79. Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl (library)
80. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (off my shelf)

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 17, 2:18 pm

Books read in 2024

81. Always Only You by Chloe Liese (library)
82. Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire (library)
83. Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde (off my shelf)
84. Iris Kelly Doesn't Date by Ashley Herring Blake (library)
85. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (off my shelf)
86. Didn't See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto (library)
87. Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft (off my shelf)
88. The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison (off my shelf)
89. Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb (reread)
90. A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales (library)
91. Rabbit Redux by John Updike (off my shelf)
92. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (off my shelf)
93. Hey, Hun by Emily Paulson (library)
94. Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire (library)
95. Ever After Always by Chloe Liese (library)
96. American Royals by Katharine McGee (off my shelf)
97. Solitaire by Alice Oseman (library)



helmikuu 19, 2:43 am

Books read in 2024




helmikuu 19, 2:43 am

Books read in 2024




Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 1:43 pm

2024 Reading Goals

I'm finished all 40 books I wanted to read in 2023! For 2024, I tried to limit it to a similar number but ended up picking a few more than intended. Here's the picture of my physical TBR cart, and the list! Most of these are just books that were calling my name from my TBR shelves. Many are sequels to books I read in 2023 or series I've been working through. A few were chosen to align with specific 2024 Popsugar Reading Challenge prompts, another challenge I'll be working on this year. 55 is more than I intended to pick... but hey, it's about half of the total number I read off my shelves this year, so I think I can do it!

1. A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark
2. A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland
3. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
4. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
5. Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft
6. Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb
7. Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
8. Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
9. Forestborn by Audrey Becker
10. I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
11. Pentimento by Lillian Hellman
12. Baudolino by Umberto Eco
13. The Secret Place by Tana French
14. Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Torzs
15. Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
16. Emily Wilde's Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
17. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
18. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
19. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
20. Saturday by Ian McEwan
21. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
22. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
23. The Night Watchman by Louise Erdich
24. Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto
25. The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison
26. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
27. A Power Unbound by Freya Marske
28. Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldree
29. The Burning God by R. F. Kuang
30. Magic or Not by Edward Eager
31. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
32. Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht
33. The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
34. The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix
35. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
36. The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos
37. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
38. The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
39. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
40. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
41. Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
42. The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan
43. The Dreaming Place by Charles de Lint
44. Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
45. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
46. The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan
47. The Once and Future King by T. H. White

I also have a few books I'd like to read off of my Kindle this year:

48. Two Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig
49. Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
50. Forest Born by Shannon Hale
51. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers
52. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
53. Piranesi by Susannah Clarke
54. Witchmark by C. L. Polk
55. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

DONE: 29/55

helmikuu 19, 2:44 am

Welcome to my second thread of 2024!

helmikuu 19, 2:55 am

Happy Sunday! I had a nice weekend. Yesterday Tim and I went to a few open houses, had lunch, and then did some relaxing and watched some TV. Today Tim's parents came over for coffee and then we walked the dogs in the morning. In the afternoon we went to another open house, then had lunch and came home. I squeezed in a workout before my friend came over to hang out and we got pizza and watched some TV.

Currently reading: Finished The Stranger Diaries late on Friday and started The Cruel Prince as my next print read. Finished XOXO on audio and moved on to Give Me a Sign. Wrapped up The Sugared Game during my workout today and am now reading Nothing Else But Miracles. Clearly I owe you all a few reviews!

Currently watching: Friday night my friend and I watched the 2020 Emma movie, which I LOVED. Bill Nighy as Mr. Woodhouse is perfection, and I loved the costumes and set design. Last night Tim and I started watching Resident Alien, which is hilarious. Alan Tudyk is *chef's kiss*. Tonight my friend and I started the latest season of All Creature's Great and Small, and then Tim and I watched a few episodes of Love Is Blind before bed.

helmikuu 19, 3:31 am

Happy New Thread, Natalie!

helmikuu 19, 7:31 am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

helmikuu 19, 7:36 am

Happy new thread, Natalie! The synchronized dogs made me laugh.

helmikuu 19, 7:47 am

Happy new thread :)

helmikuu 19, 8:15 am

Happy new thread, Natalie!

The two Otter and Kermit pictures are fun!

helmikuu 19, 8:38 am

>1 curioussquared: Happy new thread Natalie!

Otter and Kermit really do looked synchronised :0D

helmikuu 19, 9:31 am

Happy new thread, Natalie. And yay for Resident Alien! We're big fans in this house.

helmikuu 19, 9:32 am

Happy new thread Natalie!

helmikuu 19, 10:04 am

Happy new one, Natalie!

I love the "synchronized comfort" photo - perfection.

That adaptation of Emma is great. My best friend and I saw it in the theater, right before COVID. I may be due a re-watch...

helmikuu 19, 12:25 pm

>10 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb!

>12 bell7: Glad they gave you a chuckle, Mary. These goofballs make me laugh every day!

>13 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

>14 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita!

>15 humouress: Thanks Nina! They do love to be comfortable together :)

>16 MickyFine: Thanks Micky! We're really enjoying Resident Alien. Alan Tudyk has the ability to make me laugh with just the smallest vocal bit or body movement. He's so good.

>17 Owltherian: Thanks, Lily!

>18 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie :) I think it took me so long to get to Emma because I missed it in theaters before COVID hit, and then my best friend never wanted to watch it with me at home until now for some reason. But it was worth the wait! It's worth watching again just for the sumptuous visuals, but the performances are all great too.

helmikuu 19, 12:26 pm

>19 curioussquared: Your welcome Natalie!

helmikuu 19, 12:30 pm

Happy Monday! I'm finishing up my coffee before taking the dogs for their morning walk. Tim just realized he has the day off so should be a low-key day over here. My grand plans for today are to clean the floor tile grout in our main bathroom. The cleaners vacuum and mop the floor, but the grout is white and it needs a good specialized scrubbing in the middle of the room where we walk the most. Very exciting stuff. I also want to get in a slightly longer workout (I think my foot should be up to it) and then in the evening I'm going to trivia with the gang.

Still reading The Cruel Prince, Give Me a Sign, and Nothing Else But Miracles.

helmikuu 19, 12:49 pm

43 books read: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The Talgarth High community is shocked when one of their English teachers is murdered in her home. Fellow teacher and friend of the victim Clare Cassidy is shocked, especially when it is revealed that a note with a line from a Gothic short story that Clare teaches was left at the crime scene. DS Harbinder Kaur investigates the case as the crimes continue and the stakes grow higher.

I enjoyed this overall. I found it a bit hard to get into at first and was glad when the POV switched from Clare to Harbinder for the first time -- something about Clare's narration didn't quite work for me but I enjoyed Harbinder and Georgie's POVs. I don't really read too many straight-up mysteries and for that reason I think I kept comparing this to Tana French, which isn't really fair because she's the GOAT, but I did enjoy it overall, just not as much as one of French's mysteries. I also guessed the murderer in this one pretty early on, which is not normal for me! Still, I liked this, especially the gothic elements and callbacks to the short story within the book, and Harbinder's bits were my favorite, so I'll probably try another in the series. I also have the first Ruth Galloway mystery on my shelf to try at some point. 3.75 stars rounded up to 4.

helmikuu 19, 1:02 pm

44 books read: XOXO by Axie Oh

Jenny spends most of her time focusing on her cello, avoiding friends and distractions. But one night, helping in her uncle's karaoke bar, she meets Jaewoo. He's mysterious and handsome, and they share a brief, perfect night together -- until he has to leave suddenly and go back to Korea, and stops answering her texts. Jenny writes him off. But when she and her mother move to Korea for a semester to care for her grandmother, Jenny gets the surprise of her life when she finds out that Jaewoo is a famous Kpop star -- and he goes to her new school.

This was very cute! I liked that Jenny was very mature for her age -- for the most part, she was reasonable and smart. This is the second YA Kpop book I've read in a few weeks and this one was definitely better written with a much less annoying protagonist. I also thought that Oh did a good job incorporating Korean culture in an authentic but digestible way. 4 stars.

helmikuu 19, 1:20 pm

45 books read: The Sugared Game by KJ Charles

Will Darling is back, settling into his life as a bookseller. Kim Secretan, however, has been missing from his life for 2 months without so much as a by your leave, and Will has pretty much given up on him. To get his mind off of things, he and he friend Maisie go dancing at a hot new nightclub, where things quickly get complicated when Will runs into an old war friend and the club proves to have some shady dealings going on. When Kim shows up at his shop again asking questions about the club, Will is ready to tell him to get lost -- but before long, he finds himself tangled in Kim's business again, and this time, the business is much too close to home.

Loved this sequel to Slippery Creatures just as much as the first one. I was talking with my best friend about the books and she made a comment about how you expect Will to be messed up from his war experiences, but as you read further it becomes very clear that Will is actually shockingly emotionally mature and self-aware, and Kim is the one who is marvelously messed up, and it makes for really great interplay between them and some lovely emotional scenes. I enjoyed seeing Phoebe and Maisie again, too. Already checked book 3 out of the library and am looking forward to it! 4.5 stars.

helmikuu 19, 7:41 pm

Happy new thread, Natalie!

helmikuu 19, 8:37 pm

>2 curioussquared: Those fellows are amazing characters, Natalie.

Happy new thread. x

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 12:13 am

>22 curioussquared: I LOVE her Ruth Galloway series, even with the sometimes soap opera feel of the character's love life. I came to it when there were already a bunch of books out & at one point read 7 of the titles in 9 days.

Everyone I've recommended the series to has also loved it.

helmikuu 20, 10:17 am

>1 curioussquared: Happy new thread!
I always look forward to more photos of your pet-babies. Something about their mantis-legs up in the air is the funniest thing...

helmikuu 20, 10:19 am

I love the pictures of the pups up top, Natalie! Thanks for sharing.

I figured since I missed all of the first thread I better check in quickly on this one :)

helmikuu 20, 11:01 am

>9 curioussquared: Happy new thread! I'm glad you're enjoying Resident Alien, it's a really fun show.

helmikuu 20, 11:07 am

Happy new thread!

helmikuu 20, 2:26 pm

>25 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>26 PaulCranswick: Otter and Kermit certainly keep me entertained, Paul :)

>27 ReneeMarie: Hi Renee! That is certainly an endorsement :) I'll have to give Ruth Galloway a try soon. I don't usually mind a soapy love life.

>28 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks, Angela! Yes, I totally agree. Among the greyhound community, the legs up pose is called "roaching" -- because they look like dead cockroaches on their backs, lol.

>29 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia!

>30 norabelle414: Thanks Nora! Yes, we're really liking it so far. Exactly the kind of goofiness that we like.

>31 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi!

helmikuu 21, 12:59 pm

Happy Wednesday! Plans for today include finishing tidying up for the cleaners before I head out for my podiatrist appointment in the afternoon. My best friend is coming over in the evening but she and Tim decided to watch a show together that I am not interested in (Invincible) so I will probably just hang out on the fringes and read 😂

Currently reading: Still working on The Cruel Prince. Finished Nothing Else But Miracles on Kindle and Give Me a Sign on Monday, and listened to all of The True Love Experiment yesterday while doing various chores and yard work. Next up will be Baudolino on audio, and I need to choose a new Kindle book.

Currently watching: Caught up on Death and Other Details (latest episode was very meh), watched all available episodes of Love Is Blind, and one episode of Suits.

helmikuu 21, 3:13 pm

>33 curioussquared: I have Nothing Else But Miracles checked out from the library right now, but also about 80 or 90 other books. If you haven't read it yet, her A Place to Hang the Moon was very good. It had the feel of a classic children's book.

helmikuu 21, 3:34 pm

>34 ReneeMarie: Yes, I loved A Place to Hang the Moon! Nothing Else But Miracles was also excellent. I liked A Place to Hang the Moon a teeny bit more, but Albus is on my must-read list now.

Wow, 80 or 90 library books! I usually hover between 10-20 checkouts at a time -- I'm closer to 10 right now because I'm trying to force myself to actually check out some of the holds I've been delaying for a year plus, lol.

helmikuu 21, 4:29 pm

>35 curioussquared: There're too many shiny books in the world and too many things interest me. I have on occasion got down to 50-60 items out. Our library allows 100 items on the hold list (I usually have 80-90 suspended), and 250 items checked out. Vice versa would be better for me. I have also begun using the list feature in the database to reduce the urge to hold or check out items. LT and my library website's new acquisition feeds make it worse.

helmikuu 21, 5:46 pm

>36 ReneeMarie: That's an impressive number of holds/checkouts allowed!! Is that digital or physical? My local system has great reciprocal borrowing agreements and I think I can have close to those numbers checked out/on hold digitally, but that's if I max out all five of my library cards 😂

helmikuu 21, 5:57 pm

>37 curioussquared: Sorry, I was just on my library website adding more to my holds. And with those 4 I think I'm maxed out again. (Not even kidding.)

250 items total, no matter whether digital or physical, & no matter the format. My local libraries are cooperative, too, plus they allow interlibrary loan as long as the item isn't more than 100 years old. They used to limit the number of DVDs you could have checked out at one time, but recently stopped doing that because there are now so many DVDs available in the system.

helmikuu 21, 6:14 pm

>38 ReneeMarie: Love it :) I have to balance my library borrowing with my book buying addiction, so I generally stay under ~40 holds at a time and make liberal use of the delay delivery button. About 80% percent of my library usage these days is audiobooks, followed by 10% ebooks, 5% print, and 5% DVDs since most of my print reading is fighting my growing TBR shelves.

helmikuu 21, 7:18 pm

>39 curioussquared: I don't generally do audiobooks only because I stop paying attention. My mind wanders. While I bought a few very early ebooks (PDF -- I think -- on disc), I've never been able to get into those, either.

My book buying is not under control, although I'm better than I used to be. And that makes my library use problematic, too. I need to read what I own. I think many people here relate.

I also have unwatched DVDs and unlistened to CDs. Although right now I'm finally finishing Brokenwood Mysteries series 9, which I put down some time ago in favor of library DVDs.

Good luck to both of us.

helmikuu 21, 7:28 pm

>3 curioussquared: I read Piranesi and A House with Good Bones last year and enjoyed both of them immensely! You've got a good reading list so far for 2024!!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 9:38 am

>33 curioussquared: and >34 ReneeMarie: I didn't know about Nothing Else But Miracles yet, so thanks for putting it on my radar! I really enjoyed A Place to Hang the Moon.

helmikuu 22, 7:14 pm

>40 ReneeMarie: Good luck indeed!

>41 ocgreg34: Thanks Greg! They were both good reads :)

>42 foggidawn: I think you'll like Nothing Else But Miracles, too :)

helmikuu 22, 7:23 pm

My podiatrist appointment went well. They did more x-rays and saw some kind of a shadow, but no definitive break, but after seeing the bruising I had coupled with the type of pain I was having she's almost certain it was some kind of stress fracture. While I seem to be on the mend, she referred me for an MRI so that I can get a definitive diagnosis and also be more aware of the healing process and when it's OK to resume high-impact activities.

It's been a beautiful sunny Thursday in Seattle -- warm enough that I was able to sit outside on our back porch and read for a few hours in the sun, which was lovely. I got so hot I had to take off my jacket! Also took advantage of the weather to do some yard work, which was less exciting. Plans for the rest of the day include a workout, walking the dogs, and catching up with Love Is Blind -- really intense stuff.

Currently reading: Finished up The Cruel Prince and am tempted to dive right into book 2. If I don't give into that temptation, my next print book will probably be something lit-ficcy -- either The Patron Saint of Liars or I Have Some Questions For You. About halfway through Baudolino on audio and I am pretty meh about it. Started Under the Whispering Door on Kindle last night and am not sure how I feel about it yet.

helmikuu 22, 7:34 pm

46 books read: Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino

Lilah was born hard of hearing and wears hearing aids and uses accommodations at school, but she's never really been sure if that qualifies her as "Deaf." Plus, her ASL is only OK, even though she's been practicing. Then, she has an idea -- as a kid, she used to go to Camp Gray Wolf, a summer camp for Deaf and Blind children, and now, she's finally old enough to be a junior counselor. It's a perfect way to get away and practice her ASL for the summer -- plus, there's a cute counselor who seems to want to help. Lilah's summer is off to a great start, and she's never felt more a part of the Deaf community -- but as she grows more comfortable, she starts to realize some of the reasons her parents raised her to be hearing-passing instead of immersing her in Deaf culture.

I picked this up to fulfill the Popsugar prompt of a book by an author who is Deaf or hard of hearing, and I'm so glad I did! I was not expecting to enjoy this YA romance as much as I did. Sortino does a fantastic job of writing a sweet, enjoyable teen romance, while at the same time infusing it with so much information about Deaf culture and the Deaf community -- and yet, it never once comes off as preachy or explicitly educational. I listened to the audiobook, which may have been an odd choice for this particular book, but it was really well done, with muffled signing noises in the background during signed conversation. (This sounds like it could be annoying, but it wasn't!) 5 stars.

helmikuu 22, 8:07 pm

Natalie, your review of Give Me a Sign prompts me to add this book to my TBR list. Thanks for recommending this great YA book.

helmikuu 22, 8:11 pm

>45 curioussquared: Adding that one to the TBR list. Books about the Deaf community by Deaf authors are of interest to me and not always easy to come by.

helmikuu 23, 11:29 am

>22 curioussquared: I'm a huge fan of the Ruth Galloway books, but I'm afraid to try any of her other series because, well... how could they be as good? I agree that Tana French is awesome, although I didn't love her book The Searcher. I just found out there is a sequel to that one being published soonish.

helmikuu 23, 4:20 pm

>46 Whisper1: >47 bell7: Hope you both like it! I recommended it to my best friend and she is reading it now and really enjoying it.

>48 clamairy: Glad to see another Ruth Galloway fan! I'll have to try the series soon. I've heard that about The Searcher -- I'm planning to get through the Dublin Murder Squad books first before trying her other mysteries, but I own all of them.

helmikuu 23, 4:24 pm

Happy Friday! I started out the day with some dog walking and then did some espresso machine maintenance that I have been putting off for ages -- replacing the gasket and descaling the machine. Of course these tasks I've been putting off for ages took me less than an hour combined. Planning to exercise soon and then will probably relax for the rest of the day -- maybe some reading, puzzling, or gaming.

Currently reading: Started I Have Some Questions for You in print and still plodding my way through Baudolino on audio. About 1/3 of the way through Under the Whispering Door on Kindle and I am still not sure how I feel about it.

Currently watching: Episodes 7 and 8 of Love Is Blind.

helmikuu 23, 4:35 pm

47 books read: Nothing Else But Miracles by Kate Albus

When Dory's pop was called up to fight Hitler, he wrestled with whether or not to go, since he was technically the only adult at home with Dory and her two brothers since her mother died long ago. He eventually decided to go in the hopes of sparing Dory's 17-year-old brother Fish from being called up when he turned 18, and promised the kids that the neighborhood would provide them what they needed. For a while, this was true -- their kind landlord watched out for them and friends and neighbors helped feed them. But when a new landlord moves in, Dory and her brothers' precarious existence is threatened. Can they eke it out until Pop gets home?

This was a lovely middle grade novel -- I feel like you don't often get WWII books set in the US so it was an interesting perspective. The lower east side setting felt alive, and I loved Dory's relationship with her neighborhood and the people in it. I didn't love this quite as much as A Place to Hang the Moon, just because that book has tropes and settings that I absolutely love, but this was still great and I'll be reading more from Albus in the future. 4.5 stars.

helmikuu 23, 5:11 pm

48 books read: The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren

Fizzy Chen is a successful romance author, but she's never been able to find that happy ending for herself, and after a traumatic relationship ended a few years ago, she's been in a rut both writing-wise and relationship-wise. When TV producer Connor approaches her with an idea to do a Bachelorette-style show focused on finding her the perfect partner, Fizzy is initially skeptical -- but then she figures, why not? As Fizzy and Connor get to know each other in the lead-up to the show launching and during the show itself, both become conflicted -- can one of Fizzy's potential matches really hold a candle to what she's starting to feel for Connor?

This is a sort-of sequel to The Soulmate Equation which I had a lot of fun with, and I enjoyed this one quite a bit as well. Christina Lauren can be hit or miss for me and this was definitely on the hit side. It was pretty obvious where it was going from the beginning, but I enjoyed the ride. 3.75 stars.

helmikuu 23, 5:37 pm

>50 curioussquared: I liked The House in the Cerulean Sea better than Under the Whispering Door. But I DNF'd In the Lives of Puppets and gave my ARC to someone else. So for my taste, Klune is going in the wrong direction.

helmikuu 23, 6:36 pm

49 books read: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Jude was 7 when Madoc, a red cap, killed her parents and took her and her sisters into Fairyland. Now it's ten years later and it's the only life she knows. Jude spends her days attending school with the other fairy youths and her twin sister Taryn, where she is forced to spend time with Cardan, the cruel youngest son of the High King Eldred. When the High King announces he will be abdicating his throne in favor of one of his six children, Jude throws in her lot with Prince Dain, who Madoc has long been allied with, and becomes his spy. But fairy politics are more complicated than she first expected, and Jude soon finds herself and her family tangled in a web she's not sure she can escape.

I read Holly Black's first fairy novel Tithe years and years ago back when it first came out and I never felt too pressed to read more, but I'm really glad I picked this one up! This is the first in a massively popular trilogy, related to her early fairy books but not super connected. I think it gets some flack sometimes because people recommend it for fans of ACOTAR, but I think they're very different books. I loved how badass Jude was and appreciated that almost every character was multilayered and complex. Recommended; 4.5 stars.

helmikuu 23, 6:38 pm

>53 ReneeMarie: That's sort of the impression I got from most people who've read all of them. Too bad; I loved Cerulean Sea! I don't plan on picking up In the Lives of Puppets unless I see something that changes my mind.

helmikuu 24, 11:05 am

Added Tithe to my wishlist

helmikuu 24, 11:27 am

Nothing Else But Miracles sounds like the kind of kids book I like, especially on audio. And the library has it!

I assume a "sort-of" sequel (>52 curioussquared:) means I don't need to have read the first book to enjoy this one?

Have a great weekend, Natalie!

helmikuu 24, 11:39 am

>56 elorin: Hope you like it!

>57 katiekrug: Yay! The Albus is great. The True Love Experiment mostly stands alone, although it will spoil some of The Soulmate Equation -- Fizzy is the best friend in that book and the leads from that book are also in this one as side charactes. I think I liked The Soulmate Equation a little better, but they're both fun.

helmikuu 24, 11:51 am

>58 curioussquared: - Okay, I'll read TSE first then. I'm pretty sure it's on my library list anyway.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 12:53 pm

>51 curioussquared: Natalie, Nothing Else But Miracles by Kate Albus is now on the TBR list.

helmikuu 24, 1:03 pm

>51 curioussquared: I also loved this one and rated it 4.5 because A Place to Hang the Moon was such a high bar to clear. Albus is now on my auto-read list for middle grade historical fiction. I wish there were more middle grade WWII stories set in the US!

For those of you who are Kimberly Brubaker Bradley fans, she has a new WWII middle grade out this April, and it sounds like it might have a bit of a Gothic (or fae?) fantastical touch to it: The Night War.

helmikuu 24, 1:09 pm

>59 katiekrug: Enjoy!

>60 Whisper1: I hope you like it, Linda!

>61 libraryperilous: Ooh, the new Bradley sounds excellent. I'm looking forward to it!

helmikuu 26, 8:20 am

>54 curioussquared: Holly Black rang a bell, and then you mentioned Tithe and memories hit me like.. well, iron (heh).

I should re-read that one and pick this none back up again. I love fairy fantasy.

helmikuu 27, 5:31 pm

>63 Ravenwoodwitch: I like well-done fairy stuff too :) I think I still have my copy of Tithe that my mom bought me off the recommendation of a local bookseller way back when. I might reread it after finishing the Cruel Prince series!

helmikuu 27, 5:43 pm

Happy Tuesday! I had a nice weekend. Saturday my friend came over in the evening and we watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem, which I thought was pretty good! Well written and the teen voices were very authentic. Appropriately, we ordered pizza to go with it. Sunday Tim and I went out to brunch at our favorite Central American restaurant and then did some admin chores at home. I also got a good amount of reading done.

Yesterday my dad asked me to help shuttle him back and forth from a dent repair shop, which took up a surprising amount of the day. In the evening we went to trivia and we WON! Apparently we only win about once a year; we're almost exactly a year out from the last time we won. Very satisfying and we're going again next week to celebrate our victory.

Today has been fairly low key with some puzzling, grocery ordering, and more admin tasks. Planning to make rockfish tacos for dinner tonight.

Currently reading: Finished Under the Whispering Door on Saturday and wrapped up Baudolino and I Have Some Questions For You yesterday. Started Subtle Blood on Kindle and a reread of Assassin's Apprentice on audio (it's been WAY too long since I read this and I am loving it). I'm thinking Bookshops and Bonedust next in print.

Currently watching: The TMNT movie, and several episodes of Suits with Tim.

helmikuu 27, 7:06 pm

Congrats on the trivia win! I'm trying to convince The Wayne to go tomorrow to defend our title 🙂

helmikuu 28, 5:34 am

>65 curioussquared: Congratulations on the win!

helmikuu 29, 1:36 am

>66 katiekrug: >67 humouress: Thanks, Katie and Nina!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 29, 2:15 am

50 books read: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Wallace was a horrible person in life, an when he unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, the last thing he was expecting was to be picked up by Mei, a Reaper, at his funeral, and taken to a sort of waystation for the dead to meet Hugo, a ferryman, who will help him pass on to what's next. Souls usually only spend a few days with Hugo and team, max, but Wallace finds himself lingering at Hugo's waystation/tea shop, learning more about being a ghost, about the people he finds himself spending his time with, and about himself.

This was an odd book, much less feel-good than The House in the Cerulean Sea, but still with some of the same themes. Wallace is very difficult to like at first, which makes the first part of the book hard going. It mostly won me over by about 3/4 of the way through, but the ending felt unearned to me and sort of anti- the message of the rest of the book. 3.5 stars.

helmikuu 29, 2:04 am

51 books read: Baudolino by Umberto Eco

Baudolino, a man with a gift for languages and for lying, tells the story of his life, from his youth in a small Italian town, to his devotion to Frederick Barbossa, to his fantastical adventures in the East.

This just didn't work for me. There were a few funny bits but most of the time I found myself pressed to care. I liked The Name of the Rose a lot, but this was not my thing. 2.5 stars.

Read for Popsugar Prompt: A book that came out 24 years ago.

helmikuu 29, 2:20 am

Oh dear, a couple of not so hot reads.

I've seen others say that Under the Whispering Door didn't live up to The House in the Cerulean Sea but the description of it makes it sound a bit like Pratchett's Discworld: Death series (Mort and so on) which would make it a bit more tempting for me.

helmikuu 29, 12:26 pm

>71 humouress: Hi Nina! I can definitely see why you would think that from my description, but while they share some similar concepts, the vibes are VERY different and I would not recommend this one for Discworld/Death fans. UtWD is a lot more philosophical, almost like a meditation of grief turned into a novel. Pratchett does it better IMO.

helmikuu 29, 12:36 pm

52 books read: I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai

During Bodie Kane's senior year of high school at a New England boarding school, her junior year roomate, Thalia Keith, was murdered, found dead in the pool with injuries to her head. After an investigation, Omar Evans, athletic department staff, was convicted. Since then, Bodie and her classmates have mostly tried to put the incident behind them, despite ongoing interest in the case on Reddit and conspiracy forums and a 2006 Dateline special. Now a successful film professor and podcast host, Bodie returns to Granby in 2018 to teach a "minimester" two week podcasting class. When one of her students chooses Thalia's murder as the subject of her podcast project, Bodie gets sucked back into the investigation, convinced that the police missed something back in 1995.

I had seen some mixed reviews for this book but I enjoyed it a lot! Bodie is very flawed and not super likable, but she's very fun to read about. I thought most of Makkai's writing choices worked well, although it took me a little bit to wrap my head around the second person narration and figure out who Bodie was addressing -- but I think that was intentional. I also thought Makkai did a fantastic job of building up the suspense despite the murder being years old -- I was super keyed up after I finished before bed and it took me ages to get to sleep. It probably could have been a bit shorter, but overall I enjoyed it and recommend. 4 stars.

helmikuu 29, 12:48 pm

53 books read: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Fitz is a bastard, son of Prince Chivalry. Raised at Buck Keep by the stablemaster, his life changes when King Shrewd takes notice of him and decides he will be trained as an assassin.

I've been counting this among my favorite fantasy books for ages but I recently realized I had only read it once, back in 2007 or earlier (I only started keeping track of my reading in 2008!), so it was high time for a reread. Luckily, this stood the test of time and was just as fantastic as I remembered. 5 stars.

helmikuu 29, 12:55 pm

54 books read: Subtle Blood by KJ Charles

Will Darling and Kim Secretan have settled into a routine -- Will running the bookshop, with help from Kim and his connections with various members of the aristocracy who wish to sell their libraries. Their lives have almost become cozy since the events of The Sugared Game. But when Kim's brother Chingford is accused of murder at his club and refuses to provide any evidence to the contrary, Kim is pulled in to try to keep Chingford from hanging -- a task he only agrees to because Chingford's death would mean Kim inherits the marquess title, something he absolutely does not want to do. As Kim and Will are pulled deeper into the mystery, sinister forces will threaten their relationship -- and their lives.

Loved this just as much as the previous two, especially the relationship development between Kim and Will (I wondered where Will was hiding all his war trauma!) and the Phoebe and Maisie news. The mystery was good, although I was maybe expecting to move on from Zodiac at this point, but it didn't bother me. 4.5 stars.

helmikuu 29, 1:06 pm

55 books read: Brooms by Jasmine Walls and Teo DuVall

In 1930s Mississippi, a diverse group of magic users compete in a dangerous illegal broom race to earn the money to save their youngest members from being sent away to government boarding school.

Such a unique graphic novel. Loved the cast and concept. My only complaint was that I wanted more -- I could taste the rich world-building but I wanted more context, history, lore. 4 stars.

helmikuu 29, 1:10 pm

Happy Thursday! I'm finally caught up on reviews and going to go walk the dogs in a few minutes.

Tomorrow we're heading out for a long weekend trip to the Washington coast with my in-laws. Supposed to be kind of nasty weather, so we're bringing lots of games and puzzles. Today I'm packing and grocery shopping for the trip; tomorrow I'll be dropping off the dogs to stay with my aunt and grandparents and then we'll head out.

Currently reading: Bookshops and Bonedust in print and Slow Horses on audio. Planning to start Witchmark on Kindle next.

Currently watching: The latest episode of Death and Other Details, a Resident Alien, and a few episodes of Suits.

helmikuu 29, 1:41 pm

>45 curioussquared: Added to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Natalie!

>51 curioussquared: Adding that one too.

>54 curioussquared: I have read several of Black's books but I am pretty sure I have not read that one. Off to see if my local library actually has this one (unlike the other two). . .

>69 curioussquared: Yeah, I did not think that one was as good as The House in the Cerulean Sea (which I loved) either.

>73 curioussquared: Dodging that BB as I have already read it.

>74 curioussquared: OK, now I have to locate my copy and read it. . .

>75 curioussquared: No. I absolutely do not need another series to track down and read. Right?

>76 curioussquared: Into the BlackHole it goes!

helmikuu 29, 2:38 pm

I really enjoyed the Makkai, too!

Have a great weekend away.

maaliskuu 4, 8:44 am

Hope the long weekend trip was lovely.

maaliskuu 4, 4:57 pm

>78 alcottacre: Hope you enjoy all the BBs, Stasia!

>79 katiekrug: Thanks. Katie! We had a nice time.

>80 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! It was nice :)

maaliskuu 4, 8:15 pm

Happy Monday all! Our weekend away with the in-laws was nice. Weather wasn't great, but we squeezed in a good walk/hike on Saturday and spent the rest of the time indoors doing a puzzle and relaxing and eating. Good times all around.

Today so far has included a workout, a dentist appointment, and updating my resume to send to a friend who has a lead on some contract work for me. In a bit I'll head out for trivia where we will spend last week's winnings and attempt to defend our title.

Currently reading: I should wrap up Bookshops and Bonedust today or tomorrow. Finished Slow Horses and A Week to Be Wicked on audio and I'm thinking I'm going to tackle Vanity Fair next. About 40% through Witchmark on Kindle and it's very good so far.

Currently watching: A few episodes of Suits after we got home last night.

maaliskuu 4, 8:26 pm

>70 curioussquared: Ouch! This one has been on my shelf for a long time....perhaps I will let it stay there a bit longer ;)

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

maaliskuu 4, 10:00 pm

Good luck defending your trivia title!

Looking forward to your comments on A Week To Be Wicked...

maaliskuu 4, 11:05 pm

I joing Katie in her message above..good luck with the triva game. Years ago, when Trivial Pursuit was a new game, my then husband and friends would play this every Saturday night with friends. We had so very much fun. Looking back to those days made me smile. The marriage didn't last, but thinking back on our Saturday nights and how very intelligent he was, makes me wish (for a fleeting nano second) that he was still in my life. Sadly, he was a Viet Nam Vet. Despite years of counseling, he never could get out of anger mode. I didn't want to live like that. But, there are times when I do miss him.

I am impressed with the amount of books you've read already Natalie! Congratulations.

maaliskuu 5, 6:18 pm

>65 curioussquared: Congrats on the win!

And mm, I do love fishtacos. I've never heard of rockfish though.

>74 curioussquared: I have heard this author will make me cry at least once. And this book sounds about up my ally, so, challenge accepted.

>82 curioussquared: Glad the trip went well. Good luck with the possible lead!

maaliskuu 5, 9:14 pm

>83 figsfromthistle: It's definitely one I could have gone without reading, Anita! The weekend was excellent, thanks :)

>84 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! We came in fifth -- could have been worse, I suppose! Hoping to get to my comments on the Dare tomorrow.

>85 Whisper1: Hi Linda! It's always interesting to look back on past relationships. I have a couple too where I am very glad they were not the person I ended up with, but I miss things about them.

>86 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks, Angela!! We were not as lucky last night :) The fish tacos turned out great and I will probably make them again the next time fish is on sale! Rockfish is a pretty standard white fish with a mild flavor so it does well with blackening spices and is a good base in a taco :) Ooh, I hope you love the Hobb!

maaliskuu 6, 12:15 pm

Happy Wednesday! Yesterday I did a workout, some tidying, some reading, some cooking, and then had an MRI on my foot in the evening. Today I will be finishing tidying for the cleaners before they get here in the afternoon. While they're here I want to do some computer stuff. I'm also going to see if my dad wants to get dinner tonight -- my mom is in Europe visiting my brother so want to make sure he's not too lonely.

Currently reading: Finished Bookshops and Bonedust in print and moved on to The Memory of Babel. Still working on Witchmark on Kindle. Surprised how much I'm enjoying Vanity Fair on audio so far.

maaliskuu 8, 7:14 pm

Happy Friday! I went to my great aunt's funeral this morning. She passed back in December but they delayed the service due to holidays, illnesses, and weather. It was nice to support the family, but also a little dramatic. My grandma has one remaining living sister, and we do NOT talk to her or her family. Something happened 30+ years ago and the sisters haven't spoken since. I don't think I've even seen them before -- maybe at my great uncle's funeral 15+ years ago. Anyway, this branch of the family also showed up, so there were some interesting familial politics at play. The service and reception were still nice despite that, though.

I'm in something of a reading slump -- I've been kind of unfocused this week and The Memory of Babel isn't grabbing me enough. I've started a reread of Alanna: The First Adventure instead and am hoping that gets me back on track :)

We're headed to the Big Island of Hawaii next week on Tuesday so I should get some good beach reading in then!

maaliskuu 8, 7:20 pm

56 books read: Slow Horses by Mick Herron

The MI 5 employees working at Slough House know they're there for a reason -- they screwed up in a bad enough way that the service wanted to stick them out of the way, in a dead end job, so they'll eventually quit on their own. But when a young man is kidnapped and held hostage on camera, with the message that he will be killed in 48 hours, the Slough House team might be able to get their act together enough that they can solve the case.

I think listening to this on audio was a mistake; there were so many characters that I had trouble distinguishing them from the narration, and the narrator was bad at making it clear when the POV was switching (and the text was written ambiguously, too). I still found it mostly worthwhile, though, and I think it actually might work better for me as a TV series -- so I look forward to watching that someday when we finally get AppleTV+ 😂 3.5 stars.

maaliskuu 8, 7:28 pm

57 books read: A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

Minerva Highwood doesn't particularly want to be married -- really, she wants nothing more than to be a renowned geologist, and she knows her current research has the potential to be huge. But there's the small matter of presenting it at the Royal Geological Society in Edinburgh... Minerva hatches a plan to "elope" with the rakish Colin Payne, promising him her prize money in exchange for an escort. But the trip to Edinburgh will be anything but straightforward, and along the way, Minerva and Colin will be in very close quarters...

I was worried about the Spindle Cove series after I found A Night to Surrender disappointing, but this entry brought me around again. I had a lot of fun with Minerva and Colin and enjoyed their hijinks and banter. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 9, 8:44 am

>90 curioussquared: I was glad I had seen the TV show before listening to the audiobook of Slow Horses because it definitely helped me tell the characters apart when I could see them in my head

maaliskuu 9, 9:57 am

>91 curioussquared: - Glad you enjoyed that one. I did, too.

I'm sure I've asked before, but have you read Dare's Girl Meets Duke series? Those are my favorites of hers.

maaliskuu 9, 11:10 am

>92 norabelle414: Yeah, I'm not usually an adaptation before book kind of person, but I think it would really have helped in this case!

>93 katiekrug: Yes, I've read all three! I started with The Duchess Deal based on your recommendation 😊 They're my favorite Dares so far, too.

maaliskuu 9, 7:27 pm

58 books read: Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Years before the events of Legends and Lattes, Viv, a young mercenary orc, is injured in battle and must spend weeks recovering in the small, quiet seaside town of Murk. Sure she will be incredibly bored, Viv soon finds herself unexpectedly bonding with Murk's residents, especially the ratkin proprietor of the local rundown bookshop, and she even finds a spark of romance with the baker. But nefarious forces lurk even in cute seaside towns, and Viv and her friends will need to stay on their toes to combat them.

I enjoyed this prequel just as much as Legends and Lattes. So much fun! 5 stars.

maaliskuu 9, 7:38 pm

59 books read: Witchmark by C. L. Polk

In a steampunk fantasy world, Dr. Miles Singer has a secret -- he's not who he says he is, having fled his family years ago to avoid being bound into magical servitude to his twin sister. When a strange man stumbles into his hospital, claims to have been poisoned, and then dies, Miles starts following a path that will lead him to discover corruption even deeper than he expected in the world he knows.

This has been on my kindle forever and I'm so glad I finally read it! I enjoyed the heck out of this; it felt like some of the most unique worldbuilding I've read in ages. I'm looking forward to the next books in the series. 4.5 stars.

maaliskuu 9, 7:48 pm

60 books read: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Alanna wants to be a knight, not a lady, so she and her twin brother trade places and Alanna disguises herself as a boy to enter Page training at the palace.

I am not objective about these books in the least, and love them thoroughly. I enjoyed reading the new edition I purchased recently with a new cover -- love these designs! This time around I really enjoyed how all of "Alan's" friends just call him "a little guy!" all the time. So funny. 5 stars -- perfect to start me out of my reading slump, and I've already started rereading book 2.

maaliskuu 9, 7:50 pm

Happy weekend! I woke up with a sore throat so have spent most of today bedrotting in the hopes of fighting off a cold. So far so good; I don't feel any worse and maybe a bit better?

Last night my friend came over and we got pizza and watched the first episode of the live action Avatar The Last Airbender -- it seems somewhere on the scale of fine to meh, so far. Mostly it just made me want to rewatch the animated series.

Enjoying my reread of the Alanna books and slowly but surely making more progress in Vanity Fair on audio.

maaliskuu 9, 7:51 pm

Hiya Natalie.

maaliskuu 13, 11:12 am

>95 curioussquared: I hope that he plans on writing more in that series. I have loved both of the first 2 books too!

>96 curioussquared: I went to add that one to the BlackHole and discovered it already there. I just need to track down a copy!

>97 curioussquared: I have never read that series, but my daughter Catey adored the books when she was younger. I may have to give them a try!

I hope you are feeling better, Natalie! Have a wonderful Wednesday.

maaliskuu 15, 12:46 am

>98 curioussquared: bedrotting

I've not seen it called that, but very apt. I hope you're feeling better. I'm sure Alanna helped.

maaliskuu 20, 2:04 pm

>98 curioussquared: Bedrotting sounds like a horror movie title, but I do hope you feel better soon!

maaliskuu 20, 9:53 pm

I hope your absence here doesn't mean your cold got worse, Natalie!

Or are you in Hawaii now?

maaliskuu 22, 12:58 pm

Hi friends! Thanks for keeping my thread warm -- I was indeed in Hawaii and we got back late last night. Sorry to disappear! The trip was lovely and relaxing and I am now behind something like 10 reviews 😬

>99 Owltherian: Hi Owl!

>100 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I've been reading the Alanna books since I was in elementary school (I clearly remember scraping together my quarters to buy my copies at the Scholastic Book Fair) so I'm not objective about them at all, but I think you should give them a try :)

>101 humouress: Thanks Nina! The cold never got too bad and was gone after a few tropical days :) I like the term bedrotting, too :) Alanna always helps!

>102 Ravenwoodwitch: Lol! I didn't think of it like that, Angela. I feel much better now!

>103 katiekrug: Hi Katie! Thanks for checking in :) Cold never got too bad, I just went on vacation :)

maaliskuu 22, 1:06 pm

maaliskuu 22, 1:11 pm

>105 Owltherian: A little tired since our flight last night didn't get in until 1am, but OK. How about you?

maaliskuu 22, 6:22 pm

Welcome back, Natalie! Hope it was an excellent trip.

maaliskuu 22, 8:38 pm

>107 bell7: Thanks Mary! It was lovely and relaxing.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 8:47 pm

61 books read: Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman

Nick and Charlie are still in love and think they're ready to take things to the next level, which is exciting. But Nick has to start thinking about applying to university soon -- how will he and Charlie deal when they are long distance?

Just as lovely as the previous volumes and I flew through it as usual. 5 stars.

maaliskuu 22, 8:50 pm

62 books read: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

Alanna is now Jonathan's squire, and with war threatening Tortall, she has her work cut out for her. Will she be able to overcome all obstacles, maintain her disguise, and become a knight -- before the nefarious Duke Roger has his way?

Again, I'm not objective at all about these books. I thoroughly enjoyed my reread. I recently noticed that I have been calling this book by the wrong name for years and years -- I would have SWORN it was the "hands" of the goddess, not the "hand." Oh, well. I like my version better. 5 stars.

maaliskuu 22, 8:58 pm

63 books read: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

The classic "story without a hero," telling the story of the unscrupulous Becky Sharp, orphaned, intelligent, selfish, and entirely bent on achieving her own ends using whatever means necessary. On the other hand is Amelia Sedley, kind and beautiful, but cursed to struggle through life after the death of her husband. This book is also the story of the various secondary characters around these two women and a shrewd look at society and human morality in general.

I tried to read this doorstopper in high school and bounced off it -- not surprised, really. This time I attempted it on audio and I ended up enjoying it a lot! The version I listened to, narrated by Wanda McCaddon, was EXCELLENT and I highly recommend it. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 23, 12:14 pm

Welcome back Natalie!
Looking forward to any pictures. My coworker visits family in Honalulu and the islands are always gorgeous.

maaliskuu 23, 9:44 pm

Welcome back, Natalie. Glad to hear your trip was restful and lovely.

maaliskuu 24, 6:27 am

Yay for a relaxing holiday! Welcome back.

maaliskuu 24, 11:11 am

Hi! I've been missing in action on threads so I just scrolled through everything - love the photo of Kermit and Otter with their feet up, they sure do take up a couch!

I also enjoyed I Have Some Questions for You, glad you liked it as well.

Morgan and I have been watching Slow Horses, and I've been toying with the idea of reading the book. (Books? Is it a series? This is how little I know about it.)

Glad you had a nice time in Hawaii!

maaliskuu 25, 7:54 pm

>112 Ravenwoodwitch: Hi Angela! I'll try to post a few pictures once I get through my outstanding reviews :)

>113 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky!

>114 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

>115 ursula: Thanks, Ursula! The greyhounds are great at taking up a couch for sure :) I think there are multiple Slow Horses book, but I honestly don't know much about them either, lol.

maaliskuu 25, 8:03 pm

64 books read: Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Years ago, warlord Aric Athair took over, ruling the lands and seas of Caledonia's country. Caledonia's mother was a rebel with a ship, bent on piercing through Athair's naval guard and escaping -- but then Caledonia made a mistake, and she lost everyone except for her friend Pisces. Four years later, Cal and Pi have rebuilt a ship and built up an all-female crew, determined to get their revenge on Athair's fleet.

This was a fun sisterhood/pirate YA book. I think it could have used a little tighter plotting, but I enjoyed the concept and the characters and I'm planning to continue the series. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 25, 8:26 pm

65 books read: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

In a fantasy world inspired by the Americas, Serapio was raised to become a god. Xiala, a down-on-her-luck ship captain, accepts an impossible job to transport Serapio, who she is told is harmless. As an eclipse grows nearer, Serapio and Xiala travel toward the city of Tova, where Sun Priest Naranpa is struggling to maintain her political power. When they reach the city, things come to a head -- and the world may never be the same.

This was a great first entry in a unique fantasy series. The ending felt very unresolved -- definitely part of a series. I'm glad I own book 2 and that book 3 comes out in a few months. I enjoyed the characters, especially Serapio and Xiala -- Naranpa a little bit less. Looking forward to the next book! 4 stars.

maaliskuu 25, 8:37 pm

66 books read: Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Years ago, twin princesses were born. The night of their birth, their parents were assassinated. Realizing what had happened, the midwife ran, taking the second twin. Rose was raised as a crown princess, with an advisor acting as regent until her coronation. On the other hand, Wren was raised in secret, knowing she will one day kidnap Rose and take her place as queen, restoring rights to the nation's witches. But Rose won't go so easily, and Wren might need more help than she thinks.

A fun YA fantasy -- a little shallow and trope-y, but it was an enjoyable vacation read and the book didn't take itself too seriously. 3.75 stars.

maaliskuu 25, 8:46 pm

67 books read: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

Nicola Ferris arrives at a remote Cretan village ready for a relaxing holiday with her cousin. But before she even reaches the village proper, she stumbles upon a crime that seems to indicate the village's residents are not as innocent as they may seem. Reluctant to just forget what she's seen, Nicola continues investigating on the sly -- but she'll have to have her wits about her as things get more complicated.

My second Mary Stewart and I enjoyed it just as much as This Rough Magic -- I think my next one will be one that's not set in Greece as it got a little repetitive, but I really liked it all the same :) Such charming writing, settings, and characters. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 25, 9:05 pm

I haven't read that one, but remember the film with Hayley Mills fondly from my childhood.

maaliskuu 26, 4:51 am

>117 curioussquared: Hmm ... maybe.

(>118 curioussquared: If that's not a ROOT for you, I've just seen it on Rosalita's list. I was just tidying up the R's and thought 'I recognise that title')

maaliskuu 29, 11:14 pm

>121 katiekrug: I didn't know it was a movie until I googled it after reading!

>122 humouress: Seafire was good but not great, I'd say, if that influences your thinking. (Black Sun is a ROOT for me, unfortunately.)

maaliskuu 29, 11:26 pm

Hi all! I keep accidentally disappearing for a few days. Had some medical appointments this week (my foot is not broken, hooray! They think it's a nerve thing) and spent some time with my mom and a few friends. And finished more books, of course, putting me even further behind on reviews. (I think I'm behind... 12, right now? Oops.)

Today I went and got lunch with my mom and grandparents and then we went to a nearby plant nursery. I bought some nice perennials and I think my mom is going to come over tomorrow or next week to help fix up my neglected raised beds and plant them. Sunday we're headed up to Tim's family's beach house for Easter.

Currently reading: About halfway through The Man Who Died Twice in print and loving it -- it's better than the first, IMO. A few chapters into Dragon's Bait on Kindle and almost halfway through Always Only You on audio.

Currently watching: Almost had a crisis this week when Netflix tried to kick me off my parents' plan. Yes, we can afford our own Netflix, but it's the principle of the thing, you know? They pay for four screens and I feel like you should be able to use those screens wherever you want. Anyway, going to their house and logging into Netflix on their wifi seems to have solved it for the moment and Tim and I are back to watching Suits. Also watched a few episodes of All Creatures Great and Small with my friend.

maaliskuu 29, 11:41 pm

68 books read: Stargazy Pie by Victoria Goddard

After a disgraceful finish to his university career, Jemis Greenwing returns to his hometown, where he is overshadowed by his father's poor reputation. Unsure of his path forward, he feels fortunate to land a position at the local bookshop. When his first day is interrupted by a mysterious fish pie left outside the shop, Jemis teams up with his new boss and his old friend Mr. Dart to find out what the pie means, dealing with a school friend, a cult, and lots of sneezing along the way.

This is an earlier novel set in the world of The Hands of the Emperor and I really enjoyed it! It was delightfully weird. You can tell it's an earlier effort as it's not quite as polished, but I still had a great time and am looking forward to more in the series. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 29, 11:54 pm

69 books read: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

After Patroclus accidentally kills a boy and disgraces his family, he is disowned and sent to foster with another family, that of the young Achilles, son of a sea nymph and a great warrior even as a boy. At first, Patroclus doesn't fit in, but after a chance encounter, he and Achilles become inseparable. As Achilles pursues his great destiny, first training with Chiron the centaur and then leading his army to the fight the trojans, Patroclus is always at his side -- until the very end.

This book has been so popular for ages but has never really called my name -- but I'm so glad I picked it up, because it deserves all the praise. Greek retellings are not my thing, but Miller brings her material to life, with gorgeous prose and a reimagining that captures the modern mind. 5 stars.

maaliskuu 29, 11:56 pm

Congratulations on reading 69 books thus far!

maaliskuu 30, 12:03 am

70 books read: The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Lucy is a teacher's aid struggling to save up enough money to adopt one of her students, a young boy who ended up in foster care after his parents' death. Lucy loves Christopher, but she has no idea how she's going to get the money to afford a better apartment and car that are required to care for him. Until Lucy receives a mysterious invitation from Jack Masterson, author of the Clock Island children's book series, to come to his island and compete to win the priceless only copy of the final book in the series. Lucy is determined to win -- for her sake, and for Christopher's. But it might not be so simple...

I enjoyed this overall. At times it felt somewhat saccharine, but I still found myself turning the pages, so it didn't turn me off enough to affect my opinion too much. Also, I was a little disappointed in the contest itself -- I love a good contest/scavenger hunt in a book but this one was a little bit of a letdown. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 12:11 am

71 books read: At Blackwater Pond: Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

What it says on the tin. I enjoyed listening to Oliver read some of her work. Read for the PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt to read a book of poetry with more than 24 poems. 5 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 12:29 am

72 books read: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Malik and his sisters are refugees, come to Ziran to start a new life with false papers to disguise their ethnic background. But everything goes wrong when they get into the city only to run into a magical entity who kidnaps his younger sister and demands that Malik kill the princess of Ziran to get her back. Malik decides to try to enter the Solstasia competition as a champion in order to get closer to the princess. Meanwhile, Princess Karina is dealing with her own problems -- her mother has been secretly assassinated and Karina must hold things together with the help of her council and steward. Karina's only chance at success lies in an old spell to resurrect the dead -- if she can bring back her mother, it'll solve all her problems. But the spell requires the heart of a king, so Karina will have to do some murdering of her own if she wants it to succeed....

This African-inspired YA fantasy has been on my Kindle for ages and I finally got around to it. It was a solid story, fairly slow-paced but effectively building to an exciting conclusion. I'm looking forward to reading book 2.
4 stars.

Phew, finally got through all the books I read on vacation 😂 Now I just need to tackle what I've read in the past week!

maaliskuu 30, 3:41 pm

Happy Saturday! It feels like Spring here -- the cherry blossoms have been at their peak this week and the sun is out. I've already walked the dogs and I think my mom is coming over in a bit to help with some gardening. My friend is coming to hang out in the evening.

Currently reading: Finished The Man Who Died Twice this morning; still working on Dragon's Bait and Always Only You. Need to start a new print book.

maaliskuu 30, 3:48 pm

73 books read: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

Now a knight and with her secret revealed, Alanna heads to the desert to get away from court. When she inadvertently is adopted into a Bazhir tribe and becomes that tribe's shaman, she will need to embrace her magic in a way she never has before.

Again, I'm not objective about these books. 5 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 7:43 pm

74 books read: Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Alanna travels to the roof of the world through war-torn Sarain to pursue the legendary Dominion Jewel and bring peace and honor to Tortall and Jonathan.

Just as good as it always is. 5 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 8:16 pm

75 books read: A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare

Kate Taylor makes her living as Spindle Cove's resident music teacher -- an orphan, she has to make her own living. She knows that her prominent facial birthmark makes her unlikely to marry anytime soon, but she's fairly happy with her life -- aside from dealing with that annoying Corporal Thorne. But when rich strangers show up in Spindle Cove claiming to be Kate's long last family, Thorne immediately steps in to protect Kate, claiming to be her fiance. Does the prickly corporal have more to him than meets the eye?

Book 3 in the Spindle Cove series. I liked it better than book 1, but probably less than books 2 and 4. 3.5 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 8:33 pm

76 books read: Stormsong by C. L. Polk

Following the events of Witchmark, Lady Grace must act quickly to maintain some control in the wavering government. With her father imprisoned for his involvement in the witch asylums, it should be simpler, but somehow he seems to still have his fingers in her business. Meanwhile, journalist Avia Jessup seems to be catching on to what's going on rather quickly, and Grace is tempted to treat her as an ally -- but is she trustworthy?

I really enjoyed this sequel! I was disappointed at first that Miles and Tristan weren't the main characters of this one, but they were still present and I enjoyed Grace's POV more than I expected. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 8:47 pm

77 books read: The Second Stranger by Martin Griffin

It's Remie's last night working at the remote MacKinnon Hotel before it closes for the season and she heads out on a trip to Chile in memory of her brother. It's just her and two guests, so it should be pretty quiet. But as a huge storm brews, a police officer shows up at the hotel, asking to be let in and warning Remie that there is a dangerous criminal on the loose in the area. After securing the hotel and helping the officer find what he needs, Remie settles down for a long night -- but then, another man knocks on the door, claiming to be the same officer Remie already met. Which man is the true police officer and which is the criminal?

This thriller/mystery had a great premise and the atmosphere was great. I enjoyed the listen for the most part, but felt like the ending fell a little flat -- I stopped understanding Remie's motivations at that point. 3.5 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 8:58 pm

78 books read: The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos

It's been 2.5 years since Thorn escaped from the Pole and Ophelia returned home to Anima, and Ophelia is sick of her family and home. When Archibald finally shows up to help her escape, she's ready, and she and her scarf head to the ark of Babel in search of Thorn and information. Ophelia is surprised by Babel's strict order, but manages to land a spot among the forerunners, the trainees who steward the Memorial Library, the history and memory of the ark. Struggling through the training, chasing hint after hint, Ophelia can't tell if she's getting closer to Thorn -- but she'll keep trying until she finds him.

I'm going to be honest, I really like these books, but after I finish each one I feel like I have no idea what happened, so sorry if the above summary makes zero sense. Despite that, I really enjoy Dabos' interesting writing and creative imagination, and am looking forward to the final book in the series. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 9:08 pm

79 books read: Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

17-year-old Althea knows she must marry rich to support her mother and little brother, and to maintain their rickety old castle. Her stepsisters have their own fortunes, but refuse to use any money toward supporting the family. When Lord Boring moves to the neighborhood and brings along some wealthy friends, Althea sees her chance. Everything seems to be going well with Boring, except for his annoying friend who keeps interfering...

This was fun -- sort of a cross between Bridgerton and Pride and Prejudice, and make it YA. I enjoyed Althea's narration and the story itself, even though I could see how it was going to end from the very beginning. I would read more in the series. One note -- the audiobook had a weird quirk where the pauses between some sentences/paragraphs were too long, which was driving me crazy by the end, so perhaps better to read physically. 4 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 9:12 pm

80 books read: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club is back! When Elizabeth receives a mysterious letter from a man from her past, she knows it can't be good -- and soon, the gang is involved in a mystery involving diamonds, the mafia, and of course, a little murder.

I liked but didn't love the first book in this series, but I'm so glad that I continued because I thought book 2 was a vast improvement. So much fun and I can't wait for book 3. 4.5 stars.

maaliskuu 30, 9:13 pm

Phew! I'm finally caught up on reviews -- for the moment. Brb, gotta go read some more books :)

maaliskuu 30, 9:36 pm

That's good to hear about the Osman. Like you, I thought the first was fine but no great shakes, and I've been hesitant to pick up the 2nd.

maaliskuu 30, 9:59 pm

Congratulations on hitting 75!

maaliskuu 30, 11:16 pm

Congratulations on reading 80 books thus far this year!

maaliskuu 31, 2:59 am

Congratulations on 75 books read Natalie!

maaliskuu 31, 1:28 pm

>141 katiekrug: Yeah, I felt like I had a better sense of each of the characters this time and the humor and dynamic really coalesced.

>142 elorin: Thanks Robin!

>143 Whisper1: Thanks Linda!

>144 humouress: Thanks Nina!

Happy Easter all! We're heading out to the beach in a few minutes, as soon as my dish is done baking.

maaliskuu 31, 4:50 pm


huhtikuu 1, 8:55 am

>134 curioussquared: Congratulations on reaching 75, Natalie!

huhtikuu 1, 10:43 am

Lots of good reading there! Congrats on 75!

huhtikuu 1, 3:01 pm

Congrats on reaching the magic number, Natalie!

>124 curioussquared: I believe the guidelines for Netflix since they cracked down on password sharing are that you have log in with the device on the "home" wifi for the account every 30 days.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 3:39 pm

>104 curioussquared: My daughter Beth recently asked me when my first interest in books happened and I told her when I was about 8 and bought Charlotte's Web - my first ever book purchase AFAIK - from the Scholastic Book Mobile. Needless to say, I am not objective about Charlotte's Web any more than you are about the Alanna books :)

>111 curioussquared: Isn't funny how often we hated a certain book in school but love it when we get older?

>118 curioussquared: My local library has that one! I will have to give it a try.

>120 curioussquared: To me, Mary Stewart was always one of those authors who could tell a story well. I am glad you are enjoying reading her, Natalie.

>125 curioussquared: I am loving reading through Goddard's books! Mary (bell7) and I are reading At the Feet of the Sun this month.

>126 curioussquared: Dodging that BB as I have already read it!

>128 curioussquared: Already in the BlackHole. . .

>130 curioussquared: I will have to see if I can track down a copy of that one. It sounds interesting.

>137 curioussquared: I have several of Dabos' books here that I need to read. Thanks for the reminder.

Congratulations on hitting 75!

huhtikuu 1, 6:20 pm

>146 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>147 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

>148 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi!

>149 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! Re: Netflix, that's what I understand too. At first it seemed like visiting my parents hadn't worked as the app (we watch Netflix by Chromecasting from our phones) was still trying to lock me out, but then the next day it worked with no problem, so hopefully it'll keep working. Luckily my parents live 10 minutes away and I happen to like them so visiting once a month is something I would tend to do anyway 😂

>150 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! I hope you enjoy the various book bullets :) I hope you love At the Feet of the Sun -- I read that one directly after The Hands of the Emperor and am only now getting to Goddard's other stuff.

huhtikuu 3, 6:11 pm

Happy Wednesday! I'm going to try to be better about being around here more.

Today I tidied for our cleaners, who are here now. Once they're gone I'm going to shower (I squeezed in a workout before they arrived) and then run to the store to grab a few items before we have some friends coming over to play board games in the evening. We'll probably order a pizza or two for dinner.

Currently reading: A little over halfway through Down Comes the Night in print and halfway through Red at the Bone on Kindle. About 20% into Didn't See That Comingon audio. Finished Always Only You, Where the Drowned Girls Go, Dragon's Bait, and Iris Kelly Doesn't Date earlier this week.

Currently watching: Some Suits and Buying Beverly Hills.

Currently playing: Some Tears of the Kingdom over the weekend.

huhtikuu 3, 7:09 pm

Oh, I loved Red at the Bone!

huhtikuu 3, 7:17 pm

Hi Natalie! Glad to see you liked the second Thursday Murder Club book because I'm halfway through the first right now and it's just okay.

huhtikuu 6, 5:00 pm

Congrats on 75 books!
I'm hoping to go on a vacation here soon. I won't catch up, but maybe I can get 1/4th of the same speed, lol.

huhtikuu 7, 8:31 pm

>153 katiekrug: I finished it and really enjoyed it too, Katie!

>154 norabelle414: Hi Nora! Yeah, I thought the second TMC book came together really well. I actually just bought book 3 today!

>155 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks Angela! Yay for a vacation :)

huhtikuu 7, 8:40 pm

Happy Sunday! We've had a house guest the last few days who has kept things interesting -- Ollie the Bernese/St. Bernard who was last here in January. He has been very good. We've only had him during the day -- he belongs to my aunt and uncle, who also have his sister Laurel, who just got spayed, so they're leaving Ollie with us during the day while my aunt is at work so Laurel doesn't get too crazy.

Today I went to Silent Book Club with my friend, which was fun as usual. They did a raffle with three prize books and somehow my friend and I both won one! She picked a copy of Who Fears Death and I picked up a signed copy of Crook Manifesto. Then we stopped by the new bookstore that just opened down the street from the Silent Book Club location and I picked up a copy of The Bullet That Missed to support them. Then, as we were leaving the bookstore, I looked across the street and thought I saw Otter and Kermit -- but they were just another black and brindle greyhound pair! Alternate universe versions of my dogs. The crazy thing was that the black one had a cropped tail, just like Otter, which is not at all usual in greyhounds. We ran across the street and said hi quickly :)

Currently reading: Wrapped up Red at the Bone, Down Comes the Night, and Didn't See That Coming, and now reading The Witness for the Dead in print, American Royals on Kindle, and Royal Assassin on audio.

Currently watching: The first three of the four Doctor Who specials -- surprisingly pleased with them!

Currently playing: Some TOTK, and I also started a new game of Strange Horticulture.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 8, 4:26 pm

Wow! Past 75 already!! I have only read half of what you have and you are doing a much better job with your reviews. You are my hero. : )

BTW -- How does a Silent Bookclub work? No discussion?

huhtikuu 8, 6:17 pm

>158 Berly: Hi Kim! Awww, shucks. I'm doing a better job of reading this year than of keeping up here, unfortunately. I'm pretty behind on reviews right now!

Silent Book Club is a lot of fun! It's structured to be a 2 hour event, with a half hour of chatting, getting to know people, and talking about the books you're reading at the beginning and at the end, and then an hour of silent reading your own books in the middle. I always get a ton of reading done and leave with additions to my TBR :) It reminds me of the silent reading time we used to have at my elementary school which I totally loved. We called it SSR (Silent sustained reading) or DEAR (drop everything and read) ☺️

huhtikuu 8, 6:40 pm

LOL. Silent Book Club makes much more sense now -- thanks for the explanation. And I like DEAR!! In fact, I think I still do that. : )

huhtikuu 10, 10:59 am

I am so happy Russel T. Davies is back running Doctor Who. He's definitely brought back the vibes that made me fall in love with it back when I first dipped my toe in with Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. *heart eyes*

huhtikuu 10, 11:28 am

Congrats on reading 75 books! Nicely done!

huhtikuu 10, 4:50 pm

>160 Berly: Same here, Kim! I'd much rather read than do the chores :)

>161 MickyFine: Same here, Micky. I enjoyed the Matt Smith years but not as much as DT, and haven't really been interested in watching Capaldi or Foster (I tried Capaldi but just couldn't get into his episodes, and never really gave JF a shot). But these new specials have been a lot of fun so far!

>162 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita! This whole not having a job thing has really let my reading get out of hand 😂

huhtikuu 10, 4:57 pm

Happy Wednesday, all!

Monday my mom called to see if I wanted to go to Ikea, which of course I did, so that took up most of the day. I was mostly going to scope out their kitchen cabinets and pick up a few smaller things, but ended up buying one of the HEMNES bookshelves because the dark grey color was on sale. Oops! I guess you can never have too many bookshelves. Ended the day making chicken wild rice soup and hanging out with Tim.

Yesterday I worked on some tax stuff (we're mostly done with our taxes, but have to pay some capital gains tax in WA this year and needed to figure out how that process works) and then did a workout, did some reading, and did some random stuff around the house. My friend came over in the evening but to watch a show with Tim that I'm not interested in (Invincible), so I did a puzzle and listened to my audiobook while they watched.

So far today I went to the nearby plant nursery with my mom and grandparents and had lunch at the cafe there and bought some more plants to put in my raised beds. Will probably spend the rest of the day tackling some chores and possibly try to put together the new outdoor couch I bought for our front deck. I also might try to tackle some more of the tax stuff while Tim is at work since we need to do it by Monday and he is on vacation for a bachelor part starting tomorrow through Monday.

Currently reading: Finished The Witness for the Dead in print and moved on to Britt-Marie Was Here, and Royal Assassin on audio and moved on to A Most Agreeable Murder. Still working on American Royals on Kindle.

huhtikuu 10, 5:16 pm

The Wayne finally made a first pass at our taxes this past weekend, to much rejoicing (by me). He always leaves it to the last minute, and it makes me nervous. And last year included all sorts of crap related to his exit from Twitter, so I was more worried than usual... But we're getting money back from all 3 filings, so there was even more rejoicing (by both of us) :D

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 5:26 pm

>161 MickyFine: >163 curioussquared: Tom Baker ("Ark in Space") was my first Doctor. I watched whatever they showed on PBS. I watched the one-off movie in the '90s. And I was way excited when Davies revived it.

But while I enjoyed some stories by Steven Moffatt, plot holes and all, I *HATED IT* when he ran the show. I didn't like the Capaldi years a ton, but I blame Moffatt entirely for that. I also didn't like Smith as much, but I think that was Smith AND Moffatt.

huhtikuu 10, 5:24 pm

81 books read: Always Only You by Chloe Liese

In book 2 of the Bergman Brothers series, Frankie works in marketing for the LA hockey team that Ren Bergman plays for. Frankie has always liked Ren, but dating players isn't allowed and anyway, she knows her rheumatoid arthritis makes her undesirable as a girlfriend. Meanwhile, Ren has harbored a secret crush on Frankie ever since he saw her, but knows dating her is forbidden. But when he learns that Frankie plans to go to law school soon, he realizes that now is his chance to make an impression...

I enjoyed this overall! Liese is good at writing well-rounded, diverse characters you want to root for. There were a few things I didn't love or that came off a little cringe-y (Frankie's Harry Potter obsession) but overall I had a good time and will be continuing the series. 3.75 stars.

huhtikuu 10, 5:27 pm

>165 katiekrug: We're also procrastinators but have been having an accountant do most of our tax stuff the last few years which has made us be more prompt about it. This year is more complex with the capital gains stuff, though, so requires a little more thought. WA doesn't have state income tax and the capital gains tax is new as of 2023 so it's a whole new system and process to work through.

>166 ReneeMarie: Agreed, Renee -- I think Moffat had some great plots and interesting episodes but he was not actually good at directing the show as a whole.

huhtikuu 10, 5:32 pm

>168 curioussquared: Word is that he didn't love Doctor Who the way Davies loved it. And he wasn't faithful to the canon. He wrote stories that painted the show into a corner.

huhtikuu 10, 5:33 pm

82 books read: Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

A rather darker entry in this series -- Cora cannot escape the whisperings of the drowned gods and fears that she endangers herself and her friends at the Home for Wayward Children, so she requests a transfer to another school for children who have been through doors -- the Whitethorn Institute. But the Whitethorn Institute is not a very friendly place, and Cora is soon looking for a way out.

Darker, but still very good. 4 stars.

huhtikuu 10, 5:34 pm

>169 ReneeMarie: I totally believe that! It shows.

huhtikuu 10, 5:41 pm

83 books read: Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde

When 15-year-old Alys is accused of being a witch and left out as dragon's bait, she doesn't have much hope for her life. But when the dragon show's up, he's not so bad -- and agrees to help her get revenge on the townsfolk who betrayed her.

This reminded me a little bit of Dealing with Dragons, although it wasn't as charming, but still a lot of fun. 3.75 stars.

huhtikuu 10, 5:55 pm

84 books read: Iris Kelly Doesn't Date by Ashley Herring Blake

Third book in the Bright Falls series. Iris Kelly doesn't date. Like, ever. So when a promising one-night stand goes sour, she's not too worried about it -- until the date, Stevie, turns out to be playing Benedick in the queer Much Ado About Nothing production in which Iris has just been cast as Beatrice. Stevie has bad anxiety and told her friends the date went well so they would get off her back, and begs Iris to pretend to date her so her friends don't get suspicious. As Stevie and Iris spend more time together, neither can deny that there's something between them -- but will Iris be able to let down her boundaries and break her own rule?

I enjoyed this just as much as the first two books in the series, maybe more than book 2. 4 stars.

huhtikuu 10, 6:18 pm

85 books read: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Melody's coming out party on her 16th birthday inspires various reminiscences among her family, including her mother, who had her when she was just 16, her father, who was just 17, and her grandparents.

This was a lovely novel, short but packed full of explorations of race, class, and family ties. The writing style was somewhat experimental but I thought it was effective and easy to read despite that. 4.5 stars.

huhtikuu 12, 6:32 pm

I will say the Jodie years are worth a try. They're not quite as good as the early stuff, but she has much more of a DT vibe in her approach to the Doctor, which I really liked.

huhtikuu 13, 5:00 am

>174 curioussquared: That one is very much on my radar too, Natalie.

I am still a Pertwee and Tom Baker man when it comes to the Doctor.

huhtikuu 13, 1:40 pm

>175 MickyFine: That's good to know, Micky! I might go back and give her a try at some point.

>176 PaulCranswick: It was a good one, Paul! I never got into classic Doctor Who... maybe someday :)

huhtikuu 13, 1:54 pm

Happy Saturday!

Thursday I woke up early to take Tim to the airport for his bachelor party adventure in Honolulu. He's back on Monday night. I was pretty zonked from not getting much sleep for the rest of the day, but I did some chores and ran some errands and also had some puzzle and audiobook time. In the evening my friend came over and we exercised and then had dinner and watched some TV.

Friday my mom came over to help me plant all the stuff we bought on Wednesday. The side yard area with raised beds is looking sooo much better. After she left, I finished my puzzle, and then spent some time reading. In the evening I made matzo ball soup and watched some TV, and picked out my next print book.

I'm taking today slow as I'm a bit sore from the yard work, but need to get dressed soon to meet my best friend and one of her new coworkers for a walk. The new coworker has a greyhound so we decided we needed to have a dog playdate. Yes, we're all millennials. After the walk, my friend might come over to hang out. Would like to catch up on reviews today but we'll see, lol.

Currently reading: Finished Britt-Marie Was Here in print and have now moved on to The Serpent Sea. Wrapped up both A Most Agreeable Murder and Rabbit Redux on audio and am now listening to Hey, Hun. Still working on American Royals on Kindle.

Currently watching: Some Suits before Tim left, an episode of Taskmaster with my friend, and some Buying Beverly Hills and S4E4 of Outlander on my own.

Currently playing: A little more of my replay of Strange Horticulture, and also bought and started a new game called Botany Manor. I was enjoying it but had to stop on Thursday when it was making me horribly motion sick. I did some exploring and there is literally an option called "Motion Sickness" in the menu, so I adjusted some of the camera stuff and will try playing again soon, but... why is the automatic POV something that clearly made enough people motion sick that you had to have a motion sickness menu option???

huhtikuu 13, 2:18 pm

>177 curioussquared: Recommendation for a classic story to try: "City of Death" with snarky Tom Baker as The Doctor. There's Douglas Adams, Paris, and Da Vinci. And it made me stop and think about the beginning of life on 🌎.

huhtikuu 13, 8:58 pm

Agree with Micky that Jodie Foster had some David Tennant vibes in her interpretation of the Doctor. I enjoyed her seasons quite a bit.

Glad to see you liked Red at the Bone! It still sticks in my head after reading it 3 years ago for book club.

And I love the sound of your Silent Book Club. I was just telling a co-worker that if I were to joining another book club, at this point it would be one like that so I didn't have another reading commitment on my plate. (I'm such a moody reader that even the books on my TBR list that I read for my work book club suddenly become the book I *don't* feeling like reading that month.)

huhtikuu 13, 10:17 pm

Haaaappy Saturday, Natalie.
Firstly, seriously, congrats on already making 75 for the year! Your reading speed never ceases to amaze me.
Second, the motion sickness reminds me of this game my brothers had on the N64 called Forsaken. 3D first-person shooter where you could move a full 360 degrees (cause it was in space). And I remember the loose, fluid motion of it all made me so nauseous. But both my brothers were fine?
It may just be a not-common problem, I dunno. But it sounds like yours is more common and they probably should rethink the movement, lol.

huhtikuu 13, 10:59 pm

>174 curioussquared: Natalie, I own a copy of Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. As soon as I finish the book I started today, I'll begin this one. And, I actually know where it is on the bookshelf.

huhtikuu 14, 10:15 am

>159 curioussquared: I am intrigued! I might have to find out if there is one near me.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 18, 12:03 pm

>159 curioussquared: I found a chapter relatively close by, too. They meet at a book store at 7:00 in the evening, so I might be able to make some of the meetings.

huhtikuu 14, 11:31 am

>179 ReneeMarie: Oooh. You had me at Douglas Adams and Paris! On the list it goes.

>180 bell7: Hi Mary! Good to know you liked Jodie too. I'll give her seasons a watch at some point.

You should see if there is a Silent Book Club chapter near you -- they have a website that lists them all, I believe. They sort of exploded in popularity over the past year -- I first heard about it about a year ago, and the only chapter near me was at the south end of the city which was a little too far for me to actually want to go, but soon after that two more chapters started much closer to my neighborhood and I've been going ever since. The brewery where I usually go to trivia also started a monthly SBC night in the past few months so it's definitely trendy.

Totally hear you about not wanting another "assigned" read -- I'm not in any traditional book clubs right now as the one I was in with friends sort of collapsed during COVID (plus about half the people had babies, lol), but I wouldn't want to have more than one or two books I HAVE to read per month. I prefer to do my version where I have the list of many books I want to read at some point during the year, but I can read them in any order I want.

>181 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks Angela! The whole not working thing is definitely working in favor of my reading numbers 😂 I've never been close to hitting 75 this early before. That's weird about that N64 game! I've never been motion sick from a game before so this is a new experience for me. When it happened I wasn't sure if it was the game or if I was feeling ill for some other reason at first.

>182 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Knowing where a book is on the bookshelf is the first step to victory!

>184 clamairy: Enjoy, Clam! I've been really enjoying going for the past year or so.

huhtikuu 14, 11:35 am

>184 clamairy: Oh, I didn't realise there are chapters! There's even one in Singapore, which is quite a rare thing. I might join.

huhtikuu 14, 12:19 pm

>186 humouress: Yay! I hope you love it.

huhtikuu 14, 12:45 pm

Too bad the San Antonio SBC apparently requires use of Instagram to get details of meetings. They might be meeting today but it's too short notice.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 14, 12:50 pm

It's a gorgeous Sunday here! Yesterday's greyhound walk was a success and the dogs were totally beat after. We walked around a lake and then took the dogs to a nearby caribbean restaurant for lunch. They have a sandy outdoor eating area that's perfect for bony dogs who don't like hard surfaces. A little later my friend came over and she helped me assemble some of our new outdoor sofa, then we had dinner and watched some TV.

Today I want to work on more of the outdoor sofa and hopefully get some outdoor reading in. Around noon or a little later I'm going to go see a few houses with my mom since Tim is still out of town.

Currently reading: Still working on all the same stuff -- The Serpent Sea, Hey, Hun, and American Royals.

Currently watching: The fourth Doctor Who special (I'm really excited for Gatwa's season) and an episode of All Creatures Great and Small.

Hounds walking around the lake:

Our new friend Beast:

Kermit enjoying the restaurant and Otter hoping for pork:

Otter quality testing the portion of the outdoor sofa we assembled:

huhtikuu 14, 12:50 pm

I love the idea of a Silent Book Club. The ones closest to me (both at least 30 minutes) meet at their local libraries. I'm ging to think about maybe starting one closer to home. It could be a fun little project :)

huhtikuu 14, 12:53 pm

And for fun, a few puzzles I've finished over the past week or two:

huhtikuu 14, 12:56 pm

>190 katiekrug: I love that, Katie! The one I attend regularly meets at a local restaurant that has a good selection of wine and beer, non-alcoholic drinks, and appetizers and lunch items, and meetings are from 2-4 on Sundays. It's a nice balance of food and beverage offerings -- something for everyone -- and I think it works out well for the restaurant. They reserve about 80% of their indoor space for us and in return get a full house on a Sunday afternoon with everyone ordering at least a drink and most people ordering more.

huhtikuu 14, 12:58 pm

>188 elorin: I missed you, Robyn! Yes, unfortunately, most of the other chapters I've seen also use Instagram. I don't mind since I'm an Instagram user, but it does limit participation if you don't use that app. I think it becomes a default since it's so easy to update -- there was another local chapter here I saw that had a website, but it hadn't been updated in ages and I had to assume they were defunct.

huhtikuu 14, 1:11 pm

86 books read: Didn't See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Kiki loves gaming, especially Warfront Heroes, an online FPS game, and she's good at it, too. But she realized awhile ago that when her username gives away she's a girl, all the other players treat her horribly and don't respect her skill at all. So she came up with a new name -- DudeBro10 -- and stopped participating in voice chats, and lo and behold, she has plenty of gamer friends and gets to lead her team's strategy. Warfront Heroes is her favorite place online, and she especially likes talking with her online best friend, SourDawg -- but SourDawg doesn't know she's a girl, and she's scared to tell him despite all indications that he's a really good guy. In real life, Kiki is a typical girly girl, and this year, she's moving to a new school. She's not worried about it at first, but she soon realizes this school is MUCH stricter and more conservative than her old one. Without even knowing how it happened, Kiki is suddenly the laughingstock of her new school, and she's not sure how to stop it. Can Kiki figure out how to unite both sides of her life and navigate her new school situation?

Sort of a modern day, YA You've Got Mail -- I really enjoyed this! Kiki is a little frustrating occasionally, but she's a teen acting like a real teen, so I can't be mad about it. 4 stars.

huhtikuu 14, 1:40 pm

87 books read: Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Wren can heal with her magic, and serves as a healer in the queen's guard. But when she heals an enemy boy after being told not to and allows him to escape, she's in disgrace, kicked out of the guard and sentenced either to serving as a healer in a convent or losing her magic altogether. Wren is determined to earn her place back, and when she gets a mysterious letter from a nobleman in another country inviting her to his manor to use her powers to heal his favorite servant in exchange for his support in her country's war, she is initially suspicious, but it seems like her only option. When she arrives, Wren soon learns that she may have bitten off more than she can chew...

I loved the premise of this, and I love a spooky gothic magical manor, but I thought this debut novel needed a little help with the worldbuilding, and Wren's decisions often didn't make sense to me. On the other hand, I enjoyed the characterizations and character interactions overall, and most of the issues I had seem like stuff that can improve with experience, so I'll give Saft another chance, especially since I already own a copy of A Far Wilder Magic. 3.5 stars.

huhtikuu 14, 1:49 pm

88 books read: The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

Thara Celehar, a witness for the dead who can "speak" with the recently dead to learn their last thoughts and memories, now lives in Amalo, where he becomes embroiled in several mysteries as part of his calling.

This is a lovely follow-up to The Goblin Emperor -- it took me a bit to get back into the world and Addison's slow, lovely writing, but once I did I flew through it. Can't wait to get to The Grief of Stones. 4.5 stars.

huhtikuu 14, 1:59 pm

>191 curioussquared: Why oh why would you shelve books by color? Granted it's a puzzle and makes a pretty picture, but the lunch loan library at work is shelved this way to my despair! LOL

huhtikuu 14, 2:12 pm

>191 curioussquared: - I have that top puzzle! It was a fun one.

>192 curioussquared: - I'm going to noodle on the idea a bit more...

huhtikuu 14, 3:40 pm

>195 curioussquared: I wanted way more haunted house in Down Comes the Night, which I had heard (and which looked like) a haunted house/gothic book. Anyway, I thought it was ok.

huhtikuu 14, 4:03 pm

>189 curioussquared: Ha! Never fails. New furniture needs the dog/cat inspection.

Your doggos are looking as cute as ever.

huhtikuu 14, 9:18 pm

>197 elorin: Lol! Totally agree, Robyn. Love the aesthetic but cannot actually believe anyone would actually shelve their books like that 😂

>198 katiekrug: It was fun! The SBC chapter I attend recently transitioned to having 4 leaders who share the leadership responsibilities when it got to be a bit much for the person who started it, which I think is working well. So that's something to consider for the future if you do decide to found one.

>199 reconditereader: Totally agreed. I liked a lot of things about it but it didn't quite gel.

>200 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks Angela! I finished the rest of the couch today and am currently enjoying it with both dogs ☺️

huhtikuu 14, 9:47 pm

>201 curioussquared: >197 elorin: Back in the late '90s, one of our booksellers decided while shelving that she didn't want to keep the Danielle Steel mass market paperbacks in order by title. So she put them in rainbow order. {sigh}

huhtikuu 14, 10:05 pm

Hurray for the walk and having an expert check out the furniture comfort (I assume it passed inspection given the content attitude in the photo). I do not understand sorting books by color (how can you ever find the book you want?), love the second puzzle with the pieces showing in the water and now I just need to leave because I HAVE TO FINISH my book tonight. : )

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 14, 10:17 pm

>189 curioussquared: Beast looks so cute (what a name for him!) (her?) - as of course do Kermit and Otter.

>201 curioussquared: It's vaguely possible (I really don't remember) that I may have shelved my books by colour when, as a teenager, I had a blue wall shelf in a lavender room and was the proud owner of less than ten books or so.

ETA: of course I still have those books but my book - and shelf - collection has grown somewhat since then.

huhtikuu 15, 10:00 am

>196 curioussquared: Oh, enjoy. These books are just awesome! Despite the unpronounceable names. :o)

huhtikuu 15, 12:55 pm

>202 ReneeMarie: Lol. Some people...

>203 Berly: Hi Kim! Yes, the couch passed inspection. Both boys enjoyed it when it was fully built -- and I got a hilarious picture of the two of them squeezing in to try it when I still only had the two pieces built 😂 I'll post it when I'm not on my phone.

>204 humouress: Beast is a boy and I love his name 😂 He is certainly not very beastly though. This is his first time living in a big city and he is a little timid still. His owner said he is still trying to understand traffic and crosswalks, and the walk with our boys helped build his confidence -- usually he tries to bolt for home a few times when doing the same walk by himself.

I can understand shelving books by color if you have less than 30 or so! Maybe even if you only have one bookshelf. I... cannot relate.

>205 clamairy: Yes, agreed! I loved The Goblin Emperor, but I was so mad when I finished and realized there was a language/name guide at the end of the book that helped you interpret all the titles and prefixes they used that I struggled with the whole time. Why wasn't it at the beginning of the book?!?!?

huhtikuu 15, 1:54 pm

>194 curioussquared: The Sutanto is going on my list. I've enjoyed other books by that author, so it's a shoo-in.

huhtikuu 15, 5:58 pm

>206 curioussquared: The extra work was annoying. Worse was whoever kept moving 1984 to a non-fiction area and some of the the bibles to fiction. Shifting stuff to put the titles back in the correct section and order was aggravating.

huhtikuu 17, 2:53 pm

>207 foggidawn: It was my first from her but it won't be my last! Apparently it's the second in a loosely connected series but they don't need to be read in order IMO.

>208 ReneeMarie: Ugh, I get that it sounds funny but come on, people, it's not.

huhtikuu 17, 3:00 pm

89 books read: Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

Weak after his near death in the northern kingdom, Fitz returns to a Buck Keep that is changed under the insidious influence of Regal and King Shrewd's failing strength.

Book 2 was just as good as I remembered and I can't wait to get to book 3. 5 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 3:17 pm

90 books read: A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales

Beatrice Steele lives in the very proper, etiquette-abiding town of Swampshire, and her obsession with true crime and murder certainly does NOT fall under approved activities for young ladies. When her family goes to their friends' annual ball hoping that one of their three daughters will catch the eye of a certain Mr. Croaksworth, they're shocked when he drops dead instead. Beatrice manages to take charge of the investigation along with a detective who was in attendance with Mr. Croaksworth -- and what they find may rock Swampshire for years to come.

This was so much fun! I think of it as a Pride and Prejudice/Bridgerton/Agatha Christie combo with a good dose of something really wacky mixed in, like Terry Pratchett or PG Wodehouse. It took me a little bit to get used to that wackiness as I wasn't expecting it from the description, but once I did I thoroughly enjoyed myself. 4.5 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 3:21 pm

91 books read: Rabbit Redux by John Updike

10 years after the events of Rabbit, Run, Harry Angstrom's marriage is on the rocks again when he discovers his wife Janice is having an affair.

I read Rabbit, Run probably about 10 years ago and didn't totally hate it, I think? So this second novel stayed on my TBR, which was probably a mistake. I think the best way to sum this up is that Updike is actually a great writer, but I hate what he writes. 3 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 3:54 pm

>212 curioussquared: Many such cases in the dead white dudes pantheon. Looking at you, Saul Bellow and John Cheever.

>211 curioussquared: I also wasn't expecting the silliness, but I DNFed it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

huhtikuu 17, 4:24 pm

>211 curioussquared: - This one sounds fun, and my library has it both on audio and Kindle. Did you listen or read?

huhtikuu 17, 4:43 pm

>213 libraryperilous: Yep. Ten years ago I think I was more concerned with reading "classics" which is why it stayed. I won't be reading more Updike, lol. I think A Most Agreeable Murder hit me at the right time so it worked for me, but I can see it dividing opinion.

>214 katiekrug: I listened to it and thought the narration was well done!

huhtikuu 17, 4:45 pm

>215 curioussquared: - Great. I'll go that route. Thanks!

huhtikuu 17, 4:53 pm

92 books read: Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie has spent most of her life doing what her husband tells her and keeping her home scrupulously clean and organized. When she walks out on her cheating husband and needs a job, she ends up in the middle of nowhere in the town of Borg, tending a run-down recreation center. At first, Britt-Marie is horrified by Borg, where most businesses have closed and people are trying to move away, and nobody seems to know how to clean anything. But before she knows it (and whether she likes it or not), Britt-Marie becomes entangled with Borg and its residents.

Backman's books always seem a teeny bit too sweet for me, but I always enjoy them anyway. Watching Britt-Marie gain confidence was great, and I liked the colorful cast of characters living in Borg. 4 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 5:05 pm

93 books read: Hey, Hun by Emily Lynn Paulson

Paulson was a lonely stay-at-home mom when she was roped into becoming a consultant for Rejuvinat, a multi-level marketing company shilling skincare and beauty products. (Rejuvinat is a fake name, but I did a teeny bit of internet sleuthing and the actual company Paulson worked for is Rodan and Fields. In Hey, Hun, she dives into her on story of actually "making it" in an MLM (she was in the top 0.5% of consultants) before finally realizes how rotten the company and business model was at its core, as well as her journey to sobriety. Along the way, she intersperses facts and figures that expose how exploitative these companies really are.

I'm staunchly anti-MLM and hang around a few internet spots that gather anti-MLM content, so a lot of Paulson's information was not new to me, but I did find her story of what it was like on the inside to be absolutely fascinating, and there were still a few tidbits that were new to me. (Did you know that Betsy DeVos's father founded Amway and she is married to a former Amway CEO and she made something like 75 million from Amway during her time on Trump's cabinet? Absolutely effing wild.) I thought her white supremacy argument needed a little help -- I could see where she was coming from, but it definitely felt like that section and research was tacked on to sell more after she already finished the book. I was also mad that she refused to fully renounce MLMs by the end of the book and answered "I don't know" to the question of whether MLMs should be illegal. A good listen overall with a few things that kept it from being perfect. 4 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 5:14 pm

94 books read: Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire

Antsy can't quite put her finger on why she doesn't like her new stepfather, but she knows he makes her feel uncomfortable and unsafe. When he comes into her room at night for the first time, Antsy knows she has to go before he does something horrible. So she runs away, intending to find a shop that will let her use a phone to call her grandparents -- but when she enters what she thinks is a thrift store, she's actually where all the lost things go -- and she can't go home.

Very dark to start out, but this ended up being one of my favorite entries in the Wayward Children series. 4.5 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 5:25 pm

95 books read: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Ever since Freya and her husband Aiden decided they were going to try for a baby six months ago, their marriage started suffering, culminating in Freya kicking Aiden out. Freya knows she still loves Aiden, and Aiden knows he still loves Freya, but for some reason, the communication just isn't there and they find themselves keeping secrets from each other despite knowing better. Can Freya and Aiden patch things up? With a little help from Freya's extremely large family, they just might get there.

I loved this! You don't see too many post-marriage romance novels and I thought this did a great job at it. It reminded me a lot of The Bromance Book Club. I think the Bergman Brothers books get better with each entry. 4.5 stars.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 17, 5:31 pm

96 books read: American Royals by Katharine McGee

What if, at the end of the Revolutionary War, the people of America offered George Washington not just leadership, but a crown? Princess Beatrice Washington is the heir to the American throne, along with her younger twin siblings, Samantha and Jefferson. When her parents start pressuring her to get married, she's surprised -- she's not ready! Plus, she kind of likes her bodyguard... Meanwhile, Samantha likes this guy Teddy Eaton, and Jefferson likes Samantha's best friend, Nina, but his ex Daphne isn't ready to give him up...

Totally ridiculous YA soapiness, but I had a pretty good time with it. Would make a good dumb TV show. I read this on on Kindle, but I may listen to the rest of the series. 3.5 stars.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 17, 5:35 pm

97 books read: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Tori Spring feels pretty numb most days, like she's forgotten how to be happy. When she meets a new kid called Michael Holden at school, she's skeptical, but the two end up becoming unlikely friends, working together to unmask the mysterious Solitaire pulling pranks at their school.

This is Oseman's first novel, about Charlie from Heartstopper's older sister Tori, who is mostly a peripheral character in those graphic novels. Tori is a complicated character and rather dark, and it was fascinating to get a look inside her head. 4 stars.

huhtikuu 17, 5:43 pm

Happy Wednesday! It's nice and sunny outside and I think I'm going to try to get in some outdoor reading time in a few minutes.

Monday I went into hyper decluttering mode and cleared off and reorganized a shelf in the dining room, put a bunch of things in their proper place, and gave away some stuff on Buy Nothing. In the evening I worked out and watched some TV before picking up Tim and a few friends at the airport around midnight.

Yesterday I did some more decluttering and tidying. In the afternoon Tim and I went to see a few houses. One of them was very promising -- we actually love the house itself but are not sure about the location. It's about 30 minutes north of our current house and closer to my extended family, but farther from our friends and Tim's work, and the house is in an area that's not very safe for walking the dogs. So we have some things to think about. After we got back my friend came over and we exercised, got dinner, and watched TV.

Today I tidied a bit before the cleaners arrived around 10, then walked the dogs and got some stuff done on my computer while they were here. Planning to read a little outside and work out later today.

As promised, here are Otter and Kermit barely fitting onto the outside couch before I built the rest of it:

And Otter enjoying the full sofa:

huhtikuu 17, 5:44 pm

I had fun with American Royals, too, but I never continued with the series. I'll let you tell me if I should :)

I've put Ever After Always on my library list...

huhtikuu 17, 6:27 pm

Phew, I'm glad you had some fluff to cleanse your palate after the Updike :-)

huhtikuu 17, 11:08 pm

>212 curioussquared: I've never been inclined toward the Rabbit novels, but there is one Updike novel on my someday radar: Gertrude and Claudius.

huhtikuu 18, 1:07 am

>221 curioussquared: What if, at the end of the Revolutionary War, the people of America offered George Washington not just leadership, but a crown?


huhtikuu 18, 10:42 am

>227 libraryperilous: There's a famous myth that Washington was offered a monarchy, but that mostly comes from a single letter he received, not any real possibility:

huhtikuu 18, 3:41 pm

>189 curioussquared: >223 curioussquared: Thanks for all the Otter and Kermit pictures, Natalie!
The outside couch looked a bit small for them both at the first picture, glad that the second photo showed there is enough space for all of you ;-)