foggidawn's Books & More, 2024, Part 3

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foggidawn's Books & More, 2024, Part 3

1foggidawn
kesäkuu 1, 10:14 am



Hi, all! Welcome to old friends and new. For the latter, I'm a children's librarian in a small Ohio town. My reading tastes range from children's and young adult literature, to fantasy and some sci-fi, to mysteries, to historical fiction and literary works, to romances, to biography and memoir, with a smattering of other nonfiction (it's been a pretty light smattering, of late) and anything else that catches my fancy. I'll also occasionally post about the picture books that I use during story time or school visits, though I don't include picture books in my count of books read during the year.

I live on a farm with my husband John, who is also an avid reader, though his tastes run towards graphic novels, golden age sci-fi, and nonfiction, mostly about history or chicken husbandry. We have a Springer Spaniel, Lottie, above, who is immensely spoiled and loves being a farm dog. We also have about 40 chickens and too many rabbits (what they say about them multiplying is true) and about 43 acres of hayfields.

For 2024, my main reading goal is to read at least one book a month off my existing TBR shelves. According to my To Read collection here on LT, I have 231 books on shelf to read, though I suspect I may find as I read that some of them didn't get entered when I acquired them. (Oops.) The good news is that only 8 of those 231 were added last year. I suspect I'll easily exceed this goal, but I don't like to make strenuous reading goals and stress myself out. I read 181 books last year, so I expect I'll read around 175 in 2024, but if I don't, I will try not to be too sad about it.

As for the "& More" part of my thread topper, you may also see me posting here about board gaming, gardening, cooking, and theatre. I'm not involved in a local theatre group, nor am I surrounded by board gamers, but I'm still interested in the topics and hope to at least view some theatre and maybe do some solo gaming this year. I have plans to slightly expand my gardening efforts this year, so the summer and fall will be full of garden updates. My non-book "resolution" for 2024 is to get outside more, whether that be hiking and kayaking, gardening, or just taking a little walk through the fields with Lottie. I've become too much of an indoor cat this past year, especially when the weather is not a pleasant 70 degrees and sunny. I'll also keep up with my menu planning, posting about it here once a week or so.

I look forward to chatting with you all and hearing about your reading (and other) plans for the year!

2foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 10:42 am

Books Read in 2024

1. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
2. Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander
3. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
4. Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
5. The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
6. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
7. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
8. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
9. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
10. Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon
11. Three Tasks for a Dragon by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by P.J. Lynch
12. The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older
13. Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
14. Simon Sort Of Says by Erin Bow
15. The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be by Shannon Gibney
16. London's Number One Dog Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall
17. Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson
18. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
19. The Vanderbeekers Ever After by Karina Yan Glaser
20. The Witch of Woodland by Laurel Snyder
21. Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli
22. Not Quite a Ghost by Anne Ursu
23. Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede
24. Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett
25. The Afterward by E.K. Johnston
26. Alebrijes by Donna Barba Higuera
27. I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai
28. Mexikid by Pedro Martin
29. The Mysteries by Bill Watterson and John Kascht
30. Bride by Ali Hazelwood
31. Yes, No, Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
32. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
33. Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun by Hilary McKay
34. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
35. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
36. Instead of Three Wishes by Megan Whalen Turner
37. The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson
38. Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera
39. The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett
40. North Woods by Daniel Mason
41. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
42. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
43. Of Salt and Shore by Annet Schaap
44. Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
45. Nothing Else but Miracles by Kate Albus
46. Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum
47. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
48. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
49. A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green
50. The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann
51. Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma by Claire Dederer
52. Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
53. The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry
54. Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail
55. Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
56. There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
57. As the Shadow Rises by Katy Rose Pool
58. Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan
59. Applewhites at Wit's End by Stephanie S. Tolan
60. The Night War by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
61. Funny Story by Emily Henry
62. Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool
63. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
64. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
65. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
66. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
67. The Last Word by Elly Griffiths
68. Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
69. Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
70. Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
71. Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire
72. Mislaid in Parts Half-Known by Seanan McGuire
73. A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
74. Edible Houseplants by Laurelynn G. Martin
75. All the World's a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts by Gretchen Woelfle
76. Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff
77. Illuminations by T. Kingfisher
78. Can't Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne
79. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden
80. Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
81. Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano

(Re-reads in italics)

3foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 10:44 am

Books Acquired in 2024

1. Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. Purchased/trade. Bkmns.
2. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi. Purchased/trade. Bkmns.
3. A Brave Little Quakeress by E.P. Roe. Purchased/trade. Bkmns.
4. Milk Street: The World in a Skillet by Christopher Kimball/ Purchased. Kro.

4foggidawn
kesäkuu 1, 10:15 am

Welcome! Feel free to post below!

5foggidawn
kesäkuu 1, 12:28 pm

(82 books read)



Mirror to Mirror by Rajani LaRocca -- Identical twins Chaya and Maya have always book so close, but now it feels like they are growing apart. On a bet, they switch places at summer camp. Will walking in each other's shoes help them understand where their relationship is going?

I enjoyed this verse novel, though it didn't have the emotional heft of the author's earlier Red, White, and Whole. Recommended to readers who enjoy realistic fiction for middle-graders, especially novels in verse.

6quondame
kesäkuu 1, 12:35 pm

Happy new thread Foggi!

7foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 1, 12:50 pm

(83 books read)



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid -- Monique Grant, a very junior writer on staff at a lifestyle magazine, is amazed when Evelyn Hugo requests to be interviewed by her. Evelyn was one of the hottest movie stars in past decades, known for her exquisite figure and the daring movie roles she played, and for marrying seven times. Now, she wants to write a tell-all memoir -- or, rather, she wants Monique to write it. As far as Monique knows, she has no connection to the star, and her writing credits, though exhibiting a strong style, are few. But she's intrigued by the story, as well as the money she stands to make...

I enjoyed this book fairly well, though I didn't like it as much as Daisy Jones and the Six. I guessed one of the big twists at the ending, though the others caught me by surprise. The characters were complex and the story held my interest, though there were times when it wasn't moving very fast. I can see both why it is popular, and why some people might not enjoy it. If you're intrigued by the premise, give it a try.

8foggidawn
kesäkuu 1, 12:45 pm

>6 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

9katiekrug
kesäkuu 1, 12:49 pm

Happy new one!

10foggidawn
kesäkuu 1, 12:51 pm

>9 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

11humouress
kesäkuu 1, 1:15 pm

Happy new thread foggi!

12foggidawn
kesäkuu 1, 1:40 pm

>11 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

13compskibook
kesäkuu 1, 2:13 pm

Yay new thread!

14thornton37814
kesäkuu 1, 7:07 pm

Happy new thread to you!

15drneutron
kesäkuu 1, 7:54 pm

Happy new thread, foggi!

16figsfromthistle
kesäkuu 1, 8:42 pm

Happy new one :)

17PaulCranswick
kesäkuu 1, 9:53 pm

Happy new thread, dear Foggi.

18Berly
kesäkuu 1, 10:50 pm

Happy new one!! I am still on the fence about Evelyn Hugo. We'll see. Hope June is a good month for you!

19FAMeulstee
kesäkuu 2, 4:25 am

Happy new thread, Foggi!
Lovely picture of Lottie at the top.

20mstrust
kesäkuu 3, 11:42 am

Happy new thread! Looking forward to reading about your garden.

21foggidawn
kesäkuu 3, 12:02 pm

Thanks, everyone!

Updates:

I spent most of last week helping Mom plant her garden -- we planted two apple trees, tomato and pepper seedlings, and planted corn, beans, yellow squash, zucchini, and onions. We also put together a porch swing and a trellis that she had ordered, put up a fence for her chickens so they have a different run to explore, and put together a bed frame for Mom and Dad's bedroom. So, a busy, project-filled week. My brother and his family were there for a few days, and my husband came up for a couple days (he planted the apple trees, did a lot of weed-eating on the garden paths, and helped put up the fence).

My own garden is settled and growing. I planted a rosemary plant and a portulaca flower in the empty place I had. I still have one large pot that could hold an herb or more flowers, so I might pick something up if I run across anything interesting. I got some elderberry shoots from Mom, which I need to get into the ground as soon as I find a good place for them.

I haven't gotten to the grocery shopping yet, so the menu is up in the air until I figure things out.

My parents' dog Sasha is staying with us for a few weeks while they are traveling. Sasha is 10 or 11 now, so much more sedate than Lottie, but she still loves going outside, especially to look at the chickens and the rabbit pens. Lottie is glad to have the company. This morning she was giving Sasha kisses on the mouth and chin, which I am told is a sign of submission in dogs. Lottie certainly recognizes that Sasha is in charge! She's known her since she was a little puppy, so I think Sasha is like an auntie to her.

22humouress
kesäkuu 3, 12:16 pm

>21 foggidawn: That sounds lovely - joint family gardening.

And how nice for Lottie to have a guest. What breed is Sasha?

23foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 12:29 pm

>22 humouress: Sasha is a Springer Spaniel, like Lottie. My family favors that breed; we had Springer Spaniels Courtney, Megan, and Joy when I was a child and teenager. My Sophie was a shelter mutt, but when I was so sad after she died, Mom suggested Lottie because she knew a local (Pennsylvania) breeder who had a litter of pups coming up. Sasha is from a different breeder down in Maryland, so she and Lottie are not closely related.

24foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 12:28 pm



Here are Lottie and Sasha, taking over John's side of the bed this morning after he left for work.

25foggidawn
kesäkuu 3, 4:33 pm

(84 books read)



The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman -- Irene is a Librarian, but maybe not like what you would expect. She travels between worlds to collect rare books for the Invisible Library, an enormous, sprawling complex that exists at some intersection between the worlds. Returning from a taxing assignment, she's hoping for some down time before getting sent out again, but no such luck: her supervisor immediately sends her out with a trainee, Kai, on his first assignment. They're looking for a rare edition of a Brothers Grimm collection in a world tainted by Chaos, the natural enemy of the orderly Library. And things just get crazier from there...

I've been hearing about this series here and there for some time, and I was pretty sure I would enjoy it -- and I was correct! I love bookish fantasy, and this one has interesting settings and strongly written characters and a fast-paced plot. It got me through a long car trip, and then I had to keep listening until I finished up, because I was at a point where I didn't want to set it down. I'm pleased to note that it's a series, and have the second book already reserved for future listening. Recommended!

26foggidawn
kesäkuu 3, 4:54 pm

(85 books read)



The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews -- Evelyn Maltravers has only one chance at a London season, and she has a plan. Orphaned daughter of an untitled country gentleman, she has no dowry, and she doesn't think she has the looks to dazzle in the ballroom. What she does have is an impeccable seat on her stallion Hephaestus. She's read in the London papers of the "Pretty Horsebreakers," ladies of low repute who cut dashing figures on horseback. Why shouldn't she, a respectable lady, gain the attention of suitors that way? Of course, the first thing she'll need is a well-cut riding habit -- which is how she meets Ahmad Malik, a talented aspiring dressmaker who has a plan to build his business, but needs a customer like Evelyn, who will wear his designs at society events. The two agree to a partnership of sorts, but the attraction between them is undeniable. Is there any way they can be together despite differences of race and station?

I enjoyed this novel very much. The Victorian setting is a pleasant change from Regency romances, which are more familiar to me. I questioned a couple of historical details, and Evelyn's attitudes are very current. There were also a few typos and a simple mathematical error, but those were minor distractions from an overall fun and pleasant read. If you like historical romances that are low on spice, this should be a good fit for you.

27msf59
kesäkuu 3, 6:35 pm

Happy New Thread, Foggi. Love the Lottie topper.

28curioussquared
kesäkuu 3, 10:53 pm

Happy new thread, Foggi!! Love the Lottie and Sasha photo.

I need to get to The Invisible Library series at some point. The Siren of Sussex is also intriguing!

29Whisper1
kesäkuu 3, 10:59 pm

Happy new thread. And, congratulations on reading so many books thus far this year!!

30foggidawn
kesäkuu 4, 10:23 am

>27 msf59: Thanks! That was taken about five minutes after we got out of the car at my parents' house -- in that space of time, Lottie found an old ball somewhere on the property and demanded to play fetch!

>28 curioussquared: Thanks! If you read either or both of those, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

>29 Whisper1: Thanks! I am on track to meet my reading goal, though I try hard to not let that goal become a source of stress.

31alcottacre
kesäkuu 4, 4:06 pm

>25 foggidawn: Glad to hear that you enjoyed that one! IMHO the second one is not quite as good, but book 3 absolutely makes up for it.

Happy new thread, foggi!

32foggidawn
kesäkuu 4, 4:12 pm

>31 alcottacre: I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!

33alcottacre
kesäkuu 4, 4:19 pm

>32 foggidawn: I know that Richard has done reviews of at least the first 3 books in the series (and probably the others as well) if you want to check those out.

34foggidawn
kesäkuu 4, 4:33 pm

>33 alcottacre: Thanks, I'll take a look.

35alcottacre
kesäkuu 4, 8:05 pm

>34 foggidawn: No problem!

36foggidawn
kesäkuu 7, 12:26 pm

(86 books read)



The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews -- Julia Wychwood is cripplingly shy and detests social occasions. Perhaps that's why she's in her second London season with no hopes of an attachment save elderly lecher Lord Gresham who, unfortunately, has her parents' approval. The grim, scarred Captain Blunt, Hero of the Crimea, seems an unlikely match for Julia, but as she gets to know him, she finds that they share an appreciation for novels and horses, and his descriptions of his run-down property in Yorkshire sound heavenly to her. When she is in need of rescue, he spirits her away and marries her, under the condition that she not pry into his secrets or his past. At his remote estate, she finds pleasure in the company of Captain Blunt and his three wards, but difficulty in accessing her inheritance, and curiosity about his secrets. Will she ever be able to settle fully into her new life?

I liked this volume even better than the first in the series. The author's note refers to some of her inspirations, including The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, as well as fairly tales such as "Bluebeard" and "Beauty and the Beast," all favorites of mine as well. This is a very romantic tale, with hints of the Gothic, and I thrilled to it just as Julia might to one of her favorite novels. My recommendation for this series is all the stronger for having read this volume.

37clamairy
kesäkuu 7, 5:25 pm

Happy New Thread! (I know, I'm late!)

38humouress
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 7, 10:22 pm

>26 foggidawn: >36 foggidawn: Oh, fine. BB’d. I’ve got the first one on Overdrive hold. I hope you’re happy.

ETA: >30 foggidawn: I think Jasper only plays fetch to indulge me and (though he seems to enjoy it) he stops after about three goes and then wanders off to chew on the ball.

He did used to do circles with his current favourite toy whenever we came home but they all seem to have disappeared after our renovations, which I’m a bit miffed about.

39figsfromthistle
kesäkuu 8, 5:57 am

>21 foggidawn: Wow! Sounds quite busy. Glad the gardening is going well. The elderberry bush is one that grows quite big. Just be careful where you plant it as it produces shoots galore!

40alcottacre
kesäkuu 8, 6:55 am

>36 foggidawn: I am going to have to look for that series. Thanks for the recommendation, foggi. I loved The Blue Castle when I read it.

Have a super Saturday!

41mstrust
kesäkuu 8, 12:28 pm

You hit me with three BBs in a row. What aim you have!

42foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 10, 9:31 am

>37 clamairy: Welcome!

>38 humouress: We call it "happy circles" when Lottie goes around in circles -- usually on the way to the door to go out and play.

>39 figsfromthistle: Oh, we've planted the elderberry shoots in an area with plenty of space around it, for sure! That was my main concern in picking a spot for them.

>40 alcottacre: Thanks! The Blue Castle is one of my all-time favorites, probably because I read it over and over in my teenage years.

>41 mstrust: Thank you, thank you! *takes a bow*

43foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 10, 1:53 pm

Garden update: Picked my first handful of snow peas this weekend! Not quite enough for a serving by themselves, but I am planning on incorporating them into a stir-fry. Everything else is growing apace, and I've had spaghetti sauce with fresh basil, parsley, and oregano already. Oh, and I had the first few leaves of lettuce on my sandwich today.

Menu update: This week I'm planning on a pork stir-fry, mac and cheese with ham, and something with ground turkey (I bought it on sale, but haven't decided yet what to do with it). I could also make Zuppa Toscana if I feel like it.

44foggidawn
kesäkuu 11, 11:06 am

(87-89 books read)



The Lily of Ludgate Hill by Mimi Matthews -- Third in the series; Lady Anne had a bitter quarrel with her childhood sweetheart, but perhaps time has healed some of their wounds. Can they find a way to give each other a second chance?

As enjoyable as other books in the series, though the second is still my favorite.



The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews -- Lady Helena is in danger -- so much so that she answers an advertisement for a wife. Captain Justin Thornhill never expected a young beauty to answer his advertisement, and doesn't think Helena will suit the position at all, but he can't deny the attraction between the two of them. Can he keep her safe from her secrets -- and his own?

After reading the Belles of London series, it was obvious that some of the secondary characters there had more to their stories, so I picked up the Parish Orphans of Devon series to learn more. These historical romances are popcorn reads, and I imagine I will continue to binge on them for a while.



A Modest Independence by Mimi Matthews -- Formerly a lady's companion, Jenny Holloway has had some money settled upon her, and she wants to indulge her desire for travel and independence. Her plan is to go to India and find out what really happened to the Sixth Earl of Castleton. Her solicitor and former friend (there was a quarrel) Tom Finchley is determined not to let her go alone, but traveling together can draw people close -- or drive them apart.

I feel like this book is perhaps closer to the author's heart than some of her others. Jenny and Tom are frequently recurring figures in her other books. I enjoyed this book more than the first book in its series, though the characters' behavior at some points stretches historical credulity. Still, I'd recommend this series as well as the Belles of London to readers who enjoy historical romance that's not all ballrooms and carriage rides.

45laytonwoman3rd
kesäkuu 12, 1:49 pm

>43 foggidawn: MMmmm...envying your fresh garden produce. I like to make chili with ground turkey.

46humouress
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 13, 1:50 am

>42 foggidawn: 'Happy circles' - that's a good name. Yes, Jasper does those especially when he's going out for a walk. If the boys have been neglecting their duty I've counted as many as 12 before he gets to the front door.

But the circling-with-hamburger* was something he did (before his toys were lost) when we came home, usually. He'd greet us, look for his toy and then pace in a circle about 3 or 4 times (slower than happy circles) - and then drop the toy as though he'd forgotten he was holding it.

*my sister got a hamburger toy for him which actually survived his teeth until it disappeared (did I mention that I'm miffed?). Mind you, he only remembered it when he was doing his welcome home circles and forgot it was there otherwise so maybe that's why.

>43 foggidawn: That sounds lovely. I only have a small strip in my small garden dedicated to edibles so I asked the gardener (because even a small garden needs more constant care than I'd give it)(plus a lawn mower, which we don't have space for) to plant some herbs for me. They're actually doing quite well. I should get into the habit of using them, now.

47norabelle414
kesäkuu 14, 12:29 am

Happy birthday, foggi!

48humouress
kesäkuu 14, 6:47 am

Oh gosh ... Happy birthday foggi! I hope you were thoroughly spoiled.

49ronincats
kesäkuu 14, 9:07 pm

I missed your birthday! Hope you had a lovely one. I've been harvesting snow peas like crazy, and just brought in the first zucchinis and yellow pear tomatoes. The herbs are trying to bolt on me, but I'm trying to keep them trimmed. Lots of basil, dill, cilantro, lemon balm and parsley, while the oregano, thyme, sage and marjoram are still filling in.

50foggidawn
kesäkuu 15, 9:30 am

>47 norabelle414: and >48 humouress: and >49 ronincats: Thanks for the birthday wishes! It was pretty low-key, though John did get me an ice cream cake, and the next day we went out for lunch at a little local place that we like. I had thought about kayaking, but the weather looked threatening (though we didn't actually get the predicted storm). Some other day.

>49 ronincats: My snow peas did not make a terrific showing, but we've been eating the few we've gotten. I've never managed to grow cilantro without it bolting almost immediately, and since John is on Team Cilantro-Tastes-Like-Soap, I probably won't be growing it again any time soon. My basil is a little puny so far, but I have hopes for it, and my parsley and oregano are doing nicely.

51foggidawn
kesäkuu 17, 9:28 am

(90 books read)



A Convenient Fiction by Mimi Matthews -- Alex Archer cam to Surrey to marry a wealthy woman, and Laura Hayes isn't one. However, from their first meeting he feels that she is somehow meant for him. Is there any way for them to be together?

Third in the Parish Orphans of Devon series; I didn't like Alex and so I didn't enjoy this book as much as some of the others. If you like a morally gray male main character in a romance, you'll like this more than I did. Still enjoying the series, though, and waiting on the next book.

52foggidawn
kesäkuu 17, 9:40 am

(91 books read)



Stars Above by Marissa Meyer -- A collection of short stories set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles, mostly involving characters from the series. Most enjoyable if read soon after completing the series, so that the characters and events are fresh in one's mind. Still, even though it's been several years for me, I found these snippets enjoyable for glimpses back into that world.

53foggidawn
kesäkuu 17, 10:37 am

(92 books read)



Max in the House of Spies by Adam Gidwitz -- Max came to England on the Kindertransport, but his parents stayed in Berlin. Max longs to return to them, even though Berlin is a dangerous place for a Jewish family in 1939. When he discovers that a member of the family he's staying with works for Naval Intelligence, he's determined to become a spy and return to Germany to rescue his parents. Small problem: British Naval Intelligence doesn't send 12-year-old refugees to spy on Germany. If he wants to succeed, Max will have to be exceptional. . .

Highly enjoyable story, mostly historical fiction but with some magical elements: Max has a kobold on one shoulder and a dybbuk on the other. It's never made clear that others can't hear Max talking to these companions, but in context that seems to be the case. Great characters and an interesting setting, with an ending that will leave readers anxious for the next book.

54thornton37814
kesäkuu 17, 10:42 am

>53 foggidawn: Interesting take on a book. I'm not sure the magical would work for me, but it sounds interesting.

55foggidawn
kesäkuu 17, 10:42 am

>54 thornton37814: They're often a source of humor, more than anything, though they do help and hinder the plot at times.

56foggidawn
kesäkuu 17, 1:39 pm

I'm deeply saddened to hear of the sudden loss of our friend FAMeulstee (Anita). I always enjoyed seeing what she was reading, and where she was hiking, and what artwork she was observing. We often swapped recommendations for children's and young adult books. It's a great loss for our whole community.

57mstrust
kesäkuu 17, 1:41 pm

Happy belated birthday!
(I just had mine yesterday, so we're both gardening Geminis?)

58foggidawn
kesäkuu 17, 1:42 pm

>57 mstrust: Thanks! Happy belated birthday to you as well!

59alcottacre
kesäkuu 21, 10:43 am

>42 foggidawn: I never read The Blue Castle until I was an until and I still loved it. I really need to re-read it as it has been a few years.

>44 foggidawn: I am going to have to try and track down that series.

>52 foggidawn: I still have not finished The Lunar Chronicles even though I loved the first one, Cinder. I need to finish it at some point. I think I made it up to Cress?

>53 foggidawn: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, foggi!

>56 foggidawn: It's a great loss for our whole community. Yes, it is. Well said.

Sorry I missed your birthday, foggi. I hope it was a great one.

Have a fantastic Friday!

60foggidawn
kesäkuu 21, 1:37 pm

>59 alcottacre: I never read Fairest in The Lunar Chronicles, because I often don't enjoy the backstories of characters who become villains -- and I figured that, as a prequel, it probably wouldn't have too much vital information pertaining to the rest of the series.

61foggidawn
kesäkuu 21, 1:56 pm

(93 books read)



The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton -- The rest of the world is enshrouded in a fog filled with flesh-eating insects, but life on the island is idyllic for the 122 villagers and 3 elders (scientists) who live there. Once, the island was a state-of-the-art research campus, and before that it was a military base, and the remnants of both are useful for the residents. However, when one of the elders is killed, a sequence is set in motion that will bring the fog down upon them in a matter of days unless the murder is solved. To top it off, all of their memories have been wiped -- which means that one of them is a killer and doesn't even know it. . .

Like Turton's other works, this is a high-concept book that may not work for everyone, but will fascinate a certain type of reader. (I am that reader.) First, he sets up a post-apocalyptic world and introduces the characters, and then the cracks appear in the utopia. And then the murder mystery takes over, but the dystopian setting never lets go of the reins. I thought there were a couple of loose ends, but I also might have missed some things -- I was listening to the audiobook, so couldn't easily skip back to check. I mostly liked the audiobook narrator, except that he had the same issue I've heard with other deep-voiced British narrators, in that his women's voices sounded whiny because he tried to pitch them high. I definitely recommend the book if the premise intrigues you, but only guardedly recommend the audio version.

62AMQS
kesäkuu 21, 2:02 pm

Hi Foggi - I had parts of three threads to catch up on but I'm glad I did. You're reading is just astonihsing. You've read some I've really enjoyed - Rules of Civility (also enjoyed on audio), Castle Hangnail, Something Wonderful (YES there should have been music!!). You've also read some that have caught my eye:The Wayward Children series, The Invisible Library, and Max in the House of Spies which I got for the library just before the end of the school year. I also have Bone Gap on my list after reading Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by the same author.

I love the pictures of Lottie and hearing about the goings on in your garden.

Happy summer!

63foggidawn
kesäkuu 21, 2:05 pm

>62 AMQS: Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a happy, relaxing summer!

64foggidawn
kesäkuu 21, 2:19 pm

Garden update: I have yellow squash! Two little ones, about the size of my thumb. I will keep an eye on them, as I know they will not stay small for long! I've also been enjoying fresh lettuce. The snow peas are about spent, and I haven't been terribly pleased with them, but I'll try again next year (or even in the fall, if I think about it). The tomato, cucumber, and pepper plants are looking happy and healthy, and the carrots are making progress. I spent over an hour picking black raspberries on the western edge of our property, where they are growing largely unchecked. I don't like the taste of black raspberries as much as I like the red ones, but they'll make a nice cobbler for us.

Menu (&etc.) update: I made lasagna earlier this week, as we had John's parents over for a belated Father's Day meal. My parents were also supposed to come visit, but they got sick and stayed home. I'm going to visit them before too long, as we have their dog and they would like to have her back. (We've been dog-sitting for a few weeks while they were doing some traveling, which is no doubt where they picked up whatever bug kept them from coming to see us.) I have a couple of small rabbits in the fridge to do something with this weekend -- probably stew in the Instant Pot, as I'm not feeling too adventurous. It's been so hot that other meals have been simple affairs, like hot dogs and baked beans (from a can). I'm looking forward to when this heat wave breaks and we can go back to normal summer temperatures for this area. (My Oklahoma teenage self scoffs at my weakness in calling the low 90's too hot, but I have become acclimated to a slightly more temperate climate in my old age!)

65The_Hibernator
kesäkuu 24, 12:29 pm

The low 90's is hot. Lol

66foggidawn
kesäkuu 24, 1:28 pm

>65 The_Hibernator: Yes, but so is 110, which I experienced much more often in Oklahoma than I ever have in Ohio, thank goodness!

67Tess_W
kesäkuu 25, 4:01 pm

>64 foggidawn: black raspberries! Hard to find in my area. I'm going to buy a couple of plants in the fall.

68foggidawn
kesäkuu 25, 4:31 pm

>67 Tess_W: Hah! They are weeds here, albeit more desirable weeds than, say, the Russian olive shrubs or the multiflora rose that also grow along the edges of our fields.

69foggidawn
kesäkuu 26, 9:32 am

(94 books read)



Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan -- Recently-divorced Ali is ready to step back into the world of dating and hard pants, after wallowing in her sweatpants for some time. What she's looking for is a light summer romance. What she finds at a dog park meet-cute is Ethan -- and it's more complicated than she expected...

A solid read. I liked this better than Same Time Next Summer, the last Monaghan I read. Recommended for romance readers looking for something summery.

70foggidawn
kesäkuu 26, 9:45 am

(95 books read)



You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith -- Maggie Smith's husband cheated on her, and then he left her, and it was awful. Really, really miserable.

Okay, so I probably should have gone into this with a bit more knowledge than "I liked that viral poem" and "ooh, pretty cover," because the poem is incidental and the cover misleading. This memoir covers, very specifically, the time surrounding the divorce, from when she found the postcard and the notebook in his briefcase, to where she is several years later, with the divorce finalized, starting to move forward. It does end on a hopeful note, but the whole book is just misery, misery, misery. The language use is terrific, as one would expect of a poet, but it felt so repetitive to me. It's not the repeated segments, which are a device I appreciated, it's the emotion of the book, all anger and sadness. I imaging this hits different with different readers and their different experiences. I did appreciate that the author is the reader of the audiobook; I think that she's the best person to interpret both her words and her emotions. Recommended, but only if you go in knowing the limited scope of the book and are still interested.

71foggidawn
kesäkuu 26, 10:06 am

(96 books read)



Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood -- Rue meets Eli through an app for casual hookups. Imagine her surprise when she sees him at work the next day, as part of the financial team that's trying to take over the biotech company she works for. They're on opposite sides, but the attraction between them is primal and powerful. Is hooking up with the enemy a betrayal of her boss and friend? Is she going to do it anyway? (Yes.)

This is the first of Hazelwood's Women in STEM romances that has just not worked for me. She's upped the level of spice, and maybe it's just more than I want in a romance, but it felt like it was at the expense of plot and character development. I wanted to get to what was going on with the biotech company and who was hiding what, not yet another sex scene in Eli's office. I wanted to know more about Rue's brother, but he just seemed to be a prop so Eli could rescue Rue, not once, but three times. I was a little bit bored and irritated, and perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for a spicy romance, but I may not jump so quickly at Hazelwood's future books, since I found this one so lackluster.

72foggidawn
kesäkuu 26, 10:52 am

Garden update: The squash are still small, but there are a lot more of them. There are also little tiny peppers on my pepper plants. Cucumbers are blooming, so I should see some of those before long. And I picked a couple quarts of black raspberries yesterday evening, this time to freeze for the winter. Tomato plants are looking super healthy and blooming, but I don't see them setting fruit yet.

Menu update: We had tacos for John's birthday on Monday, but are probably just eating simple, basic things for the rest of the week. (I mean, tacos are also pretty basic.) I need to get back into trying new recipes and doing more menu planning, but summer is not my favorite time for cooking.

73humouress
kesäkuu 26, 2:18 pm

I'll give 95 and 96 a miss but I'm interested in 94; I liked her Nora Goes off Script even better than Same Time Next Summer.

>72 foggidawn: That sounds exciting! You might be blasé by now (though you don't sound it, don't worry) but my garden is so tiny that if I had produce budding like that I would be enthralled.

74curioussquared
kesäkuu 26, 2:34 pm

>71 foggidawn: I still need to write a review but I was also disappointed by this one. Hazelwood's author's note at the beginning that it was less of a romcom helped a little, but it still didn't quite work for me.

75foggidawn
kesäkuu 26, 4:35 pm

>73 humouress: This one felt more like a return to form; I was worried when I didn't like Same Time Next Summer as much. And yes, the garden is exciting! Tasty little surprises all the time.

>74 curioussquared: Glad it wasn't just me. I think I somehow missed the author's note, though. But even with that warning, I need to plot and characters to be the more important elements of a story. It felt like she didn't put as much work into those with this book.

76foggidawn
kesäkuu 27, 4:21 pm

I'm not including it in my book count because it is so slight, but I did read Your Guide to Not Get Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson, and it was a fun little diversion.

77alcottacre
kesäkuu 27, 4:58 pm

>61 foggidawn: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, foggi!

>64 foggidawn: Congratulations on the garden!

>71 foggidawn: My daughter Beth keeps recommending Hazelwood's books to me and at some point I may actually get one read. Any suggestions on where to start?

>76 foggidawn: I count everything in my book counts because "if it is between covers, it counts!" as I was once told early on in the group, but that is just me. That one sounds fun and I am going to see if I can track down a copy.

78foggidawn
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 29, 10:54 am

>77 alcottacre: Hope you enjoy the Turton!

As for Hazelwood, I started with The Love Hypothesis and I think that's a good place to start, though Love on the Brain and Love, Theoretically would be fine as well.

I probably should count everything I read, but I tend to not count picture books and short stories (though I do count novellas). If I counted picture books, my numbers would be higher, but it would be onerous to keep track of them.

79foggidawn
kesäkuu 29, 11:09 am

(97 books read)



The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews -- Clara has just taken a new job as a lady's companion, and will be spending the Christmas holidays with her new employer and family at Greyfriars Abbey. There, she meets Neville Cross, a gentle giant of a man with a speech impediment, who is kind to her and to her aging pug. Clara knows she ruined her own life and her brother's prospects with a foolish flirtation several years ago, so there can be no hope of a happy ending for her (or can there?), but she treasure's Neville's friendship. When a family emergency calls her away from the Abbey, will Neville find the courage he needs to be her knight in shining armor?

This was a sweet conclusion to the Parish Orphans series, with lots of scenes involving dogs and horses and, of course, happy endings all around. A nice, light read.

80foggidawn
kesäkuu 29, 11:14 am

(98 books read)



Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers by Caela Carter -- Well, folks, it's happened: I have inadvertently reread one of the "mystery" books from 2021. I kept thinking that it seemed familiar... (I read so many books that year.) I'm not going to review it, but I think it's safe to note that I read it. I'll have to figure out what to do about this in future, as it seems likely that I'll do this again at some point.

81The_Hibernator
kesäkuu 30, 12:57 pm

>72 foggidawn: My garden isn't growing well this summer, either. Maybe too much rain.

82curioussquared
kesäkuu 30, 3:46 pm

>80 foggidawn: 😂 That's pretty funny. Hope it was worth a reread!

83clamairy
heinäkuu 3, 9:58 am

>72 foggidawn: Do you have netting over your black raspberry bushes? I only got a few dozen berries off my bushes before the birds discovered them. I have netting but it's still in the packaging. I believe I'm going to have to move the bushes to a place where the netting will be easier to put up.

84foggidawn
heinäkuu 5, 5:19 pm

>81 The_Hibernator: Mine is growing pretty well, I think, but I can’t say that too much rain has been our problem.

>82 curioussquared: Well, I did reread the whole thing!

>83 clamairy: Ours are growing wild, and there seem to be enough of them for both the birds and us.

I’m still on vacation, heading home tomorrow, so reading updates will come in a few days!

85alcottacre
heinäkuu 8, 8:47 am

>78 foggidawn: Thank you for the recommendations re: Hazlewood, foggi! My local library has The Love Hypothesis at the very least.

>79 foggidawn: No luck with that series at my local library so I will have to look further afield for it.

>80 foggidawn: I hate it when I re-read a book that I had not meant to re-read, lol.

>84 foggidawn: I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation, foggi!

86foggidawn
heinäkuu 8, 1:36 pm

>85 alcottacre: My library did not have the older books by Mimi Matthews, just her most recent series (Belles of London). I read the others as ebooks through the library's Libby app.

87foggidawn
heinäkuu 8, 1:55 pm

Hello, all! I am back from a week of vacation which involved a lot of berry picking -- I picked gallons of blueberries and red raspberries, and froze most of them to bring home for future use. My parents' dog Sasha is safely home with them after spending nearly a month in our care. I miss having her around, but it makes feeding time and such simpler with only Lottie there. I do think Lottie is missing having a dog friend around, but she got a new ball that she's now obsessed with (it's kickball-sized, but with ridges that make it easier for her to grab it with her teeth -- a Chuckit Kick Fetch, for those in the know about dog toys). I didn't get a huge amount of reading done on vacation, what with all that berry picking, but I have a few reviews to post below.

Garden update:
The garden was busy while I was away! I picked seven yellow squash, a couple of them slightly larger than I would usually allow, but none too enormous for eating. I also picked a really huge cucumber, and several more normal-sized specimens. Refrigerator pickles are in our near future! I picked a few green bell peppers as well. The tomato plants are an enormous jungle, with several green tomatoes hanging in there, but none looking like ripening just yet. I have a few lettuce plants and one surviving basil, so not as much as I usually grow, but enough to enjoy in small doses. The parsley plants that I put in planters with my porch flowers are happy and healthy, and the oregano is quickly filling out its pot.

88foggidawn
heinäkuu 8, 2:15 pm

(99 books read)



Elf Dog & Owl Head by M.T. Anderson -- Clay and his family are isolated during the global pandemic, when an elegant dog of unknown provenance appears in the woods near their house. Clay is determined to keep the dog, Elphinore, little knowing that she belongs to the fae who live under the mountain, who will not be pleased to find their dog in the company of humans. With Elphinore, Clay has amazing adventures, including meeting an owl-headed boy of about his own age. Not all of his adventures are pleasant and safe, though...

This is the sort of book I would normally expect to love: fantasy! with dogs! And a Newbery Honor book, to boot! However, I really struggled to get through it, putting it down several times in favor of more appealing tomes. M.T. Anderson's writing style is clever and many people love it, but I've been stymied by other books of his in the past, so maybe there's something there that just doesn't work for me, personally. If the premise intrigues you, don't let me stop you from giving it a try.

89foggidawn
Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 8, 2:21 pm

(100 books read)



The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman -- Irene's apprentice is captured by the Fae, and she must travel to a chaotic version of Venice to attempt a rescue.

I enjoyed this second entry in the series only slightly less than the first, and I'm told they improve from here. I probably won't bother with further reviews, but will continue the series for a while, at least.

90foggidawn
heinäkuu 8, 2:33 pm

(101 books read)



Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson -- Tress has spent her life on a tiny island in the Verdant Sea, but when her true love is kidnapped by a sorceress, she hatches a plan to rescue him.

This story gives off definite Princess Bride vibes, so I wasn't surprised to see it mentioned as inspiration in the Author's Note. It's a fun romp with pirates and a dragon, but I couldn't get past the magic system. Usually I am able to suspend disbelief and accept whatever magic system Sanderson gives us, but for some reason, seas made of spores is where I draw the line. Your mileage may vary, but I was thrown out of the story any time the mechanics of the whole spores vs. water system was mentioned. (Sanderson himself gives a tongue-in-cheek nod to those of us bothered by this sort of thing: "You must not be very much fun at parties.") Recommended for Sanderson fans, but I don't think it's a natural starting point for those unfamiliar with his work, unless the description really sings to you.

91foggidawn
heinäkuu 8, 2:47 pm

(102 books read)



Lunar New Year Love Story by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by LeUyen Pham -- Val believes her family is cursed: nobody in generations has found love without heartbreak. Why should she be different? Then, at a Lunar New Year festival, she meets a cute boy who's part of a lion dancing troupe. Could this be her chance to break the curse?

I enjoyed this young adult graphic novel. Though the main focus is romantic love, there are also side plots involving friend relationships and family secrets. Fans of graphic novels with (mostly) realistic plots (I mean, there is a ghost/imaginary friend thing throughout) will find this one a rewarding read.

92compskibook
heinäkuu 8, 6:16 pm

>88 foggidawn: I had trouble getting through this, too.

93AMQS
heinäkuu 8, 6:30 pm

>88 foggidawn:, >92 compskibook: Thanks for the heads up! I know this came in an order forthe library toward the end of the year. I won't be in a hurry to pick it up.

94humouress
heinäkuu 9, 2:01 am

>85 alcottacre: I sometimes pick up a book to flick through just to reacquaint myself with the story and end up reading the whole thing - et voilà I've re-read a book I didn't mean to re-read.

>87 foggidawn: That sounds like a lovely crop.

95foggidawn
heinäkuu 9, 3:14 pm

>92 compskibook: Glad it wasn't just me! I think the pacing was a little off.

>93 AMQS: I always want Newbery Honors to be great reads, but my opinion doesn't always match up with the committee's decisions.

>94 humouress: Thanks! I got all of the squash prepped and frozen last night, for easy side dishes this winter. It was a fair bit of work, and the squash plants are just getting started, so I imagine I'll be foisting squash on friends and co-workers within a few weeks!

96foggidawn
heinäkuu 10, 10:04 am

(103 books read)



The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman -- another solid entry in the series.

97mstrust
heinäkuu 10, 1:09 pm

How great to have all those berries to go through! I've been wanting to go to northern Arizona in September to pick wild blackberries for years, but have just never pushed Mike enough to do it.
And my several attempts to grow cucumbers have resulted in tiny fruit that then withers, so I admire anyone who gets full sized cucumbers.
I'll start making my Fall garden plans this week or the next, mapping everything out. I'm determined to have lots of sunflowers this year.

98foggidawn
heinäkuu 10, 3:03 pm

>97 mstrust: Ah, sunflowers! I failed to get them planted this year, but am determined to have some next year.

99foggidawn
Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 13, 12:29 pm

(104 books read)



The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard -- Follows the members of the extended Cazalet family and their household staff over two pre-WWII summers.

A deliciously character-centric story. There is not a great deal of plot, beyond the typical "family saga" -- babies are conceived and born, affairs are had, emotions are felt and concealed, all with the shadow of war hovering overhead. I liked the plot points featuring the younger generation best. The book shifts from character to character, so it can be a little tricky to know which perspective one is in at ay given time. Readers who don't enjoy this sort of perspective-hopping may find this a frustrating read, but I enjoyed it immensely.

Thanks to Stasia / alcottacre for the recommendation!

100The_Hibernator
heinäkuu 15, 6:39 am

>91 foggidawn: I'll suggest it to D14.

101ronincats
heinäkuu 15, 8:43 am

Good to see you've been keeping busy, Misty! My garden has been doing much better than last year, although a woodchuck is nibbling on my butternut squash. I've had cucumbers and zucchini, peppers are bearing, but eggplant and green beans are NOT setting. My peas are all gone as well, too hot for them but I did get a fair amount. Tomatoes are just starting to ripen heavily.

I may have a few bbs from your reviews.

102foggidawn
heinäkuu 15, 9:20 am

>100 The_Hibernator: Hope she likes it!

>101 ronincats: Definitely keeping busy! My tomato plants are full of green tomatoes, but none of them are interested in ripening yet. Soon, I hope!

103foggidawn
heinäkuu 15, 11:22 am

Weekend update: I had a great weekend of live theatre! On Saturday evening I went to see Shakespeare in the Park in the town I used to live in. They did A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and it was terrific! Lots of funny moments -- my favorite was Oberon and Puck watching the big lovers' quarrel scene while eating popcorn. On Sunday afternoon, I went to the town I lived in before that to watch Into the Woods, one of my favorite musicals, performed by the community theatre group I used to be a part of. They also did a terrific job. I particularly liked how they dressed up the stagehands to be forest spirits of a somewhat dark nature, who helped the Witch with her spells as well as shifting the scenery, etc. All in all, a very enjoyable weekend, albeit with a lot of driving. It was good to see old friends in both locations.

Garden update: The squash and cucumbers have really taken off; I brought some extras in to work today to give away. I made peach-raspberry jam with some of the raspberries I picked on vacation and some peach seconds from a local orchard. It is so yummy! I find straight raspberry jam or jelly a little overpowering, but using the peaches makes a lovely flavor combination. I also made a gallon of refrigerator pickles, and am planning to make squash casserole tonight. I've harvested a couple of peppers, but no tomatoes yet. As mentioned above, they are not even starting to ripen. But there are a lot of green ones! And relatively few succumbing to blossom-end rot, which is always an issue for me because I am not consistent enough with watering.

104foggidawn
heinäkuu 15, 11:35 am

(105 books read)



Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You by Clive D.L Wynne -- Wynne, a behavioral scientist and dog lover, started out skeptical about the premise that dogs could love, or experience any kind of emotion recognizable to humans. (Behaviorists tend to shun anthropomorphism regarding all animals.) However, a series of studies performed by him, his students, and other researchers around the world, plus interactions with his own dog, convince him otherwise.

This book is full of scientific studies, but all clearly presented for the layperson. Wynne gives copious credit to his co-researchers and to other scientists. I found it highly engaging and readable as well as interesting. I didn't need to be convinced that dogs experience love for their humans, but it was fascinating to peek into the science side of things. I listened to the audiobook and thought the narration was very well done.

105quondame
heinäkuu 15, 5:34 pm

>104 foggidawn: It's great to have research confirming it, but I can't imagine any one with any knowledge of love could doubt that dogs feel it.

106humouress
Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 16, 12:33 am

>105 quondame: Quite so. But I am intrigued; I might look out for that one.

107foggidawn
heinäkuu 16, 1:49 pm

>105 quondame: Well, you know scientists. Got to quantify everything.

>106 humouress: Enjoy, if you do!

108foggidawn
heinäkuu 16, 1:52 pm

Garden update: I picked half a gallon of wild blackberries, and have the arm scratches to prove it. The blackberries are just getting started, so I ordered some arm protection (gardening sleeves) for the future. I also picked five more squash that I'll chop, blanch, and put in the freezer for later.

109foggidawn
heinäkuu 16, 5:10 pm

(106 books read)



Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel -- When she was 11 years old, Rose Franklin fell into a giant hand that had been revealed when a mysterious hole opened up near her home. Now, a second part of the figure has appeared in Turkey, and adult Rose, now a scientist, finds the link between the sites. She's recruited by a nameless man who has access to military support, and they devise a method to reveal the other parts of the . . . figure? . . . sculpture? . . . robot? Can Rose and her team discover the origin and function of the mysterious device?

I'd been meaning to read this for several years, and am glad I finally got around to it. The structure of the narrative is transcripts of interviews, diary entries, etc. The nameless man (CIA, I think is implied?) plays a major role, though he's not involved with the project in a hands-on way. I felt like I was missing things toward the end, probably because of the format. However, it all came together, and I'm intrigued enough to read the next volume. If the premise speaks to you, give it a try.

110quondame
heinäkuu 16, 7:10 pm

>109 foggidawn: I liked the second one, but the third not so much.

111foggidawn
heinäkuu 17, 10:04 am

>110 quondame: Good to know. I'm enjoying the second one so far, but I'm not very far into it.

112foggidawn
heinäkuu 22, 1:07 pm

(107 books read)



Marking Time by Elizabeth Jane Howard -- Continues the saga of the Cazalet family as Britain plunges into WWII. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first, and will continue reading the series.

113foggidawn
heinäkuu 22, 1:36 pm

(108 books read)



Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan -- Rufus Gresham, Viscount St. Ives, may be the son of an English earl and a Hong Kong supermodel, but he needs to marry a fortune -- he just doesn't know it yet. His scheming mother has plans to pair him off with a princess, but he can't stop thinking about Dr. Eden Tong, his neighbor, whom he's known since childhood. Will his mother's plans keep him and Eden apart?

More over-the-top satire from Kwan. There are plenty of lies, and also some weddings. There are lots of rich people behaving badly, and at least one couple that the reader can root for (though I thought the chemistry was a little bit lacking). All in all, a fun read for fans of Crazy Rich Asians

114MickyFine
heinäkuu 22, 6:22 pm

Catching up around here. Took a BB for The Belle of Belgrave Square and I'm pleased to see you're enjoying The Invisible Library series. I just wrapped up the last book this year and was largely pleased with it overall.

Also pleased to see Kevin Kwan is still on form. This book is already on The List but I know odds are good I'll like something if you do. :)

115foggidawn
Eilen, 1:39 pm

>114 MickyFine: I think you will enjoy the Belles of London series -- and the Kevin Kwan!

116The_Hibernator
Tänään, 12:37 pm

Hi Foggi! Just popping by to catch up on threads!

117foggidawn
Tänään, 3:34 pm

>116 The_Hibernator: Always glad to see you!