Tagged by Diane C. Mullen (middle grade/YA): interesting writing style. Kid from the urban projects does graffiti, learns about art in small-town boonies.
This One Summer (YA graphic novel): written by two cousins. Two girls weather the ups and downs of summer by the lake: family and friends in turmoil, swimming, horror movies, sleeping late, bonfires on the beach.
The Escape by Mary Balogh (historical romance): in the style of Venetia in that the characters are mature and they fall in love believably over time with minimal drama the old fashioned way, by getting to know each other– but you know, with sex (which is unlike Venetia). A widow finds love with a disabled war veteran. Very sweet. Also read some earlier Balogh and it wasn’t as good (heroines who want/need to be mastered blech), but still entertaining if you can suspend disbelief.
Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us By Murray Carpenter (nonfiction): the book podcasters loved this one. It will definitely fill you up with “did you know?” facts that you can foist on people at parties.
Midnight Never Come (The Onyx Court, Book 1) by Marie Brennan (fantasy). The first in a series, but I don’t feel the need to read the rest, although I have read and will read others by her. I’ve read quite a few takes on the “faeries in Elizabeth’s court” trope and I generally like them; this one more than most. Just the right amount of politics. I have also read a couple books in Brennan’s “Lady Trent’s memoirs” series that starts with A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, and I’m about halfway through her first novel, Warrior (Doppelganger). (#2 thought Natural History started out great but then lost steam… she skimmed through much of the second half or so and doesn’t plan to read another in the series.)
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 (YA or adult graphic novel): First collection of the comic by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen. Not a library pick but rather a thing I now own. Acclaimed for being awesome! Smart girls at summer camp, “Friendship to the max,” and strong women role models.
In further long-regency (that’s romance novels set in the long 19th century, even though the regency is only a small part of it) news: #2 found Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly to be ok. It would have been better without the large amount of drama condensed into the end. The book didn’t need it and would have been better without it. #2 does NOT recommend Mary Jo Putney (particularly Never Less than a Lady) as when one is reading regency novels, one does not need or want graphic descriptions of rape and torture (even if the actual rape/torture happened in the past). UGH. Putney seems to get some sadistic pleasure about describing it over and over again, each time more graphically. Unfortunately the amazon one-star reviews didn’t warn me in advance, so I didn’t realize the graphic descriptions were coming and was still feeling warm and fuzzy about Balogh’s emotionally damaged heroes and heroines healing each other, or I would have stopped reading earlier. As a “spoiler” (because can you really spoil a regency?) in the last chapter BOTH of these books (the Kelly and the Putney) have the heroine magnanimously forgiving the villain whose actions forced them into premature protective (‘cuz men can’t damage other men’s property!) marriage with the hero. Unnecessary.
Tell us about good books in the comments! Any kind.