What are we reeeading

When previously we discussed books, #2 had recommended Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School.  #1 now vehemently recommends this book as well.  Sooooo good.  DC1 also loved it.

Speaking of DC1 and books about magical schools, both DC1 and I have really enjoyed the The Ever Afters Series by Shelby Bach, about a fairytale after school program.  I couldn’t put the second book down, though I had to put the third book down from time to time because, like with Harry Potter, that’s when stuff gets real.  We have the final book on hold at the library.  (Currently reading!)

I’ve started reading Elizabeth Hoyt.  Her books are fine, but it is true they are a bit repetitive.  Probably best not to read all of them in a row, but to just pick out the best or to take long breaks between.  Check out, don’t buy.  Think late 18th century batman complete with revenge motives.  Lots of batmans with lots of different revenge motives (including the standard dead parents) and different Arthurs and different aristocratic super villains.  Also, for some reason, dogs.  Duke of midnight was going fine until an attempted rape of a minor character whose sole purpose was as a macguffin and to show the good character of a male character, and shortly after the hero roughly shakes the heroine until it hurts her.  Ugh.  The next book in the series has a minor female character beaten to death (in the past) as another macguffin (also as character development for the heroine and another villain).  And after that Dearest Rogue has rape of a minor female character (in the past) as macguffin and character development for the hero!  Also attempted rape of the heroine.  Good grief, can’t she come up with any other way to drive the plot or develop character?  But if you don’t mind the violence-against-women-as-macguffin-and-character-development trope…

This Rake of Mine by Elizabeth Boyle was great fun if you can completely suspend your disbelief and ignore historical accuracy (the main complaints in low star reviews).  If you think of it as a farce it’s fun!  Though about 3/4 of the way through there’s a couple of spots where the author obviously ran out of time (and the editor didn’t fix it) and told rather than showed.  Not great literature, but no sexual violence against women!  Along came a duke though was super boring and I skipped most of the middle.  That could have used less writing.  Her highest rated, the viscount who lived down the lane was fine but could have used editing.  I think I will not seek out the rest of her stuff.

Tried a Lisa Kleypas, specifically Dreaming of You, but she is REALLY into attempted rape as a trope.  I mean seriously, lady.  Also so much gratuitous stupidity.  I can buy the matchmaking lady inviting the hero and the heroine to a house party without them knowing about the other, but inviting the woman who sent the goons who scarred the hero’s face (that the heroine shot in the first chapter) to the same house party when you’re trying to set the hero and heroine up and you know that the villain will try to kill the heroine if she knows that the hero loves her…  That’s just causing drama for drama’s sake.  There was a better way to arrange that (and one that wouldn’t, you know, involve yet another attempted rape on the heroine).  *Sigh*

Meanwhile, back in #2 land, I finished Tam Lin by Pamela Dean.  This book is for you if you liked The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  It’s good, but long, and there’s quite a lot of the main characters talking about poetry and analyzing plays and quoting things at each other.  I’m on Volume 2 of Gotham Academy.  I’ve been catching up on Maria V. Snyder and some very naughty books and stories that can’t go on this blog.  I’ve also  caught up (almost?) on Ilona Andrews, and read a bit of nonfiction.  My current read, which I love so far, is Nevada, by Imogene Binnie.  At the start of the book, the main character works in a huge used bookstore and her life is kinda bad.  I sense that big changes are coming.

What are YOU reading, Grumpeteers?

20 Responses to “What are we reeeading”

  1. Leah Says:

    I just finished a great YA book called The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. It’s about a girl who uses the scientific method (ish) and learning about jellyfish to come to terms with the death of a friend. I picked it up on a whim at the library because the YA section is right next to the kids’ book section. I also just finished Quidditch Through the Ages, which is a super quick, short read but funny.

    And, of course, every night I am currently reading a rotation of Curious George books. Going to the library today after school to pick up some different Curious George books (and more!). We own one and checked out two. I sometimes get asked to repeat them (more George!). My little one also loves Neil Gaiman’s Chu series, tho some of his other little kid picture books were too scary for her.

    Speaking of Neil Gaiman . . . I finally read one of his books, Stardust. Superb and quite enjoyable. I should get another one from the library.

  2. independentclause Says:

    I love Tam Lin (for personal reasons, namely, I went to Blackstock). I’m rereading Kindred by Octavia Butler, which is more amazing than I remember. And I’m reading a bunch of research stuff for writing. I’ve given up on Ilona Andrews. They’re fun to read, but I’m tired of “your manly manliness makes me feel like a womanly woman” view of gender.

  3. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I’m reading Drearcliff! I got the library to buy it for me.

    I tried to re-read Wireless (Stross) but it mixed badly with a fever.

  4. delagar Says:

    I love Tam Lin, too. If you liked it, you might like Pamela Dean’s other book, Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary. Like Tam Lin, it’s got problems with the ending, but it’s worth reading for the characters and the world-building.

  5. Linda Says:

    Lately I’ve been letting the recommendations that link books lead me to my reading material, and I’ve had some good luck with that approach. Of course, that will only continue to work for as long as I want to keep exploring my current theme. Almost all of these were borrowed from the San Francisco Public Library through Overdrive so I could read them on the Kindle app. (Hooray for the SFPL!!)

    I started with The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It really drew me in and I found myself planning a weekend around how much reading I could fit in. From that I moved on to A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn. Then I checked out the old classic Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. And finally I tore through Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll this past weekend.

    Now I’m on pause with fun reading as I concentrate on some work stuff and peruse a book about personal development before I fall asleep. But I’m planning my next fun reading for later this week. I liked the main character and writing in the Raybourn book, so I’ve decided to give her Lady Julia Grey series a try. I picked up the first in that series through Amazon for $1.99, but haven’t started reading it yet. I could have just put it on Hold through SFPL, but at that price I’m willing to give a new series and try to see if I want to get on the Hold list for the rest of the series. I also checked out Frenchman’s Creek by DuMaurier from SFPL so I can continue to explore DuMaurier’s writing.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Lady Julia is fun though #2 stopped one book before #1 did and that was the right decision since it turned dark in the next book. Though you sound like you may enjoy dark based on some of those books!

      • Linda Says:

        Yep, that’s me. I enjoy dark stories where women end up figuring out how to get out of a bad situation, but the endings aren’t necessarily neat and pretty. I enjoyed Gone Girl and the other Gillian Flynn books, too. I wish it was easier to find books like that, actually.

    • chacha1 Says:

      Hmmm, that Raybourn sounds interesting. I didn’t follow the Lady Julia Grey series past the second book, but thought Raybourn’s “The Dead Travel Fast” was really excellent.

  6. Debbie M Says:

    I will be looking for more books by these authors who are new to me:

    I quite enjoyed Jim Stewart’s Ochoco Reach about a big case for a Freelance Investigator and Salvage Consultant. It reminded me a lot of the Longmire books and a little of “The Rockford Files.” This is a first novel by a guy whose day job is musician and was recommended by other musicians my boyfriend likes. There are a few grammatical problems as if the book is self published, but the characters are interesting and the plot gets very exciting.

    Also, I found an “uncorrected proof” of Art Corriveau’s “13 Hangman” in a little free library and quite enjoyed that story about a boy who is about to turn thirteen and doesn’t have many friends who tries to lose weight, moves to a new city, finds kind of a wormhole through time, and discovers a murderer. The author clearly loved Boston history as well. I have checked, and it is a real book now.

    And looking for novels set in Spain, I got sucked into Victoria Hislop’s “The Return” about a woman who gets dragged to Granada by her girlfriend for salsa lessons but gets involved with a family who lived through the civil war. I’m recommending that my boyfriend read only Part 1, set in modern Spain (and England), and then if he has questions about what happens, I’ll just tell him. Because as we know, the Spanish Civil War sucked.

  7. chacha1 Says:

    I have recently read Laurie R. King’s latest Mary Russell novel, and books 2 & 3 of Nora Roberts’ “Stars of Mithra” trilogy. Which in toto is verrrrry similar to pieces of the Eve/Roarke story esp. “Remember When.”

    Read a fairly silly Victorian romance called “Seduction Wears Sapphires” with one of the most unlikely setups ever, a couple of steamy scenes, and a slapdash conclusion. It’s part of a series featuring a group of men who all ran into trouble in India during the Sepoy Mutiny, but that is likely the most interesting thing about any of the men and apparently it’s all in the past so we are just dealing with their inarticulate feelings, and zzzzzzz.

    Read a historical mystery set in San Francisco circa 1880 and centering on women in the printing trade. That part was really interesting and it pulled me through even though the mystery was not very mysterious and the writing was a bit stilted. “Deadly Proof” by M. Louisa Locke. This is one in a series, and there is a bit of romance in the through-characters’ stories, but it’s all very prim and proper. The history seems unusually solid.

    I will always recommend L. R. King but otherwise I am mainlining Ngaio Marsh, whose books I still find superior to 95% of the new ones I pick up.

    • Linda Says:

      I’m still contemplating treating myself to the most recent Mary Russell by LR King. I’ve read everything in her Kate Martinelli series, too, and enjoyed it. Have you read either of her Harry Stuyvesant books? I read Bones of Paris and thought it was OK, but I couldn’t get into Touchstone at all.

      Ooooo SFPL has the first Ngaio Marsh available right now. Eeek! I have to resist checking it out since I don’t have much time to read for fun over the next few days.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I lost steam on Ngaio Marsh with the Nursing Home Murders (concurrent with reading someone’s blog post about how Marsh is actively homophobic in some of her writing– it just wasn’t good enough for me to keep reading to get to that point). I think #2 has read a bunch more.

      • chacha1 Says:

        The Harry Stuyvesant books were not “keepers,” for me.

        Re: Marsh – Nursing Home Murder may be my least favorite of the entire series. She was working hard with a Communist subplot, a eugenics motive (which many modern readers may not realize was actually a big thing in England at the time, and not very many people were standing up and pointing and saying Hey You Guys This is Exactly What Hitler Is Saying) and a medical co-author. A little TOO topical, maybe.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I also noted a lot of creepy similarities to today’s political climate in the Tommy and Tuppence set during WWII…

        Re: Marsh, at least her early ones are too old fashioned “everything is revealed at the end”. With the exception of short stories, I really prefer the more modern “the reader is given the clues”. The Nursing Home Murders is the first Marsh that’s longer than a novella.

        Marsh makes me want to reread Christie.

  8. gwinne Says:

    Hmmmm. The Secret History is one of my all time favs….

  9. eemusings Says:

    Fun chick lit: The Husband’s Secret

    Serious: The Big Short

  10. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    Coming back to also say I’ve recently read a couple from Laura Florand’s chocolate series (original rec from SBTB) and mostly liked them (romance of course). A bit coercive, sometimes a lot coercive, and suffering more than a bit from Use Your Words To Solve Problems- itis. But free from the library.


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