What are we reading?

Boxing Day is for reading books!  Here’s a fantastic list of good books, if you don’t have enough to read.

I don’t usually like rehashes of Pride and Prejudice, but Lady Bridget’s Diary: Keeping Up with the Cavendishes by Maya Rodale isn’t really a rehash of the book so much as a splicing of a bunch of Colin Firth media together (the P&P is definitely the BBC miniseries version, complete with fully-clothed dousing). She even names her hero Colin Fitzwilliam Wright Darcy. It’s very tongue and cheek and definitely not historically accurate. A library check-out, but I think probably not a purchase. It’s hard to say. Silly and enjoyable.  The rest of the books in the series were ok but not great.

(Another book is Pride, by Ibi Zoboi, along the same lines.)

Other Maya Rodale books were not worth even trying.  The Tattooed Duke was terrible.  Bad in the #metoo movement, repetitive, unlikable main characters, nobody realizing that a married woman doesn’t own her own property except the dumb villain… so much that doesn’t make sense.  The entire writing girls series also terrible… boring, TSTL, at least one unlikable main character in each.  A great idea with a terrible execution.

In contrast, I’m in the middle of Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh which is another take on the female gossip columnist (here she owns the entire gossip sheet), and so far 27% in it has been enjoyable… meandering but I’m in the mood for a little meandering.  (Though I am going to skip the second in that series because the amazon reviews says the hero is a creepy stalker who doesn’t take no for an answer, which, ugh.)

I liked In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle enough to buy my own copy (though it was only $1.99, so no real hardship).  It’s a nice take on the hardened hero gets amnesia in a near-death accident while the heroine nurses him back to health trope.

If you can handle a Christmas novella after Christmas, A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews was lovely.  Soothing.  Sadly, the book the library had available, The Lost Letter, was one of those where if the Hero and Heroine ever talked with each other instead of constantly jumping to conclusions and then running off the book would be 3 pages long.  You’d think after it happened once they’d have you know, figured it out.  I’m curious about her other books, but not enough to pay to try them given that they’re mostly tropes I’m not crazy about.  (I did buy A Holiday by Gaslight before reading it which was a total impulse purchase, and I am glad I did.)

Note to self:  stop trying to read Balogh reissues.  They are ALL full of rape.  Just stop.  The new stuff is good but make sure it is genuinely new.  (Most recent indiscreet)

#2 really liked Not Even Bones, by Rebecca Schaeffer.  It’s too violent for #1 to read, though.

I (#2) would also like to recommend the Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal.  The first one is The Calculating Stars and the second one is The Fated Sky.  The third one is in progress, dunno the expected pub date.

I also recommend The Hum and the Shiver, by Alex Bledsoe.  First in a contemporary series about the mythical Tufa people, who live and keep to themselves in Tennessee.  Until 20-year-old Bronwyn Hyatt becomes an accidental war hero in Iraq and returns to her hometown with all the pomp she never wanted.  I think I would call this speculative fiction.  I’m waiting on the second one from the library.

I recently liked Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang, but I can’t remember if I talked about it on here already or not.  I think I didn’t.  It’s weird and has a happy ending.

What have you been reading, Grumpeteers?

17 Responses to “What are we reading?”

  1. independentclause Says:

    I bought myself Spinning Silver by Naomi Novick as a Christmas present to me to read during my time at the in laws. I loved Uprooted, and this one is really good so far.

  2. Leah Says:

    I’ve been trying to read more diverse voices. I read The Hate U Give and Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime. Currently reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming. All good reads but a bit tough.

    • Debbie M Says:

      I did not know Trevor Noah was an author, too (or maybe he’s got a ghost writer). I will be checking that out!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Trevor Noah’s book is his memoir. I think a sequel is planned, too. It was an amazing read!

      • Debbie M Says:

        Yay! I just put it on hold at my local library.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Read it. Thanks y’all! I liked it but did not love it. Definitely a much more painless way to learn more about South Africa than I expected when I got the idea to read books about or based in different countries. I really loved all the strategies his mom used to get around the law–that was fascinating (and scary).

  3. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Update: My MIL also loved Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance! My sweet partner is making mounds of scrambled eggs this morning. Let’s read!

  4. Zenmoo Says:

    Just finished “Transcription” by Kate Atkinson – which was very good.

    Started The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton but my library hold of Spinning Silver has just arrived so I might have to prioritise that.

  5. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    An old Martha Wells (Wheel of the Infinite) and The Wedding Date. Also I handed my 9-year-old All Systems Red. He loved it. I’m sure it was… totally appropriate…

  6. Debbie M Says:

    I read my first John Green book, the only one in my branch of the library: _An Abundance of Katherines_. At first, the only character I liked was the narrator, not actually a character at all. Fun footnotes (though he’s no David Foster Wallace). Then there was a character I really liked, then another. In the end I liked some things about all the characters and disliked some things about all the characters. And several very interesting things have stuck with me. I think I’ll be buying the book and marking all my favorite passages so I can just re-read those sometimes instead of the whole book. Weird, eh? I’ll also check out other books.

  7. teresa Says:

    Just finished re-reading The Nightingale, which is…fine.
    But thanks to this now I’m reading and loving The Calculating Stars and have The Fated Sky to follow- which if you hadn’t mentioned I’m not sure I would have realized was out already- so thank you!

  8. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I’ve been reading A TON as my recent book post shows but I forgot I’d been meaning to get my hands on Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut books. An unexpected find I’ve loved: the Ilona Andrews Innkeeper books. I’ve reread them six times. I might have to just buy them. Also I really enjoy the Kate Daniels series but the library only has a few of them out of order. I’ve got to muster some book budget from somewhere!


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