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?