What are we reading? Light romance.

I continue wading through everything Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle (they’re all the same person).  I have found that the Arcane/Harmony series gets better and better the more of them you read because she adds all sorts of great inside jokes that you start picking up on.  I can see why she’s able to charge $9/kindle book for that series.  Fortunately most libraries seem to have them all.

(#2 adds: I’ve been really digging the Krentz contemporary books in the Arcane Society series.  I’m trying to read the whole thing in order.  #1 has read them out of order and that works too, but she’s definitely planning on trying reading them in order on the reread.  If only they weren’t so expensive!)

While Krentz’s stuff from the 90s is really forward and could have been written in this decade in terms of gender equality and lack of rape (disclaimer:  it seems like any time there’s a mental institution, there’s a past attempted rape, and a few of her historicals have back stories with a bad guy talking about raping one of the minor characters, but not actually ever coming into contact with her, generally because he dies a painful death on his way up the stairs, and in the contemporary Secret Sisters he actually does manage to drag the protagonist out of her house in the prologue before dying a painful death), but her 1985 book Witchcraft, while not anywhere near as bad as any of the Baloghs from the 1980s, really does fit into the crappy alpha male taking away the heroine’s agency theme.  Thankfully she stopped doing that decades ago!  (In her later stuff, sometimes the alpha male hero will attempt to take away the heroine’s agency, but will fail completely because she’s an alpha female.  More often, though, they talk it out and come to joint decisions.)

Finally got off the wait list at the library for Crazy Rich Asians.  It’s great!  One thing I wasn’t expecting were all the helpful footnotes with translations and cultural explanations for things.  Update:  Man the B-story is STUPID.  Soon I’ll start the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend.

#1 got Rafe the Buff Male Nanny and it was as advertised.  Everyone except the ex-husband all behaves so sensibly!  It does kind of end abruptly with an epilogue that ties things together, but I guess if it didn’t she would have to manufacture some unnecessary drama, so this is definitely better than that alternative.

What are y’all reading, Grumpeteers?

14 Responses to “What are we reading? Light romance.”

  1. chacha1 Says:

    What with a) bad weather b) job-related depression c) scheduled power outage d) at home sick, I actually managed to read two books written by other people over the past four days. LOL The latest J.D. Robb “Leverage in Death,” which I enjoyed, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir “Unmasked” which was highly entertaining.

  2. Leah Says:

    I just finished The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. It was great! Really enjoyable read; it’s a novel about a bookseller with heavy bookish elements.

    I tried to read Beloved by Toni Morrison and just couldn’t get into it, sadly.

    I’m reading on a phone app and getting free books from the library, and it is seriously increased the amount I read. It has been wonderful.

    • Katherine Says:

      I recently read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and loved it. Then I read all the other books my library has by the same author (Gabrielle Zevin). I enjoyed them all. My library only has about half the books she’s written, and I’m currently debating whether I want to spend money to own the rest of them.

      I’ve been getting a lot of reading done while nursing. I’m caught up on my New Yorker subscription for the first time since I moved to a small town with no public transit. I’ve been reading a lot of library books on kindle. I’m trying to read primarily women and authors of color. I read The Underground Railroad, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, and Homegoing in pretty quick succession and enjoyed them all, but since then I’ve been looking for more feel-good fare.

      • Leah Says:

        ooh, I didn’t realize she had more books. I will look for them!

        I went on a John Green run in the fall. Sometimes, it’s really fun to read a bunch by one author.

        I did really enjoy my time nursing for lots of reading time. I prefer paper books, but kindle/phone are so easy to read when being a busy mom. I’m also trying to read more women and BIPOC authors.

        In terms of feel good fare (tho by a white male), I LOVE anything by James Herriot. I pull out his short story collections any time I’m feeling bummy, and they so cheer me up. He’s a British country vet, and he mostly writes about the pivotal changes that happened in the countryside before/after World War II with lots of humor and love. Fascinating stuff.

      • Debbie M Says:

        You could try requesting that your library get the rest of the books. Worst case scenario: they decide not to. (I have never tried this, but I’ve heard that at least at some libraries, requests like that are granted most of the time.) You could try looking up whether the other books are as highly rated as the ones they have in case that improves your chances.

  3. jjiraffe Says:

    Funny how some of the 90s entertainment holds up, including Amanda Quick. I just rewatched Copycat, which I liked in the 90s. The movie was definitely ahead of its time, with the two female leads (Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, older by Hollywood standards of the day) partnering up to battle a serial killer. Warning: Not light watching (lots of upsetting crime, mostly against women), but ahead of its day in terms of showing a woman dealing with the after effects of trauma, in a realistic manner. Also, Holly Hunter kicks ass.

  4. teresa Says:

    Recently: Binti, cuz I bought the ebook “box set” ages ago without realizing it was a preorder and it finally became available. Love.

    Currently: many random things set in Italy- getting ready for vacation in a week. So right now re-reading Sarah Dunant (Sacred Hearts and In the Company of the Courtesan, maybe the Birth of Venus), Ali Smith (How to be Both), and then probably Umberto Eco (because, something by someone actually Italian rather than British novelists writing about Italy?). I also got the neapolitan novels but might save them for the plane/start of the trip since they’re ebooks and most of the others I have as paper.
    Other suggestions very welcome.

    For during vacation:
    On the Come Up
    The Last Romantics
    Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    …not sure what else

    And for after I get back, So you want to talk about race (just does not seem like a vacation read)

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I want to get ALL the Seanan McGuire books and am debating with myself if I should spend the money to buy them just for myself or just put the money into the library and let them buy it for the catalog. I love the Incryptid series and assume I’ll love all her others as well.

  6. FF Says:

    I recently finished An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal. This is an interesting and very readable look at how our health care system got to be such a mess. Currently tops of the bedside pile: What Patients Say: What Doctors Hear by Danielle Ofri and Thunderstruck (short stories) by Elizabeth McCracken. I’m only a chapter into the former and haven’t started the latter but I’m really looking forward to it. McCracken is a great writer. I really liked both of her earlier novels (The Giant’s House, Niagara Falls All Over Again)–and she has a new novel, Bowlaway, that’s just out. She also wrote a really devastating memoir of her experience having a stillbirth, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.


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