Books, always books

Three Charms for Murder, the 5th Henri Davenforth book by Honor Raconteur, was quite … charming.

I continue to read Agatha Christies and to be shocked by the casual anti-semitism and consistent use of the n-word, especially when completely unnecessary (for example, in the name of a dessert said by a character we’re supposed to *like*).  They censor the word “bastard” as “b—-” in the editions I’m reading.  Why don’t they do the same for n—-?  At least the anti-semitism improves once she hits the 1940s.  The complaints about estate taxes are also crazy… I can’t tell if Christie wants us to think these lazy aristocrats should have to work or not.  I leave feeling like, yeah, it’s probably best to just leave your money to charity instead of your relatives if you don’t want to end up as a corpse, and it’s best to get a job instead of relying on the largesse of said relatives, because they can change their wills at any time!  There’s a lot to be said for having control of one’s own monetary situation.

DC1 picked Children of Blood and Bone as hir “choose your own coming of age novel from this list” and zie LOVED IT.  (Zie narrowed it down from the list to only fantasy/science fiction novels, and I vetoed the Martian as that was hir “choose your own novel” last year, also I don’t really see how it is coming of age?)  Zie has to answer questions like, “Is this book realistic” and DC1 answers things like, “No, magic isn’t real,” which I think might not end up earning hir full credit, but we won’t know for weeks because the English teacher is a really slow grader.  Zie immediately asked for the second book and my MIL sent it as a Christmas present, so I took hir off the library waitlist for it.

DC2 is at 2017 for Newbery books and zie has really enjoyed almost all of them (with maybe 2 or 3 exceptions).  (Did I mention I’ve been requesting the Newbery Award and Honor books from the library starting with the most recent year?)  Several of them have made it onto hir Christmas wishlist so zie has hir own copy.

Turns out Alexis Hall of Boyfriend Material has written a number of books across different genres.  Looking for Group is a sweet YA romance with lots of MOOC gaming in-jokes.  Dialogue is very good.  (Not as good as Boyfriend Material, but definitely worth the library checkout.)  Except if I’m being completely honest, I skipped large chunks and the 2nd hero wasn’t very interesting– he’s one of the tropes I find more annoying– the shy quiet beautiful (usually girl) who takes time to smell the flowers and appreciate the beauty of just being and really has no other personality characteristics.  A pixie dreamboy without the manic part.  I would not want to spend much time with him myself.  The other friends were great though– the book maybe would have been better without so much time alone with the two heroes.

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews was great!

I read a couple more Joan Smith regencies– note that these are not at all accurate, so if you’re bothered by historical inaccuracies, do not read them.  A Christmas Gambol was pretty bad.  Escapade was entertaining though neither hero nor heroine is all that likable, but it’s got the benefit of being somewhat funny.

The latest Shinigami Detective, aka Case Files of Henri Davenforth, Three Charms for Murder, by Honor Raconteur was a lot of fun.  If you liked the first four books you will also like this one.

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron was ok.  I probably would have liked it better if I’d read the earlier books and also if the Jane Austen character weren’t based on a real person who did not get married and was to die in very few years.  (There’s the start of a love interest in this one… which is just kind of depressing.  I want my romances to have predictably happy endings!)

What holiday reading do you have lined up?


15 Responses to “Books, always books”

  1. Leah Says:

    Is your library still open? Or how did you get books? Or are these just ebooks? Our library is doing lobby pickup (did curbside when it was warmer). You just come in and pick up your bag of requested books. They did have individual appointments for awhile, but our numbers have spiked recently.

    I just finished Radium Girls. Excellent read! I’m working on reading all the Caldecott books still. Covid threw a wrench into my plans. We will see if I finish by the end of the year. I think I have about 30 to go. I’m currently reading the very first one. It’s slow going, as it is illustrations of animals along with KJV bible readings about said animals. Oof. I am enjoying the quest and have read many fabulous books.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Everything is open and nothing is safe. The Christies are entirely ebooks from the city library (I need to remember to donate to them again). We also get curbside from our local library.

      • Leah Says:

        Sad face at everything open. Our library actually has been more cautious than required. It opened up for a bit for private browsing appointments but has not fully opened since March. But the lobby pickup works for me. I just reserve books online, they pull the books, check them out to me, and call to let me know they’re ready.

        The biggest bummer is that our kids love to pick out library books. They also love the play area. It’s going to be a long winter without that.

  2. Steph Says:

    My TBR shelf is absolutely packed and I’m looking forward to digging into it. I’ve been in the middle of Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan for weeks now (she did a panel where she described it as “for anybody who loved Scandal”, which I definitely did, but it’s too much drama for me right now!)

    I’m annoyed because I finally signed up for an e-library card in my new town, only to discover that they have a pretty limited ebook selection. The “women’s studies” section has about a dozen books, several of which are biographies of republican women (e.g., Sarah Sanders). Case rates are spiking here, as everywhere, so I haven’t decided if I will actually go into the library to get a real card.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That is really annoying.

      One of the reasons I decided to start on Agatha Christies is because the city library that is open to people who live in our state suddenly switched from having a very generous e-books selection to a much less generous one. But… they have all of the Miss Marples and Hercule Poirots.

      Have you checked whatever the largest cities/counties are in your state to see if they give out e-cards to people who live in your state? (A friend in MA recommended I do this since the Boston Public library does it, and she was right, there’s a library in our state that does it as well.)

  3. Debbie M Says:

    I’ve just finished the Finishing School series, which was highly recommended by a book-loving co-worker at Elections. She gives the series to all her young relatives as an instructive fun series in a steampunk setting with a few vampires and werewolves as well. The times are racist and sexist, but none of our favorite characters are. I didn’t love them like she did, but they were mostly fun thought also a bit disturbing.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      By Gail Carriger? We liked them, though maybe not as much as the first few books in her original Soulless series. Looking back at our reviews, we found the first few addicting, but the series as a whole kind of petered out. I think I liked the last one though.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Yes, that’s the one. And I *am* going to try out The Parasol Protectorate (Soulless books) as well.

        It’s been a while since I’ve found a new-to-me YA book that I love. :-(

  4. CG Says:

    Just read One by One by Ruth Ware. Not sure if it would be your thing but she’s a talented writer and I couldn’t put it down. Christie-esque and set in a ski chalet cut off by an avalanche, so it is perfect for winter break. I’m now reading The Santa Klaus Murders, written by Mavis Doriel Hay in 1934. So far very fun and also holiday-appropriate. In between I tried to read a recent Kate Shackleton mystery but it was terrible. Just totally boring and awkwardly written. I don’t remember why I requested it–maybe I had read another one and liked it? But I won’t read any more of them.

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