What’s hanging around on your Kindle?

(… or other e-reader?)

A copy of Jane Eyre; Persuasion; Northanger Abbey; Carmilla; Middlemarch; Barchester Towers; a Jeeves book.  Father Brown mysteries by G. K. Chesterton.

Several books from the Liaden universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Fledgling).  Lots of short stories by Seanan McGuire.

Almost everything K. J. Charles has ever published!  Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger.  Amethyst by Lauren Royal.  (#2 thinks she deleted Amethyst, but she loves the Temptation series, especially the Consent is Sexy parts of Tempting Juiliana, even if sometimes that heroine is pretty silly– note that the first in that series is still 100% free for kindle and a good read/reread)

Serpentine by Cindy Pon.  At least 1 collection by John Scalzi.  The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido.

Random fantasy novels that I got a deal on:  The Native Star by M. K. Hobson; Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen (I don’t remember reading this but apparently I did; I have no memory of it); The Final Formula by Becca Andre (tried to read further in this series but petered out); Ghosts of Tsavo by Vered Ehsani.  Here’s me talking about some of this before.

The Amsterdam Assassin series by Martyn V. Halm.

Several books by Martha Wells (Wheel of the Infinite; City of Bones; etc.). (#2 has all of these in paperback because her hardbacks from high school disappeared for some reason… maybe her BIL ended up with them?)

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk.  A romance novel I haven’t read yet that I heard about on a podcast.  Novellas by Tiffany Reisz.

Most of Sarah McLean’s Rule of Scoundrels series (A Rogue by Any Other Name), plus some Courtney Milan.  (Some of the Milan has nifty behind the scenes commentary throughout!)

Assorted detritus, short story collections, un-great romance novels, terribly-written fantasy (although I’m trying to delete most of this stuff).  [#2 only keeps very good and great romance novels on hers– even the sub-par Heyer got deleted.]

A couple of the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold; I have most of them in paper books instead.

Here’s some earlier posts on this topic, with links to mostly free or in a few cases inexpensive stuff.  (#2 has literally hundreds of books on her kindle– btw, did you know you could get Shellabarger and Sabatini books for free on your kindle?  #2 had no idea that Sabatini wrote so many boring terrible books in addition to classics like Captain Blood, Scaramouche, and The Sea Hawk.)  (#1 still prefers paper books.) (#2 does too except for traveling which she does a lot of, thus the need for more ebooks.  I’m pretty sure my sister ended up with my Sabatini hardbacks.)

We’re gearing up for holiday reading [and conference trips]… be sure to click our “books” tag to see all kinds of things we’ve read and loved in 2018 (and before).

That oughta keep me occupied for a while!  Whatcha got, Grumpeteers?

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Ask the readers: Help! DH stepped on my oldschool Kindle 3

We didn’t have an ask the grumpies thing queued this week because it has been a crazy insane week, but I have an emergency question!

#1 asks:

DH stepped on my old school Kindle 3– the kind with the side page turners (which I love) and the keyboard.  If money is no object, should I get the Voyage, the Paperwhite, the currently-offered no frills kind, or a used ebay replacement?  (Amazon no longer sells refurbished Kindle 3s and the replacement screens are no longer available for sale anywhere.  We tried all the recommended kindle rebooting things and they erased the stuck picture but it still no longer shows new text.)  If money is an object, what would you get?  Anybody have personal experience with multiple kindles?

I don’t have an answer to this.  The replacement kindle 3 is $35 (including S+H) but sold “as-is” from a 99.4% satisfaction store that has sold 45 of them so far.  The no-frills is $99 without ads.  The Paperwhite is $139.  The Voyage is $219.

Like I said, I really like the side page turners, but I haven’t tried reading with the screen touch, so it might be fine.  I am also skeptical of lighting, but again, haven’t tried it so it might be fine.  I don’t want to see how much time the kindle things I have left– I liked the percentage left options, but I might get used to it.  Basically I’m scared of changing up something I like for something that might irritate me.  But it might be fine!  Is it fine?

Thanks in advance for your help.  I need to keep reading She (free on kindle!– also the origin of the honorific “She who must be obeyed”).  Analysis paralysis is not fun at all.

Kindle stuff besides Regencies that we mostly enjoyed

Here are some (mostly) free things we’ve enjoyed reading on the kindle.

Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book book by Kersten Hamilton (interesting; Celtic mythology)

Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian (fairy tale)

BECOME (Desolation #1) by Ali Cross (fantasy YA)

(In none of the above 3 cases was I inspired to pick up the sequel, however.)

I enjoyed The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido (which wasn’t free).

I really enjoyed Fledgling (Liaden Universe) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  Thanks, Baen Free Library!  This one “worked” for them in that it got me really interested in the universe and now I will buy more books in the series.

Another fun (free!) find was Anna Katherine Green.  Her work is strongly reminiscent of Poe and Doyle. I was entranced with the first paragraph of The Mayor’s Wife which is well worth the read.  Subsequent novels of hers haven’t really been keepers (and there’s been some antisemitism and other assorted racism that make for immediate deletion).  Still, I haven’t tried everything I’ve downloaded yet.  Amazon thinks we should read her Amelia Butterworth mysteries.  [Update, the first is a good mystery so far, but man, had to take a break when I hit racism… this time anti-Chinese-American.]

Ooh, the 2014 Campbellian Anthology of Campbell Award nominees.

I also have some other free stuff (incl. Cory Doctorow) that I haven’t read yet.

Have you found any good free Kindle gems since our last post on the topic?

 

Authors I have been enjoying on my Kindle

Free books and you don’t even have to go to the library to get them! Yay Project Gutenberg.

Maria Thompson Daviess: The Melting of Molly is delightfully tongue in cheek. And has a lovely ending.

A. A. Milne:  He didn’t just write books about Christopher Robin.  I’ve been enjoying his very silly plays.  Belinda, for example.

Mary Roberts Reinhart:  Lovely romantic suspense, lovely romance, lovely suspense.  Fun all around.

Raphael Sabatini:  Sadly not all of his stuff is good; he was prolific.  But they’ve got his best: Captain Blood, ScaramoucheThe Sea-Hawk.  Mmmm swashbuckling romance!  I don’t think they have Master at Arms, which is a shame (also titled The Marquis of Carabas… under which you can get it for cash money as a paperback).

Booth Tarkington:  I loved the Penrod books growing up.  (So did my mom!)  They’re like a lower key Tom Sawyer set in a slightly later time period.

Carolyn Wells: The Patty books are so very silly.  So much like brain candy.  Quite soothing!  Even if women’s best career ambition is to be a homemaker. (Ptuii!)

Oscar Wilde:  The Canterbury Ghost, plays, so soothing, so wickedly funny.

P.G. Wodehouse:  There are at least two Jeeves books.  And assorted crap not worth reading (juvenalia, stuff that is a bit racist and just not very good in other ways).  There may be some non crap stuff too but I haven’t gone through it all yet.  Jeeves and Wooster are soothing my anxious soul.  I like hearing Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie in my head as I reread them.  It adds another dimension.

Fry and Laurie

I say!

What are your recommendations for free kindle books?

What are we reading in romance?

A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen was good!  Not perfect, but good.  I think with some editing and if it were maybe a bit longer it would have been great.

Only one of the Sally MacKenzies I read is worth reading (and not worth owning), and yet I almost read them all (the library didn’t have two of the spinster house books).  I guess that can happen when books are easily available as library ebooks.  Two of them have attempted rape as a plot point (and with a third both the hero and the villain force themselves on the heroine, but it’s somehow ok when the hero does it).  And in The Naked Duke, the bad guy rapes and murders a woman onscreen pretty graphically.  Unnecessary.  Naked king has rape as a backstory. That aside, the author has a small grab-bag of plot-like things to choose from and just randomly pulls for each book.  So much repetition across books.  In case you’re wondering, the only one that wasn’t a drag and actually had some plot was Surprising Lord Jack.  Bonus points on that one for having a hero who respects “no” and isn’t a douche.  It did have a mass murderer who targeted prostitutes and women with bad reputations though, so not completely misogyny trope-free.

Oooh, ooh.  Henchmen of Zenda by K. J. Charles.  We love her.  This improves upon the original.

Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope.  It’s a fantasy adventure that feels a lot like a romance (I believe the author has written romance novels before).  I think there’s a sequel out soon, but to me this felt like a complete book that didn’t need one.  Give it a try.

Read a bunch of Sabrina Jeffries.  None worth owning so far.  Lots of the hero kissing the heroine after he’s been told no.  The pleasures of passion starts out with rape as a macguffin.  Yuck.  (That one so far is the only one I quit in the middle– it was just all around not good.  I assume the macguffin’s romance is also in that series, so that’s probably got rape as a backstory which means I won’t even pick it up.)  Update– quit a bunch more in the School for Heiresses series, which has a great premise, but turns out to be chock full of horribleness.  (Brooding jerky kidnapping heroes, ginormous age differences between 17 year old heiresses and the heroes, lots of focus on “innocent but eager” and girls wanting to explore what they read about in a harem book but being soooo innocent, lots of sex after meeting the hero for the second time ever, usually when he turns up someplace super creepy like the heroine’s bedroom in the middle of the night etc., supposedly intelligent but also TSTL heroines and heroes making bizarre choices…, sex as a tool of manipulation except during sex they fall in love etc.)  So… I guess her Duke’s Men series is worth reading and her Hellions of Hallstead Hall series is readable, but not ownable and the rest shouldn’t be bothered with.  Or if you’re just looking at covers:  If there’s a bare female back or a bare male chest, pick it up from the library, otherwise give it a miss.  (I’m guessing that this is probably a date of publication thing– the series that have more skin on the covers also have more feminism inside.)

After a slow start (by which I mean the hero seemed not that great at first), enjoyed A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase enough to put it on my amazon list.  It really felt like the second in a series, but turns out it is the first.  I’m curious about the other two dukes and the aunt, but one of them has the “troubled married couple” trope and the other dude is an alcoholic who doesn’t seem all that bright, but maybe he also has hidden depths that will become apparent.  Or maybe he’ll be the B-story in a book with the aunt and this guy’s uncle as the A-story.

Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James had a promising start but then kind of petered out into stupidity.  Worth a library read, possibly.  But I really do want to read the next in the series!

The Doctor’s Discretion by EE Ottoman turned up on a couple of “you must read” lists, so I gave it a spin for $3.99 on kindle.  It starts out really clunky… definitely an early novel in need of professional editing.   But it was on those lists, so I persisted… and it did get much better and was well worth getting through the clunky opening.  Is it worth buying?  I dunno.  It’s definitely not perfect, but it became an enjoyable read.

Amanda Quick’s Deception made me laugh out loud several times and I had to explain why I was laughing to DH.  It is different!  And I love the heroine and her relationship with the hero.  A++ will read again.

What are we reading

Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian!  Cat Sebastian is another author who does regency m/m romances and she’s lighter than KJ Charles, but still good.  I liked her so much I bought all 4 of her books that are out and wishlisted her two forthcoming books.  I wouldn’t recommend buying the first in the Sedgewick series if you can get it at your local library (it had one really well-developed main character but the other main character was more 2-d and not that likable and the plot never really gelled) but the three books in the Turner series were all super wonderful.  A++ Would recommend, will read again.  I started with my favorite rake/bluestocking trope (though in this case the bluestocking is a guy and also the scientist trope), because I tend not to love the books with “soldier” in the title, but in this case the first is probably the best of a really great three book series (which was obvious after meeting the protagonists of the Soldier’s book in the rake’s book).

Jordan L. Hawke was ok.  I liked the first in her Whyborne and Griffin series, Widdershins. It’s about a philologist(?) (Some kind of linguist) who is dealing with growing up being gay in a society where that’s illegal and it’s caused him to be very anti-social and possibly estranged from his family. He tells the early books in first person (the later books alternate between the two protagonists). The second hero is this super handsome private investigator who has stumbled onto something paranormal.  Hawk is not anywhere near as good as KJ Charles; she’s highly derivative–you’ll feel like you’ve read this one before many times BUT her heroes are new, and so sweet.  The first short story was also definitely worth the 99 cents because it was in the first person of the second guy and you get an insight into what he sees in the main character of the novel.  They’re both super insecure and think the other person is amazeballs, and, of course, they’re both right about the other person so… A+++ on romance and character development but B- on plot (I grade generously).  I mean, it’s not like bad or anything, it’s just, you know, derivative but not cleverly enough for my taste.  (Though it is cute that the universities are Arkham and Miskatonic.) Book 7 in the series sticks out as all around good, but the rest of the series after the first book I found myself skipping large chunks, mostly in the middle.  There’s also a LOT of death, much of it gratuitous.   Her Hex series is more interesting in terms of the world-building, but even darker.  So much death.  Those poor redshirts, there to provide Angst and Pathos and to further the plot.

Fool me twice by Meredith Duran had a really strong start– it was gripping and I couldn’t put it down for like the first 40%.  But then it stopped being excellent and was just good.  I’m not sure if I’m going to buy a copy.  Sadly, my library does not have any of the rest in the series, so I’m being forced to buy the rest without pre-reading them, and they’re somewhat more expensive than the $3.99 I’m used to paying.  I did really enjoy the 99 cent first novella in that series, your wicked heart, even though it was pretty silly and only gets 3.5 stars on amazon.  I do wonder about that typing school that makes all its graduates smell like roses even when they haven’t washed or been near any kind of scent in days.  Her heroes also all seem to share an odd fascination with the backs of knees.  That scandalous summer was probably not worth the $7.99 I paid for it, but it was definitely worth a library read if my library had had it.  I enjoyed the heroine in Lady Be Good and am really looking forward to the heroine in Luck Be a Lady (which was already on my amazon list as it’s one of her highest rated books).  See… one of the things with this series is that she gets you super curious about the heroines of future (or previous) books– it’s how she hooks you, and the wealthy auction house owner whose brother is up to no good is extremely compelling in the book that introduces her as that heroine’s boss.  So the series as a whole may be better than the books individually.  So I may end up having to purchase Fool me twice even though it’s $9.  Update:  Luck Be a Lady was fine, but not as good as one would have expected it to be given the build up in Lady Be Good- possibly better if read out of order or with more time in between.  I went ahead and bought the next book in the series too– it’s one of my least favorite tropes, husband and wife are separated early in their marriage by countries because of a misunderstanding and then reunite years later, but in this case the misunderstanding is that she thinks he ran off with a mistress whereas in reality he was kidnapped by a political opponent and put on a prison island for several years.  So… that’s an interesting, and more understandable twist than the usual misheard something while eavesdropping sort.

I liked the second Madeline Hunter Fairbourne quartet book, The conquest of lady cassandra, enough to request the first from the library, but not enough to buy it for my kindle.  The second is probably better after having read the first– the beginning was pretty confusing if you didn’t know the characters already, which I didn’t.

The third Sasha Cottman, The Duke’s Daughter, was so terrible I gave up trying to read it and just skimmed the second half.  Heroine is TSTL, which she was in the first two books too (but she was just the ditzy friend in those), and the hero doesn’t make any sense.  It built him up very well in the beginning and then when the forced marriage drama thing happened he reacted completely differently than he’d been built up to react.  Also she takes his agency away in several cases and he doesn’t seem to mind(?)– we’re talking she tries to give him a sleeping draught without telling him and does things to him in his sleep levels of taking his agency away.  And he’s just like, oh, how horrible a person I must be to make her treat me like this.  Which totally doesn’t make any sense given how he reacted to the forced marriage.  And if they’d just talked things out in the first place… There wouldn’t have been a book I guess.  At least it was only $2.99.  Do not recommend!  I wonder if she lost her editor between books 2 and 3.  Update:  Sasha Cottman is now dead to me—I had another of her books (Not in that series?  About a missionary daughter and a spy?) on a kindle and it was pretty boring and pretty patriarchal with another TSTL heroine but I was on a plane and groggy so I was pushing through…until I hit rape as a backstory.  Pretty unbelievable backstory too.  Flipped to the epilogue in which the missionary mom who encouraged the rape mentions in a letter that the rapist has married her ladies maid and he does whatever his wife tells him to do (despite his use of sexual violence on the heroine and promises to break her of her stubbornness after a forced marriage) and what a happy couple they are.  Just ugh on so many levels.  Unfortunately the book was a gift and it is a pain to get reimbursed from Amazon for gifts but maybe I’ll try anyway.  Should not have put them on my wishlist in the first place.

I’m not naming them here, but in the past 3 months, I have read no fewer than 3 books whose plot twist turns out to be that the heroine(/main character) is the legitimate heir of a bigamist nobleman.  I guess that’s better than carriage accidents, but man, do these people belong to the same plot of the month club?  Or did two of them steal from the first, or did they all steal from some other book I haven’t read yet?

What are you reading?

DH got a 10% raise and now we’re really going to have some obnoxious money posts

What do we do with all this extra money?!?!

I think we’re going to really have to sit down and think about our money goals.  The alternative is to not do that and to just put all excess money away in taxable stocks until we actually need money and then see where we stand.

We’re again at this point where we can easily buy all our needs and all of the upper-middle-class wants we ever dreamed about as lower income kids, but we can’t you know, quit our jobs and buy a house in Northern California.  We’ve paid off our house and don’t want a bigger one (or a second one).  We’re maxing out our retirement and saving at a heavy clip for the childrens’ college.  We have a hefty cash emergency fund and an even heftier secondary fund in taxable stocks.  We have yard service.  We eat out once or twice a week.  We don’t really want a cleaning person because that’s not a priority and I find it really irritating to have to pre-clean or to have to deal with cleaning people in the house when I want to be relaxing.  (I understand that truly excellent cleaning people don’t require such things, but I wouldn’t know how to find a truly excellent cleaning person.)  I don’t mind doing our laundry or loading/unloading the dishwasher.  I just bought myself a whole bunch of Cat Sebastian Kindle books, but that really wasn’t a huge expense.  I’ve also started (as of DH’s re-employment) regularly giving to charitable and political causes when they ask, usually to the tune of $25/pop, on top of our regular previous giving (mostly to educational causes).  And we’ve stopped driving to visit DH’s family and fly instead.  But all of that was before this 10% raise.

But now there’s more that we could do.  Things I’ve never really thought about doing before and maybe they’re things we should do or maybe we should just keep stockpiling money because if we didn’t want them before, maybe we don’t need them now.  (And yes, many of these are things that lots of bloggers who regularly complain about money make priorities rather than paying off their debts, so maybe we’re not thinking big enough.)  And even with all this excess money, we can’t do all of these things, only a subset.  So it isn’t obvious that the answer should be yes to any or all of these.

We could go to Hawaii!  Or Europe!  Or the Caribbean.  (But… vacations take time away from work…)

We could send the kids to fancy away summer camps.  (But they’re still pretty young.)

We could spend the summer someplace that isn’t a bazillion degrees Fahrenheit.  (But moving is a pain, especially with cats.)

We could spend the summer (or part of the summer) someplace where only Spanish is spoken and let the kids get immersed in the language.  (See above, plus I wouldn’t be able to spend time with econ colleagues.)

We could fund a scholarship for someone low income to go to private school or college.

We could remodel the kitchen and bathrooms (though actually, we could remodel the kitchen even without this raise [update:  maybe not right away—see below update]).

We could landscape the lawn to make it less thirsty.  (But… Bermuda grass…)

We could replace the roof and put in solar tiles before the roof dies (but we’ll probably wait on this until the roof is older and solar technology has improved).

We could buy a super fancy electric car or a minivan.  (This is not going to happen.  Ditto having a third child…) [Update:  the Honda Clarity that we just discovered existed is affordable after the federal tax incentive…]

We could eat out a lot more each week, or order fancy food online, or get a subscription service that doesn’t require chopping.

We could buy empty land around town and keep it empty and make sure it never has obnoxious advertising for evil political candidates posted on it.

What is missing from this list because of the limits of my imagination?

What are we reading: Romance edition.

#1 skipped large middle chunks of Patricia Bray then deleted on kindle.  Waste of a dollar.

I enjoyed Poetic Justice by Alicia Rasley enough to purchase it.  There’s no onscreen sex, if that’s important.  It’s a fun caper where the protagonists fall in love over books.  The end is a bit rushed, but there’s also no unnecessary angst.  (The best part though is a glimpse the love affair of the long-dead parents!)  The first in the series is free on Amazon but I haven’t read it yet (update: it was ok, but not worth paying for).  I also haven’t read the second in the series, but plan to…

I tried a couple of Patricia Rice regencies, but I don’t like how the heroes take away the heroine’s agency, even when having agency is a big deal for the heroine and it seems like the resolution should include the hero giving in on that.  We’re talking about things like, I dunno, secretly marrying the women against their will in Scotland where the marriage rules are different and not telling them they’ve been married until months later when circumstances have made it far too late for an annulment.  Or, you know, not stopping sex when the woman is in pain because of his “need”.  UGH.  Or forcing the heroine to have sex as a transaction in a situation where she doesn’t want to, but feels that she has to in order to save someone else.  Not cool.  Her Genius series is a modern set of romances… the amazon reviews complain about it having a liberal agenda, but there are too many uncomfortable racial and homosexual “jokes” for it to truly be liberal… or maybe it just shows how far we’ve come in the past 20-30 years in terms of what’s not cool to say about minorities.  I won’t purchase it, but I think I’ll try the second in the genius series, and later books seem to get higher reviews.  So I dunno… it felt like the books could be really good if they were just updated and the bad parts that used to be more common in this literature were removed.  It’s possible that, like Mary Balogh, her more recent books are less icky because the entire genre has moved away from icky.

Genuinely enjoyed The Heiress Companion, which is an old fashioned (and clean) regency novella by Madeline Robins.  It is no The Grand Sophy, but a pleasant read nonetheless.  Lady John and My Dear Jenny were also pretty good.  Spanish Marriage and Althea were both pretty awful, though in different ways.

Danse de la Folie by Sherwood Smith was also worth buying.  An old-fashioned style regency, if that makes sense.  (Not a bodice-ripper, older than that– more Austen-style.)  Not perfect, but soothing.

We both love love LOVED KJ Charles’ latest, Spectred Isle. The adopted son of Simon Feximal is in it!  SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.  Neither of us can wait for the next one.

In the modern world, #2 read and liked Attachments, which was Rainbow Rowell’s first book. Can you fall in love with someone via email? (Of course.) I think I’ve already mentioned Carry On somewhere on this blog.

Finally, we love books. I loved the little book, Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life. Writing letters to books is a neat idea and maybe I’ll try it sometime.

Get to reading, Grumpeteers! Tell us what’s good in romance.

What are we reading?

Most of Ruth Ann Nordin’s stuff is pretty bad– heroes trapping women into marriages by kissing them against their will in public.  Not cool (also not believable–this regency world has different rules than most).  Oddly most of her heroes are otherwise sweet usually virgins.  But taking away a woman’s agency is still awful.  One exception that was readable (this hero accidentally traps both himself and the heroine into marriage) but not buyable was a most unsuitable earl.

Carole Mortimer is really into spanking.  All her heroines seem to be naughty naughty girls.  Many of her books seem to start out with plot, then just kind of forget to have any substance after the spanking.  I am embarrassed to admit that I read 5 of them in one day– more novellas than novels and not very good at that.  Kind of like eating 5 regular somewhat stale Krispy Kreme in one sitting.

I read the highest rated Christi Caldwell, To redeem a rake, so that you don’t have to.  Amazon has been pushing them on me for years and no library seems to carry them.  It was fine.  Meh and derivative with lengthy repetitive parts that dragged.  A library read if you were bored and if libraries carried it, which they don’t.  I’m trying to decide whether or not to delete it from my kindle.  It doesn’t “spark joy” but I’m sure I will have forgotten it entirely by the time I am desperate for reading material on a delayed flight.  Still, wouldn’t rereading Candice Hearn for the 20th time be a better use of my time?

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles definitely sparks joy.  Unputdownable even though it is episodic.  Wonderful.

the marriage gamble is rather sweet.  Marina Oliver’s books that I’ve seen are a bit dated and a little slow, but I do not regret reading them.

I enjoyed Rules for Reforming a Rake by Meara Platt (not to be confused with a similarly titled more excellent book by Sarah MacLean).  If you’re a stickler for historical accuracy, this one is not for you.  Suspension of disbelief FTW!  All the books in the series are pretty enjoyable– not perfect books, but the family of young women and their suitors are fun to get to know.  I think I may buy the set.

Couldn’t finish any of the Ella Quinn I tried.

I did enjoy The Mysterious Marquess by Eileen Ramsay, though not enough to buy.

I liked the latest Lenora Bell, Blame it on the Duke, though not as much as I liked the second in that series, despite the bluestocking/rake pairing which is one of my favorite tropes.  It was a bit thinner than her earlier two works.  I don’t regret buying it and I will no doubt read it again.  Again, Lenora Bell is most fun if you don’t really care about historical accuracy.

What have you all been reading?  Any great summer reads to recommend?  Also:  What am I going to do when I run out of the alphabet in my regency ebook sweep?

Link love

This post of ours seems appropriate to the current insurance debate

A more formal, but animated, explanation.

So many things about the GOP house plan are so stupid.  Anyhow, in case you missed it, it’s going to cost most people more.

Accurate

This title

Fundraiser for sexual assault survivors

I know you guys know this already, but protesting bigots on campus is not denying them free speech.  Not inviting noted racist and alt-factivist Charles Murray to give talks isn’t suppression of intellectual discourse.  The other day I went to a student presentation on safe spaces and was a little bemused to have them define a safe space as one where everyone’s opinion is provided without fear.  Another person in the audience pointed out that they forgot the part where students aren’t supposed to step on each other’s rights either.  So, no, a safe space isn’t a place where students can say racist things about Hispanic immigrants even if there are no Hispanic immigrants in the room.

raging grannies

In case you were wondering why when you tried to buy the rest of KJ Charles Magpie series after you finished the first one, they had all disappeared as kindle books… here’s why.  They should be back.

11 people arrested at Tuesdays with(out) Toomey protest.

They just want townhalls deep in the heart of Texas

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson sends a cease and desist letter to a constituent

Hidden figures book vs movie and the role of social policy

Damon Jones makes some really great points about men-only AEA panels.

These are also items on my radical liberal agenda.

An interesting sleight of hand with math that changes taxes and withdrawal rates quite a bit

IRS withholding calculator.

Cursive is back

50 things to make in a muffin pan.

Turns out there’s a valid reason why I love mochas so much