souloftherose's 2020 reading for comfort - thread the first

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souloftherose's 2020 reading for comfort - thread the first

1souloftherose
Editado: Jan 26, 2020, 2:17pm

I’m Heather and this is my 11th year in the 75 Book Challenge Group. I'm in my late thirties and live in a small town to the northwest of London in the United Kingdom with my husband.

I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction (including children's/young adult books) as well as a spattering of crime/historical/other fiction including the occasional 18th/19th century novel. I read mainly for pleasure and relaxation/stress relief (aka comfort reading) and I feel like 2020 is going to need a lot of that....

Here's a picture of our rescue cat Erica's foot to open the thread (because toe-beans make me smile). Sadly we had to have her put to sleep at the beginning of the year because of kidney failure.

2souloftherose
Jan 5, 2020, 11:02am

I'm going with a light touch this year and not keeping lists of books read etc so go for it!

3lauralkeet
Jan 5, 2020, 1:49pm

>1 souloftherose: awww, Erica's little peet. So cute! I hope we get to see more of her on this thread as time goes by.

Happy new years Heather!

4thornton37814
Jan 5, 2020, 2:07pm

Happy 2020 reading!

5lyzard
Jan 5, 2020, 3:25pm

Hi, Heather! - best wishes for a productive reading year, and here's hoping for a much kinder one generally. :)

Aw, Erica!

You know this one I'm sure, but I couldn't resist! :D

6drneutron
Jan 5, 2020, 5:28pm

Welcome back!

7HanGerg
Jan 5, 2020, 6:26pm

Hi Heather! Happy New Year!

8PaulCranswick
Jan 5, 2020, 8:58pm



Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

9kidzdoc
Jan 5, 2020, 9:43pm

Happy New Year, Heather!

10ronincats
Jan 6, 2020, 11:14am



Happy New Year, Heather!

11norabelle414
Jan 6, 2020, 12:00pm

Cute toe beans!!! Happy New Year, Heather!

12figsfromthistle
Jan 6, 2020, 12:01pm

Happy reading in 2020!

13DianaNL
Jan 6, 2020, 12:03pm

Best wishes for 2020!

14FAMeulstee
Jan 6, 2020, 3:20pm

I hope reading keeps you happy in 2020, Heather!

15cushlareads
Jan 6, 2020, 3:23pm

Happy new year, Heather! I'll try to keep up better this year.

16Carmenere
Jan 6, 2020, 4:22pm

Happy 2020, Heather!

17Dejah_Thoris
Jan 6, 2020, 6:28pm

Hi Heather - happy 2020! I always love to see what you're reading.

18Crazymamie
Jan 6, 2020, 6:50pm

Happy New Year, Heather! I love the topper photo, and I heartily approve of the light touch you are going with this year.

19SandDune
Jan 7, 2020, 7:22am

Happy New Year Heather!

20Fourpawz2
Jan 7, 2020, 8:15am

>1 souloftherose: - aww - toe beans! That’s a new one for me. I love the paw hair between toe beans, too. Jane finds my interest in her feet annoying.

So glad to have found and starred you, Heather!

21Dejah_Thoris
Jan 7, 2020, 11:28am

What's not to like about toe beans? A belated happy new year to you and yours!

22foggidawn
Jan 7, 2020, 12:21pm

Happy new year and happy new thread!

23quondame
Jan 7, 2020, 5:31pm



Happy New Year, Heather!

24curioussquared
Jan 8, 2020, 2:58pm

Happy new year!

25Ameise1
Jan 9, 2020, 12:35am

Happy reading in 2020, Heather.

26Sakerfalcon
Jan 9, 2020, 7:24am

Happy new year, Heather! I hope we'll get to meet up some time!

27jnwelch
Jan 9, 2020, 10:12am

Happy New Year, Heather! I hope it's a great reading year for you.

28MickyFine
Jan 9, 2020, 10:55am

Adding my star and my love for the toe beans topper!

29souloftherose
Jan 9, 2020, 2:46pm

Thank you to Laura, Lori, Liz, Jim, Hannah, Paul, Darryl, Roni, Nora, figsfromthistle, Diana, Anita, Cushla, Lynda, Dejah, Mamie, Rhian, Charlotte, Foggi, Susan, Natalie, Barbara, Claire, Joe and Micky for the new year wishes!

>20 Fourpawz2: Erica is also not a fan of her feet being touched Charlotte. She twitches them away from me whenever I try but as they are so cute occasionally I find myself trying again anyway!

I am so glad it's nearly the end of the first full week in January. It has felt like a really long week at work (nothing terrible has happened, just keep finding myself thinking 'I have to do this again tomorrow??') and Erica has not been well at all this week. She seemed a bit off colour over Christmas so we took her to the vet's on Monday who did some blood tests and she has seemed worse since then. But as she finds trips to the vet's very traumatic it's really hard to tell if this is a worsening of whatever's wrong with her or just whatever's wrong with her plus traumatised cat. We are having to do a lot of coaxing to get her to eat which has never happened before. I should get the results of the blood tests tomorrow.

30lyzard
Jan 9, 2020, 4:00pm

>29 souloftherose:

Heather, I'm so sorry to hear that: I hope things work out well.

31lauralkeet
Jan 9, 2020, 5:05pm

Aww, poor Erica. I hope you get to the root of the problem soon.

32LovingLit
Jan 9, 2020, 9:14pm

>1 souloftherose: toe-beans also make me smile. We called them baked beans when we had our cat :) He had half pink ones half black- so cute!

33ronincats
Jan 9, 2020, 10:52pm

Fingers crossed for Erica, Heather!

34Dejah_Thoris
Jan 9, 2020, 11:41pm

Best wishes to you and Erica of the adorable toe beans! I hope all is well, and that she's feeling better soon.

35archerygirl
Jan 10, 2020, 4:03am

Welcome into 2020! Toe beans always make me smile - one of my cats is a big fan of having her toes played with, which makes me happy. I hope Erica starts feeling better soon and the blood tests don't show anything worrying.

36Fourpawz2
Jan 10, 2020, 1:20pm

I do hope that the news for Erica is good.

37souloftherose
Jan 12, 2020, 9:35am

>30 lyzard:, >31 lauralkeet:, >33 ronincats:, >34 Dejah_Thoris:, >35 archerygirl:, >36 Fourpawz2: Thanks for the good wishes for Erica. She's not doing well - has pretty much stopped eating and isn't drinking much. She's also withdrawn and less responsive than usual. And has lost quite a bit of weight. Blood test results came back showing problems with her thyroid and kidneys and the vet picked up a heart murmur during one of the vet's visits this week (although the vet doesn't think the latter is something to be particularly concerned about). She is now on tablets for the thyroid problem but treating the kidney problems is more complicated. We finally got a urine sample out of her yesterday and that is with the vet's now which will tell us more about how badly her kidneys are doing. We are taking her to the vet's again tomorrow (third visit in 8 days) to be put on an IV drip for the day to try and get her rehydrated. But obviously that's not a long-term solution.

I have also discovered how many places there are in our house for a cat to hide in and normally manage to give myself a scare each morning by being unable to find her for quite a while.

38Crazymamie
Jan 12, 2020, 10:23am

Oh, Heather - poor Erica and poor you. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.

39Dejah_Thoris
Jan 12, 2020, 11:18am

>37 souloftherose: I've been in your position, Heather, and I know how hard it is. Keep the faith.

40lauralkeet
Jan 12, 2020, 1:19pm

Poor Erica, and poor you. Both hyperthyroidism and kidney disease are very common conditions in older cats, as I'm sure your vet has explained. We've had several cats over the years, nearly all of which have come down with one or the other. Our current kitty Midnight has both, as Erica does. We've been treating her thyroid for several years now; the kidney condition presented itself last year. Erica will probably feel a lot better after that initial rehydration. Your vet might ask you to administer subcutaneous fluids on a routine basis. It seems scary at first but it can be manageable, even more so if the cat is fairly compliant.

I guess that's the long way of saying what >39 Dejah_Thoris: said. Take care, and I hope Erica rallies soon.

41SandDune
Jan 12, 2020, 1:47pm

Oh so sorry to hear about Erica ... I hope the vet manages to get to the bottom of it soon.

42lyzard
Jan 12, 2020, 6:29pm

Oh, Heather, I'm terribly sorry; fingers crossed for a good outcome.

43archerygirl
Jan 13, 2020, 5:49am

>37 souloftherose: I'm so sorry Erica isn't doing well. Really hope they're able to treat and manage the kidney issues. It's so worrying when our feline friends are clearly unwell and stressed :-(

44Sakerfalcon
Jan 13, 2020, 8:15am

Poor Erica, I'm so sorry she's not doing well. I hope the vet will be able to work out what's wrong and suggest a treatment soon.

45Berly
Jan 15, 2020, 5:11pm

I found your thread!! Sorry to hear about Erica. : ( I hope you can find something to make her feel better.

46souloftherose
Jan 18, 2020, 11:39am

Saddest possible news on Erica I'm afraid - she didn't respond to the IV drip and deteriorated quickly after she was taken off it so we made the very sad decision to have her put to sleep to save her any more discomfort. Thank you to everyone for the good wishes. She will be very much missed.

47Crazymamie
Jan 18, 2020, 11:41am

Heather, I am so very sorry. That is heartbreaking.

48bell7
Jan 18, 2020, 12:35pm

So sorry for you loss, Heather :(

49lauralkeet
Jan 18, 2020, 12:56pm

Heather, I am so sorry to hear the news about Erica. Very sad indeed.

50CDVicarage
Jan 18, 2020, 1:00pm

I'm very sorry to hear about Erica, Heather. Whenever I hear about the death of a loved pet, particularly a cat, I have to give Kevin a cuddle for (my) comfort.

51ronincats
Jan 18, 2020, 1:07pm

I'm so sorry, Heather.

52humouress
Jan 18, 2020, 2:43pm

Heather, just coming by as I slowly do the rounds of the new group. I’m so sorry to hear about Erica. Best wishes to you and your DH.

53lyzard
Jan 18, 2020, 4:20pm

Oh, Heather, I'm so sorry! I was afraid of that when you described her symptoms, as that was very much what Kara went through before I lost her, but was hoping for a positive outcome for Erica. I know how very painful this must be: take care of yourself, sweetie.

54curioussquared
Jan 18, 2020, 6:09pm

So sorry to hear about Erica :(

55figsfromthistle
Jan 18, 2020, 6:47pm

Sorry to hear about Erica

56quondame
Jan 18, 2020, 8:41pm

I'm so sorry you have lost your dear furry friend.

57alcottacre
Jan 18, 2020, 9:36pm

>46 souloftherose: I am so sorry, Heather.

58FAMeulstee
Jan 19, 2020, 1:42pm

>46 souloftherose: So sorry you lost Erica, Heather, it is hard to let go... :'(

59SandDune
Jan 19, 2020, 3:17pm

>46 souloftherose: So sorry Heather.

60avatiakh
Jan 19, 2020, 10:00pm

Sad for you Heather

61HanGerg
Jan 20, 2020, 5:56am

Oh Heather! So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and virtual cups of tea and sympathy! xx

62Sakerfalcon
Jan 20, 2020, 7:10am

I'm so sorry to hear about Erica. It is so hard to say goodbye to a family member, whether they have 2 legs or 4.

63Fourpawz2
Jan 20, 2020, 8:09am

So sorry, Heather, to hear about Erica. What a heart-breaking loss. I know well how tough it is to lose a beloved friend. Hope you can take some comfort in knowing that you gave her a good life.

64foggidawn
Jan 20, 2020, 11:05am

So sorry for your loss.

65jnwelch
Jan 20, 2020, 1:30pm

Adding my sympathy, Heather. It's tough to lose a pal like that.

66souloftherose
Jan 21, 2020, 11:19am

Thank you for all the condolences and kind messages. We're currently still in that weird stage where we keep half-seeing her out of the corners of our eyes or hearing noises in the house and thinking that's her.

67souloftherose
Editado: Jan 21, 2020, 11:34am

So, books....

My reading numbers for 2020 got off to a pretty good start because there were several books I had almost finished on 31st December 2019.

Book #1 My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell -



A lovely lighthearted memoir about Gerald Durrell's childhood years growing up on Corfu with his family and a collection of animals he 'adopted' (not always with the approval of said family). I have this in an omnibus edition with the other volumes in the Corfu trilogy and the TV series has also gone on my list.

68souloftherose
Jan 21, 2020, 11:34am

Book #2 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Quintessential Phase by Douglas Adams -



My husband and I have been working our way through the radio dramatisations (or original radio broadcasts) of the Hitchhiker's Guide series on our long car journeys this year and finished with the Quintessential Phase over New Year. For me it was certainly the weakest of the series - still some funny moments but it felt a little tired. I would strongly recommend the first four dramatisations though (Primary through to Quandary phases). I haven't decided whether to give Eoin Colfer's Hexagonal Phase a try or not.

69souloftherose
Jan 21, 2020, 11:57am

Book #3 An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon -



Read by the fantastic Cherise Boothe. This is a really interesting debut novel - set on a generation ship where the relationships between the different passengers and authorities very closely resemble those of the Antebellum South, the protagonist Aster is a doctor trying to find out what happened to her mother. There is a lot in this book - about gender, neurodiversity, race - honestly, I think I probably need to read it again to take it all in. This could also be described as a violent and angry book but the anger is undeniably justified and at the same time, I didn't find it hard to read. The author has since published a novella, The Deep, which is now high on my list.

70HanGerg
Jan 21, 2020, 3:46pm

>69 souloftherose:. This sounds good, if really hard to read. On to the Wishlist it goes.

71Berly
Editado: Jan 28, 2020, 1:38am

Sorry about Erica. I hope books can provide a bit of distraction. >69 souloftherose: Nice review!

72Esquiress
Jan 27, 2020, 12:18am

Hello! Hope you've been doing well these past few years. Happy reading :)

73souloftherose
Jan 28, 2020, 9:37am

>70 HanGerg: It actually wasn't as hard to read as the subject matter made me think it would be. The different narrative voices Solomon used were really interesting.

>71 Berly: Thanks Kim. Yep, I have definitely done some comfort reading this month.

>72 Esquiress: Lovely to see you back with us Es!

-------------------------------------------

I logged on to twitter this morning to see Ursula Vernon (aka T. Kingfisher) announced a new book coming out mid February. Called Paladin's Grace and set in the same world as The Clockwork Boys and Swordheart (but it's not a sequel to either of those). I have pre-ordered!!



74souloftherose
Jan 28, 2020, 10:18am

Book #4 Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia -



This is the 3rd of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's (SMG) books I've read and she's an author whose backlist I'm planning to work my way through because each of her books focuses on a different sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy and they're all written from a perspective I don't often come across (she's Mexican-Canadian). So far I've read Prime Meridian (beautiful novella set in near future Mexico City where the main character dreams of escaping to Mars) and Certain Dark Things (unique take on vampire mythology).

Gods of Jade and Shadow I would class as historical fantasy and we follow a young girl in Mexico in the 1920s as she gets caught up in a family curse and a battle between the Mayan gods of death and the afterlife. It often had the feel of a fairytale retelling except the roots in Mayan folklore made it an unfamiliar one to me. I really enjoyed the story and the unusual setting.

75bell7
Jan 28, 2020, 10:50am

>74 souloftherose: This one's working its way up the TBR list where I'm hoping to read it this year. Glad it was a good read for you, Heather!

76PaulCranswick
Jan 28, 2020, 11:24am

>74 souloftherose: That looks like a good one, Heather. Not really my genre but interesting certainly.

77Crazymamie
Jan 28, 2020, 11:37am

Hello, Heather! I am adding An Unkindness of Ghosts to The List, and since you said it was good on audio, I think I will go that route. You are also reminding me that I have Certain Dark Things in the stacks from when you hit me with that BB last year. I had to track it down - not readily available here, so I had to order it from Book Depository. So weird because her other stuff is even available on Kindle.

78curioussquared
Jan 28, 2020, 12:32pm

>69 souloftherose: I read this one a few years ago and enjoyed it just as much as you.

>74 souloftherose: Ooh, I think you sold me on this author. I'll need to keep an eye out for her stuff.

79ronincats
Editado: Jan 28, 2020, 1:00pm

>69 souloftherose: I got this as an ER book some time ago and keep meaning to get to it!
>74 souloftherose: Read this a month or so ago and enjoyed it; it was the first I've read by her.

And Happy Birthday, Heather!!!

80humouress
Jan 28, 2020, 10:02pm

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! May you get lots of books, do lots of reading and have a beautiful day.

81Sakerfalcon
Editado: Jan 29, 2020, 6:50am

>74 souloftherose: I just got this, now it's out in paperback. I've been looking forward to it for ages. I like everything I've read by Moreno Garcia and was very pleased to see that she seems to have 2 new books coming this year.

82drneutron
Jan 30, 2020, 11:20am

>74 souloftherose: I'm about 2/3 of the way through this one and loving it! Good to hear her others are also good, and I'm delighted to add a unique take on vampire mythology to my list. 😀

83Berly
Fev 8, 2020, 8:48am

Happy belated birthday!! Hope it was a good one. >74 souloftherose: Definitely sounds interesting. : )

84souloftherose
Fev 11, 2020, 7:12am

>75 bell7:, >76 PaulCranswick:, 78 Hope you enjoy Gods of Jade and Shadow Mary and Natalie! (And Paul if you do decide to try it).

>77 Crazymamie: Hope you enjoy An Unkindness of Ghosts Mamie and I loved Cherise Boothe's voice. She's narrated a few Jesmyn Ward books which I know people in this group have really enjoyed so I may add those to my audio list. Yes, Certain Dark Things seems to be unavailable now in the UK too along with some other books in Silvia Moreno-Garcia's backlist like Beautiful Ones which I am sad about because I really wanted to read that one. I may have to succumb and order from Book Depo too.

>79 ronincats:, >80 humouress:, >82 drneutron: Thank you for the birthday wishes Roni, Nina and Kim. Roni very sneakily spotted it was my birthday and we finally managed to go and see The Rise of Skywalker :-)

>81 Sakerfalcon: Hope you enjoy it Claire. I'm particularly looking forward to Mexican Gothic this year (and I love the cover). I think her other release (Untamed Shore) looks darker and possibly a bit of a horror/thriller book which I'm not sure if I'd enjoy so I'll see what the reviews are like before trying.



>82 drneutron: Glad to hear you're enjoying that one Jim and hope you can find a copy of Certain Dark Things.

85souloftherose
Fev 11, 2020, 7:35am

I didn't mean to go two weeks without posting, but today marks 4 weeks without our Ericat and it's taking some adjusting to. We are ok really but I seem to only have the brain to do things that absolutely have to get done (go to work, pay bills, eat food etc) and then part of my brain says 'Done now!'. And apparently social activity is not a thing that absolutely has to get done according to my brain. So I've been reading a lot, knitting and watching TV but not a lot else.

TV series we've been watching are:

The Witcher (a lot better than I expected based on what I'd heard of the computer game)
Star Trek Picard (LOVE this)
The Good Place (and the final episode made me cry)
Doctor Who Series 12 (also loving this)
The Expanse Season 4 (perhaps not my favourite season but still good)
Wynonna Earp Season 2 which is gloriously trashy (and quite gory sometimes but I shut my eyes for those bits) and I need to know when Season 3 is going to be added to Netflix. I am very invested in all the ridiculous plot twists.

And I have had a ridiculously good book haul of presents from Christmas and my birthday:

The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson
The Wind's Twelve Quarters & The Compass Rose by Ursula K. Le Guin (combined edition)
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
The Ankh-Morpork Archives: Volume One by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
The Country Child by Alison Uttley
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern
Wild Mittens and Unruly Socks by Lumi Karmitsa (knitting patterns)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling (illustrated edition)
Frankenstein (1818 text) by Mary Shelley

86souloftherose
Editado: Fev 11, 2020, 8:11am

So, remaining January reads:



#5 Ms. Marvel Volume 10: Time and Again by G. Willow Wilson
#6 Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis
#7 Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
#12 Moontangled by Stephanie Burgis

Ms Marvel Volume 10 was a good collection to finish off G. Willow Wilson's time as the writer for this Marvel character. I'd felt the quality of the last few volumes had dipped a little so it was nice to see a return to form for Ms Marvel.

Thornbound and Moontangled are two novellas in a series by Stephanie Burgis set in an alternate Regency England where women hold all the political power and men can be powerful magicians. A lot of the novellas use the setting to examine gender stereotypes and characters trying to break boundaries but they're also quite sweet romances although sometimes I wish there was less conflict in the romance subplots. They'd probably standalone as each one focuses on a different character but I think the series works best if you start with Snowspelled. Moontangled is an f/f romance and the others are all m/f.

Strange Practice is the first in a urban fantasy series by Vivian Shaw starring Greta Helsing in modern London as a doctor to the undead (rather than a hunter of them as the name might imply). This was a little slow to get going and I never felt very invested in the central mystery at the heart of the book but I liked the friendships we saw between Greta and her companions (mostly male). Although Greta has female friends from work we don’t see those friendships often enough and these friends aren’t really involved in the story. There were enjoyable references to old vampire lore (Ruthven from Polidori’s Vampire and Varney from Varney the Vampire) and it was nice to see an urban fantasy novel about protecting the monsters rather than hunting them down. But why do so many urban fantasy novels have to be set in London? I'll be continuing with the series (and I think the next book is set in Paris).

87souloftherose
Fev 11, 2020, 8:34am



#8 Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
#9 Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
#10 A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch
#11 Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald

Mrs Martin's Incomparable Adventure is a recommendation from archerygirl and is another historical f/f romance novella featuring two older women taking on a dastardly nephew. I read for the feel good factor but also enjoyed the social commentary.

Gideon the Ninth was a rare five star read (or listen) for me. This is an amazing pulpy genre mash-up of a novel and I loved it but I can see it being a bit of a marmite book (love it or hate it) although I think the things some hate about it will be the same things others love. This has a bit of everything making it very hard to classify: necromancy and space opera, gothic castle and skeletons, locked room murder mystery, swordfights and cavaliers, a lead character who gives zero f*cks, high in sarcasm, lesbians (but not really any romance). I listened to the audio book read by Moira Quirk and her voice-acting was so good I would happily listen to anything else she narrates. I loved the book so much that I bought the hardback after finishing the audio (and Tor.com are hosting a reread so I might join in with that). It's the first book in a trilogy and there is a cliffhanger ending but it's worth it.

A Rare Book of Cunning Device is a free story on audible in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. It's very short but it is free and worth listening to if you've enjoyed the rest of the series (would work reasonably well as a standalone).

Luna: New Moon is a reread because although I really loved this book when I first read it I somehow never got around to reading the sequels (third book came out last year). I enjoyed my reread although I was more conscious of the sex scenes being very male gaze and it was definitely necessary to have some hope of keeping track of all the families and plot twists in the sequel. If family sagas and twisty politics are your thing this series is worth trying.

88PaulCranswick
Fev 12, 2020, 12:41am

>85 souloftherose: Nice haul, Heather. The Isabel Allende is getting some stellar reviews just now.

89archerygirl
Fev 12, 2020, 4:00am

>86 souloftherose: >87 souloftherose: I reacted the same way you did to Strange Practice. I'd probably read the next if I stumbled over it, but it took me a while to really get into this one. Needs more female friendships :-) I've been meaning to read the Stephanie Burgis books for ages, really must get to them. And Gideon the Ninth has also been on my list and you've just bumped it up!

You'v been reading some good stuff :-)

90curioussquared
Fev 12, 2020, 1:19pm

>86 souloftherose: >87 souloftherose: I just read Snowspelled last month and have Thornbound on the list, but didn't realize there's also a third one in the series. I'll have to continue reading soon! And that's a great review of Gideon the Ninth -- I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

91HanGerg
Fev 12, 2020, 3:17pm

Oh well, Gideon the Ninth has to go on the Wishlist, obviously! Sounds brilliant! I read Luna and enjoyed it without being blown away. I got that one from the library and I guess I'm waiting for them to get the next two as I didn't like it enough to buy them. The more McDonald I read, the more I think his sex scenes are a bit off- they are often unnecessary for the plot and always a bit "ick" somehow. Very male gaze-y, as you say. He's an excellent writer in other ways so I wish he'd sort that out!

92souloftherose
Fev 13, 2020, 2:29pm

>88 PaulCranswick: That's good to know Paul. I confess I have found her books a bit impenetrable in the past so slightly daunted by this one but the cover is lovely!

>89 archerygirl: I've seen Dreadful Company at the library so will probably pick it up at some point.

And do bump Gideon the Ninth up the list! :-D

>90 curioussquared: In the Snowspelled series there's also a prequel Spellswept about Cassandra's sister-in-law Amy (I got confused as to why I hadn't commented on that one this year because I've definitely read it but I read it as part of an anthology that I only just finished).

Publication order (and the reading order I followed although it doesn't really matter that much) is:

(1) Snowspelled
(2) Spellswept
(3) Thornbound (more Cassandra)
(4) Moontangled

>91 HanGerg: I'm reading the 2nd book, Wolf Moon and enjoying it - I think I like the mix of family saga and politics with the science fiction/thriller elements. There's less weird sex in this one but still some. I'm not sure if it's specific to this series (was he trying to make it clear how different moon culture is from ours?) because it's not something that struck me in his other books (but I haven't read many by him).

93curioussquared
Fev 13, 2020, 6:55pm

>92 souloftherose: Aha! Thanks for clarifying :) I actually started Thornbound on audio this morning when I realized I didn't have an audiobook to listen to and I was just stepping out to walk the dogs, and Thornbound was available for immediate download!

94alcottacre
Fev 13, 2020, 7:42pm

>67 souloftherose: I enjoyed that one too. I was thinking a couple of weeks ago that I need to re-read it.

>69 souloftherose: Adding that one to the BlackHole!

>74 souloftherose: If that one was not already in the BlackHole, I would be adding it again.

>87 souloftherose: A five-star read?! Into the BlackHole Gideon the Ninth goes!

95PaulCranswick
Fev 14, 2020, 9:36pm

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Heather.

96PaulCranswick
Fev 22, 2020, 9:31am

Holed up against the various storms ravaging our great land, Heather?

97humouress
Fev 28, 2020, 12:19am

>92 souloftherose: Hmm - I might give those a go.

98Berly
Mar 7, 2020, 2:19am

Just keeping up here. Happy weekend!

99PaulCranswick
Mar 7, 2020, 5:21am

Hope all is well, Heather.

Have a splendid weekend.

100Fourpawz2
Mar 14, 2020, 8:03am

Hi Heather! Just added Gideon the Ninth to my library wishlist. I wanted to get the audio book, but nobody here seems to have it; all the local library systems only have the ebook. (Although maybe the Commonwealth Catalog has it - I will have to check that).

Hope you are doing okay.

101humouress
Editado: Mar 14, 2020, 1:40pm

>92 souloftherose: >97 humouress: Oh alright then. I’ve borrowed the first one on Overdrive.

Hope everything is well with you and yours Heather.

102SandDune
Mar 21, 2020, 2:34pm

Hope everything is OK Heather.

103Crazymamie
Mar 22, 2020, 11:35am

>102 SandDune: Me, too, Heather. Keeping you in my thoughts.

104souloftherose
Mar 22, 2020, 3:40pm

Apologies for the long absence - I caught some kind of cold virus in the middle of February (not Covid-19) and it just wiped me out for weeks with a bucketload of post-viral fatigue. I did go back to work for about 10 days at the end of Feb thinking I was better but it kept flaring up again and I ended up taking another 2 weeks off.

I think I am well on the way to shaking it off now and I'm going back to work tomorrow (although work is now all done from home) and planning to do slightly reduced hours for the first week so I don't have some kind of fatigue crash again.

And, of course, following the news and varying between concerned and freaked out about the global pandemic we're all experiencing....

Everyone I know is fine (although I feel as if that can't keep being the case given the numbers we're seeing in other countries). My parents are being sensible, I'm working from home and we're all going out as little as possible. I have been reading but planned reading has pretty much gone out the window. I predict lots of rereading will happen this spring. The main thing I feel upset about personally is that all local libraries have closed (although I completely understand why they couldn't stay open).

I hope all my LT friends are safe and well. I'd really like not being sick and working from home to mean I can dedicate 30 mins to an hour each day to spend on LT...

105lyzard
Mar 22, 2020, 5:53pm

Hi, Heather! - I'm very sorry to hear you've been unwell, but very glad it isn't any worse. Yes, here's hoping that you find the silver lining of more time for LT; you've been missed. :)

106Berly
Mar 22, 2020, 6:24pm

>104 souloftherose: So glad to hear you are all right!! Take it easy ramping up again and I do hope you can squeeze in some more LT time. : )

107HanGerg
Mar 22, 2020, 6:41pm

Great to hear from you! Take it easy though - my friend (who I was talking to on Skype!) was just mentioning how she thinks she overworks from home because she doesn't take all those mini-breaks you would in an office - getting a coffee in a different part of the building, chatting to colleagues, going to the photocopier etc. All that gets missed out so it's just straight up work. So take regular breaks!

108Fourpawz2
Mar 22, 2020, 6:42pm

Excellent to hear from you, Heather! Glad you are feeling better.

109archerygirl
Mar 23, 2020, 5:20am

>104 souloftherose: Glad to hear you're okay! Taking it easy and ramping up sounds like a good plan. Hopefully you'll stay healthy from now :)

>107 HanGerg: I definitely notice that I work more when I'm at home because I'm not taking those mini-breaks. It's not much of a problem when I'm only doing it one or two days a week, but now that I'm at home for the foreseeable future, I need to make an effort to do them.

110souloftherose
Mar 25, 2020, 4:18am

Belated thank yous to >93 curioussquared:, >94 alcottacre:, >95 PaulCranswick:, >97 humouress:, >98 Berly:, >100 Fourpawz2:, >102 SandDune:, >103 Crazymamie: Natalie, Stasia, Paul, Nina, Kim, Charlotte, Rhian and Mamie for keeping my thread warm while I was away. And thank you for visits from >105 lyzard:, >106 Berly:, >107 HanGerg:, >108 Fourpawz2:, >109 archerygirl: Liz, Kim, Hannah, Charlotte and Kathy.

>107 HanGerg:, >109 archerygirl: Yep, I think remembering to take breaks and sticking to my contracted hours will be more difficult WFH. I already had to speak to a more junior colleague about keeping boundaries because I saw she had been sending emails on Sunday (her response: 'but Heather, there's nothing to do!'). I'm still waking up early and I don't have my usual commute so I'm hoping to use my early morning before work time as LT time.

The UK is now officially in 'lockdown' and we're only allowed out of the house for essential trips although the guidance is still a bit unclear about what counts as essential for people who can't WFH and it's not clear how this is going to be enforced. I went to our local food shop yesterday (that's allowed) hoping to find some bread (still sold out) and found the whole experience so disconcerting (keep 2m apart - except it turns out I don't know how far 2m is) that I couldn't remember any of the other things I wanted and basically just bought chocolate biscuits and then worried people would judge me for shopping for non-essential items (although I would argue chocolate biscuits are essential to my mental health).

I now understand why people in all the WWII diaries I've read were constantly thinking about food....

111archerygirl
Mar 25, 2020, 4:45am

>110 souloftherose: Maybe being on twelve weeks of total isolation isn't all bad - at least I don't have to deal with weird shopping experiences! Although I also understand why people in the WWII diaries were constantly thinking about food. When I'm not worrying about my job, I'm worrying about whether my next food delivery will come. And I'm getting very annoyed with all the people who are ordering my favourite biscuits before I can get them into my shopping basket!

You're definitely not the only one buying chocolate biscuits. Don't let anyone judge you for that!

112lauralkeet
Mar 25, 2020, 8:19am

Hi Heather, just weighing in on the chocolate biscuit topic. In my view "food" qualifies as an essential item and shouldn't be divided into essential and non-essential. Also, by purchasing food at your local shop you are helping a local merchant stay afloat. So it is your civic duty to buy chocolate biscuits. Enjoy!

113Sakerfalcon
Mar 25, 2020, 9:55am

I bought Tunnock's caramel wafers, which seemed like a good way to treat myself during this strange time. I have kept to my Lenten abstinence from crisps, but feel I'm allowed to substitute biscuits given the circumstances! I'm glad you've got over your virus and I hope that working reduced hours from home will help you get back to full health again. I've found that not commuting and being forced to cut out social commitments has done wonders for my energy levels already.

114humouress
Mar 25, 2020, 5:12pm

Nice to see you back Heather; sorry to hear you’ve had the lergy (but not, thankfully, THE lergy). Take it easy because your system may be extra susceptible at the moment.

Choccy biccies - absolutely essential. My personal weakness is dark chocolate digestives (and since the boys don’t like dark chocolate, my stash is safe). Anyway, chocolate is good for you. If only they could take the calories out ...

>111 archerygirl: I think everyone is buying stuff they don’t normally buy - we had to substitute for my preferred brand of toilet paper. And my sister and I were empathising with each other over the fact that disinfectant wipes are now out of stock (we're both a bit OCD) when it’s usually only us buying them up. Most annoying ;0)

115Crazymamie
Mar 25, 2020, 5:16pm

>112 lauralkeet: What Laura said. I bought biscuits on my last store run - Biscoff, which I love to have with my morning coffee. And now I'm thinking I should have purchased two packages instead of just one.

Glad you are feeling better, Heather, and hoping you continue to improve each day. I do hope you get to use your regular commute time on LT.

116lyzard
Editado: Mar 25, 2020, 5:20pm

the guidance is still a bit unclear about what counts as essential for people who can't WFH and it's not clear how this is going to be enforced

That sounds familiar.

The main issue here other than the toilet paper crisis (which affects me less as a single-person household) is an often total lack of meat. It doesn't matter so much for me because I can make do; but I can't get what I usually give my cats, who get 'human-grade' because of their health issues.

But at least people seem to have realised that attempting to hoard fresh produce is futile... {*eye roll*}

117humouress
Mar 25, 2020, 10:23pm

>116 lyzard: The first runs here were on non-perishable items (and cleaning supplies). But then Malaysia announced they were locking down ... (Singapore has no agriculture except for a few hydroponic farms.)

118PaulCranswick
Mar 26, 2020, 10:57pm

>116 lyzard: The hoarding and weird shortages are placing us all in the middle of dystopia. The only sound on the street yesterday as I went for a short stroll in the heart of Malaysia's metropolis was the echo of my own footsteps. Eerie and not so comforting.

Stay safe, Heather.

119ronincats
Mar 26, 2020, 11:13pm

Glad you are back and that you are feeling better, Heather!

120Berly
Mar 29, 2020, 9:59pm

Just saying Hi! Heather. : )

121souloftherose
Mar 31, 2020, 5:54am

>111 archerygirl: I think food shopping has probably gone from boring but necessary to stressful and necessary for a lot of people. I hope you managed to get hold of the biscuits you wanted!

>111 archerygirl:, >112 lauralkeet:, >113 Sakerfalcon:, >114 humouress:, >115 Crazymamie: Thank you for the reassurance and support about the chocolate biscuits!

I think I'm realising how important it is to me emotionally(? is that the right word) to have certain key foods I like (I appreciate this comes from a position of significant privilege in that I have not had to go hungry and can afford to buy nice food). The good news from my perspective is that after a week's closure the local baker has come up with a way to sell bread he's comfortable with and I was able to get my favourite bread today. It involved ordering the day before, being given a collection slot and then parking nearby, opening your car boot (trunk) and calling for the baker to come and put the loaves in the boot whilst staying inside the car. It felt strange driving when I would usually walk but I think this gives them more comfort that people will follow social distancing rules which I know they were struggling with before they closed.

>113 Sakerfalcon: Anyone managing or attempting Lenten abstinences at the moment has a lot of respect from me! Weirdly I think I miss my evening commute at the moment because it was one of the way's my brain switched from work mode to home mode and I'm finding that more difficult now I'm just walking into a different room in the house. I'm going to try to take my daily walk after work and hopefully that will help.

>116 lyzard: I hope you can get your kitties the meat they need Liz. We've found smaller businesses locally sometimes have slightly more capacity to deliver (because fewer people shop there perhaps) and we were able to get some meat delivered from our local butchers.

>117 humouress: That does sound worrying Nina - I've been trying not to think too far ahead at the moment but saw some headlines about the medium term impact of the shutdowns on farmers and food supplies that didn't sound good.

>118 PaulCranswick: It's not been too quiet here on my walks although everyone's keeping their distance - perhaps because we're a smallish town there are more people with dogs etc than you'd see in a city? The strangest thing was driving to the baker's this morning when the roads were much quieter than usual.

>119 ronincats:, >120 Berly: Thanks Roni and Kim!

122souloftherose
Mar 31, 2020, 6:20am

Today is my mid-week day off and I am shattered - I think the tiredness is mainly an adjusting-to-doing-everything-differently tiredness - so I'm having a designated quiet day. I'm going to watch TV, read, crochet and hopefully do some catching up on LT.

Remaining January books read:



#13 Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
#14 The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope
#15 Death Walks in Eastrepps by Francis Beeding
#16 Band Sinister by K. J. CHarles
#17 Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman

Special mentions to my reread of Swordheart which is my favourite of T Kingfisher's paladin romances, this one has a very pragmatic, older heroine who talks too much who I love, and K.J. Charles Band Sinister which is a very well-done Heyer-inspired romance but with more diverse representation and more sex than you'd find in a Heyer novel. It was very funny and also touches on serious subjects like consent very well. I loved the extracts from the gothic romance one of the characters was writing. And despite what you see on the book page it's set pre-Regency rather than in the Regency (I don't know why every historical romance set in the 19th century gets tagged Regency).

Thank you to Kathy/archerygirl for the K. J. Charles recommendation - I also have The Henchmen of Zenda and Magpie Lord by Charles to read. The latter is (I think) a fantasy m/m romance and is currently free on Amazon UK as a coronavirus freebie by the author (and I think available for free internationally too) if anyone wants to give this author a try.

123quondame
Mar 31, 2020, 12:23pm

>122 souloftherose: Even though the actual Regency was established in 1811, the Prince of Wales and the styles of his contemporaries were dominate from the min 1790s well into his reign, so unless you favor the term Empire for the early 19th century, it's been the common practice to call all the novels in which the prevailing dress style is high waisted and slender, Regency, as opposed to the full skirts and more prudish Victorian, even though there was a significant gap between the two and technically the regency lasted less than 10 years.

124souloftherose
Abr 1, 2020, 2:59pm

>123 quondame: Ah, thanks for the explanation Susan.

125lyzard
Abr 1, 2020, 5:43pm

>123 quondame:

I always struggle with what to call the period between the end of the Regency and the ascension of Victoria - late Regency? Pre-Victorian? Poor William IV never won himself an independent descriptor for his reign, which usually gets noted for the passing of the First Reform Bill rather than anything to do with him. (Though he seems to have been well-meaning and even reform-minded himself.)

126souloftherose
Abr 4, 2020, 7:32am

>125 lyzard: Good point Liz. I was going to say I can't think of much fiction I've read set in that period and then remembered that a lot of Victorian fiction was actually set a few decades before date of publication so I may actually have read lots of books set then but I think of them as being set later (Middlemarch, possibly Jane Eyre?)

-----------------------------------------------------

I've found the second week of lockdown quite tough especially regarding work which feels like much more of an uphill struggle when everyone's WFH. And I haven't been sleeping well so I've been feeling exhausted. I think I've started to get into a routine of reading before work, TV episode on my lunchbreak (currently rewatching Star Trek: Discovery Season One) and then a walk after work. Haven't so far found a slot for LT time but I'm hoping that I'll be able to fit that in when I'm feeling less tired.

127souloftherose
Abr 4, 2020, 7:53am

February reading:





#18 Prudence by Gail Carriger
#19 Fleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell
#20 The City of Brass by S. A Chakraborty
#21 The Underwater Ballroom Society edited by Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent
#22 The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
#23 The Kingdom of Copper by S. A Chakraborty
#24 Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
#25 Paladin's Grace by T. Kingfisher
#26 The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch
#27 The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman
#28 The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
#29 Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu
#30 Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Favourite reads - I raced through S.A. Chakraborty's The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper despite them both being chunksters. These are the first two books in a fantasy/historical fiction trilogy inspired by Islamic mythology/folklore. There's a lot of political intrigue between the various factions in the book, the characters are very easy to sympathise with but there are no clear cut good guys vs bad guys and there's an ongoing romance plotline or two. Very difficult to put down and I started Kingdom of Copper as soon as I'd finished City of Brass. Now I just have to wait until June for Empire of Gold....

My other surprise favourite was the audio of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue which I'd heard mixed things about. It's a fun young adult historical romance - the main character is quite annoying and entitled but has good intentions and in a way the book is basically about how he screws up again and again but slowly unpacks his privilege. And there's a delightful best friends to lovers m/m romance. I thought it was very funny and sweet and the narration by Christian Coulson was perfect.

Also worthy of comment was the latest T. Kingfisher paladin romance which was the usual mix of kind and funny but with slightly more relationship angst than I prefer so although very good, this is actually my least favourite of her paladin romances (I prefer Swordheart and Clockwork Boys) but on the plus side has a paladin who knits socks. And I enjoyed Courtney Milan's The Suffragette Scandal which is a historical feminist romance although (as she mentions in the afterword) she got some of the historical details wrong but I prefer to think of her books as happening in a slightly alternate 19th century.

And The October Man, The Secret Chapter and Luna: Wolf Moon were all solid entries in series I am enjoying.

128HanGerg
Abr 4, 2020, 3:42pm

I'm reading City of Brass at the moment but not enjoying it quite as much as you. I find the "no clear cut good guys bad guys" thing a bit exhausting - this is a complicated time! I need clarity, darn it! Or maybe it's just that I don't like the main character very much. It's growing on me though - I dare say I'll get round to the second, but perhaps slowly if the third instalment isn't out yet.
Thanks for the KJ Charles tip. I haven't read any m/m romance really, so a freebie sounds like a good way to dip my toe in the waters of m/m romance, if that isn't a weird analogy...

129lyzard
Abr 4, 2020, 7:40pm

>126 souloftherose:

This is one of the (too many) things I try to do at my blog, looking into these literary lacunae where the canon is that nothing of any value was written. Most studies of the 19th century novel jump from Austen and Scott (late Regency) to Thackeray and Dickens (early Victorian) without bothering with what happened in between---so they don't need a name for it.

But those years in between saw the germination of British crime and mystery fiction, so I happen to think they're some of the most important years of all. :)

Meanwhile, most "serious" novels dealing with the time of the First Reform Bill were written later, with the benefit of hindsight: Middlemarch is probably the best example.

Haven't so far found a slot for LT time but I'm hoping that I'll be able to fit that in when I'm feeling less tired.

I'm hoping so too. :D

Seriously, though, don't force it if you're not feeling it. Take care of yourself first and foremost, and if it doesn't happen, so be it.

130Dejah_Thoris
Abr 5, 2020, 11:58am

Hi, Heather! I like your March book roundup, and I've got a few questions / comments for you.

First, I'm disappointed that you didn't care for Fleet of Knives. I really should have joined you for it last month, but was thinking of rereading Embers of War first. May I ask what you didn't like about it?

And I was so excited to see so many people read City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper last month! I was pretty much blown away by City of Brass when I read it - what a debut novel! Kingdom of Copper I recall liking less than you did, but I'm looking forward to Empire of Gold, although I'm not certain when I'll get to read it. I'm trying not to purchase every new book I see while my library access is limited.... Btw, June 30th was not the original publication date for Empire of Gold - it's been pushed out at least once that I know of, so keep an eye on it.

Where did you come up with a copy of The Underwater Ballroom Society? I went looking, but no luck.

Paladin's Grace is on my list of books to buy when I need a pick me up - I have been enjoying her books. And you've convinced me to give The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue another try. I put it down pretty quickly - it didn't suit my mood at the time. Maybe it's the audio I need.

I'm sorry that WFH is stressful for you - I hope it gets easier with time.

131PaulCranswick
Abr 5, 2020, 10:57pm

Hope you have had a lovely, peaceful, safe and healthy weekend, Heather.

132souloftherose
Abr 7, 2020, 1:19pm

>128 HanGerg: Hi Hannah. It's so hard to tell which books will work at the moment, isn't it? I read them back in February when my brain was less occupied by Covid-19 news so that may have helped but for whatever reason they really grabbed me even if the story isn't exactly comforting.

Hope you enjoy the KJ Charles read! I just finished it and, whilst it wasn't as good as Band Sinister, found it enjoyable and distracting.

>129 lyzard: Thanks Liz!

>130 Dejah_Thoris: Hi Dejah! Always happy to answer questions :-)

So, I liked but didn't love Embers of War. For Fleet of Knives I decided to try the audio book and I really struggled with it. It seemed very slow moving, the characters didn't stand out for me and I found I was tuning out a lot while listening to it. It may have been that the audio just didn't work for me? (This is my small fear with audio books that I will not enjoy something in audio that I would have enjoyed in print). I haven't decided whether or not to read the third volume but if I do it will be the print version!

It's hard not to purchase all the new books now libraries have closed! I did a small book order before everything shut down here so I'm trying not to buy more until I've read those... But I have pre-ordered Empire of Gold..... I've seen a couple of other 2020 release dates have been pushed back so I think we'll just have to wait and see if the release in June happens. It must be so difficult for anyone publishing things this year.

The Underwater Ballroom Society was a short story anthology originally published on Kickstarter I think where all the contributions featured an underwater ballroom in some format (the idea was inspired by this real life but no longer in use ballroom in the UK https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/witley-wonder-underwater-ballroom). The anthology was available to purchase only for a limited time (not sure why) and I bought it at the end of last year just before they took it down. But my favourite of the short stories/novellas included are both available separately as ebooks: Penhallow Amid Passing Things by Iona Datt Sharma and Spellswept by Stephanie Burgis. It's a shame the collection's no longer available though.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was quite silly but that was exactly what I was in the mood for at the time. Hope Paladin's Grace, works as a good pick me up whenever you need it. I feel like I'm reading all my pick me up books at the moment.....

>131 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul - still a few days to go until the weekend but it is a shorter week than usual at least :-)

133jnwelch
Abr 9, 2020, 12:22pm

Hi, Heather.

I just finished The Ten Thousand Doors of January and enjoyed it. I think it might be your cuppa. Good characters and story, and the doors take us all elsewhere . . . This might not be an easy time to get your hands on it, though.

134Dejah_Thoris
Abr 9, 2020, 1:46pm

>132 souloftherose: Well, I think I'll go ahead and reread Embers of War and give Fleet of Knives a shot - no audio though, as you suggest. At least I have plenty of reading time at the moment.

I seem to keep missing interesting book related Kickstarter fundraisers lately. Of course, this could be because I'm not paying attention, lol.

I have Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis available to me - it was part of my last day grab at the library. It'll be the first of hers I've read, so I'm glad to know you enjoyed her novella as well as the other of her books you've mentioned on the thread.

135humouress
Abr 11, 2020, 10:49pm

>132 souloftherose: That’s a wonderful real-life story about the underwater ballroom. They should restore it and let people see it. I just read Spellswept, not to mention Snowspelled and Thornbound. The bookbullets must have come from you (amongst others).

136PaulCranswick
Abr 12, 2020, 1:15am



I wanted my message this year to be fairly universal in a time we all should be pulling together, whatever our beliefs. Happy Celebration, Happy Sunday, Heather.

137souloftherose
Abr 12, 2020, 6:52am

>133 jnwelch: Thank you for thinking about me Joe! You are right about that book being my cuppa - I actually read and enjoyed it last year (probably didn't leave a review so no way for you to know that). Glad you enjoyed it - I've been considering rereading it because it was nominated for a Hugo award (and I think Nebula award) this year too.

>134 Dejah_Thoris: I'd love to know what you think of Congress of Secrets - that and Mask and Shadows didn't get a UK publisher so whilst they are available here, they're a bit more pricey than usual.

>135 humouress: Yes, it would be lovely if the ballroom was open to the public. Glad you're enjoying the Spellswept series - there's a new book in that series, Moontangled, which came out earlier this year.

>136 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul!

138souloftherose
Abr 12, 2020, 7:37am

Some March reading:



#31 Death of a Clone by Alex Thomson
#32 Sleepless, Volume 1 by Sarah Vaughn and Leila del Luca
#33 Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
#34 Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
#35 Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Death of a Clone was a book I picked up because I've enjoyed a lot of other books published by the same publisher (Abaddon/Solaris are a small independent sff publisher in the UK) and the blurb intrigued me. And I really enjoyed this and thought it was a shame that it doesn't seem like many other people have come across this one. It's an Agatha Christie inspired detective novel set on a mining base on an asteroid where clones are used to carry out the mining operations. The protagonist and amateur detective, Leila, has been introduced to Agatha Christie's novels through one of the human overseers and when her sister is found dead, decides she has to find out what really happened. Recommended.

Sleepless, Volume 1 is the first of two instalments in a fantasy, graphic novel romance - it's a court intrigue where Poppy is the illegitimate daughter of the recently dead king who is protected by her sleepless knight. But with her uncle now on the throne several attempts are made on Poppy's life and her sleepless knight is starting to feel the strain from his magical vow. I enjoyed this although I already feel this series is going to be too short if everything is being wrapped up in volume 2. And I have to wait for the library to reopen to get my hands on the second volume.....

Down Among the Sticks and Bones was a reread to refresh myself on Jack and Jill's story before reading Come Tumbling Down. It's still my favourite of the Wayward children series.

Queenie was a very good book about a British Jamaican woman in London trying to cope with life, loss and love but also one that was often difficult to read because the character exhibits a lot of self-destructive behaviour. I listened to the audio read by Shvorne Marks who did a fantastic job and by the end of the book I was almost convinced the characters were all real-life people. Queenie does eventually end up ok but she has to come to terms with a lot of trauma along the way - saying that, I preferred this more realistic approach to a character dealing with trauma to something like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Dread Nation was an immensely readable and gripping young adult story about young black women in 19th century US being trained to fight zombies. Also notable for a strong enemies to friends storyline between the two main characters. I liked this a lot and plan to read the sequel, Deathless Divide, soon.

139Dejah_Thoris
Abr 12, 2020, 3:24pm

>138 souloftherose: I noticed Death of a Clone on the TIOLI wiki and took a look at it, but didn't buy it because, well, my habit has historically been to limit my book purchases. Snort. I'm still trying to limit, but with much less success without access to my beloved library system. Based on your recommendation, I'll pick this one up one of these days.

I've also been eyeing Dread Nation since it came out, but haven't gotten around to it. That's another one on the list....

And I'll let you know when I get to Congress of Secrets. It seems to have fairly mixed reviews.

140HanGerg
Abr 12, 2020, 4:08pm

>138 souloftherose:. All of these books sound like my kind of thing except perhaps the graphic novel. But still, visiting your thread is always bad/good for adding to the tbr pile...

141avatiakh
Abr 12, 2020, 5:08pm

>138 souloftherose: I've been busy adding lots of your 2020 reads to my tbr pile. I'll try the first book in the Wayward Children series, that looks interesting.

142quondame
Abr 12, 2020, 5:18pm

Happy Easter!

143humouress
Abr 12, 2020, 10:59pm

>140 HanGerg: Actually I was quite intrigued by the graphic novel, which isn’t usually my kind of thing.

144archerygirl
Abr 14, 2020, 7:22am

>138 souloftherose: You got me with Death of a Clone. I've read Down Among the Sticks and Stones so many times now, and it's still my favourite in that series.

145souloftherose
Abr 15, 2020, 7:01am

I started a reread of Brian K. Vaughan's Paper Girls in anticipation of getting the final volume from the library (sadly now on hold indefinitely....)



#36 Paper Girls: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
#38 Paper Girls: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
#39 Paper Girls: Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
#42 Paper Girls: Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan

I love this series about a group of 4 teenage paper girls in the '80s who get caught up in some time-travelling end of the world shenanigans. Rereading highlights how tightly plotted the story is with lots of criss-crossing timelines. I still have volume 5 to reread but I'm holding off from doing so until I can get hold of volume 6.

---------------------------------------------------

>139 Dejah_Thoris:, >144 archerygirl: I hope you enjoy Death of a Clone! If the idea of Agatha Christie inspired crime stories in space intrigues you Mur Lafferty's Six Wakes is also worth a look (more clones but this time on a spaceship). I preferred Death of a Clone but Lafferty's is more well-known (perhaps because the author is American) and was nominated for the Hugo a couple of years ago.

>140 HanGerg:, >141 avatiakh: Sorry, not sorry for the TBR hits....!

>143 humouress: Hope you can find a copy Nina. It was a recommendation from Stephanie Burgis so if you enjoy her books you may enjoy the graphic novel too.

>142 quondame: Thanks Susan! I had to look quite close before I realised those were paper eggs!

146Dejah_Thoris
Abr 15, 2020, 10:52am

145 I enjoyed, bu didn't love, Six Wakes, and was a bit surprised by the nomination. You've definitely got me intrigued by Death of a Clone, though.

147alcottacre
Abr 17, 2020, 12:19pm

>145 souloftherose: My local library only had the first volume in the Paper Girls series. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am!

148curioussquared
Abr 17, 2020, 2:12pm

>145 souloftherose: Glad you're enjoying Paper Girls! Smart on waiting until you have #6 to read #5 -- I binged them one after another and was so glad to have access to all of them right away.

149ronincats
Abr 18, 2020, 10:34pm

Congress of Secrets is also the first Burgis book I read, and it and Masks and Shadows are very different from the Snowspelled books. Not in a bad way, but more complex and darker.

Hope all is well there. Stay safe!

150souloftherose
Abr 19, 2020, 2:20pm

>146 Dejah_Thoris: Yes, I read Six Wakes largely because of the award nominations and was a bit surprised it wasn't a stronger novel (it was also nominated for the Nebula and Philip K. Dick awards). Part of the weakness of that one for me was how closely the book modelled the plot of one of Agatha Christie's more well-known stories and yet didn't consciously acknowledge Christie's influence. It was still fun just not really award worthy for me. I thought Death of a Clone was better.

>147 alcottacre: Oh no! Well, it's better than having a later volume but not the first in the series which is something my library's done before (to my bafflement).

>148 curioussquared: Because of our lockdown all my library loans have renewed automatically so I might even be able to reread them again whenever I can get hold of the final volume!

>149 ronincats: Thanks for the comments Roni. Now I think about it I think I do remember you reviewing those a while back. Complex and darker sounds of interest so now I just need to decide whether to reread and finish her Kat Incorrigible series first or dive into the adult books.....

151quondame
Abr 19, 2020, 4:46pm

>146 Dejah_Thoris: >150 souloftherose: Enjoyed but didn't love was my take on Six Wakes as well. Lots of cleverness, not much heart. None of my libraries has Death of a Clone, but I was able to do a e-book recommendation at one of them.

152souloftherose
Editado: Abr 26, 2020, 11:52am

>151 quondame: Hope you can find and enjoy a copy of Death of a Clone Susan.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Realised it's been a while again since I managed to post any reviews.



#37 Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer

Thank you to Roni for the recommendation for this.

The tagline on the cover ("How much does the internet know about you?") makes this sound potentially a much darker read than it is.

I think this story grew out of Kritzer's 2015 short story Cat Pictures Please (http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/kritzer_01_15/) about a sentient and friendly AI that helps people in return for them posting cat pictures on the internet. The short story was nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and won the Hugo.

The novel expands on that idea and here the AI has set up an internet forum site called CatNet where it sorts people into groups based on who it thinks will get along (it's nearly always right) and then acts as site moderator althogh everyone using the site thinks the moderators are real people just like them.

The main character, Steph, has moved around all her life so that her father doesn't discover where she and her mother are living. She never stays long in any school and her friendship group on CatNet are one of the few constants in her life. When Steph's father tracks her and her mother down it's up to her friends on CatNet and the AI to try to stop him.

This was a really sweet and feelgood read - quite fastpaced and very readable. The found family element gave me the same vibes as Jo Walton's Among Others (another book about a geeky, awkward teenager finding friendship). If you enjoyed the short story then I think you'll enjoy the book. I loved both and I think there's a sequel coming (although I would say Catfishing is a complete story).

Catfishing on CatNet is nominated for both the Andre Norton and Lodestar awards this year.

153Dejah_Thoris
Abr 26, 2020, 12:14pm

>152 souloftherose: I'm not reading your review because it's a book I'm already planning to read next month, but I'm delighted you gave Catfishing on CatNet so many stars!

I'm also planning to get to Kritzer's book of short stories, Cat Pictures, Please and Other Stories, given that I enjoyed the eponymous story so much.

I'm going to save Death of a Clone for July, when I host the MysteryKIT over in the Category Challenge Group. The theme is cross genre/mashup mysteries, for which it should be perfect!

154Sakerfalcon
Abr 27, 2020, 7:09am

>152 souloftherose: I was already excited about Catfishing on Catnet but your review makes me want to read it even more. I'm going to try and wait a year for the paperback release though.

155HanGerg
Abr 28, 2020, 5:29am

>152 souloftherose: That sounds like just what my poor overstressed brain and heart need right now - I'm looking it up forthwith!

156Berly
Abr 28, 2020, 5:37am

>145 souloftherose: Just catching up here and glad to see you've found some great books to read. Sorry #6 is stuck at the library. Wishing you other great books in the meantime!!

157Dejah_Thoris
Maio 17, 2020, 4:51pm

Have I thanked you sufficiently for prompting me to read KJ Charles? They're perfect on audio (er, so long as no one is particularly nearby during certain scenes, lol) while I'm looking for lighter fare. Honestly, I haven't read/listened to so many romances in decades, but I'm having fun. Thank you!

158souloftherose
Maio 23, 2020, 9:39am

Oof - hadn't quite realised I'd gone nearly a month without posting. Anxiety and depression during a global pandemic mean my brain and energy levels are even more zombie-like than usual. But I have a few days off work in addition to the long bank holiday weekend and spending the day resting in bed yesterday has left me feeling more restored today. I think I'm going to abandon any idea of writing reviews this year but perhaps aim to catch up this weekend and then try to list my reading each week.

>153 Dejah_Thoris: I really hop you enjoy Catfishing Dejah. I've really enjoyed all of Krizer's work that I've read and I may try to join you with her short story collection this month because I've been meaning to buy it for a while. And I've seen a sequel to Catfishing listed on Goodreads - called Chaos on CatNet with a release date of April 2021.

>154 Sakerfalcon: I was going to wait until the kindle version was cheaper (which would probably have been when the paperback was released) but then I succumbed anyway. Hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

>155 HanGerg: Hope it helps Hannah - my tired and overstressed brain definitely did.

>156 Berly: Thanks Kim!

>157 Dejah_Thoris: Ah, thank you Dejah but I'm not sure I can take credit for KJ Charles - I would have to give at least partial credit to archerygirl who started me reading them. They are just the thing for those times when my brain seems to be stuck and can't get into anything else. And a lot of fun even without the romance elements I think - I joined you in reading Think of England and Proper English this month as shared reads and really enjoyed the Edwardian murder mystery/spy thriller elements.

159souloftherose
Maio 23, 2020, 10:23am

List of remaining March books read (yes, March).



#40 Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
#41 Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
#43 New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl
#44 The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
#45 Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours by

My favourite of this batch was Deeplight by Frances Hardinge which is her latest novel for older children/teenagers and a wonderful rich fantasy world with secrets to discover.

I was disappointed to find I couldn't get into the latest Wayward children novella despite coming back to it several times. I did finish it in the end but it's my least favourite of the series so far and I have no idea why other than blaming lockdown brain.

I also read my first Star Trek novel and found it a lot of fun - this one is a prequel set several (10?) years before the TV series and focuses on Michael Burnham, Saru, Spock and Number One working together. It made me go back to rewatch the first season of Discovery.



DNF Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith
#46 Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern
#47 The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
#48 Nevertheless She Persisted: Flash Fiction Project: A Tor.com Original by Various authors
#49 Briarley by Aster Glenn Gray

So Other Minds proved to me that I do not have the brain for non-fiction at the moment.

Bloodlust and Bonnets is a delightfully irreverant graphic novel from the creator of My Life as a Background Slytherin webcomic about Lord Byron and Lucy, a Regency heroine, who decide to fight vampires. Silly and wonderful.

And Briarley was a lovely novelette/novella by a new to me author which is an m/m retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a WWII setting. Beauty's father is a country vicar with a war wound from WWI and when he picks a rose from the garden of a mysterious house he refuses to trade his daughter for his freedom and remains the beast's captive instead. This was recommended to me by Stephanie Burgis on twitter (a good author to follow for comforting reading recommendations).



#50 Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie
#51 The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
#52 Star Trek Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack
#53 Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

Postern of Fate has the dubious honour of being my least favourite Agatha Christie novel - and after Passenger to Frankfurt that's quite an achievement. It's doubly sad as Tommy and Tuppence are some of my favourite AC characters. They're both struggling to come to terms with being old and forgetful and it feels like AC is struggling to come to terms with the same problem. It's very rambling, lots of unfinished sentences and I'm still not sure what the plot was.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is the sequel to The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue but focusing on Felicity, the sister of the lead character from the first book. I didn't like it quite as much as TGGVV - Felicity is a more serious character than Monty so there are fewer high jinks and the story took a while to get going. But, once it does get going this is a strong adventure story with female friendship. I just wish it hadn't taken so long to get there.

Star Trek Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack was an excellent accompaniment to the TV series. Although it's a prequel I think it makes most sense to watch after finishing the first season of the TV series. McCormack captured the characters perfectly and although it's not a happy story (anyone who's watched the first few episodes of the TV series will understand why) it's not one without hope.

160HanGerg
Maio 23, 2020, 11:34am

Hi Heather. Glad to hear you are hanging in there. I have been really struggling with anxiety too so I sympathise. I've actually been OK for the last week or so but I'm resigned to it coming back strongly at some point. I find it helps to remember that when the anxiety is bad that that too is just a phase and things will calm down again at some point. I've been trying this meditation app on my phone called "Balance" which seems pretty good. That after a bit of gentle yoga has been helping, I think. But honestly, with all the craziness going on these days it's the people that AREN'T anxious that I wonder about...

161Dejah_Thoris
Maio 23, 2020, 11:51am

>158 souloftherose: I saw that you'd joined me for Proper English and Think of England. It's nice to have the shared read! Sometimes (often, lately) I just need a nice, undemanding book, too - preferably with a surefire happy ending.

>159 souloftherose: And per your recommendation, I just borrowed Briarley. I'm looking forward to it!

162PaulCranswick
Maio 24, 2020, 11:02am

At this time of the end of Ramadan I want to give thanks for your friendship in this wonderful group, Heather.

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday.

163souloftherose
Maio 26, 2020, 11:17am

>160 HanGerg: Sympathetic hugs re the anxiety Hannah - yes, it definitely comes and goes. Mine is often not so much anxiety as a general hypervigilence of some kind which I can't turn off and makes concentrating or relaxing a struggle. It is definitely not helped by work being really stressful lately (as well all our usual week we have a whole new load of work due to coronavirus related issues) and I was so exhausted at the end of last week and yet so unable to get my brain to switch off that I ended up getting back into bed and drawing all the curtains for the day because it seemed to be the only way to get my brain to switch off. I still couldn't sleep but I got quite a bit of reading done and I did feel better the next day so keeping that technique up my sleeve in case of future need but it does feel a bit like that's not a normal thing to need to do.

I've been doing some yoga too and it seems to help for an hour or so afterwards but not sure if is helping more medium to longer term. Still, I think it's a helpful thing to do especially as my home office setup is nowhere near as ergonomic as my work office setup and my back and shoulders have definitely been complaining.

'honestly, with all the craziness going on these days it's the people that AREN'T anxious that I wonder about...' :-D

>161 Dejah_Thoris: 'Sometimes (often, lately) I just need a nice, undemanding book, too - preferably with a surefire happy ending.' Oh goodness, yes. Hope you enjoy Briarley Dejah!

>162 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul and Eid mubarak! Hope you enjoyed a blessed celebration with your family and loved ones.

164Dejah_Thoris
Maio 26, 2020, 11:38am

>163 souloftherose: I did. :)

And I'm joining you for Lifelode in June.

I almost forgot to ask - are you going to get to Nine Goblins in May or June? I'll join you either way.

165souloftherose
Maio 26, 2020, 12:06pm

Right, some April reading....:



#54 The Threefold Tie by Aster Glenn Gray
#55 Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
#56 The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles
#57 The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
#58 A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles

Following on from my reading of Briarley in March, The Threefold Tie is another historical romance novella by Aster Glenn Gray, this time set in the US just after the American Civil War and focusing on two former soldiers. The romance is polyamorous m/m/f (I think that's the right term) which is not something I'd read before and probably not something I would otherwise have read if I hadn't enjoyed this author's previous book but it was another lovely piece by this author focusing on kindness which apparently ticks all my reading boxes this year. Also strawberries play a strong role as you can probably tell from the cover.

Ancillary Justice and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street were both rereads - *Watchmaker* definitely goes on my list of comfort reads (I think I was less enamoured of it on my first read) and it's another lovely story of a slowly developing friendship/romance between Mori, a Japanese watchmaker, and Thaniel, a quiet civil servant in 19th century London. Also clockwork octopuses. Ancillary Justice maybe didn't work for me quite as well on this third read and I think that was largely because the plot is quite complicated and I did not have the brain energy to properly pay attention to it. Being very inconsistent I've left my rating at 5 stars because that reflects how much I enjoyed it the first 2 times i read it. I remember the sequels being slightly more straight forward so may try rereading those at some point this year.

The Magpie Lord and A Case of Possession are the first two books in KJ Charles' Charm of Magpies series which feature the unlikely romantic relationship between aristocrat Lucien Vaudrey and working class shaman Stephen Day and them getting involved in various rather bloody and violent magical mysteries in 19th century London. Despite the violence and blood these were very readable and often quite funny - maybe not quite comfort reading for me but a good distraction none the less.



#59 The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
#46 The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho
#47 Scythe by Neal Shusterman
#48 The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
#49 Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

The Bedlam Stacks has been sitting on my kindle for a while and I picked it up inspired by how much I enjoyed *Watchmaker*. The first third of this book was quite slow-moving but after that I was engrossed in another tale of semi-magical happenings in the 19th century - this time in Peru. Strong themes of friendship again.

Zen Cho is one of my favourite authors and she made this early novella free to download (it may still be free). The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo is an epistolary novel of a young Malaysian girl living in London in the 1920s making a living by writing literary reviews. After a particularly scathing review of a famous literary man she embarks on an affair, then finds herself pregnant. It's humourous with no real peril and has quite a sweet ending.

Experimenting with my library's online audio books I tried Scythe by Neal Shusterman. It's a young adult dystopia and some suspension of disbelief is required to find the particular dystopian scenario which has arisen to be a credible one (no-one dies anymore and so a caste of people has been created who are the only people allowed to end lives and they are called Scythes) but once disbelief is suspended this was an entertaining read and looks like it will examine some serious questions. It's a trilogy (of course) and I will listen to the next two instalments.

The Murders of Molly Southbourne - another rather bloody and violent read but gripping. Molly Southbourne creates clones of herself when she bleeds and the clones eventually try to kill her. Very well written and with interesting ideas.

And Lady Audley's Secret by Braddon for our chronological Virago read - very readable, seems like an easy sensational read on the surface but surprisingly feminist and anti-establishment on a close reading (hence republished by Virago press I suppose). With the usual thanks to Liz's excellent leading of the group read.

166HanGerg
Maio 26, 2020, 3:59pm

I read The Magpie Lord recently-on your tip off and enjoyed it. I have Scythe ready to go on my Kindle at some point, and I do like the sound of clockwork octopuses (Octopi?) too!

167humouress
Maio 27, 2020, 1:28pm

Delurking just to wave *hello*.

168avatiakh
Editado: Maio 28, 2020, 7:35am

I read Deeplight a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I still have a couple of her earlier books to read.
Currently reading The Lost Future of Pepperharrow and feeling that I really needed a good solid recap of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street before I started on this one.

I was able to get a free copy of The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo through amazon australia, so will give it a try.

Have you read any books by Emma Carroll? She writes for children but you might like them if looking for a light read. I picked up The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz from the library today, it looks like a lot of fun.

169curioussquared
Maio 28, 2020, 12:10pm

>165 souloftherose: Thanks for the heads up on The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo -- it was free here, too. I saw also that Zen Cho has another book coming out in June, which is exciting! I don't know anything about it, but it appears to be set in a different world from the Sorcerer to the Crown series, based on the sentence-long blurb I read.

170Dejah_Thoris
Maio 29, 2020, 10:41pm

Good evening! I wanted to check in with you about a few books. If you're considering moving Dragonsbane, A Memory Called Empire, and/or Nine Goblins to June, I'm likely to join you. The only one I could finish this month would be Nine Goblins.

And in case you're interested, I'm going to push out Cat Pictures, Please and Other Stories to June - I'm just slow when it comes to short story collections.

Let me know!

171ronincats
Maio 30, 2020, 10:39pm

Link is up for the Sector General summer group read--check it out!

https://www.librarything.com/topic/320907

>170 Dejah_Thoris: All three of those are good ones, Princess.

172Berly
Maio 30, 2020, 10:54pm

You're back! Waving hello and admiring all your yummy book covers.

173souloftherose
Maio 31, 2020, 8:22am

>166 HanGerg: Glad you enjoyed The Magpie Lord Hannah!

>167 humouress: *waves to Nina*

>168 avatiakh: Yes, I still haven't read all of her older books either Kerry. Some of the ones I haven't are available as audiobooks on the library app so I may use that as an opportunity to get through them. I haven't read anything by Emma Carroll but I have seen her books which always have gorgeous cover illustrations so with your recommendation added I will definitely try some. I want to start becoming more aware of current children's authors because my god-daughter (who will turn six next month) as suddenly become a reading machine and is blowing through Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton books.

>169 curioussquared: Hi Natalie! Yes, I think the new book is standalone and a short book or novella. I'm trying to decide between getting a kindle copy (cheaper) vs ordering the hardback because the cover is so beautiful....



>170 Dejah_Thoris: Hi Dejah! I found myself completely distracted this week by Martha Wells Books of the Raksura series so yes, all of those books will be shuffled to June! I've listed Dragonsbane under challenge #5 and A Memory Called Empire under #12. Not sure where to put Nine Goblins at the moment - I don't the cover is quite teal coloured and it seems a bit mean to say I would call a puppy 'Goblin'..... I'll also try to join in with Cat Pictures Please (hopefully successfully this time). I often find short story collections slower - I feel like I shouldn't read more than one story in one sitting to give them time to settle and then sort of forget to pick the collection back up again.

>171 ronincats: Thanks Roni - I'll check it out.

>172 Berly: Hi Kim!

174Dejah_Thoris
Maio 31, 2020, 10:45am

>173 souloftherose: Goblin isn't a terrible name for a puppy - if said affectionately. Or we can wait and try to grab 2013 when it comes up on my challenge again. I'm flexible - in mind, if not body. :)

I take it I should get to the Raksura series? It must be good if it derailed you other plans, lol.

175Dejah_Thoris
Maio 31, 2020, 12:28pm

>173 souloftherose: >174 Dejah_Thoris: It turns out the T. Kingfisher / Ursula Vernon was born on May 28th, 1977, so we can add Nine Goblins to Paul's Challenge #16, if you like.

176humouress
Maio 31, 2020, 1:27pm

>170 Dejah_Thoris: >173 souloftherose: I could join you with Dragonsbane if you’re reading it this month (I’ve just slid into June on this side of the world).

177Dejah_Thoris
Maio 31, 2020, 2:12pm

>176 humouress: It's a favorite of mine. In fact, I reread it so often that I decided to put it aside for a few years, so it's been a while. It would be nice to have three of us read it!

178ronincats
Editado: Maio 31, 2020, 2:16pm

>173 souloftherose:, >176 humouress:, >177 Dejah_Thoris: Remember how suggestible I am?

179humouress
Maio 31, 2020, 2:37pm

>178 ronincats: >171 ronincats: Suggestible or suggestive?

180quondame
Maio 31, 2020, 2:55pm

>173 souloftherose: I am so glad The Cloud Roads caught my eye on the New Book shelf at Santa Monica library! A new-to-me woman F&SF author who writes neat stuff.

181BLBera
Jun 4, 2020, 9:47pm

Hi Heather - I somehow lost your thread.

I hope you and yours are well.

182archerygirl
Jun 9, 2020, 4:47am

Hello! *hugs* I'm familiar with the anxiety brain - that was how I felt for the first few weeks of lockdown and it tends to come back the moment anything unexpected happens or anything changes, so yay brains. Argh. The rest of the time I volley between "I'm totally fine, in fact I'm quite happy" and "why on earth did I bother getting out of bed everything is pointless".

It's definitely impacted on my reading!

I've had Briarley on my kindle for a while (think it was from the Stehpanie Burgis rec on twitter) so I'm bumping that up the to-read list. I enjoyed Come Tumbling Down hugely, but I read it before all the lockdown stuff started and I think that made a difference. I'm not sure it would have worked as well for me right now.

You're tempting me to a KJ Charles reread :D

183souloftherose
Jun 9, 2020, 2:37pm

>174 Dejah_Thoris:, >175 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you for spotting that, Dejah. I've added it to challenge #16.

>176 humouress:, >177 Dejah_Thoris:, >178 ronincats:, >179 humouress: Yay, Dragonsbane!

>180 quondame: They have lovely covers Susan - I think I would have been drawn to these books if I'd seen them on a bookshelf somewhere too. I did debate whether to try to get these in paper form because of the lovely covers but no UK publisher and the series being midway through being reissued in mass market paperbacks (which I really don't like) made me decide on kindle versions in the end.

>181 BLBera: Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by :-)

---------------------------------------------

Kind of in survival mode at the moment so finding it difficult to find the energy for LT. I keep thinking 'maybe this weekend'... but I am reading.

184souloftherose
Jun 14, 2020, 9:29am

>182 archerygirl: Hi Kathy - so sorry I missed your post. (I've been writing posts bit by bit and then refreshing before I hit post to make sure I haven't missed any responses but must have forgotten to refresh before posting last time).

'The rest of the time I volley between "I'm totally fine, in fact I'm quite happy" and "why on earth did I bother getting out of bed everything is pointless".' Yep, plus occasionally feeling a bit guilty about feeling ok when I speak to colleagues or friends who are struggling with more difficult circumstances.

I hope you enjoy Briarley. Maybe I should make reading the complete works of K. J. Charles my lockdown goal just because it feels like one I could achieve quite easily!

185souloftherose
Jun 14, 2020, 9:40am

Final April books (yes, still April)



#64 The Survival of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
#65 Flight of Magpies by K. J. Charles
#66 Birds, Beasts and Relatives by Gerald Durrell

All of these were series continuations (or conclusions) - I didn't think The Survival of Molly Southbourne was quite as good as The Murders of Molly Southbourne but it was still a gripping read. I think I've seen hints from the author that there is another instalment coming in this series. Flight of Magpies concluded Stephen and Lucien's romantic arc in a satisfying (and typically gory) way and provides some resolution for a number of the side characters as well. I also enjoyed the continuing misadventures of the Durrell family in Corfu - DH and I have started watching the TV series (The Durrells in Corfu) which is also very good.

186souloftherose
Jun 14, 2020, 10:05am

So May and June, I have definitely been focusing (bingeing?) certain authors:

K. J. Charles:



#72 Slippery Creatures by K. J. Charles
#73 Proper English by K. J. Charles
#74 Think of England by K. J. Charles

All of these are historical romances set in the early 20th century. Slippery Creatures is the first in a new trilogy set in the 1920s and 'in the spirit of pulp fiction'. Will Darling is a WWI veteran turned bookseller after inheriting his uncle's bookshop who suddenly finds himself and his bookshop of interest to a criminal gang and the War Office as it seems one of his uncle's friends sent him some secret papers to look after before he died. Into this comes Kim Secretan, a stranger who offers to help Will, but with lots of secrets. This was huge amounts of fun and I'm really looking forward to the next two instalments (out July and September 2020).

I then picked up Proper English which is an f/f romance. This one is a homage to a country-house murder mystery set in 1902 - the murder of a very unpleasant house-guest, lots of people with motives and secrets and a romance on top of that. Think of England is related to Proper English (the two lead characters in PE make an appearance but the books are both standalones) but Think of England is m/m and more of a spy thriller although one set during a country house party. I really enjoyed both.

187Dejah_Thoris
Jun 14, 2020, 11:11am

>186 souloftherose: I'm bingeing, too, lol. I've bought Slippery Creatures which I'm sure I'll get to soon and I'm still listening to all the KJ Charles available on Audible Escape. Plus three Ilona Andrews books. I'm having real trouble focusing on anything deep, dark, or serious.

Oh - and my current listen is The Corinthian - and angst there!

Have you already read number 75? Are congratulations in order?

188souloftherose
Jun 14, 2020, 1:09pm

>187 Dejah_Thoris: It's been ages since I read any Heyer but I remember enjoying The Corinthian. If I have time this month I was going to try to fit in Frederica to TIOLI challenge #9 as it was published in 1965.

And yes, #75 came mid-way through May, I'm just really behind with listing the books I've read :-)

Some Martha Wells reading:



#70 Network Effect by Martha Wells

Network Effect is the fifth book in the Murderbot series and if you haven't read any of these books, what are you waiting for?! Read All Systems Red now!



#80 The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
#81 The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells
#82 The Siren Depths by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths are the first three books in Wells' most recent fantasy series, The Books of the Raksura. The first two books were part of the Hugo packet a couple of years ago (the series was nominated for best series) and I've been meaning to read them for ages but somehow it never happened. Then tor.com had a couple of articles about the series this year and how they made good comfort reads (https://www.tor.com/2020/03/25/comfort-connection-and-community-in-martha-wells-...) and I decided that was a very good reason to try them now. The imagined world Wells has created in these books is stunning - full of sentient species, none of them human, who form complex societies. The main species of focus are the Raksura - humanoid, winged shapeshifters but who have a lot of reptilian characteristics. We meet the Raksura through Moon, a young Raksuran who was separated from his people at a very young age. Because other species in this world view shapeshifters with suspicion, Moon has had to hide who he is and move from place to place frequently, trying to settle down and fit in but knowing eventually he will be found out. At the beginning of The Cloud Roads, the people from the most recent settlement he has been living in try to kill him but he is rescued by a large shapeshifter called Stone who tells Moon he's a Raksura and takes Moon back with him to his Raksuran colony (known as a Court). These books are not the Murderbot books, but I thought there was a lot of overlap in the themes explored: both Moon and Murderbot have had traumatic experiences, both are (understandably) very reluctant to trust others but both also have a yearning to belong in some way. Moon's mistrust of the Raksura and struggles to belong to the Court are explored further in the first three books in the series (which form a complete story arc). And there's a race of predatory shapeshifters called the Fell to fight off and court intrigues to understand. The daily life of the Raksura and their society was another aspect of these books I found really fascinating (they're matriarchal) and I sometimes found myself wishing Wells would stop writing about the Raksura having adventures and just have a book of daily life in the court because I found that aspect so interesting.

Another essay/review of this series I found really interesting is here: http://aidanmoher.com/blog/review/2015/06/skys-the-limit/

To continue the series there aretwo short story/novella collections and then a further two novels. I'm sure I'll get to them soon.

189ronincats
Jun 14, 2020, 2:05pm

>188 souloftherose: I had read a couple of Wells' earlier fantasy books before the Murderbot books came out, but I really want to get to this series now. Hugs, Heather!

190Dejah_Thoris
Jun 14, 2020, 2:15pm

Well, in that case, congratulations on 75 books and beyond!

191bell7
Jun 14, 2020, 3:01pm

Congrats on 75+, Heather! I'll have to look up Martha Wells' fantasy series. I really enjoyed reading the Murderbot series in April/May.

192quondame
Jun 14, 2020, 3:30pm

>188 souloftherose: >189 ronincats: The Raksura novels were my introduction to Wells, and while I found the 3 one less compelling than the others they are all much better than average. I did read her previous fantasy earlier, and don't consider it quite up to the Raksura books. Murderbot is the best for me, but as it is SF, the comparison is likely to depend a good deal on personal taste.

193humouress
Jun 14, 2020, 4:48pm

Congratulations on your 75 Heather!

194ronincats
Jun 14, 2020, 4:57pm

Oops, forgot to take note of passing the 75 book mark, which I've just done myself! Congrats!!

195drneutron
Jun 15, 2020, 11:30am

Congrats!

196archerygirl
Jun 15, 2020, 11:37am

Congratulations on reaching the 75 books mark!

>184 souloftherose: Yep, plus occasionally feeling a bit guilty about feeling ok when I speak to colleagues or friends who are struggling with more difficult circumstances. Yes, this too, because even though I'm not always handling this well, I know that I'm in a better position than many. I struggle with not feeling guilty about both the feeling ok times, and the feeling not ok times because my brain tries to tell me that I'm lucky and shouldn't have not ok times when others are struggling.

Brains. So unhelpful sometimes.

I just ordered a physical copy of Proper English from Portal Bookshop, so a KJ Charles reread is looking more likely for me :)

197HanGerg
Jun 15, 2020, 4:41pm

Hi Heather! Congrats on 75! That's impressive!
I'm tempted by the Wells Fantasy series, but a quick look on Amazon suggests it's pretty pricey to buy, in any format. Did you stump up the cash or did your local library have it or...? Being able to (usually) get things I want to read pretty cheap either on Kindle or second hand has made me a bit mean about shelling out for books, but maybe I just need to change my mindset and reward these authors who give me so much pleasure with a proper financial reward. Having said that, if the library has a copy....

198FAMeulstee
Jun 19, 2020, 9:25am

>188 souloftherose: Congratulations on reaching 75, Heather!

199lyzard
Jun 19, 2020, 7:14pm

Hi, hon - congratulations on your 75!

I wanted to check in and see whether you were still up for Castle Richmond next month? If you don't feel like it, or perhaps can't get the book, don't hesitate to say so. I'm pondering rescheduling it, but will go with the majority vote.

Please take care of yourself; I hope the comfort reading is getting the job done. :)

200figsfromthistle
Jun 19, 2020, 9:52pm

Congrats on surpassing 75 books ! Have a wonderful weekend.

201LizzieD
Jun 20, 2020, 12:00am

Dear Heather, I can't believe that I lost you for almost an entire half year. That just speaks to the scatteredness of my brain in this horrific year. I'm so sorry to hear about Erica. It's hard to process this loss.
I am happy to see you still reading well, and I've wish-listed everything by Silvia Moreno-Garcia with thanks. I read An Unkindness of Ghosts when ER kindly had an ARC sent to me. I haven't looked for anything new by Solomon, but I did enjoy the book a lot. I think that she will improve as she continues to write.
Congratulations on 75! I won't have read that many by the end of December, but I'm happy to know you super-readers who do.
Take care of yourself and be boosted by the affection in which the other 75ers and I hold you!

202kidzdoc
Jun 20, 2020, 6:23am

Congratulations, Heather!

203PaulCranswick
Jun 20, 2020, 6:26am

Adding my own congratulations on the books read, Heather.

Can I hear another thread coming down the tracks?

204Sakerfalcon
Jun 23, 2020, 5:49am

Congratulations on your reading progress Heather! Very well done!

I finally read the Murderbot novellas, after Tor.com gave them away. They really are as good as they are hyped to be - how rare is that! I'm trying to wait until the novel comes out in paperback, and I do have the last 2 Raksura novels and the novellas to keep me going in the meantime. I've also been rereading Wells' Ile-Rien trilogy, which I really like. I love that her three main series - Ile Rien, Raksura and Murderbot - are so different to each other.

I hope you continue to find hope and comfort in your reading.

205SandDune
Jul 4, 2020, 4:46pm

Hoping all is well with you Heather!

206Dejah_Thoris
Jul 4, 2020, 8:45pm

Just dropping by to say hi. *waves madly*

207humouress
Jul 5, 2020, 8:07am

*ducks Dejah's flying hands*

Hi Heather. Hope everything is well with you.

208PaulCranswick
Jul 5, 2020, 8:09am

Wishing you a lovely Sunday, Heather.

209BLBera
Jul 11, 2020, 4:38pm

I hope you are well, Heather. Congrats on reaching and passing 75.

210HanGerg
Ago 8, 2020, 1:27pm

Sending good vibes your way Heather. Hope everything is OK.

211PaulCranswick
Ago 8, 2020, 5:30pm

Nearly two months since we saw you here, Heather.

Please come and update us that all is fine. xx

212ronincats
Ago 8, 2020, 6:12pm

Hope everything is okay there, Heather. We are missing you bigtime!!!

213humouress
Ago 9, 2020, 4:52pm

Just waving hello.

214ronincats
Ago 17, 2020, 10:15pm

(((((Heather)))))

215LizzieD
Ago 18, 2020, 11:24pm

I was excited to see a post here, and now I see that it wasn't you anytime lately. We miss you, Heather. Think of us and let us hear from you, please.

216HanGerg
Ago 20, 2020, 3:36pm

I have some intel on Heather, in that she liked a few of my posts on Instagram. I might try and DM her there just to check all is well.

217PaulCranswick
Ago 20, 2020, 7:11pm

>216 HanGerg: That is good to hear, Hannah. I tend to be a worrier when it comes to our pals not posting for an overlong period.

218ronincats
Ago 20, 2020, 10:00pm

>216 HanGerg: That would be great, Hannah. I confess to being a worrier as well. Tell her we miss her.

219humouress
Ago 21, 2020, 1:14am

>216 HanGerg: Adding my vote as well Hannah. It's not like most LTers can pop round to check and especially not at a time like this. Thanks.

220LizzieD
Ago 21, 2020, 1:04pm

My thanks too, Hannah! I'm waiting anxiously.

221souloftherose
Editado: Out 5, 2020, 4:54pm

Sorry friends - didn't mean to worry anyone. We are ok (well, as ok as anyone is in 2020) but work has been very busy and just generally everything seems to be taking 5% more energy this year so I am hitting my energy limit most weeks and struggling to have any energy left for LT.

I'd love to say I'll be here more in the future but not really sure how likely that is. I'm still thinking about different things I might try.

Reading is happening although mostly limited to comforting books. But I recently discovered that I was able to listen to a non-fiction audio book (whereas I haven't felt like reading any non-fiction in ebook or paper form for ages) so I'm currently listening to Hallie Rubenhold's The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper which sounds like it would be gruesome and depressing but isn't about the murders at all and I'm finding it a fascinating social history of five women who were mainly from working class backgrounds. The narrator's really good and although I kept thinking her voice was familiar it took google to tell me she's also the actress who plays Molly in the BBC Sherlock.

Otherwise my latest comforting read was Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare which is a romantic comedy about an assistant editor and a nurse who works night shifts who share a small flat in London (and a bed) but never meet and communicate through Post-It notes. I expected this to be fun and light-hearted (and it is) but also covered more serious subjects than I expected and was very well-written and constructed. So now just deciding now between buying the author's second book (The Switch) or seeing if the library gets a copy.

222PaulCranswick
Ago 22, 2020, 11:50pm

Great to see you post, Heather.

Have a lovely weekend.

223humouress
Ago 23, 2020, 2:23am

>221 souloftherose: Good to see you around Heather. I can empathise.

224lauralkeet
Ago 23, 2020, 7:36am

Heather, it's so nice to see you here. I recently read The Five: The Untold Lives (etc.) and thought it was very good. I really appreciated how she spent all of her time on the women and their lives, rather than covering their grisly ends.

225LizzieD
Ago 23, 2020, 12:46pm

HAPPY that you made it here, Heather! We all do what we have to do the best we can, but I'm glad to see you well and reading or listening even if you're tired and unable to keep up with past energy. We're all that way. I have a copy of *5 Lives* on my Kindle, and you and Laura make me more eager to get to it.
Be well!

226ronincats
Ago 23, 2020, 7:06pm

Times are energy-draining for everyone, and I don't want to add to the pressure, but it's good to know you are okay!

227lyzard
Ago 23, 2020, 8:31pm

>226 ronincats:

What Roni said, thanks for checking in. :)

228Sakerfalcon
Ago 24, 2020, 8:00am

Glad you are hanging in there, Heather. It's a strange time, for sure.

229Berly
Set 22, 2020, 2:02am

I'm trying to get back in the LT groove. How about you?!?! : ) Hope all is well.

230PaulCranswick
Out 17, 2020, 10:32pm

>221 souloftherose: Nice to see you edit in October. xx

Hope life will get back to some sort of normal to allow you to visit here again regularly.

231souloftherose
Out 23, 2020, 7:44am

Hello LT friends!

I'm at the end of a couple of weeks off work which have been mostly spent doing jigsaws, rewatching the first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, rereading Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy and Provenance and playing Return of the Obra Dinn on our Switch (a puzzle/murder mystery game).

It's definitely been good to have a break from work but I wish I could say I feel a bit more restored than I do. I suspect a baseline level of exhaustion is almost unavoidable for 2020.

I'm not going to list all the books I've read this month but my favourite new reads so far of October are A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade.



A Deadly Education is the start of a new fantasy trilogy set in a magic boarding school with a very low survival rate. Our heroine El is angry and spiky and just trying to survive as best she can without the support of one of the famous wizard enclaves and without accidentally using the dark magic that seems to be her natural talent. This was a really good read and I'm already impatient for the next book in the series.



Spoiler Alert is a delightful romantic comedy. I'm finding it really difficult to write a good synopsis so have just copied the publisher blurb below but this was sweet and funny and my only complaint would be that the misunderstanding between the two leads was maybe resolved a bit too quickly towards the end. Also there's some serious love for fanfiction and fandom in this book which made me very happy.

Publisher's blurb:

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret.

The world may know him as Aeneas, star of the biggest show on television, but fanfiction readers call him something else: Book!AeneasWouldNever. Marcus gets out his frustrations with the show through anonymous stories about the internet’s favorite couple, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone discovered his online persona, he’d be finished in Hollywood.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s long hidden her fanfic and cosplay hobbies from her “real life”—but not anymore. When she dares to post her latest costume creation on Twitter, her plus-size take goes viral. And when Marcus asks her out to spite her internet critics, truth officially becomes stranger than fanfiction.

On their date, Marcus quickly realizes he wants more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. But when he discovers she’s Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to keep from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

232foggidawn
Out 23, 2020, 10:50am

>231 souloftherose: Oh, I'm gonna have to read Spoiler Alert.

233MickyFine
Out 23, 2020, 10:51am

>231 souloftherose: Oooh, Spoiler Alert sounds super cute. BB for me! Of course, Deadly Education is already on The List.

Glad to hear you had a relaxing staycation and hope the rest is enough to get you through the rest of the year. Hang in there!

234curioussquared
Out 23, 2020, 12:35pm

>231 souloftherose: A Deadly Education is on my list to buy, and I just yesterday put Spoiler Alert on hold at the library :D

235kidzdoc
Out 23, 2020, 2:39pm

>231 souloftherose: I'm glad that you were able to at least partially recharge your batteries, Heather.

I suspect a baseline level of exhaustion is almost unavoidable for 2020.

Yes. A baseline level of anxiety and depressed mood is likewise unavoidable, I think. I and many of my closest colleagues and friends have all had at least some trouble concentrating on reading and other pleasurable activities, but I hope that we'll all be in better spirits after next month's presidential election.

236humouress
Out 23, 2020, 5:52pm

>231 souloftherose: Darn it. Two BBs in one post.

237lyzard
Out 23, 2020, 5:55pm

Hi, hon! How very nice to see you here posting. :)

238Whisper1
Out 23, 2020, 6:21pm

HI Heather

I've been MIA for awhile. I am slowly getting back to posting on threads. I'm sorry that you are experiencing some bumps in the road.

This is a wonderful group (as you know.) The support here is incredible.

Please add me to the list of those who care.

All good wishes are sent your way.

239HanGerg
Nov 2, 2020, 3:22pm

Lovely to see you here Heather, and yes, two BB's for me too!

240avatiakh
Nov 2, 2020, 5:40pm

Hi Heather - let's hope that 2021 is a better year.
I loved A deadly education and have requested Spoiler Alert at the library.
I enjoyed The Flatshare and read The Switch which was just ok but an easy read which I'm finding I need more of in current environment.

241souloftherose
Nov 22, 2020, 12:08pm

>232 foggidawn:, >233 MickyFine:, >234 curioussquared:, >235 kidzdoc:, >236 humouress:, >237 lyzard:, >238 Whisper1:, >239 HanGerg:, >240 avatiakh: Thank you to everyone who visited my thread. I don't quite know how it's been a month since I visited.... but I guess even visiting monthly is an improvement for me compared to the summer! I hope everyone who I hit with a book bullet in my last post enjoys those books.

I've had a real spike in anxiety since going back to work which is not really related to anything rational so I've let my managers at work know and they've taken a few things off my list and been generally been supportive. But the problem with anxiety that doesn't have an identifiable cause is that it's not particularly easy for anyone to do anything to help. I have been seeing a therapist this year and we have been discussing anxiety more generally and part of me is wondering if I'm not actually experiencing an increase in my anxiety levels at the moment but just more aware of how anxious I am (I don't know if that makes sense)? I don't want to jinx anything but I have felt a little bit better the last few days (although v tired) so fingers crossed that continues.

Reading wise, for the last week or so I've been happily absorbed in Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series (link to LT series page here) and have been working my way through this chronologically starting with the short stories and have only this weekend reached the first novel, Discount Armageddon.

It's a multi-generational urban fantasy series about a family of cryptozoologists who have run away from a group who hunt and kill monsters so that they can study them, preserve them where possible and only intervene where the monsters are a threat to human life. The novels are set in the present day (2012 onwards) but in the short stories McGuire goes back and tells the story of the great-grandparents and grandparents of the modern day generation. The short story format really worked for me at the moment - I could finish a story in an evening after work and it was something nice and familiar to pick up because the characters are the same and each story has a little adventure in it (kind of a monster of the week feature) plus some character development and worldbuilding.

A lot of the short stories are available on the author's website for free here.

I should also note that for anyone who looks at all the short stories and feels daunted or who just doesn't like shorter fiction I'm about 33% of the way into Discount Armageddon and you could definitely pick this up without any of the back story about the family's past. (I think in publication order Discount Armageddon was written before most of the short stories.)

242souloftherose
Nov 22, 2020, 12:12pm

>240 avatiakh: Yes, I also found The Switch only an ok but easy read after The Flatshare. I think she has another book, The Road Trip, out next year which I will probably still try.

243LizzieD
Nov 22, 2020, 12:23pm

I'm always happy to see your name pop up here, Heather, and also happy to see that you've found some congenial reading. I applaud the way you're dealing with your anxiety. There's enough around that has an identifiable cause without being gobsmacked by the diffuse kind.
Take care!

244humouress
Nov 22, 2020, 1:07pm

>241 souloftherose: Oh, I see - no apologies for said book bullets. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to get to them yet.

I have got Discount Armageddon on my shelves; this encourages me to move it up the TBR line a notch.

>1 souloftherose: Yup, those toe beans are good. :0)

245lauralkeet
Nov 22, 2020, 1:10pm

>243 LizzieD: I couldn't have said it better myself. It's nice to hear from you, Heather.

246MickyFine
Nov 23, 2020, 11:19am

Happy to see you poking your nose in, Heather. Hope you continue to enjoy your series and whatever else helps you keep the anxiety at bay. *hugs*

247HanGerg
Nov 23, 2020, 4:51pm

Hi Heather! Good to see you here.

248quondame
Nov 23, 2020, 6:20pm

>241 souloftherose: I really should check out the InCryptid series!

249curioussquared
Nov 23, 2020, 8:41pm

Hi Heather! >241 souloftherose: I do not think you are alone right now in experiencing anxiety even without any rational cause. The world is bonkers right now and it is very OK not to be OK! I have days where I'm great and days where I just feel awful for no reason I can pinpoint. I'm glad you've found a series that is working for you!

250Berly
Nov 24, 2020, 2:26am

>241 souloftherose: Hi there! Hope your anxiety calms down. I know this year has been rough in so many ways. I also recommend The Flatshare. Wishing you more happy reading!

251SandDune
Nov 25, 2020, 3:09pm

>241 souloftherose: it’s good to see you posting again Heather. Hopefully the improvements you’ve seen in the last few days will continue.

252lyzard
Nov 25, 2020, 3:28pm

Hi, Heather! Just stopping by with {{{{hugs}}}} and encouragement. :)

253ronincats
Nov 25, 2020, 9:45pm

((((((Heather))))))

254Carmenere
Dez 24, 2020, 9:14am


Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday season and a joyous 2021!

255SandDune
Dez 24, 2020, 11:00am



Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well.

256HanGerg
Dez 24, 2020, 12:11pm


Happy festive season Heather! Hope you have a good one despite all the challenges!

257Berly
Dez 24, 2020, 6:13pm



Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

258quondame
Dez 25, 2020, 1:16am

Happy Holidays Heather!

259humouress
Dez 25, 2020, 1:22am



Wishing you and yours the very best of the season.

260PaulCranswick
Dez 25, 2020, 12:03pm



I hope you get some of those at least, Heather, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

261souloftherose
Dez 31, 2020, 12:44pm

Thank you to everyone for your visits and Christmas/New Year wishes! I had hoped I might make it to a few people's threads over the Christmas/New Year period to say hello but..... well, that hasn't happened. I do miss everyone just feel incapable of actually communicating at the moment.

So the good and the bad for me at the end of 2020 - the good: we are fostering/adopting a dog! He's an older dog (14 year old lurcher called Tink) and a bit deaf, partially blind (cataracts) and a bit arthritic so we are his retirement home and he has been with us for nearly 3 weeks now. He's a sweet old boy but still pretty anxious with us (maybe borderline separation anxiety but I think that's relatively normal for rescue dogs at first) but is now comfortable with us stroking him and is eating all his food which he wasn't doing at the rescue centre. His previous owner died and he may not have been looked after properly for a period after that (possibly chained outside) but we don't know much else about him.

Here he is asleep in various positions.



The bad - my anxiety is really bad. I can't remember the last time I only woke up once in the night feeling anxious. I think partly adopting Tink and all the changes in routine and feeling the additional responsibility but also *gestures at world but specifically the UK*.

Rereading the Murderbot books by Martha Wells has been keeping me sane the last few weeks - even though I had paid full price for all the ebooks when they came out I treated myself to the boxed set of hardbacks of the first four novellas recently (hard to find in the UK but Forbidden Planet came through) and do not regret this.

I've been dithering about whether to hunt down the 2021 group and start a thread because I don't feel like my terribleness at posting updates is going to end soon but I'm leaning towards starting a thread just so there is somewhere to post if I do feel like it.

262curioussquared
Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 1:42pm

>261 souloftherose: Tink is totally gorgeous. I love my greyhounds, but I'm a sucker for a fuzzy lurcher face!

I'm so sorry your anxiety is so bad! I hope it gets better soon. I also acquired the Murderbot boxed set and looking at them makes me happy. I vote for starting a thread if you feel up to it!

263Carmenere
Dez 31, 2020, 1:48pm

Good to see you post, Heather! And congratulations on your addition!
I get what you mean about a new thread. It can be kind of therapeutic in a way but you may get anxious by not tending to it like you want. In any case, we're here for you and we're all going through something. You are not alone. Happy New Year!

264Crazymamie
Dez 31, 2020, 1:52pm

Heather so great to see you here. I am sorry about the anxiety. I think our current times are so unsettling for all of us, and I am hoping that 2021 can bring us back to a sense of normal at some point. I love that you bought yourself the Murderbot books in hardback even though you paid full price for them originally in digital form - me, too!!

Tink is adorable and very lucky to have you. I hope he continues to settle in. Dogs are the very best medicine, if you ask me. I think you will be good for each other, and unconditional love is no small thing. How wonderful for you to rescue him even though you are not feeling up to dealing with everything every day - he needed a home and you gave him one. That is huge.

I hope you do start a thread if for no other reason than for us to have a place to post to you and lift you up - LT works powerful magic that way and has lifted me up many times over the years. And when and if you do feel like posting, you will have a spot already set up. I always love reading your posts and seeing what you are reading and how you felt about it.

Please know that we are thinking about you and holding you in our hearts. And please give Tink a sqritch behind the ears for me.

265Berly
Dez 31, 2020, 2:37pm

Hurray for Tink! I hope he brings you great joy as I am sure you are for him. I am sorry the anxiety continues, but I do hope you make a thread. If nothing else, it will be a place for us to come by and say Hi! to you. : )

266MickyFine
Dez 31, 2020, 9:21pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your anxiety, Heather, but so glad having a dog is bringing some joy to your life. I'll echo the sentiments above and say I hope you do create a thread for next year. We'll keep it warm for you whenever you're feeling up to joining us. Hugs and well wishes for your New Year.

267PaulCranswick
Dez 31, 2020, 9:24pm



Heather

As the year turns, friendship continues

268quondame
Dez 31, 2020, 9:37pm

>261 souloftherose: Tink looks a dear! He will soon be less and less anxious and I hope you let his increasing ease increase yours. Dog contentment is catching, really it is.

269quondame
Dez 31, 2020, 10:27pm

270LizzieD
Dez 31, 2020, 10:33pm

Good for all three of you to have Tink in the family! I always love to see you here and would miss you badly if you bowed out next year. I look forward to hearing that you are able to relax and wish you a much, much better year!

271ronincats
Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 10:51pm

What Mamie said, Heather! A new thread gives us somewhere to come and say hi to you.

I remember when you rescued Erica and all the issues she had. Tink will be fine once he's settled in, and so will you be. (((((Heather)))))

And already the new year where you are. Happy New Year!

272archerygirl
Jan 1, 6:52am

{{hugs}} I understand what you mean about starting a 2021 thread, I'm in the same boat, but I hope you do. It's lovely to see you check in every now and again when you can.

Happy New Year!

273lauralkeet
Editado: Jan 1, 8:17am

Happy New Year, Heather. Tink looks like a real sweetheart and it's wonderful of you to give him a loving home. I hope to see you in the 2021 group, for all the reasons others have mentioned. Plus, we'd love seeing Tink pics!

274cushlareads
Jan 1, 8:18pm

Happy new year, Heather. What a sweet dog!! We are just starting the process of adopting a puppy from the SPCA...

Really sorry to read that your anxiety is bad. I hope you do start a 2021 thread though - I love seeing your posts on here when I come on, which has been hardly at all this year until the last few weeks. I ignored my thread all this year because real life was just so intense, but am going to do one for 2021 just because I can't imagine not. Even if I don't keep up with it I have just been on here so long that it feels weird not to do it.

275souloftherose
Jan 2, 7:53am

>262 curioussquared:, >263 Carmenere:, >264 Crazymamie:, >265 Berly:, >266 MickyFine:, >267 PaulCranswick:, >268 quondame:, >269 quondame:, >270 LizzieD:, >271 ronincats:, >272 archerygirl:, >273 lauralkeet:, >274 cushlareads:

Thank you so much for so many lovely messages - I don't really feel able to respond individually right now but they really helped.

I think I've updated and tagged all the books I read in 2020 now and I managed 182 books which is 30 more than in 2019. I thought I'd done more rereading in 2020 but checking to my 2019 figures it was about the same.

I'm not going to disclose how many books I bought in 2020 but let's just say buying books was my coping mechanism for 2020.....

Right, let me set up my 2021 thread and then I will be back to post a link once done.

276souloftherose
Jan 2, 9:36am

New thread in the 2021 group here.