TIFFIN'S first for 2023

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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TIFFIN'S first for 2023

Editado: Jan 2, 12:54 am

January Thaw Edge of Town by Lawren Harris, member of Group of Seven Canadian artists:

Considering the rain and thaw conditions we're going through here, this seemed an appropriate image to start with for 2023.

I would like to most respectfully ask that people don't leave gifs or other flashing notes here. They really bother my eyes (and probably my brain). Thank you!

Who Am I?
I've noticed that various 2023 threads have put personal introductions at the start of them. I blithely assumed that after 15+ years here, we all pretty much know each other by now in the 75 group, but as there are new people who might drop by, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. I'm a retired college administrator, having worked at Trent University for 30 years, who foolishly thought I'd have all the time in the world to read, garden, quilt, swim, just be, when I retired. An elderly infirm mother and a Covid pandemic determined otherwise. I pulled back from reviewing and keeping up with others' threads. Herself passed away in October at 103 years, so I'm slowly re-engaging with the rest of humanity. I hope to write a bit more about the books I read. I hope to read less for only entertainment/escapism, to keep the grey matter folded but I do love science fiction and good mysteries, so we'll see how that goes. Visitors are always welcome here.

This thread continues on from https://www.librarything.com/topic/345511#n8009494

Editado: Maio 31, 10:36 pm

List of Books Read in 2023
(unless specified, most reads are 3.5 to 5 stars)

1. Babel by R.F. Kuang (Excellent)
2. Daughter of the Moon Goddess (1) by Sue Lynn Tan (Good Asian fantasy)
3. Heart of the Sun Warrior (2) by Sue Lynn Tan
4. The Thursday Murder Club (1) by Richard Osman
5. The Man Who Died Twice (2) by Richard Osman
6. The Bullet That Missed (3) by Richard Osman (Fun series)
7. If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura (Good)
8. Hue and Cry (1) by Shirley McKay
9. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
10. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
11. Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
12. Adulthood Rites by Octavia E. Butler
13. Imago by Octavia E. Butler
14. Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
15. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
16. Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
17. The Last Librarian by Brandt Legg
18. The Lost Tree Runner by Brandt Legg
19. The List Keepers by Brandt Legg
20. The Miser of Mayfair by Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton)
21. Plain Jane by Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton)
22. The Adventuress by Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton)
23. The Wicked Godmother by Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton)
24. The Rake's Progress by Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton)
25. Rainbird's Revenge by Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton)
26. Santa Grint by Jodi Taylor
27. Red Thunder by John Varley
28. Red Lightning by John Varley
29. Rolling Thunder by John Varley
30. Dark Lightning by John Varley
31. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai
32. The Kingless Crown (1) by Sarah M. Cradit
33. The Broken Realm (2) by Sarah M. Cradit
34. The Hidden Kingdom (3) by Sarah M. Cradit
35. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
36. Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata
37. The Librarian of Crooked Lane by C.J. Archer
38. The Medici Manuscript by C.J. Archer
39. Every Heart a Doorway (1) by Seanan McGuire
40. A Grave Misunderstanding by Len Boswell
41. Simon Grave and the Curious Incident of the Cat in Daytime by Len Boswell
42. Simon Grave and the Drone of the Basque Orvilles by Len Boswell
43. The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix
44. Down Among the Sticks and Bones (2) by Seanan McGuire (entry out of order)
45. Run Lab Rat Run by Shawn C. Butler

Series Waiting for Completion

- The Kingkiller series by Patrick Rothfuss, Book 3, still hasn't been published. Rothfuss said he had to sort out some issues in his personal life before he could write it, which he has apparently done, and is now working on Book 3. No publication date given as yet.
- Riders Guild Book III by Marta Randall - no sign yet
- 3rd book of The Thrice Crossed Swords by A.M. Steiner (was due out May 2020) - no sign yet
- The Asperfell conclusion, book 3, due out in 2022, by Jamie Thomas (not out yet and it doesn't look like it's coming)

Dez 23, 2022, 7:30 pm

Welcome back, Tui. Wishing you a comfortable reading year in 2023!

Dez 23, 2022, 8:03 pm

Welcome back for another year, Tui!

Dez 23, 2022, 9:49 pm

Happy 2023 (when you return), Tui!

Dez 31, 2022, 11:07 pm

Thanks Paul, Jim, and Richard. Happy 2023 to you too. I'm still mopping up the last of 2022's reads.

Jan 1, 8:29 am

Happy New Year, Tui. I tend to lurk on your thread more than I post, so I thought I'd poke my head out and say hello for a change.

Jan 1, 9:57 am

I'm here...I won't make a lot of noise, but I'll be in and out all year.

Jan 1, 11:07 am

Happy New Year, Laura and Linda. Always glad to have you drop by.

Jan 1, 3:32 pm

Hope you have a great year of reading!

Jan 2, 12:33 am

Thank you, Lori. I hope to be able to be more present in various 75ers rooms this coming year.

Editado: Jan 23, 1:23 pm

1. Babel, or, The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution by R.F. Kuang

Kindle edition {added}

Excellent! Review needed here.

Jan 5, 3:20 am

>12 tiffin: Bought that one for Jacob for Christmas - I’m hoping to borrow it once he’s read it.

Jan 5, 6:58 am

>12 tiffin: Hmmm, this looks intriguing, Tui. I don't normally go for fantasy/magic but just read a couple reviews that tempt me. I'll be interested to read more of your impressions once you've finished it.

Jan 5, 11:20 am

I just picked that one up from the library yesterday. Once I finish the current book, I'm diving in!

Jan 5, 11:24 am

I like Kuang's writing a lot. At first I thought it was like a Hogwarts for those of us who love words but then she went *BIFF SOCK POW* and we are now going somewhere else entirely. Laura, the fantasy/magic aspect is by no means the main point of the story. You might be ok with it.

Jan 5, 12:06 pm

>16 tiffin: thanks Tui! That's good to know. My library has the book, and I added it to a little list I keep on the side so I don't forget about it.

Jan 5, 1:06 pm

>12 tiffin: I'm really looking forward to your take on it. I've been dithering about reading it for some time now.

Editado: Jan 10, 2:45 am

Happy reading in 2023, Tui!

Jan 10, 10:18 am

Thanks, Anita, and to you. Hope your eyes behave themselves!

Jan 10, 6:30 pm

I have been wracking tiny brain to think of what I want to say about "Babel", and how I want to go about it. The problem is trying to figure out how to write about it without spoilers.

Jan 11, 8:39 pm

>21 tiffin: Hi Tui. I starred your thread just now.
I am a newer-ish LT Talk member of the 75-er group. And you are a "new to me" member. I'm so glad you had an intro., so I could see what interests you have. Also, I wandered back to 2022 via your handy url to look at what books you like and see your reviews.

Bennett Sisters Mysteries (Lise McClendon) is a series that looks very interesting, though maybe a bit dark?
I read a lot of murder mysteries as escapist reading and require a clever mystery but not too much grisly detail. CS Harris' St. Cyr novels tried me badly. She's such an excellent historical fiction writer, though, so I have read all 17 of the series ( and have a request for the 18th, Who Cries for the Lost).

I liked some of your conversation on other threads (2023) but didn't realize you were Canadian until I saw that you knew who Stevie Cameron is. Fun stuff. And of course your topper, Lawren Harris.

Anyway, I look forward to more visits here. Perhaps you'll enjoy my thread too. I took last year off because of various "heavy trips" in 2021 and 2022 were grim with no mental energy to look at LT much.

Jan 12, 10:49 am

Happy (very belated) New Year, Tui. Please accept my condolences on the death of your mother.

Jan 12, 11:02 am

It's not too late, Stasia, it's still January! Thank you for your condolences. Happy New Year to you too.

Jan 12, 5:50 pm

Happy New Year, Tui. I’ll pop in once in a while to see what mysteries you’re reading that might tempt me.

Jan 15, 12:11 pm

Yikes! I have looked longingly at your thread as I hurried away, but I see that I never stopped in. Happy New Year, Tui!!!

I'm really happy that you were pleased with the Kuang *Babel*. I got it as a daily deal because I thought it looked good - at least, I think that's how it happened. I'm always glad to know that an instinct was good. Currently, I'm rereading The Fresco and looking forward to getting back to A Memory Called Empire. Good books keep showing up.

Happy Reading!

Jan 16, 10:07 am

Hi Peggy, Happy New Year to you too. I'm still mulling over how best to describe Babel. Layers and layers and layers there.

Editado: Jan 16, 10:47 am

2: Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Kindle edition {added}

I have been reading a fair bit of Asian Lit. in translation over the past few years. This is the first of a couple of books telling the tale in classic myth and legend style of Zingyin, the daughter of Chang'e the moon goddess. Zingyin seeks to free her mother from her imprisonment on the moon where she has been exiled from the Celestial kingdom by the Celestial Emperor. It's really quite a lovely story, with good character development and none of that stilted style that can sometimes occur in heroic tales in translation. I enjoyed it.

Editado: Jan 16, 10:48 am

3: The Heart of the Sun Warrior, by Sue Lynn Tan

Kindle edition {added}

Xingyin continues her quest to keep her family safe and battle a great evil in the Immortal Realm. A fitting conclusion to the first book, as certain difficult relationships work themselves out.

Editado: Jan 16, 9:59 pm

4: The Thursday Murder Club, Book I, by Richard Osman

Kindle edition {added}

Oh my! This is so much fun. If I do end up having to go to a retirement community, Cooper's Chase is exactly the one I'd choose, as long as Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim could be guaranteed to be there. Seniors with most of their marbles still there, who like to get together to try to solve cold cases, find themselves with very hot cases on their collective laps. Although tea and coffee do make appearances, the intrepid four like wine, beer, G&Ts and good food to help them to mull over facts and clues.

Elizabeth is magnificent, there is no other word for her. Joyce's astute observations are concealed beneath her sparkle and walnut cakes, a perfect foil for Elizabeth. Ibrahim and Ron each have their separate strengths: Ibrahim his brilliance and Ron his feistiness. I love them all. My only fear is that I'm reading too fast and will run out of them once the third book is done...although a fourth is in the pipes.

Editado: Jan 16, 10:03 pm

5: The Man Who Died Twice, Book II, by Richard Osman

Kindle edition {added}

Pretty much letter perfect. Thank heavens we were having leftovers tonight because I sure didn't want to cook. I just wanted to read this second instalment in the series, and so I did. On to the third but for now, I need to give my eyes a break.

Jan 16, 12:27 pm

I just knew you would love (and devour) these!

Jan 16, 6:10 pm

>30 tiffin: Those seem to be quite popular. The first is on my Libby app TBR list.

Jan 16, 10:07 pm

>33 thornton37814:: They are popular because they are quite wonderful, in me 'umble opinion. Both the characters and the plot are equally balanced, which is such a treat.

Jan 18, 9:32 am

>31 tiffin: I have The Man Who Died Twice in my TBR pile and should get to it soon.

I read the first in this series back in 2020. I was lukewarm about the story but I'm willing to give book 2 a go. Especially with the accolade, "Thank heavens we were having leftovers tonight because I sure didn't want to cook". It's been quite awhile since I've been there with a book and Mr. SM did the cooking...

Jan 18, 4:03 pm

>35 SandyAMcPherson:: Sandy, it just might not be your cuppa, which is just fine. There was something slightly Jeeves and Wooster about it for me, appealing to my sense of the absurd and pawkish sense of humour.

Jan 20, 10:44 pm

>36 tiffin: " Jeeves and Wooster" is a not quite what I thought of, but ... yes, there were indeed several implausible scenarios in The Thursday Murder Club that seemed quite silly to include. So J & W is a pretty good way to describe the antics. Has me smiling! Thanks.

Editado: Jan 23, 1:19 pm

6: The Bullet That Missed, Book III, by Richard Osman

Kindle edition {added}

Well, that's the series finished so far. I was surfeited by time I finished this one so don't mind moving on to fresher pastures.

Editado: Jan 23, 1:20 pm

7: If Cats Disappeared From the World, by Genki Kawamura, trans. by Eric Selland

Kindle edition {added}

I believe that this is Kawamura's first book, at least in translation if not actual first book. It's the tale of a young Japanese postman who has just been told that he only has a short while left to live. He lives alone with his cat, Cabbage, whom he adores. His mother has died and he's estranged from his father. As he struggles to come to grips with his impending end, the Devil appears to make a deal with the young man for an extra day of life if he agrees to eliminate something from the world.

Each thing eliminated gives the postie much to think about, to reassess in his own life. Fair enough until he reaches a Faustian choice. Will he continue selling things out for an extra day? An easy but thoughtful read.

Jan 23, 11:50 pm

>39 tiffin: This book sounds like something exactly up my alley, adding it to my list.

Editado: Jan 26, 9:17 pm

9: Hue and Cry, by Shirley McKay

Kindle edition {added}

A mystery set in Scotland in the time of James VI, 1579. The main protagonist, Hew Cullan, has recently returned from France and has come to his old university, St. Andrews, to visit his father and sister, as well as old friends from his uni days. Hew has studied for law but finds himself disenchanted with it. Several murders take place, one of which seems to implicate his old roommate Nicholas Colp. Convinced of his friend's innocence, Hew sets about trying to prove this innocence despite the roadblocks set up at every turn by the Protestant Kirk, superstition, corruption, and class divides.

Couldn't help but think of Shakespear's Hamlet wherein the play's the thing to catch the conscience of the King.

Editado: Fev 4, 11:47 pm

9: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Kindle edition {added}

This was excellent, a 4.5 star read for me. Although it was a fantasy with dragons in it, in this tale they weren't hackneyed or trite. The Priory of the Orange Tree is a dense and rich story crossing a world, spanning history, encompassing religions and politics. It was pretty brilliant that author Shannon managed to condense the whole vast tale into one book.

Fev 4, 7:35 pm

Just catching up, Tui. Good to see that you are enjoying your reading so much this year.

Fev 4, 11:49 pm

Hi Paul, thanks for dropping by. I'm still getting my feet under me, so haven't been visiting around too much. I'm also not reading as much as usual, so it's good that I've liked what I have read.

Fev 4, 11:54 pm

Quality wins over quantity if you are enjoying it, Tui.

Editado: Fev 5, 12:37 am

10: The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Paperback, a Tom Doherty Associates Book {added}

A Christmas gift from Himself. Six individuals with powerful talents, medeians, are recruited to the ultra secret Alexandrian Society once a decade: Libby Rhodes, Nico Ferrer de Verona, Reina Mori, Callum Nova, Tristan Caine, Parisa Kamali. They are drawn in by the seductive promises of power and knowledge, for each of them has an unquenchable desire to learn who and what they really are, what they are capable of, beyond what the New York University of Magical Arts could teach them. Eventually they learn that one of them must die, as part of a decades long tradition of the Alexandrian Society, which sends the whole tale off in a far more sinister direction. Who and what is Atlas Blakely, the Caretaker? A mystery, a dark tale of ambition and danger, betrayal and secrets, it kept me reading.

On to the 2nd book in the series, also from Himself.

Editado: Fev 20, 12:17 pm

11: Dawn, Lilith's Brood Book I, by Octavia Butler

Grand Central Publishing, paperback {added}

This is the story of Lilith, a human who is struggling to survive on Earth, along with the remainder of humanity after a nuclear war has pretty much destroyed the planet, dooming it to extinction. She balks at joining with the Oankali to create a hybrid species designed to save humans and create a path to the future.

Perhaps I have read Butler in the past but certainly not this series. Better late than never: she's quite wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the concepts and ideas in this first book, not to mention the story being told. I'm particularly thrilled because her entire oeuvre is there waiting to be read. She died too young but what she left for us while she lived is pretty exciting to look forward to.

Editado: Fev 20, 12:25 pm

12: Adulthood Rites, Lilith's Brood book II by Octavia Butler

Grand Central Publishing paperback {added}

Akin is a product of the Oankali plan to create a new species, a combination of humans and the Oankali. His human mother is Lilith from the first book in the series. He looks like a human baby but speaks more than one language, remembers everything he sees and hears, and if threatened possesses a deadly sting (which he is loathe to use). He sees at a molecular level, detecting anomalies in both the Oankali and human structures. This is the story of his life on the dying planet Earth as he approaches his first metamorphosis.

Another gem.

Editado: Mar 2, 11:58 pm

13: Imago, Lilith's Brood book 3 by Octavia E. Butler

Grand Central Publishing paperback {added}

The final instalment of the Lilith's Brood series, also known as the Xenogenesis trilogy. This book is written in the first person from the perspective of a human/alien hybrid Jodahs. Before its first metamorphosis, Jodahs presents as predominantly male but eventually is determined to be ooloi, a third gender among the Oankali. This is the story of its journey to find its human mates which it will need to be able to live. Able to mutate DNA, manipulate or cure diseases, it will be a key element to help to save the straggling bits of humanity struggling to survive on Earth.

Butler gives us so much to think about in each book of this series, not the least of which is our own human nature.

Fev 20, 12:43 pm

>42 tiffin: Her storytelling chops are well-honed by the Bone Season series and she's gotten better and better at presenting her world-building.

>41 tiffin: Wishlisted!

Fev 20, 12:47 pm

>49 tiffin: Everything about that series made me think hard and deep in ways I'd never had to or thought to before. Butler should, in a properly ordered world be among us writing writing writing today.

I'm recovering from the strokes well enough to be able to visit more, so wanted to come say Hi.

Fev 23, 8:53 pm

Awww so glad you dropped by. Really chuffed at your remarkable progress. It's the LT mojo working it's magic!

I'm reading another one by Butler. It's almost scary the stuff she thinks about. What a mind!

Editado: Mar 1, 5:49 pm

14: Wild Seed, the Patternist Series Book 1, by Octavia E. Butler

Kindle edition {added}

Doro is an immortal who has survived thousands of years by stealing the bodies of others, discarding them as needed. He has been experimenting with special breeding programs but the destruction of his African villages by slavers has forced him to move his experiment to the New World. En route back to what will become America, he discovers an African woman, Anyanwu, who is also an immortal but with a very different modus operandi to his: she is a healer and a shapeshifter. Doro wants to breed her to give his new people a strength and means of survival. Wild Seed tracks their struggle against each other over many hundreds of years, with Anyanwu using all her skill and talents to push back against Doro's cruel use of people to both continue his own life as well as creating his new form of human.

Butler's ideas are fascinating and profound.

Mar 1, 6:01 pm

15: The Ink Black Heart, by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling

Kindle edition

With too many cases on the go, and insufficient staff to cover all of them, Robin Ellacott decides that neither she nor her partner, Cormorant Strike, can take on the case of a young designer of a cartoon which has spawned a hugely popular on-line game. Edie Ledwell, the creator of the cartoon, is being harassed and threatened by a mysterious being who goes by the name of Anomie. When Edie is brutally murdered in Highgate Cemetery a few days later--the site of the cartoon's story--Robin and Strike are drawn into the world of gaming and fandom where no one is who they seem to be.

Quite noir at times, there are other sidebar stories going on with Strike's former girlfriend and her current husband, his current sort of girlfriend, and of course Robin and Strike's growing but tamped down love for each other. Rowling writes a good mystery.

Mar 2, 6:36 pm

Rowling definitely does write a good mystery, Tui. I enjoyed this one, as well.

Editado: Mar 8, 8:02 pm

16: Victories Greater Than Death, Unstoppable series book 1, by Charlie Jane Anders

Kindle edition {added}

I'm fairly sure this is a YA series but it was fun, if a bit predictable. Tina Mains is the keeper of a mysterious rescue beacon. It's inside her and is going to go off in the not-too-distant future, sending its signal out into the universe. What happens when it goes off is anyone's guess. It turns out that she's the secret clone of an alien hero, Captain Thaoh Argentian, who is supposed to come back to life and save *everything* but none of it quite works out that way because she remains predominantly just herself: Tina. Her best friend, Rachel, and several other earthlings end up on this beaten up old space ship with her. Of course all the earthlings are brilliant, brave, and Super Nerds.

The second book in the series, Dreams Bigger Than Heartache is out there somewhere but I doubt I'll read it unless it shows up for free somewhere.

Editado: Mar 8, 8:02 pm

17: The Last Librarian, the Justar Journal Book 1, by Brandt Legg

Kindle edition {added}

After the Banoff plague has destroyed much of the human population on Earth, the Aylantik system emerged as the controlling power to restore order to a shattered world. There is now peace, incredible prosperity, health care for all, all controlled by a handful of billionaires . People have been numbed into an acceptance of this new world order by peace and prosperity. Not everyone, however.

There is one library left with real books in it. Everything is now digital. Almost no one notices that the original texts are being slowly changed as part of the Aylantik group's goal of dominating everything and everyone but the last librarian in the last library does: Runit Happerman. This is the story of Happerman et al., as they fight to save the most important books in the world.

Good characters, lots of action despite the story being about the power of fusty old books. I'm definitely going to read the whole series. Dystopia/Science Fiction

Editado: Mar 8, 8:03 pm

18: The Lost TreeRunner, the Justar Journal Book 2, by Brandt Legg

Kindle edition {added}

Runit Happerman has been taken out of action and is presumed dead, although this isn't a known fact. In this instalment, his son Grandyn Happerman, one of the elite group called the TreeRunners, has picked up the torch from his father to carry on the fight against the Aylantiks. The books at the heart of it all have been hidden away but where and by whom?

Who to trust? Many agendas at work here. I don't want to say too much because it give things away. On to the last book!

Mar 8, 8:08 pm

19: The List Keepers, the Justar Journal Book 3, by Brandt Legg

Kindle edition {added}

Currently reading

Mar 16, 4:13 pm

>59 tiffin: This series has vaulted onto my Kindle thanks to your advocacy. It's only fair to say you haven't steered me wrong, and I'm glad to report that my warm Black Watch plaid bottoms and I are all tucked up in my very own bed! I'm home at last. And both lucky and grateful to be here at last.

Mar 16, 4:22 pm

Oh, I'm so glad they were there when you got home! They're to go with your bathrobe so you'll be *all that*! Really glad you're home. Hope the Legg series gives you a great escape. xo

Mar 16, 6:35 pm

>61 tiffin: I'm 15% into The Last Librarian and am eager for more, I'm glad to say. Thank you so much again for my cuddly warm PJs.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:12 pm

20: The Miser of Mayfair, the House for the Season series Book 1, by M.C. Beaton

Kindle edition {added}

Somewhat Georgette Heyerish, this tale is about a supposedly cursed house in Regency London with its splendid cast of servants who are trying to survive by their wits when life and the class system of England seems determined to throw them down. Beaton has us roundly cheering for them, of course.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:12 pm

21: Plain Jane, the House for the Season series, Book 2, by M.C. Beaton

Kindle edition {added}

Number 67 Clarges Street has been rented for the season once again, saving the redoubtable John Rainbird (the butler) and his little *family* of the Scottish cook, Mr. MacGregor; the housekeeper, Mrs. Middleton; the footman, Joseph; the housemaid, Alice; the chambermaid, Jenny; the scullery maid, Lizzie; and Davy the rescued chimney sweep who is now a pot boy. The house is owned by the Duke of Pelham while he's away at university but he's being fleeced by his rental agent, Jonas Palmer, who keeps the house's servants in penury through blackmail and bullying, while charging the Duke their full salaries and pocketing the difference. The Duke's own father committed suicide in the house, followed by a string of tragedies by successive tenants, so the staff have banded together to shore each other up.

I'm going to read the whole series of six books because I've purchased it as a set.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:13 pm

22: The Adventuress, the House for the Season series, Book 5, by M.C. Beaton

Kindle edition {added}

Oops, missed 3 and 4. I'll have to double back.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:13 pm

23: The Wicked Godmother, the House for the Season series Book 3, by M.C. Beaton

Kindle edition {added}

Carrying on the the tale(s). It's rather like a box of chocolates: difficult to stop once you've started.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:14 pm

24: Rake's Progress, The House for the Season series, Book 4, by M.C. Beaton

Kindle edition {added}

I'm at that point where the formulaic nature of the stories has palled a bit but I'm so near the end that I'll carry on.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:15 pm

25: Rainbird's Revenge, The House for the Season series, Book 6, by M.C. Beaton

Kindle edition {added}

Full circle, all loose ends tied in. Even though each season in the house has a different set of tenants, the underlying group of servants remains intact, working together in what they feel is a family, towards their common goal. This was light, fun at times, a bit grim at others because of the plight of the poor and indentured. Rainbird himself is a delightful character.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:17 pm

26: Santa Grint, The Time Police, by Jodi Taylor

Kindle edition {added}

A short story, really. When the Time Police decide to hold a Christmas party for local orphans, all hell breaks loose (as to be expected). I get a kick out of her descriptions.

Editado: Abr 10, 3:02 pm

Red Thunder, Book I of the Thunder and Lightning series, by John Varley

Kindle edition {added}

Take a decommissioned NASA astronaut with a drinking problem, his brain damaged cousin Jubal with a strong swampland Florida accent, two Floridian teens who want to go to space but lack the education and money, and their girlfriends, toss in an improbable plot line, and you have the first book in this fun series. When Jubal comes up with what he calls "bubbles", created by a machine he calls the "Squeezer", which provide endless power of a non-fossil, non-polluting variety, the teens decide to built their own space ship in order to beat the Chinese to be the first to land on Mars. Good characters with snappy dialogue, I willingly suspended all disbelief and am diving into the whole series.

Editado: Abr 23, 1:18 pm

28: Red Lightning, Book II of the Thunder and Lightning series, by John Varley

Kindle edition {added}

Manny's son, Ray, is the main protagonist in this episode. Jubal has disappeared, and black garbed nameless mercenaries have invaded Mars looking for him. More delightful improbability.

Editado: Abr 23, 1:22 pm

29: Rolling Thunder, Book III of the Thunder and Lightning series, by John Varley

Kindle edition {added}

Rolling right along with this series, willingly suspending disbelief all the way.

Editado: Abr 23, 1:22 pm

30: Dark Lightning, Book IV of the Thunder and Lightning series, by John Varley

Kindle edition {added}

Last one of the series, with the whole bunch of them boldly going. Good old timey science fiction with a bit of a surprise twist in this one involving a marriage. Escapism well spent.

Maio 1, 6:44 pm

>69 tiffin: Her ability to make me keep caring about the loons she peoples her world with is unequalled.

Happy May reading,Tui!

Editado: Maio 3, 10:52 pm

31: Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai

Kindle edition {added}

Sampath Chawla doesn't fit in anywhere in his village. He is a dreamer who doesn't like to work and yet he must work to survive, both in his family and his society. He hides in the back of the post office where he whiles away the time reading his village's mail, gaining a prodigious knowledge of the secret lives of everyone and their goings on, inner dreams, secret fears. A series of circumstances close in around him, causing him to run away and climb a guava tree in an orchard out of town.

His purloined knowledge of everyone's hopes and dreams, lives and secrets, leads him to become something of a prophet to the people of his village. His father, a man with a constant eye out for opportunity, capitalizes on his son't stunning ability to prophecy. His mother sets up her kitchen at the edge of the guava orchard, cooking increasingly exotic and wonderful dishes to sustain Sampath. The story is peopled with wonderful characters like his sister Pinky, the ice cream vendor at the movie theatre, the Brigadier, the Chief of Police, by a spy and a tribe of monkeys who become alcoholics and terrorists.

This is a quirky, very funny, and yet almost painfully poignant story of the human condition. Will Sampath and his monkeys win the day? Will he ever find the peace he yearns for? And will the spy ever discover what secret ingredient lies at the heart of Mrs. Chawla's glorious cooking?

Editado: Maio 3, 11:04 pm

32: The Kingless Crown, Kingdom of the White Sea, Book 1, by Sarah M. Cradit

Kindle edition {added}

Each of the four Reaches of the Kingdom of the White Sea must provide one of their daughters from the nobility to become the wife of the demented king, Eoghan Rhiagain, the usurper who has taken over their world. But when the time comes for the wedding, the brides have taken matters into their own hands and fled. This act of treason has the kingdom hovering on the edge of war.

A wide-ranging tale involving the indigenous people who hide behind powerful veils preventing others from finding them, the shapeshifting Raven folk who isolate themselves in the north, the southern salt and sand fisher folk who are tough and stoic, the folk of the desolate plains who battle hunger and fierce creatures, Cradit has created a world complete in itself, and quite believable.

Editado: Maio 3, 11:08 pm

33: The Broken Realm, Kingdom of the White Sea, Book 2, by Sarah Cradit

Kindle edition {added}

Maio 3, 11:12 pm

34: The Hidden Kingdom, Kingdom of the White Sea, Book 3, By Sarah M. Cradit

Kindle edition {added}

Shades of "Game of Thrones" in its darker elements. On the whole, a successful story that held my interest well enough.

Maio 3, 11:14 pm

35: Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman

Kindle edition

A silly and sweet story of a father going to the store to get milk for his children's cereal, and how he got waylaid along the way.

Maio 3, 11:29 pm

36: Beauty and Sadness, by Yasunari Kawabata

Kindle edition {added}

I can't say I liked this story. I respected it but I didn't like it. Oki, the middle-aged writer who had an affair with a sixteen year old girl, Otoko, is not a sympathetic character for me. I found him self-serving, egocentric, selfish, and a user. Otoko is now an accomplished artist who lives with Keiko, her student and love interest. Keiko likes pain, both inflicting it and receiving it. She is a terrifying character who involves herself in Oki's family with disastrous results.

Kawabata's writing is very beautiful, haunting at times, but the story itself was like *happening music* in a movie, building up to a ghastly denouement. I didn't want to be in this space, and can't see a time when I would ever want to be.

Maio 4, 12:45 pm

I hope you are having even better reads now, Tui, because the okay-ness of the Cradits and the icky Kawabata don't feel good enough to be all that jazz. I expect that you're due a really blow-the-barn-over read very soon.

Editado: Maio 4, 3:02 pm

The Cradits were okay in the range of 3.5-4 stars. But you're right, Richard: I haven't had a 5 star read in a while. I am reading a fun mystery series right now, and have just finished the first book in the "Glass Library" series: "The Librarian of Crooked Lane". Not High Art but cosily entertaining, set just after WWI in London, England.

Editado: Maio 4, 3:08 pm

37: The Librarian of Crooked Lane, Book 1 of The Glass Library series, by C.J. Archer

Kindle edition

A cosy mystery set in London, England, just after WWI involving art, books, and hidden magic. Just what the doctor ordered for a befuddled allergy brain. I read a review of it when I was adding the book, which said it was boring. *whatever*

Maio 4, 3:14 pm

>83 tiffin: High Art is fine in its place and at its time, but this ain't either for me. I'll procure THE LIBRARIAN OF CROOKED LANE for June reading. I really like the bookish subtext.

Maio 12, 12:27 am

38: The Medici Manuscript, Book 2 of The Glass Library series, by C.J. Archer

Kindle edition

Even though Sylvia has never thought that she had any magic in her, there are hints that she might be a silver magician as silver items seem to guide her, even if she can't feel the magic working in her. When a book once owned by the Medicis, with silver clasps, is stolen from the Glass library, and with various kidnapping attempts against Gabe Glass, Sylvia's life is getting both more complicated while getting slightly clearer.

The third book will be out in September.

Editado: Maio 27, 11:52 am

39: Every Heart a Doorway, Book 1 of Wayward Children series, by Seanan McGuire

Kindle edition

Editado: Maio 27, 11:40 am

40: A Grave Misunderstanding, a Simon Grave Mystery I, by Len Boswell
41: Simon Grave and the Curious Incident of the Cat in the Daytime, a Simon Grave Mystery II, by Len Boswell
42: Simon Grave and the Drone of Basque Orvilles, a Simon Grave Mystery III, by Len Boswell

Kindle edition {added}

Bought as a trilogy--well actually, it's on for free with a Kindle unlimited membership--this delightfully ridiculous mystery kept me well entertained for three nights with its ridiculous names, bad puns, highly improbable situations, and somewhat Inspector Clouseau-ish main character.

Maio 27, 11:38 am

43: The Sinister Booksellers of Bath, Book II in the Left-handed booksellers series, by Garth Nix

Kindle edition {added}

I thoroughly enjoy this series which deals with the old gods of Britain, the left-handed booksellers who do far more than run bookshops (and who have wonderful wardrobes). As Susan Arkshaw discovers more and more of her ancient and potent heritage, she is coming into her own as the daughter of an Ancient Sovereign while attempting to live a *normal* life as an art student in a relationship with Merlin, one of the left-handed booksellers of London. Unravelling mysteries, racing against time which is a strangely fluid thing in the hands of the old ones, protecting and saving normal humans, all that good stuff.

Maio 27, 11:59 am

44: Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Book Two of the Wayward Children series, by Seanan McGuire

Kindle edition

Twins Jacqueline (Jack) and Jillian (Jill) are hastily packed off to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children at the age of 17, when they return home after their journey through a portal to another reality (see the first book). At the Home they meet other "children" who have similar although different portal experiences which have left them incapable of functioning in our world. I read this one before the first book, so knew their fates before righting myself for the 3rd book. Quirky and fascinating.

Maio 27, 12:09 pm

My reading pace is off this year. I'm averaging about 8 books a month instead of my usual 12-15 but I'm ok with that. My mother's death in October, along with a serious cycling injury for one of my lads, resulted in my attention and efforts being directed elsewhere. And now it's gardening season, so reading times will be further reduced to bedtime (if I can keep my eyes open) or rainy days.

I had wonderful intentions of being able to visit others' threads again but, although I have done a bit of LT visiting, Covid combined with the facts of Real Life, including being a bit older with all its attendant aspects, have meant I barely even remember to record my own readings here, let alone checking on other folks. I'll visit when I can, so I hope you understand. Otherwise, I'll try to be faithful about recording my own mostly escapist reads here.

Maio 27, 1:16 pm

>90 tiffin: given all that's happened in the last few years, I don't think that anyone is keeping track anymore, Tui. You have enough to be getting on with, and most all of us are older than we used to be, so that gets you right off the hook.


Maio 27, 5:53 pm

>75 tiffin: Read this years ago Tui. I loved her mother's In Custody

Maio 28, 12:14 am

>89 tiffin: Not 100% sure whether that one is for me, but it is an amazing cover.

Maio 28, 10:25 am

>91 richardderus:: You are so right, Richard. I'm grateful to still be reading and gardening!
>92 Caroline_McElwee:: Must look for In Custody, Caro. Thanks!
>93 PaulCranswick:: She does have a noir streak, Paul, but tells a good story at the same time. I find that since the whole pandemic thing, I can't read things that are TOO dark.

Editado: Maio 31, 10:37 pm

45: Run, Lab Rat, Run by Shawn C. Butler

Kindle edition {added}

I honestly just don't know what to think about this book. Dystopian for certain, with humans genetically modified/engineered if they can afford it. At the bottom of the totem pole are the naturals who can't afford modifications. The main protagonist is the lab rat of the title, Fiddy, who is the subject of endless experiments, testing out the latest *whatever* to keep the wealthy modifieds safe, right up to the top of the pecking order. She knows her life expectancy is around 30 but just once she wants a bit of life outside the lab, so she asks to be allowed to participate in the Marathon. It's an annual grim torture test in the horrific heat that is now the reality for the west coast of the U.S. Her family survived the fires that swept the western States but they lost everything. Fiddy is a lab rat to buy their continued survival and to keep her brother safe. To her surprise, the team that controls every aspect of her existence approves her request to be allowed to run. And so run she does, strangely improving as the race went on.

It's dangerous, grim, red of tooth and claw as the racers deal with everything from modified spiders to gigantic bears. There are, of course, umpteen hidden agendas, dangerous co-competitors, bigots who hate the naturals, etc., etc. I kept wanting it to have a point apart from the unrelenting danger but was left thinking that the danger and fear were the point. The unrelenting cruelty of some of the characters didn't work for me, nor did the sadistic nature of the race itself, resulting in pointless deaths. So although the ending points to there being more to come in another book, it didn't make me want to read more. Why did I read it in the first place? It came recommended somewhere that I stumbled across.