March AlphaKIT: H and R

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March AlphaKIT: H and R

Editado: Fev 14, 8:10 am

Welcome to the 2024 AlphaKIT.
This is an unofficial challenge for the 2024 Category Challenge Group. Each month has two letters selected for you to use however you choose.

There are no rules. Have fun and enjoy reading. March letters are: H and R

If You like, update the WIKI with your reading:

Fev 14, 9:04 am

How did we arrive in the middle of February so quickly?

Fev 14, 9:53 am

>2 MissWatson: I know, right?

Fev 14, 10:54 am

My book club's choice for March is "The Lincoln Highway" by Amor Towles.

I will postpone decisions for 'R' until I see what other challenges come up.

Fev 14, 9:29 pm

I'll have to see what I'm reading for other challenges in case something fits. If not, I'll see what's on the tbr, otherwise.

Fev 15, 5:51 am

My plans include Slow Horses by Mick Herron and The Morisot Connection by Estelle Ryan.

Fev 15, 7:49 am

>6 dudes22: I'll be reading Slow Horses as well. Also The Rings of Haven and Heaven's River

Fev 15, 8:03 am

>1 majkia: the link in the main thread isn't working.

Robin Hobb not only is a doubleKIT, but she also was born in March. If you're doing CalendarCAT reading one of her works would be a three-fer!

Editado: Fev 15, 11:46 am

I don't think that these letters coincide with any of the books I am choosing for the challenges, so I might use them to go on with some of my series.

Some possibilities are:

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
The High Lord by Trudi Canavan
The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin

Robin Hobb would be an excellent choice, but I think I'm not emotionally ready yet for the next one!

Fev 15, 1:21 pm

I am planning on reading Undead With Benefits by Jeff Hart and The Fairacre Festival by Miss Read.

Editado: Fev 15, 3:31 pm

Tentatively planning to read Win Some, Lose Some by Mike Resnick and The Midnight Hour by Elly Griffiths. Those will also knock off the CalendarCat (Resnick was born in March) and the MysteryKit (Griffiths' historical mystery), and the Resnick collection will fill the "short stories" BingoDog square.

Fev 15, 7:42 pm

Well, I'll likely read the last in my series by Hank Phillipi Ryan. That seem s like a no-brainer for this challenge:-)

Fev 15, 7:57 pm

I know I will be reading Bleak House for H; R is undecided as yet.

Fev 16, 10:10 am

I've had The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot on my TBR for so long - it gives me both H and R and also fits the HistoryCAT.

Editado: Mar 31, 1:56 pm

I've got books to read!

Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordan ✅
Death by Chocolate Raspberry Scone
Death of a Country Fried Redneck by Lee Hollis ✅
I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died ✅
Last Hope ✅
Medium Homecoming ✅
Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder by Sarah Rosett
Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder by Sarah Rosett
Modiste Mishap by Erica Ridley
Muffin but Murder by Victoria Hamilton ✅
Rake Mistake
Razing the Dead ✅
Rose Throne
Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham ✅
To Helvetica and Back

Fev 17, 2:38 pm

I am thinking of Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden, so I can include both letters. I loved this book as a child and recently acquired a paperback copy of it.

Fev 24, 7:21 am

I'm aiming to get to Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends soon, which works for R. Will have to have a rummage for H.

Fev 24, 7:25 am

Die rätselhaften Honjin-Morde has just been published in paperback and I snapped it up at the train station, to be read next month.

Fev 28, 4:54 pm

I am probably going to read Two and Two are Four by Carolyn Haywood, since this will also fill a Bingo square for me. But I still might read Miss Happiness and Miss Flower.

Mar 1, 5:10 pm

I just completed Richard Hull's The Murder of My Aunt, which works for both letters.

Mar 2, 2:34 pm

I ended up reading Two and Two are Four by Carolyn Haywood and The Puzzle of the Paper Daughter by Kathryn Reiss, and also The Christmas Hedgehog by Ian Humpheryes.

Mar 2, 6:57 pm

For R I read The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths
An excellent wrap-up to the series. There are lots of old characters from earlier books in the series who contribute to the conclusion. The mystery itself was weak but the archaeological background and suspense of the story made up for it.

Mar 3, 1:39 am

For H I read Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt.

Mar 3, 2:39 am

I read The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin for both letters.

Mar 3, 10:07 am

I've finished The Morisot Connection by Estelle Ryan.

Mar 3, 12:28 pm

I finished Run and have started The Rings of Haven by Ryk Brown.

Editado: Mar 4, 6:30 am

I started reading Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm. I got sleepy but didn't want to put it down and turn off the light.

Editado: Mar 4, 7:19 am

Starting Babel by R F Kuang

Editado: Mar 5, 1:31 am

For H I read Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon
We know from the beginning that the narrator, Lucas, has had his wealthy wife murdered so that he will inherit a stack of money. He has done everything very carefully and covered his tracks all the way. And although his actions have been despicable the reader begins to sympathize with him, and cheer him on. The ending is worth waiting for: dramatic and surprising.

This was terrific.

Mar 5, 7:57 am

I have finished Die rätselhaften Honjin-Morde which has both H and R in the title. I enjoyed this very much and feel a sudden need to explore the work of John Dickson Carr.

Mar 7, 12:40 am

For R I read The Red Scholar's Wake by Aliette de Bodard.

Mar 8, 9:11 am

I have finished Die Reise unserer Gene for R. An excellent non-fiction book about archaeogenetics and their findings in Europe.

Mar 8, 9:17 am

Finished Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney for R.

Mar 8, 7:56 pm

I read Holy Envy for H.

Mar 11, 9:28 pm

I have completed both my March AlphKit reads with:

Undead With Benefits by Jeff Hart
The Fairacre Festival by Miss Read

Mar 11, 10:56 pm

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law / Mary Roach
3.5 stars

In this book, Mary Roach takes a look at wild animals and their “relationships” with humans, primarily breaking human laws (like attacking them, breaking into houses, stealing, etc.). She talks to and follows along with fish and wildlife officers, and other scientists that study these animals (oh, and trees and plants, too!) and their interactions with humans (and how humans are trying to mitigate these interactions).

I liked this. Despite being about animals, I didn’t like it as much as I like some of her other books, but it was still interesting. I don’t think there was as much humour in this one as some of her others, either, but there were bits of it, too.

Mar 12, 5:18 am

I have finished Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Editado: Mar 14, 8:18 am

Mar 14, 9:00 am

>42 majkia: thank you!

Mar 14, 9:04 am

I have finished Am Weg by Herman Bang for H. Another great read.

Mar 14, 10:25 am

I have completed 1 R and 2 Hs so far this month:
The Queen of Bedlam by Robert R. McCammon, 4*
The Once and Future King by T. H. White, 2.5*
The Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Hearn, 3*

Mar 14, 10:43 am

Finished Sick Crush by Alta Hensley as my 'H' read. The author is a popular one, but to be honest, I'm not sure why based on this book. There was nothing wrong with the story, but the lack of development in the scenes/writing, and the over-dependence on tropes, stereotypes, and cliches, made for a really dry and undeveloped read.

Mar 14, 11:29 pm

Somewhere in France / Jennifer Robson
4 stars

Lady Elizabeth is in her early 20s(?) and has not had a real education, although she would have loved that. She is expected to marry, be a wife, and mother. When her brother’s friend, Robbie from university, visits, “Lilly” is swept away. But he is far below her “station”, and her mother sends him packing (with a lie Lilly doesn’t know about). Lilly thought they were getting along very nicely and was very disappointed Robbie left without a word.

WWI arrives, and Edward (Lilly’s brother) heads to war, and Lilly learns that Robbie is a doctor and has gone to France to perform surgeries on wounded soldiers at the front. Lilly wants so badly to help, but is forbidden by her mother. She finds a way to secretly learn to drive, and when things blow up with her parents, she leaves to live with her former tutor in London. From there, she manages to get a job driving an ambulance in France to help shuttle soldiers from when they were wounded to the makeshift hospitals.

This was also a romance, which is not usually my thing, but I got swept away in this one. I really liked it. I really liked both Lilly and Robbie. And it was interesting to learn about the women ambulance drivers in the war. The author’s father was a historian with an interest in the two world wars.

Mar 15, 8:35 am

I read The Ride of Her Life for R.

Mar 16, 10:29 pm

I have completed The Leopard is Loose by Stephen Harrington and Look for me There by Luke Russert.

Mar 17, 8:44 am

Mar 18, 2:13 pm

I recently read A Trick of Fate by Stella Riley, an excellent historical romance. Riley is rapidly becoming a favorite author of mine!

Mar 18, 3:55 pm

Another R book, Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. I'm glad I finally decided to reread this one!

Mar 18, 7:40 pm

I am currently reading Public Anchovy #1 and A Murder of Quality.

Editado: Mar 18, 10:46 pm

An R book: Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland.

Mar 19, 10:38 am

I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot for both H and R.

Mar 20, 8:36 am

I have finished Die Henkerstochter, a so-so historical mystery.

Mar 21, 4:47 pm

Mar 22, 9:24 am

I just finished Heartless by Mary Balogh for another H book. I thought it was good, not great.

Mar 24, 6:23 pm

Starting "The Ring that Caesar Wore" by Ashley Gardner

Mar 25, 11:15 am

I read a couple more H books -- which is odd, as I thought R would surely be the more popular letter! A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer and Happily Never After by Lynn Painter, both very enjoyable!

Mar 25, 11:49 pm

Mar 26, 7:25 pm

Mar 27, 9:25 am

>65 fuzzi: Were you also surprised when the book ended? I found it rather sudden.... turned the page expecting more... and found that it was done! Now have to get hold of the next book to find out what happens...

Mar 27, 9:40 am

>66 bookworm3091: same here. I thought there were about ten pages left, then BOOM. "Excerpt from book 3"...uh, no. I've not read book 2 yet!

I did find a new copy of book 2 Dragon Haven through because I need to read it.

That should be praise enough to recommend it.

Mar 27, 9:57 am

Another H book, Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer.

Mar 27, 4:29 pm

I've finished Slow Horses by Mick Herron.

Mar 27, 6:39 pm

Finished Misjustice, Helena Kennedy for H

Mar 27, 10:32 pm

Hell's Half-Acre / Susan Jonusas
3.5 stars

The Benders were a group of four people, an older couple known simply as Ma and Pa, and a younger couple. No one knows if the younger were siblings or married. They moved to a plot of land in Kansas in the 1870s and stayed for a few years. The younger woman, Kate, called herself a “spiritualist”. They sold groceries (or had a sign out to do so, anyway), and attracted travellers with food and a place to stay. Unfortunately for some of those travellers, the Benders were also serial killers. When some of the locals were suspicious when the local doctor went missing, the Benders up and ran. No one ever found them. As the locals started looking around, the bodies were piling up on the homestead. There were at least 11 people killed, mostly men, mostly travellers, but one 18 month-old baby buried with her dad (they think the baby was buried alive).

I read a shorter account of this somewhere, I’d like to say not long ago, but it may be longer than I’m thinking. This was an expanded version of the story. Only about the first 1/3 of the book told of them coming to the area until they ran. The next bit of the book followed them to the wilds of Texas, where there were a lot more outlaws and places to hide, and people to help them hide. Beyond that, no one knows where they ended up. The last bit of the book was when, 16 years later, someone thought they’d found Ma and Kate; there were trials to determine if they really were the Benders or not. There is an extensive note section at the end, as well.

I thought the start and end were the more interesting. The middle part, as the Benders made their escape, was less interesting as we focused on a few of the other criminal element who helped them along their way (one of these people talked to police while he was in jail later on, so that’s how some of this is known). Overall, I’d say this was good. Certainly a lot of research went into it.

Mar 28, 3:12 pm

I have three more H books because I read a series of short works by Isabella Hargreaves: Homecomings, All Quiet On The Western Plains and Journey's End On The Western Plains.

Mar 28, 6:34 pm

Finished The Reformatory by Tananarive Due, and it was fantastic. One of her best, and definitely the best historical horror I've ever read. Full review written, but in short, I'd absolutely recommend it to any horror readers, and even to historical fiction readers in general if they're interested in stories set around mid-twentieth century race relations and the South (assuming they can abide some haunting). Definitely a five-star read for me!

Mar 29, 10:06 pm

COMPLETED Murder Before Evensong and A Death in the Parish, both by Richard Coles.

Starting, though I don't expect to finish this month, "First Ladies of Rome" by Annelise Freisenbruch

Mar 30, 11:03 am

Sadly, no R books this month, but here are my H books:
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, Helene Hanff
Q's Legacy, Helene Hanff
My Uncle Silas, H. E. Bates

Mar 30, 5:39 pm

I got another H and R by reading two more short books:

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman, a publication of the inaugural poem from 2021
Death Is Not The End by Ian Rankin, a Rebus novella

Mar 31, 9:49 pm

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet / Jamie Ford
4.75 stars (average over two reads)

It’s 1986 and, after losing his wife to cancer, Henry Lee and his son have a slightly strained relationship, similar to the one Henry had with his father. When Henry passes the Panama Hotel, and sees that someone has found boxes of abandoned things in the basement, it brings back memories of 1942. Henry was 12 years old, and going to a white kids’ school, where the only other non-white was a Japanese-American girl, Keiko. They strike up a friendship, until her family is sent away to the internment camps. It moved back and forth in time, between Henry patching up his strained relationship with his son, Marty, in 1986, and back to the war years and his time spent with Keiko and his struggles with his father over their forbidden friendship.

2010 read:
5 stars
Loved this book! Wow! What an emotional roller-coaster! This was Jamie Ford’s first book and I do hope he’ll be writing more.

2024 reread:
4.5 stars.
It was slower-moving through the book than I remembered. And there was a lot I’d forgotten. I really only remembered the gist of the book and how much I liked it. It was a difficult topic done in a nice way. I liked all the mixes of races (at least amongst the main characters, and that they all managed to be friends.) But Henry’s father sure was hateful (full of hate, himself, and easy for the reader to dislike).

Editado: Abr 1, 6:57 am

I read Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday for letter H. This series is just adorable.
(For some reason, this book is not in LT, but others in the series are.)

Abr 1, 10:10 am

One final H book for me, His Convenient Duchess by Louise Allen. Recommended for fans of Regency romance!

Abr 2, 10:54 am

I finished Watership Down on Saturday night by Richard Adams for one more AlphaKIT book this month.

Abr 2, 5:13 pm

One of each this month!

Exit Lines, by Reginald Hill
Doctor Who: Apollo 23, by Justin Richards

Abr 3, 2:42 pm

Managed one more H to finish out the month: The Hours by Michael Cunningham, 4*.