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Book Banter

Whatcha Reading?


angelak
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I just started The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman last night. I loved her book The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and so far this one seems promising. 

I usually read chic lit, thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, and romance with some fantasy, young adult, and biographies thrown in. Oh, and craft books of course. 😄

Books I currently have sitting on my TBR shelf or waiting to go back to the library because I've finished:

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Stolen Things by R.H. Herron

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

The Body in Question by Jill Ciment

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (just finished it)

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll (finished it)

Make It Mighty Ugly by Kim Werker (finished it)

DIY Watercolor Flowers by Marie Boudon

Felt Wee Folk by Sally Mavor (her work is amazing! https://weefolkstudio.com/)

Sweet & Simple Needle Felted Animals by Sachiko Susa

How to Sew Little Felt Animals by Sue Quinn

Wool Toys & Friends by Laurie Sharp

 

 

Edited by Lilly.O.4
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On 3/21/2020 at 1:54 PM, Lilly.O.4 said:

I usually read chic lit, thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, and romance with some fantasy, young adult, and biographies thrown in. Oh, and craft books of course. 😄

Hi Liliy! *waves!* 

I was wondering if you read any of Seamus McGuire's October Daye series. It is urban fantasy with some chick lit thrown in. The first book is Rosemary and Rue and there are thirteen or fourteen in the series so far. I love listening to them, but they are a great read as well.  (Just a recommendation!)

I'm currently reading The Bookish Life of Nina Hill  and I know that Kim has read it recently too--I'm looking forward to hearing thoughts on the book and how the second book is going as well. 


Thanks for joining in and sharing what you've been reading! 

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Ooh, @Lilly.O.4 you have some good ones on there. Stolen Things is a super page-turner (though not not-stressful!), and The Body in Question is one of my favourite books I read in 2019. Gracefully Grayson is a must-read for all of society; it's super. I'll add The Garden of Small Beginnings to my list! I just read Nina Hill a couple of weeks ago. ❤️

I'm currently reading Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey. It's like a magical/not-magical detective story from what I can tell a couple of chapters in. Loving it so far!

I tend toward the dark in my reading preferences (faves include The Road, Blindness, and an adolescent devouring of Stephen King), but I'm not able to really go dark these days so have been reading lots of romance novels, and Magic for Liars was recommended by someone on Twitter as an amazing escape.

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My current and ever growing TBR list:

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English by Patricia T. O'Conner

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shattered (LOST, #3) by Cynthia Eden

In the Heart of the Fire (Nameless #1) by Dean Koontz

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Seamus McGuire's October Daye series. It is urban fantasy with some chick lit thrown in. 

Sooo, that’s an interesting characteristic to assign to the October Daye books, the bit about the chick lit thrown in.

I did my thesis on gender roles and gender development in science fiction/fantasy novels, believe it or not.

I would be really interested (no truly!) in hearing why you think that. I might have to re-write my thesis if all this goes on.... LOL

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Also, just for clarity: 13 October Daye full-length books, plus at least 10 shorter works in that world with stories of the characters before, during, or after the timeline presented in the books.  

Here is the list of all the books plus shorter works, with numbers for the shorter works indicating where they go in terms of the chronology of the series.

 I mean. Just in case anyone wants to be really thorough and read All The Things Toby Daye.

Not that I am a fan or anything. 

Nope.

 

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2 hours ago, Kim Werker said:

I tend toward the dark in my reading preferences (faves include The Road, Blindness, and an adolescent devouring of Stephen King)

Well, of course, you do.

All I had to do was look at my own bookshelf, and I ought to have known this about you. Because Book/Movie Twinsies.

(It autocorrected that to “Twinkies”; perhaps I ought to have left it that way?)

I have battered copies of all the Stephen King Things, plus Blindness. I have the Road but have not read it yet.

Honestly, Kim. It would be a LOT cheaper if only one of us would buy books and then, immediately after finishing the read, send it on to the other one.

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46 minutes ago, Juanita said:

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shattered (LOST, #3) by Cynthia Eden

In the Heart of the Fire (Nameless #1) by Dean Koontz

Ooo, ooo, ooo! How is the Nameless series so far? I love love love Dean Koonz (autocorrect insisted on “Kooning”)! I wrote a compare/contrast paper on his works vs King’s. Fun Times.

I haven’t read Cynthia Eden but she’s going on the List now.

Six of Crows is in my TBR list.

—0-0—
    O
\___/

Well, now. 

Are you going to end up being another Twinkie of mine?

I left it this time. I am growing fond of this reclaimed nickname.

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4 minutes ago, Sandi Wiseheart said:

Honestly, Kim. It would be a LOT cheaper if only one of us would buy books and then, immediately after finishing the read, send it on to the other one.

If only we'd put this together years ago! I've got pretty much nothing ebooks on the go these days, which are just as enjoyable but sadly less put-in-the-mailable. The Road is amazing, but... bleak. At least it's not about a pandemic, though.

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1 minute ago, Kim Werker said:

The Road is amazing, but... bleak. At least it's not about a pandemic, though.

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Too dark for me right now, however. As you said.

Except I kind of want to find a pandemic book that is waaayyy out there and re-read it. I say re- because I have so many SF/F books that it is embarrassing and I often buy doubles. And yes, I have a pretty full Kindle. I wish wish that there were better ways to organize the ebooks, though. (You have KOBO, right? Hm. Is that for ebooks and audiobooks, or only one. For ebooks, I use Kindle, obvs. For audio, I use Audible but managed to get our library audiobooks to work on my iPHone using Overdrive.)We absolutely could have put this together years ago, given that our Twinsies status began so very long ago. Poor planning on our part. 

Better luck next lifetime.

❤️

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2 hours ago, Kim Werker said:

I've had this on my pile for ages, too!

Of course you have. Have you actually bought it yet, and in which format? I have it on my Kindle, so see above comment you made about ebook exchanges. (Actually, with Kindle, you can actually send a book as a gift if the other person has a Kindle. Just sayin’ in case you ever get a Kindle. We could works something out... LOL)

OH, and @Juanita has it on her TBR as well. Perhaps we Three Twinkies need to get our act together.

ebook sharing is a lot cheaper than postal mailing books to one another, given everything.

I’m a wee bit brainless today, clearly.

Edited by Sandi Wiseheart
Corrected Juanita’s name
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46 minutes ago, Sandi Wiseheart said:

Ooo, ooo, ooo! How is the Nameless series so far? I love love love Dean Koonz (autocorrect insisted on “Kooning”)! I wrote a compare/contrast paper on his works vs King’s. Fun Times.

I haven’t read Cynthia Eden but she’s going on the List now.

Six of Crows is in my TBR list.

—0-0—
    O
\___/

Well, now. 

Are you going to end up being another Twinkie of mine?

I left it this time. I am growing fond of this reclaimed nickname.

I just downloaded Nameless #1 yesterday so I will let you know. 😉 Speaking of Koontz, have you read Fear Nothing and Seize the Night? Both very good.

Cynthia Eden is romantic suspense and this is the 3rd in the series. They are definitely escape reads which I am all about right now.

I am listening to the audio book of Six of Crows and it's pretty good so far...I would call it urban fantasy.

If you like SciFi, one of my favs is Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson. (robots run amuck, if that is your cuppa tea)

Your Twinkie,

Juanita

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57 minutes ago, Kim Werker said:

I've had this on my pile for ages, too!

I have had it downloaded from audible forever but just started listening to it again. I'm about a third of the way and it's pretty good so far.

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First, a warning: I have more books on my shelves than thoughts in my head on most days. So when I make lists, I have trouble stopping.

Warning #2: Apparently, I must review each book as I list it. Sorry. Habits of a magazine editor never die.

Allll-righty then. Let’s get this listie going, shall we?

———————-

AUDIOBOOKS: Unless I say something, all of these are on my still to-be-listened-to list.

Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire #4 (on hold at library; I just saw my place in line and it is #10, so perhaps if I want to hear them in order within my lifetime, perhaps I ought to just break down and use a credit on this one. (Our library is closed. Returning what you have checked out is on the honour system. People are too overwhelmed to be honourable, methinks, at least about library books, for the time being.) (OH. I have the entire series of audiobooks, except for the last two, on cassette tape, so I have heard those several times already. My cassette player is broken. Hence, restarting the series now.)

Fool Moon, Harry Dresden Files #2 by Jim Butcher. I actually made it to Book #2 this time! Book #3 is on hold (Fifth in line for the throne, here.)

The Science of Sci-Fi by Erin MacDonald (heard about it)

The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Kootnz. I read the book version previously a hundred years ago. (I age well, I suppose.)  It too is on hold. I laughed when I saw my queue number: #106. Reason it is so popular is that supposedly this book is eerily prescient with respect to our current situation, and word has spread. I’ll never get it at this rate. I probably have a battered copy around here somewhere.

—  Good Omens by the WordMaster. No I have not seen the TV series because I don’t think we get that channel (still figuring out the new TV). I haven’t read the book for some crazy reason. Oh, look. Well now. On hold, #101. OK, let’s use a credit on this one, too. Will be worth it. (The WordMaster for me is Neil Gaiman, if that wasn’t clear from posts elsewhere. There is more than one WordMaster in my world, thank goodness.)

Stories by Neil Gaiman. Partway through. Love. These are MY bedtime stories.

Wake of Vultures, Lila Bowen (first in a series, I think).

Into the Wild, Erin Hunter.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glenda Vanderah

The Obsidian Chamber, A Pendergast novel by Preston & Lincoln

Joyland by Stephen King

Alone with the Stars by David Gillham

Becoming by Michelle Obama

(I thought I had Educated by Tara Westover on there, but I don’t. Where is it?? I wanted to listen to it as well as read it.)

And you get the idea, I like lots of things. As long as they are books, I mean.

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BOOKS, any readable format:  These are books I have already read and really liked.

Anne Bishop’s books. The Others. This begins with her series The Courtyard Of The Others of 5 books. Read the quintology (?) first in this order:  1—Written in Red, 2—Murder of Crows, 3—Vision in Silver, 4—Marked in Flesh, 5—Etched in Bone. Next up is the pair of books (The World of The Others) which might have a third one in the works: 1—Lake Silence; 2—Wild Country. 

Ms. Bishop’s other books: I have read and enjoyed her trilogy, The World of the Fae: 1—The Pillars of The World; 2—Shadows and Light; and 3—The House of Gaian. I have not read her Black Jewels series yet, nor the Ephemera books.

Harry Dresden Files #1: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Harry Potter, oh just go start at the beginning and work forward from there, OK?

Anything by Charlaine Harris, but start with the first book of her Sookie Stackhouse books, Club Dead. She has other series and books outside of the Sookie books; I really liked the Midnight Crossroads trilogy....however, regarding that trilogy: I loved all of it except the ending in the final book. I can see why she did it, but I HATED one particularly dramatic part of the  ending. No spoilers; you will know it when you get there. (The better you know me, the sooner you will see it coming btw.)

Still Life With Crows, Preston & Douglas: I like most of the Pendergast books, some more than others. This one, I really liked. No clue why this one and not some others.

Shannon Mayer’s Rylee Adamson series, both books and related short stories and novellas: Some people say this is “just like” the Toby Daye books. They are wrong. (Opinions? Who, me?) If you want my reasons, see bottom of post.

Cassandra Clare’s ShadowHunter books. So far, 3 inter-related trilogies, with related books and novellas, with the first book of the fourth related trilogy just out. Yes, this is the same as the movies and TV series. I have both books and audiobooks. Movies: There are two, each a different version of the same basic story. One is a British adaptation, which I did not prefer (characters too snobby, strange script choices, weird casting). The other is the USA version, which I liked. TV: A series, The Mortal Instruments, made by the USA folks with the same actors and characters as the movie, for the most part. LOVED the series, hated the last episode because they had to end the series super-fast and super-unexpectedly, so there’s that. As far as the book trilogies go, I have finished two (The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices/Clockwork Angel series) and am almost done with the third (Lady Midnight, etc). I loved Mortal Instruments, started liking Clockwork better than I thought I would (because I strongly, uh, ”do not prefer” steampunk themes). Her characters are delightful, sexy, funny, sad, infuriating, as all good characters ought to be, and they save her from some awkward timeline problems and plot skips.

(knocking off the comments, in favour of getting more books on the list!)

Ursula K LeGuin, Conversations on Writing. Still unopened on my shelf.

Ilona Andrews, Clean Sweep (first in a trilogy)

Ilona Andrews, Magic Bites and so on:  AKA The Kate Daniels books. Each book’s title starts with the word “magic” and has one word after it. 

On the Edge (Book One) and Bayou Moon (Book Two) by Ilona Andrews again. 

Kelly Barnhill, Girl Who Drank the Moon (YA book but a good one)

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. A must-read for creative peeps. Not saying you will like it, but it’s got some interesting good stuff.

N.K. Jemisin, The Broken Earth trilogy. I have not yet read the other trilogies by her, but I am convinced they are probably very good because Nora is just that good.

Under the Dome by Stephen King. Disaster novel, sort of. One small town gets a huge town wide see-through dome, uh, dropped, over them one day. Town starts off not caring much, lalala life goes on....but it goes downhill once they Get It. Dark, but impossible to put down. NOTE: The TV series was very good, but at some point, the plot of the series and the plot of the book are two completely different things. I liked both, the book better simply because it gives so much detail into the characters thoughts and lives.

Pandemic: The Extinction Files Book 1 and the  other books by A.G. Riddle. Some are better than others, but all are page-turners.

The Elementals, a series by Shannon Mayer. First book is Recurve. There is a crossover book between this series and the main Rylee Adamson series, I think it is called Elementally Priceless.

Breakthrough and subsequent books by Michael Grumley. I also liked Locked In, but NOT the sequel named something something. Amidst the Shadows is a stand-alone I liked.

Fluency, Confluence Book 1: I loved this book, part of a trilogy by Jennifer Foehner Wells. I have not read the other books yet.

The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd. This may be the most original detective novel I have read in a long time. Fascinating blend of SciF and thriller and mystery.

Night Owls and sequel by Lauren M. Roy: Light-hearted story of supernatural folks who own a bookstore solve a mystery. Love.

Monument 14 books, by Emmy Laybourne, beginning with Monument 14. YA, but sophisticated and a bit dark. Heroes are kids. 

Odd Thomas books by Dean Koontz. Not what you might think. Very different story of a social misfit with a very unusual and very useful talent that often heralds trouble with a wry sense of humour. I’ve re-read these so many times....and I love the audiobook versions.

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge by Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula winner. Different. Well-researched, mostly. Fascinating.

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. First book of a trilogy. Really unusual premise. Great.

Any of the Julia Spencer-Fleming mysteries. These are set in the French Canadian part of Canada. Lots of French without translation, I found, but YMMV.

 ....Want something really dark and apocalyptic? Try the Wool books and stories by Hugh Howey. I could only read these  once through, which is very unusual for me, considering I wrote a thesis paper on The Silence of the Lambs.  

—————————————————-

COMFORT READS:

The Complete Oz Collection, as in Ozma of Oz and all those wonderful books. L. Frank. Baum.

A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett.

Amish Washdays Books: Amish Romance boxed set, books 1—4 by Sicily Yoder. I have read about six romance novels in my entire life. All six of them are set in Amish Land. Whatever gets you through, right?

The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Currie by George MacDonald. Vintage, nearly antique, children’s stories. Not your average fantasy!

The Pern books by Anne McCaffrey (Hey, c’mon, someone may not have heard of these yet!)

aaaaannnnddd I have to stop now, because food.

2 hours ago, Juanita said:

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

And guess what. I bought the above book last month and forgot I had it.

—————bottom of the page comment———————-

Both the Rylee books and the Toby books are very similar, in that both have protagonists who are youngish women with strange personal stories; both books have humour woven throughout, although the Rylee humour is a bit less sophisticated, shall I say, relying sometimes on physical gag type-stuff while Toby’s humour is dry, wry, and sarcastic, just the way I like it; both involve the supernatural, faeries and trolls and so on; both are a series of adventure/mystery stories told with Rylee or Toby as the Sheroes, solving the problems for everyone. Both have their surrounding cast of weird and amusing friends and allies.  Just from a literary standpoint, the Toby Daye books are vastly superior: Maguire has done a TON of research, and does an amazing job of stitching her faeries and whatnot into the larger patchwork of worldwide myths and stories; Toby and her various supporting characters are deeper, better drawn overall, more complex; the writing is Just Plain Better on the Toby side of things; and the Toby books are actually book-length, each and every one. The Rylee books are sometimes shorter than average books. Even side characters have depth in Toby’s world; the stories themselves are much more complex in Maguire’s work. And I could go on with the literary stuff, but I won’t.

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1 hour ago, Juanita said:

I just downloaded Nameless #1 yesterday so I will let you know. 😉 Speaking of Koontz, have you read Fear Nothing and Seize the Night? Both very good.

Cynthia Eden is romantic suspense and this is the 3rd in the series. They are definitely escape reads which I am all about right now.

I am listening to the audio book of Six of Crows and it's pretty good so far...I would call it urban fantasy.

If you like SciFi, one of my favs is Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson. (robots run amuck, if that is your cuppa tea)

Your Twinkie,

Juanita

Dear Twinkie J: 

I have indeed read the Fear Nothing and Seize the Night books, and I adore them. I had them on cassette and listened to them so many times I wore out one tape. I now have the digital audiobooks and love those. The narrator (same as for cassette version) is excellent and convey’s Koontz’s wacky humour perfectly! The narrator has a Polish name, unpronounceable unless you have Polish DNA. First name is Keith, first two letters of last name are “Sb”. It is fascinating to listen to him say his own last name.

I think I slightly prefer the audiobooks, because Someone Reading Me A Story is the best. If you haven’t tried those, try ‘em. 

I wish to heaven Koontz would write the third book before we all die. (Supposedly there’s a partial manuscript in a safe somewhere.)

dinner time!

hugs to you and all my Twinkies!

 

 

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Six of Crows has been on my figurative TBR pile (literal bookshelf) for years. Because I am this kind of person, I wanted to read all of the trilogy that is set in the same world first, as it was published first, even though they aren't dependent on each other.

I "recently" finished The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It's some kind of fantasy, very beautiful. After that, I tried His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. I was super into it when it was all about a ship captain bonding with a precocious dragon, but once it moved into dragon adolescence and dragon military maneuvers, I checked out and set it aside. (The basic conceit is, what if everybody had dragons during the Napoleonic Wars?)

Now I'm reading Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols. It's a fascinating book that uses neuroscience to explore the connection between people and water. Perfect for a bath read. If you're a nerd. Which I am.

I may pick up my copy of Muppets Meet the Classics: The Phantom of the Opera. I think it is probably the most Kimberly book ever to have existed.

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7 minutes ago, Sandi Wiseheart said:

First, a warning: I have more books on my shelves than thoughts in my head on most days. So when I make lists, I have trouble stopping.

I forgot to say that for the list above, I did not ever make it to my bookshelves to comb for the good ones. All the books listed above are either ebooks or audiobooks. 

Bits are cheap, what can I say? 

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Six of Crows has been on my figurative TBR pile (literal bookshelf) for years. Because I am this kind of person, I wanted to read all of the trilogy that is set in the same world first, as it was published first, even though they aren't dependent on each other.

I am exactly the same way, except I have allowed myself, as no doubt you have, to read other non-trilogy books, in the interim.

6 minutes ago, Kimberly Hirsh said:

I "recently" finished The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It's some kind of fantasy, very beautiful. After that, I tried His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. I was super into it when it was all about a ship captain bonding with a precocious dragon, but once it moved into dragon adolescence and dragon military maneuvers, I checked out and set it aside. (The basic conceit is, what if everybody had dragons during the Napoleonic Wars?)

Both of these are also on my TBR pile. 

Welcome to the Twinkies!

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21 hours ago, Sandi Wiseheart said:

(Just a good researcher, right?)

Sandi--I love that you love the Toby Daye series. It is pretty awesome! I would be curious to discuss with the series with you as well. Granted, my MA thesis was on Adolescent Literature and Transmedia Narratives--and I didn't do much with gender roles/theory, I think it is safe to say that we both love to learn! 

In fact, I think with this abundance of extra time that I find myself with, I'm going to go back and re-read the Toby Daye books again!

Edited by angelak
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