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Book a Week 2021 - BW11: March Equinox


Robin M
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Happy Sunday, dear hearts. Those darn clocks jumped ahead again here in the U.S. leaving us feeling a bit forlorn and bedraggled with the loss of that extra hour. However, we have plenty to look forward to with Tea for Two Tuesday, the wearing of the green on St. Patrick's day, and the beautiful blossoming blooms of Spring arriving for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumn metamorphosis in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Now would be a great time to read a book with Spring in the title or to get you in the mood for Autumn,  maybe a life in transitionreinventionbooks in bloom or blossoms

Check out Publisher Weekly's The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2021, or Glitter Guide's Spring 2021 Reading List or the Book List Queen Top 21 Book Club Books for 2021

What is your favorite color or flower or image of the season? Chose a book that reminds you of the beauty of Spring and/or Autumn. 

 

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;

To-day the glint of green is there

To-morrow will be leaflets spare;

I know no thing so wondrous fair

No miracle so strangely rare.

I wonder what will next be there!

~L. H. Bailey, "Miracle," Wind and Weather, 1916

 

Have fun following rabbit trails! 

 

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Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

Chapter 16. A Learned Italian

Chapter 17. The Abbé’s Chamber

Chapter 18. The Treasure

What do you think about Villefort's deception in order to keep his secret hidden with Dante?  Is the Abbe truly mad?  And poor Dante is on an emotional roller coaster.   Share your comments and thoughts on the story so far. 

 

Link to Week 10

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews with other readers around the globe.

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I finally finished Jung Chang's Wild Swans which took me many weeks. It's her memoire of 20th century China through her grandmother's life (one of the last of the bound-feet, concubine of a warlord, her mother (communist revolutionary), and herself (teen during the Cultural Revolution). Very good, very long, learned a lot.

I'm currently about halfway through How Much Gold is in These Hills (I cannot guarantee that's the title--I have a lot of trouble remembering what order the words go in for some reason). I just got Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight to read for bookclub, but if bookclub is this week I may not read it--not enough time. I really want to move on to some fluff reading and I ordered the first 3 Bridgerton books with an Amazon gift card. I don't even know if I like Julia Quinn as an author, but Regency fluff is usually a good fit.

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Last week I  finished The Peculiar Pink Toes of Lady Flora by Jayne Fresina, a historical with a little bit of supernatural thrown in. It's as unique as Lady Flora, heartwarming, as well as amusing, and will leave one guessing in the end whether there will be a HEA.  

Last night I  finished the 2nd book in Thea Harrison's Elder Races series, Storm Heart which was quite good and made me want to go back and read the first book again.

"During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle's death, there are those who don't want to see her ascend to the throne.

Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr's best weapons. And he's sent to protect Tricks when she's almost assassinated in Chicago.

Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds"

Continuing with # 3 Serpent's Kiss

More thoughts on Count of Monte Cristo a bit later. 

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2 minutes ago, Ali in OR said:

I really want to move on to some fluff reading and I ordered the first 3 Bridgerton books with an Amazon gift card. I don't even know if I like Julia Quinn as an author, but Regency fluff is usually a good fit.

Wild Swans sounds quite interesting.   

I also have the first book in the Bridgeton series, The Duke and I in my stacks to read. 

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15 hours ago, Kareni said:

That's an interesting observation, @bookbard, which has me trying to remember outdoor scenes.

I can recall ~

The initial airship ride to the palace and the sunrise.

Snow during the coronation.

The walk Maia takes with his nephew.

The account of Maia's secretary's very negative courier experience.

The horse buying expedition with Maia's grandfather.

The astronomical viewing atop the roof.

But, you are right that the vast majority of the book takes place indoors.

I re-copied the above to make sure that it would be seen. It refers to Katherine Addison's the Goblin Emperor.

**

2 minutes ago, Robin M said:

Last night I  finished the 2nd book in Thea Harrison's Elder Races series, Storm Heart which was quite good and made me want to go back and read the first book again. ...

Ooh, you're approaching the fourth book in the series, Oracle's Moon, which ties with the first as my favorites in the series. Enjoy!

Regards,

Kareni

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Yesterday I read the first two paranormal romance novellas in a series. I enjoyed them both. (Adult content)

Once Upon A Haunted Moor (The Tyack & Frayne Mysteries Book 1) 

and

Tinsel Fish (The Tyack & Frayne Mysteries Book 2) both by Harper Fox

Here's the blurb for the first one:

"Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.

But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.

Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart."

Regards,

Kareni

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I read Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio - 4 Stars - In 1949, when Peg Kehret was twelve, she was the only one in her town to contract polio. She contracted three different strains of the polio virus. This was a memorable and wonderful read that would appeal to both children and adults. I can't imagine anyone reading it and not being at least a little moved by it.

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I'm still slugging along.  I took a break from J.D. Robb to listen to Junkyard Bargain by Faith Hunter, which is the second novella in the Junkyard Cats series.  I really like Shining.  I have a bit of trouble with it being the same narrator as the Jane Yellowrock series, but that's me and not the narrator. Otherwise, I recently finished book 22 in the In Death Series by J.D. Robb.  

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Books I finished last week:

More About Paddington -- I'm currently reading through our Paddington books.  We don't have all of them, but we have quite a few.  

Beowulf (translated by Tolkien) -- I really enjoyed this.  I skipped the section in the middle with all of the notes -- I will hopefully get to them some time when I'm feeling better and can take my time studying through them.  I really enjoyed Sellic Spell at the end of the book -- it's a simple re-telling of the Beowulf story in a slightly different way.

The Great Gatsby -- I hated this in high school, but thought that I should read it again as an adult.  It was definitely much better this time.  I remember dissecting this book in high school.   I much prefer a more natural approach to enjoying literature rather than killing the poor story.

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I just finished Is It Me?  Making sense of your confusing marriage

It took me awhile to finish it as it tackles some very weighty matters.  The target audience is women who are or were in emotionally abusive marriages.   Lots of great material here.

I am even going to lend it to my neighbor who is a pastor.  I think it is useful reading for anyone who works with hurting women or is in a leadership position at church.

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My reading week seems to be centered around reading the next in some series that I am enjoying.

My audiobook was The Badlands which is the third one in CJ Box’s the highwayman series. Cassie, the police detective, has switched jobs and is now based in Grimstead North Dakota. I know very little about fracking and the oil industry in that part of the country so this book was fascinating and I hope relatively accurate on the basics.😉. Not much about the highwayman case....... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014570-badlands

Paving the New Road https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36680648-paving-the-new-road is the fourth book in the Rowland Sinclair series. It was set mainly in Munich during the thirties and the run up to WWII. Each chapter started with a newspaper article of the time, not sure if they were authentic because of the need to base them in AUstralia where the main characters in the series were from. Hitler’s girlfriend/wife was a character in the book and portrayed quite accurately according to my searches........for a fictional cozy it didn’t necessarily feel cozy iykwim.

My happy series lately has been Susan Mallery’s Lone Star Sister’s https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6270250-lip-service. Definately read them in order for the full effect. I think I linked the second one which I finished last night.

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I think I'm a couple chapters ahead in CMC - I am relistening to it on audio and enjoying it so much!

Love the spring theme this week, Robin 🙂 I've been doing a littlle bit of gardening in my backyard and want to enjoy the outdoors before the searing heat of summer (I live in Arizona). I also have a spring themed puzzle to work on

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Some bookish posts ~

Jo Walton’s Reading List: February 2021

https://www.tor.com/2021/03/05/jo-waltons-reading-list-february-2021/

From SBTB: Whatcha Reading? March 2021 Edition, Part One

https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2021/03/whatcha-reading-march-2021-edition-part-one/

50 Very Bad Book Covers for

Literary Classics

https://lithub.com/50-very-bad-book-covers-for-literary-classics/?utm_source=digg

6 Must-Read SFF Books by Jewish Authors From Around the World

https://www.tor.com/2020/10/14/6-must-read-sff-books-by-jewish-authors-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-887954

Regards,

Kareni

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Today I finished Healing Glass: A Gifted Guilds Novel by Jackie Keswick which I enjoyed.  (Adult content)

"Despite belonging to different guilds, glass master Minel and warrior captain Falcon are friends. Their duties keep them apart, but when Minel falls ill and chooses death rather than the only known cure, nothing can keep Falcon from his side.

As their friendship grows into more, old wrongs and one man’s machinations threaten the floating city and leave both Minel and Falcon fighting for their lives. Can they learn to combine their gifts to save the city and its magic, or will everything they know and love perish before their eyes?"

Regards,

Kareni

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18 minutes ago, Mothersweets said:

@JunieThank you! 

@Karenithe "50 Bad Book Covers" made my day!😂

Oh, I completely missed the 50 Bad Book Covers until you mentioned it.  @Kareni, I laughed so hard. :)  Also, I showed it to dd16 who wants to be a costume designer and has an appreciation for time periods and appropriate clothing and most of these missed.  Especially the Little Women cover.

Also, I have never read The Picture of Dorian Gray, but looking at those book covers it seems that none of the people who made these book covers has either.

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36 minutes ago, Mothersweets said:

@Karenithe "50 Bad Book Covers" made my day!😂

It made me laugh, too!

14 minutes ago, Junie said:

Oh, I completely missed the 50 Bad Book Covers until you mentioned it.  @Kareni, I laughed so hard. :)....

Also, I have never read The Picture of Dorian Gray, but looking at those book covers it seems that none of the people who made these book covers has either.

I think you're absolutely correct, Junie! It's an interesting story but nothing like those covers.

Regards,

Kareni

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Posted (edited)

@Mothersweets  Beautiful puzzle. Have fun putting it together

@KareniOh my goodness, those covers. Giggling all the way through.  The cover with Brad Pitt.  Snort! 

On 3/14/2021 at 10:57 AM, Kareni said:

Ooh, you're approaching the fourth book in the series, Oracle's Moon, which ties with the first as my favorites in the series. Enjoy!

My buying ban is officially over. I'm there. Downloaded it last night and foresee getting and reading the rest of the series as Serpent's Kiss was great. I totally enjoyed seeing Carling come alive and enjoyed the relationship between she and Rune. 

 

My doctor emailed and said I qualified to get the Moderna Covid Vaccine so scheduled for Saturday to get the first one.   I have a low tolerance for drugs of any kind and always end up being in the rare 1% category of having weird reactions so I've had some trepidation about getting it.  Hubby and I read all the information and looked up all the ingredients which cdc helpfully provided on their site so at least I know I'm not allergic to anything in it.    fingers crossed and all that, that things go smoothly.  

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I finished the “other” availiable book in the classic Japanese mystery series I recently discovered and really enjoyed it. The Inugami Curse https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50362362-the-inugami-curse was a clever Agatha Christie style mystery rather along the lines of a Poirot. The first one in this series I recently read The Honjin Murders https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52706058-the-honjin-murders which featured a locked room and this one featured a will that pitted the heirs against each other. It was set at the end of WWII but in Japan. Repatriated Japanese solders returning to the country from places like Burma, records and people missing......I have never read a book set at this time from the Japanese POV.

This book was published by Pushkin Vertigo which searches on my Overdrive and I appear to have access to classic mysteries set in a few other countries. I plan to give them a try.....

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On 3/14/2021 at 1:53 PM, Robin M said:

  

I also have the first book in the Bridgeton series, The Duke and I in my stacks to read. 

This type of book is just not my thing but I confess to enjoying the Netflix series Bridgerton while I was recovering from my back surgery. 🙂 Sometimes I enjoy watching what I wouldn't normally read and sometimes I enjoy reading something I wouldn't watch as a tv series or movie. 

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Been off a couple of weeks. Just finished this: The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Though it has a winter month in the title, that is actually the name of the main character/narrator. This one would get 5 stars from me! The author has won a bunch of SF awards.

  In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow's spellbinding debut--step inside and discover its magic.

 

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Currently Reading -

The next chapters in CMC - I read one, have two more to read before Sunday
Murder on Lexington Avenue - #12 in The Gaslight Mysteries
This is Happiness - such a lovely book so far
The Secret Life of Groceries - my nonfiction TBR jar book for March
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent
A People's History of the United States - 
Year long read
Dombey and Son - current audio book
 

Finished two books last week - 

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley  - I was going to say that both women had some pretty awful men in their lives but then I realized that they had some pretty awful people in their lives. Both men and women who were supposed to be family or friends let them down. Repeatedly. It was mostly men though who betrayed them. It was a fascinating look at not only both women but the famous people around them and the time they lived in.

You Will Be Safe Here - This was my TBR jar pick for March and I almost abandoned it but am glad I didn't. There are two different timelines though it doesn't switch back and forth. First is one timeline, then another. The first one is done in epistolary style which I really don't like. Well, except for a few classics, but I think it's a hard style to do well. Anyway, it was a short book and I already abandoned two books from my jar since the first of the year so I was determined to try and finish. It was worth it in the end. It was inspired by real events both the part that takes place during the Boer War and the one that takes place in our time.

"The stunning and shocking debut novel from the award-winning author of Maggie & Me. Set in South Africa You Will Be Safe Here explores legacies of abuse, redemption and the strength of the human spirit

South Africa, 1901, the height of the second Boer War. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise: they will be safe.

Johannesburg, 2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog. Worried he's not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they 'make men out of boys'. Guaranteed.

You Will Be Safe Here is a deeply moving novel of connected parts. Inspired by real events, it uncovers a hidden colonial history and present-day darkness while exploring our capacity for cruelty and kindness."

 

 

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Read two T.Kingfisher books, Paladin's Grace and Paladin's Strength. They're fantasy romances but full of humour and a little horror (involves necromancy, sort of). I've read a few of her books before, they're funny and contemporary sounding (characters talk like modern people, lots of 'ok' and 'yeah' etc). Easy comfort reads.

 

 

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I have a couple of finishes.......they were both page turners for me.

Second Sight by Amanda Quick https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/155659.Second_Sight is the first in a series recommended by @Robin M earlier this year.  I believe @Kareniand @melmichigan also enjoyed these.  What can I say other than I am hooked.  I have the next lined up and ready to go!

The next one is a relatively new thriller caller Every Last Fear https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53138046-every-last-fear which was surprisingly satisfying.  It isn’t the best thriller ever.  The book was written by a new author.  But it moved at a good clip and didn’t bog down and get boring.  It also had an ending that made sense........at least the real ending where we find out who the bad person is and why they did it.   Best of all it has an E in the title which was why I picked it!😂

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