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Book a Week 2021: Fictional Librarians - Irene Winters


Robin M
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Happy Easter to all who celebrate!   Sharpen your pens and pencils and get ready to write some poetry, tell a joke or two, or plants some flowers, for April is upon us and with it National Poetry MonthNational Humor month, and Lawn and Garden Month.

We're pulling up anchor and sailing through a worm hole to the secret world of Irene Winters, a librarian spy in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman.  The library is set in a secret dimension, and locations and time periods vary depending on which door Irene chooses to go through as she hunts for dangerous books.    The stories are pure fantasy with dragons, secret societies, detectives, magic and plenty of humor and of course, books. Mystery and adventure follow Irene where ever she goes.

There are a variety of ways to complete this challenge with plenty of rabbit trails. Read a book with one or more of the following (but not limited to) and have fun exploring:

·         Spell out the first and/or last name of the character's name - one book per letter from the title on the cover

·         Spell out the first and/or last name of the author - one book per letter 

·         Read one or more books in the series.

·         Read any book written by the author

·         Follow in a character's footsteps and read a book set in the country or time period of the story.

·         Follow in the author's footsteps and read a book set in their place or time of birth.

·         Read a book with the first or last name of the character or author in the title.

Learn more about Genevieve Cogman through her interview with Fantasy Literature, and Penguin Random House video by Cogman.

 

***********************

 Count of Monte Cristo Readalong

 Chapter 25. The Unknown
Chapter 26. The Pont du Gard Inn
Chapter 27. The Story

 

Link to week 13

 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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Posted (edited)

I'm in a flufferton state of mind and thoroughly enamored with Julia Quinn's  Bridgertons.  I currently on #6 When He Was Wicked

I haven't been able to get into my space opera Ancestral Night so will set it aside until I'm, Ahem, in a sci fi state of mind.  * Grin * 

The poor Count is also idle but I hope to get back to him soon.   Meanwhile he has the Abbe to keep him company.  We're coming to the end of Volume one with Chapter 27 according to Project Gutenberg  so @Lady Florida. I'm looking forward to your thoughts and spoilers are welcome as I've already read through the readers guide.

I have The Plot Hole, # 4 in the Invisible Library series waiting in the wings and #5 Mortal Word on my shelves as well.  Irene is a wonderful character and enjoyed the first three books. 

Edited by Robin M
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Still reading (or mostly not reading) The Lager Queen of Minnesota which I'm enjoying--just don't have much time to read!  The library delivered Leave the World Behind this week, and I just got notice that The Other Bennet Sister should be coming soon. Now I just need to find time to read!

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Thank you Robin!

I have read all of The Invisible Library series and quite enjoy them.  
 

The most interesting book I read last week was We Came, We Saw, We Left https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53642063-we-came-we-saw-we-left about a family gap year trip around the world.  The kids were 18, 15, and 13.  There were times when they just had two kids......sometimes they had an extra friend/ niece.   What I liked about it was is was written by someone who goes and simply enjoys themselves.  They simply did what they found interesting instead of a long itinerary of things to check off.....the whole family has lists of things they want to experience but their somewhat laid back attitude made the trip work.  Very few reservations were set in stone.  I have always wondered how you would budget for a trip that is sure to evolve hugely from you original plans.  They budgeted $20 housing, $20 food, and $20 for transportation and activities per day per family member and the mom kept a running account balance.  They rented their home for the 9 months they were gone which gave them their housing allotment.   They also gave each family member $500 in fun money for the entire trip.  My math says they spent around $85,000 for their world tour.  
 

I am currently reading the latest Charles Lennox @Lady Florida. So far I quite like it.  Charles leaves Lady Jane behind and travels to America because the Queen needs him out of the way......a scandalous case that it would be better if he testifies in writing for.  He is officially liasoning with police departments but appears to have found a high society murder to solve.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53138073-an-extravagant-death

image.thumb.png.98e3cbf6f7ed082746aee0bddeb94d3e.png

 

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Some bookish posts ~

Comfort me with food memoirs, the only books I want to read right now

From the Word Wenches: What We Are Reading!

https://wordwenches.typepad.com/word_wenches/2021/03/what-we-are-reading.html

JANE HARPER: THE AUSTRALIAN CRIME AUTHOR EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE READING

https://crimereads.com/jane-harper-the-australian-crime-author-everyone-seems-to-be-reading/

And on a library theme:

Five YA Fantasies for Lovers of Libraries

https://www.tor.com/2021/03/23/five-ya-fantasies-for-lovers-of-libraries/

Regards,

Kareni

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2 hours ago, mumto2 said:

The most interesting book I read last week was We Came, We Saw, We Left https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53642063-we-came-we-saw-we-left about a family gap year trip around the world.  The kids were 18, 15, and 13.  There were times when they just had two kids......sometimes they had an extra friend/ niece.   What I liked about it was is was written by someone who goes and simply enjoys themselves.  They simply did what they found interesting instead of a long itinerary of things to check off.....the whole family has lists of things they want to experience but their somewhat laid back attitude made the trip work.  Very few reservations were set in stone.  I have always wondered how you would budget for a trip that is sure to evolve hugely from you original plans.  They budgeted $20 housing, $20 food, and $20 for transportation and activities per day per family member and the mom kept a running account balance.  They rented their home for the 9 months they were gone which gave them their housing allotment.   They also gave each family member $500 in fun money for the entire trip.  My math says they spent around $85,000 for their world tour.  

Cool. I'm in the hold queue for this. How people pay for these trips is always a dominant question in my mind, in conjunction with How much does it cost?? I'm too uptight to enjoy a completely unplanned trip, but i don't mind doing it vicariously!

I'm in the middle of Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke, which was a recent birthday gift. I'm enjoying it and thinking I'll probably have to read Jonathan Norrell and Mr. Strange.

For read aloud we are doing the second Thursday Next book. That series could really fill up my reading list with all its allusions.

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I haven't posted in a few weeks.  Here are the books I've finished recently:

Letters of Grace and Beauty -- Another book in a series I've been reading about the Bible as literature.

Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Agatha Christie)

It Began with a Dream -- This is the autobiography of Dr. Gladys West.  It is a similar story to Hidden Figures.  She overcame a lot of obstacles to become a successful mathematician.

Paddington Helps Out -- I like Paddington, but I'm glad he's not my bear.

The Whipping Boy -- A cute little story; a quick read.  Adding it to my children's literature class.

Courtney Changes the Game (American Girl) 

Courtney: Friendship Superhero (American Girl)

It's Trevor Noah -- I really enjoyed his memoir Born a Crime.  This is a cleaned-up version that I can share with my teens.

 

Letters of Grace and Beauty by Leland Ryken Mrs. McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie IT BEGAN WITH A DREAM by Dr. Gladys B. West Paddington Helps Out by Michael Bond The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman Courtney Changes the Game by Kellen Hertz Courtney by Kellen Hertz It's Trevor Noah by Trevor Noah

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8 hours ago, Mothersweets said:

Happy Easter everyone! 

I finished Open Season by C.J.Box. It's the first in a long-running mystery series about a game warden in Wyoming. I liked it! 

 

Glad you liked it!  I read it a few months ago and plan to continue reading the series after I finish her other series about the serial killer trucker.

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This week I read Driving the Deep by Susanne Palmer, sequel to Finder. Enjoyed this just as much as the first one and was happy to find the main character DID find belonging for himself...more than just a repo job. I highly recommend both books in the series. I wonder if there will be more to come?

Also read Jacqueline Winspear's memoir, This Time Next Year We'll be Laughing. And now I know why her WW1 and WW2 mysteries feel so real. Story-telling is in her blood. Really enjoyed the read, as I have really enjoyed her mysteries. And nice to find out she's friends with Rhys Bowen, who I also enjoy.

I ordered Jordan Peterson's book 12 Rules for Life as I wanted to know what all the fuss is about him. So far I haven't gotten past the intro, which may over-praise him. I am so out of the habit of reading real books, but I think I am going to want my pencil on this one (one of the joys of having *actual* pages is to make notes on them).

Oh, and almost novellas, two by T. Kingfisher that have YA heroines: A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking and The Seventh Bride both fun fantasies with heroines who use magic in rather creative ways.

All the non-healthcare workers in the house got their first vaccine shot this week, and my youngest had her first job interview and was offered the job, front counter at a local fancy bakery. It will be mommy transport until she gets her license -- the test is on her 18th birthday. This is something that got postponed due to covid and unemployment, but soon she'll be borrowing Dad's car (now he's working from home) and saving for her own vehicle.

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1 hour ago, Laurel-in-CA said:

This week I read Driving the Deep by Susanne Palmer, sequel to Finder. Enjoyed this just as much as the first one and was happy to find the main character DID find belonging for himself...more than just a repo job. I highly recommend both books in the series. I wonder if there will be more to come?

I'm waiting....

Coming in August ~ The Scavenger Door (The Finder Chronicles Book 3) by Suzanne Palmer

"Fergus is back on Earth at last, trying to figure out how to live a normal life. However, it seems the universe has other plans for him. When his cousin sends him off to help out a friend, Fergus accidently stumbles across a piece of an ancient alien artifact that some very powerful people seem to think means the entire solar system is in danger. And since he found it, they're certain it's also his problem to deal with.

With the help of his newfound sister, friends both old and new, and some enemies, too, Fergus needs to find the rest of the artifact and destroy the pieces before anyone can reassemble the original and open a multi-dimensional door between Earth and a vast, implacable, alien swarm of devourers. Problem is, the pieces could be anywhere on Earth, and he's not the only one out searching."

Regards,

Kareni

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2 hours ago, Kareni said:

I'm waiting....

Coming in August ~ The Scavenger Door (The Finder Chronicles Book 3) by Suzanne Palmer

"Fergus is back on Earth at last, trying to figure out how to live a normal life. However, it seems the universe has other plans for him. When his cousin sends him off to help out a friend, Fergus accidently stumbles across a piece of an ancient alien artifact that some very powerful people seem to think means the entire solar system is in danger. And since he found it, they're certain it's also his problem to deal with.

With the help of his newfound sister, friends both old and new, and some enemies, too, Fergus needs to find the rest of the artifact and destroy the pieces before anyone can reassemble the original and open a multi-dimensional door between Earth and a vast, implacable, alien swarm of devourers. Problem is, the pieces could be anywhere on Earth, and he's not the only one out searching."

Regards,

Kareni

Now you've got me *waiting*! too.

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Over the past six days I have slowly read (aka slogged through) the book my distant book group will be discussing tonight, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A novel by Arundhati Roy As you may have surmised, this book did not work to me. I was grateful to read it on my Kindle as it allowed me to frequently search the names of characters (who were present in abundance). This was a sad book with a lot of death; it also featured frequent profanity (which is not something that generally catches my attention). I'll certainly be interested to learn what my fellow book group members think of it especially since it garnered a lot of critical acclaim (Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Amazon, Kirkus, The Washington Post, Newsday).

"The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.

It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love—and by hope.

The tale begins with Anjum—who used to be Aftab—unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her—including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover; their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard; the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi."

Regards,

Kareni

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Some bookish threads from Reddit ~

In 2020 when traveling was banned I decided to replace it with reading a book from each country of the world. I mapped out the places that I have read already and started picking up literature from new places. Currently standing at 50 countries and looking forwards to more.

https://www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/mdnw7v/in_2020_when_traveling_was_banned_i_decided_to/

 

What books have you read or are reading that are related to your niche interests or hobbies?

https://www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/mf8k41/what_books_have_you_read_or_are_reading_that_are/

 

Autobiographies of people with unusual professions

https://www.reddit.com/r/suggestmeabook/comments/mfzpnu/autobiographies_of_people_with_unusual_professions/

 

Regards,

Kareni

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@Lady Florida. I completed T.C.o.M.C a wee while back .... looking forward to any possible BaW discussion at the end of this scheduled read: I can see why you gifted it all the starts you did 🥰   (hoping you're continuing to heal and strengthen after your op: thinking of you often!)

Looking forward to coming back and falling down those rabbit holes (links) you've provided @Kareni

@Junie Oh my! Paddington Bear!  What a flashback of wonderful memories.  I LOVE the original Paddington Bear chapter books and yet failed in the attempt to read him aloud to my D.C, I'd end up laughing myself absolutely silly and so the DC requested DH take over so they could see what I was laughing at.  

 

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On 4/6/2021 at 12:57 AM, Negin said:

I don't know if these are meant to be read in order.

No, no need to read these in order.  Cotillion is a fun read, if you like Heyer:  I do, many of her books are comfort-read favourites.  

On 4/6/2021 at 5:44 AM, Laurel-in-CA said:

Also read Jacqueline Winspear's memoir, This Time Next Year We'll be Laughing. And now I know why her WW1 and WW2 mysteries feel so real. Story-telling is in her blood. Really enjoyed the read, as I have really enjoyed her mysteries. And nice to find out she's friends with Rhys Bowen, who I also enjoy.

I ordered Jordan Peterson's book 12 Rules for Life as I wanted to know what all the fuss is about him. So far I haven't gotten past the intro, which may over-praise him. I am so out of the habit of reading real books, but I think I am going to want my pencil on this one (one of the joys of having *actual* pages is to make notes on them).

I'm just about to start Winspear's memoir,  so your "enjoyment" comment caught my attention  (hoping I do too).

12 Rules has been on my to read list for ages, for the same reason's you've mentioned.

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@mumto2 You may have already read this book....  while I was listening I thought this is a book you might enjoy: 

No Cure for the Dead: The Florence Nightingale Mysteries Bk1 ~ Christine Trent, narrated by Lucy Rayner.  I gave it 3- out of 5 stars.  Here's my goodreads review.    If you enjoy cosy mysteries and a, Carola Dunn toned, Daisy Dalrymple character being Florence Nightingale you’ll like this historical mystery series.   This definitely has all the hallmarks of first in a historical series with the setting up of characters and locations in the Victorian era.

A few other books I've completed:

A Murder Unmentioned: Rowland Sinclair Bk6 ~ Sulari Gentill .  I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.  Rowly and friends are back in their best setting, Australia, and we finally get to see what happened to Rowly’s abusive father and who killed him.   Extra: domestic violence with life threatening beltings, compromised mental health  (Elizabeth Sinclair), child abduction (ends well), gaslighting.

Wild Strawberries: Barsetshire Bk2 ~ Angela Thirkell, narrated by Hilary Neville.  Out of the three books I've read in this series - High Rising 3-4*s, and, The Brandon's, I  noted that one as just so-so and wouldn't recommend - this title falls between those two ratings earning itself three stars.  Though the ending felt rushed and rather unsatisfactory, Hillary Neville read this so well she created an audio story I still liked afterwards.

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of WWII’s Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall ~ Sonia Purnell, narrated by Juliet Stevenson (4) I was familiar with Virginia Hall ( & Noor Kahn) having read Sarah Helm's book,  A Life in Secrets:  Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII in 2016.  I enjoyed getting to hear a much fuller account of Virginia's courage during WW11, and then her life after the war.     To have given so much during the war and then to be side-lined afterwards must have been so hard.  This is the kind of book that encourages me to want to do more study about the character; and, I see a movie was released about her a little while back  "Liberte: A Call to Spy", has anyone here watched it?

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@tuesdayschildI just put a purchase request in for No Cure for the Dead.  It looks good.  I am about to start number 5 in the Rowland Sinclair series so am slightly behind you.

I am currently reading the first in the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen.  So far I really like it. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15793189-murphy-s-law

 

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By chance, I read a library book this week - The Paris Library by Janet Charles. About the American library in Paris, set during WW2. It's one of those books which is very readable, interesting because the author's done the research, and yet you don't need to read again, because it doesn't say much.

Also read a few non-fiction books but none of them super amazing. I'm plodding through The Idea of North by Peter Davidson which has a lot in it, really interesting ideas, and in the hands of a different writer would've been really exciting. It isn't though. I know who should've written it, Ian Frazier - his non-fiction books (esp Great Plains) are just so rich, in depth, and moving.

Looking forward to reading something I can really get into - trying to decide whether to fork out for Becky Chambers' new book, because I really enjoyed the first 3 in her Wayfarer series. Alas the libraries over here don't seem to get in many American books.

 

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Howdy ladies. I haven't abandoned you but I've been limiting my time online to work on current WIP which is progressing slowly but surely.  I've been enamored with the Bridgertons the past couple weeks and finished the Julia Quinn Bridgerton series.  They are all quite good and will go into the reread pile for another time.   Moving forward now with Genevieve Cogman's Plot Hole which I'm enjoying.

😘

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I've finished two new books lately.

I read and enjoyed the Victorian era romance The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell. (I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not just read this review. I can't dispute anything in the review, but it made me hyperaware of some issues.)

"When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can't banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. Compelled to capture every detail, she creates a stunning portrait but is forced to sell it when the rent comes due. What could be worse than surrendering the very picture of your desire? Meeting the man himself. 

Anthony Philby, Duke of Weston, is nobody's muse. Upon discovering the scandalous likeness, he springs into action. His infamous family has been torn apart by shame and secrets, and he can't afford more gossip. Even a whisper may jeopardize his inheritance and his chance at independence. His plan is simple: burn the painting, confront the artist. Or rather, it's simple until he meets Lucy and decides to offer the bewitching young artist a devil's bargain.  He'll help save her foreclosed home, if she'll help repair his family’s brutal legacy.

An irresistible passion ignites between them, but when danger strikes, Lucy and Anthony must risk everything... for a love that might destroy them both."

**

I also read the novella, I Wed the Sea by Lauren G Flanagan, which proved to be a pleasant read. It seemed to be a romance until the last five or so pages. Interestingly, the author gives a warning to stop reading if you want a happy ending. 

"At sunrise, on an island off the coast of New Jersey, Eve's dog, Ben, runs down the beach to meet Jamie's dog, Daisy, setting in motion a love story that echoes in time.

Poignant. Funny. Romantic. I Wed the Sea answers the question, What happens when two people meet - alone, on a beach, at sunrise - and one of them falls in love?"

Regards,

Kareni

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