Friday Reads ~ 15 December 2017

I think this will be one of the last of this kind of Friday Reads post I do, or at least that I do on a regular basis. I might do another next week, but then I’m going to move on to other styles of Friday Reads posts. I’m looking forward to it! In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been reading…

WHAT I READ

I finished A Scandal in Battersea by Mercedes Lackey. This is the 12th (or 13th, depending on whether you count The Fire Rose) in her Elemental Masters series, and it will be my last of them. The new books in this series are no longer interesting, instead following a boring pattern which is incredibly predictable. Plus, the accents. Oh god, the accents. Someone stop her from writing in accents, and I might consider reading new Lackey again. Otherwise? Hell no. (The full review is here.)

I also finished Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown, which completed my 2017 Cat Mystery Challenge. Yay! Full review is here, but the short version is that this is a really cute book in a really cute series, and I’ll be continuing with it. Solid 4 stars for this one.

WHAT I’M READING

I started Warcross by Marie Lu. (Don’t judge me. I know I said that The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid or To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis would be next. They’re still on deck, so they will be next after this.) I’d heard so many good things about it, and my last paper books only took 2 days to read, so I thought I’d try to squeeze this one in during December as well.

I’m still listening to Second Hand Curses by Drew Hayes, but I don’t think I will be for much longer. It’s so fun that it’s easy to listen to it. I’m enjoying the book but I also want to know how it ends, so I’ll finish this one soon. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys slightly different takes on fairy tales. So far there hasn’t been anything to make me limit my recommendation much. I’d say YA at the youngest, because there are a few mentions about unsavory things, but nothing has been overtly described. Still. Great fun.

And I’m still reading Lazette Gifford’s Raventower and Merriweather #1: Secrets. I feel bad for not giving this as much love as I could be, but mobile games have been distracting me lately, and so even when I pick up my phone intending to open my Kindle app, I open the games instead. Bad me.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

In paper books, The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid or To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis really ARE next this time. Promise.

For audio, I think I might try Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress next. I’ve been enjoying fiction, though I think swapping to sci-fi might be a nice change. Besides, I already own that one on Audible and I want to get my queue down before I buy any more audio books if I can help it.

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Friday Reads ~ 8 December 2017

It’s snowing on WordPress again! Yay! I don’t know why, but that always makes me happy.

WHAT I READ

Since last week, I finished Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. It was a great novella. My full review of it is here, but it’s safe to say that if you like McGuire’s other work and are willing to read a shorter stand-alone story instead of a full-length novel, you’ll probably enjoy this one, too.

I also started and finished The Squirrel on the Train by Kevin Hearne. This is a short story (which I listened to) in the Iron Druid Chronicles. It’s also the second of Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries. It’s highly amusing, especially since Luke Daniels narrates it in Oberon’s voice. Oberon (the Irish wolfhound) is one of my favorite characters in the series, so getting more from him is always fun. I kinda hope that we continue to get Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries even after the Iron Druid Chronicles come to an end with the next novel.

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh got finished as well. Granted, I switched from the audio version to the hardback part-way through. And I also skimmed some of it once I’d switched to the paper version. But still, it’s finished (and not DNF’d). I’m… still not sold on it. There was too much “do I despise him or desire him?” in it for my tastes. Yes, the setting was beautiful. Some of the story was beautiful. But in a story where you are trying to show a girl break out of the controlling atmosphere she grew up in, is this book really the best way to do it? I sincerely hope not. (Full review is here.)

WHAT I’M READING

I’m still working on Lazette Gifford’s Raventower and Merriweather #1: Secrets. Now that I’m done with the McGuire ebook, I’ll be able to focus on this one more, and will hopefully make good progress.

And I’m nearly done with Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown. Highly amusing again, like the first one. It’s a classic cozy cat mystery, though. Don’t expect much depth out of it, though it does provide an engaging read.

And lastly, for audio, I recently started Second Hand Curses by Drew Hayes. I needed something fun, and I’m curious to try something by him that’s not in the Spells, Swords, and Stealth series.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

The next paper book is going to be A Scandal in Battersea by Mercedes Lackey, since I saw that at the library and it fits the BookBum Club‘s December theme. After that will be either The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid or To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. (And whichever one isn’t next will be after that.)

Other than that, however, I don’t think I’m going to make “what’s next” predictions right now. I’ve been in a fickle book mood, and have tended to pick up whatever book was shiniest at the time. I guess I’m just in that kind of mood.

Friday Reads ~ 1 December 2017

I’ve mentioned before that I’m going to be switching up how I do my Friday Reads blog posts, and I’ll go into more detail on that later this month in preparation for the New Year. For now, however, I’m going to continue with the three reading status updates.

WHAT I READ

I finished reading Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower. (#1 of the Magical Bookshop Mystery series and #9 for my Cat Mystery Reading Challenge.) It was really cute and I really like the bookshop and the cat. I’m not as interested in the likely love triangle between the humans, though, so we’ll see if I decide to continue with the series.

WHAT I’M READING

I’m currently reading Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown. (#2 of the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries and #10 for my Cat Mystery Reading Challenge.) It’s really cute, and it’s refreshing to have the pets’ POV again rather than relying on the humans to interpret the pets. I’m sad that it took me so long to get back to this series, but at least I can fully appreciate it now (after having read many books where the humans have to interpret the animals).

On my eReader are two books, Lazette Gifford’s Raventower and Merriweather #1: Secrets and Senana McGuire’s Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day. I’m much further into the McGuire one, but they’re both enjoyable at this point.

I’m also still listening to Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I want to like it as much as I liked the beginning. But right now I’m only still listening to it because I want to know how it ends, and not because I’m enjoying the journey. (I’m really not sure how much of this is the book and how much is the narrator. Right now I’m annoyed enough at the package of it that I can’t separate the two.) I am sick of YA angst, and there is more of it continually developing in this book. The setting is great. The first couple of chapters were great. But now, several chapters in… I might DNF this one if I can’t bring myself to enjoy the next chapter or two.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

I really want to read The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid. It was on my “eventual” TBR pile, but it’s been recommended by several people (some IRL and some online) so it’s been bumped up higher. Now that I’m on my last Cat Mystery book for that reading challenge, I think this will be one of my next two paper books. The other paper book I want to read in 2017 is To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. We’ll see which of the two I get to first (or if I completely change my mind. Again.)

It will be a while before I have to choose another ebook. I’ll determine what that will be once I’m closer to done with these two.

And my next audio book needs to be a not-an-angsty-YA-book*. I’m not sure yet what that will end up being. I have a Robert Heinlein sci-fi in my Audible queue which might be next. Or there are also a couple of non-fiction books which might be good choices. But I’ve had enough of YA book angst for now.

*Note: I have no problem with YA books. I love YA books. But there seems to be a hidden sub-genre of YA that thinks that all youth emotions need to be portrayed as angst. Or perhaps authors think that because there is so much angst portrayed in YA books / TV / movies, that is what is desired by the readers. They are wrong, if that is the case.

Friday Reads ~ 17 November 2017

I am running out of days in the year to read cat mystery novels. Good thing I only have 2 cat mysteries left to read to meet my goal.

WHAT I READ

I finished reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. LOVE THIS BOOK. I think it’s my favorite of the books I’ve read this year. It’s a beautiful story, but it’s also deep and imaginative and touching and sweet. I highly recommend this one. Yes, it’s a middle grade book, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying it. And yes, the titular “girl” is our main main character, but our secondary main characters are adults, so it’s not like the adults who read it have no one to connect with. This came very highly recommended to me, and I pass along that recommendation to you.

WHAT I’M READING

I started Crime and Poetry by Allison Flower. I recently met the cat which makes this a cat mystery novel, and I really like him (Emerson). I think I might like the protagonist, and I probably like her grandma. This is a nice change from some of the other recent cozy mysteries I’ve read. Hopefully I keep liking them and can break that “like the animals but not the humans” trend.

I’m still listening to Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I don’t like the middle of the book as much as I liked the beginning. It seems more cliched now. However, it had great promise at the start, so I do intend to keep reading. I am having a really hard time believing the main character now, though. She doesn’t seem all that realistic for her universe.

And in addition to Raventower and Merriweather #1: Secrets by Lazette Gifford, I picked up the ebook version of Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. That one is a shorter book, so I’ll probably switch to that one and finish it first.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Another cat mystery. Probably the second Mrs. Murphy novel by Rita Mae Brown or the next Black Cat Bookshop mystery by Ali Brandon. Other than that, I’m not focused on my next read.

Happy weekend, and may you have lots of time to read!

Friday Reads ~ 3 November 2017

Okay, I’ve noticed that after my “not on a YA kick right now”, I proceeded to start new YA books. Maybe I just needed an infusion of adult books, and I got that with the two I finished this week? Or maybe I needed something more fantasy and less contemporary. In any case, here’s my book update for the week.

WHAT I READ

I finished reading A Novel Way To Die by Ali Brandon. Cute book. I didn’t care for the main character (Darla) much, but I loved the cat (Hamlet) and the bookshop employees (James and Robert). While I guessed at the “who” of the mystery, I didn’t know the “why” — though looking back now, I can see (very) subtle clues to the motive. This was an enjoyable book and I’ll probably read book 3 as well. (This was book #2 in the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series, and I haven’t read book 1. I don’t plan to backtrack with this series, though; I’ll just go forward from here.)

I finished listening to The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries, a Great Courses lecture series by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It was a neat set of cosmic mysteries, and I liked the mystery spin on things. I shouldn’t have listened to this so close to the other two books by Dr. Tyson I listened to this year, though, because the three all tended to cover the same core material. Still, worth listening to.

WHAT I’M READING

I started listening to Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I’ll admit that I picked this one up when I did because it’s on Goodreads’ list of best books for the year and I wanted to see if I could vote for it. (I want to get far enough to make that call before the first round of voting ends on Sunday.) It’s interesting so far at any rate.

I also started reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Super cute! I want a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. I think this will be a gift for my niece this year.

And I am still reading Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward on my ereader. I would like to get this one finished soon, but with NaNo just starting I don’t know how much time I’ll spend reading this month. (Then again, I might read to procrastinate getting my NaNo words. I’ve been known to do that…)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

My next paper book will probably be Crime and Poetry (Magical Bookshop, #1) by Amanda Flower. It’s a library book, so has a due date. If not this one, though, then probably Rest in Pieces (Mrs. Murphy #2) by Rita Mae Brown.

For my next audio book, I might try again to get into Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. I love the premise, it’s just the overly-angsty YA feel of the beginning of the book that made me put it aside last month. I have a feeling that if I’d stuck with it for another half-hour it would have gotten past the part that was bugging me. We’ll see when I pick it back up (since I’m planning on starting again where I left off).

That’s my reading update for the week. How about you? Read anything particularly fun this week?

Friday Reads ~ 27 October 2017

There hasn’t been as much reading this week as I’d like. I have been doing some, but it feels like very little progress. Still, there is more progress than there was last week.

WHAT I READ

I finished my re-read of The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. It was good to revisit this book as an adult. (I was a high school sophomore the first time I read it.) I got some different things out of it this time around. This is a fascinating look at growing up Chinese American. I can’t say that I have experienced any of the things described in the book, but I have heard my Chinese American grandparents talk about their youth a little, and I suspect more of the actions in this book would sound familiar to them.

WHAT I’M READING

I started reading A Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon, book #2 in the Black Cat Bookshop mystery series. I haven’t read book 1 yet, and may or may not do so depending on how much I like this one. (I picked it up because the title caught my attention.) So far it’s cute, but I’m not sold on the main character yet.

I’m still reading Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward on my ereader. I’m getting more into it, but it’s a bit drier than the ebooks I had been reading prior to this. It’s harder to get invested in. So far I don’t care much about any of the characters.

And I’m still listening to Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. I enjoy the concept, and am mostly enjoying the book, but I’m having a hard time connecting to the teenaged main characters. Some YA is easy for me to get into; this one is a little harder.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Maybe I’ll re-read Roald Dahl’s The Witches after I’m done with my current paper book. We’ll see — I also might not feel like it at that time, in which case I’ll probably take it back to the library for now. (I had pulled it out because of Halloween.) If not this one, then maybe The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill, another library book. If not either of those… then I have no idea.

Next audio and ebooks are still too far away for me to make any decisions. Maybe I’ll have a better idea next week.

Friday Reads ~ 20 October 2017

I didn’t finish any books this week. I made some good progress on my paper book, but that’s about it. I’m finishing up something career-related, but that should be finished (I hope) by the end of this weekend, so I’m hoping to have more time for reading next week. Of course, then we head in to NaNo-November, so reading time might drop again…

WHAT I’M READING

I’ve been making most of my reading progress this week on The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. I’m really enjoying this re-read, and I find I remember more of the book than I thought I would. It’s been over 20 years since I read it (I think?), and I think I only read it the once, so I guess it really stuck with me for me to remember it this well.

I’m still reading Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward and listening to Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. Both are still enjoyable. I’ve just been too busy to spend much time on them.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

After I finish TWW, I’m going to start A Novel Way To Die by Ali Brandon. I still have a few books left to read on my cat mystery challenge, so I’m going to get going on that one.

Next ebook… who knows. I need to make more progress on my current one before I can decide that. Same goes for my next audio book. Please Don’t Tell My Parents is a longer book than I expected it to be when I started it (yes, I glossed over the part of the book info saying how many hours it was).

Have a great weekend!