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 ~ 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 ~ 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!

Friday Reads ~ 2017 Reading Challenge Update

We’re into the end of the third quarter of the year now, so instead of another weekly post about what I’m currently reading (you’ll get another one of those next week, probably) I thought it was a good time to do a look at where I am with my 2017 Reading Challenge Goals.

You may recall that I had two goals for this year:

  1. Read 75% new books
  2. Read 10 Cat Mystery books

I also have a book quantity goal listed on Goodreads, but that’s not something I am tracking here. In any case, how am I doing on my challenge goals?

Read 75% new books

I have read a total of 49 books so far this year. (This total is not counting short stories. I know that Goodreads counts them, but I am not tracking them here.)

Only 8 of these 49 books have been ones I’ve read before, so that means 83.67% of my books this year (so far) have been new books. I’d say I’m doing very well on that part of the challenge!

Read 10 Cat Mystery books

I have read 6 cat mystery books so far this year. 2 more have been checked out of the library and 1 more is on my TBR pile. If I finish all of those, that’s a total of 9. I’ll still need to pick up one more, but that seems doable. I just need to stay interested in cat mysteries…

I think I’m in a good place to succeed at my challenge this year. It’s nice to know that I can set reasonable goals for myself when I try. (Last year’s reading challenge forced me to think about what exactly defined “reasonable”…)

Have a great weekend!

Friday Reads ~ in which we have another review catch-up

I had previously finished reading Xenation: Draw the Line and Farstep Station, both by Lazette Gifford. At the time, I didn’t have the time or energy to write book reviews for them. I’ve since found both time and energy, though. The reviews for each book can be found in the links in their titles above.

And a quick update on the 2017 Reading Challenge: I have finished reading 5 of 10 Cat Mystery books, and have started my 6th. I’ve also read 81.4% new books this year, which is over my 75% goal for the year. I guess I haven’t been as tempted to re-read books as in years past! We’ll see if I can keep that up, though. All it will take is getting into one long series of books I’ve already read to throw that off… and I’ve been considering re-reading The Chronicles of Prydain this year. That would mess up my percentage right there.

WHAT I READ

This week I finished reading Doctor Who: City of Death by James Goss (full review is here). It was enjoyable, though not a new favorite book. (Mostly because it’s not a favorite episode of Doctor Who.) The writing was good and the humor was great, though, even if it isn’t my favorite story plot.

I also finished the audio book Split the Party, the second of Drew Hayes’ Spells, Swords, and Stealth series. (The review is here.) Love it! This one is a new favorite book, and it (as well as the first in the series, NPCs) is in the running for Favorite Book Read in 2017.

WHAT I’M READING

As soon as I finished Split the Party, I started listening to Going Rogue, the third Spells, Swords, & Stealth book. There’s a fourth one coming out either later this year or next year, though the release date hasn’t been announced yet. I suspect this 4th book will be an instant purchase for me, too.

I also started to read Black Cat Crossing (A Bad Luck Cat Mystery #1) by Kay Finch. This will be another book for my Cat Mystery Reading Challenge. It’s amusing so far.

For ebooks, I just started Lazette Gifford’s Beware the Wrath of Bunny Hopper, mostly because the title made me laugh. I haven’t gotten far enough into it yet to tell you what I think of it other than that.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

My next audio book might be another non-fiction book. I’m thinking it will be the Great Courses book The Search for Exoplanets by Joshua Winn. I’m not positive yet, though.

And my next paper book will almost certainly be Bellwether by Connie Willis. It’s been all I can do to not start reading it (even without having finished my current paper book) ever since Amazon delivered it to me.

Friday Reads ~ in which lots was read but no reviews were written

I have finished a lot of reading this week, but I haven’t yet written up the reviews for any of those books. I plan to do that this weekend, so I’ll have the links to the review (hopefully) with next Friday’s post.

As far as a quick 2017 Reading Challenge update goes, you may remember that I’d decided to:

  1. read at least 75% new books; and
  2. read 10 cat mysteries

So far, I have read 4 cat mysteries (and am in the middle of my 5th) and have read 77.14% new books. I’d say I’m on track so far.

WHAT I READ:

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire was released this week, and it put all my other reading on pause. It’s the second of the Wayward Children stories, and it provides back-story for Jack and Jill, two of the characters in the first story. I really enjoyed it, even though it’s more novella-length than novel-length. Definitely worth reading. The storytelling style is really neat, too.

And then because I hadn’t had enough of that world yet, I re-read Every Heart a Doorway, the first of McGuire’s Wayward Children stories. (That one I reviewed back when I read it the first time, and my original review is here.) Still love that story, too.

I also finished reading all of the InCryptid short stories that I can read without spoiling the rest of the series novels. So that’s done for a bit.

And I finished listening to NPCs by Drew Hayes, the first of the Spells, Swords, & Stealth series. That was A LOT OF FUN. If you are a D&D gamer, you should really read this one. If you are a DM, this is practically required reading. Granted, a lot of the story is pure fantasy novel and not game-related, but there are so many little jabs at the game (AND ITS PLAYERS) that make it a lot of fun. I’ll be continuing with this series. And the narration (by Roger Wayne) was a lot of fun, too.

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m currently listening to Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. It’s enjoyable. It’s eye-opening. It’s still darned hard to listen to her narrate her own life.

I’m also still reading The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun. Still fun, but the Cat Who books can be a little formulaic if you read too many of them in too quick a succession. I’ll be taking a short break from this series after this book.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

My next audio book will probably be a Great Courses lecture series. I’m not sure which one yet, though. Audible had a 2-for-1 sale on the Great Courses series, so I have a few of them to choose from.

My next paper book will be… hopefully fun. I’m not sure what it will be, to be honest. I think I’ll be taking a break from cat mysteries for a book or two, but that’s about as far as I can guess right now.

Have a great weekend!