MickyFine Swashbuckles Through 2017: Third Voyage
This is a continuation of the topic MickyFine Swashbuckles Through 2017: Second Voyage.
This topic was continued by MickyFine Swashbuckles Through 2017: Fourth Voyage.
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While Captain Jack might get all the attention, Will Turner does have one awesome pirate hat.
I'm Micky, I'm 30, and despite the theme for my thread, I'm actually super law-abiding. :D I'm a collections librarian for the public library system in Edmonton and as a result I read a growing chunk of non-fiction as I select it for work every day. This year, I'm also on the team at work that selects the short list for the Alberta Reader's Choice Award (ARCA) so I'll be reading a lot of works by Alberta authors in the first half of the year. Outside of that my reading is a wide mix of genres but there's usually a healthy dose of YA, romance, fantasy, and historical fiction in the mix. In addition to books, I'm likely to discuss whatever I'm watching on TV, my cat, Smee, and occasional awesome life events on my thread. Posters and lurkers alike are welcome.
1. Devil Take the Hindmost - SG Wong
2. The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher
3. Shift - Kelly Shepherd
4. Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas
5. A Floating Phrase - Trent Portigal
6. Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor
7. Across the Floor - Natasha Deen
8. Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics - Jason Porath
9. Crosstalk - Connie Willis
10. Scandal in Spring - Lisa Kleypas
11. A Wallflower Christmas - Lisa Kleypas
12. A Worthy Pursuit - Karen Witemeyer
13. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls - Hope Nicholson (ed.)
14. In My Wildest Dreams - Christina Dodd
15. Son of France - Todd Babiak
16. Love on the Mend - Karen Witemeyer
17. Mrs. Sherlock Holmes - Brad Ricca
18. The Husband Maneuver - Karen Witemeyer
19. The Book of Human Emotions - Tiffany Watt Smith
20. Kalyna - Pam Clark
21. How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square - Rea Tarvydas
22. A Murder Is Announced - Agatha Christie
23. Maybe This Time - Jennifer Snow
24. Fairy Tales for the Disillusioned: Enchanted Stories from the French Decadent Tradition - Gretchen Schultz & Lewis Seifert (ed.)
25. Shylock Is My Name - Howard Jacobson
26. Rodent - Lisa Lawrence
27. Snow White - Matt Phelan
28. Paper Teeth - Lauralyn Chow
29. Gatekeeper - Natasha Deen
30. Ticker - Lisa Mantchev
31. Worth the Wait - Karen Witemeyer
32. A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn
33. Difficult Women - Roxane Gay
34. Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
35. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (re-read)
36. Mine Till Midnight - Lisa Kleypas
37. Mitzi Bytes - Kerry Clare
38. The Angry Tide - Winston Graham
39. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely - Lisa TerKeurst
40. A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab
41. The 13 Clocks - James Thurber
42. Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare
43. The Little Shop of Happy Ever After - Jenny Colgan
44. A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab
45. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
46. The Upside of Unrequited - Becky Albertalli
47. Fanning the Flames - Victoria Dahl
48. The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time - Keith Houston
49. The Marriage Bureau - Penrose Halson
50. The Circle - Dave Eggers
51. The Improbability of Love - Hannah Rothschild
52. No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering - Clara Bensen
53. In the Bleak Midwinter - Julia Spencer-Fleming
54. Overturned - Lamar Giles
55. Heartstone - Elle Katharine White
56. A Conjuring of Light - V. E. Schwab
57. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
58. Marcel's Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man's Fate - Carolyn Porter
59. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
60. The Stranger from the Sea - Winston Graham
61. My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella
62. Magnate - Joanna Shupe
63. Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson
64. Frogkisser! - Garth Nix
65. Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly
66. Heart on the Line - Karen Witemeyer
67. They Do It With Mirrors - Agatha Christie
68. Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy - Noelle Stevenson et. al.
69. Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Angela Saini
70. The Marriage Test: Our 40 Dates Before "I Do" - Jill Andres and Brook Silva-Braga
71. Truth or Beard - Penny Reid
72. Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing - Daniel Tammet
73. The Dire King - William Ritter
74. Two for the Dough - Janet Evanovich
My rating system:
/ = Ran screaming in the other direction (aka did not finish)
* = Suffered through it for reasons I'm still not sure of
** = Had far more flaws than virtues
*** = A read I don't regret but could use some improvement
**** = A good, solid read that I might revisit
***** = Loved it beyond reason and will probably re-read in short order
Happy belated Canada Day to all the Canucks who wander these parts. I had a really great long weekend and hope you did as well. I spent a big chunk of it with The Boyfriend and amongst our adventures were fireworks on Saturday and a viewing of The Merry Wives of Windsor at the local Shakespeare in the Park festival.
My reading has slowed down a bit of late, but I'm still here and still plugging along with some solidly good reads on the way. So get cozy, grab a creamsicle, and hang out for the summer. :D
I hope your Canada Day weather was nicer than ours. It ranged from drizzle to torrential downpour.
Happy new thread, Micky!
I would say that young Will Turner has more going for him than just the hat...
I'm with >10 scaifea: on Will Turner. It wasn't the hats that made me and my friends swoon in our seats when we were watching the PotC films in the cinema years ago.
>6 PawsforThought: Thanks, Paws!
>7 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi. Hope you're having a great 4th of July!
>8 Deedledee: It was a pretty nice day. There was a bit of a rainstorm around 7 but I was safely stowed inside at that point. Cleared up nicely by the time I went out for fireworks so it was warm and a bit humid.
>9 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!
>10 scaifea: It's true. PotC is why 16 year old me had a massive crush on Orlando Bloom. My department at work has his READ poster from that era (sadly in storage during our renovations). It made my inner 16 year old happy every time I walked past it. :)
>12 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe.
For all my American friends:
Courtesy of the Meanwhile in Canada FB page. :D
>15 PawsforThought: Yes, Legolas! *sigh* Legolas and Johnny in the same movie was the reason my grad school friends and I went to the PotC movies...
>21 scaifea: The sounds my friends and I made every time OB was on screen is embarrassing.
>14 MickyFine: LOL!
I think this year the Brits might be happy to be rid of us.
>15 PawsforThought: Honestly, I didn't find him attractive at all as Legolas. It was PotC that sold me on Orlando Bloom. :)
>16 Kassilem: Thanks, Melissa!
>17 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!
>18 drneutron: Thank you, Jim!
>19 humouress: I do like having a nice thread topper to peek at every time you pop by. :)
>20 leahbird: Thanks, Leah!
>23 jnwelch: It's entirely possible. Although they've got their own issues going on at the moment.
Happy new thread! My sister had a big crush on Orlando Bloom, but I'm not sure which movie was the cause. I never did, but then again I have never seen a PotC movie OR a LotR movie...yes I am hanging my head in shame...
>25 aktakukac: As you should. I'd kidnap you and make you sit through a marathon but you're a bit too far away. It's a good summer viewing project though...
>26 MickyFine: PotC is perfect for watching in the summer! I associate LOTR more with winter but that could be because I'm used to watching them wrapped in blankets and with a big cup of tea in hand.
>26 MickyFine: I am trying to watch more of the movies that I should have seen by now but haven't. I did watch Rogue One last year, which was my first Star Wars-related movie. I am making slow progress! I've at least thought about watching both PotC and LOTR at some point...
>28 aktakukac: What did you think of Rogue One? I'd imagine it's difficult to be as engaged with it if you haven't seen any of the other SW films before that.
>29 MickyFine: Thanks! I should revise and update my list soon.
>30 PawsforThought: I will admit that I went to the theater as a favor to my husband, who loves all things Star Wars. It was a bit odd, because while I know a bit about some of the characters and things that happen in the other films, I didn't know what to expect. I'm sure I missed a lot of things that everyone else picked up on. I'll probably watch the other movies at some point, but I don't see myself becoming a SW fanatic!
>31 aktakukac: You don't have to be a fanatic, most people aren't! But if you at least found Rogue One entertaining/good, then I think you'll like the others (except for Eps 1-3, because no one really likes those).
Star Wars also make for great summer watching, just so you know... ;)
I never had much of a crush on Orlando Bloom -- I preferred Aragorn to Legolas, and Jack Sparrow to Will Turner.
>33 foggidawn: I hear you on Aragorn. But only when he's dirty. I don't know what it is about Viggo Mortenson but he's far more attractive when he's got a layer of dirt on his face.
A Conjuring of Light - V.E. Schwab
And this is how you give an awesome fantasy trilogy an ending entirely worthy of the series. There's epic battles, quiet character development, and all of the major threads are given satisfying conclusions. I loved this book from the opening page and I sighed happily when I finished the last one. An obvious must if you've read the first two books. And if you haven't started this trilogy yet, get on it friend.
>35 MickyFine: My loan ran out in the middle so I'm waiting for my name to come back up so I can finish it, but I was loving it until then. Glad to know it continues to deliver!
Hi Micky! Hope you had a good Canada Day weekend!
>35 MickyFine: I have not heard of that series but I will have to check it out now!
>36 leahbird: Ugh. That's always so sad when that happens. Condolences. ;)
>37 foggidawn: I am so surprised you weren't already on this bandwagon, Foggi. I feel like you'd really like this series.
>38 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! My Canada Day weekend was great. And the one coming up is also shaping up to be awesome. Going on a day trip to Drumheller on Saturday and then I have some friends getting married on Sunday. It'll be busy but fun.
Happy new thread, Micky! Sounds like your Canada Day was lovely.
>5 MickyFine: - Now I want a creamsicle, but not the new ones. I used to love creamsicles - even more than revels - but the creamsicle I had last summer was.... not the same. They seem to have increased the orange sicle part and reduced the vanilla ice cream center. I was so bummed. It was as bad as noticing the chocolate to peanut butter ratio of mini reese peanut butter cups is not the same as the regular sized. ;-( Suffice to say, I have revels in my freezer at home.
>14 MickyFine: - LOL!
>35 MickyFine: - Oooohhhhhh.... 5 stars!
>39 MickyFine: Enjoy Drumheller! Will you be hiking or visiting some of the local attractions?
My BIL lives in Red Deer and always teases us with pictures of his hikes in the mountains. Just gorgeous scenery!
>40 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Hope you're having a great weekend. That entire trilogy received 5 stars from me.
>41 ChelleBearss: No hiking for us, Chelle. It was 32C in Drumheller yesterday. So any outdoor things we did were very brief. Our biggest chunk of time was spent at the Royal Tyrell Museum because dinosaurs. :D
I'll post my photo of the hoodoos later as copying the link on my iPad is impossible.
>40 lkernagh: Another Reese's connoisseur! My friends think I'm crazy when I go off on a rant about the proper peanut butter to chocolate ratio. Mrsdrneutron gets it, which is why we've lasted so long together. 😀
Some highlights from my recent trip to Drumheller:
Woolly mammoth and sabretooth tigers.
Great pictures, especially the last one! Glad you had a nice time, even if you had to deal with hot temperatures! Oh, I'm about halfway through The Marriage Bureau and am liking it very much! I'd love to sit down tonight or tomorrow and finish it!
>44 drneutron: - Glad to see I am not alone in noticing the difference! ;-)
>45 MickyFine: - The museum in Drumheller (and the Hoodoos) are awesome! It has been years since I last went. My dad, brother and SIL were in the area last Wednesday. They went to visit one of the old coal mines that has been opened up for guided tours. Given the fossil history in the Drumheller area, I probably shouldn't have been so surprised to learn how many coal mines used to populate the area.
Hoodoos?? I see them; they look cuddly and quirky, so they fit the name, but I sense a story behind it.
>44 drneutron: *approaching cautiously* I suppose it's scientifically proven? Personally, I'm not a fan of peanut butter in my chocolate, although I like it well enough on its own. Or, rather, with jam. And bread.
Happy New thread, Micky. I like the Drumheller photos. Looks like a cool place. Hope life and the books are treating you well.
>46 PawsforThought: Pretty much my reaction also. :)
>47 The_Hibernator: Glad you liked them, Rachel.
>48 aktakukac: Thanks, Rachel! Glad to hear The Marriage Bureau has been a hit with you. I quite enjoyed it.
>49 _Zoe_: Have you not made it far enough west to see Drumheller, Zoe?
>50 lkernagh: It's been about 7 years since my last trip to Drumheller, Lori, but The Boyfriend had never been and the friends we went with hadn't been in a while. The museum hasn't changed much since my last visit but it remains very impressive. We drove around Atlas Mines (probably the mines your family went to) but as it was very hot and pretty late in the day we didn't do any of the tours.
>51 humouress: I looked it up in the OED, Nina. The first citation in the etymology is Walt Whitman in 1879 mentioning hoodoos in an area of Yellowstone called Goblin Land. The word has ties to occult and voodoo. *shrug* I just think they look cool and I like to say the word. :D
>52 msf59: All is well with both books and life, Mark. Drumheller generally tends to be hot but it is pretty neat to visit. ;)
Great photos! We would like to visit there next time we visit my BIL. Chloe loves dinosaurs so I think she would love that
>55 ChelleBearss: It really is a great museum to visit. And I was impressed, they've got a bunch of activities for little kids down at toddler height below some of the displays (things to turn, spin, buttons to push etc.). Plus, you know, dinosaurs. :D
>53 MickyFine: Nope, I've never been at all west in Canada. But I'll be going to BC next summer, and I'm hoping for Manitoba the summer after that, so maybe I'll get to Alberta three years from now :P
>57 _Zoe_: BC is beautiful. You'll love it. The only time I've been to Manitoba was for a job interview in Winnipeg in January (several years ago now). Not the best time to the see the city. It was of course, the cliche of -30C. :P
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
I'm a super latecomer to this one so I won't bother blurbing it as I feel like most people know what they're getting into with this one by now. Suffice it to say if you want dystopia mashed up with a dash of sci fi and some serious adventure with high levels of 80s pop culture references (particularly of the video game variety) then this is precisely the book you're looking for. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would recommend to nerds of most stripes.
You read RPO! YAY!!!! I so loved that book, but then I was a bit of a 80's gaming geek. ;-)
Marcel's Letters: A Font and the Search for One Man's Fate - Carolyn Porter
When graphic designer Carolyn Porter found a selection of French WWII letters in an antiques shop in Minnesota, she knew immediately she had finally found the sample she wanted to fulfill her dream of designing a font. Purchasing five letters, Carolyn spent years painstakingly working on her font without really looking at the source material after tracing individual letters of interest. But one day while looking at the original letters again, Carolyn is suddenly struck by the desire to know what the letters say and try to find out who their author, Marcel, really was. This initial impulse leads Carolyn down a path of research that yields a story no one could have imagined.
The joys of ordering non-fiction for my library is that sometimes I discover gems like this book. I'm already a typography and history nerd and this book fed both interests. While Porter very clearly and with just the right amount of detail recounts her struggle designing her font, the primary focus of this book is her quest to discover who Marcel was and what happened to him. The story is utterly compelling and Porter beautifully balances the history with descriptions of her efforts to discover it and the effect of her search on herself and her relationships. A compelling read that I finished in just under a day, I highly recommend this one if the description intrigues you even slightly.
>58 MickyFine: Yeah, I can imagine that January wouldn't be the most appealing time!
I can't remember where we were talking about Hoopla, but I finally selected a book to try, only to learn that the whole thing is for Kindle Fire only, not regular Kindle. Blah.
>66 MickyFine: It does sound intriguing. What was her font named, in the end?
Hmm .... maybe I could design a font based on my dad's handwriting; it's really pretty (but, unfortunately, not that legible - though, of course, I'd sort that out).
>67 aktakukac: Excellent call, Rachel. I was hoping it would strike someone's fancy.
>68 _Zoe_: We highjacked Nora's thread with our discussion of hoopla. ;) Yeah, I'm not surprised it doesn't work on a regular Kindle. Don't you know Amazon hates libraries?
>69 humouress: P22 Marcel is the font (you can see samples of it on the P22 Type Foundry website). I'd suggest reading the book, Nina, before undertaking designing a font from your dad's handwriting. It might make you think twice.
>70 MickyFine: Ah, that's where it was! I guess I'd forgotten that Amazon hates libraries, because they don't hate American libraries quite as much as Canadian ones. I can get Overdrive library books for my Kindle, so this seems like a step backwards. Boo.
>71 _Zoe_: Some days it feels like everything about hoopla is a step backwards. :P
>72 MickyFine: Heh. I'll be curious to see how it develops. I wasn't initially impressed with Overdrive either, but when I gave it another chance five years later, it was like night and day.
I was enjoying the liveliness of my thread, tbh
While we're on the topic, can someone explain to me what Libby is and how it's different from the OverDrive app?
>73 _Zoe_: I'm just not a fan of the model hoopla uses. Their content has improved exponentially since they first launched but I just don't think it's financially tenable for most libraries.
>74 norabelle414: Libby is just the new iteration of the OverDrive app and everyone is going to be forced over to it in the fall. Slightly different interface and it doesn't require an Adobe ID, but otherwise same ole same ole.
>74 norabelle414: Sorry, I didn't mean to abandon your thread! I just forgot where the conversation had been.
>75 MickyFine: I think the model has potential for use in conjunction with others, not as a full-out replacement. I like the idea that some number of times a year, you can skip the hold line to get the book you want right when you want it. But it doesn't have to be every time, with all the associated costs. Even something like 4-6 times per year would be nice.
>77 _Zoe_: Does your library have Freading? It has the same access rules as hoopla but it doesn't cost the library an arm and a leg. Of course, it's only ebooks (and maybe audiobooks).
>76 MickyFine: Not requiring an Adobe ID would be an improvement. It's the Adobe portion that always seems to cause problems for my mum and her sister. Mum's given up and just reads on her iPad in the Overdrive app, which works. Her sister doesn't have an iPad so she's just given up on ebooks from the library.
>80 archerygirl: Adobe IDs are an utter pain. But this is still an app so I don't know that it would change the experience much for someone using a computer. I don't do support for ereading as much as I used to so I'm not quite as knowledgeable as other librarians I know.
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
I'm finding it hard to provide any individual thoughts on this novel. It's a compelling dystopia that wasn't quite as dark as I was worried it would be although there is plenty that is discomfiting. As brilliant as I've learned to expect from Atwood. I feel like less of a bad Canadian now that I've finally read this one, plus I can finally watch the series adaptation that I've been saving on my PVR.
>84 foggidawn: Thanks. I'm no longer at risk of having my passport revoked for not having read this one. ;)
>83 MickyFine: It is also my favourite Atwood! I am excited to see how they adapt that one as The Handmaid's Tale was done pretty well (What I've seen so far, anyway. I'm only two episodes in)
Did you read any of Atwood's weirder books like the MaddAdam trilogy? I really enjoyed those ones as well.
>86 ChelleBearss: I've got the Handmaid's Tale adaptation waiting for me on my PVR so I'll get to it eventually.
I haven't tackled MaddAdam yet. One of these days, probably.
>82 MickyFine: - "I feel like less of a bad Canadian now that I've finally read this one" Well.... I am still a "bad Canadian" as I have yet to read any Atwood. I know, shocking. :-)
>88 lkernagh: If it hadn't been for my reading of her in my required Canadian Literature course during undergrad, I still wouldn't have. But I'm really glad I did because she's actually really enjoyable (at least for this reader). :)
I'm still a bad Canadian too. But I bought a second copy of the Handmaid's Tale last month, so that counts for something, right? I have aspirations. (I got the first one signed so I don't actually want to read that copy.)
Sigh. I was hoping to squeeze in one more this month but I've got another 200ish pages to go in my current read so I don't think it's going to happen today. So I'll be posting my July summary shortly.
Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.
Books read: 4 (59)
Books ditched: 0 (8)
Fiction: 3 (46)
Non-fiction: 1 (13)
Library: 3 (46)
Mine: 0 (1)
Borrowed elsewhere: 1 (12)
Re-reads: 0 (1)
Female authors: 3 (44)
Male authors: 1 (16)
Adult fiction: 3 (39)
YA fiction: 0 (6)
Children's fiction: 0 (2)
Average rating: 4.25 (3.94)
Average time to read book: 6.75 days (5.48 days)
Favourite book(s): The prize obviously has to go to the fabulous A Conjuring of Light. Such a fantastic trilogy.
I'm chiming in late in the Libby discussion, but it's super easy to set up for a new user, and the patrons who have had trouble with the Overdrive app or have never used it before have had good results. I talked to the Overdrive folks at the Massachusetts Library Association conference, and they're planning on continuing support for both apps simultaneously foot awhile, as they have "power users" who are used to the app as it is. I can't use Libby myself, as it's incompatible woth my old android phone and my kindle at the moment.
I'll definitely have to put A Conjuring of Light trilogy bear the top of my tbr list... Once I finish a few more books
>35 MickyFine: I have succumbed to my injuries, but only because I was out Thingaversary hunting and my defences were down. Bought the first in the trilogy.
>59 MickyFine: Yep I loved that one. So did my eldest daughter.
It is also a perfect example of a story written to a three act structure. No surprise it is being turned into a film.
>94 bell7: I reset my iPad recently so in redownloading all my apps I swapped over to Libby. It's pretty decent to use, I have to admit. And I really hope you enjoy The Shades of Magic trilogy. They've been some of my top reads this year.
>95 humouress: Huzzah! Excellent choice, Nina.
>96 sirfurboy: Yup, I think it will be a solid adaptation. The Boyfriend is pretty excited for it and has already booked a date night. :)
The Stranger from the Sea - Winston Graham
The Napoleonic War is raging on the continent and with Ross freshly returned to Cornwall from an observational mission in Portugal for Parliament, he discovers quieter conflicts brewing at home. While Ross and Demelza have settled into a happier phase of their marriage, they must now watch as their two eldest children struggle with finding their place in the world. Meanwhile, George Warleggan finds himself in an entirely new position when he finds himself attracted to a woman for the first time since Elizabeth's death. But in his pursuit of her, George may put everything he's worked so hard for at risk.
A quieter entry in the Poldark saga, this book is very obviously laying groundwork for the coming books in the series. That doesn't make it lacking in any way, as the characters are the real draw of these books and as long as I get time with Ross and Demelza, I'm very happy. While the focus of this novel shifts a little more to the younger Poldarks, there's still enough of my favourite couple to keep it from being too much a jolt. And Jeremy and Clowance are both intriguing characters on their own so that I look forward to seeing what the remaining books bring for them. If you've come this far in the series, you'll definitely enjoy this book.
Gosh, its decades since I read the Poldark series and I can't even remember how far I got. Maybe it's time to revisit them.
>99 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I wish you luck in getting to this one this month. It's an enjoyable read.
>100 humouress: They've been solid reads, Nina. I think they're definitely worth a revisit.
>101 aktakukac: I'm the same way, Rachel. I've got all the Outlander novels at home on my shelf but have only made it through the first 5. I keep meaning to go back to them but I am constantly distracted by shiny new library books. I'm thinking I'll bring one of them with me when I go on vacation in September and maybe that will jump start my return to the series. I hope you enjoy Demelza when you get to it. There's some good happenings in that one. :)
>98 MickyFine: I need to catch up on the series too Micky. I think that I have read the first three.
Have a great weekend.
>103 PaulCranswick: Its been an enjoyable series, Paul. If you liked the first three, you'll definitely enjoy the following books.
>104 AMQS: Hi Anne! 3 BBs for you. I'm on a roll! I feel like you're at least halfway to being a Canadian as living where you do has already given you the required tolerance for cold, snowy weather. ;)
My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella
Katie Brenner has never wanted anything as much as she wanted to leave her farm life in Somerset for a much more glamorous life in London. She feels she's well on her way there when she begins working as a research assistant at a branding firm in London, even if her flat and commute are terrible and she's barely scraping by on her income. But when disaster strikes in her work life, Katie comes to learn just what will make her happy.
Sophie Kinsella is one of those hit or miss authors for me. Sometimes I'll enjoy her fluffy style of writing but this novel was sadly a miss. I found it just a little ridiculous that at the age of 26, Katie had yet to learn real empathy or the fact that a life that looks perfect from the outside rarely is (a central theme of the novel). I also didn't find the romance subplot all that swoony. Ultimately, an ok read but I can recommend far better fluffy novels to pick up if you're in the mood.
Magnate - Joanna Shupe
Emmett Cavanaugh is caught by surprise when Elizabeth Sloane approaches him to back her stock trading firm. Not once would he have expected that this member of New York City's highest social circles would ever bother to even speak to him as a rich but new monied nobody who worked himself up from the slums of Five Points to the position as one of the biggest steel magnates in the country. He also never expected to find her so attractive. When their business relationship turns to a romantic one both Emmett and Elizabeth will have to determine whether they can ever know each other well enough to make it work.
Another romance novel that I got from a recommendation list from a different romance author whom I enjoy. Sadly, this one wasn't a hit for me. There's nothing really wrong with it, I liked the time period and the characters were ok. But the novel felt a bit too paint by numbers. Romances are nothing if not predictable but I need strong characters and some charm in the mix, otherwise it doesn't quite work for me and this novel didn't quite pull off the combo I prefer. If the premise sounds good to you, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it but I won't be actively seeking down the other books in this series or by this author. *shrug*
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson
Marianne Daventry hates Bath. But she's been stuck living there with her grandmother since the death of her mother over a year previously and her father's subsequent departure to France. Meanwhile her twin sister Cecily has been in London staying with other relatives and having a grand time. When Marianne is invited to join Cecily in visiting the estate of a close family friend, she's thrilled to go to the country again. But in the course of Marianne's less than smooth journey to Edenbrooke she meets a young man who may just change her life.
This was a cute regency romance. While the writing isn't amazing the plot and characters are compelling and sweet. It was an utterly cozy read. And for those librarian's doing reader's advisory it's one of those rare gentle romances that isn't an inspirational romance.
Phew; no BBs this time, though Edenbrooke looks cute but I doubt I'd find it here.
Edenbrooke does look cute -- I may keep an eye out for it. I enjoy regency romances on audio -- they're a nice respite from real life:)
>111 MickyFine: Not me this time! It's definitely caught my eye, to recommend to my mom if not to read myself.
>112 foggidawn: Hmmm. I know I saw it on 2 different threads around here. Ah well. Hopefully you and/or your mom enjoy it. :)
Frogkisser! - Garth Nix
Princess Anya really just wants to spend all her time in her castle's library studying how to be a sorcerer and avoiding her evil stepfather, Duke Rikard, and the dramatics of her twin sister, Morven. But when Duke Rikard decides to move up his evil plans to steal the crown from Morven and exile Anya, Anya is forced to go on a Quest to recruit aid to help defeat her stepfather. At the same time, she must also collect ingredients for a lip balm that will allow her to transform one of Morven's former suitors back into a human after Duke Rikard turns him into a frog. As Anya's Quest goes on, it also grows and Anya must decide just what kind of princess she wants to be.
Decidedly cute, this was a charming take on several different fairy tales and the fantasy genre in general. I solidly enjoyed it but didn't quite love it, although I think that's largely a symptom of not being the target market for the book. If you enjoy humourous takes on fantasy and enjoy older middle-grade/ young YA, this one is definitely worth picking up. Also, if you like truly adorable talking dogs. Or just dogs.
Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly
Margot Lee Shetterly's recounting of the black women who worked at NACA (later NASA) in Langley, Virginia from WWII through to the moon landing is a well-constructed history of a group of women who have been largely overlooked. Shetterly writes beautifully about these women, the work they did in a field dominated by (white) men, and the larger social context of Virginia as it moved from segregation to integration. Definitely worth a read whether your interest is in history of science, social history, or women's history.
>115 MickyFine: Ah, I'm so tempted to pull down my copy from the shelves and dive into it! But I have other things than need to be read first.
I wasn't expecting anything but glowing reviews for this one but it's still nice to see it.
>115 MickyFine: Yes! I loved that book. Like so many, I knew nothing about this amazing story until reading it.
>118 MickyFine: I'm sure I will. Also looking forward to the girls-only Hidden Figures movie night my mum and I have planned once I've read the book (I'm a book-before-the-movie kind of gal, generally).
>119 PawsforThought: For films based on novels, I usually am the same but I'm not as hard core about films based on non-fiction books. :)
>120 MickyFine: I can't think of that many other non-fiction books that have become movies, so don't have much to compare to. But this one I do want to read first.
>121 PawsforThought: Oh I could list so many: Lion, The Theory of Everything, The King's Speech, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, A Walk in the Woods, and The Zookeeper's Wife are just a handful of the films I can think of off the top of my head.
>122 MickyFine: Your brain is obviously working a lot better than mine! I only recognise the first three though, and have only watched The King's Speech - didn't read the book first, because I didn't know there was a book until later.
>122 MickyFine: In Cold Blood, Fast Food Nation, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Angela's Ashes, Eat Pray Love, Wild, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, The Glass Castle (came out last week!), Tuesdays with Morrie, Seabiscuit, Unbroken, Running with Scissors, Marley & Me, Team of Rivals (Lincoln), Julie & Julia, Persepolis, Girl Interrupted
>124 norabelle414: Thank you for reminding me that there's a movie version of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks! I'd made a note to watch it but it completely slipped my mind.
And your lists are making it clear to me that I'm not as fastidious about my book-before-film rule as previously stated. Of the ones I've watched, all have been before reading the book.
Should I hide in shame now?
>123 PawsforThought: I order non-fiction books for a living. I'm usually pretty on top of which books are being turned into films. :)
>124 norabelle414: Look at you go!
>125 PawsforThought: I don't think so. There are so many films based on books and often even I don't realize it until I go to watch it and see the "based on" portion of the titles. You make an effort and that's all that matters.
>126 MickyFine: I'm on top when it comes to fiction (though not purposefully, it just seems to stick in my head), but not as much with non-fiction.
>118 MickyFine: Good for you, Micky. I had it the other way around - I read the book first, and then saw the excellent movie. After seeing the movie, I was hoping some percentage of the audience would then go read the book - of course, a lot from the book had to be left out for a 2 hour or so movie, and, as you say, the book is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Hi Micky! I am finally making my way back over here to see what all has been happening since my last visit.
>106 MickyFine: - Sophie Kinsella is one of my "sick in bed and meed fluff" kind of author. I haven't read that one, but I agree with you that some of Kinsella's characters tend to lack certain qualities I like to see in my fluffy reads.
>108 MickyFine: - I have seen good comments about Edenbrooke, so rather happy to see you found it to be a good read. I am okay with "cute regency romance". ;-)
>115 MickyFine: - I will probably end up seeing the movie before reading the book - just like you did - but glad to see the book ranks up there as a worthy read.
All caught up! Wishing you a happy weekend Micky.
>129 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Lovely to see you as always. I think Edenbrooke might be just your cuppa. Hope your weekend has been good. My boyfriend came back yesterday after vacationing in Vernon for a week and a half so my weekend improved vastly yesterday evening. :) It didn't hurt that we went to an outdoor showing of Guardians of the Galaxy II last night with a group of friends.
>130 bohemima: Nice to see you, Gail.
Heart on the Line - Karen Witemeyer
Grace Mallory has been living in the women's colony of Harper's Station, Texas and working as the local telegraph operator. Over the course of her time there, she has struck up a friendship over the telegraph wire with Mr. A, another telegraph operator in Denison. But when Mr. A (the very kind, bespectacled Amos Bledsoe) overhears a warning to Grace that one of the dark shadows from her past has come back to haunt her, he immediately wants to help. But even with Amos' help, will Grace be able to overcome the threats that have come her way?
This was a cute historical Christian romance. I'm generally a fan of Witemeyer's writing and this was a solid entry in her new series. Grace and Amos are neither typical romance leads as Grace is rather shy and Amos is far more of an intellectual man than one of the muscular types that typically crop up in historical romances. I also enjoyed the historical equivalent of meeting online with Grace and Amos both being telegraph operators. If you enjoy this genre, this is a solid read and worth picking up.
>131 MickyFine: - My boyfriend came back yesterday How wonderful! I really miss drive in theaters (Yes, I am showing my age and I am guessing that your showing wasn't the "drive-in movie type") but still glad to see you were able to enjoy an outside showing of Guardians of the Galaxy II. Was the movie any good? Just curious.....
>131 MickyFine: Oh, that would be a fun movie to see outdoors! Nate bought a copy for me as I loved the first one. Hoping to watch it tomorrow night on our anniversary. I love groot!
>133 lkernagh: No, it wasn't a drive in sadly. It was held in a park next to a community rec centre. They had one of those of blow-up movie screens. So you could set up with your lawn chair, snacks, and (in my case) sleeping bag and enjoy the movie. I actually liked this movie better than the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The soundtrack in the first one was better (although this one is still good) but the plot of this one was better.
>134 ChelleBearss: It was my first time seeing the new one and it was a lot of fun. You should be very happy as there is a lot of cute Groot stuff. Also, happy early anniversary!
I liked Baby Groot, but overall preferred the first movie. The music in both was fun!
>135 MickyFine: Thanks Micky! Nate's BIL is visiting from Red Deer so our anniversary was just spent hanging with them.
Loved the baby groot stuff from the second movie! Adorable!
They Do It With Mirrors - Agatha Christie
When Miss Marple's old school friend, Ruth, asks Miss Marple to check in on Ruth's sister, Carrie Louise, at her estate, Miss Marple is only too happy to comply. Upon arrival at Stonygates, Miss Marple must agree with Ruth that something odd is in the air at the estate beyond the strangeness that results from it also being home to an institute for delinquent boys and young men. When one of Carrie Louise's relatives is murdered, it becomes even clearer that something is afoot at Stonygates and it is up to Miss Marple to figure it out.
Agatha Christie is always a reliably solid read and this entry in the Miss Marple series is no exception. However, I have to admit that it didn't knock my socks off quite the same way as the prior Miss Marple. I think some of the reason that I was underwhelmed was that I figured out who did it relatively early on and thus was deprived of the usual surprise. Nonetheless, an enjoyable read.
>139 MickyFine: This is actually one of my favourite Marple stories. There are a lot of smaller details that I really like in the story. You're obviously cleverer than me because I didn't manage to figure out the end.
>141 MickyFine: I liked A Murder Is Announced a lot too. Not quite as keen on The Body in the Library. It's been so long since I read some of the books that I've forgotten which are Marples and which are Poirots (and sometimes what the plot was entirely). I liked 4:50 From Paddington a lot (the TV version is terrible).
I'm finally venturing out into the threads. I feel a little dejected because I am so hopelessly behind.
>115 MickyFine: I enjoyed this one. I watched the movie on a plane, and it was well done too. I always choke up at movies when they show the real person's photo next to the actor. Does anyone else do that?
>143 rosylibrarian: It's so lovely to see you, Marie! Thanks for venturing! I got a little verklempt last week as several people were tweeting about Katherine Johnson's 99th birthday and marveling about the work she did. Nice to see her getting broader recognition.
>144 leahbird: That is very exciting! Shades of Magic
Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy - Noelle Stevenson et. al.
April, Mal, Ripley, Molly, and Jo are just spending their summer at camp, working hard to earn their various Lumberjanes badges. But seriously weird things keep happening. Attack foxes and river monsters are just some of the things the girls encounter that would make anyone ask, "What the junk?!" Can the girls figure out what's going on and keep their cabin leader, Jen, from having heart attack over their recurring disappearances at the same time?
I went into the first Lumberjanes knowing I'd love it as so many other readers whose tastes I respect already do. And I was not disappointed. This first volume is just as fun as I'd expected. And by the second chapter I'd finally managed to get a handle on which girl went with which name. I'll definitely be continuing on with this series.
>139 MickyFine: I really need to read some Christie! I have them, just haven't gotten to any yet
Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.
Books read: 9 (68)
Books ditched: 0 (8)
Fiction: 8 (54)
Non-fiction: 1 (14)
Library: 9 (55)
Mine: 0 (1)
Borrowed elsewhere: 0 (12)
Re-reads: 0 (1)
Female authors: 7 (51)
Male authors: 2 (18)
Adult fiction: 6 (45)
YA fiction: 1 (7)
Children's fiction: 1 (3)
Pages: 3,032 (22,169)
Average rating: 3.2 (3.57)
Average time to read book: 3.9 days (4.69 days)
Favourite book(s): I'll give the prize to Edenbrooke for being a light and enjoyable Regency romance.
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story - Angela Saini
Saini's journalistic non-fiction book explores how science from roughly the Victorian era onward often approached the study of women as inferior to men and the more recent work that has explored the female sex and whether they really are all that different from men. I went into this book expecting to get angry at some scientists in the past (and I definitely did - stupid Charles Darwin) but I was also surprised at some of the more current theories coming out of some fields (the evolutionary biologist who recently theorized that menopause exists because men don't find older women attractive made my brain explode). That said, there is also some fascinating work being done in fields as diverse as neurobiology and psychology where the debate on looking for gender differences is really a field worth continuing to explore. As Saini takes a journalistic approach, she does a fair job of balancing differing theories in fields like anthropology or evolutionary biology where a great deal of the work is extrapolations and hypotheses. And while Saini describes herself as a feminist in the introduction, she includes no judgments in her book on scientists she interviews whose viewpoints are likely to make the average feminist a little frustrated. A super interesting read regardless of your gender and whether or not you typically have an interest in science writing.
The Marriage Test: Our 40 Dates Before "I Do" - Jill Andres and Brook Silva-Braga
Jill and Brook had been together for several years in the most serious relationship either of them had ever had. But still they were left with the question of whether they could actually handle being married to each other for the rest of their lives. In order to try and simulate some of the challenges of marriage they came up with a list of 40 "dates" that would hopefully help them figure out whether or not marriage was really for them. Whether it was borrowing a baby for 24 hours, swapping credit cards for a month, going on dates with their exes, or giving each other notes on performance in the bedroom, each "date" gave them new insights into their relationship and gave them a better idea of whether the rest of their lives would be spent together or apart.
I quite enjoyed this memoir. Written with alternating comments from both Jill and Brook on each of the dates it was interesting to see which dates challenged their relationship the most. The book does include a full list of each of the dates, describing what they entail to make replicating some (or all) of them an option for any dating or even engaged couple. A fun read and possibly an educational one if you're in a relationship but hesitant to make that final commitment step.
Personal disclaimer: this book was on The List before I even met The Boyfriend. It's appearance in my what to read next shuffle is entirely coincidental.
Hi Micky! I'm a bit late in commenting, but I own Hidden Figures and really should move it up the TBR list (after I finish a work book or two...). You got me with a book bullet for Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research that's Rewriting the Story. Looks like you've been reading some good ones this last month or so!
Micky, I love Miss Marple! My two favorites are Murder at the Vicarage and A Murder Is Announced. Although I like them all, really. She seems like an old, old friend to me. The short stories involving her are quite good, too.
Inferior looks fascinating. Adding it to the WL. Many thanks for the informative review.
>151 ChelleBearss: It definitely is, Chelle. And for non-fiction on science, it was also a pretty quick one.
>153 bell7: Hi Mary! Hidden Figures and Inferior are both super enjoyable reads. I'm sure you'll like them both.
>154 bohemima: Miss Marple is so lovely, I agree. Glad to see Inferior has found another interested reader. :)
Truth or Beard - Penny Reid
Jessica James has moved back to her small home town in Tennessee after college to teach at the local high school. Her goal is to pay off her student loans and save enough in the next two to three years to finally pursue her dream of traveling the world. What Jessica did not expect was to fall hard for Duane who drove her crazy as a kid and teen and has grown up into a truly enticing hunk of man.
Sadly, despite the utterly adorable cover on this self-published romance, the content failed to deliver. The book obviously suffers from the lack of an editor and the plot feels a bit too long and slightly convoluted. There are also some rather "quirky" turns of phrase that a good editor would have likely had the author replace (for example, using "sex cartwheels" to describe a relatively run-of-the-mill romance novel sex scene was just odd). Not recommended and I definitely won't be picking up any of the author's other novels.
Shadow of Night - Deborah Harkness
I made it slightly beyond the Pearl rule boundary before ditching this one. I'm not sure if this one fell flat because it's been so long since I read the first book in the trilogy or because I was sick with a nasty cold while trying to dig in or because my reading tastes have changed and the domineering male lead just rubs me the wrong way now. Whatever the case after 75 pages I'd had enough of time traveling witch and vampire in Elizabethan England even if they were hanging out with Raleigh and Marlowe.
I may be slightly more absent over the next couple weeks. I leave on a two week vacation to Nova Scotia starting Wednesday next week. I don't know how much I'll be checking in, depends on energy levels, reading time, and wifi signals. Here's hoping Jose decides to stay far out in the Atlantic. *fingers crossed* I'll be back home but still off work for a few days before Canadian Thanksgiving. Yay for actually setting it up so that I can have a vacation from my vacation. ;)
Enjoy your vacation!! Take some pretty pictures so that we can live vicariously through you.
>157 MickyFine: Sorry this one didn't do it for you. I think I made it through this one but bailed on the third one.
Have a great vacation! Where will you be in NS?
>157 MickyFine: - Sorry about the bad book but hooray for vacation! Have a great time!
>159 norabelle414: Pretty pictures guaranteed, Nora. :)
>160 ChelleBearss: I'm going to be all over NS, Chelle. Halifax (of course), Peggy's Cove, Annapolis Royal, Parrsboro, and Cape Breton are all in the plans.
>161 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi.
>162 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!
>163 _Zoe_: Thanks, Zoe. I will. First real vacation this year and I've been getting antsy for time off.
>164 MickyFine: When you are in Peggy's Cove if you have time for lunch you should hit up The Rhubarb Restaurant at the front of the Oceanstone Resort. It's only 5 minutes from the lighthouse and it's amazing! That's where Nathen and I got married and their seafood chowder is fantastic! They have oceanside cottages there as well if you wanted to spend the night in Peggy's Cove.
We are planning to go back there for our ten year anniversary and I can't wait!
Have a great time! I managed to have a day off after we got back from our recent vacation before I had to go back to work. I'm certain you'll enjoy a vacation from your vacation :)
Hey Micky, you're in my neck of the woods! Let me know if you want any suggestions for places to eat, stay, or things to do.
Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing - Daniel Tammet
This collection of essays on language and words should have been right up my alley but with the exception of the first essay, I found them largely underwhelming. Tammet's first essay, in which he discusses his initial issues speaking English as a high functioning autistic was fascinating. But from there, while the topics remained interesting the essays were missing something. I'm not sure if it was personal connection or just Tammet's style didn't work for me but I felt like I was slogging my way through some of these. But it may be a personal taste issue.
>170 MickyFine: Sorry this collection fell flat but I do love that title.
Happy Sunday, Micky. Hope all is well.
I am having a fantastic time in Nova Scotia. I'm in Yarmouth today after driving from Halifax to Lunenburg (with stop in Peggy's Cove) yesterday. The weather has been beautiful, everywhere I've visited has been lovely, and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself. I promise there will be pictures when I get home (linking to FB images on the iPad doesn't really work) but trust me when I say it's gorgeous here and worth visiting.
Glad to see that you are enjoying Nova Scotia! Hope the rest of your trip goes well!
Glad to hear you're having such a great trip! Looking forward to the photos :)
Happy vacation to you! You're in a part of the world I've always wanted to visit (that and I'm an unabashed Canadaphile). Enjoy! Can't wait to see pictures.
>157 MickyFine: Yes, I barely made it through the first book! I won't likely read the others unless I'm stranded on a desert isle with them in a Little Free Library or something:)
The Dire King - William Ritter
The fourth and final book in the Jackaby series.
While none of the following books have quite lived up to my great love for the first book in the series, this is a solid ending. It's an action heavy book with everything hitting the fan from early on but it does wrap up threads pretty smoothly. This series might benefit from being read closer together so don't let my middling reaction keep you away. I do highly recommend the first book if you haven't read it yet and enjoy some supernatural combined with your Sherlock homage in YA format.
Two for the Dough - Janet Evanovich
The second Stephanie Plum sees her continuing in her career as bounty hunter. This time she's on the lookout for Kenny Mancuso who might have a few screws loose and is definitely involved in something bigger that puts Stephanie at risk and in cahoots with the alluring and annoying Morelli.
A fun mystery that shows it's age in several places but quick relatively mindless fun anyways. I'll be keeping this series in my rotation.
Books completed in October that will be properly posted about in new thread that I'll start when I get home from vacation later this week:
75. Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire
Congratulations on #75, Micky!
And I hope your vacation continues to be a great experience. I'd like to visit the Maritime Probinces, maybe in the next year or two. I've always wanted to go there.
Congrats on hitting 75 books already! Hope you are having a great trip!
I saw the weekend news from Edmonton and wanted to check in. Glad to see your vacation is going well and congrats in 75!
>184 MickyFine: Congratulations on reaching 75, Micky!
I hope your vacation is good.
Congrats on reading # 75! Did you read it on vacation? It seems like I can never get any reading done on vacation anymore.
>181 MickyFine: Psh, no rush, I just posted one pic from my summer vacation to meet my nephew yesterday.
Congratulations on reaching 75!
>185 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!
>186 bohemima: I only did Nova Scotia but I highly recommend a visit to the Maritimes, Gail.
>187 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. The trip was great.
>188 lkernagh: My family was very happy I was away on vacation as the attack was only a couple blocks away from where I live. Thanks for popping in, Lori.
>189 FAMeulstee: It was wonderful. Thanks, Anita.
>190 aktakukac: I did finish it on vacation, Rachel. Managed to do 4 (and 1/2) books while away on vacation. I gave myself permission on a couple afternoons after doing the tourist-y thing that I could hang out and just read. Helped with the finish rate. :)
>191 Kassilem: Thanks, Melissa.
>192 bell7: Thanks, Mary. I'm finally starting to feel caught up on my life. Although I'm still slowly wading through my starred threads on LT.
Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.
Books read: 6 (74)
Books ditched: 1 (9)
Fiction: 3 (57)
Non-fiction: 3 (17)
Library: 6 (61)
Mine: 0 (1)
Borrowed elsewhere: 0 (12)
Re-reads: 0 (1)
Female authors: 4 (55)
Male authors: 2 (20)
Adult fiction: 2 (75)
YA fiction: 1 (8)
Children's fiction: 0 (3)
Pages: 1,846 (24,015)
Average rating: 3.0 (3.29)
Average time to read book: 4.0 days (4.35 days)
Favourite book(s): I'll give the prize to The Marriage Test for being such an engaging (pun mostly unintentional) relationship memoir.
This topic was continued by MickyFine Swashbuckles Through 2017: Fourth Voyage.
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