MickyFine's 2018 Reading Adventures, Part the Fourth
This is a continuation of the topic MickyFine's 2018 Reading Adventures, Part the Third.
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I'm Micky, 32, librarian and general reading nerd. I'm a collections librarian for the public library system in Edmonton and as a result I read a solid chunk of non-fiction as I select it for work every day. The rest of my reading is a wide mix of genres but there's usually a healthy dose of romance, fantasy, YA, and historical fiction in the mix. In addition to books, I'm likely to discuss life events (sometimes featuring
1. Turtles All the Way Down - John Green
2. Kingdom Come - Mark Waid & Alex Cross
3. Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
4. Once Upon a Christmas Eve - Elizabeth Hoyt
5. The Trouble with Dukes - Grace Burrowes
6. Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
7. Dunbar - Edward St. Aubyn
8. Dear Fahrenheit 451 - Annie Spence
9. Kill Shakespeare Volume 5: Past is Prologue: Juliet - Conor McCreery
10. The Miller's Dance - Winston Graham
11. The Vicar's Daughter - Josi S. Kilplack
12. Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Vol. 1 - George Mann et. al.
13. Sandman: The Doll's House - Neil Gaiman
14. This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab
15. Too Scot to Handle - Grace Burrowes
16. Spare and Found Parts - Sarah Maria Griffin
17. Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan
18. Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
19. Batman: Hush Volume 1 - Jeph Loeb
20. Batman: Hush Volume 2 - Jeph Loeb
21. Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman
22. Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel - Jonathan Morris
23. Die on Your Feet - SG Wong
24. Love and the Art of War - Dinah Lee Küng
25. The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare
26. Three to Get Deadly - Janet Evanovich
27. Batman: Under the Red Hood - Judd Winick
28. Enchantment - Orson Scott Card
29. A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
30. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling
31. Get on Top: Of Your Pleasure, Sexuality & Wellness: A Vagina Revolution - Meika Hollender
32. A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare
33. The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
34. The Reminders - Val Emmich
35. Green Arrow: Quiver - Kevin Smith
36. Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal
37. Sandman: Dream Country - Neil Gaiman
38. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Who Is Oracle? - Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
39. Almost Midnight - Rainbow Rowell
40. Come Hell or Highball - Maia Chance
41. If We Were Villains - M.L. Rio
42. A Study in Charlotte - Brittany Cavallaro
43. Whatever Makes You Happy - William Sutcliffe
44. Seduce Me at Sunrise - Lisa Kleypas
45. The Accidental Dictionary - Paul Anthony Jones
46. Eliza and Her Monsters - Francesca Zappia
47. The Whispering City - Sara Moliner
48. Glamour in Glass - Mary Robinette Kowal
49. Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
50. Superman: Red Son - Mark Millar
51. A Princess in Theory - Alyssa Cole
52. The Romance Reader's Guide to Life - Sharon Pywell
53. Books Can Be Deceiving - Jenn McKinlay
54. Civil War - Mark Millar
55. Mistress Pat - L.M. Montgomery
56. My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
57. How to Be Married: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage - Jo Piazza
58. Mad Richard - Lesley Krueger
59. Adulthood Is a Myth - Sarah Andersen
60. Juliet's Answer - Glenn Dixson
61. Tough Mothers: Amazing Stories of History's Mightiest Matriarchs - Jason Porath
62. Blue Ridge Sunrise - Denise Hunter
63. The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
64. No Other Duke Will Do - Grace Burrowes
65. The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk - George Pak
66. How to Find Love in a Bookshop - Veronica Henry
67. It Devours! - Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
68. The Wind Dancer - Iris Johansen (re-read)
69. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World - Matthew Goodman
70. The Woman Who Died a Lot - Jasper Fforde
71. Just the Funny Parts - Nell Scovell
72. Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
73. Surprise Me - Sophie Kinsella
74. Flashpoint - Geoff Johns
75. The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse (re-read)
76. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
77. Last Hope Island - Lynne Olson
78. Love & Gelato - Jenna Evans Welch
79. The Sandman: Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman
80. Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max - Noelle Stevenson
81. A Treacherous Curse - Deanna Raybourn
82. The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman
83. Lumberjanes: A Terrible Plan - Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters
84. Lumberjanes: Out of Time - Shannon Watters
85. Lumberjanes: Band Together - Shannon Watters
86. Lumberjanes: Sink or Swim - Shannon Watters
87. Lumberjanes: A Bird's-Eye View - Shannon Watters
88. Lumberjanes: Stone Cold - Shannon Watters
89. Lumberjanes: On a Roll - Kat Leyh
90. The Librarian and the Spy - Susan Mann
91. Competence - Gail Carriger
92. Duke of Desire - Elizabeth Hoyt
93. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
94. A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie
95. An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon
96. The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang
97. Green Lantern: Rebirth - Geoff Johns
98. Blackest Night - Geoff Johns
99. Mastiff - Tamora Pierce
100. The Book Lovers' Miscellany - Claire Cock-Starkey
101. The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn
102. The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert
103. Once Upon a Winter's Eve - Tessa Dare
104. Fortunately, the Milk - Neil Gaiman
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
My reading challenges for this year (besides reading at least 75 books):
1. Read one comic/graphic novel assigned by
Success rate: 10/11
2. Read one book off my own shelves every month.
Success rate: 7/11
This thread is open! Kick back, relax, and take wagers on how many books I can possibly finish while planning a move, a wedding, and a trip to Fiji and Hawaii all within the next two months.
🎵Come on over to my place,
Hey, you, we’re havin’ a party....🎶
...>7 MickyFine: Ooh, I like.
Happy new thread Micky!
Happy new thread, Mickey. There is life without internet as I am sure you will soon find out. Best of luck in your move.
Happy New Thread, Micky!
>7 MickyFine: Beautiful. And that's a lot of happy plan-making!
Loved that bookstore on your last thread. I don't remember if it was you or someone else who posted the photo. It reminds me of one of the bookstores that used to be in downtown Cincinnati in the 1980s.
Happy new thread! Hope you had a great holiday weekend despite the lack of internet!
Thanks to Nina, Amber, Leah, Jim, Heather, and Laura for the general new thread well wishes.
>8 jennyifer24: One day I will have a hammock in my yard and it will be just for reading purposes. ;)
>10 Familyhistorian: I still have a decent data plan for my phone, so I'm never completely without internet but I can confirm there is life without internet and it's just as enjoyable. ;)
>13 jnwelch: It is happy when I remember that it is. A lot of the time it just feels a bit stressful.
>15 thornton37814: That was Nora, Lori. It's a bookstore in DC apparently.
>17 foggidawn: Yes! So excited for the trip. Lots of relaxing on the beach, which is sounding particularly amazing at the moment.
>19 ChelleBearss: My long weekend was great. We had some lazy time, hung some pictures at the townhouse, and did a bunch of shopping for The Fiancé so that he has clothes for the honeymoon.
>20 Kassilem: Doesn't it just? I don't think our resort in Fiji does hammocks, but we do have a daybed outside our bure that looks straight out on the beach. I think I'll be very happy. :)
Long weekend means plenty of down time for viewing. We knocked out the folllowing:
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Library, first viewing
I missed watching this one when it first came out (despite the fact that Ghost Protocol was probably my favourite M:I movie). One of the podcasts I listen to did an episode on it recently so I wanted to watch the movie first. Highly enjoyable action fare.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
The Fianceé's, rewatch
Another case of podcast motivated rewatching. Alan Rickman remains fantastic in all his scenery-chewing glory. The plethora of accents going on here (why are Robin and Marian both American?), Kevin Costner's AWFUL mullet, and Marian's complete lack of agency in the final act remain terrible. Ridiculous but largely fun.
Jeeves & Wooster, Series 4
Library, first viewing
This may be my favourite season of this series just for the episode
Meme Book Seven
Anne has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The 80s film adaptation was my go to movie to watch when I was home sick. When I first started reading on my own before bed, it was one of the first books I tried. Picking up one of these books is like settling in with an old friend and Montgomery's prose is so good it can make even me want to go for long walks in the woods.
Just the Funny Parts - Nell Scovell
This memoir from television writer, show creator, producer, and director Nell Scovell is a fascinating insight into a woman's career as a television comedy writer. Scovell details experiences from throughout her career (#MeToo moments and all) and remains funny even when relating stories that would be enough to make any feminist's blood boil. Although the narrative jumps a bit, making it difficult to always keep track of the timeline, Scovell is charming and intelligent and her writing is compelling. Recommended whether you're a fan of one of the many shows she worked on, interested in television writing in general, or just interested in a smart memoir from a funny and bright woman in Hollywood.
Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
The classic play that follows the adventures of the titular character as he fights to defend his strong sense of honour, succumbs to love, and takes on anyone who makes even the slightest disparaging comment about his large nose.
I think my first exposure to this play was probably in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and while I've always known the outline of the plot, I had never read it. I've now fixed that and while the play was enjoyable, I don't think it's one I'll revisit. That said, the complex stage descriptions leave me in awe of how it would have been staged in the 19th century.
>24 MickyFine: Ooh, sounds interesting! I think I might suggest this one for the women's group book club at work.
>23 MickyFine: *happy sigh*
I picked up the first of the Emily books but it was such a heartbreaking beginning that I've put it aside for a bit. Apparently Emily was most like L.M.M. but I think I can see parallels to her life in Anne, too.
ETA: Enjoy Hawai'i and Fiji! We had been planning a trip to Hawaii next year, but it's an exam year for my 14 year old, so we'll do it another time. But we did go to Fiji in January this year. My mum and sister especially love it - the snorkelling is amazing - but it's a lot easier for them to get there from Australia than for us to fly 10 hours (direct or 24 via Sydney) from Singapore. Worth the trip though.
>26 curioussquared: I think it would be an interesting one to discuss, Natalie.
>27 humouress: I haven't tried the Emily books yet but as they've been released with the gorgeous Tundra covers also, I will be acquiring and reading them eventually. I'm so looking forward to our honeymoon even if getting to Fiji is a bit of a quest as we have to do Emonton to Vancouver to LA to Fiji (I think it's around 18 hours of flying time but longer with all of the layovers). I've been to Maui before but we're doing Oahu this time and I'm looking forward to trying a different island. Plus just lots of beach time.
>28 bell7: Thanks, Mary. I'll need it!
Surprise Me - Sophie Kinsella
Sylvie and Dan have been together for ten years, they're parents to twin girls, and their lives are wonderful if a bit predictable. When Sylvie and Dan go to visit their new doctor and he informs them that based on their lifestyles, they're likely to have another sixty-eight years together, they both go into a bit of a mental tailspin. How on earth are they going to keep their marriage fresh for that long? As they experiment with new ideas, secrets will come to light that will shake their foundation and leave them wondering if they knew each other at all.
I found this an ok read but the initial premise seemed a little weird to me. If this couple is so blissfully happy together, how could the information that they're going to be together for a long time stress them both out so much? The characters also seemed a bit broad and not always believable as actual human beings. That said, if you enjoy Sophie Kinsella's writing generally, you're likely to enjoy this one. The novel also includes some very comic beats that make up for some of the more unbelievable plot elements. Not quite as much fluff as I was hoping for but a read I don't regret.
In exciting news, my brother and sister-in-law had their third daughter yesterday. So I'm an aunt to three nieces now!* Super psyched to go see the new baby tonight after work. As my brother and his wife don't post pictures of their children on the internet I won't be sharing pictures or name details here on LT. But yay for new baby!
*Not including the nieces and nephew I'm about to marry into.
Thanks to Mary, Leah, and Chelle for the congratulations on my new niece. She is so adorable!
Flashpoint - Geoff Johns
These collected volumes see Barry Allen waking up in an alternate reality where his mother is still alive, he no longer has his powers, and Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war and are devastating the planet in their efforts to defeat each other. Can Barry determine what changes his nemesis made in the past that created this horrifying new world before he loses his memories of his reality and before the world he's in tears itself apart?
An interesting read. I've always been most intrigued by The Flash as I'm a sucker for anything involving time travel. This entry into the canon is quite dark but it's fascinating to see the potential reality that could have been.
Scrubs, Season One
The Fiancé's, first viewing (kind of)
This is The Fiancé's favourite sit com so we've been watching it a lot lately. I've seen the occasional episode of the series and enjoyed it but never binged the whole thing. Cute, fun, and an excellent way to fill a shorter span of time when we don't have time for a full 40ish minute episode of something else.
The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse (re-read)
This novel sees Bertie getting himself into all kinds of scrapes, often due to Bingo Little's love life, and being saved from his circumstances by the always unflappable Jeeves. As long as Bertie's latest wardrobe acquisition doesn't upset Jeeves' sense of appropriate wear for a gentleman.
Utterly delightful as one would expect of Wodehouse and his highly comic duo. One of those books that can most definitely make you laugh out loud.
I'm enjoying your thoughts on the movies/TV shows you're watching, Micky. Now that I've nearly caught up on the Marvel universe movies I haven't been watching as much (well, I watched Thor: Ragnarok a second time), but I'm hoping to catch up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a bit more while dogsitting for someone with Netflix this weekend.
Happy newish thread, and congrats on your new niece! I may have missed it (I've missed a lot on LT this year!), but how are the bookish decorations coming for your wedding? Or was that just from your engagement photos?
I love the Bertie and Jeeves stories, Micky. I'm glad you're having such a good time with them.
>39 bell7: Thanks, Mary! The Fiancé and I were just discussing what our TV viewing schedule will look like after we get married. We're still introducing each other to our favourite shows so prioritizing which we want to watch with each other has been fun. :)
>40 aktakukac: Decorations are going great, Rachel. My mom (who is super crafty) has got them almost all entirely ready to go. The books for centrepieces have been wrapped in ribbon and half will be topped with teacups that have paper flowers (again, made by my mother) in them and the other half will have bottles with sand in them (The Fiancé is from Newfoundland so we're going for a message in a bottle kind of feel). I'll try and get pictures of them up here after the wedding.
>41 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Somehow, I hadn't realized that I'd read this book once before based on the fact that I had a review on it already. Thought the stories felt familiar just because I'd finished watching the series so recently. *shrug* I'm too young to be this forgetful.
Since just posting the book review was too subtle: I'VE REACHED 75 BOOKS!!!
Congratulations on reaching 75! Jeeves is certainly a great one with which to reach it!
Congratulations on reaching 75! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your centerpieces.
Sorry, I was barely around the thread the last few days, I usually pick up the tiny hints...
Congratulations on reaching 75, Mickey!!!
The library, first viewing
This drama follows Winston Churchill during his first month as Prime Minister of Britain, during which time he gave three of his most famous speeches and worked hard with his advisers on the War Cabinet to rescue the men at Dunkirk. Gary Oldman is a complete chameleon and allows us a glimpse into this fascinating historical figure. The supporting cast is equally brilliant. Definitely recommended.
The Wedding Date
Not to be confused with the novel by Jasmine Guillory. This one sees Debra Messing's character hiring a male escort to accompany her to her sister's wedding in London where she'll have to face her ex, who is also the best man. Rom com plot ensues. Fluffy with plenty of British-ness and it's charming every time. Dermot Mulroney helps a lot on the charm front.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
An epistolary novel set in 1946 and follows the interactions of author Juliet Ashton with her dear friends in Britain and new acquaintances on the island of Guernsey who are members of the titular society.
I know I'm spectacularly late to this novel and I chalk it entirely up to a case of being stubborn and skipping the book back when it was fantastically popular on LT a few years ago. Of course, the only person that punished was me. Utterly charming from the first page, I fell in love with these characters immediately. Beautifully written and effectively creating a sense of the reality of living in Britain in the wake of the end of the war. Highly recommended, particularly if like me you've ignored it due solely to its own popularity.
>58 MickyFine: I loved this one. And you're just in time for the movie, which was just released on Netflix!
I couldn't believe the transformation into Churchill of Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour. What an amazing makeup job. And Oldman was terrific in the part - great supporting cast, too, as you say. We still talk about that scene with him riding the Tube.
A late congrats on 75 (I completely missed the number on your post!), and glad to see you enjoyed Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's among my favorite historical fiction novels.
>58 MickyFine: I passed over that one too but, I have to admit, a bit of cover bias was what got me. This just looks like one of these books my mom would read and foist on my as the "best thing ever" and it would be quaint crap.
BUT, I watched the movie and liked it a lot so I might have to pick the book up sometime soonish.
Congrats on hitting 75! That's great and in the middle of planning a wedding and moving too!
Hi, Micky! Happy August thread, congrats on 75, hurray for the latest niece and happy wedding planning! Oh, and great books BTW. : )
>59 curioussquared: I have to admit, the trailer for the Netflix movie is what motivated me to finally pick up the book.
>60 jnwelch: I was referencing that scene myself because I've always made the joke that all newborns look like Churchill for a bit. :)
>61 bell7: Thanks, Mary. One of my close friends was appalled it had taken me this long to get around to it.
>62 leahbird: I haven't watched the movie yet but the book is really lovely so I do recommend giving it a try.
>63 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I'm surprised at how high my numbers have been this year despite everything going on. We'll see what the numbers look like once I start adjusting to married life.
>64 norabelle414: Nice when a book surprises our expectations.
>65 Berly: Thanks for all the things, Kim. :)
This is my last weekend in my apartment so I'll be doing the last bit of the packing and moving boxes over the next couple days and hopefully start tackling some of the cleaning. The official move is on Wednesday evening when we'll take all my furniture over to the townhouse. From Wednesday night until the wedding I'll be staying with my parents so I'm also doing wardrobe math constantly right now figuring out how many outfits I need and where.
In between that productivity I'm also hoping to try and get to the Netflix adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (and possibly To All the Boys I've Loved Before) this weekend before I take my modem over to the townhouse on Sunday (internet installation at the townhouse is on Monday). And I want to finish or at least put a solid dent in my current read, Last Hope Island, which is a fantastic but chunky WWII history. Plus friends of mine who are moving from Toronto to Victoria are passing through town this weekend and we have plans to meet up on Sunday since they won't be able to come to the wedding.
Next week will be almost all moving and cleaning madness with Thursday and Friday off work for cleaning and final move out inspection. But I do also have my final wedding dress fitting on Monday (fingers crossed I don't need further alterations as they pushed back this fitting twice due to volume and an injured seamstress). Once next week is over, I'll only have one more week of work and more free time to focus on all the final wedding details. Is it September 16 yet?
>67 MickyFine: So much happening! Good luck getting through everything. I watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before earlier this week and really enjoyed it -- it totally captured the spirit of the book, in my opinion. And I'm getting takeout and watching Guernsey with a friend tonight :) Keep the book adaptations coming, Netflix!
>68 foggidawn: There's excitement in there somewhere although low-level anxiety about getting everything done and/or forgetting to do something reigns most often at the moment.
>69 katiekrug: I appreciate that, Katie. So much.
>70 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie. I haven't read the Han but Nora assured me I wouldn't miss anything by doing the movie first. But Guernsey is definitely first on my priority list. I hope you and your friend have a great night in!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Netflix, first viewing
Precisely the relaxing viewing I needed after packing a bunch of boxes after work. Sweet and charming, all of the changes from the novel I understood (
Last Hope Island - Lynne Olson
A fantastically written history of WWII that focuses on six European nations whose governments were forced into exile in Britain. Olson makes a chunky and complex history compulsively readable and highlights figures both well-known and less so and makes them fascinating. While I have a good general handle on the broad strokes of WWII, this highlighted groups like the Polish 303 squadron who were some of the most successful fighters in the Battle of Britain and highlighted just how brutal the repercussions were for the people of the Netherlands after the Battle of Arnhem. Highly recommended.
The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory
I can't say I wasn't warned. I'm ditching this book five pages in because the writing is... not good. And I just don't have the patience right now to even attempt a proper Pearl rule. Sigh.
>76 MickyFine: - I did the same thing when I tried to read it, Micky. The audio was marginally less painful, and I made it though the whole thing, but my overall reaction was pretty meh.
>77 katiekrug: It's so disappointing because the premise hits some of my favourite romance tropes.
>76 MickyFine: Aw that's sad, I really liked that one. But also don't usually read romances so maybe it's just me.
>79 norabelle414: I'm sure it's not just you. The book has been huge this year. I just know there's better romance writing out there so I'll save my reading time for something I'll enjoy.
Good luck with all the moving/cleaning/wedding prep.
Too bad The Wedding Date wasn't your cuppa. I can't decide if I'd like it or not based on the mixed reviews it's been getting, but I don't generally gravitate to romance in the first place so there are a lot more books calling me to read them sooner than try that one.
I picked up my wedding dress yesterday and it's beautiful and it makes me want to twirl. :D
>83 MickyFine: That is what wedding dresses are supposed to do, can't wait to see it :-)
Me at the end of my wedding day:
>83 MickyFine: - Wonderful feeling! I hope you'll share a photo with us after the wedding and honeymoon :)
>86 katiekrug: I'm sure I'll post a photo or two (or ten) over here sometime after I get back. :)
>76 MickyFine: That's unfortunate. I have a copy of that one and I lent it to my MIL. I guess I won't ask for it back :(
Yay for wedding dress twirling!! Good luck with the moving and last minute wedding stuff!
Hi Micky! Glad to see you're keeping your head on straight in the midst of wedding-and-moving-and-wardrobe-math madness. Can't wait to see pics of your wedding, it sounds so bookishly wonderful and awesome!
Catching up and: agreed on Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, Congrats on 75, and continued best wishes for the move and wedding prep!
I survived the move. It was a bit of a gong show due to elevator hiccups (one elevator broke so no exclusive use for the remaining elevator, 2 other people were trying to move out at the same time and another 2 people were moving in, plus regular elevator traffic... sigh) but everything made it to the townhouse unharmed and The Fiancé and I unpacked the last of the boxes yesterday. I still have to organize my non-fiction books but the house now feels much more homey. All that remains for settling in is hanging pictures. Whether that gets tackled before the wedding remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, I'm cozily ensconced in my parents' spare room for the next two weeks and it's kind of lovely being back home. One last week of work and then it will be all wedding things all the time, rather than just wedding things from when I get home until bedtime. :P
I did get some reading in on the long weekend despite all the craziness. August wrap up to come shortly.
Congrats on reaching 75 books! And I gasped aloud when I noticed "67. It Devours! - Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor" in your list. I don't think I'd started listening to Night Vale yet when you read it, but now I have, and have thoroughly fallen in love with it (and hurrah, I now have one person on my list of "semi-local people who may join me if they come and visit for a live show somewhere nearby"). Perhaps I should read this book? It never really occurred to me before, I'm not sure why. And golly, the wedding is getting close! Good luck!
>92 MickyFine: Yaaaaay being mostly done with moving! When I moved several years ago there was a tornado-y storm the night before and the power came back on maybe 30 minutes before my stuff got to the new building, where I was moving to the 7th floor. Phew!
>93 evilmoose: Yaaaaay Night Vale!
>93 evilmoose: Thanks, Megan! There are TWO Welcome to Night Vale books and they're both great (although I prefer the first to the second as the first has more things with librarians *evil cackle*). They are fine to read no matter where you are in the podcast as they have almost no spoilers.
>94 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora. Ok, you win on the nightmare moving scenarios! ;)
Love & Gelato - Jenna Evans Welch
In the wake of her mother's death, Lina has been shipped to Italy for the summer to meet the father she didn't know existed. Lina is less than wild about the idea, but even with her consuming grief, Italy has its charms. And when an old acquaintance of her mom's gives Lina the journal her mom wrote while she was living in Italy, Lina becomes consumed by the mystery of how her mom and dad ended up where they did.
A charming YA romance that includes some heavy issues. The depictions of Lina's grief are well done and Welch also describes Italy beautifully, which is sure to ignite some wanderlust in its readers. While the mystery around her mom's time in Italy wasn't super mysterious for me, watching Lina come to the conclusions I had already reached was still great fun. Definitely an appealing read-alike for fans of Anna and the French Kiss.
Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.
Books read: 9 (78)
Books ditched: 1 (6)
Fiction: 6 (68)
Non-fiction: 3 (10)
Library: 8 (63)
Mine: 0 (6)
Borrowed elsewhere: 1 (9)
Re-reads: 1 (2)
Female authors: 6 (47)
Male authors: 4 (33)
Adult fiction: 5 (55)
YA fiction: 1 (11)
Children's fiction: 0 (1)
Pages: 3,074 (24,516)
Average rating: 3.3 (3.47)
Average time to read book: 4.1 days (3.97 days)
Favourite book(s): I adored every minute of The Woman Who Died a Lot but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has lingered in my brain so they both get the nod.
The Sandman: Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman
This collection of issues sees Dream being gifted the key to Hell by Lucifer and dealing with the many offers that come in for the realm as a result.
Dark, bleak, and with inconsistent art I was left feeling that this volume was really not my jam. That said, it is interesting to read to see Gaiman's fascination with certain types of characters and mythologies peek out in advance of his other works on the topics. I'll be continuing with the series for now but I may be ultimately deeming it as one of the Gaiman narratives that just isn't for me.
Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max - Noelle Stevenson
I adored every second of this second volume of Lumberjanes comics. As the girls continue to have the weirdest summer at camp ever (Velociraptors! In the outhouse!), they also learn the value of their friendship with each other. Fun, funny, and full of such positivity for all forms of femininity and the challenges of being a young woman, this comic series is so very much my thing.
>100 curioussquared: I definitely mentioned to my co-worker who does our selection for juvenile and YA material that we didn't have all the volumes as ebooks so that I can get at more when I'm on my vacation and not borrowing physical books from the library. :D
A Treacherous Curse - Deanna Raybourn
The third Veronica Speedwell novel sees Veronica and Stoker digging into the disappearance of the current husband of Stoker's ex-wife. Recently returned from an expedition in Egypt, there are the rumours of a mummy's curse clouding the waters of the disappearance. As Veronica and Stoker work to determine what actually happened, Veronica will also gain whole new insights into her investigative partner.
Yet another solid mystery in this series with a fun Victorian Egyptological element. As always, it's just as entertaining to watch the relationship between Veronica and Stoker grow and I look forward to developments on that front in the next book. My only quibble is Veronica had almost no friendly interactions with other female characters in this book, which was disappointing. While she is atypical for the period and often ostracized for her differences, she does have female friends in previous volumes who are completely absent for this outing. Hopefully they'll be back next time around.
The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman
The second book in The Invisible Library series sees Librarian Irene Winters heading off on a rescue mission when her apprentice (and dragon in human form), Kai, is kidnapped. Heading to a parallel world where the chaos levels are so high that almost all interactions resort to narrative tropes (the best form of feeding Fae). To prevent a war between the Fae and Kai's royal family of dragons, which will be destructive mostly to the innocent human population, Irene must rescue Kai with almost no support from the very powerful Library.
This one took a little bit longer to build into itself and really enthrall me due to the political machinations but the last 100 pages are full of some truly excellent action that had me turning the pages as fast as I could. Definitely recommended for fans of the series.
Hi Micky, stopping by to get caught up. I understand that feeling of regret/loss when you discover you have finished viewing all of the Jeeves and Wooster episodes. The cast almost become your second family - in a lovingly quirky way.
Congrats on becoming an Auntie once again!
I love reading about all the personal details being included in your wedding decorations.
Wahoo on flying past the 75 books mark! >43 MickyFine: Loving the Grover dance! (That is the muppet Grover, right?)
Congratulations on surviving the move considering the elevator issues. That must have delayed things a bit.
So exciting that your big day is so close. Wishing you perfect weather for next weekend!
Glad you survived the move despite the elevator challenges! Hope everything goes well this last week heading up to the wedding :)
Life has been full but good. All the final preparations are coming along smoothly. The only hitch has been the weather. It's been cool all week, it snowed today, and it's forecasted to be 3C (37F) with rain and snow on Sunday, the Big Day. So indoor pictures. :/ On the spectrum of things that could go wrong, it's pretty minor so I'll take it.
Three more sleeps to go! :D
I think I accidentally stumbled in on the big day.
HIP HIP HOORAY!
I hope it's dreamy and wonderful and the perfect start to a new chapter, full of great stories and memories.
Congratulations!! You must be on your honeymoon. Hope you are having fun, best wishes for the years ahead and post some pictures when you get back!! : )
Congratulations, Micky and Mr Micky! I hope you two had a wonderful day and are relaxing (no more wedding plans!) on your honeymoon. :) OXO
*peeks in* I think I might be ready to come back to LT. Still in the last few days of my honeymoon (we're currently in the hermit staycation phase) but also ramping up for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Given that we're about to go back to interacting with other humans, I figured it was a decent time to try and get caught up around here. My plan of attack is:
1. Responses to everyone who kept my thread warm in my absence.
2. Reading updates.
3. Wedding and honeymoon pictures with annotations.
4. Catch up on everyone else's threads.
So, stick around and you might see something you'll enjoy. ;)
>110 curioussquared: >111 jennyifer24: Thanks, Natalie and Jenny. The weather was exactly as forecasted (more on that later) but it was still a fantastic day.
Thanks to Chelle, Foggi, Katie, Luxx, Zoë, Nora, Mary, Rachel, Leah, Steve, Kim, Laura, and Joe for the well wishes for our wedding. It was everything we hoped and more.
>126 jennyifer24: Thanks, Jenny. Definitely great (more updates to come).
>125 MickyFine: Glad to see you both have surfaced again! Hope your trip was great!
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Lumberjanes: A Terrible Plan - Noelle Stevenson
Lumberjanes: Out of Time - Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes: Band Together - Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes: Sink or Swim - Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes: A Bird's-Eye View - Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes: Stone Cold - Shannon Watters
Lumberjanes: On a Roll - Kat Leyh
I had an afternoon of down time about a week before the wedding and I devoured all of these volumes of Lumberjanes during that time. The comics are smart, funny, embracing of all sorts of identities, and a pure delight from start to finish. Whether the girls are hanging out with mermaids or trying to sort out issues between Yetis and Bigfoots, there's always great hijinks afoot with great underlying messages.
The Librarian and the Spy - Susan Mann
Los Angeles librarian Quinn Ellington has loved spy novels her entire life. So when a patron she's been helping identify artifacts with turns out to be a spy who actually needs her help, Quinn couldn't possibly resist the adventure. Especially when the spy is as cute as James.
Once again I get suckered into a mediocre novel because it involves a librarian. Pitfalls of professional narcissism, I guess. In this case, there wasn't anything particularly wrong with the plot - a little unbelievable but what else is new when it comes to this genre? And happily, Mann writes gorgeous descriptive passages and really knows her way around librarianship (although there was perhaps a bit too much librarian detail - I don't need search strategies in my romance novel). Where the book really fell down and left me disinclined to pick up the next book in the trilogy was the dialogue: stiff, unbelievable, and occasionally eye-roll-inducing. Sigh. But you can't win them all.
>135 MickyFine: I don't need search strategies in my romance novel
Sorry it didn't work well for you.
I actually tend to avoid books that talk about librarians or librarianship. Either they get it so, so wrong or I feel like I'm bringing work home.
>136 bell7: I'm always a sucker for them because sometimes they get things right and they're a fun read. And it's fun to make fun of the novels that get it wrong. :P
Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.
Books read: 12 (90)
Books ditched: 0 (6)
Fiction: 12 (80)
Non-fiction: 0 (10)
Library: 12 (75)
Mine: 0 (6)
Borrowed elsewhere: 0 (9)
Re-reads: 0 (2)
Female authors: 11 (58)
Male authors: 1 (34)
Adult fiction: 4 (59)
YA fiction: 8 (19)
Children's fiction: 0 (1)
Pages: 2,192 (26,708)
Average rating: 4.1 (3.79)
Average time to read book: 3.6 days (3.79 days)
Favourite book(s): I loved every page of Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max and it made me laugh out loud the most so it walks away with the September prize.
Competence - Gail Carriger
In this third outing in the Custard Protocol series, the crew is headed to South America in search of vampires who may be nearly extinct. Around that pesky mission a great deal of character development happens.
More a character study of Prim and Percy than the rousing adventure romance that occurs when Rue is the focus of these novels, it's still highly enjoyable. The vampire adventure takes a significant backseat to exploring who Prim and Percy are and developing them both as human beings. Fun but not necessarily what one would expect of this series.
The wedding was fantastic even with mixture of snow/rain/slush that was coming out of the sky that day. Below are the three sneak peeks are photographer has released so far:
Plus, since I know there was interest in the bookish decorations here's us cutting our cake:
I promise if there's interest in centrepieces, etc. I'll try and get pics of those up when I get some. :)
Yay for the photos! They are great.
And I, for one, would love to see the centerpieces... :)
Great photos!! Love the sneak peeks! Great book cake!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Congrats, Micky! Everything looks great!
Is that the library you work at in the third photo? Did you take photos while they were open or after hours??
>141 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! I might have to wait for pictures from the photographer before I can post centrepiece photos but I'll get one up when I can. :)
>142 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi!
>143 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! Thanksgiving was a good mix of social with big family Thanksgiving on Saturday, Friendsgiving on Sunday, and a pj day filled with binge watching on Monday.
>144 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. The cake was made by a fantastic family friend.
>145 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora. That is the St. Albert Public Library who were super cool about us taking photos. We managed to sneak in there in the last half hour before they closed.
>146 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie.
>147 jnwelch: I did marry a reader for sure, Joe. There's more comics in his collection than books with no pictures but reading is reading is reading.
Duke of Desire - Elizabeth Hoyt
Iris is pretty sure she's about to die when she's kidnapped and dragged to the revels of the Lords of Chaos. But when one of the Lords surprises her by coming to her rescue, Iris finds herself under the protection of, and very shortly thereafter married to, Raphael, Duke of Dyemore. But can their marriage of convenience become something more and overcome the demons of Raphael's past?
I always enjoy Hoyt's romances and while this is no exception, it's also not amongst my favourites. While she very respectfully deals with the trauma from Raphael's past, I also got tired of his repetition of the same issues. Iris likewise had to go through the same arguments repeatedly making her feel less well-developed. However, the framing fairy tale Hoyt always uses as epigraphs for her books is lovely. If you're a completist, it's a fine addition to the Maiden Lane series, but not required reading in my books.
>140 MickyFine: Lovely pictures, Micky, especially the bookish pictures :-)
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
I've always enjoyed this play and couldn't turn down the opportunity to listen to this audio production with James Marsters (SPIKE!) in one of the lead roles. The play remains as funny and charming as ever, and while not all of the actors rocked the English accent as well as others, it was a delightful and fast listen. Highly recommended.
>153 MickyFine: This is my favorite play of all time :) The movie is super well done, too, if you haven't seen it.
A Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie
When Rex Fortescue is discovered to have been murdered by poison in his office, Inspector Neele of Scotland Yard is quite sure he knows exactly who's behind it. But when two more members of Fortescue's household are also found dead, Neele is suddenly left quite perplexed. When Miss Marple arrives to aid the investigation due to her knowledge of one of the victims, the astute insights of the innocuous-looking old woman are likely to set everything on its ear.
Yet another thoroughly satisfying Miss Marple outing. As ever, she had me fully stumped on the whodunnit and her ability to create fantastic characters who feel utterly real from the moment they appear on the page is astounding. Christie continues her run of being unable to disappoint.
I did promise a few photos from our honeymoon also, so enjoy your beach envy!
>157 MickyFine: You look like you're both having a fabulous time! Also love the bookish wedding. How cool!
Love your beach photos! I am very jealous as it went down to 3c here overnight and snowed in a town nearby! Ugh.
I'm late, I'm late - but just wanted to say thanks for sharing all the lovely photos! Looks like the wedding & honeymoon were fantastic :)
OH HECK TO THE YES. Finally catching up and going all googly eyed over your gorgeous wedding photos! Then again over the honeymoon ones because SEA AND FANCY LOUNGE CHAIRS YASSSSSS. Congratulations beautiful lady! :D
>166 swynn: It's a very gentle romance, Steve, if that helps at all. No heaving bosoms at all. ;)
And thank you for the compliments on the pictures. We managed to get them in about 20 minutes before the library closed that day.
An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon
The seventh book in the Outlander series sees Jamie and Claire embroiled in the Revolutionary War, while Brianna and Roger have returned to 1980s Scotland only to discover that they may not have left all threats to the safety of their family in the past.
The description does little to describe the sprawling nature of the narrative of this one as various plot threads interweave and characters resurface, disappear, and collide in new and fascinating ways. There are a few dangling plot threads that leave me very eager to pick up the next novel but I also worry as then I will be caught up with the series and have to wait for the next book to be published just like long-time fans of the series. The horror! ;)
Those wedding pictures are amazing! The library and the cake!!
And your honeymoon looks amazing too!
>169 _Zoe_: Thanks, Zoë! I can't wait to see how the rest of the photos turn out.
>171 lkernagh: Hi Lori! Lovely to see you as always.
I've done a few LA Theatre Works productions. Radio plays are the exception to my inability to stay with audiobooks. They have a great collection of Noel Coward plays which are all delightful.
The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang
When Stella Lane's mother drops the not-so-subtle hint that she wants grandchildren, Stella is at a bit of a loss. Interacting with other people has always been a bit of a challenge for her due to her autism and all of her attempts at romantic relationships have been completely dissatisfying for everyone involved. In an effort to try and make herself better at the whole romance thing, Stella comes up with an unorthodox solution: hire a male escort to teach her the basics of sex and romance. But when Stella hire Michael Larsen, neither of them are prepared for what will come of their business arrangement.
A fantastically diverse and very smutty romance novel. Hoang does a fantastic job of putting the reader inside Stella's way of experiencing the world and also makes Michael a thoroughly believable hero with a whole cart's worth of baggage that led to his current job as escort. The romance between the two is very sweet but be warned that if you aren't into lots of sex in your romance novel, this one may be a bit much.
Green Lantern: Rebirth - Geoff Johns
The return of Hal Jordan.
My first foray into all things Green Lantern and it's definitely a way to do it with a bang. There's a nice interweaving of all the different men who have taken up the mantle of Green Lantern plus some appearances from other heroes in the DC universe. There's enough back story given that you don't feel completely lost but I have to admit that the art, while beautiful, had me a little confused as to what was actually happening in a few fight sequences.
>157 MickyFine: Such wonderful photos. What a nice place for a honeymoon :)
Great wedding and honeymoon photos, Micky! And you've almost read 100 books! I'm slightly jealous...I won't be anywhere near that number by the end of the year :)
Blackest Night - Geoff Johns
When the ancient prophecy of the Guardians come true and Black Lantern rings begin to fall on earth, bringing the dead back to something resembling life, Hal Jordan, the Green Lanterns, and the superheroes of Earth will have to align with Lanterns across the colour spectrum to attempt to defeat this new evil.
The art in this one is fantastic, which is little bit much in some cases as big chunks of the narrative is filled with what are essentially zombies off the flesh falling off and skeletons protruding school. If the initial darkness and creepiness of the villains isn't enough to throw you off, there's a great heroes unite plot going on here that focuses heavily on the Lanterns but incorporates tons of characters from across the DCU.
>168 MickyFine: I can attest that waiting for the next book is painful!
>179 ChelleBearss: At least we have new seasons of the show to enjoy. :)
Numbers in parentheses are for year to date.
Books read: 8 (98)
Books ditched: 0 (6)
Fiction: 8 (88)
Non-fiction: 0 (10)
Library: 5 (80)
Mine: 1 (7)
Borrowed elsewhere: 2 (11)
Re-reads: 0 (2)
Female authors: 5 (63)
Male authors: 3 (37)
Adult fiction: 8 (67)
YA fiction: 0 (19)
Children's fiction: 0 (1)
Pages: 3,000 (29,708)
Average rating: 3.4 (3.60)
Average time to read book: 7.6 days (5.70 days)
Favourite book(s): I'll give the prize to An Echo in the Bone for being fantastic read regardless of whether I was in an airport, at the pool, or back at home.
Oh no, quick, find a book that is one page long and read it before midnight!
>182 norabelle414: Well I estimated the page length of the audio of Importance of Being Earnest. I could nudge it up one page. ;)
Mastiff - Tamora Pierce
In the final book of the trilogy, Beka Cooper, her scent hound, Achoo, and her partner, Tunstall are sent on the most challenging Hunt they'll ever face.
I really enjoyed this final book in the trilogy and even though I've read these books really spaced out (by a year or two at least), I still was able to sink back into them easily after every interval. Beka remains a compelling character, the quest plot of this one is enthralling, and I continued to love the magic of the world. I'll definitely be coming back to Tortall with the other series by Pierce and I look forward to when the next one crosses my path.
>187 curioussquared: I'm interested to see how I like the other books but I won't be trying any until the new year. I've got a book exchange coming up with friends in December and so I'm limited to only books I've said I was planning on reading or books I already own.
The Book Lovers' Miscellany - Claire Cock-Starkey
A collection of random book-related trivia compiled by a staff member at the Bodleian Library. Light and fast reading, with a feeling more of pub quiz level trivia than deep history of the book as object but fun all the same.
It was my birthday on Tuesday and Mr. Fine and I took the day off to celebrate. Amongst our adventures was a trip to a used book store where I acquired some fluffy mass market paperbacks:
Vision in White - Nora Roberts
Bed of Roses - Nora Roberts
Crime and Poetry - Amanda Flower
Do You Want to Start a Scandal - Tessa Dare
The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn
Colleagues Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane have been sent on the most ambitious mission of their time travel institute since its inception: travel back to 1815 and enmesh themselves in the lives of the Austens in order to rescue a copy of "The Watsons," which due to a recently discovered letter has been proven to be completed rather than a fragment. However, while working their way into the lives of the family they must grapple with the question of whether there are other things they could change and what the repercussions would be.
I really enjoyed this historical science fiction novel. Flynn does an excellent job of creating a believable Jane Austen that is in line with the historical record we have. She also creates really compelling characters in Rachel and Liam although
>58 MickyFine: I watched the Netflix movie of that book and was surprised afresh at the titanic wall of happy it generates. Lovely-looking film, isn't it, and well worth your time to watch since you liked the book. I'm so pleased that Genevieve Cogman has a fan in you! And The Jane Austen Project is sitting right here glowering at me from the library book pile...so pleased it has your seal of approval, now I'll noodge it up the pile.
Also, love the wedding photos! The honeymoon photos! The book-shaped cake!!
Sending all good wishes to you both for the longest and happiest life together that's possible.
The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert
Alice has always been fascinated by her grandmother, Althea Proserpine. Author of a collection of dark fairy tales, Althea disappeared into obscurity as a recluse at her estate, Hazel Wood. Alice's fascination is fed by her mother's absolute refusal to discuss her childhood. Instead Alice and her mother have spent their lives constantly moving, never settling anywhere long as they are pursued doggedly by bad luck. When they receive news that Althea has died, Alice's mother is convinced the bad luck will now end. But instead something darker that neither of them could have imagined crawls from the woods.
A very dark take on fairy tales and the power of story, this novel was fascinating in the way of a car crash. Everything about it is horrifying and yet it's difficult to look away. Albert obviously knows her way around fairy tales and weaves in the structure into her stories, which feel like the darkest elements of any of the traditional folk tales. For those who don't mind some horror mixed in with their fairy tales.
>204 MickyFine: I keep walking past that book in my library. I refuse to be drawn into colloquy with this author or story solely based on the cover art. But it's soooo coool...the comb, the bone, the spilled coffee...the tree on the gates...I wanna! But I remain steadfast. Your absence of rapturous warbling arms me with reason to resist.
>204 MickyFine: I have a galley of this on my TBR shelf, but it's just never grabbed my attention. Now I'm wondering if I would find it too dark...
>205 richardderus: You might appreciate it more than I did, Richard. My horror tolerance is low so the book just didn't work as well for me. The writing is solid and the book as object is gorgeous. Next time you wander past it, check out the endpapers too. So pretty!
>206 foggidawn: It's not one I'd recommend for you since I know your horror tolerance is similar to mine, Foggi. It wasn't so bad I wanted to quit the book but I also have no interest in picking up the eventual sequel.
>207 MickyFine: Well, your reaction certainly does not inspire me to run over to my shelf and grab it. I’ll leave it alone for now.
Once Upon a Winter's Eve - Tessa Dare
Violet Winterbottom retreated to Spindle Cove in the wake of heartbreak and was utterly relieved that no one there tried to change her wallflower ways. But when an injured stranger bursts into the town's Christmas ball and makes his way directly to Violet, she's suddenly in the spotlight. In a single night, Violet's life will change while she tries to determine if the attractive is man is really a stranger at all.
A cute Christmas novella in the Spindle Cove series. Dare does an impressive job of crafting two believable characters with actual depth in such limited space and creates a romance that doesn't feel too rushed. Not particularly Christmas-y so if you're looking for a holiday romance this probably won't scratch that itch but it is a lovely historical romance novella.
Fortunately, the Milk - Neil Gaiman
When their Mum goes off to a conference, a brother and his younger sister are left at home with their absent-minded Dad. When there's no milk for cereal, Dad goes to the corner store to get some and takes absolute ages. When he returns he tells the tale of the epic quest he had bringing the milk back home.
On just the right side of ridiculous, this children's book is a delight for all ages. Gaiman crafts an excellent adventure tale with plenty of humour that feels a bit Douglas Adams-esque and the illustrations by Skottie Young are utterly charming. Whether you're a kid, reading it to a child in your life, or reading it as someone who is no longer a child, there's plenty to enjoy.
>212 MickyFine: Those illos are the bomb!
I'm fresh back from the library where I categorically refuse to acknowledge what leapt into my bag.
>212 MickyFine: - I read that one earlier this year and quite enjoyed it!
Ran across this bit of history from 1938 and it made me laugh:
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.