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review 2018-08-17 14:27
I love the voice
The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch

This one is more a story about the magical world of London and England and allows for later expansion of the world, it turns out that there are a few schools of magic in the world. The adventure all starts with Lady Tyburn asking Peter for a favour and to keep the favour quiet, however Peter knows better than to try to hide things and tells everyone above him so that they can be prepared for it. An overdose. At a secure building with one of Lady Ty's daughters involved. One of the others involved is a magic user too and through this teen Peter finds out that there's another magic tradition and has to face up to the fact that there was a lot of sexism in his order.

It features some lesbian characters and a muslim fellow police person who wears a hijab and is slowly creeping towards being a member of the Folly. Peter is determined to bring the Folly into the 20th Century and seems to be determined to write up everything to help others. He believes in information and less secrecy but understands that some things people don't want to know and occasionally some information can kill or do more harm than ignorance.

I love this series and when I read I often have to share paragraphs with my husband, Peter has such a wry tone and cynical view, he feels like someone who has worked as a copper for long enough for some of his inocence worn off. He knows the system and knows how to use it. Other innocences are being worn away too.

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review 2018-08-16 03:48
A Taste of Honey - Kai Ashante Wilson

Beautifully sweet and bittersweet and oh! that ending! Completely unexpected and absolutely perfect. Kai Ashante Wilson deserves a whole second set of five stars just for throwing that impressive plot curveball.

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review 2018-08-15 07:14
Witches Abroad (Discworld)
Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett,Nigel Planer
Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett

An excellent riff on fairy tales.  I'm not actually sure what to say about it beyond that.  If you've read any of the discworld books, this one won't disappoint you.  

 

I listened to the audiobook, and Nigel Planer did an excellent job, though I disliked his Magrat and Ella choices; his voices for them both made them sound dull and stupid. On the other hand, I've also listened to other Pratchett books narrated by Celia Imrie and I really disliked her Granny Weatherwax voice; Planer gets Granny just right - she's the crone without hurting your ear drums. 

 

The plays on words are always my favorite part of Pratchett books and Witches Abroad did not disappoint (Emberella = Cinderella).  I also loved the we finally saw Granny's magic in a very decisive show; I hope it won't be the only time we see it.

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review 2018-08-14 01:29
People I want to Punch in the Throat
People I Want to Punch in the Throat: True(ish) Tales of an Overachieving Underachiever - Jen Mann

A friend recommended this book and I was skeptical because of the title, but after reading a few chapters I had trouble putting it down and was totally that mom and understood where the author was coming from. As I listened to the book (driving to KY and back is an easy 4 hours of listening) I told my kids this is why I never sell at a garage sale. Other points I was nodding my head in complete understanding. I even recommended this book to my sil. She went looking for it, too on the library sites to see if she could get it. 

 

The title may be off-putting, but I do think this is a good book and I really want to get my hands on her other books, especially the holiday one. 

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review 2018-08-12 05:10
Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinlay
Read It and Weep - Jenn McKinlay

In this entry in the series, Violet La Rue is holding auditions for A Midsummer Night's Dream. The entire town is excited, and not just because many of them want a chance to shine onstage. It turns out that the role of Puck is going to be played by a friend of Violet's, a charming famous actor named Robbie Vine.

Lindsey doesn't want a part in the play, but she does agree to help with costuming. Meanwhile, Sully's helping build the set, and their friends hope that the close proximity will lead to them getting back together. There's definitely still a spark between them, but things become complicated when Lindsey finds herself drawn to Robbie. Sure, his personal life is a mess, but at least he talks to her and tells her how he feels. Unfortunately, something sinister is going on. Someone seems to want Robbie, and possibly anyone close to him, dead.

Mystery-wise, this was a bit weak. I correctly guessed the culprit a little more than halfway through the book and never saw any reason to change my mind. In fact, at one point I noticed a fairly obvious clue - the character made an offhand comment about an event that they shouldn't have known anything about. It took Lindsey quite a bit longer than me, but she finally noticed that comment and connected the dots, as well as a few minor ones I'd missed.

Relationship-wise, this book frustrated me. If it weren't for the library aspects (which were pretty decent this time around - a couple interesting stints at the reference desk for Lindsey) and the fact that this is one of the few series that I know people around me have read and that I can therefore talk to them about, I'd probably be quitting at this point.

I still believe that Sully breaking up with Lindsey at the end of the previous book was out-of-character for him, and this book didn't tell me anything that changed my mind. Sully's sister hinted that Sully had some deeper issues at play, but Lindsey stubbornly refused to let her tell her anything more, insisting that Sully had to tell her himself. Which, fine, except Sully's the quiet type who doesn't talk about himself much, so this left readers with nothing except "Sully dumped Lindsey because he thought her worry that her ex-fiance had been killed meant she still needed time to get over him." Never mind that it would have been weird and creepy if she'd been unmoved by the possible death of someone she'd known well, and never mind that Sully had spent the whole book up to that point taking Lindsey's fiance's presence and attempts to win her back in stride.

I remember rolling my eyes at Lindsey's worry, in the earlier books in the series, that she was reading more than she should into Sully's behavior, that he wasn't really attracted to her and it was all in her head. Still, I could understand it. Unfortunately, in this book she went right back to that state. You'd think she'd have gotten better at reading him - he was clearly still interested in her and displayed it in much the same way he had in the earlier books, only with the added awkwardness of the breakup standing between them.

The addition of Robbie Vine didn't make things better. I was fine with Lindsey having a bit of fun and flirting with him, but I was not on board with her seriously considering dating him. First, he was married. I hated how many of Lindsey's friends responded to that by saying "But only on paper!" Sorry, he was still married, had had years to see about getting a divorce, and never had. And his wife was in the play. It was a complication that Lindsey definitely didn't need. Second, his ex-girlfriend was also in the play and seemed to wish that they'd never broken up. Another complication Lindsey didn't need.

The big plot twist near the end, and Lindsey's reaction to it, did not bode well for the next book in the series. I don't buy that all of this was necessary to keep Lindsey's romantic life fresh and interesting. There are ways McKinlay could have kept Sully and Lindsey interesting as a couple without any of this mess - something from Sully's past could have cropped up, or Lindsey's brother could have stopped by and either gotten along really well with Sully or clashed with him, or...anything but what McKinlay actually gave readers. The plot twist really irked me, and I couldn't understand why Lindsey wasn't more bothered by it.

Extras:

  • The Briar Creek Library Guide to Crafternoons
  • Readers Guide for Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Card-making idea
  • Recipe for Nancy's Raspberry Petit Fours. Shockingly, although the book includes references to pumpkin squares, a recipe for them is not included.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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