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text 2016-04-01 05:06
March reading summary
Raising Demons - Shirley Jackson
Manners & Mutiny - Gail Carriger
The Counterfeit Heiress - Tasha Alexander
The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer
Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper - Harriet Scott Chessman

At the beginning of this month, I decided to try an experiment, in an effort to read a greater variety of the books in my TBR stack and stop the neglect.  I sorted the books by genre/subject (more or less) and chose one from each stack as a March pile.  Those stared at me from the coffee table until they got read (or swapped for a different book in the same category).  I was only slightly optimistic that this would work. 

 

Results were better than I expected, honestly.  Of the 9 books in the stack only 2 got completely blown off: Thirteen Guests - J. Jefferson Farjeon and A Whisker of Trouble - Sofie Ryan.  I think I had too much historical stuff in the pile by the time I got to Thirteen Guests and I just wasn't in a cozy mood this month, so A Whisker of Trouble got neglected.

 

I'm still currently reading Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris - Graham Robb (it's a brick) and The Etymologicon - Mark Forsyth because it's not meant to be read easily; it's one of those you pick up and put down a lot.

 

In addition to the pile, I read the following books this month:

Up in Seth's Room - Norma Fox Mazer  The Masquerading Magician - Gigi Pandian  The Battle of the Books and other short pieces - Jonathan Swift,Henry Morley  Fire Touched - Patricia Briggs  Marked In Flesh - Anne Bishop  The Language of Bees - Laurie R. King,Jenny Sterlin  The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: And Other True Stories of Trauma, Madness, Affliction, and Recovery That Reveal the Surprising History of the Human Brain - Sam Kean  Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels) - Ilona Andrews  Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales - Desmond Tutu,Nelson Mandela,Alan Rickman,Whoopi Goldberg  The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book - Wendy Welch  Practical Sins for Cold Climates - Shelly Costa  Midnight Marked: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel - Chloe Neill  

 

I DNF'd one book:

Guilty as Cinnamon - Leslie Ann Budewitz 

 

So total books read this month was 18, with 2 still on the Currently Reading pile.  I feel good enough with this experiment to do it again in April, although I really want to finish the two I have on the go now before I get hopelessly behind.

 

Happy reading!

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review 2016-03-11 05:35
The Quiet Gentleman
The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer

Oh, was this a fun read!  Considered one of Heyer's historical romances, I'd argue it has a much stronger mystery plot than anything else (which of course makes me happy).

 

Unscathed from the wars, Gervase Frant finally returns to his father's estate to claim his title as the new Earl of Stanyon. But his stepmother's resentment and his half brother's open disdain put a chill on Gervase's welcome. Now he must establish himself as the new head of the house and ignore his family's rising hostility.

 

But Gervase begins to find himself the victim of repeatedly cruel accidents. Soon it becomes increasingly clear that someone wants the new Earl of Stanyon dead.

 

There are shades of Mrs. Bennett in Gervase's step-mother that had me chuckling under my breath as I read, and Gervase himself was smooth as silk, level-headed and the kind of alpha male that doesn't need to assert his alpha-ness, he just is.  Miss Moreville is an excellent character as well; wonderfully level-headed and not the last bit silly or 'romantic', while Martin is the male personification of silly and romantic.

 

The mystery itself was truthfully not really mysterious; Heyer was too heavy-handed for the ending to be anything but obvious, and not a little tragic, but I loved what she did with the rest of the story and the characters; everyone got what was best for them, if not what they wanted.  In an oeuvre that covers the spectrum of quality writing, The Quiet Gentleman definitely sits nearer the top.  I hope my luck continues with my next Heyer read.

 

 

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text 2016-03-04 01:21
March reading - an experiment.
Manners & Mutiny - Gail Carriger
Thirteen Guests - J. Jefferson Farjeon
The Counterfeit Heiress - Tasha Alexander
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language - Mark Forsyth
Raising Demons - Shirley Jackson
The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer
Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris - Graham Robb
Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper - Harriet Scott Chessman
A Whisker of Trouble - Sofie Ryan

A lot of my BookLikes friends plan their reading in advance, something I've never even tried because I'm so purely a mood reader; I can bet that no matter what I choose to read for the month, it won't be what interests me when it comes time to read it.

 

But my physical TBR is getting unruly.  I know most of you have far larger TBR piles than I do, but I refuse to shelve books I haven't read, and since I can rarely use an e-reader, all my books are here and they're stacked up everywhere and it's getting to me.

 

So this week, I decided to try an experiment:  I took all my TBR books and sorted them into subject/genre piles.  I ended up with 11 piles.  Since I can usually get through 11 books a month without a problem, I grabbed one book from each pile and created a March reading stack (and an April and May stack too).

 

But won't I just run into the problem I outlined at the top of this post?  Well, probably.  But I decided to do this with the understanding that if I didn't want to read a book in my March stack, I could swap it out with another one from the same subject/genre.  I'm also free to read whatever else I want to read from my TBR (since I usually read more than 11 books a month).

 

Honestly, I think it's only a 50/50 chance of succeeding, but I need to try something because I'm starting to forget about books I've bought and that's never happened before and I don't like it.

 

So here's what I ended up with for my March reading (not including what's already on my Currently Reading shelf):

Manners & Mutiny - Gail Carriger 

Thirteen Guests - J. Jefferson Farjeon 

The Counterfeit Heiress - Tasha Alexander 

The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language - Mark Forsyth 

Raising Demons - Shirley Jackson 

The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer 

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris - Graham Robb 

Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper - Harriet Scott Chessman 

A Whisker of Trouble - Sofie Ryan 

 

 

Off I go!

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text 2015-08-01 02:34
July Roundup
We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals - Gillian Gill
Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends - Mary McAuliffe
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
Ancillary Sword (Ancillary Justice) - Ann Leckie
The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer
Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell,Steven T. Murray
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Best reads: In a perfectly extraordinary month, I read 2 five-star books (We Two and Dawn of the Belle Epoque), and a 4.5 star book (Uprooted).  For several days this month I had "reading hangovers"; whatever I read I felt sure it wouldn't be a good as what I had just finished.

 

Strangest read: Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie.  I liked it, as have others in the science fiction community (it won a number of awards), but I can see how the narrative style could drive some readers nuts.

 

No Worst Read, as nothing really under 3 stars.  But the Weakest Read was The Invisible Library, a steampunk alternate-universes fantasy (with librarian spies, homicidal steam centipedes, faeries, vampires, dragons, and werewolves), which tried to do a bit too much at once.  (Yes, I was reminded of The Parasol Protectorate novels, among other things.  I like those better, by the way.)

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text 2014-04-30 20:35
April 2014 Recap
Daniel Deronda (Penguin Classics) - George Eliot,Terence Cave
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy
The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer
The Fourth Protocol - Frederick Forsyth
The Gold Coast - Kim Stanley Robinson

Daniel Deronda - DNF. I just couldn't stand Gwendolen. 

 

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Fun, although I don't think I'll read the rest of the books.

 

The Quiet Gentleman - I really enjoyed this! I need to read more Heyer.

 

The Fourth Protocol - Spy thriller set in 1987, which was interesting. Some things have changed; some thongs haven't. 

 

The Gold Coast - I'm only about a third of the way in, but am enjoying this. It's not quite as unputdownable as The Wild Shore, though.

 

Mt. TBR books: The Gold Coast, The Fourth Protocol

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