[sticky entry] Sticky: where i am

Jan. 2nd, 2013 01:30 pm
topaz119: (HeartsFromTheBeach)
I cross-post pretty faithfully between DW & LJ. Feel free to comment wherever is easiest/most convenient for you; I am happy to engage across multiple platforms. You can also find me:

[archiveofourown.org profile] topaz (AO3) my fic & bookmarks

[tumblr.com profile] topaz119 (tumblr) fic announcements & endless reblogging of Jeremy Renner-related content whatever catches my eye, mostly fannish but with the occasional science/techonology/space related photo/video

[pinboard.in profile] topaz119 (pinboard) recs/favorites/things that made me happy, crossposted from the rec sets I do on DW/LJ/tumblr, but tagged and sortable.

[livejournal.com profile] topaz119 (livejournal) daily stuff, recs, & fic announcements, xposted with dw (flocked but I'm happy to add you back)

[livejournal.com profile] t_fic (livejournal) (unlocked, sadly out-of-date) my fic, xposted to AO3

I'm also on pinterest (mostly food & holiday stuff, some geek (steampunk & cosplay), occasionally astronomy or science) and goodreads (er, currently I seem to be reading fluff of the cozy mystery or Regency/Victorian persuasion.) Feel free to comment/dm if you want to hook up there.

(updated as of 11/14)
topaz119: (Default)
Not even fandom can hold back the sick feelings that real-world news has been bringing, much less get me through calling my m.f. red-state-senators as often as I can make myself, so my IG has ballooned with all manner of OTT cooking and baking accounts. Some of them only last a couple of days, so I'm always looking for more, which is how I stumbled over So Yummy, which I swear is what Darcy from in deep with you darling is doing while she's in hiding in Wakanda. I mean, there are a lot of crazy baking blogs/IGs out there, but none of them quite hit the level of Funfetti Fried Oreos or Red Velvet Oreo Lava Cakes. Clearly, she started off coming up with this stuff to keep herself from going crazy while she's there, but now she's in a groove and monetizing it (to an offshore account, of course) so when everything gets sorted out and life can get back to normal, she's got a little nest egg + a shiny new career path, yeah? (Clint has taken to adding another couple of miles to his daily run just to keep up with all the sugar and carbs she throws at him every day. He is totally okay with this.)

(I guess it really always does come back to fandom to keep me more-or-less sane. No surprise there.)

Okay, I swore (to myself, at least) that I'd keep up with the Wednesday book meme, so let's do that, too.

finished
Hunted, Megan Spooner -- YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where Beauty is a hunter and spends a fair amount of her time with the Beast working out how she's going to kill him. Beauty as an archer? I was all over it, and I feel like there are a fair number of ppl reading this who would also take to the concept. And I am happy to say it pretty much fulfilled its promise, so feel free to go for it.

now
The Darwath Trilogy, Barbara Hambly -- I always forget how much I like her writing until I stumble over another of her books and get sucked in to a world that's different from all the others.

The Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman -- what Pride and Prejudice and Zombies could have been if the author had actually liked the conventions of the Regency romance he was building on. And knew how to create a supernatural world that overlays the normal one.

Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobda Holdbrook-Smith -- I feel like I'd really like the book anyway, but the narration is ten shades of awesome.

When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon -- New Adult romance that I think I'm about ready to bail on. It's not them, it's me, etc, etc, etc… I think I'm officially Too Old For This.

next
I think that Currently Reading list is more than enough to deal with for now!
topaz119: (Default)
I started to do the Wednesday book meme, realized it had been months since I’d last done it--including Beach Week, where I read non-stop--and threw up my hands. I’ve finished/abandoned 20ish books since then and typing them all out is a bit overwhelming. (If you’re interested, I’m here on Goodreads. Also, I'm happy to add/friend you there, too, just let me know.)

I did want to note that I have finally gotten to the end of the published Dresden books – it’s taken almost 2 years, but I’ve listened to every single one of them. This, btw, is a lot of James Marsters in my ears. (This is generally not a bad thing.) The boys are ecstatic that I am not spoilable any more.

It’s weird, though… Between catching up on that and finishing up watching Parks & Rec, my brain is all adrift for what I should be watching/listening to next. Even if I detoured off to something different, there’s always been that next ep/book waiting in the wings. For *years*…

For my tv-watching, I think I’m going for Brooklyn 99 next – it seems to have a similar tone as P&R and for audiobooks, maybe Rivers of London. I’ve downloaded the first of that, but then I got sidetracked on all the Disney podcasts flipping out over all the new stuff from D23. I’ve reached my Disney fanboy limit, though, so it’s probably time to get back into narrative mode. (But if any of you want to talk Galaxy’s Edge, etc, please feel free to chime in in the comments. Also, if you need a traveling partner to Orlando, I do still have that Annual Pass just burning a hole in my (virtual) pocket…)

(I should also do a rewatch of Battlestar Galactica, before DragonCon, and the boys are clamoring for me to go finish up Clone Wars so I can watch Rebels, also in time for DragonCon. Yeah, that’s going to happen…)
topaz119: (it was a dark and stormy night)
It was fairly busy, in a domestic sort of way:

  • Took BabyBoy to volunteer at the Shakespeare Tavern so he could see the professional cast who directed his youth players' group perform in Midsummer's Night Dream. Twice.

  • Got an actual haircut (as opposed to just hacking off the bangs/wisps around my face.) Did *not* do the color-the-gray thing... eh, I'm legit old enough to not care about the gray now I guess

  • Periscoped into Disney's D23 Parks & Resorts panel and started saving all my money for the previously-just-rumored-but-now-totally-official Star Wars hotel / LARP experience.

  • Had a very exciting Sunday morning of getting up early and going to Trader Joe's

  • Took BB up to Shared Worlds, said hi to various ppls, came back (it's a little bittersweet as it will be the last year I'll have kids there. I think at least one or another of the boys has been there all but one year of its existence.)

  • Finished the last Dresden audiobook. I'm a little lost, now--14 audiobooks is a lot of time with James Marsters in my earbuds. It's like my brain doesn't know what to do next.

  • Finished the fluffiest fic I have written in ages: just a perfect blendship, Wonder Woman, Etta & Diana, gen -- featuring several of my most favorite tropes: food & team-as-family


    Today I had an all-day orientation for the new job, wherein I discovered that wow, this is a huge company (which I kind of knew, but yow. Really big.) My brain is kind of mush at this point, so have a nice evening and I hope you enjoy the fic. (New fandoms are nerve-wracking.)
  • topaz119: (it was a dark and stormy night)
    Thing the First: For whatever reason, my brain has been going off on all these PWP tangents, this time a random addition to the almost-canon Clint/Darcy (I was fine with it until the farm arrived and it was way too late to change.) This is really the set-up to the pr0n, but there's a little bit of (mostly tame) knifeplay, if that's a thing for you. More coming soon! (I hope.)

    ready for the start of something new, MCU, Clint/Darcy, Part 3 of the fall in with you series (though really, it's just pr0n, so you're not really missing anything if you skip the earlier parts)


    Thing the Second: It was Beach Week last week, and I posted the pretty pictures to IG, but I thought I'd share a couple of goofy ones here...

    it was the Year of the Pegicorn )


    and the unicorn floatie 'nursery' in the hot tub )

    With any luck, no one got photographic evidence of us trying to ride the silly thing in the waves. (Or video, omg.) There was frozen sangria & voodoo juice involved (you're shocked, I know.)

    Thing the Third: BabyBoy's Shakespeare thing was great, and he has gone and hung out with his group of fellow actors several times, so I think we can count it as a success. Even better, the extended family was confused enough by the actual verse that none of them realized the actor playing the boy/girl part was actually a guy (though shading to agender, still using he/him) and thus did not flip out at BB kissing him. (I didn't get to see the performance where all BB's HS drama friends came, but D said the kiss got a lot of hooting and hollering. No extended family there that night either.)
    topaz119: (Lady Catherine)
    It has been A Week, people. cutting for sad furkid news & general madness )

    By the time I actually get to the beach, I am going to desperately need an adult slushie.
    topaz119: (life)
    So, I was supposed to be clearing out my closet this weekend (the shelf/hanging rod pulled out of the wall a few weeks ago, so I am taking the opportunity to Kondo it), but, yeah, I really wasn't in the mood. (Am I ever in the mood for cleaning tasks?)

    Instead: pr0n. ::curtsies::

    Part 2 of spinning on that dizzy edge, Clint/Darcy, MCU, Explicit, ~11,600 words (total), mostly just a PWP.

    (Also, argh, expired acct=wrong icon, sigh, happy monday, let me go find my fandom credit card...)
    topaz119: (#1OTP)
  • The Star Wars photoshoot. This link is old news, I realize, but I have to ask if it's just me, or is Leia giving off a Bene Gesserit vibe?

  • This seems like it could come in handy: How to Binge Watch All the Television That Matters

  • MIT Teaches You How to Speak Italian & Cook Italian Food All at Once. Unrelated: One of the cable movie channels has Moonstruck on seemingly every night. I'm still not tired of it.

  • No link, but BabyBoy came back from his first day of Shakespeare rehearsals with stars next to the lines where they're going to make it clear it's a dick joke. And he's underlined all the lines that Orsino is flirting with Viola even though he thinks she's a he (Cesario) so he knows to really play it up. I am not sure D's family is ready for actual Shakespeare.

  • I had my third interview for a new job and thus far, everyone seems to like everyone else (me, included.)
  • topaz119: (milky way)
    Hi, hello, how's it all going?

    Mondays are so much more manageable when it's not raining. I'd just like to state that up front.

    #2 & I went to see Guardians 2 last night, and much fun was had. We ended up at a 3D showing (b/c we were going late and my usual no-3D stance was overtaken by the extra hour of sleep I'd get if we didin't wait for the regular showing), which was actually not bad. Yondu's zippy little arrow-thing's trails looked very cool with some extra depth and space looked super pretty and candy-colored.

    We were a little late, and so missed the first bit of trailers, but we did get to see the new Wonder Woman trailer, which made me very happy (ngl, I might have squealed a bit at "I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta"), and the trailer for The Last Jedi (also squee-worthy, but I've watched that a dozen times and I had no idea there was a new WW trailer. Though… did I just miss that it's in 3D?) We also got the new Mummy trailer (about which we agreed it would probably make a fun ride/experience at Universal in Orlando but it's not going to be more fun than the original), the new Transformers trailer (really? Another one? And this one with medieval knights? Still, Mark Wahlberg>>>>Shia. Also, Anthony Hopkins is now barred from supercilious Thor comments given his involvement with this trainwreck), and Dunkirk (BabyBoy is already massively on board with this one even if he will be at camp when it premieres.)

    All this before we even got to the movie (and thus, by complicated family rules, allowed to start in on the popcorn.) spoilers! )

    So, that was pretty good for a boring Sunday night.

    And in a random fic-writer/reader observation, I would really be excited for the story of how Gamora and Quill find a third for their relationship, someone aromantic enough to be super-happy with Quill's casual attitude toward sex, because I totally read Gamora as ace, but slowly reaching for a relationship and getting tangled up in knowing how her orientation differs from his. Everyone would be happier if he had someone to bang who didn't want anything more from him, right?

    So if you see something like that, point me to it. (Or I suppose I could always write it myself, yeah? Which means the question is who to send off to the Guardians part of the galaxy…?)

    In other news, my grandmother's dining room set is near! I am waiting for the driver to call and set up a delivery date! So excited (of course my lovely brain is whining that we can only that its side trip to southern New Mexico did not totally destroy the wood, please, please, please let me not have just spent money to ship trash…)

    How's everyone else doing this fine Monday?
    topaz119: (Lady Catherine)
    Okay, the adulting portion of my life has been totally out of control lately--cutting for tiresome whining )

    I am attempting to maintain sanity by:
  • Walking the new, Crazy!Dog daily and putting my mileage toward the shiny Deatheater medal for the latest virtual run at Hogwarts Running Club.
  • Continuing to listen to the audiobook version of As You Wish, Cary Elwes's memoir of the making of The Princess Bride. If nothing else, listening to him do a pitch-perfect impression of Rob Reiner in and around all the commentary that RR is actually doing in the narration is worth a laugh or two every day.
  • I did manage a roast braised in tomatoes and garlic and onions and mushrooms (and wine!), with some pasta and bread and roasted asparagus on Sunday, so I am officially already ahead of last week in the dinner department.
  • Debating whether or not to do the spring Readathon... At the very least, I am poking through my TBR list/stacks to assemble potential reading lists just in case I decide to go for it.

    I'm not sure if it's working (sanity-wise), but the alternative is to throw in the towel and buy All The Easter Chocolate, and I'm not there yet, so...

    How are all of you? (thank you for listening to me whine yet again.)
  • ::waves::

    Apr. 17th, 2017 01:26 pm
    topaz119: (milky way)
    Good morning, happy Monday, long time, no chat—work got ridiculous here, to the point where I was replying to emails while I was at Disney World by saying that I would be happy to help with their suddenly-on-fire project, but that a) at Disney World; and b) *already* working with somebody else's suddenly-on-fire project and had another one in the queue. Between what I worked at Disney and what I worked over this last weekend, I practically have another forty hours on the books.

    At least I get paid on contract hours these days, because I would have flipped out if I'd been on salary.

    My brain is kind of mush, though, enough that I lost all momentum on my reading this year. I have a half-dozen books started, but they're all (even the fluffy romances) making my brain hurt to read them. Fortunately, I saw a comment on one of my gazillion bookish blogs to the audiobook version of As You Wish, Cary Elwes' memoir of making The Princess Bride, which I read a few years ago and adored. I'm happy to say the audio version is almost as nice, and includes about half of the people quoted in the book to narrate their parts. It's very soothing during our especially horrible traffic these days. (Did I talk about the interstate that collapsed a few weeks ago? Yeah, that's not far from the house/the high school, and while I don't work in-town these days, the only way for the quarter of a million cars that use that route to get into the city now is to use the interstate I *do* take to the office around to I75. Traffic is entirely f*cked until they rebuild the burnt out part, sigh.)

    Oh! I forgot to mention that #2Son got picked to do the wand ceremony at Ollivander's in Diagon Alley when we were there over spring break. It was pretty excellent! Not only is the 'wand picking the wizard' scene very well-staged (and the guys playing Mr. Ollivander are totally into it), but #2 went along with being the center of attention really well. Given his sometimes-overwhelming anxiety, this is not always the case, and while he said later that he could have done without the 'audience participation', at the time, he was super laidback and even cracked a few jokes when the first few wands didn't work out so well. I, of course, bought the wand that 'picked' him—I had already been contemplating getting one of the interactive wands, and it seemed like the thing to do when the wand is picked for you. So, now we have a scary-looking wand that Mr. Ollivander assures us is good for prophecying and scrying. I really didn't get to spend enough time in Diagon Alley, though the weather was overcast and drizzly, which added enormously to the atmosphere. I also didn't get to do dinner at Toothsome's Chocolate Emporium, the steampunk restaurant at Citywalk, so I foresee more time spent at Universal in my future.

    I should probably also mention that I skimmed through my lj friendslist, back to before the new TOS announcement, and added as many people who made mention of having a DW as I could find, but I probably missed leaving a comment saying as much on a fair number of journals, so, um, if you're one of those people, hi? I also actually looked at my Manage Circle page on DW and tried to clean that up a bit, because it appears that I missed ppl subscribing here, oops? Sorry, again. I'm probably going to shift base here at some point, but did I mention the craziness at work? Plus, it's tax season so that's taking up stupid amounts of time, too. Sorting out online presence is on my list, though, so at some point I will address it.

    I will leave you with a fun fic rec to distract your brain from the general blah-ness of another Monday in 45's administration:
    The Principle of Terrestrial Mediocrity, by [archiveofourown.org profile] AlphaFlyer, Ant Man | MCU, gen, ~5000 words===Luis likes his job at Stark Tower and would like to tell you about a special Friday night. :D
    topaz119: (wdw)
    When last we chatted about spring break at Disney World, I mentioned that my brother was not a Disney person at all, and that he was coming along with us because he wanted to spend time with the boys and we were already set for WDW. I think we decided that he'd seen Finding Nemo and Up, and possibly The Lion King, but certainly none of the princesses. Please keep in mind that he is a Slytherin (we made him take the Pottermore quiz while waiting in line at Universal—he had no idea what we were talking about with the Houses before that) engineering site manager who does things like go swimming in a mountain lake as soon as the ice breaks up.

    Reader, he arrived on Saturday afternoon. By Monday morning, he was whistling Be Our Guest as he made breakfast.

    Such is the power of the Land of Mickey. ;D

    NB: I see that SUP has done… something… to LJ, and really, I think I've hit my limit in trying to figure out what to do with it all, so for now, I'm posting to DW and once I get our taxes done I'll see if I feel like sorting it all out one more time and going back to cross-posting.
    topaz119: (shamrock love)
    Catching up with my media consumption over the last few months, cutting because it got loooong...

    books )

    tv )

    movies )

    Virtual cookies to anyone who made it through all that!
    topaz119: (happy place)
    I joined the drama club's Instagram account (more pictures of my kid that I didn't have to take, \o/, wow, am I dating myself there) and the teacher/sponsor/director of the musical added me back and checked out my feed, and then asked BabyBoy, "Does your mom work for Disney?"

    (And I haven't even shared the disneybounding pics there...)
    topaz119: (MI4Will)
    Title: Shift Colors
    Fandom: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
    Rating: PG-13 (language only)
    Length: ~5000 words
    Pairing: William Brandt/Ethan Hunt
    Notes: There was a new movie and my brain decided to see if we could work that canon into Mission Anomalies (but then it took a long time, surprise.) Also, this turned into fluff when I was expecting not much but a PWP, \o?.

    Summary: Because nothing in their life ever plays out the simple or easy way, even after the team delivers Lane to the joint MI6-CIA task force, Will barely has time to check Ethan for obvious injuries before they’re each pulled in opposite directions.

    Link (AO3): Shift Colors
    topaz119: (Default)
    Um, I totally forgot I did this 2016 fandom round-up meme, so it's a little outdated, but it's not like I'm not always running a month behind anyway, right?

    2016 fandom natterings )

    tgif

    Feb. 3rd, 2017 02:28 pm
    topaz119: (dinner is served)
    Finally getting my act together to follow [personal profile] st_aurafina's lead, I present my first Recipe Friday…

    Something I've cooked recently:
    Skillet Lasagna, adapted from Keepers -- if you're a USian of a certain age, you may be flinching at the very words 'skillet lasagna' but please rest assured that this is NOT of the Hamburger Helper oeuvre. (Actually, I had to debate whether my Italian nonna and her many sisters would haunt me for even considering making this. The pictures looked really good and there's enough cheese to keep a cow in service, so I pressed on.) I even managed to make it on a regular weeknight (not a work-from-home day), twice now. It's better with San Marzano tomatoes and the very slightly spicy Italian sausage that I get at the farmer's market, but then, what isn't? It's pretty decent with store-brand tomatoes and sausage, too. If you follow me on IG, I was so pleased by this that I actually posted a shot of it.

    Homemade Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites -- I usually alternate between yogurt with granola and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast (both of which are easy enough to carry into the office along with lunch), but when my sous-vide manufacturer covered these in their latest newsletter, I decided I'd give them a try--to great acclaim. Easy AND quite tasty. I did the bacon-gruyere recipe, because I had everything at the house, but I foresee some branching out in the weeks ahead. Also, yay for getting the jars sealed tightly enough that no water got in but not so tight that they explode in the water bath.


    Something I have concrete plans to cook soon:
    In a little more than 48 hours, the Atlanta Falcons will take on Tom Brady and the Patriots for Super Bowl LI (yes, we're back to the Roman numerals. I guess the NFL decided it was safe to go back for 51? Ugh, who knows with those idiots.) Despite having lived in the ATL for 20 years, I am firmly in this for the food (especially since the Steelers faded and died 2 weeks ago—I could hear my dad screaming at the tv set from the afterlife) and have definite plans to try Serious Eats recipe/method to get crispy baked chicken wings. Then I'll do Bon Appetit's sauces (their wings are pretty decent, but Kenji Lopez-Alt is my guy these days so I'm going to see what his obsessiveness has produced.) I am also doing BA's fried mozzarella. Then it will take me all week to clean up the kitchen, so that's it for anything more than pasta and some grilled chicken and veggies.


    Something I am idly considering making:
    Smitten Kitchen's Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding, possibly for Valentine's Day breakfast (baseball season has started; I doubt I will see D for dinner until spring break.) I might also try to sous vide a rack of lamb to see if it'd work for the big Easter dinner…
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    I like the idea of Crafting Tuesdays, but all my creative energy is going toward figuring out what the hell to do with my house, so I doubt I'll pick that up. I do resolve to do more with the Wednesday book meme, and to pick up Recipe Fridays, because I am always reading and cooking, no matter what...

    finished
    Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter – BabyBoy ended up getting this for Christmas, and then it showed up as a possibility for the first week of the 52-week challenge I fell into on Goodreads, so I picked it up and ran with it. Obviously, it's geared toward fans, but I found a lot of interesting stuff in it, everything from the specific hip-hop influences to just the sheer amount of re-work that was going on right up to opening night. The book itself was hell to lug around, though. ;)

    Black Widow: Red Vengeance, Margaret Stohl – Her second Black Widow novel, which, I think, addresses the 'there wasn't enough Natasha' criticism of the first book. There's a lot of Natasha here, and the plot does revolve around the Red Room, and the other Widows. Plus, there is a bonus guest-starring role from Captain Marvel, and I am not ever going to say no to more Carol Danvers (especially when there's no connection to Civil War II.) (I would still like more Hawkeye, but that shouldn't surprise any of you reading this.)

    Why Kings Confess, Who Buries the Dead, When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris – The last 3 St. Cyr historical mysteries, though there is one scheduled for release in the spring, and while I'm still enjoying them, I'm happy enough to take a break for a bit. I'm kind of at the point where I'm going yes, yes, murder and mayhem, right, just tell me what's going on with the Earl and the family and have we found [redacted] on the continent yet?

    Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive, Charles Duhigg – Not a lot of actionable advice here, but it did have actual interesting examples of SMART goals (I do them every year and usually find them a waste of everyone's time) and some higher-level thoughts. I did not ever feel like throwing it across the room, if that helps?

    now
    A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas – This is the first of her gender-swapped Sherlock (Charlotte) Holmes mysteries. I literally just opened it this morning but it has great buzz.

    The Unleashing, Shelly Laurenston – The first of *her* Call of Crows paranormal shifter romance series, in which the women are all Norse warrior-shifters. Yeah. Sometimes fandom really does prepare you for reality.

    Ghost Story, Jim Butcher – This is … ::squints:: … good lord, #13 of the Dresden series. I seriously can't believe I'm still hanging in there, but here I am. Still just doing the audiobooks with these, so James Marsters' voice is permanently in my head now.

    next
    I swear I'm going to dig through my TBR stacks, both virtual and real, so who knows. I may just do a random number generator and see where that takes me…
    topaz119: (Hawkeye)
    Title: spinning on that dizzy edge
    Fandom: Thor, Avengers, MCU
    Rating: Explicit
    Length: ~3900 words
    Pairing: Clint Barton/Darcy Lewis
    Notes: So, I was stuck in the house, and unable to pull myself away from the horror of my twitter feed over the weekend. The best I could do was to switch over the g-docs and write another few sentences of pr0n before I went back under with the next nightmare scenario. Sorry?

    Summary: It tends to get a little crazy between them when Clint’s been out with the Avengers before he comes to see her: he’s happy to be alive, he guesses; Darcy's wound up at being too far away to do anything but watch shit fall apart on the news; and they take it out on each other. Usually, they’re back to what passes for normal by the next day, but today, watching her writhe and whimper under his hands, Clint faces the fact that it doesn’t look like that crazy streak is quite done with them yet.

    Link (AO3): spinning on that dizzy edge
    topaz119: (it was a dark and stormy night)
    Once again, I'm only now just getting to this, but at this point it's basically a tradition...

    Previous years: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

    this is what I wrote last year: )
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    I will eventually get around to the year-end memes (which I enjoy but end up doing in January, as December is always so crazy.) Since it is Wednesday, let's start with the book meme for the last month or so of 2016 (GR says I read 50 books in 2016, which is mostly WIN. Discussion of why only 'mostly' below.)

    finished
    The Winter Sea, Susannah Kearsley, FINALLY. It took me months to listen to this, but for whatever reason, I hung with it. (I suspect it's that the Scottish history geek has deep roots in my psyche, but I am not in the mood to give this book any more of my time to really parse it out.) While I was really not a fan of the modern-day framing story, I had to laugh at a few outraged reviews on GR, where the part about the modern-day author & her outdoorsy Scottish history professor of a beau having a common ancestor or two caused them (the readers) to squick out… I mean, this was nearly 300 years' worth of genealogy; at that point, there's barely any DNA in common even with siblings to start. After 10 or so generations, you're related to everybody in the country. Anyway. Done.

    Do You Want To Start A Scandal?, Tessa Dare – I have not had a lot of luck with my most recent TD reads, but this one must have just hit me at the right moment, and it was a delightful bit of froth that kept me smiling throughout Thanksgiving.

    What Maidens Mourn, What Darkness Brings, C.S. Harris – Two more Sebastian St Cyr mysteries, and I have to say, I am loving the attention to historical detail that comes with every book. I am not one of those readers who analyzes every clue and scrap of information to try to figure out who did it (so when I do actually figure things out, you know it was pretty straightforward), but I like how the motives and actions are tied to the time and place of the crime (ie, these are not wallpaper historicals.) Seb is still madly over-dramatic and a giant wooby-in-the-making (it's a Very Good Thing his closest friend is a brilliant, if morphine-addicted, doctor. Otherwise, I feel like he'd have succumbed to one or the other of his assorted injuries.) Also, Hero continues to rule.

    Magnate, Joanna Shupe, historical romance, New York Victorian era. I was a little stalled on this for reasons I have yet to figure out, but then she threw in the oh-dear-your-clothes-are-covered-in-snow-we-must-get-them-off-you trope, so clearly I couldn't just leave them hanging, right? I am not entire sure how I feel about this one still -- on the one hand, I loved that the heroine was a financial wizard, but on the other hand, I feel like she was conveniently both virginal and completely unselfconscious about sex. Also, we seem to have glossed right over the hero's high-handed business and personal dealings. (IOW, we walked riiiiiiight up to the alpha/alpha-hole line and maybe needed a little more recognition of that fact.)

    Last Chance Christmas Ball, Mary Jo Putney, et al, YAY FOR CHRISTMAS FLUFF. I didn't even mind that this was all short stories stitched together around the conceit of the titular ball, or that almost all of them are second chance romances, where the protagonists were together before and then not, because REASONS, and now they're trying again. It was all very soothing and calming while I was trying not to scream at the idiots during rush hour (audiobook, obvs!)


    now
    Why Kings Confess, C. S. Harris, historical mystery, next in the St Cyr series and I think we're finally casting an eye toward Seb's doctor friend and maybe getting him a life (and offering an alternative to the opium for his pain), so that's good.

    Hamilton: The Revolution, LMM & Jeremy Carter -- I just joined a 52 Books reading challenge on Goodreads (see below), where there's a topic each week and you get to pick a book to fulfill it and this first week is a book from the GR Choice Awards, of which this counts and seeing as BabyBoy got it for Christmas and it's already Wednesday of the challenge week, it seemed to be the easiest thing to go for.


    next
    I have the last two published St. Cyr books, still have the next Black Widow YA, and now that Rogue One has STOLEN MY BRAIN, I suspect I will be in the hunt for All The Star Wars stories.

    Plus, I got to 50 books this year and missing the last 2 so I can say 'I read a book a week' is somewhat annoying, so the last remaining part of my brain thought that the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge group on Goodreads sounded like a good idea. I will be seeing how far I get with that this year, too. Let me know if you join and we can compare notes as we go!


    Also, if you're looking for a bookish challenge for the year, BookRiot has a handy round-up post.

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