Nov. 16th, 2016

topaz119: (somanybooks)
Let's get caught up on books…

finished
Second Chance at Paris, Cole McCade – I really wanted to like this book more than I ended up doing. I'm all for lady scientist heroines, but a couple of things just yanked me out of the story (mostly related to how the astrophysics profession works, plus a few 'um, no, actual laws of physics don't work like that'.) And of course, once you get that break, you start seeing other issues, too, and the whole fragile illusion of stepping outside your normal life crashes down. So, I finished it, but only barely.

Changes, Jim Butcher – Book #12 of the Dresden Files, and I was spoiled going in for the big decision, so I spent the first half of the book 'seeing' the plot points getting ticked off to where Dresden has to make the momentous decision. #2Son & I listened to this while driving down and back from Orlando, so I got big chunks of James Marsters' narration, which is never a bad thing. spoilers ) Also, I like Thomas and Molly (and not as siblings, because something needs to jolt Harry out of his blue megrims.)

The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan – You know how sometimes the right book presents itself at the exact moment you need it, and no matter its literary merits, you just fall into it and never want to climb out? Yeah, this book was all that and a cherry on top for me. I don't know that it's any better than your average small town romance, but it had Scotland and a little bookstore and a grumpy local dude and Scotland and a mad romance involving a train and books as a way to heal and find yourself, and did I mention Scotland? (Also, there was an improbably luxurious converted barn for the heroine to live in while she reinvented her life (the existence of which was actually explained, so points for that.) Oh, and it came with a soaking tub and high-end bath products. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?)

Where Serpents Sleep, What Remains of Heaven, Where Shadows Dance, C.S. Harris – Books 4, 5, & 6 of the Sebastian St Cyr mysteries, which continue to entertain me fabulously. I do approve of Sebastian's marital decisions, and I'm looking forward to see how actual parenthood knocks him even further off his equilibrium. I could wish for someone who could deal with Paul's fascination with learning how human bodies function and his unfortunate addiction to opium and give him a little companionship on the side, but that's a minor wish. I see where a fair number of people feel the mysteries are a little too complicated, but it was an exceeding complicated era and since all of the murders tend to be tied up with the events of the day, I'm pretty impressed that everything dovetails together. Also, major props for writing Prinny as the nightmare he really was.

Designing Your Life, Burnett & Evans – I do enjoy a good self-help book, though I got burned with the last one I read (ugh, I even bought the audio book) and have backed off the genre for the last 6 months or so. This one is based on the course that's Stanford's most popular elective and I have to say it was pretty interesting (though, really, I've known enough designers in my professional life to not just blindly accept that their process is The Best Thing Ever.) I had this from the library and will probably request it again and see if I want to buy it and foist it on the boys. :D

now
The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley – Again with Scotland, though this one isn't hitting nearly as many buttons as the one above. Honestly, I'm surprised I'm still listening to this. It's taking me forever, both because it's a long book (SK is into exhaustive detail) and because I can't really hit the accelerated playback and still understand all the variety of Scottish accents. Also, I am side-eyeing the heck out of the explanation for the memory sharing, because, um, no? DNA doesn't work like that. I think I would have liked it better with some woo-woo glossover. Now I'm far enough in that I'm not giving up, but I'm not really all that invested in who our modern heroine is going to end up with, and I already know the disaster that was the Jacobite cause in Scotland, so I mostly am listening just to see how she survives.

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead – I swear to God, I don't understand how this country has survived its past.

next
Black Widow: Red Vengeance, Margaret Stohl – My only complaint about her first Black Widow book was that it spent more time on the younger characters than on Natasha, but by all accounts, this one remedies that. I am cautiously optimistic, but as I said after finishing the last one, it's not like I'm awash in official ways to let TPTB know that I like the character and would like to see (A LOT) more of her.

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