Jan. 4th, 2017

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.)

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!)

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.

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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