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29 April 2015

All out of whack

It's been almost tedious to read for the past week or so. It's not that I haven't enjoyed the book I've been reading (Catriona McPherson's The Winter Ground). I adore the Dandy Gilver series and absolutely devoured the first three when I read them. I honestly don't know, though, if this fourth one dragged on for me because it was dragging ... or because I was! Multiple dentist appointments over the past 2 weeks with root canals and extractions and lots of antibiotics and pain meds. I guess it probably shouldn't surprise me too much that something as simple as relaxing and reading would end up seeming so stressful, huh? I thought about setting the book to one side and starting something new ... but even that stressed me out. I did finally finish the book and, I'm afraid, this is as much of a review as is going to happen for it this time around. So far the Dandy Gilvers have struck me as being quite re-readable so maybe in a few years it'll resurface and seem like the first time I've ever read it (unmedicated, hopefully).

21 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Authors

In no particular order ... and not formatted or fancy or wordy because it's almost not Tuesday!

  1. Agatha Christie
  2. Sharyn McCrumb
  3. Ann Charles
  4. Charlotte MacLeod
  5. Garrison Keillor
  6. CS Lewis
  7. JK Rowling
  8. Joseph Campbell
  9. Terry Pratchett
  10. Elmore Leonard

Teaser Tuesday # 10

The Meme

The Tease

The Book
The Winter Ground by Catriona McPherson

17 April 2015

Why I don't marathon read series

So, on April 9th I added Amy Patricia Meade's Million Dollar Baby to my "Currently Reading" shelf on GoodReads. It's the first in the Marjorie McClelland series.
I just finished the fourth book in the series.
So far there is no fifth book.
I'm already starting to feel lonesome.
Oh it doesn't matter one bit that I literally have several hundred (wouldn't be surprised if it's nearing or even over a thousand) books waiting for me only in my DropBox.
It doesn't matter one bit that I already have dozens of other series in progress that I could/should be getting back to.
What matters is that I don't have another tale starring Marjorie and Creighton and the gang waiting for me already. We've been through so much together these last few days. Now I have to wait for the next one to be written and released.

15 April 2015

Amy Patricia Meade's Ghost of a Chance

I had accidentally requested Amy Patricia Meade's Ghost of a Chance on NetGalley before I realized that it was the second in a series. As you may know, I have this thing about reading in order ... and with this series it's pretty much crucial to do so ... so I hunted down the first one, read it, and loved it oh so very much. I typically don't read series installments back-to-back but I just couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next ... which is exactly how I felt when I ended this one so rather than go on to the book featured in this week's Teaser Tuesday post, I'll be going on to the third book in the Marjorie McClelland series. And then probably the fourth. Luckily (perhaps) there are only the four right now so I'll be forced to read something else while I wait for the fifth to appear.

Hmmm ... Amy DID mention on Twitter that she has two other series .....

14 April 2015

Teaser Tuesday # 9

The Meme

The Tease

The Book
The Winter Ground by Catriona McPherson
(to be read as soon as I finish plowing through Amy Patricia Meade's Marjorie McClelland series!)

13 April 2015

Amy Patricia Meade's Million Dollar Baby

I can only guess that Amy Patricia Meade has spent a lot of time over the years watching movies from the "Golden Age" of Hollywood since, much to my delight, her Million Dollar Baby read just as though it could be a novelization of a film starring a Barrymore (or two). Oh heck, just grab the cast from something like Dinner at Eight and shuffle them around and you're all set.

Set in Connecticut in the 1930s, it's a screwball comedy, mystery, and romance (complete with love triangle) all rolled into one delightful ball. There were honestly times when I laughed out loud at the antics of the characters and times when I just wanted to give them a good shake ... or hug ... or smack upside the head.

I enjoyed it so much I sacrificed part of my pre-work nap to finish it ... and then made sure I had the second book in the series all lined up and ready to start for the bus! 

10 April 2015

Friday 56

Another new-to-me meme! Kinda like Teaser Tuesday, which I love ... but on Friday ... and with different rules ... and hosted at Freda's Voice.
The rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. 
*It's that simple.

Rather awesome since when I found this (thanks to My Soul Called Life) I was just hitting page 56 in my current read! (It's been a night ... or two ... of many distractions.)

The book is question is Amy Patricia Meade's Million Dollar Baby.
Since I'm reading on my tablet and have yet to figure out how to screen-cap from it, I pulled it up on my phone for the snippet. More than a sentence, but not enough to spoil anything.

Random Thoughts on Book Challenge Things and Stuff

* Critical Role on Geek & Sundry is probably the most awesome thing to happen to Thursday nights in ... well ... ever. (It doesn't hurt that I've known one of the players for almost 30 years now.) I missed all of tonight's live stream thanks to a cruddy wifi connection at work, but hopefully they'll upload the whole kit & kaboodle soon so I can catch up. There was dancing ...

* I wish there was an easy way to exercise and read while at work. At home I can read on my recumbent bike. I don't nearly as much as I should ... but I CAN. Here at work the closest I get is walking around with phone in hand and my ereader app on trying to read and not walk into walls at the same time. We have a fitness center with bikes and treadmills and whatnot .... for the hotel guests. It would likely be frowned upon if I got my sweat on without a good excuse like "Oh, I was doing a walk-around to make sure everything was quiet and secure ..." like I could use with the whole walking/phone/wall scenario.

* Accidentally got the second book from a series I haven't read on NetGalley. Well. I meant to get the book... I just didn't realize that it was the second in a series. I've acquired the first and am reading it now but doubt I'll get them both read to review in time for the second to be archived. I hate losing track of time and not getting things reviewed when I "should."

* Along those same lines, I hate feeling like I need to read anything in any particular order or on any set time frame. It's stressing me out. I think perhaps I'll stop worrying so much about doing the A to Z in order and just wing it. I may even stop with the "currently reading" sidebar box and only update on GoodReads when I've finished something rather than the "Currently Reading" shelf. That way if I get bored or distracted or whatever I won't feel guilty about removing something (and I do. I'm a freak like that).

* Scrapping the A to Z in order means I only have the following letters left: K, N, O, P, Q, U, V, W,  X, Y & Z. Not too shabby. This also means I can stop putting off The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making just because it's my "V." Yeah. Totally reading that next. Well, soon. I have a library book to get to after I get the current one done. Oh yeah.... and the one for NetGalley.


I should probably go read something.

09 April 2015

Reading With John : Ghost Town at Sundown

It's been almost a full week since John finished Ghost Town at Sundown and we finally remembered to do Reading With John! Again, I wrote out some questions for him to answer based on the book:

Writing out his answers:

The Questions (& Answers):
1. How did Jack and Annie know the Magic Tree House was back?
Jack & Annie know the Magic Tree House [is back] because they see a long legged rabbit.

2. Where do they go this time?
The Magic Tree House takes them to Rattlesnake Flats or [a] ghost town.

3. Did you learn anything from the book?
I learned rustlers steal horses especially mustangs from a herder and leaves the slower ones behind.
[Karen's Note: When we were talking about the answer before he wrote it out he was much more detailed about how the young ones were abandoned and often left wandering about looking for their family because family is very important to mustangs.]

4. Cowboy Slim gave Jack & Annie cowboy nicknames based on personalities or traits. 
Give cowboy nicknames to two friends or family members and tell why they fit.
My dad's cowboy nickname would be Fluffy because he's fluffy. 
My dog's cowboy nickname would be Sleepy because she can't move.

Cleo Coyle's Roast Mortem

Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mystery series has been one of my absolute favorite set of "cozies." Coffee, New York City, baking, murder. What's not to love? Well, besides the occasional steamy moments I skim over in any book. And I'm not talking about the steam from an espresso machine ... although there's a lot of detailed info about coffee brewing and equipment and whatnot that, to be honest, I tend to skim over as well. After reading as many in the series as I have it gets a little "eh."
Roast Mortem is the ninth book in the series and, if you're going to read them at all, I highly suggest that they be read in order. I actually went against my usual rule about these things this past Christmas and skipped ahead to the twelfth for a book club read ... and it about killed me because so much had obviously happened between # 8 and # 12 that I was in the dark about. Never again!!!

It was a nice change of pace to have so much of the focus on Queens (which is highly under-represented in books that I've read) and to highlight the NYFD (although why equipment was invented for them for the book instead of just writing about what really gets used is totally beyond my comprehension).


Clare Cosi (the main character) has always had traits that I've found annoying and those remain ... as has my questioning of her choices when it comes to men ... and the not-so-occasional shake of my head at how she tends to respond to life in general ... and how if I met the character in real life we probably wouldn't hit it off (although I'd gladly become besties with some of the supporting cast!).


I can't help but wonder if maybe that skip ahead back in December was why I just wasn't "feeling" Roast Mortem the way that I have others in the series. I kept thinking to myself "yeah, yeah, yeah ... I know where this is going" with side-stories and character developments. Maybe I'll skip ahead to # 13 the next time I feel like continuing with the series. I did quite enjoy # 12. Well, except for being annoyed by Clare ... and skimming the coffee industry TMI ... and .......


07 April 2015

Teaser Tuesday # 8

The Meme

The Tease
(I love the decaf espresso name!)

The Book
Roast Mortem by Cleo Coyle
It's # 9 in the Coffeehouse Mystery Series.
If you love cozy mysteries and coffee you'd probably love this series!

Top Ten Tuesday : Characters I Wish I Could Check In With

Another TTT thanks to The Broke and the Bookish! This one wasn't real easy for me but, luckily, some books had multiple characters I wonder about so that helps to stretch it out some ;)

1 & 2 -- Rabbit & Alice Hatmaker from Kate Racculia's Bellweather Rhapsody

3 -- Sharyn McCrumb's Elizabeth MacPherson from one of my favorite series that is no longer being continued but had great titles like If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him...

4 -- Milo Gordon also from the Elizabeth MacPherson series

5 -- Jay Omega from Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun & Zombies of the Gene Pool

6 -- Harriet M Welsch from Harriet The Spy

7 -- Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently

8, 9 & 10 -- Rhyllan, Wren & Detective Crombie from Julia Hughes' Celtic Cousins' Adventures (which I wish was so much more than a trilogy!)

03 April 2015

Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle

I just couldn't get into Alias Hook and when I lamented as such on the Facebook page a friend recommended Diana Wynne Jones as my replacement "J" for my A to Z. Years and years ago I had read some of Jones' standalones but realized that I had never read Howl's Moving Castle!

That is no longer the case.

Oh my gosh what a wonderful book! Witches and wizards and demons and curses and love and magic and .... and I'm really quite glad that it took me until now to read it because I'm not quite sure I would have appreciated it enough if I had read it when I was younger and it first came out. In fact, now I'm wondering if I should go and re-read the books of hers that I HAD read when I was young to see if they're entirely new to me with some decades of life added. Funny how that can happen, isn't it?

01 April 2015

My April TBR

For the photo challenge I'm doing this month on Instagram today's prompt was April TBR (To Be Read). I figured I would share it here, too, in case you don't do Instagram ... and to give myself an extra reminder of what I want to try and read this month!
Five is typically a lot for me, but I'm about a third of the way through Howl's Moving Castle (and loving it), and from past experience I know I typically fly through the other authors at a pretty good clip.

We'll see how it goes!

What are YOU planning on reading this month?