Random (but not really)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Books of August

Husband MaterialQuite a few audio books this month. One was our travel book, the others were my exercise / cleaning books.

I’ve had a lot of cleaning to catch up on.

Lots of rereads, but I did manage some new releases–including three books that were released in August. That rarely happens–I tend to put off reading new releases for no rational reason. But these were mostly cozy mysteries, and I was very much in the mood for cozies.

Plus Husband Material, which is not a cozy, but a rom-com is just as good. And it was Alexis Hall! HUZZAH!

I want to give props to That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf. You’ll not I only gave it a middling rating, but it was a bunch of stuff I don’t care for (fated mate, weird mating rituals, tentacles, and a LOT of sex) and I still really enjoyed it.

I was just a little weirded out by some of the boinking bits.

If you like cozy mysteries, I highly recommend Charlie Cochrane‘s Lindenshaw Mysteries. The first book I was a little meh on, but I’ve loved every book since.


Lock, Stock and Peril (2022) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) (8/10)
Death at the Deep Dive (2022) Josh Lanyon (Secrets and Scrabble) (7.5/10)
Purloined Poinsettia (2022) Dahlia Donovan (Motts Cold Case Mystery) (7/10)
Give Unto Others (2022) Donna Leon (Commissario Brunetti) (7/10)

Purloined Poinsettia

That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf (2022) Kimberly Lemming (Mead Mishaps) 7/10
Of Claws and Fangs (2022) Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock) (7/10)


Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter (2016) R. Cooper (8.5/10)
For Better or Worse (2017) R. Cooper  (8/10)
Husband Material (2022) Alexis Hall (London Calling) (8/10)
The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish (2021) Joanna Chambers (Winterbourne) (8/10)
The Turners by Cat Sebastian: The Soldier’s Scoundrel (2016) (7/10), The Lawrence Browne Affair (2017) 8/10


Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (2009) Dan Ariely (8.5/10)


The Rook, Audio Edition (2012) Daniel O’Malley narrated by Susan Duerden (10/10)
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith: Midnight Riot, Audio Edition (2012) (9.5/10), Moon Over Soho, Audio Edition (2011) (9/10), Whispers Under Ground (2012) (8.5/10)


Reading Challenge 2022 So FarI’ve only (only! HA!) read 160 books so far this year, but only 38% have been rereads, which is down from last year (and those rereads include 18 audio books (Almost all my audio books are rereads.) Plus, I’ve read 11 non-fiction books so far–I read only one last year. And that’s actually a decent pace for me for non-fiction, as I tend to read it much slower, and often go back and reread passages.

Plus, according to Goodreads I’ve read 1292% of my goal for the year!

(Yeah, goodreads numbers are off–but that 160 is the number of reviews I’ve written, so that’s the accurate number. (Except that I haven’t written reviews of a handful of books non-fiction I’ve read, but that’s a tale for another day.))


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Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Books of July

A Brides Guide to Marriage and MurderJuly was busy, and slipped past me when I wasn’t paying attention.

A fair amount of rereading this month, because I’ve been feeling extra vulnerable. But I did manage some new reads, including two new releases!

Dianne Freeman’s latest book, Countess of Harleigh, A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder is a series I’ve very much been enjoying and enjoyed this book as much as the previous ones. And I was finally able to borrow An Impossible Impostor from the library. I like this series, but not quite as much as the other, and Deanna Raybourn is popular enough I don’t fear that series ending any time soon.

Although it wasn’t one of my favorite books, I appreciated Andrew Grey’s Twice Baked for some of the twists it did NOT take.

Speaking of books that stuck with me, I reread Dahlia Donovan’s Sin Bin series, and was as drawn into as much this time as I was the first read—far more than the average rating I gave it, which had to do more with the need for editing and the inconsistencies that stemmed from that than anything else. These stories did all sorts of unusual things, including one book with an unflinching look at chemotherapy and dealing with cancer, and another book that was about a rescued man and the years it took him to recover himself (and the patience of the man courting him). Both of these stories faced difficult topics, but did so with sensitivity, and I deeply cared about what happened to the characters.

There were also some disappointing books, but the rereads made up for it.


An Impossible Impostor

Mystery, Historical

The Thief-Takers by Alissa Johnson
A Talent for Trickery (2015) 8.5/10, A Gift for Guile (2016) 8.5/10, A Dangerous Deceit (2017) 8/10
A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (2022) Dianne Freeman (Countess of Harleigh Mystery) 8/10
An Impossible Impostor (2022) Deanna Raybourn (Veronica Speedwell) 8/10


Renovated to Death (2022) Frank Anthony Polito
Murder in Pastel (2015) Josh Lanyon 7/10

Science Fiction

Fugitive Telemetry (2021) Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) 9.5/10


The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan
After the Scrum (2016) 8/10, The Wanderer (2017) 8/10, The Caretaker (2017) 7.5/10, The Botanist (2017) 7.5/10, The Royal Marine (2017), The Unexpected Santa (2017),
The Lion Tamer (2018) 7.5/10
Color of You (2017) C.S. Poe (A Lancaster Story) 7.5/10
Twice Baked (2019) Andrew Grey 7/10
The Cubby Hole: A Bear Camp Short (2022) Slade James 7/10

The House in the Cerulean SeaFantasy

The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020) TJ Klune 9/10

Non Fiction

Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History (2018) Catharine Arnold

Audio Books

Soulwood, Audio Edition by Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam
Flame in the Dark, Audio Edition (2017) 8.5/10, Circle of the Moon, Audio Edition (2019), Spells for the Dead, Audio Edition (2019) 7/10

I know I haven’t been doing stats recently, but as a quick update: I’m at 140 books for the year, which is a lot slower than the past several years, but that’s still 20 books a month. And I’m at about 35% rereads, which is down from last year where almost 50% of the books I read were rereads, which is possibly a sign I’m starting to feel a little better.



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Saturday, July 9, 2022

The Books of June

Monster, She WroteSlow reading month. Partially because we’ve been hiking and partially because I’m dealing with stuff-including medication changes (Ah, brain chemistry) that are messing with me.

I finally read Alexis Hall’s Prosperity series, which was wonderful. I’ll note that there are stories in the second book that really didn’t work for me (because: me), but overall it was just another reminder of how delightful Alexis Hall is.

I’m dropping Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series for awhile. Mostly because I got tired of the romantic triangle. I tend to dislike romantic triangles as a trope, so extending one over multiple books in a series is just: UGH.

For comfort I reread The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Because: Murderbot.

And I read another non-fiction book! Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (2019) Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson. This seems like the perfect book for Eric.


Prosperity series Alexis Hall
Prosperity (2018) 8/10, Liberty & Other Stories (2018) 7.5/10


Lancaster series C.S. Poe
Kneading You (2016) 8/10, Joy (2017) 9.5/10

ProsperityHistorical Romance

The Soldier’s Dark Secret (2015) Marguerite Kaye (Comrades in Arms) 8/10

Cozy Mystery

Hannah Swensen series Joanne Fluke
Fudge Cupcake Murder (2004), Sugar Cookie Murder (2004), Peach Cobbler Murder (2005)

Science Fiction

The Murderbot Diaries Martha Wells

Artificial Condition (2018) 10/10, Rogue Protocol (2018) 10/10, Exit Strategy (2018) 9.5/10, Network Effect (2020) 9.5/10

Non Fiction

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (2019) Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson 8/10

Audio Book

Shattered Bonds, Audio Book (2019) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (Jane Yellowrock) 8/10

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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Books of May

A Perilous PerspectiveI read an surprisingly wide variety of genres this week. And it was 2019 the last time I read so few books in a single month. But I did a fair amount of hiking and traveling in May, so I’m going to chalk it up to that (even if it isn’t that).

I’d also like to note THREE new release reads this month! And they were all enjoyable! (That’s actually not unexpected.) And only TWO rereads! (one of which was an audio book, and I can rarely listen to books I haven’t read before.)

I’m also slowly going through Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series–mostly borrowing from the library, because they’re nice, but they’re not fantastic.


Non Fiction

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Identity, and the Meaning of Sex (2020) Angela Chen 8/10
Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine (2021) Olivia Campbell


Historical Mystery

A Perilous Perspective (2022) Anna Lee Huber (Lady Darby Mystery) 8/10

The Vanishing Type 

Cozy Mystery

The Vanishing Type (2022) Ellery Adams (Secret, Book, & Scone Society) 7.5/10
Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke
Strawberry Shortcake Murder (2001); 7/10; Blueberry Muffin Murder (2002); Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (2003)


Science Fiction

All Systems Red (2017) Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) 10/10



Wrong Number, Right Woman (2020) Jae 7/10


Audio Book

Dark Queen, Audio Edition (2018) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (Jane Yellowrock) 8/10


Amongst Our WeaponsSupernatural Fantasy

Amongst Our Weapons (2022) Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London) 8/10


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Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Books of April

It’s been a strange month.

Homicide and Halo-HaloI mean, the past several years have been weird, but this was personal oddity as opposed to (gestures at everything)

But I read some books. (Of course I did.) Just fewer than I have in awhile. Which isn’t bad, since I did go hiking every weekend.

And, I even read some new to me books, as well as a book that was published this year.

Because I was having a difficult time, you can see comfort reads there. To be honest, I’m not sure I can tie together why I love these books so much, but these are the books I’ve reached for when I just needed to be enveloped in a book.

And if anyone can tell me what Come Unto These Yellow Sands, Banquet of Lies, Waiting for the Flood, and Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector all have in common that make me reach for them as comfort reads, I would be delighted for THAT analysis.


Come Unto These Yellow Sands (2011) Josh Lanyon 9/10
Homicide and Halo-Halo (2022) Mia P. Manansala  7/10

Waiting for the Flood
Historical Mystery

In a Treacherous Court (2011) Michelle Diener 8/10
Regency London by Michelle Diener: Emperor’s Conspiracy (2012) 8.5/10,
Banquet of Lies (2013) 9.5/10, A Dangerous Madness (2014) 8.5/10
Sins of the Cities by KJ Charles: An Unsuitable Heir (2017) 7.5/10, An Unnatural Vice (2017) 8.5/10, An Unseen Attraction (2017) 9/10

Supernatural Fantasy

Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector (2018) Nicole Kimberling  9.5/10


The Remaking of Corbin Wale (2018) Roan Parrish 8.5/10
Waiting for the Flood (2018) Alexis Hall  9/10


Women Warriors: An Unexpected History (2019) Pamela D. Toler 8/10

Audio Books

Within the Sanctuary of Wings: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Audio Version (2017) Marie Brennan narrated by Kate Reading 9/10
The October Man, Audio Version (2019) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Sam Peter Jackson 8.5/10


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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The Books of March

In the Labyrinth of DrakesI didn’t read quite as much as I have been, but sadly, it wasn’t because I was doing other fun things. I was just too scattered to focus, and have several books I was determined to finish, even thought they weren’t working for me.

Luckily, there were some good books in there!

After four years, I thought that Jane Steen‘s Lady Helena series wasn’t going to have another entry, but there was one, and I was delighted by it!

I started (and finished) Amy Lanes Hedge Witches Lonely Heart Club, which had a world building that pulled me in and kept me thinking. I had issues with a couple of things, but mostly I wanted to know what happened, and so I couldn’t stop reading.

I found Sadie Bosque’s An Agreement with the Soldier fascinating, because it it had so many bits that I thought were going to follow the well-worn trope path, but then: THEY TALKED! They used their words and talked! And it was marvelous!

And apparently I’m reading non-fiction again. I highly recommend No Man’s Land: The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain’s Most Extraordinary Military Hospital During World War I, because I remain gobsmacked this is something I knew nothing about.


Lady Odelias Secret

Historical Mystery

Lady Odelia’s Secret (2022) Jane Steen (Lady Helena Investigates) 8/10
A Sanctuary for Soulden (2021) J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry (The Lords of Bucknall Club) 8/10
Lessons in Trust (2018) Charlie Cochrane (Cambridge Fellows) 7.5/10



A Ghost of a Chance (2012) Josh Lanyon


Supernatural Fantasy

Hedge Witches Lonely Heart Club by Amy Lane: Shortbread and Shadows (2020) 7/10;
Portals and Puppy Dogs (2021) 7/10; Pentacles and Pelting Plants (2021) 7.5/10;
Heartbeats in a Haunted House (2022) 7.5/10;
Mistlefoe: A Mead Realm Tale (2021) Kimberly Lemming  7.5/10
Mysterious Charm by Celia Lake: Wards of the Roses (2019) 7/10, In the Cards (2019) 7/10
Whirlwind (2021) A. M. Rose (Daydream, Colorado) 7/10
Jane Yellowrock Short Stories Faith Hunter

No Mans Land



An Agreement with the Soldier (2021) Sadie Bosque (Necessary Arrangements) 8/10
Summer Makeover (2021) Kelly Fox  7/10
I’m So (Not) Over You (2022) Kosoko Jackson 7/10



No Man’s Land: The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain’s Most Extraordinary Military Hospital During World War I (2020) Wendy Moore 9/10
Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics (2014) Kathryn J. Atwood 4/10


Audio Books

In the Labyrinth of Drakes: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Audio Book (2016) Marie Brennan narrated by Kate Reading 9/10
Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam
Curse on the Land (2016) (Soulwood) 8.5/10; Jane Yellowrock:
Shadow Rites Audio Book (2016), 8/10
Cold Reign, Audio Book (2017) 7/10

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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Books of January (2022)

What did I read in January? Unsurprisingly, a whole lotta books. Let me tell you about them!

The Missing PageI seem to have been in the mood for mysteries, devouring a lot of cozies, including several new releases.

I’ve been a fan of Cat Sebastian for awhile, so I was delighted to see that she had another book in her Page & Summers series. Note it was a 2022 publication and I actually read it the week it was published. I also read the second Pentecost & Parker mystery, which was also good, although in a very different way, since the two are private investigators, and the story is set post WWII rather than post WWI.

I’ve also started a new Ellis Peters series. It was (at the time) a contemporary, and quite different from her Brother Cadfael series, but I’ll read another.

I’m all caught up on Charlie Cochrane’s Lindenshaw Mysteries, and very much enjoyed this cozy series. One partner is a teacher, the other in the police, and the ways Adam gets pulled into Robin’s cases is not utterly ridiculous. I’ve just started her older, historical series. It’s not quite as good as the Londenshaw series, but I did enjoy it.

I finally read the final Inspector Montalbano book. He had written it years earlier, and instructed his agent it was to be published only after his death. It is truly the final Montalbano story.

Valor Wands
Comics were more miss than hit this month, although I thoroughly enjoyed Valor: Wands, the second book in that series.

Finally, I want to mention Lissa Kasey’s Reflections on a Curse, which is part of an existing series, but can be read on its own. It’s set during the (continuing) pandemic, but I thought it was handled well. It’s also a story I read a segments after finally joining the Patreon community.

And if you don’t want to count–I read 33 books in January, which is a new high for the month. But to be fair that was 30% novellas and short stories.

Historical Mystery

The Missing Page (2022) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) 8.5/10
Murder Under Her Skin (2021) Stephen Spotswood (Pentecost and Parker) 8/10
Lessons in Love (2008) Charlie Cochrane (Cambridge Fellows) 7/10
Death and the Joyful Woman (1961) Ellis Peters (The Felse Investigations)


And Everything Nice (2016) Ada Maria Soto 9/10
Jericho Candelario’s Gay Debut  (2018) R. Cooper 9/10
Christmas Wish List (2021) N.R. Walker (Hartbridge Christmas) 7.5/10
In the Winter Woods
Frog (2012) Mary Calmes
Life Saving Dal (2017) Ada Maria Soto
The Boy Next Door (2017) Josh Lanyon


The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories (2015) Ian Rankin 9/10
Lindenshaw Mysteries by Charlie Cochrane: Jury of One (2016) 8/10, Two Feet Under (2018) 8/10, Old Sins (2019) 7.5/10, A Carriage of Misjustice (2020) 8/10
Riccardino (2020/2021) Andrea Camilleri translator Stephen Sartarelli (Inspector Montalbano) 8/10
The Mystery of the Spirits (2021) C.S. Poe (Snow & Winter) 8/10
In the Winter Woods (2020) Isabelle Adler 7/10
The Postscript Murders (2021) Elly Griffiths (Harbinder Kaur) 7/10
Christmas Dessert Murder (2021) Joanne Fluke (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)
Stranger in the House (2019) Josh Lanyon

Historical Romance

Something Fabulous (2022) Alexis Hall (Something Fabulous) 7/10
A Marriage of Equals (2021) Elizabeth Rolls 7/10
An Irregular Arrangement (2021) A. L. Lester (Border Magic)
Mr Warren’s Profession (2017) Sebastian Nothwell

Witch Hat Atelier 1
Supernatural Fantasy

Reflection of a Curse (2022) Lissa Kasey (Romancing a Curse) 8/10
Conventional Shadows (2022) Lissa Kasey (A Simply Crafty Paranormal Mystery) 7/10
Threshold (2013) Jordan L. Hawk (Whyborne & Griffin) 7/10

Graphic Novel

Valor: Wands (2018) Isabelle Melançon, Megan Lavey-Heaton 8.5/10
Death Wins a Goldfish: Reflections from a Grim Reaper’s Yearlong Sabbatical (2019) Brian Rea 7/10
Witch Hat Atelier 1 (2017/2019) Kamome Shirahama
Moonstruck Volume 1: Magic to Brew (2018) Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, Kate Leth

Audio Books

Broken Soul (2014) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (Jane Yellowrock) 8/10

Written by Michelle at 7:23 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
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