The Monday Check-In ~ 10/31/2022


My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.


Happy Halloween! I hope everyone’s planning to read some great BOOOOOOOOOKS today!

(Not) blogging.

I skipped most of my regular posts last week — I took a quick trip to the East Coast to visit family, and stayed offline for most of the time I was there. It was a pretty short visit, just four days, but it did give me some time to read, hang out with assorted relatives, and even view the gorgeous autumn leaves.

Sometimes it’s good to step away from blogging and email and other online distractions!

What did I read during the last (two) weeks?

The week before my trip, I decided to get through a bunch of short (1 – 2 hour) listens, rather than starting a new full-length audiobook.

These are the four I listened to — my write-up is here.

In terms of print and e-book reading since my last Monday check-in, it was quite a mix: Light romantic fluff, plus two heavier books.

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich: This was my book group’s book for October, and reactions were decidedly mixed. The writing is gorgeous, and the bookstore setting and wide variety of books mentioned within the story are wonderful… but elements left me confused, and the tone of the story ping-pongs from comedic to ripped-from-the-headlines serious. Rather than write a review, I shared a few impressions and some favorite passages, here.

The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau: Very fun romance, a follow-up to Donut Fall in Love (which is also great). My review is here.

Honor by Thrity Umrigar: Painful and powerful, impossible to put down or to forget. My review is here.

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto and Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos: Light reading while traveling. One was over-the-top but lots of fun, and the other was more or less a dud. My write-up of both is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Just busy catching up on all my ongoing TV viewing. What did everyone think of the finale of House of the Dragon?

I think I’m FINALLY going to start The Rings of Power this week. I watched the first episode back when it premiered, but haven’t gotten any further… so I think I’ll start all over again and then see how I feel about it.

I started season 3 of Derry Girls on the plane road home, but haven’t gotten very far. So fun to be back with the girls (and boy) for one final season!

Fresh Catch:

New books this week!

I’ve already read an ARC of Lavender House, but loved it so much that I just had to have a hard copy of my own! I ordered a signed edition via Poisoned Pen books, and it arrived this week (and is making me very happy).

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

When Franny Stands Up by Eden Robins: I attended a virtual book event two weeks ago celebrating Mary Robinette Kowal’s new book, The Spare Man, and when she was asked what books she’s loved recently, this was one of the ones she mentioned. I hadn’t heard of it before, but MKR’s recommendation was enough to make me want to check it out. I should be done in a day or two (unless life gets super hectic again).

Now playing via audiobook:

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi: I read this book back when it was released in the US in 2013, but now that I’ve watched the two seasons of the TV version (available on Netflix), I wanted to go back and listen to the book version again. The TV series is quite different in focus and approach — but both are great!

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

My on-going reads are getting a bit more under control!

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. This week: Chapters 70 and 71 (out of 155). Still a long way to go… but I’m loving the group discussions.
  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: I read this last year for the first time, and I’m joining the many fans who make reading this book an annual tradition each October. So much fun! There’s a chapter for each day of the month, and that means… today is the final chapter!! I’ve loved my reread of this amazing story, and can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen: My book group’s current classic read. I’ve read this several times already, but I’m always up for another go! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week, so this will be on my ongoing reading pile for the next few months.

So many books, so little time…


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