The Monday Check-In ~ 6/11/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

Life.

I’m heading off on a journey this week, so this may be my last reliable post for a few weeks. Between some vacation-y travels and visits to family, I’ll be on the go for about three weeks. I’ll pop in when I can, but if you don’t see me around the blogosphere much — now you know why!

What did I read during the last week?

Dietland by Sarai Walker: An interesting read, but a little scattered and messy as well. It’s a great story, and I’m actually really enjoying the new AMC TV series adaptation.

Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg: Clever and funny. My thoughts are here.

A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer: Because I can’t seem to get enough Georgette Heyer. My review is here.

Quidditch Through the Ages by J. K. Rowling: I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Andrew Lincoln (who does an amazing job). My review is here.

And, in book group news — we finished our group read of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade! While I’ve read the book before, reading and discussing it with the group over the last several months has been a fun and eye-opening experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fresh Catch:

New books arrived this week:

I treated myself to a non-fiction guide to the world of Georgette Heyer, which looks like it’ll be so handy. I also finally gave in and bought myself copies of Mira Grant’s Parasitology books, so now I have zero excuses left for not reading these.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See: My book group’s June pick. I’ve read 30%, and I’m loving it so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire: I love this book so much. I’ve read it before, but thought I’d try the audio version as well, and I’m so glad I did. It’s narrated by the author, and it’s AMAZING.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and we have a long way still to go.
  • Starting another Lord John story! We’re beginning Lord John and the Haunted Soldier this week, a novella found in the Lord John and the Hand of Devils anthology.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 6/4/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

The Outsider by Stephen King: Awesome. Stephen King absolutely delivers in his ultra-disturbing new book. My review is here.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson: I finished the audiobook this past week. A fascinating look at the phenomenon of public shaming — why people do it, how the internet has made it so easy, and how people who have been shamed either move on, or don’t. Jon Ronson narrates the audiobook, and he’s terrific — he really brings his own curiosity to life, and lets us feel connected to the various people he highlights. Definitely worth either reading the print book or listening to the audio version.

Fresh Catch:

Ooh, such fun book mail this week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Dietland by Sarai Walker: After seeing commercials for the upcoming TV series, I just had to give the book a try. I’ve read about 75% — really enjoying it, and now I can’t wait to see how they translate it to TV.

Now playing via audiobook:

Quidditch Through the Ages: Narrated by Andrew Lincoln! His narration is really fun — but the book does seem to go on way longer than necessary.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

Finally, the final week for one of these two!

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Heading into the home stretch! We’ll be finished this week.
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and we have a long way still to go.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 5/28/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova: Moving contemporary fiction about lives changed by ALS. My review is here.

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth: Domestic drama set in an Australian suburban neighborhood. My review is here.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire: A ghost story from one of my favorite writers! The sequel comes out later this year, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next in the after-life of Rose Marshall, the ghostly prom girl who hitchhikes her way across highways, ghostroads, and between roadside diners everywhere.

In graphic novels, I read:

Runaways: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka: Such fun! It’s great to return to the world of Runaways. The story is in great hands with Rainbow Rowell, picking back up with the characters after a few years and setting up new adventures.

Fresh Catch:

Two non-fiction books arrived this week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Outsider by Stephen King: Just started! My library hold came in much sooner than expected, so it feels like a treat to be able to dive in this week.

Now playing via audiobook:

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson: I’m really enjoying this non-fiction book which examines the phenomenon of public shaming. Ronson is terrific as a narrator.

Book group reads:

It feels repetitive to list these week after week… except I really am reading them week after week!

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. The end is in sight!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and we have a long way still to go.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 5/21/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

Life.

 

I may be a little absent this week. I’m flying to the East Coast for a few days to celebrate a family graduation. Exciting times!

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

How To Walk Away by Katherine Center: Contemporary fiction with romance, tragedy, and even a little humor. My review is here.

Surface Tension by Mike Mullin: Action-packed YA fiction. My review is here.

How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger: A super-cute novella! My review is here.

In audiobooks, I finished:

Only Human (The Themis Files, #3) by Sylvain Neuvel: The fantastic wrap-up of an amazingly great trilogy. Check out my review, here.

Fresh Catch:

I didn’t buy any new books this week, although I did get this from the library. Looks like so much fun!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

I’m catching up on ARCs this week. My two priorities are:

  • The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
  • Every Note Played by Lisa Genove
Now playing via audiobook:

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson: Ronson is a fascinating writer, and does an excellent job of narrating his own works. I’m only a few chapters into this look at public shaming, but so far, it’s oddly compelling. I really enjoyed listening to The Butterfly Effect (about the unintended consequences of the availability of free porn) by Ronson last year.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

It feels repetitive to list these week after week… except I really am reading them week after week!

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and we have a long way still to go.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 5/14/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

Head On by John Scalzi: The follow up to his brilliant Lock In. My review is here.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whiltehead: A powerful book, to be discussed with my book group this coming week. Can’t wait to share thoughts with the group!

I also read two terrific novellas:

All Systems Red and Artificial Condition, books 1 & 2 of The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Great fun! My review is here.

Elsewhere on the blog:

I wrote about my weekend away at a surprise destination here. If you’re open to the idea of travel without tons of advance planning or information, this is a great way to see the country on a whim!

Fresh Catch:

The World of All Souls! This book is so pretty. It’s an illustrated reference guide to Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy. I’m so looking forward to looking through it and savoring it!

My adorable daughter sent me a copy of John Oliver’s Marlon Bundo book, which is just so perfect.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

How To Walk Away by Katherine Center: After all the sci-fi lately, I thought it might be good to switch things up with some contemporary fiction.

Now playing via audiobook:

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel: Book #3 of the Themis Files trilogy! I have an e-ARC of this book, but I decided to listen to the audiobook instead. The first two audiobooks in the trilogy were amazing, and this one is every bit as good so far.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and we have a long way still to go.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 5/7/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

Life.

I just got back last night from an amazing weekend in Denver, Colorado. Once I get a bit of rest and do my laundry, I’ll definitely share more about the trip.

What did I read during the last week?

I read two more books from Seanan McGuire’s super-fun InCryptid series:

  • Half-Off Ragnarok (#3): My review is here.
  • Pocket Apocalypse (#4): A little darker in tone, and quite a good story. Review to follow.

I also finished my audiobook re-read of Lock In by John Scalzi. Fantastic fun.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week. How unusual! Especially considering that I spent about a half-hour in a used book store and walked out empty-handed. (Can I help it if their sci-fi/fantasy shelves were pretty underwhelming?)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Head On by John Scalzi: I’m so excited to be starting the sequel to Lock In!

[Updated to add: I read almost the entire book by the time my plane landed! Thoughts to follow once I catch up on some sleep…]

Now playing via audiobook:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells: Okay, I just read this book about a month ago, but then there was a deal on the audiobook, and I thought it could be fun. I’m about halfway through (didn’t have time to listen while traveling this weekend), but I need to wrap this up so I can start…

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel: Book #3 of the Themis Files trilogy! I have an e-ARC of this book, but I loved the first two so much on audio that I decided to listen to this one as well. I’m so excited to finally be starting it.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and we have a long way still to go.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 4/30/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

 

Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2) by Seanan McGuire: Continuing with my compulsive reading of anything I can get my hands on by Seanan McGuire. My review is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Was by Ian McDonald: A haunting story of time travel, war, love, and missed connections. My review is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris: A choose-your-own adventure romance novel! Incredibly fun and funny. My reaction is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld: I’m not much of a short story reader, but I did really enjoy this collection. I really have no idea how to write a review of a book of short stories, so I’ll skip the actual review and just say that the stories held my attention, were often sadly funny (if that makes any sense), and felt like reading about average people who say and think the things most of us keep hidden in our brains. I’m glad I read it, and would like to give some of the author’s novels a try. (I’ve only read one of her books before now, Eligible, and I really had fun with it.)

 

 

Fresh Catch:

Two new books — so excited for both!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Yes, continuing onward with my new series obsession:

Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, #3) by Seanan McGuire: This series is silly and so hard to put down!

Now playing via audiobook:

Lock In by John Scalzi: Totally enjoying revisiting this story via audio… and as soon as I’m done, I’ll be starting the sequel, Head On.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week. I’m so glad I have the group to keep me motivated! This book is huuuuuuuge.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 4/23/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire: As I said to a friend recently, you can never have too much Seanan McGuire. This is book #1 in her InCryptid series — light, bubbly fun. My review is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Atrocities by Jeremy Shipp: A ghost story novella that starts off strong but petered out with a weird ending after a final third in which the story stopped making sense to me. Still, kudos to the author for the super creepy atmosphere of the bizarre, scary mansion and its odd, unreliable inhabitants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan: A moving, wonderful book, especially enjoyable in audio format. Just loved it. My review is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also read this past week:

I re-read the first two Binti books, then continued on with the newest (and final) book in the trilogy, The Night Masquerade. It’s an amazing, unusual, mind-expanding trilogy, beautifully written and unlike anything else I’ve ever read. Not to be missed!

Fresh Catch:

It’s the new Christopher Moore novel! I’m really excited to start it. Also new this week is the latest volume of the Angel ongoing comic series, now on season 11. (I’m accumulating the various Buffy and Angel volumes for season 11, but won’t be reading them until the entire season is done, so I can read them all in one big binge.)

I was also delighted to receive a copy of My Lady’s Choosing, courtesy of Quirk Books, and can’t wait to give it a try this coming week! (Also, yay for the mug!)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

I’m bouncing back and forth between two books:

Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2) by Seanan McGuire: See, I meant what I said about there being no such thing as too much Seanan McGuire!

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris: A choose-your-own adventure romance novel! So much fun.

Now playing via audiobook:

Lock In by John Scalzi: This is a re-read for me, although it’s my first time listening to the audiobook. With Wil Wheaton narrating, it should be loads of fun… and once I finish, I’ll be read to read the new sequel, Head On.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… and this week, it’s my turn to write chapter summaries. Wouldn’t you know it — my chapters are huge! I need to buckle down and get to work if I’m going to get my summary for today posted in time.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 4/16/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

Feedback by Mira Grant: Yes, another Newsflesh book! My review is here.

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman: Odd but weirdly compelling horror/western — my review is here.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells: I enjoyed the hell out of this novella (144 pages) about a security robot who overrides its control programming and starts to think for itself. Looking forward to #2!

Pop culture goodness:

I caught episode 1 of the new production of Howard’s End, and loved it!

I’ve never read the book, but now I think I need to!

And in less cultured news, my son and I went to see this last night, in all its big-screen gory glory:

SO much fun!

Fresh Catch:

No new books, but my Outlander season 3 DVD set arrived this week!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire: Because I can’t seem to get enough of this author! I decided to start her Incryptid series, despite the seriously cheesy book covers.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan: A book group book! The audiobook is really delightful — I’m at about 50%, and should wrap up just in time for our group discussion.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… so I’ll be reading Middlemarch for months and months to come.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 4/9/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel: My review is here.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: My (audiobook) review is here.

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs: Book # 5 in the awesome Alpha & Omega series. My review is here.

In children’s books:

I reviewed Chelsea Clinton’s two terrific picture books, here.

Also read & enjoyed:

  • The Walking Dead: Lines We Cross by Robert Kirkman: Volume 29 of the ongoing series
  • Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea by Seanan McGuire: An audio short, from the CarniePunk collection. Quite fun.

Fresh Catch:

I found someone selling books 1 – 10 of the October Daye series on EBay… and my box with all these beauties arrived this week!

Now I just need for #11 to get released in paperback.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Feedback by Mira Grant: Heading back into the Newsflesh world once again!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan: A book group book!

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week… so I’ll be reading Middlemarch for months and months to come.

So many books, so little time…

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