The Monday Check-In ~ 11/23/2020

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.

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is staying safe and planning low-key holiday celebrations. Enjoy your pie and turkey!

What did I read during the last week?

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: My book group book for November. Meh. Just a 3-star read for me. My review is here.

The Princes in the Tower by Alison WeirFascinating history. My review is here.

Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish: I listened to the audio version of these two actors’ fabulous Scottish adventure. My review (and a fun trailer) are here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished season 4 of The Crown, and loved it. But I’m sad that we’ve reached the end of this particular cast, as new actors will take over to portray the royals in seasons 5 and 6.

I’m also so happy that His Dark Materials is back! Season 2 is off to a great start.

Puzzle of the week:

Another fun one!

Fresh Catch:

It’s a new Seanan McGuire book! Always a reason to cheer.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab: I’ve read about 100 pages so far — dying to see what happens!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: I read this book earlier in 2020, but I happened to see that the library had the audiobook available to borrow, and I think revisiting this terrific trilogy sounds like a great idea!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 24, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs”.

Our current classic read is part 2 of Don Quixote. My book group is reading and discussing three chapters per week. I solemnly swear that I’m going to try my best to keep up!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/16/2020

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.

It’s amazing to have a week not dominated by election-related fear. Besides working, I was able to go on a few long walks, enjoy family time, and plan a few minor home improvements with my husband.

What did I read during the last week?

The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie: Really powerful and disturbing read. My review is here.

Mythos by Stephen Fry: A fabulous audiobook! My review is here.

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters: Light-hearted Regency romance. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

My new obsession is The White Queen on Starz. As of this writing, I have one episode left, and I have to force myself to go to sleep instead of staying up to an unreasonable hour just to finish. I love it. The cast is phenomenal, and I just can’t look away. I’m sure that I’m going to want to continue straight onward to The White Princess once I finish.

And by the way, this little book I picked up a few years ago has been invaluable! I’m not well-read when it comes to the War of the Roses and lines of descent, so I’ve kept this guide by my side through every episode:

See? TV is educational!

In other royal-related viewing, I’m so excited that the new season of The Crown is here! Can’t wait to dive in.

Puzzle of the week:

This one was hard work! It kept me good and occupied for a few days straight this week.

Fresh Catch:

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. (Desiderius Erasmus)

Okay, that’s not entirely true for me (I do buy food!), but it’s pretty darn close. I had some Amazon credits this week, and stumbled across books in their 3-for-2 sale, and well… just couldn’t resist.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: My book group book for November. I’ve just barely started, but I’m pretty intrigued so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish: You haven’t lived until you’ve listened to these two Outlander stars narrate their way along a whisky-infused road trip through Scotland. So much fun.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 23, “Return to Leoch”.

And dare I say it? It’s time for part 2 of Don Quixote. My book group is reading and discussing three chapters per week. Wish me luck!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/9/2020

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.

It’s a brand new day! What a week.

Finally, there’s reason to feel hopeful again.

What did I read during the last week?

Mort by Terry Pratchett: Book #4 in the huge Discworld series — probably my favorite so far! My review is here.

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian: An exciting medical thriller that I just couldn’t put down. My review is here.

The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes, #1) by Nancy Springer: A fun read, although I still prefer the Netflix version. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I’ve spent most of the past week watching the news 24/7… but managed to break away from time to time to watch a few more episodes of Supernatural and to start Succession. I’m not all that hooked on either one right now, but hey, at least they pass the time!

Puzzle of the week:

I actually did one! I’d taken a break, but this one was quick and fun (and gave me something else to focus on during a stressful week!).

Fresh Catch:

One new book, and it makes me so happy just to look at it!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie: I’m about halfway through, and don’t want to put it down! Creepy and haunting, and I’m dying to know what really happened!

Now playing via audiobook:

Mythos by Stephen Fry: This audiobook is great! I thought I’d finish during a long walk on Sunday… but we had really strong winds all day, so my walking and listening plans didn’t work out. Sigh.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 22, “Reckoning”. This chapter makes me SO uncomfortable.

My book group is also reading The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, so I need to make time to start it this week! (I read this back in my college days, but don’t expect me to remember anything beyond the basics at this point…)

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/2/2020

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.

Happy November! Is anyone else freaking out this week and staying awake with anxiety about the election?

Maybe a better question is — is anyone not?

What did I read during the last week?

A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong: Loved it! My review is here.

Of Noble Family (The Glamourist Histories, #5) by Mary Robinette Kowal: I loved this series so much, and can’t believe I’m done! My review is here.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth: Funny, haunting, creepy, unique! My review is here.

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob: Another terrific recommendation from my terrific daughter! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I got sucked into watching Virgin River, and while sometimes the plot was a little too sappy for me, I’m now obsessed with the location and scenery, and want nothing more than a cozy cabin along the side of that beautiful river. Question for anyone who’s read the books: Are they good? Would a reader who only-sometimes tolerates romance novels enjoy them?

Fresh Catch:

Thank you, lovely people at Orbit, for these two books that arrived this week!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Mort by Terry Pratchett: It’s a new month, which means it’s time for another Discworld book! I’m excited to be reading Mort — this is the one I hear the most good things about.

Now playing via audiobook:

Mythos by Stephen Fry: My daughter convinced me that I had to listen to this audiobook, and as usual, she was correct. Really liking it so far!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 21, “Une Mauvais Quart D’Heure After Another”. Uh oh. Another dramatic chapter to deal with.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 10/26/2020

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.

Work, walk, read, TV, sleep, repeat. What else is there to say? At least there are always books to break up the sameness!

What did I read during the last week?

Beloved by Toni Morrison: My book group’s book for October. Just as powerful and upsetting as I remembered, but a beautiful read. I’m glad to have had a reason for a re-read!

Valour and Vanity (The Glamourist Histories, #4) by Mary Robinette Kowal: I love this series so much! Only one more left. My review is here.

A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik: Dark, dark, dark. My review is here.

And finally, a trio of quick reads:

My mini-review post is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I watched Hunters (Amazon Prime) this week, and feel deep into a hole of obsessing about it. As of when I’m writing this post, I have two episodes left to watch, but have a feeling I’ll be staying up late to finish! Al Pacino is practically unrecognizable most of the time, but just as excellent as you’d expect. Talented cast, and really disturbing story.

Puzzle of the week:

None. Once I start a puzzle, I can’t stop, so I resisted the urge and focused on books instead. Not a bad choice, to be honest.

Fresh Catch:

More book splurging. But how am I supposed to have restraint when there are 3-for-2 deals? Here are my new books from this past week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong: A time-slip ghost story! I’m *this close* to finishing, and I’m loving it. Just too tired to commit to writing a review before my Monday post goes up… but it’ll be along shortly.

Now playing via audiobook:

Of Noble Family (The Glamourist Histories, #5) by Mary Robinette Kowal: The 5th and final book in the series! I’m going to be so sad when it’s over.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 20, “Deserted Glades”. Uh oh. If I remember correctly, bad things happen.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 10/19/2020

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.

The sun came back out this week, and it’s been glorious. Doing my best to walk every day!

What did I read during the last week?

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow: Beautiful and powerful. My review is here.

Murder by Other Means by John Scalzi: A really enjoyable Audible Original. My review is here.

Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker: This book is by Seanan McGuire, using a pen name that’s also the name of a character in her novel Middlegame — a character who wrote a book called Over the Woodward Wall, a bestselling children’s book that also secretly a guide to alchemy. Confused yet? I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Seanan McGuire book, but I didn’t particularly enjoy reading this. There are some clever bits, but mostly it feels like a journey to Wonderland, with lots of nonsensical elements and magical moments. It just never really came together for me, sad to say.

Pop culture & TV:

I finally got around to watching season 3 of The Crown, and ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would. It was a little jarring adjusting to the cast changes for this season, but they’re all so talented that it ended up being a great watch. Educational too — I find myself Googling details during every episode to find out more about the people and events. Can’t wait for season 4 to drop next month!

And in my lighter moments when I just need a quick and easy piece of entertainment, I’ve been watching The Legend of Korra. I didn’t care much for it at first, but it’s growing on me!

Puzzle of the week:

For a city dweller, I sure seem to be drawn to country settings. Here’s this week’s puzzle. Cows! Quilts! What more could I want?

Fresh Catch:

I’ve been splurging. So excited for my new books! Now I need time to read them.

 

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Beloved by Toni Morrison: My book group’s book for October. I read this book when it was first released, and still have my old hardcover edition! It’s been a long time, and I’m enjoying experiencing the beautiful writing all over again.

Now playing via audiobook:

Valour and Vanity (The Glamourist Histories, #4) by Mary Robinette Kowal: Onward with the series! These books are so good.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 19, “The Waterhorse”.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 10/12/2020

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.

Thinking about the election is kind of taking over all my brain cells, making it hard for me to read or concentrate on other things. Still, this was a favorite moment of the week:

I think every woman in the workworld can relate.

What did I read during the last week?

Equal Rites (Discworld, #3) by Terry Pratchett: Finally, a Discworld book that I really wholeheartedly enjoyed! My review is here.

I’m not quite sure why, but I ended up reading these three classic horror stories. My thoughts are here.

Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal: Finished the 3rd audiobook in the Glamourist Histories series, and will definitely be going on to #4 in the next week or so. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

After reading the play, my book group decided to watch the 2002 movie version of The Importance of Being Earnest this week. Fun, funny, a little strangely put together, but what a cast!

And… I finished Schitt’s Creek! Yes, I may have shed a few tears. Love this show so much.

Now what do I watch?

Puzzle of the week:

None! I got caught up in reading and watching the news, and just didn’t get around to starting a new puzzle at all. My eyes will probably thank me.

Fresh Catch:

Two new books this week — so excited for both!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow: It took me about three tries to actually get past the first few chapters, but that’s because of my overall sense of distraction, not any fault of the book’s. Now that I’ve made some progress, I’m really enjoying this tale of sisters, witches, and women’s rights.

Now playing via audiobook:

Murder by Other Means by John Scalzi: This is a sequel to the excellent The Dispatcher, and it starts with a bang. Literally. I’ve only listened to about 10% so far, but it seems great.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 18, “Raiders in the Rocks”.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That Give Off Autumn Vibes (2020 edition!)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Book Covers with Fall Colors/Vibes.

I just did a similar post last fall, so I’ll try not to repeat any books! When I think of autumn, I think of browns and oranges and yellows — so here are a selection of books from my shelves with cover colors in a fall palette.

What books make you think of autumn? Please share your TTT link!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 10/5/2020

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.

Life imitates art…

Anyway… what’s new in your neck of the woods? It’s been a quiet week here. Work, read, watch TV, repeat. Exciting, right?

What did I read during the last week?

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher: Super creepy horror, with a heaping helping of snark. My review is here.

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade: Fun, geeky, body-positive romance. My review is here.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: My book group’s classic read — so delightful.

Well Played by Jen DeLuca: Super fun audiobook. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I’m all caught up on The Boys. Season finale next week!

And… I’m thrilled that season 6 of Schitt’s Creek dropped early! Starting it tonight.

Puzzle of the week:

This puzzle makes me yearn for the day when we can travel again…

Fresh Catch:

Can’t wait to start!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

It’s Discworld time again! Reading book #3.

Now playing via audiobook:

Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal: I’m going back to the Glamourist Histories series for book #3. It’s so much fun.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 17, “We Meet a Beggar”.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 9/28/2020

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 not actually observing, and I haven’t fasted in years, but still…

Hope all who observe are having a meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast.

What did I read during the last week?

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell: This was a book group book, and I ended up loving it. My review is here.

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo. Terrific debut fiction. My review is here.

Snow Falling by Jane Gloriana Villanueva: A very silly audiobook treat for Jane the Virgin fans. (I thought it was great!). My review is here.

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren: Christina Lauren books are always great fun, and this holiday-themed romance (with a touch of Groundhog Day too) is no exception. My review is here.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke: This slim book is weird and wonderful. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished Avatar: The Last Airbender! You know what? It’s not just for kids — I really enjoyed it (and I’m glad my son convinced me to watch).

Who else watched Enola Holmes this week? Wasn’t it fun? I hope there’s a sequel in the works.

I also started watching The Boys, and despite the incredible amounts of gore, I’m liking it so far!

Puzzle of the week:

Two this week! First, a puzzle that my amazing daughter sent me for my birthday:

My 2nd puzzle is pretty much my dream cabin (minus the fish on the wall):

Fresh Catch:

New books this week — a trio of older books by Jenny Colgan:

Plus, I was thrilled to receive this advance copy from the publisher:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

What to read? I’m ready to start a new book — it’s between these two ARCs.

Flip a coin, maybe?

Coming soon:

Thursday will be October 1st, and that means it’s time for another Discworld book! I’m starting a new volume in the series on the 1st of each month. Coming up for October, book #3:

Now playing via audiobook:

Well Played by Jen DeLuca: I really enjoyed Well Met, and this sequel is off to a good start!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is re-reading Outlander! We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 16, “One Fine Day”.

It’s our 3rd and final week for our group read of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. So much fun!

So many books, so little time…

boy1