Shelf Control #304: The Deadly Hours by Susanna Kearsley, C. S. Harris, Anna Lee Huber, and Christine Trent

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The Deadly Hours
Author: Susanna Kearsley, C. S. Harris, Anna Lee Huber, Christine Trent
Published: 2020
Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A stellar line-up of historical mystery novelists weaves the tale of a priceless and cursed gold watch as it passes through time wreaking havoc from one owner to another. The characters are irrevocably linked by fate, each playing a key role in breaking the curse and destroying the watch once and for all.

From 1733 Italy to Edinburgh in 1831 to a series of chilling murders in 1870 London, and a lethal game of revenge decades later, the watch touches lives with misfortune, until it comes into the reach of one young woman who might be able to stop it for good.

How and when I got it:

I picked up a paperback copy as soon as it was released, back in 2020.

Why I want to read it:

Basically, as soon as I heard that there was a book being released that included Susanna Kearsley as one of the authors, I knew I had to have it.

Susanna Kearsley is one of my go-to favorite authors, and I haven’t regretted reading (or buying) a single one of her books yet! And while I haven’t read anything by the other authors who contributed to this book, I’ve heard good things about all of them.

As for the book itself, I like the sound of interconnected stories focusing on a watch that gets handed down through generations, and I’m curious about the curse, what it is, and how it might be broken. Plus, I’d love to see how the four different authors’ pieces work together, and whether it feels like one coherent whole.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 1/24/2022

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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 had another busy week, but I’m taking a day off today to get through a few projects, including taking bags and boxes of books to donate at our library’s donation center (which is by appointment only since COVID started). I did a big purge of books I don’t feel like I need to hold onto, and it feels good to see some space on my shelves again! Although, I have a feeling that extra space won’t last long.

Over the weekend, my book group zoomed with William Kent Krueger, the author of Ordinary Grace (our discussion book for January). He was charming and gracious and insightful — such a lovely experience (and a wonderful book).

What did I read during the last week?

Stormsong and Soulstar by C. L. Polk: Books 2 and 3 in the Kingston Cycle trilogy. I read both mainly because getting through this trilogy was a reading goal of mine — but sadly, I was underwhelmed.

In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo: I really enjoyed this contemporary novel about women’s friendship over the years. My review is here.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden: A beautiful book to give or receive as a gift! My write-up is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Well… I ended up watching all six episodes of White Lotus this week… and even though it was hard to look away, by the end I wished I could unsee parts of it. Super cringey. I doubt I’ll watch season 2.

To cleanse my brain a bit, I’ve been watching episodes of Ghosts (BBC), and it’s very charming. I’m only on season 1 so far. It’s sweet!

Puzzle of the Week:

My current puzzle is in progress — another pretty one from Eeboo!

Fresh Catch:

Some beautiful new books this week! Two from Subterranean Press:

Plus, I treated myself to a book that Kim at Traveling in Books mentioned:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo: I’m loving this LGBTQ+ YA novel set in San Francisco in the 1950s.

Now playing via audiobook:

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix: I’ve been meaning to get to this book ever since it came out — the only one of this author’s books that I haven’t read yet. I’m just getting started, but I’m liking it so far.

Ongoing reads:

My slow but steady, spread-out-over-time reading:

Shit Cassandra Saw by Gwen E. Kirby: I rarely read short stories, but I’m making an exception for this bizarre and totally awesome collection! I’m trying to read one or two stories per day, which seems to be a pace that works for me.

I bought copies of the MinaLima editions of the first two Harry Potter books, but haven’t actually looked through them at all yet… and that needs to change! So, I’ve taken this pretty edition off my shelf, and my plan for now is to read one chapter per day, taking my time to enjoy all the pretty artwork and design elements. And hey, it’s never a bad time for a re-read of HP!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #303: The Touch by Colleen McCullough

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The Touch
Author: Colleen McCullough
Published: 2003
Length: 624 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Not since “The Thorn Birds” has Colleen McCullough written a novel of such broad appeal about a family and the Australian experience as “The Touch.”At its center is Alexander Kinross, remembered as a young man in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boilermaker’s apprentice and a godless rebel. But when, years later, he writes from Australia to summon his bride, his Scottish relatives quickly realize that he has made a fortune in the gold fields and is now a man to be reckoned with.

Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, the sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discovers to her dismay that he frightens and repels her. Offered no choice, she marries him and is whisked at once across a wild, uninhabited countryside to Alexander’s own town, named Kinross after himself. In the crags above it lies the world’s richest gold mine.

Isolated in Alexander’s great house, with no company save Chinese servants, Elizabeth finds that the intimacies of marriage do not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life — or even his present one. She has no idea that he still has a mistress, the sensual, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan, whom Alexander has established in his town, nor that he has also made Ruby a partner in his company, rapidly expanding its interests far beyond gold. Ruby has a son, Lee, whose father is the head of the beleaguered Chinese community; the boy becomes dear to Alexander, who fosters his education as a gentleman.

Captured by the very different natures of Elizabeth and Ruby, Alexander resolves to have both of them. Why should he not? He has the fabled “Midas Touch” — a combination of curiosity, boldness and intelligence that he applies to every situation, and which fails him only when it comes to these two women.

Although Ruby loves Alexander desperately, Elizabeth does not. Elizabeth bears him two daughters: the brilliant Nell, so much like her father; and the beautiful, haunting Anna, who is to present her father with a torment out of which for once he cannot buy his way. Thwarted in his desire for a son, Alexander turns to Ruby’s boy as a possible heir to his empire, unaware that by keeping Lee with him, he is courting disaster.

The stories of the lives of Alexander, Elizabeth and Ruby are intermingled with those of a rich cast of characters, and, after many twists and turns, come to a stunning and shocking climax. Like “The Thorn Birds,” Colleen McCullough’s new novel is at once a love story and a family saga, replete with tragedy, pathos, history and passion. As few other novelists can, she conveys a sense of place: the desperate need of her characters, men and women, rootless in a strange land, to create new beginnings.

How and when I got it:

I’ve had a battered paperback on my shelf for years — I don’t remember specifically buying this book, but I’m guessing it came from a library sale at some point in the last 10 years.

Why I want to read it:

I’m sure I picked this book up solely based on the fact that it’s by Colleen McCullough. I will never forget the experience of reading The Thorn Birds for the first time! Since then, I’ve only read one other book by her, but once again, I was impressed by her ability to bring Australia to life on the page and to create such dynamic characters and epic plots.

In terms of The Touch, it sounds grand and sweeping and tragic — just how I like my historical fiction! I’m glad I just stumbled across my copy while reorganizing my shelves. It was a good reminder that (a) I own this book and (b) I do intend to read it!

The only other book I’ve read by Colleen McCullough is Morgan’s Run (published in 2000), but I’d welcome other recommendations!

And as for The Touch

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 1/17/2022

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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 took a day off this past Friday, for no real reason except that I was about to max out on my vacation time at work — so with the MLK holiday today, that’s a 4-day weekend! What did I do with it, you may ask? Slept in, enjoyed the lovely weather by reading outside and going for walks, and random projects around my house.

So, not much different than any other weekend over the past two years… but it was nice to rest and have no pressure for two extra days!

What did I read during the last week?

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski: This was a re-read for me, and honestly, I liked it a lot more this time around! This is the first novel in the Witcher series, and there’s a lot to take in. I’m glad I re-read it — I feel more prepared to continue the series at this point.

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris: This slim hardcover is a fairy tale retelling, full of beautiful writing and gorgeous black and white illustrations. And yet, it felt as though the story went over my head. It just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, which was disappointing.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood: A really fun contemporary romance! My review is here.

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz: I had high hopes for this story about a woman determined to study medicine in 1800s Edinburgh… but my expectations didn’t exactly pan out. My review is here.

The Wedding Setup by Sonali Dev: A sweet short story, free via Amazon Prime (Kindle and Audible editions).

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger: My book group’s pick for January — wonderful and moving. Review to follow.

Pop culture & TV:

I’m so sad that the excellent TV series adaptation of The Expanse has now aired its finale! The ending was satisfying, but also frustrating since there are another four books in the series, so I wish the show had continued as well. If anyone hasn’t tried it yet and is looking for a great show to binge, don’t miss this one!

I’m sharing the trailer for season 1, although it’s funny seeing it and realizing just how much the show evolved and changed over six seasons.

In other viewing news, I finished Station Eleven. I’m still puzzling out how I felt about it, but overall, I’m really impressed by the thoughtfulness of the production. Now I’m feeling like I should go back and re-read the book, since I don’t remember many of the details (and I believe the TV version made quite a few changes.)

Puzzle of the Week:

Another really pretty puzzle from Eeboo (title: Urban Gardening). Fun and a good challenge!

Fresh Catch:

One new book this week — I stumbled across a Q&A with the author, and had to buy myself a copy:

Isn’t that an awesome cover? This is a short story collection, and it sounds amazing.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Stormsong by C. L. Polk: Continuing the Kingston Cycle books!

Now playing via audiobook:

In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo: I’ve listened to about half of this book so far. It’s a story about friendship between military wives, centered around a book club, and I like what I’ve heard up to this point.

Ongoing reads:

One of my casual goals for 2022 is to spend some time with the pretty art books and coffee table books that I’ve picked up over the years. I have several that I’ve never done more than just glance at. This book is one that I bought more recently, after doing a series of jigsaw puzzles based on it. It looks lovely, so I think I’m going to keep it on my nightstand and look through it a few pages at a time over the next few weeks.

This week’s update: Almost halfway! The book is a journal covering one year, and I’ve read up through May.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #302: Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Here and Now and Then
Author: Mike Chen
Published: 2019
Length: 336 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

How and when I got it:

This is yet another book that’s sitting in my Kindle library — I must have added it a couple of years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I actually have three books by this author on my Kindle!! So, apparently I really like the sound of his stories… but just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet.

In terms of Here and Now and Then… well, guess how I feel about time travel fiction?

I love the plot idea of a time traveler getting stuck in the wrong time — and the fact that this happens in 1990s San Francisco is a big plus for me! I’m intrigued by the main character’s dilemma, having to balance the needs of two different families in two different time periods. Reading the synopsis after some time has passed since I first came across this book, I’m hooked all over again! Clearly, this needs to be a priority book for me in 2022.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 1/10/2022

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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 birthday to my amazing, lovely, funny daughter! I wish I could be with her to celebrate… but here’s hoping our next visit isn’t too far in the future.

What did I read during the last week?

Shipped by Angie Hockman: Light romance with a fun setting. My review is here.

Getaway by Zoje Stage: Superb thriller set in the Grand Canyon. Gives me chills to even think about it! My review is here.

Witchmark by C. L. Polk: The first in a fantasy trilogy. My review is here.

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire: The 7th book in the always terrific Wayward Children series. My review is here.

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle: YA graphic novel – a fun, fast read.

Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky: A brilliant blending of science fiction and fantasy. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Nothing super special this week — just more episodes of the ongoing shows I’m currently watching (Claws, The Expanse, This Is Us, black-ish), and I watched a couple episodes of a few different streaming shows, including The Great, Station Eleven, and Ghosts (the British version).

Fresh Catch:

I didn’t buy books this week, but I did indulge myself with a little book-adjacent treat:

Yup, those are three Funko Pops characters from Pride & Prejudice & Zombies which, I’m not ashamed to say, is one of my very favorite Austen adaptations!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski: This is a re-read for me — I decided I wanted to get back into the Witcher series, but before I can move forward, I need a refresher on this book and the next.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood: Cute so far! And I really like that it’s about a woman pursuing a STEM career.

Ongoing reads:

One of my casual goals for 2022 is to spend some time with the pretty art books and coffee table books that I’ve picked up over the years. I have several that I’ve never done more than just glance at. This book is one that I bought more recently, after doing a series of jigsaw puzzles based on it. It looks lovely, so I think I’m going to keep it on my nightstand and look through it a few pages at a time over the next few weeks.

This week’s update: This book is organized by month, and so far I’ve read all of January! The illustrations are beautiful, and I’m enjoyed the diary entries about the natural world, but to be honest, there’s a bit too much poetry included. (I lack an appreciation for poetry, sad to say).

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #301: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)
Author: Ada Palmer
Published: 2016
Length: 433 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer–a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labeling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world’s population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural competition is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.

And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition about three years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been keeping my eye on this series ever since I first stumbled across it. Now complete, with four books in total, I have fewer excuses for not starting!

The series overview, from the publisher’s website:

Just this week, I shared my series reading goals for 2022, and I didn’t think to include this one — but I do still intend to get to these books. I’m intriguing by the sound of the world and the political structures, and want to know more about the conspiracy and the special child.

What do you think? Would you read this book (and/or the series)?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 1/3/2022

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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 New Year! Wishing one and all a joyful, happy, and healthy 2022!

Reading and blogging:

A new year means a new Goodreads challenge! Here’s my 2022 goal:

I’m intentionally setting my goal slightly lower than my 2021 goal and final reading numbers. I know I have some BIG books on my to-read list for 2022, and I want to be able to take my time!

Wrapping up 2021:

Weirdly, a book I finished on December 31st isn’t included in this Goodreads summary, but close enough, I guess! And I always appreciate GR’s little words of encouragement:

Also, over the weekend, I posted a list of the series I’m hoping to get to in 2022 (you can see it here), and see below (under “ongoing reads”) for a quasi-goal I have about actually enjoying and spending time with some of my pretty, decorative books this year.

What did I read during the last week?

Read and reviewed:

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti: I loved this powerful novel! My review is here.

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer: A light holiday read. My review is here.

The Unfamiliar Garden (The Comet Cycle, #2) by Benjamin Percy: A relatively short but very intense (and somewhat icky) science fiction thriller. My review is here.

Also read (but no review):

The Scenic Route by Nnedi Okorafor: A fun short story set in the world of Akata Witch and Akata Warrior. With the next book (Akata Woman) coming out this month, it was great to reconnect with a couple of the characters.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers: I didn’t get a chance to write a proper review, but this novella was a 5-star read for sure! It’s beautifully written and thoughtful, but with moments of humor too. Can’t wait for the follow-up book, to be released later in 2022.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished watching Wheel of Time, and my overall reaction is.. meh. Some interesting concepts and sequences, but the episodes for the most part felt really, really slow. And I was confused by some of the interpersonal relationships — for example, a hook-up in episode 7 that seemed to come out of the blue between two characters with zero chemistry, except I think we were meant to believe that there had been building attraction, maybe?

I’m wondering — should I bother with the books? Or just wait for season 2, whenever that might be, and leave it as a viewing entertainment only?

In other streaming/watching entertainment, my son and I really enjoyed Don’t Look Up on Netflix, and finished The Witcher, season 2 (which does make me want to pick up the books again).

Puzzle time:

Spending the week at home gave me plenty of time for puzzles!

This is another terrific one from Eeboo — it’s called Ancient Apothecary, and was a lot of fun.

Fresh Catch:

I didn’t intend to buy any more books this week, but since I just happened to stop by my favorite local bookstore this week, I couldn’t walk away empty handed! I found this used hardcover for sale, in excellent condition:

I do already own a paperback edition, but it’s quite beat-up and tattered by now, so this feels like a special find!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Shipped by Angie Hockman: I don’t remember buying this — there must have been a Kindle price drop that enticed me — but anyway, it popped up on my home screen over the weekend and I decided to give it a try. Very standard lightweight romance material, but at least it’s going fast!

Now playing via audiobook:

Getaway by Zoje Stage: This story of a Grand Canyon hike gone wrong is terrifying. I think I have about an hour’s worth of listening to go.

Ongoing reads:

One of my casual goals for 2022 is to spend some time with the pretty art books and coffee table books that I’ve picked up over the years. I have several that I’ve never done more than just glance at. This book is one that I bought more recently, after doing a series of jigsaw puzzles based on it. It looks lovely, so I think I’m going to keep it on my nightstand and look through it a few pages at a time over the next few weeks.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #300: Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Deep Secret
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Published: 1997
Length: 384 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Rupert Venables is a Magid.

It’s a Magid’s job to oversee what goes on in the vast Multiverse. Actually, Rupert is really only a junior Magid. But he’s got a king-sized problem. Rupert’s territory includes Earth and the Empire of Korfyros. When his mentor dies Rupert must find a replacement. But there are hundreds of candidates. How is he supposed to choose? And interviewing each one could take forever.

Unless…

What if he could round them all up in one place?

Simple!

How and when I got it:

I bought a used copy online, many years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I feel like my reading has a big gaping hole where Diana Wynne Jones books should be! I’ve read so much about her, her work, and her influence on fantasy writing and writing for younger readers. But sadly, the only one of her books that I’ve read is Howl’s Moving Castle (and I don’t think I fully appreciated it, since I listened to the audiobook and found the narrator irritating.)

A book group friend of mine recommended this book years ago — and if I remember correctly, I believe she said that this is a book that she returns to again and again. I know she has amazing taste in books, so that was enough to get me to pick up a copy!

I’ve had this book, as well as the author’s Dalemark and Chrestomanci books, on my to-read list for far too long, and I think it’s about time that I make a point of reading at least one of them!

What do you think? Have you read this book? Have you read other books by Diana Wynne Jones, and if so, which do you recommend?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 12/27/2021

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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 hope everyone who celebrated had a lovely Christmas!

I have this week off from work, and with no travel plans, I’m looking forward to long days of reading, doing odds and ends around the house, sleeping in, doing some TV binges, and — if the weather gods cooperate — getting out for some nice long walks. I guess that’s what passes for excitement these days!

What did I read during the last week?

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar: I finished this novella at the end of last week, but just now got around to writing a review — see it here.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun: Sweet, touching, contemporary romance set in the world of a reality dating show. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

So much TV! I’m watching a bunch of shows airing their current seasons (The Expanse, Claws, Yellowstone, Yellowjackets), I’m about halfway through the new season of The Witcher, and I’ve just started Wheel of Time. Nice to know I’ll never run out of options for what to watch!

Puzzle time:

I finally got back to jigsaw puzzles! This one was lots of fun:

It’s called Jane Austen’s Book Club, and the women here are supposed to be Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, and George Eliot. The puzzle is by Eeboo (a woman-owned company), and I have a few more of theirs to tackle next.

Fresh Catch:

I had an Amazon gift card, so I treated myself to this special, beautiful book:

It arrived sealed in plastic wrap, and I’m almost afraid to touch it! It’s so pretty. I’d been planning to do a LOTR re-read in 2022, and this will definitely keep me motivated!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti: Ooh, I really like this novel! I am *this close* to finishing… should have a review up shortly.

Next up will be:

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord: Looks like a fun book for the end of the year.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer: Too many rainy days this past week = not enough days to get out for walks = not enough time spent listening to audiobooks! I’m enjoying this fun Hanukkah romance, but just haven’t had time to finish yet. Soon, I hope!

Ongoing reads:

None at the moment! After a few weeks of will-she-won’t-she pondering, I’ve decided to say good-bye to Doctor Zhivago. I made it through about 35%, and just couldn’t sustain my interest. In fairness, I suspect this had more to do with the pace than with the book itself. My book group has been reading this in small chunks, twice per week, for months now, and I was never able to feel a sense of continuity… and I suppose I could have gone ahead at my own speed, but after falling behind the group schedule, I couldn’t motivate myself to pick up the book again.

Maybe I’ll just watch the movie instead?

So many books, so little time…

boy1