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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The Monday Check-In ~ 4/2/2018

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?

I’ve reached the end of my October Daye series binge. I’ve loved every moment, but now I’m a bit heartbroken that I’m all caught up and have to wait until September for the next new book. You can read my thoughts on the final book (so far), The Brightest Fell, here. Warning: Lots of spoilers in the post!

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich: I finished the audio version of my book group’s March pick. My thoughts are here.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian: A new release from March — my review is here.

Fresh Catch:

I just got my Kindle edition of Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear, the newly released sequel to Karen Memory (which was awesome!).

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel: This mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein is off to a great start!

Now playing via audiobook:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: The audiobook is narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA. And if you think that sounds like it would be awesome to listen to, you’d be right! I’m about half-way through, and loving it 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… 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 ~ 3/26/2018

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?

No big surprise here — I’ve been continuing my madly obsessed reading of the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire.

I read two more novels:

… and two related stories:

Check out my posts about:

Pop culture goodness:

Santa Clarita Diet is back! I watched all 10 episodes of season 2 over the weekend. That show is so funny, so gross, and so bonkers. I love it… but now I have that post-binge letdown, knowing it’ll be another year until I get more. Here’s hoping there will be a season 3!

Sorry about the blood spatters! This is not a show for the squeamish.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week! Although I did get a bit carried away with pre-ordering and EBay shopping…

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Yup, more October Daye. With tears in my eyes, I’m starting the 11th book in the series, The Brightest Fell, knowing that after this, I’ll be all caught up and will have to wait for the next new release in September!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich: This is a book group book. So far, I’m enjoying the story (set in 16th century Venice), but the narrator is driving me a bit mad. Hopefully, the plot will remain interesting enough to see me through.

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 ~ 3/19/2018

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 back! My husband and I just spent five glorious days in gorgeous Bora Bora in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. Sunshine, crystal blue water, and utter relaxation. Sigh. It’s a little tough to return to reality.

What did I read during the last two weeks?

Since I skipped last week’s Monday Check-in, I have two weeks’ worth of reading to report in on. Not surprisingly, I spent a lot of time reading while on vacation. (Thank heavens for husbands who read too!) As I’m in the middle of a series obsession, pretty much everything I read was from the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire:

I just can’t stop reading these books. I’m so in love with the world and the characters, and there’s just no hope for me until I’m completely caught up. Eight books down, three to go! Check out my thoughts on books 5 – 7 and book 8, plus comments on short stories from the Toby-verse too.

Fresh Catch:

I purchased a copy of the hardcover edition of Mira Grant’s Final Girls, which I’d read previously as an e-book.

The hardcover is a signed, limited edition, and I love it.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

No big shocker here — onward I go with October Daye! I’m now on book #9, A Red-Rose Chain.

Now playing via audiobook:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: I’m close to the end of the audiobook, and to be honest, I’m not especially loving it. Maybe it’s the audio format, or maybe it’s the fact that the story doesn’t have the magic for me that it did when I was a child — either way, listening to the audiobook has been an okay but not great experience.

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 ~ 3/5/2018

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, and a programming note:

I’ll be offline for about a week or so starting later this week. No blogging, no email, no social media… but I’m sure there will be plenty of reading. I’ll be back with my next Monday Check-in on March 19th.

What did I read last week?

Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant: I loved this story collection, which is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh series. My review, including a description of each story in the collection, is here.

The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer: This Heyer book is particularly silly, but lots of fun. My thoughts are here.

And my newest obsession, the October Daye series:

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire: Loving this urban fantasy series! Check out my thoughts on this book (#3), as well as the previous book, A Local Habitation (#2), here.

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire: October Daye, #4 — because I JUST CAN’T STOP. My review is here.

Fresh Catch:

I read the Alex + Ada graphic novels a while ago via the public library, and decided to treat myself to a deluxe edition of the trilogy. It’s gorgeous.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

I mentioned I’m obsessed, right? I can’t seem to read anything but October Daye right now. I’m currently reading One Salt Sea, the 5th book in the series. Considering there are 11 novels published so far, I still have quite a way to go… but I don’t see myself stopping until I’m all caught up.

Now playing via audiobook:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle: It’s been such a long time since I last read A Wrinkle in Time… and before the movie comes out seems like the perfect time to revisit the story. The audiobook is quite fun 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!
  • Starting today: My book group’s newest classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot. This is one of those books that I’ve always thought I should read, but could never bring myself to actually start. Hurray for book groups! Sometimes, a book group read is exactly what’s needed for those “should read” books.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 2/26/2018

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 last week?

Blackout by Mira Grant: Book 3 in the Newsflesh trilogy!!! I love these books so much. Check out my series wrap-up post, here.

Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange: Just okay. My Goodreads review:

A quick, light read, retelling Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view. As the events match up with the plot in P&P, there are no surprises, and I didn’t find Darcy’s narration particularly insightful. It’s one of those reads that I’d describe as “fine” — a pleasant way to pass the time, but not especially memorable or exciting. I might be interested enough to try another of the author’s “diary” books down the road… but it would have to be way, way down the road.

Fences by August Wilson: My book group’s read of this play wrapped up last week. Fascinating and thought-provoking. Next, I need to watch the movie version.

Pop culture goodness:

I saw Black Panther! Loved it.

And I especially loved the kick-ass women of Black Panther:

Fresh Catch:

One new book this week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant: Because I can never get enough of the Newsflesh world! This is a collection of stories and novellas, and I’m loving it.

Now playing via audiobook:

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire: October Daye, #3. I haven’t had much time for listening in the last couple of weeks, so this book is taking me forever. Still, I’m loving the series, and definitely plan to continue.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club has just started a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • Coming soon: My book group’s next classic read will be Middlemarch by George Eliot. We’ll be reading two chapters per week, starting in early March. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to join us! We’re an online group, and we’re always happy to include new members, so ask me how to join if you’re interested.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 2/19/2018

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.

Ugh. This winter has been the worst. I was home sick for another three days this week, and I still can’t get past this stupid cough. I’m tired of it!

The only positive thing about feeling lousy is all the reading time I’m squeezing in, in between naps and cups of tea.

 

What did I read last week?

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn: A modern-day retelling of Persuasion (sort of). My review is here.

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire: Finished the audiobook, and loved it!

Deadline by Mira Grant: SO in love with this series!

Note: For those who don’t know, Seanan McGuire and Mira Grant are the same person — so yes, I’m clearly obsessed with this author at the moment.

Fresh Catch:

This arrived:

Doesn’t it look amazing?

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Blackout by Mira Grant — book three of the amazing, intense Newsflesh trilogy. Why did I wait so long to finally read these books?

Now playing via audiobook:

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire: October Daye, #3. Terrific urban fantasy series.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club has just started a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • My book group’s classic read is Fences by August Wilson — we’ll be done this week.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 2/12/2018

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.

20 years of wedded bliss! This past week was our 20th wedding anniversary, although we’re postponing the celebration until a vacation planned for next month. We’ve actually been together for 25 years now, but 20 years ago we decided to finally tie the knot… and it’s been a wonderful adventure ever since.

 

What did I read last week?

The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson: What a great read! Highly recommended — check out my review here.

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner: Finished late Sunday — review to follow!

Pop culture:

Working my way through Grace & Frankie, and loving it! I’m about halfway through season 4.

Fresh Catch:

No new books! I’m so proud of myself.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Just starting: By the Book by Julia Sonneborn, which is supposedly a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. (They had me at Jane Austen.)

Now playing via audiobook:

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire: October Daye, #2 — almost done! And once I finish, I plan to keep going with the 3rd October Daye book. I’m loving this series so far!

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club has just started a group read of LJ&BotB, two chapters per week. If you’d like to join in, ask me how!
  • My book group’s classic read is Fences by August Wilson.

So many books, so little time…

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