Closeout

I just submitted my final grades and I’m hoping to write a proper post soon. But in the meantime….

A couple of days ago I went to the library to return a pile of unread books I knew I wasn’t going to have time for right now. And to pick up one that I had requested, only that one. But I accidentally wandered over to the new books shelf and came home with four (and then an ebook hold came in). This is what I’ve got:

At least this selection fits my current mood better than those I returned.

Two mysteries:

  • Baksheesh, second in an Istanbul-set series with a German heroine who runs a mystery book shop; I just read the first one, and I bought the third recently. (This was my hold request).
  • Down Among the Dead Men, which I’m reading now. This is the latest (I think) in Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series. I dip in and out of it but have enjoyed the ones I’ve read.

One romance:

  • Longing, which is set in a Welsh coal-mining town and features labor unrest, something I am interested in romance thanks to Elizabeth Gaskell. I’ve been wanting to read this Balogh for a while.

One YA:

  • I don’t know anything about A Corner of White, despite being sure I’ve read some reviews at some point, but I’ve loved Jaclyn Moriarty before.

One Memoir:

  • Jefferson’s Negroland was on a lot of best-of lists this year.

So that’s probably my reading for the rest of the year. Or not, if my mood changes. I’m also still hoping to read some Superromances (in fact I started Molly O’Keefe’s Temptation of Savannah O’Neill) and maybe Angela Thirkell’s Wild Strawberries.

After Christmas I might feel like some of the holiday romance in my TBR. But I’m not in the holiday spirit yet, except in the sense that I want books to engross and distract me, and nothing that feels like “homework.”

What are you reading to end the year?

 

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20 Responses to Closeout

  1. Janine Ballard says:

    What a nifty list!

    What I’ve been reading or hope to read soon

    Two fantasy novels:

    Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer — reading now
    Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente — may or may not get to

    One literary novel:

    The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman — reading now

    One literary fairy tale collection:

    Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham — don’t know if I’ll get to this

    One romance:

    The Lie and the Lady by Kate Noble — finished reading!

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      What an interesting mix. I found that was what got me out of my reading slump–not too much of any one genre. That Michael Cunningham book looks interesting. I loved THE HOURS years ago.

      • Janine Ballard says:

        I have heard so much good about Michael Cunningham’s writing but haven’t actually read him. I thought this one looked really interesting too, so I’m hoping the library allows me to renew it.

  2. lawless says:

    I thought I’d read all of Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series, but I haven’t read this one. I think it was available for pre-order for a ridiculous price when I bought and read the preceding book, The Stone Wife. Now that it’s available, the price isn’t so ridiculous, and Amazon has made a sale.

    Right now I’m reading Jeannie Lin’s My Fair Concubine, which is the last historical novel of hers I haven’t read. I bought it during the recent Harlequin sale along with The Sword Dancer, which I’d borrowed from the library but wanted to reread because it’s related to A Dance With Danger, which I read recently. I also have the second in her steampunk series, The Emperor and the Nightingale. The story and setting were more interesting to me than the first.

    So after Lin, I’ll probably read Lovesey. I also have a book or two I’ve started and should finish, like Ira Levin’s The Boys From Brazil and a Lawrence Block Matt Scudder novel that turned out to be more violent than I’d anticipated. I have the latest Courtney Milan historical to read, but first I should read the novel and novella of Sherry Thomas’ that are languishing in my TBR and the final novella of Milan’s Brothers Sinister series. I wish I could remember its name. Non-distinctive names is one of my pet gripes about romance.

    I’ve been (re)reading some of Josephine Tey’s earlier mysteries like The Man in the Queue and Miss Pym Disposes and just finished a recent scholarly biography of her, so I might (re)read Brat Farrar, which I bought on sale awhile ago.

    Or I could do something completely unexpected. I don’t always know what I’ll be in the mood for.

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      Oooh, a Tey re-read! And more Jeannie Lin. I shouldn’t have asked other people what they were reading…. I love Brat Farrar.

      This Lovesey book is very good and is making me wonder why I’ve never gone back and read the series in order. I’ve only read one of his historical books, too.

  3. I remember really liking that Balogh when I read it a few years ago.

    I saved up a few books over the last couple of month so I could read them while I’m on holiday in Uruguay, so I’ll be diving into those in the next few weeks:
    Slade House, by David Mitchell
    The next in the Miles Vorkosigan series (started listening to it on the plane)
    Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith
    The latest JD Robb
    Jeweled Fire, by Sharon Shinn
    The next in Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli/Isles series
    The Road to Little Dribbley, by Bill Bryson
    The latest Courtney Milan (that one I only had to save for a week or so)

    So a lot to read, but then again, nothing much else to do, other than play with my nephew 🙂

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      This is a great selection! I love saving up things I’m really looking forward to for a vacation. I hope you have a wonderful time both reading and playing.

  4. Sunita says:

    I love the two Balogh romances set in Wales. I prefer Truly to Longing, but that’s because the former incorporates the Rebecca riots into the plot; I think most readers prefer the latter. But either way, she writes beautifully about the time and the setting.

    I’m in the middle of two books right now: the second in Aliette de Bodard’s Aztec mystery trilogy, and In the Night of Time by Antonio Munoz Molina. The Molina is set at the beginning the Spanish Civil War, about an endangered architect who escapes Madrid, abandoning his family to take a position in a small college outside New York City. It’s a long, immersive read; I’m 200 pages in and so far it’s really really good.

    I have Nicola Cornick’s recently released historical fiction novel on my ereader, as well as the novella that kicks off Sarah Morgan’s new series set in New York. I’m also planning, thanks to Keishon’s nudge, to pick up Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell again, and maybe finally finish it this time! I think I’m in the mood for faeries and steampunk. And we have Career of Evil in audiobook for the drive west.

    Oh, and Jeannie Lin’s just released steampunk. I still have the short story in my TBR; TheHusband read it and really liked it. They should both get read over the next month.

    I’m not going to complete my PopSugar reading challenge, but I think I’ll get to about 40 out of 50, which is not bad. One of those is the first in the Inspector Ghote series by H.R.F. Keating. It fills the “set in my hometown” category, and somehow I’ve managed never to read any of them.

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      I have to just stop reading the comments or I’ll undo all my good intentions about TBR-only reading in January. I think Career of Evil will make a great road-trip book. I found it really gripping.

      I am about where you are on the PopSugar challenge, maybe not quite as many. I have ideas from my TBR for most of the rest of the categories, but I know I’m not going to get to them. Mostly I found it easy to fill the categories without deliberately trying, but I enjoyed the way it shaped some of my reading choices, too, especially when I wasn’t sure what to read next.

      I remember reading a Keating book and enjoying it.

  5. SuperWendy says:

    No list of titles per se. The plan is to read nothing but holiday-themed categories that are languishing on my Kindle. I read Scotland for Christmas by Cathryn Parry (a SuperRomance from last year – I had issues, but I still liked it) and am currently working on A Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion by Sasha Summers (a Harlequin American I’m not enjoying all that much. Jury still out but I think I might actively loathe the couple….).

    Not sure what will be next. I know I have a Christmas-themed Janice Kay Johnson Super in the pile, and a Donna Alward Harlequin American. I need to dive deeper into the Kindle.

    On the non-Holiday Theme reading front – I have the latest Loren D. Estleman Amos Walker mystery (The Sundown Speech) from work and two audiobooks on tap (Black Irish by Stephen Talty and Beautiful Bastard by Christina Laurens – we’ll see how that last one goes. Romance on audio is kind of rough going for me….).

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      I miss reading category romance–it’s been a while. I like them for stressed-out holiday reading because they’re short but I just can’t do the holiday ones until I’m past the worst of the stress part. Last year I read a bunch right after Christmas, though.

  6. Jorrie Spencer says:

    I’d like to get another holiday read in before Christmas, though I don’t know what it will be. I’ve a few on my reader. I’m quite sure that after December 25th, I won’t want to read them. Then I might pick up Wild Strawberries (though I’m also involved in a group read of Cut to the Quick. I think. Bit fuzzy on when that is.)

    I’ve read two strong Christmas stories, both historical romances: A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh and A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilica Grant. Completely different feel to these two novels. Apart from the fact they were written two decades apart, Balogh’s setup is…strained. It works! But, well, I’m not sure I should say anything more here.

    I have a ridiculous number of library books out. (Send help.) But I particularly want to read Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories.

    I am slogging through The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan, mostly because it’s a novel of its time and place, set in 1900ish Ontario. Painful at times, with moments of interest. The historical furniture is slightly different than in England or the US in the same time period, but there’s a reason she’s not well-known now, I think. I should perhaps be reading an LMM biography instead or something.

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      I really liked A Christmas Promise (marriage of convenience, yay! and mostly not too treacly). I still need to read Cecilia Grant’s. And that’s some pretty serious CanLit cred you’re working on there.

      • Jorrie Spencer says:

        Too serious. Ugh!

        Re: A Christmas Promise, I thought of it more as a forced marriage (and forced sex on the wedding night, consummation being required and all), making the first quarter of the book quite harsh. Ol’ Dad was there pulling the strings in an almost creepy way, and it sure is good he was right! You kinda have to just accept the setup and go with it. But despite (because?) of all that, I really enjoyed it, ripped right through it.

    • Oh, yes, do read Case Histories. It’s really good. I didn’t love it quite as much as Life After Life, but almost.

  7. I’ve been savoring Negroland. I keep putting it down to flip through my research books on the same topic.

    Otherwise, I’ve just finished reading a bunch of Marlys Millhiser thrillers (the datedness is amusing and interesting).

    Before that, I binged on Stella Riley’s entire backlist, which ruined me for any historical romance that isn’t like that (big historical events, large connected cast, sweeping, high stakes romance). 😉

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      I have some Stella Riley in my TBR because I have heard nothing but good things about her. One day! (I guess it’s better to have too many books you want to read than too few).

  8. Kathryn says:

    Although right now it seems like a great deal of free time — 10 days no work! — I suspect my ambitions for my holiday reading will easily exceed the actual amount of time I will actually have to read once you add in all the other (non-reading) plans and holiday events.

    My holiday reading list at this time:
    Pratchett’s last 2 Disc World novels, Steam and The Shepard’s Crown
    Annie Leckie’s Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy
    Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown
    Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant
    Jeffrey Middlesex’s The Marriage Plot
    Amira Jarmakani’s An Imperialist Love Story: Desert Romances and the War on Terror
    plus whatever library book that catches my fancy . . .

    I figure if I actually finish at least 3 of any of these books, it will be a successful holiday season.

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      That is what happens to me in every holiday–I plan to read far more books than I ever have time for.

      I picked up that Zen Cho book right before my reading slump so I have accidentally been saving it as well, but I’m hoping to read it in January when I am restricted to my TBR.

  9. willaful says:

    Longing is quite lovely. I started Negroland, but found it a bit dense for my capricious attention span.

    I don’t have a list, but I’m enjoying reading the SuperRomances that people are recommending on twitter, and also some oldie books. I feel relatively free of obligations at the moment, reading wise, and it gives me an unfettered feeling that allows me to try some of the chunky historicals. I don’t know why they scare me off, usually they’re quite quick reads.

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