Skip to main content

Reading report for October 2012

I finished 21 books in several genres in October, of which 9 were TBR challenge books and 4 were rereads.

After catching up with the Brotherhood of the Black Dagger series, I found I wanted to sink myself into another made-up world and started reading a new series: the Cynster family historical romance novels by Stephanie Laurens. I finished four of them in October and am now reading the fifth. I am finding these historicals an interesting, well-written and well-plotted collection of well-known romance themes with kick-ass heroines and pretty much interchangeable heroes.

So far the storylines have been the ‘compromised lady’ combined with ‘the heir must die’, the ‘gentleman problem solver’ combined with the ‘sneak thief’, the ‘surprising will’ combined with the ‘forced marriage’ and ‘the woman who must keep her land and protect her people at all cost’, and another ‘gentleman problem solver’, this time combined with ‘amorous amateur criminal investigators’ and, briefly, the ‘woman disguised as a boy’. In addition all have featured the 'determined bachelor' and 'reluctant lady' themes. The one I’m reading right now seems to be a third ’gentleman problem solver’ combined with ‘mystery woman’ and ‘amorous amateur criminal investigators’.

A final mention must be made of Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex by Mary Roach. I enjoyed her first book, Stiff: The curious lives of human cadavers, and this one was enjoyable as well and quite funny in parts, but I did find it a bit rambling.

The Books:
  • Marian Babson: Murder at the Cat Show. Murder mystery.
  • Jennifer Crusie: Bet Me. Contemporary romance; reread.
  • Lawrence Durrell: Reflections on a Marine Venus. Travel, memoir.
  • Lori Foster; Erin McCarthy; Amy Garvey: Bad Boys of Summer. Romance novellas, contemporary.
  • Laurie R. King: A Monstrous Regiment of Women. Murder mystery, historical.
  • Heather Lauer: Bacon: A love story: A salty survey of everybody's favorite meat. Foodie book with recipes.
  • Stephanie Laurens: Devil's Bride; A Rake's Vow; Scandal's Bride; A Rogue's Proposal. Historical romance.
  • Stephanie Laurens; Victoria Alexander; Rachel Gibson: Secrets of a Perfect Night. Romance novellas, 2 historical and 1 contemporary.
  • Ed McBain: Lady Killer. Thriller; police procedural.
  • Elizabeth Peters: The Murders of Richard III. Mystery, whodunit.
  • Ellis Peters: The Knocker on Death's Door. Murder mystery.
  • Mary Roach: Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex. Popular science, sexology.
  • Michèle Roberts: Daughters of the House. Literary fiction.
  • Nora Roberts: Sea Swept; Rising Tides; Inner Harbor. Contemporary romance; rereads.
  • Mary Taylor Simeti & Maria Grammatico: Bitter Almonds: Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian Girlhood. Memoir with recipes.
  • Josephine Tey: The Man in the Queue. Murder mystery.


Kristen said…
You had a very productive month! Have a wonderful reading November as well.

Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark: Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines. Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds. Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap. Fold the square diagonally

List love: 10 recommended stories with cross-dressing characters

This trope is almost as old as literature, what with Achilles, Hercules and Athena all cross-dressing in the Greek myths, Thor and Odin disguising themselves as women in the Norse myths, and Arjuna doing the same in the Mahabaratha. In modern times it is most common in romance novels, especially historicals in which a heroine often spends part of the book disguised as a boy, the hero sometimes falling for her while thinking she is a boy. Occasionally a hero will cross-dress, using a female disguise to avoid recognition or to gain access to someplace where he would never be able to go as a man. However, the trope isn’t just found in romances, as may be seen in the list below, in which I recommend stories with a variety of cross-dressing characters. Unfortunately I was only able to dredge up from the depths of my memory two book-length stories I had read in which men cross-dress, so this is mostly a list of women dressed as men. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb. One of the interwove

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months. I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not). Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions. Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certai