Hat on Top, Coat Below


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Books I’ve Read

(A) means I listened to it.
(RR) means I re-read it.
(P) means I read it on paper.

I link titles to Powell’s Books if they carry them. I will often link to an edition other than the one I read. If Powell’s (or another non-Amazon site) doesn’t have it, I will link to Amazon. These are not affiliate links. NOTE 30-Mar-2020: Powell’s has pulled all their book listings for now (side effect of the pandemic, I assume), so I had to link to Amazon for updates I made today.

I also put this information into goodreads.com. You can find me there with my gmail address (the.karend).

< < 2019

January 1, 2020 to Now: (latest finished on top)

No Rest for the Wicked, Kresley Cole (P, RR)
Continuing my re-read of the series. It’s been enough time that I don’t remember all of the plot lines.

The Pale-Faced Lie: A True Story, David Crow
Another book that was hard to read not because of the writing but the subject matter.

A Hunger Like No Other, Kresley Cole (P, RR)
I was inspired to re-read this due to finding the Fated Mates podcast.

A Scot in the Dark, Sarah MacLean
At least this one had the hero being dumb instead of the heroine, I guess. Didn’t enjoy as much as the first one but still enough to want to continue the series.

Shades of Wicked, Jeaniene Frost
It might have been better for me to re-read at least some of the Night Huntress series before I read this, as when the characters from that showed up here, I got only faint glimmers of recognition.

Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal
I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first in the series, probably because of the shift in focus from family/personal matters that the first book had.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente
I read someone describe this as a cross between Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth, both of which I enjoyed greatly when I was younger. I didn’t enjoy this greatly. Perhaps I am too old and impatient now for such whimsy and meandering and nonsense. I hope not. I hope it’s just that this particular whimsy and meandering wasn’t a good fit for me at the time I read it.

Palaces for the People, Eric Klinenberg
Makes a great case for the importance of social infrastructure. I wish I felt more hopeful that things will improve in those areas in the US but seems we’re moving in the wrong direction in most cases.

The Rose Hotel, Rahimeh Andalibian
This was hard to read. Not because of how it was written (though a time or two I did lose track of when things happened as the telling jumps back and forth in time) but because the events were so painful … and I wasn’t even living them like the author and her family did. I very much appreciated the look into a part of the world I will never experience.

Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
I’ve followed the author on Twitter for quite a while and figured it was past time I should read some of her work. This is Jane Austen-esque but with domestic magic. I found it charming.

Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews
Another Ilona Andrews series I didn’t come upon until now. I liked this one, too.

The Rouge Not Taken, Sarah MacLean
I liked it, especially the first two thirds when the heroine was on the road, sometimes with, sometimes without the hero. I plan to read the next one in the series.

The Red Scot, Twyla Turner
I like curvy heroines (this one is a size 16, I believe, which is still smaller than the average woman but bigger than most romance leads). I like diversity. This book had both. I do not like sloppy copy editing (such as many many extraneous commas and some synonym errors) or heroines who deal with trauma by not going to therapy but staying stuck in fear for over a decade. This book had those, too, plus some internalized misogyny in the bargain.

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker
I think this was well written, and I appreciated the telling of this story from another perspective, but I needed to read it in sections with breaks in between to read lighter things because I found it grindingly depressing for most of the story.

One Fell Sweep, Ilona Andrews
I couldn’t wait to read this installment after finishing the previous one. It did not disappoint. Sure, it stretches credulity at times, but since there’s magic involved, I can handle that better than when very improbable/very coincidental things happen in stories set entirely in our reality.

Sweep in Peace, Ilona Andrews
I’m really liking this series.

Maid for the Billionaire, Ruth Cardello
I read this because it was free. It did not sell me on reading the rest of the series.

Rubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown
This felt real to me though it was fiction. I so want to know how the main character made out later in her life.

Idaho, Emily Ruskovich
I recognized the places in this book; I travel through them myself. The author gets the setting just right. The story is unsettling and jumps back and forth in time which didn’t bother me as much as that device usually does.

Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, Sarah Smarsh
My family had its struggles so some of this felt very relatable. I appreciated the author’s insight into the American Dream.

Next in Line for Love, Harper Bliss
I read this around the same time as Heartland, which is maybe why I found the characters somewhat annoying, as they were doing rich people stuff that poor people can’t do or suffer consequences if they do.

The First Girl Child, Amy Harmon
I think this was well written, but it left me feeling sad.

Isn’t It Bromantic?, Lauren Baratz-Logsted
I don’t remember when or why I put this on my Kindle, or why I thought it was a good idea to get book two of a series I haven’t read book one of, but here we are. Maybe if I had read the first book, I’d have a better understanding of why the hero has married someone he seems to not know very well, which I found annoying as a plot device. If you don’t know what music someone likes, you haven’t dated them long enough to get married is my position. Both hero and heroine do unlikable things. It’s told first person from the hero’s perspective in an easy, breezy, jokey style which is not for me. On the plus side, the copy editing was pretty darn good.

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