I’ve been listening to the Johannes Cabal (Jonathon L. Howard) audiobooks. They’re excellent listening: sarcastic, drily hilarious, often gross, sometimes sad, suspenseful. The Kid noticed the audiobook cover open on my phone and was interested momentarily. Now we have the first in the series in paper, lying casually on the table. He hasn’t picked it up yet. No surprise. No problem – I want them around for me to reread or lend out.
A Christmas to Remember , Betty Neels. A two-fer edition. Romance, medical setting, that old-fashioned feel. When the hero kisses the heroine, the heroine finds it mysterious. (The longer first story was published in 1997, the second 1976.) I quite liked the first one (The Mistletoe Kiss). The second was not as interesting a story, especially read right after the first, except that the heroine is a charge nurse (of course I can’t think of the UK term) and her work reminded me of my supervisor’s stories working in a London hospital. And then I remembered the Sue Barton books. I think I only ever read one, probably Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse, years and years ago. Funny thinking about it now – some of the scenes are still stuck in my head. The slip and the director, the puppy with a wire too tight, the newspapers laid down under the nursing bag for cleanliness, her brilliant suggestion of a career as chauffeur to some poor guy oh look how well he drives… I’m certainly not a nurse now because of that book (and didn’t think of nursing as a possibility until I was about done with my unrelated BA, not a childhood dream). Pretty funny remembering this is the only one I read, and I’m a public health nurse/visiting nurse. It’s all a coincidence! I swear!
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold, a novella in the Five Gods series. So good, a quick satisfying bite. Fantasy, solid world-building without constant explanations. Some of the others in the series are pretty hard reads, emotionally. This is not. It is charming. (I like this series a lot.)
Silver on the Road by Laura Ann Gilman, the first and only out so far of The Devil’s West series. Fantasy, road trip with horses, learning power, a bit of mystery solving. I liked it so much I’ve re-read it already and I pre-ordered the next. Not a cliff-hanger ending, but clearly part of a larger story arc. Because I liked this one so much, I read the first two of her Retrievers series, but they didn’t work nearly as well for me. Oh well.
Sailing to Sarantium and The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay. Interesting books, compelling characters. But I can’t read many books that make me weep, and even though this may be fantasy, it’s fantastical historical fiction (yeah I see La Reconquista in the Lions, not to mention those Romans in Sarantium) and well, there are no Happy-Ever-Afters here I think. I won’t read the next Sarantine Mosaic book.
Act Like It, Lucy Parker. Great fun! And nicely written. Contemporary romance (the HEA is here), West End theatre, relationship for the purpose of public relations.
The Thin Woman, Dorothy Cannell. (Oh, look! The first in a series.) I enjoyed it mostly, struck me as odd. Not quite sure if on the madcap side or just plain odd and a touch depressing. Cozy mystery maybe?
The Kraken King, Meljean Brook. Adventure! Romance! Steampunk! A touch of zombies! And a dash of politics! Well-written, solid world-building. Not quite a Must Buy As Soon As Possible author, but I always get around to reading her books. Her steampunk world may be my favorite, and in large part because it’s not steampunk tech for the sake of steampunk tech, and steampunk is not the only thing happening. Also, some books have angst. And again, angst not just for the sake of angst. (Hey, I like some angst here and there too.) (Angst sure is a funny looking word now.)
And so many more books.