Space Opera September Readathon TBR πŸš€

There’s a new readathon being hosted by Thomas Wagner at SFF180 for the month of September and it’s all about space operas! I am THERE🌌

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He has come up with some very creative challenges and prizes, which you can find on his booktube channel here or at the goodreads group here.

I have chosen a couple books for my tentative TBR (I’m such a mood reader that it will probably change when we actually get to September). I’m also trying to choose titles that I already own.

1: Read a space opera novella

🌠On a Red Station Drifting by Aliette de Bodard or maybe Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

2A: Read two space operas by women

🌠Space Unicorn Blues by TJ Berry or Free Chocolate by Amber Royer

2B: Read a space opera by a diverse author featuring a diverse protagonist and/or major characters

🌠Ardulum: The First Don by JS Fields

3: Read a space opera published before you were born

🌠Downbelow Station By CJ Cherryh or The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

4: Read a space opera 500 pages or longer

🌠Downbelow Station works for this one as well

Knowing me, I’ll probably read a Vorkosigan Saga novel as well, but I’m reading them all in order and I’m already 8 books into them, so who knows which ones I’ll be reading in September.

Let me know if any of y’all are participating in this readathon and what you plan to read!

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Unsolicited Duke Pic by Nico Rosso β˜†β˜†β˜†

Unsolicited Duke Pic by Nico Rosso β˜†β˜†β˜†

First of all, I love that this was born from a Twitter thread. There is nothing more special than art being created in response to people just goofing around on the internet.

Thomas Halsey, the Duke of Lighthorn, has lost a bet and the forfeit is that he has to have a portrait commissioned of his dick. Yes, this is the Regency answer to the dick pic. Sofia is an artist that has recently been the victim of vicious rumors spread by an evil earl, so she doesn’t turn down Lighthorn’s outrageous request. You can guess that a romance blossoms from there.

This novella was at times sweet and hilarious, and it has a pretty satisfying resolution.

Weekend Reads for 8/9-8/11

Happy Friday! It’s doesn’t feel like Friday to me – I was off work Sunday through Wednesday so it feels like Tuesday to me.

Nevertheless, I have book plans this weekend!

I’m listening to Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I will either continue to listen to, or jump to the place I stopped in the book and just finish it. I’m about halfway through, I think.

I’m also trying to finish The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I started in March (oops).

I NEED to read Still Life by Louise Penny because it is the next Mystery/Thriller book club pick and we meet the following Sunday.

If I get through these, or if I just decide to throw all my plans in the garbage, I might pick up Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean. It’s finally here and I want to read it So Bad.

What’s up for y’all this weekend?

PS: I met this bird yesterday and he was pretty rad

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian β˜†β˜†β˜†

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian β˜†β˜†β˜†

An absolutely adorable novella that follows Molly (who we previously met pretty briefly), a former thief who is trying to go straight for the sake of her daughter, and Alice, a lady’s companion who just wants to be invisible.

I adored their chemistry and was very happily surprised to find that this story is so fluffy. It doesn’t have that horrible gray cloud that a lot of same-sex Recency stories have. It’s nice to have a relatively happy story with a f/f pairing.

AND THERE’S ONLY ONE BED πŸ™‚

Weekend Reads for 8/2-8/4

Sorry for my recent absence. My oldest cat has had some recent health issues that have taken up most of my time and all of my energy. Now that she’s in a somewhat stable condition, I’m hoping to resume my reading this weekend.

I am very nearly done with the audiobook for The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold and I am continually astounded by the quality and entertainment value of every installment in this series. I keep expecting to hit a book that is not up to her usual standards, but 6 books in I am in love with every one of them.

I have been plodding along reading Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey, and it has not been keeping my attention very well. I have heard from someone in my book coven (thanks, Katie!) that it picks up later in the book. I really, really hope so. It’s the next book in my SFF Book Club and I’d hate to dislike it.

I’ve got some romances on my TBR that I’d like to get to this weekend as well, namely Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean. I’m also dipping in and out of The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer. It’s not keeping my attention all that well, either.

Let me know what y’all have planned for this weekend!

The Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard β˜†

44553085._SY475_The Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard β˜†

Let me start off by saying I would give this book no stars if I could. It is truly, truly awful.

I belong to an IRL mystery/thriller book club and, as you can probably guess from previous posts, the books that are chosen each month usually are Basic White Dude thrillers a la James Patterson. This month, one of the members chose a book by a local author who is actually a friend of her husband. It is…not good. I honestly can’t wait to see what she thinks about this book, if she found it as awful as I did.

Why is this book awful, you may ask? So many reasons.

The first reason is that this book is only very lightly edited, if it was ever edited at all. There are typos on almost every page. The misspellings are pretty bad – there are 3 instances where the word “dairy” is written instead of “diary” (y’know, the main focal point of the mystery). The main character’s name is misspelled TWICE.

It doesn’t just need a spellchecker – the verbiage reads as very cheesy and the dialogue is very unrealistic. The plot needs some work as well – it doesn’t flow from one point to another the way a mystery should. It meanders along, stopping here and zipping past over there.

The premise needs work as well. The main idea is that the main character, a 12-year-old girl named Jacqueline, has a sister named Sandra who died in her sleep and she takes it very badly. She dies her hair black and starts acting out at her parents. She starts wearing only black clothes, where before she wore rainbow colored clothes. Her parents make her see a psychiatrist, which is just the end of the world. THEN, she walks into her sister’s bedroom and finds her diary. It’s blank inside, but writing mysteriously appears that tells Jacqueline that her sister was murdered! By poison! And it’s up to Jacqueline to find out whodunit and why.

Okay, on its face this is not a bad idea. The ghost in the diary thing is pretty cheesy, but we’re not unused to young sleuths. See the Flavia de Luce novels, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Bobsy Twins, etc. The execution is…not good.

The way Sandra’s “haunting” is handled is very ham-fisted. We first get her writing in the diary, then we have her manifest in front of Jacqueline, which causes her to faint. THEN, to explain this whole premise, we have a random side character that died in chapter one show up to info dump. He shows up as a ghost and explains that Sandra died holding the diary so it technically exists in both this world and the afterlife, so she can write in it in the afterlife and it shows up in our world. Then he disappears and doesn’t come back for the entire book. He basically existed to info dump and leave.

Jacqueline bumbles around and looks for clues on who could have poisoned her sister. She suspects her dad because he had a $100,000 life insurance policy on Sandra, but I mean, what’s $100,000 going to get you in this day and age? He would have needed to have at minimum $1 million before it would make it worth all the trouble of murder.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline has been going to therapy and has started to trust her psychiatrist. She decides to show her psychiatrist the diary to convince her she is telling the truth about Sandra and the diary. Of course, the psychiatrist doesn’t believe her until words appear in the diary in front of her eyes. She then calls the police and a detective shows up at her office. He’s one of those grizzled career detectives that every cheesy mystery must have. He, for some reason, agrees to look into the case, based purely on a haunted diary and the word of a psychiatrist and a 12-year-old girl.

It’s here that we get to the heart of the matter. We’re working our way to the part that pissed me off the most.

Sandra had a crush on Jacqueline’s best friend’s older brother, Eric. He’s a typical annoying older brother type, who lives to torment his little sister and her friend. He does typical annoying older brother pranks, that are annoying but ultimately harmless. It turns out that Sandra turned Eric down when he asked her to the dance right before she died, and he was pretty upset about it. He wrote bad poetry about it and vented his frustration in writing, which you know you should never do. Because a grizzled old detective might get a tip from a prepubescent girl and search your room, thereby making you a suspect in a murder investigation. The detective asks Jacqueline if Eric could be the type of person who could poison Sandra, and the damning evidence that he could have done it is that he put some softened chocolate on the floor for Jacqueline to step in and pretended she stepped in dog poop. Also, he once hugged her after football practice, when he was extra smelly, just to make he smell bad too. Obviously, this boy is murderer material.

ANYWAY. Eric is arrested on suspicion of murdering Sandra. BUT WAIT – Sandra writes one more diary entry: “Save Eric. Not guilty.”

END

OF

BOOK

!!!

I hate everything about this ending. Apparently, according to Goodreads, there will be a sequel, currently titled “The Final Chapters of the Rose Diary” (snerk). You gotta be freaking kidding me with this – you mean I slogged through this mess, IΒ suffered, only to not even get an ending?? It just stops in the middle? And you want me to buy another book just to find out how it ends? No thanks. Luckily this book is only $0.99 in the Kindle store, so I’m not out much money, but I spent actual hours of my life reading this mess, and I didn’t even get a satisfying ending.

Le sigh.

 

The End of #24in48

That’s it! We did it! My entire brain hurts and I am so ready to sleep a solid 8 hours. Here’s what I managed to read this weekend:

I could technically start a new book and read for longer, but if I don’t rest my eyes soon they might pop right out of my head.

Thanks to Rachel, Kristen, and Kerry for putting this together. You folks rock! See y’all in January for the next one!

Sunday Mid-Day #24in48 Check In

AHHHHHHHHHH I only have a little while before I have to leave for book club and I have so much reading left to do!

I’m almost 21 hours in, and running very late for getting ready for book club. I got sucked into my 8th book for this readathon, Unveiled by Courtney Milan. I’m 59% in, and I want to read it ALL but I CAN’T. (the worst reader’s dilemma)

Day 2 of #24in48!!

GOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, BOOK FANS

I am…feeling the lack of sleep and the abundance of caffeine this morning. No matter, we have BOOKS to read.

I am starting my day off with some coffee and some pancakes. Gotta fuel that last 10 hours of reading left to do today.

I have book club at 4, which usually lasts about an hour, so I’m going to post a midday update around 2PM as well as a final update around 11PM.

#24in48 End of Day 1 Check In

We’re reaching the end of Day 1 and I am starting to flag a bit. Time for more caffeine!!

Here’s what I’ve read so far today. I’ll probably read for at least another hour before going to bed. I’m undecided on what book 5 should be – another Lois McMaster Bujold? Or put her to bed and pick up something lighter?

Whatever I choose will have to keep me awake, that’s for sure. My brain is starting to turn to mush.