Favorite Recent(ish) Reads

I’ve been trying to keep track of my reading in LibraryThing. This is mostly to prevent me from re-reading books I’ve already read. However, I also use it to remind me of authors I’ve enjoyed in the past so I can check and see if they have anything new out. I was doing fairly well documenting my books until this year when the whirlwind of house cleaning, repairing, staging, selling, buying, cleaning, and repairing descending on me.

I’ve been attempting to rectify my neglect of LibraryThing and have been adding a lot of the books I’ve read in the last year. At this point, I’ve entered as much as I remember. Unfortunately, while I have evidence I read various titles I don’t necessarily remember much about them. However, below is my list of books I’ve particularly enjoyed this last year.

Romance
I really enjoy reading historical romances. I particularly like the almost-guaranteed happy ending at the end because it helps me relax enough to fall asleep at night.

  • The Duke is Mine and The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James – Both of these books are very loosely based on fairy tales.
  • Heiress in Love and Mad About the Earl by Christina Brooke – She’s a new author to me but I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read.
  • Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas – Most of this story happens several years after the couple get married. I’m not sure why but I particularly enjoy arranged marriage-type stories where the couples have to learn to work together.
  • Bedding Lord Ned by Sally MacKenzie – This was a really fun romance. One of the main side characters is a irrepressible cat who keeps making life difficult for the heroine.

Fantasy

  • Ironskin by Tina Connolly – similar to the classic Jane Eyre story. I was surprised by the low ratings on Amazon as I thought this was really good. I’m putting this in the fantasy category because the fantasy elements were subperb and I felt the romance was one of the weaker parts of the story.
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I read this YA book in one sitting. I loved many aspects of it. However, if I sit and think about it too long, I’m not sure the heroine’s attitudes really make sense but I don’t care because it was a great story. This one is obviously setup to have a sequel.
  • The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin – Jemisin is a fantastic writer. I had a bit of trouble getting through the 3rd book in the Inheritance Trilogy, The Kingdom of Gods, but flew threw both of the books in the new Dreamblood series. Not only is the story great but Jemisin provides a lot of moral and ethical issues to mull over.
  • Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara – I’ve really been enjoying this series but the last couple of books didn’t grab my attention as much as the first ones. However, I felt this book was another strong addition to the series.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – I’m always nervous when I love an author’s previous works because I’m afraid the new one won’t live up to my expectations. However, this one exceeded them. I think it’s her strongest book yet.
  • The Steel Seraglio by Mike Carey, Linda Carey, Louise Carey, and Nimit Malavia – A very compelling read though intense and I’m not sure if I’d want to pick up more by the authors or not. However, very interestingly crafted.
  • Timeless by Gail Carriger – Usually I read paranormal fantasy grudgingly wishing that good authors would turn their talents to some other sub-genre. However, I really enjoy the Parasol Protectorate series. I adore the humor in it. I think the first one in the series was the best but I really enjoyed Timeless also.
  • Making Money by Terry Pratchett – I not a huge fan of the earlier Discworld books. However, I really enjoy listening to the later ones (I can’t manage to read them, I guess I need Stephen Briggs narrating for me to get all the humor). In this one Moist von Lipwig returns to take over Royal Mint. The Terry Pratchett/Stephen Briggs combo manages to produce audiobooks that I listen to over and over again. I just finished re-listening to the first Mois von Lipwig book, Going Postal and enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first. In case you’re interested, I don’t think Going Postal requires any prior Discworld knowledge in order to get the gist of what’s going on.

Mystery
Usually I listen to mysteries as audiobooks, for some reason that format works better for me when dealing with mysteries. I particularly like the J.D. Robb futuristic In Death series. I love watching Eve and Roarke’s relationship evolve. However, there are two series that I’ve enjoyed reading instead of listening to.

  • When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris – I’ve really, really enjoyed this series. There was one book where the subject matter was a little difficult for me but even then the book was well-written. This book, like all the others, is very good.
  • Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn – another historical mystery that I really enjoy.

Science Fiction
For some reason I haven’t found much science fiction compelling. I’m not sure if stuff I like just isn’t getting published or if it’s something else but I haven’t read much recently. I did find Redshirts by John Scalzi amusing but I suspect it would be close to incomprehensible if I hadn’t had a long history of watching science fiction space opera on TV.

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