As SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge topic for this month is Series, I have decided to list a series of reading notes on romances and other reading that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for many months.
Reading Note 1: Impulse Reading. There is too much impulse reading in the world. Just because a book is a new release, or has just hit the bestsellers list, this is no reason to dive straight into reading it. Sometimes, a book needs to wait. This is why I love SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge. I don’t think of books that have been on my TBR as languishing, as much as they are maturing while I get to them. There are many books that I have read long after their publishing date that have not aged well due to their time on the TBR, or due to the long wait until I have come to the end of a reservations list. I have become accustomed to waiting for books. As a librarian, I never feel that I can read a book that has reservations on it before the actual borrowers who have been waiting in line. This inevitably means that I need to wait until the reservation list diminishes (not a particularly easy thing). I also do not like the pressure of reading to a deadline. This also means that I miss the review flood, and I often find myself writing about books long after they have been released. The subsequent notes are all of books that have been waiting on my shelves, or that I have waited for patiently through library reservations.
Reading Note 2: Cry laugh. Over the years, I have found myself moving further and further away from reading male authors. They don’t appeal to me. I love my fiction to be filled with heartfelt emotion and somehow – and this will be a gross generalisation – men’s novels feel cold and observant, removed from the joy and exhilaration of emotional writing that I love reading. The authors whose works I have tried to read in the past year seem to be more about how clever they are as a writer rather than how well they can tell a story and I feel as though I am being talked down to as a reader. Is this the author as mansplainer perhaps? The exception though is David Sedaris. His writing fills me with emotions. I don’t know if it is partly due to our shared 2nd generation Greek diaspora experiences, his absurd sense of life, elves, language, family and Summer. All contribute to my love for his writing. After 42 weeks on reserve, I finally got Sedaris’s Calypso on audiobook from the library. The first time I listened to Sedaris on audiobook, I was laughing so hard that I had to pull over from driving as I couldn’t see the road from my tears. With Calypso, I had to pull over and park the car as once again, I was crying. But this time, it was in sorrow. Sedaris’s slow revealing of his sister Tiffany’s life and suicide and his own relationship with her, cut me deeply. Calypso. Such an innocuous story in his series of essays of life unravelling with his surviving four siblings. To quote him upon discovering the turtle he would feed was being fed by many others: Continue reading
I went to the movies over a month ago. I don’t get to go all that often but when I saw the trailer for La La Land I was instantly enamoured and I knew that I needed to see the movie. I love musicals! I have an incredibly high tolerance for even the ones that make the worst-of list. I love Grease 2, I love Xanadu, I love Mamma Mia and dammit I love The Pirate Movie so much that I own it on DVD.
It takes A LOT for me to hate a musical and the TL;DNR is that I hated La La Land. It promised much but it delivered little. The hero/heroine (should I even bother calling them this) Seb and Mia were so forgettable that I couldn’t even remember their character names and I had to look them up just to write this post.
And the spoiler is early in this one so look away if you don’t want to know more…
I was on an evening shift at work again today so I got to drive in which of course meant listening to a novel. I am STILL *groan* listening to Connie Brockway’s Highlander Undone. The story of widow and disliker of soldiers, Addie and soldier disguised as a foppish artist, Jack is okay. I am just up to the part where Jack is trying to explain his duplicity to Addie who keeps trying to reject him. I have enjoyed the story but it hasn’t given me the feels in anyway. This is not really a bad thing as I am really enjoying Jack’s (accidental) spying storyline more than the central romance.
I am now only 4 chapters short of finally finishing my everlasting audiobook. Only 1 more hour of driving to finish!
I’ll be cruising the ‘burbs tomorrow!
So it is the end of the month and I have TWO winners! That is right! Not ONE but TWO!!!! Which is just fab because Birthday Month deserves two winners! A huge shout out to Willaful and Kaetrin for dual wins! Woooot! Wooooot!
As for my Bingo! It will all be based on Bridget Jones’s Baby which I watched TWICE because I enjoyed it so much! Be warned though, there are SPOILERS ahead:
Last week, having begged my work library’s lovely and conciliatory acquisitions staff whose desk was piled way-high with books, to dig out my reservation, I indulged myself in a procrastiread of author Sally Thorne’s debut novel The Hating Game. I deeply enjoyed this gorgeous book and I have lots to say about this book but first, the blurb:
The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.
Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.
Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
Victoria Dahl’s Flirting with Disaster is my belated March TBR Challenge for Series catch up. I am a fortnight late to the party but I finally made time to sit and read. Though Victoria Dahl’s latest book has not been on my TBR for long, I really wanted to read the second (third when you count the novella) book in her Jackson: Girls Night Out series. I am a total sucker for Victoria Dahl’s books and I have not been shy in reviewing them on my blog over the years. For this particular series, I enjoyed the novella Fanning the Flames with the sexy firie and the “not sad to be an empty nester” librarian. Continue reading
This month’s challenge is to read a book in your TBR that was recommended to you. Rather than a single title, I decided to read an author that has been recommended to me. My sister loves Jill Shalvis’s novels and has been recommending them to me for many years. I have a stack of them on my shelves at home, both her early category romances and her later contemporary romances – including her latest release. Rather than reading her latest release – which has only been on the TBR since Christmas – I decided to start with Kiss Me, Katie! which in America was released in 2000 as a Harlequin Duet (which seemed to focus of romantic comedy) along with Shalvis’s accompanying novel Hug me, Holly! I read the Australian publication of Kiss Me, Katie! released as a Sexy Harlequin Mills & Boon. Katie is a cautious, sensible accountant working for a flight company and Bryan is a maverick, pilot who also performs stunts for the same company. The two are attracted to each other but Katie does not want to be with someone who is a risktaker.
Kiss Me, Katie
US Duet cover and Australian Sexy cover
For me, category romances are the most perfect narrative form for romance stories. At their best, they are tightly written with little superfluous prose and hardly any annoying secondary characters cluttering the two protagonists path to love. Kiss Me, Katie! appears to be Jill Shalvis’s 21st novel (and from what I can tell, her 21st category romance) and it would be another five years before she released her first standalone romance. Continue reading