Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

the-calculating-stars-by-mary-robinette-kowalThe Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Series: Lady Astronaut #1

Published by Tor Books

Publishing date: July 3, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: A meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth’s efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too—aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance.  

……………….

I read The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal and loved it. I don’t think it is related to this series, but I’m really looking forward to Ms. Kowal writing more about women astronauts! And it looks like the second book in the series comes out a month later than this book so I’m happy about that, too!

My favorite times to read

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our favorite times to read.

Early morning

I often wake up early in the morning and I love to get up and read at that time. That’s my very favorite time to read. My husband usually sleeps a little later, but I’m usually up anywhere from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. The house is quiet. I feed my cats. And then get a cup of coffee, a cat or two on my lap and try to get some really good reading time!

If I get to bed late and don’t wake up so early–especially if my husband gets up with me I sometimes feel out-of-sorts all day long if I can’t carve out some other quiet time to read.

Audiobooks and cards

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about listening to audiobooks while I create cards. I love that I can listen to books and create at the same time. That’s about the only time I listen to audiobooks except when I’m about to finish an audiobook!

In the den with sunlight or snow

Another time that sometimes works for me is to sit in my den and read–especially if the sun is shining in or it’s snowing outside and I’m snug and warm inside. It’s a great place to read. However, I don’t find the time (or make the time) to do that since it’s later in the day and it seems like I always have something else I feel I should be doing.

In the car

My husband likes to drive and I like to read so when we go on a trip somewhere he drives and listens to the radio. I read. Sometimes we talk! I can get a lot of reading done during a road trip somewhere–even if I look at the scenery or talk to my husband now and then. Years ago I even read Dune by Frank Herbert (a 600 page book) out loud to my husband during a three-day car trip!

What about you? When is your favorite time to read? Do you have more than one favorite time?

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge

Take-Control-of-your-TBR-Pile-Challenge

Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge

Hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I plan to take part in this month-long challenge. I have plenty of TBR books to choose from so I won’t have any problem choosing books! I have created a list for myself of possible books to read during the month. I have several books on hold at the library which I know will finally come to the library for me so that may keep me from reading as many books as I would otherwise.

I have also created a Take Control Shelf on Goodreads to add the books which I read during March which meet the criteria for this challenge. Kimberly is already a friend on Goodreads. I will also write at least a mini review on Goodreads for my books.

I think this will be a fun challenge and help me concentrate on my TBR books. I hope others will go to Kimberly’s blog @ Caffeinated Reviewer and decide to participate, too. You have to sign-up by Friday, March 2.

Goals

I want to try to read at least 8 TBR books in March.

Keep track of my books on a Take Control Shelf on Goodreads.

Write mini reviews on Goodreads for the books and then link to the Rafflecopter.

I hope to take part in the Twitter Party on March 11.

……………………………

~*Rules*~

  • Link-up! This is open to everyone. If you do not have a blog then link a shelf entitled Take Control 2018 from your Goodreads account. It is a good idea to friend me if your shelves are private.
  • Create a Goals/Updates/Results post (can be combined) It can also be a shelf created on Goodreads. Be sure to friend me, so I can see it. Friend me: Kimberly
  • Begins midnight March 1st, 2018 and ends March 31, 2018, at 11:59 pm.
  • Read/listen to books from your TBR pile.
  • ALL books/audios must have been published before March 1,  2018. I don’t care where you got them, so old ARCS count.
  • Post a review to Goodreads, or your blog then add the URL link it to the Rafflecopter for an entry. ( These can be a mini review. Just one or two sentences)
  • You can combine events, challenges etc.
  • Page count must be over 100 pages to qualify.
  • The rafflecopter will only allow you to enter up to two books daily, so update as soon as you finish a book.
  • Use hashtag #TakeControlTBR
  • Twitter Party March 11th @ 2:30 pm (CST)  Come chat about books you have read and win prizes.
  • Earn extra entries for participating in the Twitter Party
  • Rafflecopter will close on April 2, 2018, at midnight and a winner will be chosen within 72 hours. Open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to you. Prize: New 2018 release valued at up to 20 US dollars or 1 Audiobook Credit from Audiobooks.com. I will do pre-orders as well. (may request eBook copy from Amazon or B&N)

Sunday Post: March begins and maybe spring?

Sunday-PostKimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home

Our son is moving from New York back to the Midwest, but hasn’t decided where he’s going to live yet so he came to our house to store some of his stuff in our basement. He arrived Sunday evening, found a car to buy and then left Wednesday morning on the train to Washington DC (a 28-hour train ride!) We’re taking care of Donnie, our son’s mini Dachshund. He’s a sweet little dog. He sleeps beside me most of the time. When he’s not sleeping he watches at the door for squirrels and birds to chase. Even though it’s icy outside the door he flies across the ice as though it’s not even there. He doesn’t get close to the squirrels, but doesn’t give up!

We had two ice storms plus another that ended up being mostly rain and then a little snow. The ice right outside the back of our house (that you see in the photos) is sticking around because it on the north side of our house and is in shadow all day. However, this next week we are supposed to have several days in the 50s. Yay! That might melt some ice!

Television

We watched the U.S. men’s curling team win lots of games this week culminating in the Gold Medal game and the team won! It was a good game. There have been lots of great events and performances. The two Russian ice skaters who won gold and silver in the women’s figure skating were amazing.

We also finished watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. It’s excellent. Since it was so icy out and it was hard for me to do too much besides reading or watching TV (Donnie needs quite a bit of attention) we also watched several episodes of Murder in Suburbia on Acorn.

Blog

I reworked my About page (renaming it “Who, Why, What and Where”) as well as working on reviews. I downloaded a plugin and created a Blogroll of some of my favorite book blogs. I’m also catching up on commenting on blogs.

Last week
Next week
  • Tell Me Something Tuesday
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • March 2018 books on my list
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Still choosing

What I read last week

White Nights by Ann Cleeves

Diamond Girl by Julie Mulhern

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Books I got this week

The Long Way Home by Sabrina Chase

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (Graphic Novel, Library)

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (CDs, Library)

What did you do last week?

A Matter of Loyalty–the last book in A Very English Mystery series

A series I’ve enjoyed so much has come to an end because of the death of the author. Called A Very English Mystery series they were written by Elizabeth Edmondson. The last book in the series was finished by her son–Anselm Audley–when she died suddenly in 2016.

The series has ended with three books and a novella. All of them good.

A Man of Some Repute, book 1–I reviewed the book in 2016 and gave it a B+

A Question of Inheritance, book 2–I reviewed the book in 2017 and gave it a B+

a youthful indiscretion by elizabeth edmondsonA Youthful Indiscretion, book 1.5

1953, and Freya Wryton is determined to discover the truth of murdered Lord Selchester’s youthful passion for the mysterious Marie Louise. 

Her family and his colleagues want her late uncle’s secrets to go to the grave with him, but intelligence officer Hugo Hawksworth is as curious as Freya about what happened between Lord Selchester and Marie Louise in that golden Oxford summer before the first world war. 

The stakes are high, since Marie Louise’s life and death hold the key to the great Selchester inheritance: fortune, castle and title. 

This was very short (only 60 pages) and if I hadn’t read any of the other books I would have been lost. I knew most of the information in the book since I read the three books and then found the novella and read it last. The book did explain a few things a little more. However, it wasn’t necessary to read this to understand what had happened–though I did enjoy revisiting Selchester, the Castle, Hugo, Freya and Georgia again!

Rating: C+

a-matter-of-loyalty-by-anselm-audley-&-elizabeth-edmondsonA Matter of Loyalty, book 3–this book was started by Ms. Edmondson and finished by her son who is also an author.

January 1954. Mists cover the hills around Selchester. Someone at the research facility known as the Atomic is leaking secrets to Soviet Russia, and when nuclear scientist Bruno Rothesay goes missing, the British Intelligence Services are convinced he’s the mole. Hugo Hawksworth isn’t so sure. Then a body turns up, and Hugo’s instincts are proven correct. But if Rothesay wasn’t selling secrets to the Soviets, who is?

As Hugo digs deeper into buried connections and unlikely coincidences, he knows there’s more to this case than his London superiors believe. But following his instincts will pit him against the Establishment—and tangle him once again in the poisonous legacy of the late Lord Selchester.

As he closes in on the truth, Hugo finds himself confronted by an adversary who will stop at nothing, in a case that will prove the most personal of his career.

This series takes place in rural England in 1953 to 1954 at a top-secret government complex. The main character is Hugo Hawksworth an agent wounded on a mission and now confined to desk duty. His job is to search for sleeper Soviet agents after two British agents defected to the Soviet Union. I like how the author has used history in this series since two British agents–Guy Burgess and Donald Duart Maclean–really did defect in 1951. Burgess and Maclean were part of the Cambridge Spy Ring (young men recruited when they were at students at Cambridge in the 1930s). Kim Philby is probably the most famous double agent in this spy ring. He defected to the Soviet Union in 1963.

In the third book a British scientist working on the atomic bomb for the British has disappeared and the British government is worried he also defected to Russia. Hugo has to work with an Inspector Jarrett from the Special Branch as they search for clues about the missing British scientist. Inspector Jarrett is a very impatient man, is suspicious of everyone and once his mind is made up he doesn’t want to change. He’s difficult to work with since he thinks everyone else working on the case is incompetent. Jarrett and everyone else except Hugo are content to take the easy answer even if an innocent man hangs.

I really enjoy Hugo’s sister Georgia. She’s a teenager and Hugo is her guardian since their parents were both killed during WWII. Georgia is precocious and curious which sometimes gets her into trouble. The author does a good job portraying the insecurities Georgia has from her parents dying as well as Georgia having been trapped in the same bombed building that killed her mother. Even though she’s insecure sometimes she tries to show self-confidence and does show lots of bravery. I also like the local Selchester people including those living and working at the castle–especially Freya (the late Lord Selchester’s niece) and Mrs. Partridge (the housekeeper).  The covers of all four books are very well done, too.

This is a good mystery plus the characters are well-drawn in this series. Elizabeth Edmondson had planned to write more books in this series. However, this is the last one and her son does a pretty good job of wrapping up the series.

Rating: B+

Have you read any of the books in this series?

A Matter of Loyalty fulfills the rules for the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge and I will add a link for this book to the Challenge site.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

four-funerals-and-maybe-a-wedding-by-rhys-bowenFour Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

Series: Her Royal Spyness #12

Published by Berkley

Publishing date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Historical Mystery (1930’s England)

304 pages

Synopsis: Georgie is finally able to plan for her wedding in the summer. It is going to be a summer of weddings: her mother is marrying Max, her German beau; Georgie’s grandfather is marrying his next door neighbor, Mrs. Huggins; and Darcy’s father is getting up the courage to ask the princess to marry him. Georgie is staying at the princess’s London house when she receives a letter from one of her mother’s former husbands, Sir Hubert Anstruther. Georgie is now his sole heir, and he’s offering her the use of his lovely country house. He suggests she move in right away to keep an eye on the place because all might not be well since his butler died.

Georgie talks this through with her husband-to-be, Darcy, who is off to Europe again, this time to Berlin. They decide that she will take Sir Hubert up on his offer. However, when Georgie arrives, it becomes clear that she is definitely not wanted in the house. Strange things are happening, including a lively ghost and a less than friendly reception from the new butler. When a body shows up, Georgie realizes that Sir Hubert’s invitation may not have been entirely altruistic and begins to wonder if she’ll even make it to her wedding day. 

………………………..

This is one of my favorite light historical mystery series. Georgie is a fun character and I really enjoy the history of the 1930’s in England and the rest of Europe. I also like the fact that Georgie has matured a lot as the books have gone by. She’s finally getting closer to getting married to Darcy which I will enjoy seeing happen.

Sunday Post–snow starts to melt

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home

It warmed up this week–upper 40’s–and a lot of our 10 inches of snow melted. On Sunday it’s supposed to get up to 55 degrees! We’re taking care of our daughter’s dogs this weekend since she’s gone for the weekend. They’ve had lots of fun running in the backyard that still has some snow. I got pictures of them chasing each other!

Earlier in the week I saw a couple of wild turkeys in our yard and got a photo of them. Luckily they haven’t come back since the dogs are here. Juneau, the yellow lab, loves to chase the squirrels and she’s come close to catching them. It wouldn’t be good for the turkeys!

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Television

We’re still watching quite a few different Olympic sports and enjoying them. I’m always in awe of the athletes. We watched another episode of Altered Carbon, too. I’m trying to have us just watch a couple of episodes a week so we have the show around for awhile. I think we have three or four episodes left.

Blog

I’ve decided to do some reading challenges this year and I’m excited about them since I didn’t do any last year. However, some of the challenges require reviews so I’ve decided to do mini reviews. I’ll have to see how that works out!

I’ve created an Instagram account and am learning what I have to do for that. Of course, almost all my books are digital–ebooks or audiobooks–so it’s kind of hard to upload photos of my books! But I’ve uploaded a few other photos. I will connect it to my blog sometime this week.

Last week
Next week
  • Tell Me Something Tuesday
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • mini review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

White Nights by Ann Cleeves

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

What I read last week

Nothing finished

Books I got this week

Diamond Girl by Julie Mulhern

Meddling and Murder by Ovidia Yu

Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt (Kindle Unlimited)

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (audiobook)

Take Out by Margaret Maron (audiobook)

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (audiobook)

A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch (audiobook)

P.S. from Paris by Marc Levy (audiobook)

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (library audiobook)

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (library audiobook)

What did you do last week?

2018 Reading Challenges

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’m participating in the Goodreads challenge again this year. Last year my goal was to read 100 books and I read exactly that! This year I decreased my goal to 90 books. I feel like I have lots more going on in 2018 and I want to read books because I love reading not to meet a challenge. (However, if I read more than 90 books I will be very happy!)

Other challenges

I’ve decided to participate in a few other challenges this year. Last year I didn’t take part in any reading challenges so I’m ready this year to jump in. It’s always fun and I usually read books I might not read otherwise. Some of these challenges need me to not only read the book, but also post a review. Thus, I’ve decided to do at least a mini review of the books I read. Hopefully this will get me to write a little about the books I’m reading.

Cloak and Dagger Challenge

Hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

I can read any type of mystery for this challenge. I like that about the challenge. I had a lot of fun when I did this challenge a couple of years ago.

Goal: Inspector Level–26-35 books

Monthly Link-up for mysteries read each month.

Discussion Challenge

Hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

Discuss books and book blogging. Talk about whatever you want as long as it’s relevant to book blogging. Discussions can be book related or book blogging related (or generally blogging related).

Goal: Discussion Dabbler–1-10 discussions

Monthly Link-up for discussion posts each month for giveaways and see what discussions other people post.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Hosted on the POPSUGAR website.

I participated in this challenge two or three years ago and it was lots of fun. I did read types of books I don’t often read by doing this challenge last time so I hope to do the same this year. There’s also a Goodreads group that I can join. (I’ll think about that for now.)

Goal: to broaden my reading horizons by trying to read all 40 of the book prompts plus there are 10 extra book prompts in a more advanced listing. I hope I can complete at least 80% of the list.

Swords & Stars Reading Challenge

Hosted by MsNoseinaBook

This is a new challenge and it sounds fun. There’s a list of twenty science fiction & fantasy prompts. I’m looking forward to how many books I will find to fit the different prompts.

Goal: I would like to read a book for each challenge on this list, but would be happy with finishing 80% of the list.

…………………………

I plan to create a page on my blog for each of these challenges so that I can keep track of my progress.

Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? Do you like reading challenges? What are your favorite challenges?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Privilege of Peace by Tanya Huff

 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

the-privilege-of-peace-by-tanya-huffThe Privilege of Peace by Tanya Huff

Series: Peacekeeper #3

Published by DAW

Publishing date: June 5, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

336 pages

Synopsis: Former space marine Torin Kerr returns for one final adventure to save the Confederation in the last book in the military science fiction Peacekeeper trilogy.

Warden Torin Kerr has put her past behind her and built a life away from the war and everything that meant. From the good, from the bad. From the heroics, from the betrayal. She’s created a place and purpose for others like her, a way to use their training for the good of the Confederation. She has friends, family, purpose.

Unfortunately, her past refuses to grant her the same absolution. Big Yellow, the ship form of the plastic aliens responsible for the war, returns. The Silsviss test the strength of the Confederation. Torin has to be Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once again and find a way to keep the peace. 

……………….

Torin Kerr (the main character) is such a heroic character. I love reading about her. She’s not perfect and she has her own demons as well as finding it hard to fit in after the end of war. Tanya Huff has done a good job of showing the difficulties warriors and the military sometimes have fitting in to a “peace” society–especially one that isn’t as peaceful as it tries to appear.

This series is a continuation of her military science fiction Confederation series with many of the same characters including Torin Kerr. The second book of the this series really worked for me (better than the first Peacekeeper book) so I’m excited to read this book when it comes out.

Sunday Post: The Olympics Start

Sunday-PostKimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home

I’m over my cold and spent a little time sorting books and moving them to a different room. If they’re moved to a different room I must have done something good with them–right?!! I did find a few I plan to donate or take to the used bookstore.

We had more snow this week–an inch here and there plus a little over five inches one day for about 10 inches over the whole week. We bought a snowblower when we first moved here and I’m so glad we did. We have a long steep driveway that no one would be able to drive up if we didn’t have the snowblower. It usually takes about an hour to get the driveway clear even with the snowblower. It was only 4 degrees when I got up Saturday morning to a couple more inches of snow. Luckily we have a good furnace.

Television

My husband and I watched the beginning of the Olympics. So far we’ve seen some biathlon, a little skating, curling and the opening ceremonies. I really enjoy the winter Olympics. We also found a new Netflix show we’re enjoying–Altered Carbon. It’s a science fiction and it’s good. We’re also enjoying the Inspector George Gently series on Acorn. It’s a British police show.

Blog

I’m still feeling my way with my blog since I was away from it for so long. I’m enjoying what I’ve done so far. I’m trying to get a few posts done to have in reserve when I need them.

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

I’m a mood reader and I haven’t decided what I’m in the mood for!

What I read last week

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Books I got this week

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy by Ann Cleeves

Modern Crimes by Chris Nickson

Game Over by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang (Kindle Unlimited)

West Cork by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde (Audible–free to download until May 2018)

What did you do last week?