Can’t Wait Wednesday: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

This sounds like another winner for Andy Weir!

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. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to 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 . . .

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

Published by Ballantine Books

Publication date: May 4

Genre: Science Fiction

496 pages

Synopsis: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

………………………………

What a great cover! I’ve really liked the other two books I read by Andy Weir and this sounds very good.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs

Urban fantasy series about werewolves from one of my favorite authors

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. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to 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 . . .

Wild Sign

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omega #6

Published by Ace Books

Publishing date: March 16

Genre: Urban Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It’s as if the people picked up and left everything they owned behind. Fearing something supernatural might be going on, the FBI taps a source they’ve consulted in the past: the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. But Charles and Anna soon find a deserted town is the least of the mysteries they face.

Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous—and it has met werewolves before.

………………………..

I’ve read Patricia Briggs’s books for years and love them all! So happy to read what happens next in this series!

Sunday Post: A breath of fresh air

A chance to connect with others–talking about books and our personal lives

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.

Personal life

I took a short break from my blog after the election. I’ve been stressed by the election, by the rise of Covid cases throughout the U.S. and by the current President and most of the Republican party’s refusal to admit Joe Biden won. I don’t want to argue about the election. I realize many people voted for Mr. Trump and Republicans did well in Congress. But more people voted for Mr. Biden. All those votes for both individuals mean something and I just want our country to get on with the important business of running the country.

Autumn

It feels like fall outside. Lots of wind, the leaves have fallen, cool temperatures and a little rain sometimes. But we’ve also had some beautiful bright blue skies and cold temperatures! I think Autumn is a time of anticipation and change and is one of my favorite times of the year.

However, this year it is also a time of uncertainty. Covid cases are spiking in many places of the world with the U.S. leading the way. Several of my younger relatives have had Covid recently. They all seem to be doing okay. Two of them are doctors and they are back at work.

Please wear masks! Keep yourself and others safe!
The election

I’m so glad the election is over. I am glad we will have a breath of fresh air in January when Biden becomes President. (Not that Biden or any person is perfect, but I hope he does well.) We need that right now with the pandemic surging and Trump doing little to try to stem the rise.

A breath of fresh air–out of the house for a drive in the country

On one of our bright blue sky days we took a drive into the surrounding area. This time it was to Madison County where the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller took place. It was a perfect afternoon to drive through rural Iowa and drive on some gravel roads. We found a couple of the famous covered bridges in the county. The Cedar Covered Bridge–the one shown on the cover of the book–was almost destroyed by arson a few years ago, but was rebuilt and reopened in 2019.

The second bridge we saw was moved from the North River in 1970 and is now in the City Park in Winterset, Iowa which is the county seat of Madison County. The City Park is large and has a one-way road that wanders through trees and continues to the top of a ridge where Clark Tower sits.

One of Winterset’s other claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of John Wayne. There’s a museum with a statue of John Wayne in front of it. Nearby is a large painted rock called Freedom Rock between the museum and John Wayne’s family home. Freedom Rocks are being painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II in each of the 99 counties in Iowa. (He only has four rocks left to paint!) Sorensen wants to promote Iowa tourism, honor Iowa veterans and to provide for his family. Each rock is unique and designed to tell a story of the county. One side of the rock in Winterset shows various film roles of John Wayne.

Blog Life

Little done on the blog for the last two weeks.

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

I’ve read and am reading some very good books so that makes me happy!

What I’m reading
  • Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie
  • The Concrete Jungle by Charles Stross
What I read
  • Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
  • Hard Time by Jodi Taylor
  • No Simple Death by Valerie Keogh
  • The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
Books I got

What are you up to next week?

Favorite urban fantasy

Five urban fantasy books which hooked me

Connect Five Friday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. (The hashtag is #connect5books) This is a fun and creative way to think about my books and reading. Check out Kathyrn’s blog and link up your Friday Five!

The five book-related items need to connect in some way, but each person who participates can decide for themselves what the book subject and connection is. For example, you could write about five books read last year or five books you want to read. It could even be favorite bookstores or five movies made from books.

…………………

I have more urban fantasy I like, but those are ones I’ve read more recently so I’ve left them off this list!

I really like urban fantasy. In fact, it’s one of the only types of fantasy I’ve read in the last few years. I got tired of some of the epic fantasies, but urban fantasy usually has a mystery that has to be solved. Since mysteries are one of my favorite genres it’s so fun when magic or fae or were-creatures or vampires are added plus an urban area. (For example, the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris has all the other elements of urban fantasy, but it’s not in an urban area so I left it off this list.)

For urban fantasy to work for me they need interesting characters plus interesting world building. When I first started reading them I wasn’t so jaded by reading about fae or vampires or magic, but now they need to have something fresh or unique about them to become a favorite. These are all books which I either continue to read the series or as is the case of War for the Oaks led the way to so much more.

This wasn’t the first urban fantasy I read, but War for the Oaks is considered one of the first urban fantasy books. (It was written in the 1980’s.)

I loved this book when I read it. There’s lots of music plus the fae in it–before the fae were so popular! Emma Bull won the Locus Award for Best First Novel for this book.

It’s not part of a series which seems to be the case for most urban fantasy written since.

Moon Called is the first book of the Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson series. This was one of the first “urban fantasy” books I read and I loved it.

I like the author’s depiction of werewolves and she’s great at writing interesting characters. I also like that the series is set in Spokane, Washington which is a nice little city.

Mercy is so fun as a coyote shifter. I like that she slowly finds out more about herself as the books go on.

Magic Bites, the first book in the Kate Daniels series, is still one of my favorites.

One of my strongest memories from this book is when Kate meets the leader of the Atlanta shapeshifters, finds out he’s a cat shapeshifter of some sort and says to him,”Here, kitty, kitty, kitty….” It was so funny and I knew I was going to love the books!

Rosemary and Rue immediately hooked me into this series. This is an edgier series than some urban fantasy. Seanan McGuire is very good with her world building and her imaginative plots.

I’m several books behind with this series. Hopefully, I will get started with the series again!

The other books in this list take place in the United States, but Rivers of London (book and series) takes place in England which I really enjoy.

I really like how Ben Aaronovitch uses the rivers and streams in the London area in these books. I also like that Peter Grant is a police constable who stumbles on magic in this first book.

Do you like urban fantasy? If you do, have you read any of these? What are your favorite urban fantasies?

November 2020 books on my list

Only a few books caught my eye for November. I’m sure I must have missed a few I’d really like!

books-on-my-list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of as the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget!

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

October 27

A book I forgot to add in October. And a great cover!

Murder at an Irish Christmas

by Carlene O’Connor

Series: Irish Village Mystery #6

Published by Kensington Publication

Genre: Mystery, Christmas

304 pages

Synopsis: Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan’s holiday plans hit a sour note when murder rearranges the yuletide carols into unexpected eulogies…

This December in Kilbane, if you’re planning to warm up with a cuppa tea at Naomi’s Bistro, you may have a bit of a wait–the entire O’Sullivan brood has gone off to West Cork to spend the holidays with brother James’s fiance Elise’s family, including her grandfather, the famous orchestral conductor Enda Elliot. Siobhan is so happy for James and Elise but also quietly disappointed that she must put her own wedding to fellow garda Macdara Flannery on hold. Mac will have to join them later, so he can spend part of the holidays with his mam.

When the O’Sullivans learn everyone will choose a name from a hat to buy a music-related Christmas gift for someone else at the gathering, it seems like their greatest concern–until the cantankerous conductor is discovered crushed under a ninety-pound harp in a local concert hall.

November 1

Spellbreaker

by Charlie N. Holmberg

Series: Spellbreaker Duology

Published by 47North

Genre: Historical Fantasy

300 pages

Synopsis: The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in.

November 10

The Arrest

by Jonathan Lethem

Series: Unknown

Published by Ecco

Genre: Science Fiction, Postapocalyptic

320 pages

Synopsis: The Arrest isn’t post-apocalypse. It isn’t a dystopia. It isn’t a utopia. It’s just what happens when much of what we take for granted—cars, guns, computers, and airplanes, for starters—quits working. . . . 

Before the Arrest, Sandy Duplessis had a reasonably good life as a screenwriter in L.A.  An old college friend and writing partner, the charismatic and malicious Peter Todbaum, had become one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. That didn’t hurt. 

Now, post-Arrest, nothing is what it was. Sandy, who calls himself Journeyman, has landed in rural Maine. There he assists the butcher and delivers the food grown by his sister, Maddy, at her organic farm. But then Todbaum shows up in an extraordinary vehicle: a retrofitted tunnel-digger powered by a nuclear reactor. Todbaum has spent the Arrest smashing his way across a fragmented and phantasmagorical United States, trailing enmities all the way. Plopping back into the siblings’ life with his usual odious panache, his motives are entirely unclear.  Can it be that Todbaum wants to produce one more extravaganza? Whatever he’s up to, it may fall to Journeyman to stop him. 

Murder in Old Bombay

by Nev March

Series: Unknown

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

400 pages

Synopsis: In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lies in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier, with little to do but re-read the tales of his idol, Sherlock Holmes, and browse the daily papers. The case that catches Captain Jim’s attention is being called the crime of the century: Two women fell from the busy university’s clock tower in broad daylight. Moved by Adi, the widower of one of the victims — his certainty that his wife and sister did not commit suicide — Captain Jim approaches the Parsee family and is hired to investigate what happened that terrible afternoon.

Based on a true story, and set against the vibrant backdrop of colonial India, Nev March’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning lyrical debut, Murder in Old Bombay, brings this tumultuous historical age to life.

November 24

Ready Player Two

by Ernest Cline

Series: Ready Player One #2

Published by Ballantine Books

Genre: Science fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?

Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

What books are you interested in for November?

Sunday Post: The U.S. election is finally here

weekly meme to talk about books and a little about our personal lives

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.

Personal life

Please wear masks! Stay safe & keep others safe!

We had a tiny bit of snow last Sunday, but now we’re getting warmer weather for the next week so we can get our driveway repair finished.

Election & Voting

As I’m sure even people living outside the U.S. know our election is finally almost here. I’m so glad of that, but I’m also afraid we won’t know anything for sure on Tuesday night or maybe not even by next week. And maybe longer.

I hope everyone in the U.S. has already voted or will vote on Monday or Tuesday. I mailed my ballot a couple weeks ago and received confirmation that my county election office has it and that it will be counted. We have signs in our yard urging people to vote. We’ve even donated some money to candidates. I know I have done about all that I can, but I still worry.

I had a stressful week. I know it does no good to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet so I try to tell myself to feel zen. That doesn’t always work. But I’m trying.

Furniture

We got most of the furniture we’re going to try to sell or donate put into our garage so that it’s easy for people to (hopefully) see and haul away.

Does anyone have internet sites they’ve used to sell furniture locally that have worked for them?

Blog Life

It was hard to do much on my blog this week other than publish my posts.

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • November books on my list
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

I have found so many good digital books that my library has and I’ve put them on hold and then two or three of them come in at once so that’s kept me busy reading library books. Four of the five books I’m reading or have read in the last couple of weeks are from my library.

What I’m reading
  • Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie
  • Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
What I read
  • The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
  • Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Books I got

What have you been up to?