Sunday Post: 2022–A new year

Connecting with others to talk about books plus 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

2022 begins. And hard to believe we start a third year with Covid-19 still causing many deaths and consuming our thoughts and changing our lives.

My Christmas

So fun with our children and our animals here in our new home. I know how lucky and blessed we are–we’re vaccinated, healthy, we like and love each other, our kids have good jobs, my husband and I have enough to live a comfortable life.

Blog

I read 103 books in 2021 so I exceeded my Goodreads Reading Challenge by three books! I decided to keep my 2022 challenge at 100. That’s a comfortable number for me. I have plans to do a few more things in 2022 besides my blog and reading though reading remains one activity I would have a hard time giving up. That is why I’m a readerholic after all. . . .

Louise Penny is one of my favorite authors. She writes the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series–a wonderful well-written mystery series. Each month she sends a newsletter to subscribers and I have come to admire not only her fiction writing, but also her candidness and thoughtfulness in her newsletters. I received her January newsletter yesterday. One of the things she includes in every newsletter is a quote and I love quotes!

Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.

Susan Sontag

At the end of her January newsletter Louise Penny took the quote and adapted it slightly: “Kindness, dear friend… Kindness. And courage. And health.”

And that, dear friends, is what I wish for all of you in 2022!

Posts
Posts for next week
  • January 2022 books on my list
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Doors of Sleep by Tim Pratt
Books read
  • The Wicche Glass Tavern by Seana Kelly
  • Moorings by David Moore
  • “Warms You Twice” by Craig Johnson (2021 Walt Longmire Christmas short story)
New books

What are your plans and hope for 2022?

Sunday Post: Less than a week till Christmas

Connecting with others to talk about books plus 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

We’ve had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets so far this month, but no snow! Apparently there’s only a 25% chance for snow in the Indianapolis area at Christmastime!

Our menagerie

Not only do we have a new kitten in our household, but we’ve also been taking care of our son’s mini dachshund this month. Our son is moving from Seattle to New York City this month so we offered to keep Duke for him while he packed up and left Seattle and then rented an apartment in NYC. He found an apartment this week and he arrives back at our house tomorrow. We are all excited to see him!

Olaf and Blaze (our cat and kitten) and Duke all get along well so they’ve all had fun together. It’s very cute how Duke sometimes runs up to them to break up the wrestling match when Olaf and Blaze are playing together. I think he’d like to play with them, too, but none of them quite know how to do that!

Baking

I’ve baked quite a few cookies so far this month and hope to get some more baking done this week. I made Ginger Cookies also, but forgot to take a photo of them. These are all new recipes I made this year, but they’re all drop cookies so easy and quick to make. The cookies all taste great. I was concerned because the chocolate chip cookies didn’t brown very much on top, but my husband has taste-tested and says they’re the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made!

Neighbors

We’ve delivered some of the cookies I’ve baked to some of our neighbors. We also had some of our neighbors to our house to get to know them a little better. That’s been nice and I think we’ll get together with some of them again after Christmas.

Christmas

I’m so excited to spend our first Christmas here in our new house. Our three kids will be here which is wonderful.

Our son arrives tomorrow and our Illinois daughter arrives on the 23rd and we’ve got tickets to hear Handel’s Messiah that evening. I think we’re going to watch Christmas movies on Christmas Eve plus we always play some games during the Christmas holiday. Of course, we’ve got lots of cooking and baking planned and even some time with no particular plans!

Blog

I haven’t read any Christmas themed books this year. I started one and liked it pretty well, but just wasn’t feeling like reading it very much. I finally had to return it to the library and I’d only read 50% of it.

However, I’ve read other books in the last couple of months that I’ve really enjoyed–especially some fun urban fantasy books. So even though I was five books behind at times this year with my Goodreads Challenge Goal of 100 books I’ve completed the challenge. So far I’ve read 101 books and hope to read at least two or three more before the end of the year.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Wicche Glass Tavern by Seana Kelly
Books read
  • Deadly Wishes by Rachel McLean
  • State of Terror by Hilary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny
  • Scorched Heart by Helen Harper
  • Junkyard Bargain by Faith Hunter
  • The Noose of a New Moon by Helen Harper
New books

What are you doing next week? If you celebrate Christmas what are some of your traditions? If you don’t celebrate Christmas do you have other celebrations at this time of year?

Sunday Post: Lots of (fun) things to do

Connecting with others to talk about books plus 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

Life has been busy around our house and I haven’t gotten a post done for a couple of weeks. As you read more of my post you will understand why I’m so busy!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was so much fun. About 45 adults and children came. My husband and I hosted a brunch at our new Indiana home. Most of our family hadn’t seen our house so it was fun to show them around. Our kids all helped get the brunch put together and we kept things simple.

Thanksgiving dinner was at our niece’s house. She lives about 20 minutes away from us. There was lots of food since everyone who comes contributes something. I cooked two 14 pound turkeys instead of one large turkey since smaller turkeys are so much easier to cook. We had lots of activities for the kids. Lots of the family arrived on Tuesday so on Wednesday kids and parents went to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. We had homemade soups at the hotel one night so all the kids who wanted to could swim. There was a treasure hunt and hiking in a park. It’s so great to see cousins playing with and getting to know each other. Such a fun time for everyone!

Christmas decorations

We put up our Christmas tree and decorated our house on Thanksgiving weekend. I plan to make cookies later today and during the week. We’re working on Christmas cards. Thanksgiving, the time before Christmas and Christmas are just about my favorite times of the year.

A new kitten

We got another ragdoll kitten this week. We’ve had him less than a week and he and my two year old ragdoll cat are getting along great! As I type this they’re sleeping together on my lap. We’ve named the new kitten Blaze since he has a blaze running up the middle of his face. He’s a mitted (meaning his front paws are white) seal point with a blaze. Olaf, my two year old cat, is a mitted blue point cat. I’m so relieved they’re getting along so well.

Blog

I’m hoping to read some blogs this week and leave a few comments. However, I am going to be very busy so realistically I’ll just have to see how it works out.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • November & December books on my list
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
  • Deadly Wishes by Rachel McLean
Books read
  • Brimstone Bound by Helen Harper
  • Infernal Enchantment by Helen Harper
  • Alpha by Audrey Faye
  • Midnight Smoke by Helen Harper
New books

What’re you doing?

October 2021 books on my list

Fantasies, time travel, historical mystery, Christmas romance

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 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.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are very expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget! I always check my library for the expensive books and I add authors to eReader IQ which then tells me when the authors’ books have gone on sale.

October 5

I’ve read the first two books in this series and really enjoyed them so I hope to read this book soon.

The Wicche Glass Tavern

by Seana Kelly

Series: Sam Quinn #3

Published by NYLA

Genre: Urban Fantasy

350 pages

Synopsis: I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Clive, my vampire gentleman caller, has asked me to marry him. His nocturne is less than celebratory. Unfortunately, for them and the sexy vamp doing her best to seduce him, his cold, dead heart beats only for me.

As much as my love life feels like a minefield, it has to take a backseat to a far more pressing problem. The time has come. I need to deal with my aunt, the woman who’s been trying to kill me for as long as I can remember. She’s learned a new trick. She’s figured out how to weaponize my friends against me. To have any hope of surviving, I have to learn to use my necromantic gifts. I need a teacher. We find one hiding among the fae, which is a completely different problem. I need to determine what I’m capable of in a hurry because my aunt doesn’t care how many are hurt or killed as long as she gets what she wants. Sadly for me, what she wants is my name on a headstone.

I’m gathering my friends—werewolves, vampires, wicches, gorgons, a Fury, a half-demon, an elf, and a couple of dragon-shifters—into a kind of Fellowship of the Sam. It’s going to be one hell of a battle. Hopefully, San Francisco will still be standing when the dust clears.

I love the cover and it sounds like it will be fun.

A Spindle Splintered

by Alix E. Harrow

Series: Fractured Fables #1

Published by Tordotcom

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

128 pages

Synopsis: It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

October 12

This is a favorite series though I’m several books behind so I hope I can read a few of them before the end of the year.

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness Mystery #15

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Georgie is back and hanging the stockings with care when a murder interrupts her Christmas cheer in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling Royal Spyness series from Rhys Bowen.

Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas. Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.

Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple eavesdropping. There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the crosshairs of a killer.

October 14

I’ve preordered the audiobook of this book. This series and the related time travel St. Mary’s series Jodi Taylor writes are so good and some of my favorite books.

Saving Time

by Jodi Taylor

Series: Time Police #3

Published by Headline

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

352 pages

Synopsis: Life is good for Team Weird, now heroes and fully fledged Time Police officers. Luke can’t wait to bear arms. Jane has a date. And Matthew still hasn’t had his hair cut.

But Time waits for no one and neither do criminal masterminds. A major threat to the Timeline is looming, one far deadlier than mere idiots who want to change history. And when a familiar face becomes a Very Important Lead, will conflicting family loyalties spell trouble for Team Weird?

One missing. One guilt-ridden. And one facing the end of their Time Police career before it’s even begun. Not so good then, after all.

October 26

I’ve read quite a few of Jenny Colgan’s books and enjoyed every one of them.

The Christmas Bookshop

by Jenny Colgan

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Romance, Christmas

288 pages

Synopsis: When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.

At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What October books are you looking forward to?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen by Rhys Bowen

One of my favorite historical mystery series and this take place during Christmas!

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 . . .

God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness Mystery #15

Published by Berkley

Publishing date: Oct. 5

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Georgie is back and hanging the stockings with care when a murder interrupts her Christmas cheer in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling Royal Spyness series from Rhys Bowen.

Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas. Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.

Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple eavesdropping. There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the crosshairs of a killer.

………………………………….

This is one of my favorite mystery series and yet I haven’t read several books in the series so I need to catch up! Hopefully, this will help remind me to read two or three of the books this year. I also love reading Christmas mysteries (as long as they’re at least somewhat cozy!)

Sunday Post: It’s January 2021, but not much has changed yet

A chance to connect with others & talk about books plus 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

2020 was a difficult year. I’m hoping for better things during 2021. But maybe that’s going to take some time.

Christmas

I made a Shutterfly calendar for my brother for Christmas and I liked it so much I ordered calendars for myself, my kids and my niece. The calendar had pictures of my parents–mostly from when they were young. The front of the calendar has a photo of the house where my brother and I grew up in Oregon. We all loved the house so much. My dad took a small, old house with no plumbing and rebuilt it adding plumbing and electricity. They moved to the house when I was a baby and I remember when I was a child there was a table saw in our living room since my dad worked on the house after work and on weekends.

We had a quiet, simple Christmas with multiple FaceTime meetings throughout the day with our kids and other family members.

More snow

Between Christmas and New Year’s we had a snowstorm with almost 10 inches of snow. The snow is still around. Our backyard is on the north side of our house so we still have a lot of snow back there.

Preparations for move

During these months my husband and I sold some of our furniture and other items. We’ve continued to find things to throw away, give away and things we want to take with us. My husband’s goal each week is to fill the garbage and recycling bins!

We are doing this move ourselves so we’ve started boxing what we won’t need for a few months.

We’re moving some furniture to one of our daughter’s homes next week. Since we’re renting a truck to do that we’re also taking boxes we’ve packed so far.

Once we finish packing as much as we can we will finish decluttering the house. All the pictures need to come off the walls, all the clutter packed away and massive cleaning plus some painting and any repairs that need to be done. We hope to be done with all that by the end of February so the house can go on the market in March.

Our new house

The builders finally “broke ground” on our house in the last week of December. They poured the foundation this week and hopefully can start the building soon. We’re hoping we can move into our new house by May.

Blog Life

I didn’t post much in November and December. Just too much stress, so I mostly stayed away from the internet. I did do a lot of reading in 2020–120 books…beating my Goodreads goal by 30 books!

The first two books I read in 2021 were both books I read when the books were first published–one in 2001 and the other in 1993. I don’t reread books very often, but I enjoyed rereading these in 2021–mostly because I didn’t remember all the details!

Posts
Posts for next week
  • What I read in 2020
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • My favorite 2020 books
  • My five favorite new authors in 202o
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • No Past Forgiven by Valerie Keogh
Books I read last week
  • The Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
  • Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
A few books I got recently

What are you hoping for in 2021? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: Christmas nearly here

A chance to connect with others and talk about books plus 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.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas!

Personal life

December snow

We had almost seven inches of snow last week and it has stayed cold so we still have quite a bit. We may still have snow around on Christmas Day!

Christmas preparations

I’ve spent the last few weeks making Christmas cards, Christmas cookies and talking to my kids about how we’re going to celebrate Christmas even if we are far apart. Above are a few of the cards I made. We’ve gotten all our cards mailed. Many years I’m still sending cards after Christmas. (Then they’re New Year cards!)

I’ve also made several batches of cookies and sent cookies and some presents to my kids.

Christmas Day plans

Since we’re far apart we decided to each make the same (or similar) meal. We’re going to do zoom calls on Christmas Day and we’ll open presents together. Then later in the day we’ll cook together. We’re keeping things simple and all doing a beef roast with a few easy side dishes and maybe a fruit crisp for dessert.

This all has to get planned so that we can try to get the ingredients we need from the store. My husband and I are doing curbside pickup for our groceries so we can’t always get the exact things we want. Since our kids all work they have to figure out when they can get the things they need. Plus we live in three different time zones! But this is a way for us to feel connected and try to stay as safe as we can while we wait for a vaccine.

Blog Life

I haven’t written very much in the last month or so. I couldn’t concentrate on writing anything or visiting other blogs. I needed to do as much as I could for Christmas this year since our family is apart. We’re making final preparations today for what we’ll do Christmas Day.

I’m not going to post anything more until after the new year. However, I am hoping to write some things for my blog after Christmas to post in 2021.

Posted last week
No posts until after the new year

My books

I’ve done a lot of reading this year and have enjoyed so many books. Mostly, they’re books I was able to read and lose my everyday self for awhile. This has been an anxious year and reading has been my solace. Sometimes I’ve found a book by an author and then had to read lots more books by that author.

That happened this month with a series by Kelley Armstrong. I devoured three books by her. However, a funny thing happened when I decided to read the last book in the series. It wasn’t the last book in the series I was reading! I read The Reckoning by mistake thinking it was book 3 of the Darkness Rising series when it was really book 3 of the Darkest Powers series!

The two series are connected–which I didn’t realize at first. I kept waiting for the characters from the Darkness Rising series to appear. When they didn’t I finally figured out I had the wrong book, but was already enjoying The Reckoning so I finished it. Then I found the right book 3 and I’m reading that now!

I guess that shows I’m also kind of distracted!

What I’m reading
  • The Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
  • The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
Some books I read the last few weeks
  • The Other Woman by Jane Isaac
  • A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo
  • Nogged Off by Barbara Ross
  • For Better, For Worse by Jane Isaac
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  • Christmas Island by Natalie Normann
  • Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
  • The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
A few books I got recently

Christmas Island by Natalie Normann

Take a Look at the Five and Ten by Connie Willis

Forging Fire by Lisa Preston

Christmas in Bayberry by Jennifer Faye

Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe

……………………….

I hope you’re all safe and well. I hope you stay safe as Covid cases surge in many places in the world–especially here in the United States.

I also hope that as 2021 comes along we’re all able to stay patient: wear masks when needed, wash our hands and keep our distance to keep each other safe.

And get vaccinated when we can.

December 2020 books on my list

A few November books I missed in my list last month plus four December books!

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.

……………………

I missed several books in my November book list so I’ve added them in this one. And I’ve already purchased three of the November books: A Promised Land, Christmas Island and Take a Look at the Five and Ten.

November 17

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama

Published by Crown

Genre: Memoir

768 pages

Synopsis: A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

November 30

Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower

by Tamsyn Muir

Series: Unknown

Published by Subterranean Press

Genre: Fantasy Novella

200 pages

Synopsis: When the witch built the forty-flight tower, she made very sure to do the whole thing properly. Each flight contains a dreadful monster, ranging from a diamond-scaled dragon to a pack of slavering goblins. Should a prince battle his way to the top, he will be rewarded with a golden sword—and the lovely Princess Floralinda.

But no prince has managed to conquer the first flight yet, let alone get to the fortieth.

In fact, the supply of fresh princes seems to have quite dried up.

And winter is closing in on Floralinda…

Christmas Island

by Natalie Normann

Series: Unknown

Published by One More Chapter

Genre: Romance, Christmas, Norway

340 pages

Synopsis: Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!

In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable

After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Take a Look at the Five and Ten

by Connie Willis

Published by Subterranean Press

Genre: Science Fiction, Christmas, novella

120 pages

Synopsis: Ori’s holidays are an endless series of elaborately awful meals cooked by her one-time stepfather Dave’s latest bride. Attended by a loose assemblage of family, Ori particularly dreads Grandma Elving—grandmother of Dave’s fourth wife—and her rhapsodizing about the Christmas she worked at Woolworth’s in the 1950s. And, of course, she hates being condescended to by beautiful, popular Sloane and her latest handsome pre-med or pre-law bocyfriend.

But this Christmas is different. Sloane’s latest catch Lassiter is extremely interested in Grandma Elving’s boringly detailed memories of that seasonal job, seeing in them the hallmarks of a TFBM, or traumatic flashbulb memory. With Ori’s assistance, he begins to use the older woman in an experiment—one she eagerly agrees to. As Ori and Lassiter spend more time together, Ori’s feelings for him grow alongside the elusive mystery of Grandma’s past.

December 1

The Outcast Girls

by Alys Clare

Series: World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery #2

Published by Severn House Publishers

Genre: Historical Mystery

256 pages

Synopsis: London, 1881. Lily Raynor, owner of the World’s End Investigation Bureau, is growing increasingly worried. Work is drying up, finances are tight and she cannot find enough for her sole employee, Felix Wilbraham, to do. So when schoolteacher Georgiana Long arrives, with a worrying tale of runaway pupils, it seems like the answer to her prayers. The case is an interesting one, and what could be less perilous than a trip to a girls’ boarding school, out in the Fens?

Disguised as the new Assistant Matron, Lily joins the Shardlowes School staff, while Felix – suppressing his worries about his cool, calm employer – remains behind. But there are undercurrents at Shardlowes, and the shadowy, powerful men who fund the school’s less fortunate pupils loom larger as Felix’s own investigations unfold. Felix can’t shake off his fear that Lily is in danger – and soon, his premonitions come frighteningly true . . .

Death at a Country Mansion

by Louise R. Innes

Series: Daisy Thorne Mystery #1

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

288 pages

Synopsis: No one would ever accuse famous opera star Dame Serena Levanté of lacking a flare for the dramatic. Unfortunately, it’s curtains down on the dysfunctional diva when she’s found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her elegant home. Solving an opera singer’s murder may not be the typical hairdresser’s aria of expertise. But Dame Serena was the mother of Daisy’s best friend Floria, so Daisy must do-or-dye her best to get to the roots of the case.

When a priceless Modigliani painting in the house is reported missing, the mystery gets even more tangled. Even though the gruff but handsome Detective Inspector Paul McGuinness tells the stylist to stay out of his hair, Daisy is determined to make sure the killer faces a stern makeover—behind bars.

December 29

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

by Marie Benedict

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

Genre: Historial Fiction, Mystery

288 pages

Synopsis: In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark exploration into the shadows of history, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such a murky story.

Olive Bright, Pigeoneer

by Stephanie Graves

Series: Unknown

Published by Kensington

Genre: Historical Mystery, WWII England, Espionage

304 pages

Synopsis: Set in a charming British village during World War II, Stephanie Graves’ new charming historical mystery introduces Olive Bright, a spirited young pigeon fancier who finds herself at the heart of a baffling murder…

Though war rages across mainland Europe and London is strafed by German aircraft, the little village of Pipley in Hertfordshire bustles along much as it always has. Adrift since her best friend, George, joined the Royal Air Force, twenty-two-year-old Olive Bright fills her days by helping at her father’s veterinary practice and tending to her beloved racing pigeons. Desperate to do her bit, Olive hopes that the National Pigeon Service will enlist Bright Lofts’ expertise, and use their highly trained birds to deliver critical, coded messages for His Majesty’s Forces. The strangers who arrive in Pipley are not from the NPS. Instead, Jameson Aldridge and his associate are tied to a covert British intelligence organization known as Baker Street. If Olive wants her pigeons to help the war effort, she must do so in complete secrecy. Tired of living vicariously through the characters of her beloved Agatha Christie novels, Olive readily agrees. But in the midst of her subterfuge, the village of Pipley is dealing with another mystery. Local busybody Miss Husselbee is found dead outside Olive’s pigeon loft. Is the murder tied to Olive’s new assignment? Or did Miss Husselbee finally succeed in ferreting out a secret shameful enough to kill for? With the gruff, handsome Jameson as an unlikely ally, Olive intends to find out–but homing in on a murderer can be a deadly business…

What December books do you hope to read? What books have I missed?

October 2020 books on my list

Mysteries, Science Fiction, Historical, Young Adult, Fantasy, Christmas, Time Travel–Any books here that strike your fancy?

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 1

The Unspoken

by Ian K. Smith

Series: Ashe Cayne #1

Published by Thomas Mercer

Genre: Mystery

295 pages

Synopsis: Former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. After refusing to participate in a police department cover-up involving the death of a young black man, Cayne is pushed out of the force. But he won’t sit quietly on the sidelines: he’s compelled to fight for justice as a private investigator…even if it means putting himself in jeopardy.

When a young woman, Tinsley Gerrigan, goes missing, her wealthy parents from the North Shore hire Cayne to find her. As Cayne looks into her life and past, he uncovers secrets Tinsley’s been hiding from her family. Cayne fears he may never find Tinsley alive.

His worries spike when Tinsley’s boyfriend is found dead—another black man murdered on the tough Chicago streets. Cayne must navigate his complicated relationships within the Chicago PD, leveraging his contacts and police skills to find the missing young woman, see justice done, and earn his redemption.

October 6

Over the Woodward Wall

by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire)

Published by Tordotcom

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA

208 pages

Synopsis: Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street.
They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures.

And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

Machine

by Elizabeth Bear

Series: White Space #2

Published by: Gallery / Saga

Genre: Science fiction, Space Opera

496 pages

Synopsis: Meet Doctor Jens.

She hasn’t had a decent cup of coffee in fifteen years. Her workday begins when she jumps out of perfectly good space ships and continues with developing treatments for sick alien species she’s never seen before. She loves her life. Even without the coffee.

But Dr. Jens is about to discover an astonishing mystery: two ships, one ancient and one new, locked in a deadly embrace. The crew is suffering from an unknown ailment and the shipmind is trapped in an inadequate body, much of her memory pared away.

Unfortunately, Dr. Jens can’t resist a mystery and she begins doing some digging. She has no idea that she’s about to discover horrifying and life-changing truths.

Deception by Gaslight

by Kate Belli

Series: Gilded Gaslight Mystery #1

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

327 pages

Synopsis: Glittering Gilded-Age New York holds its lavish charms–and a litany of deadly sins–as intrepid reporter Genevieve Stewart uncovers a trail of corruption and murder.

As a chill sets in on New York City in the winter of 1888, a jewel thief dubbed the “Robin Hood of the Lower East Side” has been stealing from the city’s wealthiest and giving to the poor. Genevieve Stewart–a young woman whose family is part of Mrs. Astor’s famed 400 but who has forged a life of her own as a reporter–decides to chase the story, but gets more than she bargained for: a murder victim sprawled in a dark alley in the dangerous Five Points neighborhood.

A handsome neighborhood tough comes to her rescue–but when she encounters the same man at a glamorous ball a few nights later, she realizes he’s society scion Daniel McCaffrey. Could this be her Robin Hood? When two more murders rock the Knickerbocker world, it becomes apparent that something much more sinister is afoot than a few stolen diamond necklaces. Genevieve is determined to prove that Daniel is Robin Hood–but she’s loath to believe he is a killer as well. From the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue to the sordid back alleys of Five Points, the truth is just one murder away.

Bright and Dangerous Objects

by Anneliese Mackintosh

Published by Tin House Books

Genre: Science Fiction

240 pages

Synopsis: Commercial deep-sea diver Solvig has a secret. She wants to be one of the first human beings to colonize Mars, and she’s one of a hundred people shortlisted by the Mars Project to do just that. But to fulfil her ambition, she’ll have to leave behind everything she’s ever known—for the rest of her life.

As the prospect of heading to space becomes more real, thirty-seven-year-old Solvig is forced to define who she really is. Will she come clean to James, her partner, about her plans?  Or will she turn her back on the project, and commit to her life on Earth? Maybe even try for a baby, like James is hoping? Is there any way she can start a family and go to Mars? Does she even want both things? Intimate and captivating, Bright and Dangerous Objects explores the space between ambition and obligation, grappling with questions women have faced for centuries while investigating a future that humanity is only beginning to think about. In frank, honest, and moving prose, author Anneliese Mackintosh moves from sea to sky, head to heart, and present to future, asking all the while what it means when our wildest dreams begin to come true.

Murder on Cold Street

by Sherry Thomas

Series: Lady Sherlock #5

Published by Berkley Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.

Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.

Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?

The Devil and the Dark Water

by Stuart Turton

Published by Sourcebook Landmarks

Genre: Historical Mystery

448 pages

Synopsis: A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

October 13

A Stitch in Time

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: A Stitch in Time #1

Published by KLA Fricke Inc.

Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance

336 pages

Synopsis: Thorne Manor has always been haunted…and it has always haunted Bronwyn Dale. As a young girl, Bronwyn could pass through a time slip in her great-aunt’s house, where she visited William Thorne, a boy her own age, born two centuries earlier. After a family tragedy, the house was shuttered and Bronwyn was convinced that William existed only in her imagination.

Now, twenty years later Bronwyn inherits Thorne Manor. And when she returns, William is waiting.

Space Throne

by Brian Corley

Published by Electric Fern

Genre: Science Fiction

305 pages

Synopsis: Parr never meant for any of this to happen. All he wanted to do was pilot the Aurora around the galaxy and avoid his royal duties for a while.

Now, in the wake of his parents’ mysterious demise, it’s time to un-fake his death and take up the mantle meant for him since birth.

Unfortunately, it won’t be easy.

A pirate king and the galaxy’s most dangerous bounty hunter stand between him and the gates of his home, Bilena Epso Ach.

Parr will need the help of two unlikely friends. Manc Yelray, a wise-cracking old pirate with money on his mind and an appetite for strange similies. And Ren, a smooth-talking outlander with a plan, and a shadowy secret of her own.

But do they have what it takes? And what will they eat along the way? Because there’s only one rule in space: never eat the hot snack.

ANYTHING but the hot snack.

October 15

Hard Time

by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Time Police #2

Published by Headline

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

352 pages

Synopsis: Team Weird are back causing havoc in the Time Police in this irresistible spin-off series by international bestseller Jodi Taylor, author of The Chronicles of St Mary’s. If you love Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde, you’ll love the Time Police.

A time slip in Versailles, problems in the Ice Age and illegal time travellers in need of rescue. Must be a job for the Time Police.

Luke, Jane and Matthew are back and ready to cause havoc – inadvertently or otherwise – in their latest adventures.

October 20

Christmas at the Island Hotel

by Jenny Colgan

Series: Mure #4

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Fiction, Christmas, Romance

352 pages

Synopsis: On the tiny, beautiful, and remote island of Mure, halfway between Scotland and Norway, a new hotel opening is a big event. New mother Flora MacKenzie and her brother Fintan are working themselves half to death to get it ready in time for Christmas. 

The new hotel’s impressive kitchens throw together two unlikely new friends: Isla Gregor is the hardworking young girl who has been a waitress in the island’s cafe, dreaming of a bigger, better life now that she’s at a proper fancy hotel. Konstantin Pederson is working his way up in the hotel’s kitchens too…but he is also, secretly, the only son of the Duke of Utsire. Konstantin has been sent to learn what it is to work hard for a living, before receiving his inheritance. Although he’s initially resentful, the place grows on him; he has never met anyone quite like Isla and her fellow Murians before. 

As the island’s residents and special VIP guests gather for the hotel’s grand opening gala, Christmas is in the air. But so are more than a few small-town secrets…

What October books are you interested in?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

Christmas on an island halfway between Scotland and Norway!

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 . . .

Christmas at the Island Hotel

by Jenny Colgan

Series: Mure #4

Published by William Morrow

Publishing date: October 29

Genre: Fiction, Christmas

352 pages

Synopsis: On the tiny, beautiful, and remote island of Mure, halfway between Scotland and Norway, a new hotel opening is a big event. New mother Flora MacKenzie and her brother Fintan are working themselves half to death to get it ready in time for Christmas. 

The new hotel’s impressive kitchens throw together two unlikely new friends: Isla Gregor is the hardworking young girl who has been a waitress in the island’s cafe, dreaming of a bigger, better life now that she’s at a proper fancy hotel. Konstantin Pederson is working his way up in the hotel’s kitchens too…but he is also, secretly, the only son of the Duke of Utsire. Konstantin has been sent to learn what it is to work hard for a living, before receiving his inheritance. Although he’s initially resentful, the place grows on him; he has never met anyone quite like Isla and her fellow Murians before. 

As the island’s residents and special VIP guests gather for the hotel’s grand opening gala, Christmas is in the air. But so are more than a few small-town secrets…

……………..

I like Jenny Colgan’s writing and especially in these pandemic times her books are heartwarming and calming for me!

I read book 3 in this series–Christmas on the Island–a couple years ago and it was a perfect Christmas book for me. The book made me happy, but it wasn’t saccharine sweet. Life goes on for people and life isn’t always what we expect or hope for–but people can rise to the occasion and that’s what can make me happy (even through the tears) and give me hope I can handle my problems!