Bookish Sleuth: Review of Better Late than Never by Jenn McKinlay

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Though this is book 7, it’s a perfectly good place to start the series. I did, and I could still follow just fine.

Librarian Lindsey Norris’s idea for a book amnesty day (no fines for late or damaged books) isn’t too popular at Briar Creek Public Library. They’re drowning under stacks of books–and then they find a book 20 years overdue, which turns out to have been checked out by a murdered woman–the very day she was murdered. The killer was never found–and may have been the person who returned the book. Lindsey wants to know why this happened, as this clue might help finally find the killer.

A fun read for fans of books, libraries, and librarians. There’s plenty of bookish things to love along with the mystery, and a romance at a turning point in the relationship. As a cozy mystery, there’s the usual protagonist who doesn’t know when to quit, but this series makes it work–she’s hopelessly inquisitive, driven to find the truth, and a born researcher. And for the most part, her interference is tolerated, though not always approved of.

Lindsey’s likable despite that nosy nature–well-rounded, with interests other than snooping and books. Though she does love books as much as you’d hope a librarian would! The plot is a little predictable in places, but I think that’s the appeal of cozy mysteries. You know, to a certain degree, what you’re going to get. In a small town where everyone is in everyone else’s business, there’s still room for secrets…

Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries and/or libraries!

Top Ten Tues: New to Me 2016

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!

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December 6: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016

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1. Becky Albertalli. Sometimes, I want someone who can write a cute and light romance.

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2. M.H. Boroson. Loved the richness of the writing, you just sink right into it…

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3. Genevieve Cogman. Two words: librarian spies.

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4. Lyndsay Faye. I loved her homage to Jane Eyre. Anyone who can use the line “Reader, I murdered him” has a sense of humor I admire.

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5. Katherine Kimbriel. The menace of the antagonists makes the protagonist, a young girl, seem very small… and yet she prevails.

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6. Sarah Knight. I admire her sense of humor, and no-nonsense approach to an issue that gives plenty of people trouble–saying ‘no.’

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7. Jenn McKinley. I randomly picked up a book in a librarian series, and it was the perfect bookish cozy mystery.

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8. Nnedi Okorafor. I adore her world building, especially how she layers her world’s past onto present subtly but with a sense of presence.

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9. Bob Proehl. Even though he left an open ending, the sweep of emotion and interweaving of stories sold me on his writing.

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10. Kai Ashante Wilson. Any writer who can make you want more of the story is a good one, I think.

Weekend Writing Warriors: 12/3

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2015, Forest Wed. Adann and Kaie (who was engaged), are married as symbols of their gods, and 2 weeks into their marriage, the gods’ blessing and the town are suffering, so they are sent on a hunting trip with two experienced hunters (Rui and Corliss). On the third day, both of them are injured from killing monsters, and that night they tend their wounds and discuss the charms made from monster parts. (The ryapi is a boar/ocelot monster.)

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“Do you want first claim on the ryapi?” Adann asked.

“I don’t think I’d want to wear the tusks,” Kaie said, staring into the fire, “and the fur is rough, and ugly.”

“We haven’t killed any good monsters–with colorful feathers, unusual teeth, quills, or nice fur.”

“Such high standards!” Kaie laughed, “I’ll make sure the next monster we kill has all of those.”

Adann’s eyebrows shot upwards, as she tried to picture a monster that had fur, feathers, and quills, all mixed together. She’d never heard of such a thing.

“It may require some rope, but it can be done,” Kaie nodded solemnly.

“I… I can only imagine.” Adann stretched out, and Kaie joined her, both of them gazing up at the sky, which still held a bit of light at the edges, but was punctured with stars directly above.

 

*    *    *

Beikife is a small town in something like the Amazon rain forest, protected by a pair of married gods. The gods are represented by human avatars, two young people chosen and married by divine power. The strength of the marriage represents the bond between the gods’ blessing, so the new forest wed must find a way to connect to each other, or the crops will fail, the rivers will flood, and the cursed monsters that live in the forest will claim many

Winter is Coming!

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Image from WikiMedia by Azulino.

Today is December 1st, and depending on where you live, you’ve been seeing Christmas stuff for weeks. The tinsel and wreaths really start ramping up Thanksgiving weekend, and sometimes after a few weeks, I pull a Scrooge and hide from it all for a while. Not that I don’t love the holiday trimmings, because I do, but I’m not sure the season is quite as special when it’s forever.

After all these weeks of ornaments, fake snow, and carols, it seems like winter ought to be here already. But the official start (at least for my  hemisphere) is December 21st. That’s still three weeks away! I’ll be honest, I start wearing Christmas/winter clothes and jewelry on December 1st. (I have some awesome holiday socks!) And I’ve been humming carols since going to an event Thanksgiving Weekend where they were playing everywhere.

Even though fall is my favorite season, it gets a little shortchanged.

How about you? Do you have the lights up by early November, or wait a little longer to deck the halls? Do you have any holiday reading lists? I’m working on a small stack to fit in between the shopping and wrapping and visits.

Happy holidays!

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How’d it go, WriMos? Did you make it to 50,000 words? You’re all amazing, no matter how much you wrote!

Top Ten Tues: Holiday Gift Guide

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!

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November 29: Holiday Gift Guide freebie (ten books to buy the YA lover in your life, 10 books to buy for your dad, etc.)

This list is books to buy for your family. They’re about family, love, friendship, etc., because if you’re buying books for a family member, you must love them!😉

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1. I’ll Meet You There; Heather Demetrios. For fans of a love story.

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2. Anansi Boys; Neil Gaiman. It’s not easy being the son of a god…

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3. The Namesake; Jhumpa Lahiri. About families, and growth, parents and their children.

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4. The Godfather; Mario Puzo. Not just family, but the Family you really don’t want to disappoint.

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5. Look Me In the Eye; John Elder Robinson. A look inside a life growing up on the autism spectrum, and how that affects relationships.

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6. Nobody’s Fool; Richard Russo. A flawed father, and a son following in his footsteps.

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7. The End of your Life Book Club; Will Schwalbe. Want a book about family that will make you cry? This is a good one.

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8. The Joy Luck Clan; Amy Tan. About mothers and their daughters.

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9. The Glass Castle; Jeanette Walls. A dysfunctional family memoir.

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10. The Golem and the Jinni; Helene Wecker. Two magical creatures find their way to each other, and develop an unlikely friendship.

Weekend Writing Warriors: 11/26

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2015, Forest Wed. Adann and Kaie (who was engaged), are married as symbols of their gods, and 2 weeks into their marriage, the gods’ blessing and the town are suffering, so they are sent on a hunting trip with two experienced hunters (Rui and Corliss). On the third day, Kaie runs into an angry ryapi (ocelot/boar monster), which he and Adann manage to kill, but Kaie is covered in cuts and bruises, which Corliss and Adann tend to, then the three of them return to camp while Rui butchers the monster.

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“Nobody died,” Adann murmured, drifting closer to Kaie as they walked, “I call that a job well done.”

He glanced at her, wondering if she was joking, but her expression was serious. Then he remembered vaguely hearing that she had lost an uncle, or perhaps an older cousin, gored by a ryapi.

“Did you…” He paused, trying to think of a way to ask the question without revealing how little attention he’d paid to her life.

“One got my mother’s brother, three autumns ago. I saw him days later, and he already smelled of the rot, sweet and bright…” She shuddered, and Kaie reached out, brushing her wrist, tentative.

She glanced at him, and smiled shyly, turning her hand so her palm faced him. He laced his fingers in hers, and they stayed entwined all rest of the way back to camp.

 

*    *    *

~~~***I’ll be doing National Novel Writing Month in November, so I may be slow in my replies, but I’ll still be blogging! Good luck to all the NaNoWriMos! ***~~~

Beikife is a small town in something like the Amazon rain forest, protected by a pair of married gods. The gods are represented by human avatars, two young people chosen and married by divine power. The strength of the marriage represents the bond between the gods’ blessing, so the new forest wed must find a way to connect to each other, or the crops will fail, the rivers will flood, and the cursed monsters that live in the forest will claim many

Book Riot Read Harder 2016: November

~~~**~~***~Happy Thanksgiving for everyone who celebrates. May you have plenty of good food, good company, and good books to be thankful for!~***~~**~~~

I’m doing the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, and you should, too! You could always start it next year, who’s to stop you? (Click the link to see the challenge, and to download a PDF of the challenge list.)

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To quote the article: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. […] We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try out.”

This is National Novel Writing Month, so I’m only doing one book this month.

  • Read a play.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Edward Albee.

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This is the script of a 1962 play.

I like my dark comedy, but this is far more dark than comedy in my opinion. Full of subtext and passive-aggressive interactions, it’s basically about two couples, one older and one younger, who met at a faculty party, and sit and drink and talk… or fight. And fight they do! Dredging up painful history, secrets, hinting and circling back, threatening each other with remembered pain… it’s pretty painful to read.

The little hints and subtext are interesting to figure out, and it wasn’t too difficult to make it there before the play revealed the truth. The characters lie a lot, and my but they drink a lot, too! I lost count, but I’m impressed they didn’t all end up passed out on the floor. If you liked The Glass Menagerie, or “Hills Like White Elephants,” you should like this play.

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Funnily enough, I got my most likes–22 on the 22nd–on my birthday. The coincidence makes me smile.

Top Ten Tues: Thanksgiving Freebie

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!

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November 22: Thanksgiving freebie — tell us what you are thankful for! Books you are thankful for!

I’m going to do books/ bookish things I am thankful for.

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1. Anne McCaffrey. There are so many different series to read, varied worlds, and plenty of strong characters to root for, so I can find an old favorite to suit any mood.

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2. Book bloggers. People I follow, people whose posts I see on TTT–however I’m introduced to great new  books. My TBR is ever-growing, but the treasures are worth the time.

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3. Bookmarks. I adore my collection of metal, cloth, leather, wood, etc. bookmarks. Picking one out, and seeing it every time I open the book is a small pleasure.

4. Friends and family who buy me books. If they get a book off a wish list, buy something they think I might like, or gift me with a favorite of theirs, there are few better gifts to unwrap than a book!

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5. Jenny Lawson “The Bloggess.” In addition to two hilariously wrong books, she has a lot of blog posts that remind us all that no matter how weird and broken you might feel at times, we’re not alone.

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6. Indie bookstores. The fun decorations, the personality of the collections, the nooks and crannies, the staff… and sometimes a bookstore cat!

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7. Little Free Libraries. I love the spirit of bookish community that leads someone to buy or build a LFL, put it in their yard, and stock it with books. Finding them is a treasure hunt, and returning or gifting books to them makes you connected to everyone who has done the same.

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8. Pride & Prejudice. It is a truth universally acknowledged that I have read this book too much. But the sense of humor never fails to make me smile, and the romance, despite its turbulence, still entertains. Also, there are so many good spin offs!

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9. Sir Terry Pratchett. He wrote plenty of books (41 in one series), all a mix of funny and thought-provoking, and they’re a great mood lift on dark days.

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10. Used bookstores/book sales. There’s nothing quite like finding a book you really wanted, that wasn’t quite in the budget yet, for cheap.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors: 11/19

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2015, Forest Wed. Adann and Kaie (who was engaged), are married as symbols of their gods, and 2 weeks into their marriage, the gods’ blessing and the town are suffering, so they are sent on a hunting trip with two experienced hunters (Rui and Corliss). On the third day, Kaie and Adann  are talking, and when Adann asks for a kiss, Kaie reacts badly and storms off alone, running into an angry ryapi (ocelot/boar monster)–which they manage to kill. Last lines: “Did we kill it?” “Yes.”

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“Oh, thank the gods.” Adann pressed her hand to her heart, drawing in a few deep breaths, “when it knocked you down, I thought my heart might leap out of my throat.”

Watching her stand there, one arm wrapped around herself, still measuring the thump of her blood, and pale, Kaie felt the anger drain out of him.

“Now, we definitely need to find the others, and you need so many bandages.” She hurried to him, her hands skating over his injuries, skimming the air above each cut, “I was worried he’d really got you, but these aren’t very deep.”

After doing a quick scan of the area, she led him over to a moss covered stump, and handed him a cloth, a little pot of ointment, and the crushed herbs for paste. “Get what you can, and I’ll try to find Rui and Corliss.”

Before she stepped away, she touched his shoulder gently, on an unscratched area, “Are you okay, Kaie?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“I’m not sure I am,” she responded.

*    *    *

~~~***I’ll be doing National Novel Writing Month in November, so I may be slow in my replies, but I’ll still be blogging! Good luck to all the NaNoWriMos! ***~~~

Beikife is a small town in something like the Amazon rain forest, protected by a pair of married gods. The gods are represented by human avatars, two young people chosen and married by divine power. The strength of the marriage represents the bond between the gods’ blessing, so the new forest wed must find a way to connect to each other, or the crops will fail, the rivers will flood, and the cursed monsters that live in the forest will claim many

National Novel Writing Month: Halfway there

We’re past the halfway point, NaNoWriMos!

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How’s your writing going? I’ve had some ups and downs, as I usually do with NaNo. Some days I exceeded the goals, some days I fell far short. But so long as I finish, it’s progress. And I still hope to do that, even if I have to do some writing marathons!

This year, I hope, is the year I actually *finish* a NaNo story. Up to this point, I’ve managed to win–reach the 50,000 words goal–but never gotten to ‘the end.’

Write like the wind, participants! (Everyone who’s dealing with someone doing this crazy writing experiment–hang in there!)