Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (left to right):

  • Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley - Sent by friend
  • Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner - from St. Martin's Press via Austenprose
  • The Way We Weren't by Pheobe Fox - from Berkley for review
  • Dragon Legend (The Dragon Realm Series #2) by Katie & Kevin Tsang - from Sterling Children's Books for review
  • The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan - from HarperCollins for review

My childhood best friend surprised me with the copy of Scarlett and I can't wait to read it. I'll have to put it on my list of chunksters that I want to try to tackle in 2022. We've been having fun discussing books, lately. 

Bloomsbury Girls is by the author of The Jane Austen Society and the release date isn't till May of 2022 but I can sneak it in earlier if I want to, just because, right? The Way We Weren't has a weird story behind it. I had it scheduled for tour and then realized it hadn't arrived so I contacted the publicist to tell her it wasn't here and I couldn't possibly make the tour date. She replied that they weren't sending out paper ARCs. And, then it showed up in the mail so maybe I asked specifically for a paper copy and it wasn't noted? I know some publishers are doing mostly e-galleys, now, and will maybe or maybe not consider sending you a paper copy if they feel like it (or have one at all). At any rate, I did well and truly miss the tour date but I'm hoping to start it next. We'll see if it takes. 

Dragon Legend by Katie and Kevin Tsang is the second in a middle grade series. I absolutely loved the first book, Dragon Mountain, and I'm so excited to read on! And, The Christmas Bookshop is my one and only Christmas book, apart from a set of Christmas short stories that I've been eyeing (on my own shelves). I love Jenny Colgan's writing and, wow, I'm saying this about everything but I'm really excited about all of these arrivals. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy
  • Spy Ski School (Spy School #4) by Stuart Gibbs
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (short stories) by Raymond Carver 
  • Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday
  • Red is My Heart by Antoine Laurain and Le Sonneur 
  • Two Girls, a Clock, and a Crooked House by Michael Moore

This has been a great month, so far. It took me 8 days to finish one of the books I read (not sure which one; I just remember the 8 days) but since then things have gone well. And, whatever that book was, it was good; I must have had trouble finding time to read because they've all been great. 

Currently reading:

I'm between books but the two at the top of my list are The Way We Weren't and Dragon Legend (Dragon Realm #2). However, I started Dragon Legend and couldn't remember some key details from the first book, Dragon Mountain (although I remember the general storyline and how the book ended) so I'm going to reread Dragon Mountain, first, to refresh my memory. Since I gave the first in the series 5 stars, this will not be a hardship. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

In other news: 

I watched a couple movies and I was sure it was going to be a Buried in TV week because the spouse was traveling, but nope. I've even been forgetting to watch Chicago Fire. I think I've managed two episodes, this season. 

Open by Christmas is about a successful woman who was her class valedictorian. During her graduation speech, she broke out in song and was traumatized by the laughter of her fellow grads. Now, years later, she has found a sweet note tucked into one of her textbooks from her senior year. Who wrote a romantic note to her but didn't sign it, all those years ago? She's determined to figure it out while she's home for the holidays. 

I liked this one but it would not go onto my favorites list. It was cute, though, and I'm always so there for the happily ever after kiss. Oddly, it was Huzzybuns who turned this one on. 

Next up on the channel was My Christmas Family Tree but Huz can only take one Hallmark movie per night (possibly, per week) so he turned to hockey or football and I drifted away, then watched My Family Christmas Tree when he left town. 

Vanessa Hall has had her DNA checked and is surprised to find that she has a paternal match. She never knew who her father was and her mother died when she was 9 years old, so all she's ever had as family since then was a nice old couple who fostered her. Encouraged by her best friend, Vanessa calls her birth father and meets up with him. He invites her to join his family for the holidays. 

This is totally my favorite kind of story, the trope in which someone gets a new family, whether by connecting up with a birth parent or simply meeting a group of people with whom she creates a makeshift family unit. And, I knew it was going to be sweet and that I was going to love it so much I started crying during the set-up and pretty much snuffled all the way through it. I loved it; it was perfect. And, I noticed that Norwegians were tweeting about their appreciation for the references to Norwegian food and tradition, the night it premiered (when Huz was watching whatever sport . . . I think, actually, it was our mutual alma mater playing football). This is definitely one I'll watch again, during future Christmas seasons. 

I attempted to watch a third Hallmark movie but it was terrible, just a bad, bad script. And, then I got sucked into housework and art and reading and spent way too much time on social media (so I'm challenging myself to avoid it, this week). And, on the weekend, we spent a few hours each day kitty sitting this little guy, who is about 3 months old and the most lovable, smoochy, head-butting purr machine I've ever encountered:

He's the kitten of a friend of my son and daughter-in-law, so only staying with them temporarily. Boy, was he fun to play and snuggle with! Their two grown cats hid from us but this little guy, Binx, is a people kitty. 

As to this week . . . Thanksgiving is a bummer for us. We only have our son and daughter-in-law nearby. The rest of the family is far flung so it's usually just the two or four of us. I loved the big family gatherings of my childhood and will never stop missing them. If you're an American, I hope you're surrounded by loving family, this week. 

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  1. My Thanksgiving will be small this year, too. Just me and my two kids! We're still going to have quite a feast. I'll be curious to hear what you think of Scarlett. I just finished Gone with the Wind and immediately looked up reviews of Scarlett- decided I wasn't interested but maybe you'll make me reconsider.

    1. I'll try to remember to let you know when I get to it. Back when Scarlett was released, I wasn't interested and then my friend (the one who sent it) told me she enjoyed it so I bought a copy of it in paperback. And, then after it sat around for 20 years, I donated it. I had regrets. It was definitely a much appreciated gift!

  2. Sometimes the ones we come back to so many years later, end up being the most interesting. I know I have some books that have sat unopened on my shelf for several decades now!

    1. Yes, I occasionally go on a mad purge and then regret doing so but I still have plenty of books that have been on my shelves for decades. And, I'm convinced I'll get to them all. LOL


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