Monday, February 03, 2020

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (top to bottom):

  • Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle and 
  • Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - both purchased with gift card
  • Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly - unsolicited with note from author
  • Promised by Leah Garriott - Sent by Shadow Mountain for Austenprose tour
  • The Oatmeal: Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby by Matthew Inman - Sent by Friend 
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James - from Berkley for tour

OK, first things first. Strange Planet and Red, White and Royal Blue, the books purchased with a gift card, and the book from a friend, Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby, all came from Alyce of At Home With Books (no longer an active blog but still listed in my sidebar because I choose to maintain a thread of hope that one day she'll return). She sent me the book and gift card because she knew I needed an upper and then recommended Red, White, etc. because it made her laugh. Thanks, Alyce! I cannot even begin to tell you how much the two I've read have already cheered me.

I don't know anything at all about either the author of Rediscover Jesus or the publishing company. I'll give it a go and see if it works for me but I don't know if I'll read it in its entirety. Promised is one I almost passed up but then I kept coming back to the description and thought it sounded so fun that I gave in. And, The Sun Down Motel is everywhere! The buzz, the reviews, the gushy love it has gotten are the kind of things that tend to put me off but I loved the last book I read by St. James and I'm looking forward to it. I'll probably read that very soon. My tour date is the 19th of this month, so you won't get to read my thoughts till then.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • The Oatmeal: Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby by Matthew Inman 
  • Dragonshadow (Heartstone #2) by Elle Katharine White
  • Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle

I really have never paid attention to "The Oatmeal", so I wasn't sure what to expect but while Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby can be massively gross, there were plenty of cartoons that brought a smile to my face and a few that made me laugh out loud. Just what I needed. Strange Planet's artist is a fellow I've been following on just about every platform you can think of since I saw the cartoon with the little alien holding out a cat and saying, "The creature is vibrating," or something of that nature. I'd already happened across Pyle on Twitter and followed him, but for some reason (um . . . catlover, maybe?) that was the cartoon that made me a fan. I've been wanting to get his book for a while but had decided I'm done buying books. So, Strange Planet made it into my cart with ninja speed and efficiency when Alyce sent that card.

And, Dragonshadow was just as fun as the first Heartstone book, maybe better. In the first book, there are dances and other social interaction that mimic Pride and Prejudice, while Dragonshadow focuses on the adventure and mystery of what's killing people and other creatures and whether or not it's a bad idea for Aliza to tag along with her Rider husband on a job that involves flying over dangerous country on a dragon. I'm hoping to read the third book within the next two weeks.

Currently reading:

  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  • The World of Sanditon by Sara Sheridan

I know I said I wasn't going to make American Dirt a priority, but things changed. A friend whose father was Mexican is the person whose thoughts I'm most interested in and the library queue for the book is long. So, I offered her mine and decided to read it as soon as possible so I can send it on. I wasn't sure whether or not I'd review it but actually . . . I have things to say and I don't think my perspective is necessarily harmful so much as lacking in the ability to view it in the same way as an #ownvoices reviewer (someone who really knows the subject, the language, the place, the correct social structure/interaction, etc.). I can only review it from the perspective of an average reader. And, there are things to say.

Posts since last Malarkey:

Busy week for posting.

In other news:

We watched a couple episodes of 800 Words, a couple of All Creatures Great and Small but I don't recall watching any movies at all. I just haven't felt like watching TV much, lately. If I do, it's all comfort programming – mostly older movies I've seen before. Wait, I did watch one old romantic comedy!

I think it was from about the year 2000? It doesn't feel 20 years old and yet . . . at the same time, it does. For those who haven't seen it, Return to Me is about a young woman who receives a heart transplant from a car accident victim, then falls in love with the heart donor's widower. It made me sob a couple times, but mostly happy tears.

It's February and I haven't mentioned favorite books from 2019, although I sort of planned ahead for that. I just noticed one of my favorites is not in the favorites pile. In 2019, I set aside my favorite books after finishing them but didn't start doing so till at least a couple months had gone by, as I recall. It won't be complete and it might be a little weird and indecisive because . . .  well, you know how some books you adore end up not sticking with you and some you didn't do the opposite? I may have to go over that favorites list to decide if I really have 10 favorites or I'm just such a mess that I should skip it. Opinions are welcome. I mean, I know everyone else photographed their piles in December. I just can't talk myself into writing up an end-of-month/year list or photographing favorites till the month or year is absolutely over -- as in, I'll literally wait till midnight to see if I finish One Last Book. Should I bother trying to pick my Top 10 from 2019? Too late?

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  1. Never too late ... do a Top Ten if you are in the mood, but not if you aren't. That's my motto. You may (or may not) have noticed that I add my "favorites" each month to my lists of books read that year.
    That does NOT mean they are the year's best, just what I enjoyed that month. If I look back over a whole year, some of those "favorites" would not even be favorites for the year. So write about whatever you feel like, because I think we should ENJOY blogging.

    1. Yes, exactly, that was what I was trying to say. Favorites are favorites when you read them but by the end of the year your thoughts may have changed because of the passage of time. That's always fascinated me, actually, that a book I give 5 stars in March can be one whose plotline I've totally forgotten by October . . . or whatever. I think since they're already gathered together, I'll go ahead and choose my favorites from what's there and then post about them. It'll be at least next week, though, I think. I've already pre-posted something for all but Friday, already!

  2. I have only just heard of the Sun Down Motel and I think I would like it!

    1. I just started reading it, last night. So far, it's very fast-paced and I'm totally creeped out in a good way.

  3. I'm with Bonnie in the "don't skip" camp plus I want to see your list whether it's 10 or not.

    1. I'm working on it! I keep finding books from the first of the year that didn't get put on the favorites pile, so I'm making it harder on myself but I don't want to skip over anything fabulous just because I started my favorites pile several months in. You'll see my favorites, eventually! I might post a pic of *all* of them and then narrow down to 10 or 15 or whatever works.


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