11/100 The Magpie Lord by K J Charles

If explicit gay sex is a problem for you then just skip this series. While the sex is not the backbone of the book the subtle and not so subtle sexual tension does help the plot along as well as adding some interest to otherwise one dimensional characters. This is a victorian mystery set in Magical London. I know, there is a lot to unpack there, the mundane mixing with the magical, the repressive attitude of the Victorians (this is set in a universe where homosexuality was criminal in London during the Victorian period, much like it was in this reality) mixing with the natural inclinations of a pair of “Man’s Man” types. This made me giggle since that is how modern Americans tend to differentiate between ‘real men’ and ‘sissy’s’, at least in the region where I was raised. There is some really nice world building, and the characters are fleshed out somewhat as the story goes on. I enjoyed how we were able to get some glimpses into the history of each character as the mysteries unfolded. At the end of the audio book I was given a glimpse of a side story as well as a taste of the next book to come. If you are looking for a Victorian Mystery set in Magical London with a bit of vague M/M sex, and some explicit M/M sex at the end then this is the book for you. If any of that bothers you, then give this series a skip.

Falling Behind

I know, I should have read about five more books to be on track to read 100 in a year. I have not felt a lot of motivation to read recently, however I know that this will pick up very soon. My new colleagues keep talking about series that they like, everyone seems to have books on hold that they are excited about reading. I’m excited about the new weaving project I’m working on, or the new technique I’m learning. I’m also listening to some non-fiction, however I have hit a plateau with that as well. A portion of this is Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder, February is also a hard month for me emotionally, as well as decision fatigue due to changes in my life and my new job. The funny thing about all of this is, It is just fine. I am a bit burned out and have not found a series that grabs my attention in a couple years, that is fine. As long as I keep looking, soon a new series will grab my attention, one of my go-to authors will release something I adore, or I will find some more organization/cleaning books to listen to.

The point of this post is that goals are something to aspire to, not something to drag you down. I’m behind right now, I might find a series that I devour then I will be ahead, either way is fine as long as I keep trying.

Have a great week!

10/100 Connections in Death by J. D. Robb

In this book we open with Dallas and Roarke heading to Nadine’s new apartment for a housewarming party. Nadine’s new intern is manning the door and the apartment is filled with people that Dallas and Roarke get along with, or even like. Crack has a new lady-friend, Mavis and Jake Kincaid rock the house (along with a few members of Dallas’s squad), and everyone has a rocking good time. Of course, Eve is suspicious of Crack’s new Lady (she is very overprotective) and someone winds up dead. The rest of the story is fast paced and fascinating with an amazing ending. I adore this series, know that I am lucky to get two installments a year, and will be re-reading several of the books.

9/100 Faithless in Death by J. D. Robb

I have to admit that I adore how this book picks up with Eve doing the paperwork generated from the closing of the case in the last book. This is another book where a simple murder dives deep into something unexpected. Rather than resting on her laurels after taking down an assassin with over 400 kills on his list, Dallas sets her sights on the monsters ultimately responsible for the death of a sculptor. I adore this book, another great novel by Robb. I am going to have to re-listen to this one this week, I’m sure I missed most of the nuances, just as soon as I finish the other Robb book I started.

8/100 Shadows in Death by J. D. Robb

Since the new book came out earlier this week, I absolutely had to re-read this book!

This was an amazing tale of everyone rallying around one of their own. When a man claiming to be a half-brother of Roarke’s puts him, his family, and friends at risk they rally around to keep him and all that he loves safe. This dangerous figure from the past seizes upon the opportunity presented to him, he was hired to kill someone in New York City, why not try to get revenge on the man he feels usurped his place with Patrick Roarke while he is in the area? I loved reading/listening to this addition to the In Death Series. While this is not a suspenseful as many of her other additions and it lacks the depth of pathos that have been a recent trademark there was plenty of character development and love.
If you are new to the series, or used to skipping around in a series, then this is not a good starting point for you. While it reminded me that I want to go back and re-read all of the books with Jake Kincade in them, many of the references to previous characters and events would have gone right over my head.

7/100 Craft by Glenn Adamson

This is sold as book about the history of crafting…it is, sort of. Really it is a book about history through the lens of crafts. The Crafts that enslaved Africans brought to America on slaving ships, the crafts that African Americans learned to either escape from slavery, or to become individuals that are given their rights within a very prejudiced society. The history is interesting, the way that craft weaves itself into society in ways that most people no longer remember is deeply interesting. The history, the people, the abuses, etc. are tragic and disheartening. If you are looking for a book that focuses mainly on craft and how craft has woven itself throughout The United States, then this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a history book that looks at atrocities committed and how craft helped some escape these atrocities then this is a good book for you. If I were looking for a history of The United States then this would be a book I would pick up, for learning about the history of craft I will have to search on.

6/100 American Witches: A Broomstick Tour Through Four Centuries by Susan Fair

If you are looking for a book that treats the topic of witchcraft and American witches with respect and reverence, do not read this book. If you are looking for a straightforward history of Witchcraft in America including the atrocities, beliefs, and current events treated factually and with the possibility that there is a grain of truth in the Occult, then I have to ask if you read the subtitle. If, however, you are you want a book that looks at these atrocities that were committed so that so-called ‘Christians’ (how people can take teachings based on love and pervert them so…) could persecute so-called ‘witches’ with a hint of humor in the background then this is the book for you. Fair pokes fun at some of the rationalizations that were given to cover up the burnings, witch hunts, accusations, etc. that were levied against witches. Often pointing out who did the accusing, how they benefited, and what other possible motives were behind such accusations. I did not expect to find myself chuckling through this book, yet I found myself guffawing on my way home from work one night. This is a humorous look at a very difficult subject.

5/100 Beyond Bullets by Megan Rutell

So I have spent the last year and a half bullet journaling…sort of…okay so I have been Badly Bullet Journaling. I love the idea, enjoy writing down my accomplishments each day, and like having lists that I can refer to when I feel like it. However, the very focused version laid out in the Bullet Journal Method, is a little to strict for me. I rarely go back and look at my past journaling efforts so there is no real purpose in setting out a detailed plan for anything. This means that Beyond Bullets has helped me figure out that there are a wide variety of journal methods, I don’t have to have picture perfect layouts, plans that carry forward from month to month, etc. My journal can be what I need it to be, and that is it. There are plenty of inspiring photos, journal instagrams to follow, sketches, and so much more to get your creative juices flowing and remind you that your journal is just that, yours and no one else. I also had never thought of carbon paper to transfer designs, since I am not very artistic. So, if you are looking for a way to upgrade your journal, get more out of your practice, validate what you are already doing, or follow some really cool journals, then this is the book for you. If you follow the Bullet Journal Method precisely, read this book anyway you might get some neat design ideas!

3/100 The Pagan World: Ancient Religions Before Christianity by Hans-Freidrich Mueller

This is a Great Courses Audiobook, so it is essentially a college course condensed down into a series of lectures (without having to worry about a test at the end). I love Mueller’s narrative style as well as his coverage of the topics at hand. He manages to cover the history of the pagan world, mostly euro-centric since that is his focus, in a way that is both entertaining as well as informative. His style manages to allow you to feel as though you are gaining a true understanding of the circumstances surrounding ancient religions as well as the impact that Christianity and other ancient religions had on the people involved. While it would be easy to be dismissive of these ancient religions, as so many people are wont to do, Mueller handles them with respect while explaining some of the possible reasoning behind them. I really enjoyed this look into our collective ancestral beliefs. If you do not mind college lectures and are interested in how people may have thought and did worship then this is a good read for you.