sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 29, 2021


into the stacks: july and august 2021
posted by soe 12:11 pm

If I’m not going to finish reading any more books this year (and I’m not saying I won’t, but … ), I should at least finish sharing some of the books I did finish earlier. Here’s what I crossed off in July and August:

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala: The first book in a series focusing on a Filipina-American baker, who with her aunts and grandmother, run a restaurant. When her ex, a local food critic and the stepson of her aunts’ landlord, dies there, she and her aunts are the main suspects, meaning that she and her BFF, need to investigate. As with many debut cozies, there are a lot of characters, each of whom need to be introduced, which slows down the pacing, but Manansala seems to have some good instincts, so I could see reading the second book in the series now that we’ve met everyone.

Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly: This is such a ridiculous, fun YA series that I devoured the second book in one sitting. It’s been months since Zoe heard from Digby, who hopped on a bus right after they kissed, off in pursuit of a clue to his kidnapped sister’s whereabouts. But now he’s back — and needing Zoe’s help, even though she’s tried to move on to some sense of normalcy, making some friends, dating the football quarterback, and holding down a part-time job. Her life is about to get decided un-normal once again.

No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox: My parents both recommended this memoir from Fox, an actor and philanthropist, who talks about his Parkinson’s Disease and his generally upbeat approach to life — and how he’s worked hard to maintain the latter as the former progresses. Recommended.

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by Anonymous: A middle-aged writer, in the wake of a divorce and joint custody of her beloved son, copes by doing what we all aspire to do — inventing an alternate persona. I mean, sure, hers is an octogenarian with a lovingly ascerbic wit who lives in a physically impossible fictional town and who attracts Twitter followers by the gazillions. But still. But in the midst of creating this alternate self, she also finds peace with her own life. (Bonus note for the audiobook: Lyle Lovett (who shares a birthplace with the Duchess) reads his own parts of the story.)

Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev: In the third of Dev’s The Rajes series, a modern quartet of novels that reimagine some of her favorite Austen novels, but featuring six Indian-American cousins, we focus on the eldest cousin, Yash, who is running for governor of California. After an assassination attempt which lands his bodyguard in a coma, Yash begins to have panic attacks. His sisters convince him to go and see their dear friend, India, who with her mother and sister, runs a yoga studio and is an expert at helping clients deal with mental health issues. Little do they know that he once long ago fell deeply in love with India, only to end up fake engaged to his own childhood friend. Way less soapy than I make it out to be.

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: In the second book of this trilogy, we find our ragtag group of space force teens fleeing their own galactic police force, as well as the most feared alien in the galaxy, responsible for collapsing a sun against his own people — oh and the zombie aliens who took one of their own in the first installment. They’re captured by — and escape (except for Josh) — Kai’s sister. There’s romance and some odd time-space continuum questions and lots of melodrama — an I’m looking forward to seeing how it wraps up in the final book.

The Runaway Princess by Johan Tro├»anowski: In this translated graphic novel, Princess Robin decides she’s not especially interested in deportment or the royal goings-on and decides instead to set off on a trio of adventures, which bring her into contact with a quintet of brothers, kidnappers, pirates, and a witch, among others. But Robin is bright and funny and will win out in the end. A charmingly old-fashioned story for a modern audience.

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