My cover for Madam, Will You Talk?



The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper

The FitzOsbornes at War (The Montmaray Journals, #3)The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars (10/10)
Read: 16 June 2017 to 22 June 2016

This was really, really excellent. In fact, as I write this, I’m bumping it up from a 9/10 to a 10/10.

It was charming, grimm, lovely and devastating all at different times. Sophie remains a wonderful protagonist and her life through the war years feels very realistic as far as this reader, born so much later on the other side of the world, can tell.

Michelle Cooper has woven together real people and real history with her created places and characters expertly and she provides an afterword that explains who was real and lists a number of her sources for the historical detail.

A highly recommended book and series.

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Fallen for You by Jules Dee

Fallen for YouFallen for You by Jules Dee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (8/10)
Read: 5 June 2017 – 13 June 2017

I admit that I bought and started this one because it was written by a friend. So full disclosure there.

I ended up enjoying it very much, although I wasn’t certain at first. We get to meet the protagonists in dire trouble right at the beginning and things proceed to get complicated from there.

This is not a “falling in love” book, but instead a book where the characters end up in a place where they have to admit to each other that they “fell” a while ago. That makes the title a good and appropriate one, being “fallen” in the past tense. It’s about acknowledging it, making themselves vulnerable enough to say it out loud, and learning what happens next.

That was lovely.

I wasn’t so sold on the paranormal legal consequences and trial part of the book, just because the laws being followed seemed a bit arbitrary and ridiculous and the solution a bit over the top. That said, I really loved how that solution played out between Casey and Martin, I just found the dealing with the council section of the book less to my taste.

After that, it also became a mystery story (combined with dealing with all those consequences) and I really loved that too. I’d be perfectly happy with a series of mundane mysteries being solved by our heroes.

Right at the end, we went back to the council. I was a bit concerned about that, but instead of harping about in the past, we were thrown a whole bunch of hints about the future and more paranormal surprises to come. And I found I loved that too. Now I want more books, so author, please keep right on writing.

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Bad Therapy by Matthew Jones

Doctor Who: Bad TherapyDoctor Who: Bad Therapy by Matthew Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (8/10)
Read: 10 June 2017 – 13 June 2017

I must have read this before when the books came out because I can remember the one before (I liked it) and I can remember the one after (I didn’t like it), but I don’t remember reading this one.

I was kind of surprised at how much I liked it. It was a very good, solid story as the Doctor and Chris try not to deal with the consequences of the last book and end up having to do so. The mystery was good, the surprise arrival worked within the course of the story and it all held together very well.

I’m a bit sad we’re nearly at the end of the series and I haven’t decided if I read the next one in conjunction with the podcast (did I mention I didn’t like that one), but the rereads have been fun. I may go back to the beginning and do some selective rereading.

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More About Mandy by Lorna Hill

More About Mandy (The Vicarage Children, #2)More About Mandy by Lorna Hill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars (10/10)
Read: 5 June 2017 – 9 June 2017

I really enjoyed Lorna Hill’s The Vicarage Children, but I think I liked this one even more. Mandy remains a joy to encounter and her descriptions of her family life are delightful. I started the last one today and I’m looking forward to reading it.

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The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the StarsThe Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (8/10)
Read: 25 May 2017 – 3 June 2017

A fascinating look at the early years of modern astronomy and the pioneering women who did a lot of the work and received only a small amount of the credit.

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Lois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Janet Brennan Croft (editor)

Lois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and FantasyLois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Janet Brennan Croft

My rating: 3 of 5 stars (7/10)
Read: 25 November 2016 – 2 June 2017

This proved to be a combination of the interesting and the overly-academic.

Some of these essays were either specifically written for academic journals and published here later, or written by writers who liked big, topic-specific words and dense and convoluted text. Essentially, it was too much work to “translate” the text to everyday language my brain could digest. After struggling through the first, I skipped the latter ones like this.

The rest were written in a much more “everyday” style and those I thoroughly enjoyed. The Vorkosigan ones were good, but I had already considered or discussed on mailing lists a lot of what was covered. I found the essays covering the Chalion and Wide Green World books a lot more fascination as they introduced new ideas I hadn’t necessarily thought about before or, especially in the case of the Chalion ones, introduced me to the real world parallels in more details than I had been before.

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