Here There Be Books (BL)

I love books with great characters who go on adventures and/or solve mysteries re: invading aliens/vampires/etc. I blog about those books at Here There Be Books!


This is the BookLikes thingy for HTBB.

The Rose Throne

The Rose Throne - Mette Ivie Harrison Princesses! Princesses who actually understand princess responsibilities re: kingdoms and marrying and having kids. These princesses aren’t the frou-frou, super modern romance princesses you may be used to from other YA books. I found that very refreshing. It was SO NICE to have more realism in a book with royalty and romance and magic! The realism balanced out the fantastical bits, and I think it made the story more exciting than it would have been had either of the princesses been more like someone transposed from today’s society into an early medieval-ish era.That said, I DID have a problem with the development of one of the romances. I don’t know if my ARC was missing a section or what, but it basically went like this:Princess: Hello! I am a princess.Dude: Hello! I am here to get you married to a prince (who is not me).P: Okay, I accept.D: YOU HATE ME YOU HATE ME I CAN’T STAND ITP: NO I LOVE YOU I SWEARD: OUR LOVE IS DOOMEDP: WOE IS USFollowed by various depressing scenes were they have lots of unadvised (as it could get them killed if someone noticed it) sexual tension followed by an improbable happy ending.Read the rest of my review at Here There Be Books.

My Life in France

My Life in France - Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme I read this partly because of [b:Julie Julia|13747|Julie and Julia 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen|Julie Powell||3338312], but also because I love memoirs written by people who’ve done amazing things. I didn’t grow up watching Julia Child on TV and I barely knew who she was before reading/watching Julie & Julia, but now that I’ve read [b:My Life in France|5084|My Life in France|Julia Child||1602216] I definitely want to know MORE.She had such a vivacious personality! It comes out in full force in her book, so much so that I could almost hear her voice as I read about her learning how to cook at the Cordon Bleu or testing a million different variations of the same recipe for her opus, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She was a tough lady who worked hard to accomplish her goals, but the way she tells it, her success was practically accidental. Ha! Nobody who could survive learning to cook with a half dozen salty old military dudes, moving from country to country, writing an entire cookbook basically by hand for what seemed like a million years, and dealing with aggrivating naysayers ever got her success by accident.Read the rest of my review at Here There Be Books.


Hexwood - Diana Wynne Jones I’m not an actual speed reader but I sometimes do skim through pages if I want to get quickly to a certain scene or whatever. I must have done that the first time I read Hexwood, because if I’d been paying proper attention I think I would have understood it better. Or maybe it just takes more than one read-through to pick up all the little details! Who knows– I think [b:Hexwood|47528|Hexwood|Diana Wynne Jones||1121869] is probably Diana Wynne Jones’ trickiest book, not least because she refuses to spell things out in big infodumps.[a:Diana Wynne Jones|4260|Diana Wynne Jones|] was always good with that sort of thing, though. I don’t think she ever talked down to her readers, whether they were adults or kids. She always expected you to be able to keep up with her, and while that can be annoying if you’re a skimmer like me, it’s also extremely kind of her. Any author who thinks her readers are brilliant deserves praise in return, I think!Read the rest of my review at my blog!

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) - I'm not a subscriber to Jenny Lawson's blog (The Blogess), though I don't really know WHY I'm not. Anyway, when her memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, was first released last year I thought it might be something I'd like to read. I visited her blog, read about twenty posts, put the book on my wishlist and then forgot about it (as happens all too frequently with me). However, the paperback is coming out this month, and when a nice person at Berkley Books offered me a copy to review-- I jumped at it!Wouldn't you? I mean, Jenny Lawson is FUNNY. I don't think I've laughed this much while reading a book since the first time I read one of David Sedaris's books. It actually does remind me a lot of David Sedaris's stories, this book, but less...stylized? Or maybe MORE FRIENDLY is what I mean.Read the rest of my review at my blog!

Also Known As

Also Known As - Robin Benway As soon as I saw the cover of Also Known As I knew two things:1. I really wanted to read it and2. It was probably going to be massively fun and adorable.Later I found out that Robin Benway wrote [b:Audrey Wait|1627267|Audrey, Wait!|Robin Benway||1621335] which I've heard very good things about but have yet to read. So I requested Also Known As on NetGalley and lo and behold! It WAS massively fun and completely adorable. I kept saying on Twitter and whatnot that it reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss with spies, and it DOES. It is! It's lighthearted and fluffy and there's some really good dialogue between the protagonist (Maggie) and her love interest.Keep in mind that the point of Also Known As isn't necessarily the spy stuff. The point is the romance/friendship/becoming a "real person" stuff. The spy stuff is important because it leads INTO the other stuff, but for most of the book it's set aside until the third act.Read the rest of my review on my blog!

The Black Moth

The Black Moth - Georgette Heyer [b:The Black Moth|311322|The Black Moth|Georgette Heyer||2651650] is [a:Georgette Heyer|18067|Georgette Heyer|]'s first book ever written, when she was 17 and wanted to cheer up her sick brother. It's not as amazing as April Lady was, but it's still pretty darned good for a first book anyway. Yeah, Lavinia ends every sentence with an exclamation mark. Yeah, the villain kidnaps the heroine TWICE and nobody does a frickin' thing about it. But the characters are very human and real and the romances are just as lovely as you'd expect, so if you like Georgette Heyer's Regency romances you'd probably like this Georgian romance, too. (I also wrote a bit about The Black Moth in Sunday's Currently Reading post, so go check that out for more of my thoughts.)(This review was originally posted on Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.)

The Westing Game

The Westing Game - This is one of my FAVORITE books, and I tend to reread it every year or so. [...] It’s still just as good a book as the first time I read it way back when. I’ve read it so many times that the answer to the mystery is ingrained into my memory, I can almost quote lines by heart, and I know each and every plot twist by heart. And yet it’s not BORING. I’m still just as entertained reading it now as I was the first time. The characters, the writing, the STORY! All of them are so freakin’ good. If you HAVEN’T read The Westing Game yet, you need to get on it STAT.(This review was originally posted on Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.)

Second Star (Star Svensdotter, Book 1)

Second Star - Dana Stabenow I'm not sure why I even bothered finishing this book, except that it's short and I wanted to see space aliens. There's some good ideas in here-- I love space stations and living in space and exciting space things!-- but there are some real clunkers, too. The romance! Was so terrible. The love interest did SUPER CREEPY THINGS, stalker things, and everybody was just like "lol isn't that cute." WHAT. I'd try one of the author's other series (she does mysteries, too), but no way am I reading another book in THIS series.(This review was originally posted on Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.)

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga)

Ethan of Athos - Lois McMaster Bujold [...] Ethan of Athos, one of the Vorkosigan books not starring Miles or one of his family members. It’s a reverse “planet of women” story, only I didn’t figure that out until about 30% in when I read another reviewer’s notes. I don’t think it’s NECESSARY to know this stuff, btw, in order to enjoy any of these books. But it probably helps if you want to dig deeper into what’s going on in the writing/story.Anyway, I liked [b:Ethan of Athos|990093|Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)|Lois McMaster Bujold||2030693]. The characters made the book for me; Ethan’s a great protagonist not only because he’s totally weird (he’s terrified of women!) but he also goes through great shifts in his beliefs. In a very realistic way, too!Read the rest of my review here.

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga)

Cetaganda - Lois McMaster Bujold [b:Cetaganda|76812|Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)|Lois McMaster Bujold||2802]. Uh. I’m not sure how I feel about it? On the one hand, the story is cohesive and interesting and Miles (and Ivan) are great in it. There’s conspiracies, which I like, and some action stuff (also good), and we get to learn more about a planet other than the two places Miles has lived on. But! Cetaganda (the planet) made me really uncomfortable.Read the rest of my review here.

The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga)

The Vor Game - Lois McMaster Bujold The Vor Game is kinda weird; the first part was actually a novella originally, and then it was expanded later into a full book. So, like, the first half of The Vor Game is Miles in space!Antarctiva, and the second half is Miles reunited with the Dendarii mercenaries. I liked both of the stories, but it was also a weird reading experience. Luckily some stuff from the first half of the book shows up again in the second half, or I would have been wtf-ing all over the place.Read the rest of my review here.

Abhorsen (The Abhorsen Trilogy)

Abhorsen - Garth Nix I have put off reading this for AGES, and furthermore I think I started reading it once before and then put it down. The first half of the story was VERY familiar, so much so that I wondered if I’d actually read the WHOLE book and just forgotten.This is my favorite kind of Garth Nix story: excellent writing, wonderful characters, exciting and emotional storyline, and lots of interesting worldbuilding stuff! I’m sad that this is the end of the Abhorsen trilogy (though I think there’s still a book of short stories left?) but reading it was a wonderful experience! Yay, [a:Garth Nix|8347|Garth Nix|]!(This mini-review was originally posted here.)

Dig: A Morgue Mama Mystery (Morgue Mama Mysteries)

Dig: A Morgue Mama Mystery - C.R. Corwin Another dud! Which is really unfortunate, because I liked the first book in this series enough to buy the sequel in the first place. Partly my problem was the mystery itself: it was boring! The ending was, again, one of those cliche things that annoy me. And without a character like Aubrey (the sparky cub reporter from the first book) to (uh) spark things up, it was a very slow-paced and (again) boring story. Oh well.(This mini-review was originally posted here.)

Firebird (The Elemental Masters Fairy Tales)

Firebird - Mercedes Lackey My first Mercedes Lackey book! Unfortunately, I didn’t like it. I liked BITS of it, including the fairy tale-ness of it, but it wasn’t as magically wonderful as I was hoping it’d be. I did like the twist at the end (although it was totally obvious) and I liked the writing style, so I’ll definitely read another [a:Mercedes Lackey|8685|Mercedes Lackey|] book.(This mini-review was originally posted here.)

Sushi for Beginners: A Novel

Sushi for Beginners - Marian Keyes Guess what? I haven’t read a Marian Keyes book written after 2004! Which is really weird. Rereading Sushi also made me realize that I totally misremembered the ending of this book– maybe got it mixed up with another? Anyway, this was a fun, lighthearted(ish) reread that made me want to read Marian Keyes’ newer books, finally!(This mini-review was originally posted here.)

Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles Series #1)

Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede I didn’t really “get” Cimorene at first. I mean, yeah, special snowflake princess, whatever. She was “special” because she wasn’t stereotypically girly like the OTHER princesses, which was disappointing. You can be girly AND be an awesome heroine and I thought that Dealing with Dragons was saying that the cliche princess is stupid because of reasons. But! That’s not what it’s saying. What makes Cimorene different from the other princesses isn’t that she wants to learn magic/fencing/other active things and not cross-stitching. She’s different because she doesn’t subscribe to the conventions of a traditional fantasy fairy tale romance!This is HILARIOUS and also amazing.Read the rest of my review at my blog!

Currently reading

The Kingdom of Little Wounds
Susann Cokal
Progress: 92/576 pages
The Glass Demon
Helen Grant
Progress: 10/305 pages
The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero
William Kalush, Larry Sloman
The Silver Chair
C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes
Angel Lawson
Countdown City
Ben H. Winters
Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, Rick Yancey, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Ryan, Saladin Ahmed, Melissa Marr, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Tim Pratt, Gene Wolfe, Garth Nix, Charles Vess
Nicola Griffith
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic