Whatcha Reading? May 2020 Edition, Part One

May 9, 2020

Bath tub with flower petals and lemon slices. Book, candles and beauty product on a tray. Organic spa relaxation in luxury Bali outdoor bathroom.It’s time for everyone’s favorite post!

We want to hear about all your reading woes and accomplishments, the good and the bad. It’s a weird time and we’re so grateful for this community of readers.

Aarya: I’m basking in a Susanna Kearsley post-reading glow. I first read her last year. The experience was so perfect that I did what any reasonable reader would do: 1) refuse to read another book in the fear that I would run out of them and 2) carefully acquire/hoard her backlist when they went on sale. I finally gave into temptation last week (if a pandemic isn’t a break-emergency-glass-if-necessary event, then I don’t know what is) and read The Winter Sea ( A | BN | K | G | AB | Au ). It’s an achingly beautiful book, and it broke me into a million pieces. Now I’m pining sadly at my self-inflicted refusal to read more of her backlist.

Slippery Creatures
A | K | AB

I’m also in the middle of KJ Charles’s Slippery Creatures (out May 13) and am enjoying myself immensely. It’s the first book in a post-WWI m/m romantic trilogy (HEA after three books). So far, the book has all my favorite things: adventure, intrigue, twists, spies, bookstores, more twists, a hero who is not as he seems, and even more twists meriting a third mention. It’s all wrapped up with a witty and perfectly paced bow, as is KJ Charles’s MO. I’m not done yet, but I don’t anticipate changing my recommendation.

This has been an excellent reading week for me!

Shana: I’m flitting between several books and haven’t been able to settle into one. I’ve just managed an entire lovely chapter of Passing Strange by Ellen Klages, which is a good sign. Please tell me nothing terrible happens in this book.

Think of England
A | BN | K | AB

AJ: I’m reading Slippery Creatures too! Second time through for me, I’ll be sharing my thoughts at length soon. I also just read Charles’ Think of England for the first time and was delighted. Daniel and Archie are such great opposites! I’ve told this story before but I described it to my roomie as “Wayne from Letterkenny falls in love with Daxy.”

What can I say, it’s a KJ Charles kind of month for me.

Lara: It’s a re-reading week for me and I’m loving Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire – it’s giving me everything I need at the minute!

Catherine: I just finished Recipe for Persuasion, ( A | BN | K | AB ) which left me a bit traumatised (it is many things, but not a light romantic comedy), and am now a few chapters into The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer, ( A | BN | K | AB ) which I’m enjoying a lot. It’s set in an alternate version of New York’s gilded age and the heroine is a stage magician who may actually be a real magician. I have no idea where it’s going, but I’m loving it so far.

All Systems Red
A | BN | K | AB

Sarah: Thanks to TOR’s free offer, I’ve been reading Murderbot all this week. *chef’s kiss* Perfection.

The novel is out today. I will probably have to buy it.

In unrelated news, I have library books out and my libraries have been closed since early March. Are they now my books by common law? Are these books now married to me? I’m not saying it’s a problem. Just wondering.

Aarya: I’d be happy to conduct a wedding via zoom if I get the go-ahead from your library.

Sarah: Ha!

Claudia: I was looking for a low-stress book and after reading Kiki’s review First Comes Scandal leap-frogged others in my TBR. So far so good, especially because I was coming out a bit of a disappointment with a book I had been looking forward to read.

The Vagina Bible
A | BN | K | AB

Tara: I finally got a digital copy of The Vagina Bible from my library. Now I feel silly for not just buying it already, since it’s one that I can tell I want to own and I’m only 15% in. I’ve been following Jen Gunter online for a while now and have found many of her articles helpful, so I love getting such a comprehensive book.

In audio I’m listening to Flavor of the Month by Georgia Beers, ( A | BN ) which is a second chance f/f romance. It’s also about returning home to a small town after getting knocked down in the big city by a terrible ex-girlfriend. So far I’m enjoying it. There’s pie and great characters and a gentle humour. I’m just hoping the ex-girlfriend doesn’t try to come back, because I’m not into that.


Tara: I can’t wait for the menopause book she’s writing, since I’m having the “am I having night sweats because of perimenopause or because of COVID anxiety?” conversation with myself on the regular lately

A | BN | K | AB

Carrie: I am reading Huntress by Malinda Lo and Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre. ( A | BN | K | AB ) Reviews pending, I like them both! Huntress has a lovely f/f romance set in a fantasy world and I am HERE FOR IT.

Elyse: I’m torn between what to read next, Laura Purcell’s House of Whispers or something happier? I’m eyeing up From Alaska with Love.

Shana: Huntress is SO good, Carrie. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

Aarya: I’m updating to reveal my public shame. I’m on my fifth Susanna Kearsley book since The Winter Sea. Restraint, 0. Good Book Noise, 6. This has been quite A Week.

EllenM: Like a lot of people, I’ve been having a little bit of trouble focusing on reading so I’ve been going back to some tried-and-true authors & genres…I just devoured the first Guild Hunter book by Nalini Singh (which I got in our SBTB holiday book exchange!!) ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) and it’s kind of fun to track the similarities and differences in style and tone between this series and Psy-Changeling!

The House of Whispers
A | BN | K | AB

I’m also currently reading Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase ( A | BN | K | G | AB | Au ) for the first time because at times like these, the sheer predictability of historical romance is incredibly comforting. Enjoying it a lot so far!

Sneezy: I just finished A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane, ( A | BN | K | AB ) the second book in A Gathering of Dragons. Aaaand I LOVE IT!!!!!

Also, I need to finish The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. van der Kolk ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) lickity split before it goes back to the library, but all my brain wants to do is slide off it to look for happy juice. BLARG.

Susan: I’ve just started KJ Charles’ Slippery Creatures and officially declared Will Darling to be my favourite from the first paragraph, so that’s how I’m doing.

What have you been reading? Clearly KJ Charles is at the top of our lists! 

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