Spinning My (Borrowed) Wheels

(Really, that should be singular, but it didn’t look right.)

Years ago, I bought a drop spindle and set about learnning – with the aid of books, downloaded videos, blogs, and YouTube – to spin yarn. Spindles are fantastic. They can be very affordable: a Louet Beginner Top Whorl goes for less than $20, a Schacht Hi-Lo (“the best of both whorls”) is just under $25, and a full starter kit including a spindle, a yarn gauge, a niddy-noddy, and 4 oz. of fiber can be had for under $75. When it’s in stock, anyway.

All those links go to WEBS – I’m not an affiliate, I get nothing for sending you there; I’m just a happy yarn customer. I actually haven’t bought spindles or fiber from them myself, but I’ve bought yarn several times, and I like them.

I bought my first spindle, along with some mystery-wool fiber, from someone on Ravelry back in late 2007. I took it with me to a class with Merike Saarniit at Stitches West 2008:

Spindle for Stitches Class

Since then, I’ve acquired several spindles and a slightly alarming amount of fiber. You can spin quite a bit on a drop spindle – there was a time, of course, when all yarn was spindle-spun – but a wheel can really up your speed. At least, in the short-term. The portability of spindles means that while you generate yarn at a slower speed, you can spend more time actually spinning. You can spin while waiting just about anywhere, for anything.

All that said, I really wanted to learn to spin on a wheel. But the price point for wheels is considerably higher, and with so many kinds to choose from, it’s good to try before you buy. Fortunately for me, my local Parks and Recreation Department offers a class on handspinning, and it was offered late enough in the day that I could make it after work. The teacher has several Ashford Traditional wheels that students can borrow for the duration of the class, as well as rent in between class series. (Since there is only one class offered, and it’s small enough that the teacher is able to spend time individually with students, people simply repeat the class in different sessions.) I’ve just started my second session, so I’ve had this lovely wheel since the beginning of July.

It’s an Ashford Traditional; I estimate from Ashford’s timeline that it’s from the mid-to-late-1970s. I’m really enjoying it, and I definitely want to get a wheel of my own. I’d like something easier to move around, though. While the traddy does fit into the back seat of my car, it’s not ideal. I’m considering the Ashford Joy, which is designed to be a portable wheel, but I haven’t had a chance to spin on one yet.

Spinners, what wheel(s) do you have? Any tips for the first-time buyer?

Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in October

After the traditional summer slow-down in publishing, the fall releases are coming fast and furious. Here are 10 books from my TBR I’m particularly looking forward to next month.

Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham (October 2)

These dark and imaginative tales feature an odd and subtly linked world of bizarre venereal diseases, a creepy old woman who feasts on raw meat, a man obsessed with a skin model from a magazine, and a story within a story about ghosts.


The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2) by Mackenzi Lee (October 2)

A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh; and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.


The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife (October 2)

A rewarding, intimate, and inspiring partnership has developed between the ravens and their charismatic and charming human, the Ravenmaster, who shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the ravens and the Tower. Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower’s true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.


The Hollow of Fear (Lady Sherlock, #3) by Sherry Thomas (October 2)

Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.


Mycroft and Sherlock by Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse (October 9)

Now a force to be reckoned with in the War Office, the young Mycroft Holmes is growing his network of contacts and influence, although not always in a manner that pleases his closest friend, Cyrus Douglas.


A Crafter Knits a Clue (A Handcrafted Mystery, #1) by Holly Quinn (October 9)

When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.


A Little Tea Book: All the Essentials from Leaf to Cup by Sebastian Beckwith and Caroline Paul (October 16)

Tea, the most popular beverage in the world after water, has brought nations to war, defined cultures, bankrupted coffers, and toppled kings. And yet in many ways this fragrantly comforting and storied brew remains elusive, even to its devotees. As down-to-earth yet stylishly refined as the drink itself, A Little Tea Book submerges readers into tea, exploring its varieties, subtleties, and pleasures right down to the process of selecting and brewing the perfect cup.


The Library Book by Susan Orlean (October 16)

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie.” The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?


The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (October 23)

Like many of us, Ryder Carroll tried everything to get organised — countless apps, systems, planners, you name it. Nothing really worked. Then he invented his own simple system that required only pen and paper, which he found both effective and calming. He shared his method with a few friends, and before long he had a worldwide viral movement.


The White Darkness by David Grann (October 30)

Henry Worsley was a devoted husband and father and a decorated British special forces officer who believed in honor and sacrifice. He was also a man obsessed. He spent his life idolizing Ernest Shackleton, the nineteenth-century polar explorer, who tried to become the first person to reach the South Pole, and later sought to cross Antarctica on foot. Shackleton never completed his journeys, but he repeatedly rescued his men from certain death, and emerged as one of the greatest leaders in history.

Reading Along with Lil Miss

My daughter – who has long been known on the Internet as Lil Miss – started the sixth grade this year. When I was in the sixth grade, way back in the last century, we were the Big Kids of the Elementary School, but now sixth grade is the beginning of middle school. Lil Miss suddenly has a locker and changes classrooms five times a day. I have to admit, getting from room to room on Back to School Night was a challenge for me! She seems to have the hang of it, though.

Recently, her English class has started reading Boy of the Painted Cave by Justin Denzel.

Tao is an outcast. Unlike the great hunters of his clan, Tao does not want to kill the wild bears or woolly mammoths of the hunt. Instead he wants only to paint them. But only Chosen Ones can be cave painters. What’s more, Volt, the clan leader, violently despises Tao. And when the other clan members discover Tao’s secret talent, they cast him out into the wilderness alone. There, he befriends a wild wolf dog named Ram, and the mysterious Graybeard, who teaches him the true secret of the hunt.

The book was first published in 1988 (which happens to be the year I finished sixth grade and moved on to Junior High myself), but I hadn’t heard of it before. I did find a copy of it hanging out on the library shelf, though, so I checked it out to read along with Lil Miss.

I don’t remember my parents ever reading something just because I was reading it in school; did your parents do that? If you’re a parent, have you read a book because your child was reading it in school? Or do you plan to, if you haven’t reached that age yet?


This post is part of the 2018 Discussion Challenge hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight.

Down the TBR Hole #12

Down the TBR Hole was originally created over at Lost in a Story.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

Visit my to-read shelf to see how very far I still have to go!

Running the Edge: Discover the secrets to better running and a better life by Adam Goucher
Published: Sep 05, 2011
On TBR Since: Jun 10, 2012

This is more of a self-help book than a running book. The library doesn’t own a copy, and I don’t see myself buying it anytime soon.

Stay or Go? Go

Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler by Jessica Speart
Published:Mar 17, 2011
On TBR Since:Jun 11, 2012

Nature/science true crime, along the lines of The Feather Thief, which I loved.

Stay or Go? Stay

Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are by Katherine Sharpe
Published:Jun 05, 2012
On TBR Since: Jun 13, 2012

This looks like more of a memoir than I thought it was. I should really read it before it gets completely out of date.

Stay or Go? Stay

Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott
Published:Jan 01, 2012
On TBR Since:Jun 13, 2012

Oooh, science history!

Stay or Go? Stay

All Roads Lead to Austen: A Yearlong Journey with Jane by Amy Elizabeth Smith
Published: Jun 01, 2012
On TBR Since: Jun 13, 2012

I will read some Austen at some point. Promise.

Stay or Go? Go

Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection by Simon Winchester
Published: Oct 09, 2012
On TBR Since: Jun 18, 2012

I’m pretty sure I had this confused with a different book. Well, that’s embarrassing.

Stay or Go? Go

Dead Men by Richard Pierce
Published: Mar 01, 2012
On TBR Since: Jun 18, 2012

Antarctic fiction drawing on the doomed Scott expedition? Yes, please.

Stay or Go? Stay

What We Brought Back: Jewish Life After Birthright: Reflections by Alumni of Taglit-Birthright Israel Trips by Wayne Hoffman
Published: Sep 2010
On TBR Since: Jun 25, 2012

Fun fact: I went on a Birthright trip at the end of 2001. It was an experience made slightly more challenging by the fact that I was in a walking cast for a broken metatarsal. I’m very curious about this book.
Stay or Go? Stay

Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever #1) by Tim Federle
Published: Feb 05, 2013
On TBR Since: Jun 26, 2012

I’m super-late to the party on this one, I know.

Stay or Go? Stay

You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too by Tammy Strobel
Published:Aug 21, 2012
On TBR Since:Jun 28, 2012
I was given an ARC of this at a conference. That ARC is long gone, and there are other similar books I’m more interested in these days.
Stay or Go? Go

Four going, six staying. That seems to be my usual count!

Laura Ingalls is Ruining My Life by Shelley Tougas

Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My LifeLaura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life
by Shelley Tougas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We moved all the time, but always to real cities with malls and movie theaters and bus lines; never to a place like this, a land so quiet and empty the wind had nothing to blow. Rose was no help. She hadn’t wanted to leave Lexington, either, but she never complained. Mom and Rose were all sunshine, all the time, the Florida of moods.

At age 12, Charlotte is tired of moving from place to place. Most recently, her mother has brought Charlotte, her twin brother Freddy, and their younger sister Rose from Lexington, Kentucky, to Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Their mother wants to write a book about a prairie girl, and she’s decided the former hometown of Laura Ingalls (Wilder) is the place to do it. While Rose has always been relentlessly optimistic, like their mother, Charlotte has always had Freddy on her side, but something seems to be pulling him away from her now, too.

This contemporary novel explores the ideas of what home, family, and friendship mean, touching on experiences of racism and poverty, without feeling didactic. Charlotte is smart and prickly, trying to shield herself from being hurt by others by not letting others get close to her. Her first-person narration reveals her weaknesses as well as her strengths; there are moments you can see clearly that her perceptions are about to lead her astray, but you understand her feelings. Because of the limited perspective, some of the secondary characters, especially the adults, read flat and cartoonish, though.

But the book isn’t all inner conflict and introspection. There’s also a bit of a mystery that Charlotte has to solve that is fun for the reader, if not for the character. At various points throughout the book, the Ingalls family and the way they were portrayed in the beloved children’s books and television show are examined in light of historical facts in a way that may pique some readers’ interest to find out more.

There are quite a few references to events in the Little House books (can they really be called spoilers when the book is over 80 years old?), so be aware of that when recommending to young readers. And do recommend this book, because it is an entertaining contemporary read, told with humor and heart.

Source: Checked out from my public library (I had a NetGalley e-ARC, but I didn’t get to it in time!)

Challenges: None

Down the TBR Hole #11

I started this post back in June, and then took an unplanned hiatus. But we’re back!

Down the TBR Hole was originally created over at Lost in a Story.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

Visit my to-read shelf to see how very far I still have to go!

The Lure of Long Distances by Robin Harvie
Published: April 1, 2011
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I love a good running memoir, especially ones from amateur athletes, so this sounded ideal. After reading some of the reviews, though, I don’t think I’m going to get to it.

Stay or Go? Go

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear by Seth Mnookin
Published: January 25, 2011
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I’m pretty sure this book will make me both angry and sad, and I’m also pretty sure I need to read it.

Stay or Go? Stay

Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester
Published: December 31, 1985
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

As much as I <3 Simon Winchester, I’ve already listened to parts of the abridged audiobook edition, and I think I’m going to give this one a pass.

Stay or Go? Go

Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth by James M. Tabor
Published: January 1, 2010
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

The topic sounds so good, but the writing… not so much.

Stay or Go? Go

A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s by Stephanie Coontz
Published: June 30, 2008
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I should probably actually read The Feminine Mystique before this one, so I think it’s going to hang out in the TBR for a while yet.

Stay or Go? Stay

Taking My Life by Jane Rule
Published: October 11, 2011
On TBR Since: March 28, 2012

I’m a little apprehensive about this one because it was an unfinished manuscript published posthumously, which always gives me pause. But I think I’ll keep it.

Stay or Go? Stay

When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution by Jeanne Cordova
Published: October 18, 2011
On TBR Since: March 28, 2012

A memoir of a turbulent – and not all that far in the past, really – time.

Stay or Go? Stay

Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past by Peter Boag
Published: August 2, 2011
On TBR Since: March 28, 2012

This looks like it’s going to be pretty academic (unsurprising, given it’s published by a university press), but still interesting.

Stay or Go? Stay

Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson
Published: January 1, 2012
On TBR Since: April 4, 2012

Another one where the idea sounds interesting, but it appears to be executed better elsewhere.

Stay or Go? Go

Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim
Published: March 2, 2012
On TBR Since: May 31, 2012

This still sounds like a pretty good cross-section of my interests.

Stay or Go? Stay

Four to go, six to stay. Chipping at the backlist, even though I’ve definitely added more than four books to the other end of the TBR in the last week.

Down the TBR Hole #10

Down the TBR Hole was originally created over at Lost in a Story.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

My to-read shelf: 1052 titles

The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth-Century America by Nigel Cliff

Published: April 17, 2007
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I’m just not feeling the need to read about the Astor Place Riot anymore.

Stay or Go? Go

The Book of William: How Shakespeare’s First Folio Conquered the World by Paul Collins

Published: July 1, 2009
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

On the other hand, I am still interested in the story of the First Folio. (Thanks again, Book Riot.)

Stay or Go? Stay

The Return to Judaism: Descendants from the Inquisition Discovering Their Jewish Roots by Sandra Malamed

Published: November 15, 2010
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I’m still interested in the topic, but not this particular book.

Stay or Go? Go

The Big Bang Symphony: A Novel of Antarctica by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

Published: May 6, 2010
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

A little contemporary Antarctic fiction to go with all the non-fiction history.

Stay or Go? Stay

Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher

Published: August 31, 2010
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I’m a little on the fence with this one, but I think it’ll stay. For now.

Stay or Go? Stay

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester

Published: October 27, 2009
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

Simon Winchester is one of my automatic TBR non-fiction writers.

Stay or Go? Stay

Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People by Jon Entine

Published: October 24, 2007
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

Another one where the topic sounds interesting, but not this particular book.

Stay or Go? Go

You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers

Published: October 1, 2010
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I actually started reading this at one point, and couldn’t get into it.

Stay or Go? Go

Descartes’ Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human by Paul Bloom

Published: April 27, 2005
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I’m pretty sure I started reading this at one point, too. And I think I may have had it confused with a different book.

Stay or Go? Go

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker

Published: January 1, 2011
On TBR Since: March 10, 2012

I watched the Jennings/Rutter/Watson match on tv, and I’m interested in the history of the machine

Stay or Go? Stay

Five to go, five to stay. Chipping away at the TBR. New to-read shelf: 1047 titles.

Getting Old is Murder by Rita Lakin

Getting Old Is Murder (Gladdy Gold, #1)Getting Old Is Murder by Rita Lakin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hello. Let me introduce myself. I’m Gladdy Gold. Actually, Gladys. I’m a self-proclaimed P.I. That’s right, a private eye. Operating out of Fort Lauderdale.

When did I get into the P.I. biz? As we speak. My credentials? More than thirty years of reading mysteries. Miss Marple and Miss Silver are my heroines.

At age 75, retired librarian Gladys “Gladdy” Gold lives in Lanai Gardens, a Florida “retirement community” condo development. With her circle of friendly neighbors (including her younger sister), she enjoys a regular routine of walking, sitting by the pool, Publix shopping trips, canasta games, and other everyday activities. Lanai Gardens is a community unto itself, with everyone into one another’s business, so Gladdy fills the reader in on the goings-on in everyone’s life. Life that seems pretty predictable until ladies start dying right before their birthdays, and Gladdy quickly begins to suspect foul play.

This is a quick-moving book, with short chapters and snappy observations. It’s easy to hear Gladdy’s New York twang in her short sentences and wry humor. She is the gossipy great-aunt you didn’t know you had, but she is ready to sweep you up into her world and make you at home. Interspersed with the first-person chapters narrated by Gladdy, there are a few chapters that take a third-person perspective to reveal events that she doesn’t yet know the details of. With the murders presented on the page this way, the reader actually has more clues to the mystery than the book’s amateur sleuth does.

I picked this book up as part of my current obsession with cozy mysteries, and because it would qualify for Read Harder 2018 task 23: A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60. It almost qualified for the one-sitting book task, since I read nearly all of it on a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta. (And I already fulfilled that task with The Grownup.) It’s a fun read, and I like the quirky characters, and I really enjoyed the way it manages to echo the small-town settings so frequently found in cozies without taking place in a real (fictional) small town. It stands out, too, for the fact that Gladdy isn’t a newcomer to the community, like many cozy mystery protagonists; she’s been living in Lanai Gardens for years. The book is the first in a series, so if you enjoy it, there’s more to come!

Source: Ebook checked out from my public library
Challenges: Counts for Read Harder 2018 (Task #23: A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60)

Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in June

Ten of the books on my TBR coming out in June (I seem to have skipped May. This month has been weird, y’all.) that I’m especially looking forward to:

President Bill Clinton and bestselling novelist James Patterson have written a spellbinding thriller, The President is Missing.

The President Is Missing
Bill Clinton and James Patterson
(June 4)

Do I really need to know more than that? No, not really.


Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home begins at the grave of Katagiri Roshi, Natalie’s Zen teacher, in Japan. Twenty years after Katagiri’s death and Natalie’s return to New Mexico, she is permanently settled in Santa Fe with her partner, Yukwan. Except that, as Buddhism teaches us, nothing is permanent.

Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir
Natalie Goldberg
(June 5)

Natalie Goldberg is one of my favorite writers-on-writing.


In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived on Roanoke, an island off the coast of North Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish a foothold for England in the New World. But by the time the colony’s leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission in England, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They had vanished into the wilderness, leaving behind only a single clue–the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree.

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke
Andrew Lawler
(June 5)

At first glance, I thought this was going to be a novel about Roanoke. But it is not. It is a non-fiction look at what might have happened, how archaeologists are trying to figure it out, and the way the Lost Colony has entered the popular consciousness.


Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek–two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes.

by Kate Messner
(June 5)

I’m always up for a new Kate Messner book.


Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . .

A Literary Afternoon Tea: 55 Recipes for Savory Nibbles, Bite-Sized Sweets, and Custom Teas for Book Lovers
Alison Walsh
(June 5)

I prefer the title on the cover image, so I hope that’s the one they’re going with. I’m not sure “want to read” is quite right, since it’s a cookbook. But I’m definitely looking forward to paging through this one. Books! Tea!


When Katie Met Cassidy is a romantic comedy that explores how, as a culture, while we may have come a long way in terms of gender equality, a woman’s capacity for an entitlement to sexual pleasure still remain entirely taboo. This novel tackles the question: Why, when it comes to female sexuality, are so few women figuring out what they want and then going out and doing it?

When Katie Met Cassidy
Camille Perri
(June 19)

That actually sounds rather serious, but I’ve seen this book characterized as “a rom-com with two women”, which I am totally here for.


[…]But a few days later Kate receives a call from the police–Cordelia has been found dead on the mansion property, and Kate is all-but certain that her name is high on the suspect list. She finds herself juggling the murder investigation and her growing fascination with the magnificent old house that turns out to be full of long-hidden mysteries itself. Kate knows she must clear her name and save her town–before she ends up behind bars.

Murder at the Mansion (Victorian Village Mysteries #1)
Sheila Connolly
(June 26)

New cozy mystery series! (The name Kat(i)e certainly seems to be popular in fiction these days.)


For all the scores of biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the most famous detective in the world, there is no recent book that tells this remarkable story–in which Conan Doyle becomes a real-life detective on an actual murder case. In Conan Doyle for the Defense, Margalit Fox takes us step by step inside Conan Doyle’s investigative process and illuminates a murder mystery that is also a morality play for our time–a story of ethnic, religious, and anti-immigrant bias.

Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer
Margalit Fox
(June 26)

I read and liked Julian Barnes’ Arthur & George, and I’m really looking forward to a non-fiction account of a different case in which Sir Arthur took on the detective role. If I hadn’t already zipped through The Feather Thief, this probably would’ve been by Read Harder Challenge book for the True Crime Task.


In this exciting historical mystery debut set in Victorian England, a wealthy young widow encounters the pleasures—and scandalous pitfalls—of a London social season . . .

A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #1)
Dianne Freeman
(June 26)

Victorian-set historical mystery. Debut in a new series. Yes, please.


Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1)
Rebecca Roanhorse
(June 26)

Post-climate-apocalypse fiction set in the southwest, featuring a Native woman who clearly is ready to kick butt and take names. Look at that cover. I’ve already placed my library hold.