Books, hockey, and a bucketful of snark

Being the musings of a Yorkshire lass living in the USA. I'm a book geek, bird nerd, grammar Nazi, and hockey nut.  Sarcasm is my default setting. 

Bizzaro Birthday

I have to say that today's birthday has been one of the strangest I've ever had.


I mean how many other people do you know who have had two tons of gravel delivered so that they could build a patio?? 


I found out that I share a birthday with one of our neighbours. He's been working from home for the past couple of weeks and was feeling pretty fed up. So when he looked out of his window and saw the big pile of gravel on our driveway, he just couldn't resist the opportunity to come over with his shovel and give us a hand while he was waiting for his next conference call. You'll be pleased to know we all stayed six feet apart at all times.



I also got some birdy delights




The picture is from my husband and is one of my favourite ducks. A smew.


The blue-jay cushion is from a good friend who is a quilting wizard. (You should see the fabulous face-masks she's made for all her friends).


A takeout has been ordered for later this evening and there is a bottle of something fizzy chilling in the fridge. Sadly I can't get together in person with friends, but we're having a virtual party via Zoom.





Reading progress update: I've read 68%.

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

The characters in this one are slightly less unpleasant than those in Sharp Objects. I will definitely need something light and fluffy when I've finished.

Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

Gawd, I definitely need the brain bleach after reading this book.



Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart. Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.


NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg. Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.


HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.


So far I don't like a single person in this book.

Currently $1.99 on Kindle

The Indigo Girl - Natasha Boyd

In 1739, bright and determined sixteen-year-old Eliza Lucas is charged with keeping her family’s struggling plantations afloat, in her father’s absence. Learning of the high value of indigo, Eliza becomes determined to learn the secret of growing the enigmatic crop, believing it to be her family’s salvation, but everyone tells Eliza growing indigo in the region is impossible. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds her only allies in an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return—against the laws of the day—she will teach the slaves to read. So develops an incredible story of romance, intrigue, hidden friendships, threats, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice, based on historical documents and Eliza Lucas’ own letters.

Smut, Skulduggery, and plenty of Swashbuckling

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles

Well this was a whole heap of fun. And it's currently free on Amazon.

The Wilmington Azalea Festival should be taking place this week, but sadly it was cancelled. Luckily I can have my own festival right in my own front garden.


Well this is rather fab

The Case Is Closed - Patricia Wentworth

Love Hillary. Can't stand Henry.


And I was getting a bit concerned about how long I'd have to wait before Miss Silver made her entrance.

Kindle Freebie

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles

A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude... and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.


I follow K J Charles on Twitter. She's very funny and hates sloppy research. Woe betide the author who writes a historical without doing any basic research about the British aristocracy, because she will rip them a new one.



Magpie Lord

Imaginary Numbers  - Seanan McGuire

Well so much for saving this one for a rainy day. I just couldn't wait to dive straight back into the complicated and dangerous goings-on of the Price family.


We've already seen the world through the eyes of Verity, Alex, and Antinomy, and now it's time to see how an Incryptid makes sense of a human-dominated world. And not just any Incryptid; this is Sarah's story. She's a cuckoo, and cuckoos are very, very scary...


"I'm not a Price!"


"You took your last name from a science fiction novel about creepy telepathic children who want to destroy the world," said Verity. "That may be one of the most Price-like things you could have done. You're family. We raised you right. You're a Price and Prices don't run, or hide, or refuse to do something because it might be dangerous."



Hail! Cheese and Cake for All!

Imaginary Numbers  - Seanan McGuire

There are mice!



Never mess with a cuckoo

Imaginary Numbers  - Seanan McGuire

I was so wrapped up in the equations that I didn't realize the man was planning to move until he hooked a finger around the cord of my right headphone and popped it out of my ear. The drone of the plane's engine came roaring back, drowning out the lecture still playing in my left ear, followed by the sound of his smug, faintly nasal voice.


"I said, will you let me buy a drink? Pretty lady like you shouldn't have to fly alone."


Oh buddy, you sure picked the wrong person to try that with.

Imaginary Numbers  - Seanan McGuire

Sarah Zellaby has always been in an interesting position. Adopted into the Price family at a young age, she’s never been able to escape the biological reality of her origins: she’s a cuckoo, a telepathic ambush predator closer akin to a parasitic wasp than a human being. Friend, cousin, mathematician; it’s never been enough to dispel the fear that one day, nature will win out over nurture, and everything will change.

Maybe that time has finally come.

After spending the last several years recuperating in Ohio with her adoptive parents, Sarah is ready to return to the world–and most importantly, to her cousin Artie, with whom she has been head-over-heels in love since childhood. But there are cuckoos everywhere, and when the question of her own survival is weighed against the survival of her family, Sarah’s choices all add up to one inescapable conclusion.

This is war. Cuckoo vs. Price, human vs. cryptid…and not all of them are going to walk away.


Oh yeah! Back in the world of the Incryptids. Not sure if the Aeslin Mice are going to make an appearance, but Sarah is one of my favourite characters in the series, so I've been really excited for this one.

Defending Jacob - William Landay

Oh this was good. So very, very good.


There were times when I wanted to reach through the page and shake Andy for some of the decisions he made.

Book Club Choice

Defending Jacob - William Landay

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.


This is my latest book-club read and when I went to add it to my Booklikes shelf, I was surprised to see it was already on there, marked as 'Planning to Read'. Further investigation shows a 'Booklikers Recommendations' tag. I have no idea who recommended it but I'm looking forward to reading it particularly because the town where it is set is the one I lived in for twelve years before moving to North Carolina.

Currently reading

A Column of Fire
Ken Follett
King Hereafter
Dorothy Dunnett
Progress: 62 %