LShelby Arrives Late to the Party

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LShelby Arrives Late to the Party

1LShelby
Redigeret: dec 19, 2021, 1:20 pm

Persistence is my middle name. 2020 was my worst reading year to date. Which means 2021 pretty much had to be better in spite of a late start, right?

In case there is anyone new.... Hi, I'm L. Shelby
(It's a pen name and the L doesn't actually stand for much. Y'all can call me Shel.)
I am a fantasy and science fiction author and artist, and I also like to sing, code webpages, play boardgames, go hiking (or disc golfing) and tat. I am the mother of six -- now almost all grown up, and a Canadian, although I currently live in Ohio, ('cause I married a USian).

I read fantasy and science fiction, non-fiction, regency romances (of the 'sweet' variety), YA romance, cozy-mysteries, adventure fiction, and occasionally even classics. I also read manga/graphic novels. I spent most of last three years under the weather, and watching more TV than reading, which makes me sad. I want reading to be the default downtime activity, and TV to get saved for emergencies!


60 books read in 2021

Sub-goals:
20 New Authors

17 new authors in 2021

20 Old Favorites (SFF->RR->C/YA->O)

0 rereads in 2021

20 Non-Fiction Books (Largely to prevent me from counting these as new authors)

8 non-fiction in 2021

24 LT Authors (Because I'm playing Bingo.)

3 LTAuthors in 2021

Also:
30 Volumes of Manga/Graphic Novels
75 Asian Dramas

2LShelby
Redigeret: mar 25, 2021, 12:11 pm



1) Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor
2) Murder at an Irish Wedding by by Carlene O'Connor
First two books in a cozy mystery series. In the first book I admired the heroine's devotion to her orphaned siblings, but in the second book she offended me twice: first by being glad that the Irish Elk was extinct, and secondly by implying that of course everone (every woman?) is interested in fashion models.

3) Want by Cindy Pon
YA Science fiction set in a futuristic Taipei where extreme pollution causes a distinct divide between those who are rich enough to afford protective suits and those who aren't. More intrigue than action.

4) The Cunning Man by D. J. Butler and Aaron Michael Ritchey*
Depression Era Occult Fantasy - A humble beet farmer with a family tradition of magic, verses evil satanic monsters. A female union organizer shows up but romantic elements are downplayed (maybe the authors are saving that angle for a sequel?)

5) Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower*
Murder in a small town in Amish country Ohio. This is the second in the series. I read the first one last year. The heroine is a chocolitier returning to inherit her Amish grandfather's sweet shop.

6) Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates
Also the second in a series that I started last year. The heroine is a librarian at a library housed in a historic lighthouse. I found her inability to make up her mind between the two guys interested in her a bit irksome.

GRAPHIC
Piper by Jay Asher
A creepy graphic novel retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (of course, with that as the source how could it not be creepy?) I read this (and most of the other books above) as an ebook. I haven't been visiting the library regularly because I haven't built up my physical endurance enough yet. Hopefully next month.

ASIAN DRAMAS
The Moon Brightens for You - Chinese, Wuxia - I'm sure it's not that I don't remember this story, it's that I'm not quite sure which story it is. The one with the Hero who was poisoned as a child and so has no kung fu powers, and the kung fu heroine, and they are investigating the truth of his father's death which her father has been accused of, perhaps?
Jiu Liu Overlord - Chinese, Wuxia - A successful merchant of silk wares and a female gang leader team up to combat corruption and improve the living conditions of the people.
The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion - Chinese, Wuxia - A girl has prophetic dreams of being forcibly made the concubine of a prince, and although she manages to use the dreams to help her family avoid political disaster, in spite of all her best efforts she ends up the concubine of the prince.
Falling Into You - Taiwanese Sport/Office Romance - An athlete taking a break due an injury gets entangled with an entrepreneur whose father was killed many years ago.
Do You Like Brahms? - Korean, Classical Music Romance - This was actually a painfully depressing show for me. I know that the whole doing classic music professionally thing is incredibly difficult, but I have never understood why the people in these shows seem to think that you have to give up on music altogether if you can't make it as a classical pro. I have a lot of fun just playing my instrument by myself and with other amateurs. Why is that never seen as an option?
My Secret Star - Korean, Webdrama, Showbiz - Short webdrama. Vietnamese paparazzi on the trail of a Korean star discovers his secret -- a magical curse from a former life.
A Love So Romantic - Chinese Historical Romance - I said historical rather than Wuxia because not a lot of fighting or magic come into it, but there isn't really any history in it either. Just the regular people in disguise, nefariously plotting rivals and various type of conflicts with the neighbors type of romantic hijinks.

Plus drama rewatches with one of my daughters:Go Go Squid, Bring it On Ghost, Two Cops, Extraordinary You, Feel Good to Die, The Master's Sun, Your Honor, Healer, Goblin, You're All Surrounded. In February I stopped being able to finish any show if I wasn't watching with someone else. I guess I was just that tired of show watching. Now that I'm finally back to reading books, I haven't even tried to watch any shows by myself.

3LShelby
mar 25, 2021, 12:17 pm

I have been reading cozy mysteries set in a small town in Ohio. I happen to live in a small town in Ohio. So yesterday I found myself putting down the third in the series to calculate how likely it is for a small town in Ohio to have 3 unrelated murders within the span of 6 months or less.

According to the figures I looked up, a small Ohioan town should average not more than 1 murder every 10-20 years or so.

I thought about that, and said to myself, actually that might be kind of a cool cozy mystery series -- one where each successive book was set in a different decade. Of course, if you wanted the series to last very long, you would need a detective that didn't age. Maybe a vampire?

4pamelad
mar 25, 2021, 4:01 pm

>3 LShelby: Good idea. Inheritance? The detection bug being passed from parent to child? It's hard to picture a cosy vampire.

5LShelby
mar 26, 2021, 2:33 pm

>4 pamelad:
I have no trouble picturing cozy vampires, but it's generally recognized that I am a little bit strange.

Inheritance might be a very good way to go, if we are looking for something mundane. Having parent-child and/or grandparent-child detection teams could be really fun. I would also be tickled by the fact that there would be no reason to drag out the romances for forever. :)

6LShelby
apr 4, 2021, 6:30 pm



7) Beyond the Wall by Brittiany West
YA Portal fantasy of the "And then I discover I am the chosen one" variety.

8) Enchanter by Robin W. Bailey
Based on of an fantasy RPG. Young Mage on a Quest to save the Kingdom/Country/World.

9) Premeditated Peppermint by Amanda Flower
Criminally Cocoa by Amanda Flower
Two more in the Amish cozy series, which I haven't given up on, in spite of the unlikely overabundance of corpses in rural Ohio. The second one didn't get a number because it is a novella.

10) MUNKi: What Price Would You Pay to Live Forever? by Gareth Southwell
Near future Science Fiction with a sort of a mystery wrapped about with philosophical ruminations on the nature of life, sentience and artificial intelligence.

11) Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A. L. Herbert
I am not accustomed to cozy protagonists who when encountering a body, instead of calling the cops, move the body and scrub down the crime scene. But this is a comment, not a complaint.

ASIAN DRAMAS
Touch Your Heart (rewatch, with my daughter)

7LShelby
apr 14, 2021, 8:32 pm



12) A Quiet Rebellion: Restitution by M. H. Thaung*
Sequel to one I read last year, it has what looks like a post-apocalyptic setting with psionics, so its definitely in the grey area between Fantasy and Science Fiction

13) Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup
Cute little Juvenile Fairytale.

14) Starrise at Corrivale by Diane Duane
Space opera with evil empires and mysterious zombie aliens.

15) Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower*
Next book in the Amish Murder mystery series I've been working my way through. I'm still finding them fun. :)

16) Into the Fire by Brittiany West
Sequel to the YA portal fantasy mentioned above.

17) Dark Angels of Zeus by Gary W. Babb*
The gods of Olympus are aliens. Does that mean this is technically Science Fiction? There is absolutely no recognizable science. Good versus Evil slaughterfest.

ASIAN DRAMAS
The Pillow Book/Eternal Love of Dream (rewatch with my daughter) Wuxia "God Tale". One of my favorites. :)
Love in Time - Chinese contemporary romance, of the contract marriage variety. The heroine is a writer.

8LShelby
Redigeret: maj 9, 2021, 10:14 pm



18) Shattered by Dick Francis
I haven't read one of this author's thriller/mysteries in decades. My father used to bring them home. This one had more glass-blowing in it than horseracing.

19) The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill
Alternate history fantasy... like Temeraire but without the dragons?

For Fog Adorns Her by Steffen Larken*
Short -- High Fantasy so classic in style that nothing written back when feels quite that classic. :)

20) Keepers of life : discovering plants through Native American stories and earth activities for children by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac
Non-fiction, children's activities to help teach botany and ecology. Plus stories to tell them. :)

Descartes' Dog by Gareth Southwell*
Short, Non-fiction - Philosophy on the nature of mind.

21) The Warrior's Path by Louis L'Amour
One of his early Sacketts books, about the colonization period. It felt a bit incomplete... I guess I need to read the next one too. :)

22) Search Image (Web Shifter's Library) by Julie E. Czerneda
Science Fiction -- The start of a sequel series to the original Web Shifter series, with the same protagonist. As always, excellent aliens.

GRAPHIC
My Hero Academia, Vol. 8-9
Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 1

No completed Asian Dramas this time.

9LShelby
Redigeret: nov 14, 2021, 1:36 am

It's official, as far below target as I may be, I have still already done better than last year. Improvement is good. :)

Some historical adventure...
23) Jubal Sackett by Louis L'Amour

Some classics..
24) The Black Riders and Other Lines by Stephen Crane
25) The red badge of courage Stephen Crane

A whole lot of cozy mysteries...
26) Murder with Macaroni and Cheese by A.L. Herbert

27) The Ghost of Marlow House by Bobbi Holmes
28) The Ghost Who Loved Diamonds Bobbi Holmes
29) The Ghost Who Wasn't
30) The Ghost Who Wanted Revenge
31) The Ghost of Halloween Past
32) The Ghost Who Came for Christmas Bobbi Holmes
33) The Ghost of Valentine Past
34) The Ghost from the Sea

35) A grave issue by Lillian Bell
36) If the Coffin Fits by Lillian Bell

37) Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch
38) The Alpine Advocate Mary Daheim

A few non-fiction books...
39) G M C : goal, motivation, and conflict : : the building blocks of good fiction Debra Dixon
40) Buckeye legends : folktales and lore from Ohio Michael Jay Katz
41) Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom Patrick Moore
42) Whoever makes the most mistakes wins : the paradox of innovation Richard Evans Farson

And a fantasy...
43) Mistborn : the final empire Brandon Sanderson

I really need to read more fantasy. :(

MANGA
Takane & Hana 1-16
My Hero Academia 10-11
Komi Can’t Communicate 2-6

Far too much tv (and this isn't a complete list, either)
ASIAN DRAMAS
"Costume" Fantasy: Legend of Fei, Renascence, The Wolf Princess, Be My Cat, Love of Thousand Years, The Blessed Girl, Qing Luo, The Romance of Tiger and Rose, Ancient Love Poetry
Historical: The Sword and the Brocade, Maiden Holmes, The Long Ballad, The Imperial Coroner, In a Class of Her Own
Contemporary: Remember My Boy, Sunshine of My Life, Hello Mr. Gu, She Is the One, Ugly Beauty, Please Feel at Ease Mr. Ling, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Perfect and Casual, Mysterious Love, The Secret of Love, Be My Boyfriend, Falling Into Your Smile
Other: The Miracle, My Holo Love, Meet by Window

10LShelby
nov 21, 2021, 5:08 pm



I'm still mostly reading cozy mysteries. I did try to read more fantasy, I swear, but I abandoned both of the two I tried less than a chapter in. :(

44) The soul of an octopus : a joyful exploration into the wonder of consciousness by Sy Montgomery
My favorite read of the week, a non fiction book by a naturalist about the octopuses she had known/met.

45) The Alpine Betrayal by Mary Daheim
The protag is a journalist and so has a much better excuse to be getting involved than most cozy sleuths. :)

Botched Butterscotch (Novella) by Amanda Flower
46) Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower
More Amish Candy Shop.

47) Grace Under Pressure by Julie A. Hyzy
48) Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy
This sleuth is a curator at a historic manor-cum-museum, which was a nice change from food, crafts, B&Bs and librarians/bookstore owners. In the second book we have civil war enactors. :)

49) A High-end Finish by Kate Carlisle
A home renovator this time. Another nice change.

50) Better Off Read by Nora Page
This one has another librarian -- a seventy+ speed-demon behind the wheel of her Bookmobile librarian. But what a lot of over-the-top characters, my goodness!

51) The Ghost and the Mystery Writer by Bobbi Holmes
More Haunted B&B.


MANGA
Takane & Hana 17
My Hero Academia 12

I only actually finished one drama this week, and it was one I'd watched most of much earlier. But I finished listing the ones I didn't last time too.

DRAMAS
Love Script - He is a stereotypical drama CEO, except that he thinks he's a stereotypical historical drama Emperor instead. She is the shrink who is trying to cure him.

From earlier: Pop Out Boy!, Lovers of the Red Sky, One the Woman, Lost Romance (Rewatch), About is Love, Cute Programmer, Sell Your Haunted House, Jun Jiu Ling, My Queen, Battle of Changsha, Sweet Sweet, Be With You, So I Married the Anti-fan, Sweet Teeth, Forget You Remember Love, You Are My Glory, My Girlfriend is an Alien, Don't Leave After School

11LShelby
dec 19, 2021, 1:18 pm


52) Ohio heists : historic bank holdups, train robberies, jewel stings and more by Jane Ann Turzillo
This is a fun little volume I grabbed off of my library's History shelf: It includes stolen books, grave robbers, and the world's first ever bank robbery recorded by a security camera.

53) The Ghost and the Muse by Bobbi Holmes
54) The Ghost who Stayed Home by Bobbi Holmes
55) The Ghost and the Leprechaun by Bobbi Holmes
Yet more haunted B&B

56) East by Edith Pattou
Another fantasy! But again only one. I tried others but didn't finish them. :(

57) Unmentionable Murders by James C. Work
Mystery set in the Rocky Mountain National Park during Prohibition

58) The Alpine Christmas by Mary Daheim
Still continuing this series, although I bet murders aren't really this common in small rocky mountain towns, just like they aren't this common in rural Ohio.

59) Smuggler's Cove : exotic cocktails, rum, and the cult of tiki by Martin Cate
A bit unexpected in subject material, since I don't drink. But someone mentioned Tiki culture and I didn't have a clue what they were talking about. I hate not knowing what people are talking about.

60) Giants of the monsoon forest : living and working with elephants by Jacob Shell,
Could working elephant culture help preserve the asian elephant?

MANGA
Strobe Edge, Vol. 1
If Witch, Then Which?, Vol. 1
My Hero Academia 13
Komi Can’t Communicate 7

DRAMAS
He's Into Her - A short, cute school romance from the Philippines.
From 5 to 9 - A short cute romance from Japan
Twenty-Twenty - A short reasonably cute school romance from Korea
Can't Run Away From Love - A short cute workplace romance from Japan
Once We Get Married - A cute but overly long romance from China
Love Crossed - set in a near-future China, a VR romance game has become so popular that real life romance is practically dead. But our heroine discovers that the game characters are based on real people that the game maker is holding captive.
King of Blaze 2 - the contemporary second season of a show that was a weird cross of science fiction premise and Wuxia aesthetic. Since they mostly didn't even bother including handwavium in the supposed science, Wuxia wins.