Cookbooks – The National Trust books are FANTASTIC, but you do have to convert from English to American measurements if you, like me, are American.
The Great Northern Cookbook, Sean Wilson
The National Trust Book of Scones: 50 delicious recipes and some curious crumbs of history, Sarah Clelland Merker
The National Trust Book of Crumbles, Laura Mason
Non-fiction – These are all A-B rated, some denser and harder to get through than others, but nothing absolutely unbearable.
John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights, David S. Reynolds
Medical Downfall of the Tudors: Sex, Reproduction & Succession, Sylvia Barbara Soberton
Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing: Essays, Lauren Hough
The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power, Deirdre Mask
Country House Society: The Private Lives of England’s Upper Class After the First World War, Pamela Horn
The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House, 1918-1939, Adrian Tinniswood
The House Party: A Short History of Leisure, Pleasure and the Country House Weekend, Adrian Tinniswood
Romps, Tots and Boffins: The Strange Language of News, Robert Hutton
A Field Guide to the English Clergy: A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising The Revd Fergus Butler-Gallie
Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen, Greg Jenner
The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria, Max Adams
The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr, Leanda de Lisle
The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream, Charles Spencer
Old “friends” and auto-buys: works by authors I purchase whatever it is because it’s always good, every time:
The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting, KJ Charles
Subtle Blood (The Will Darling Adventures Book 3), KJ Charles
Paladin’s Strength (The Saint of Steel Book 2) T. Kingfisher
Paladin’s Hope (The Saint of Steel Book 3), T. Kingfisher
Tommy Cabot Was Here (The Cabots), Cat Sebastian
Peter Cabot Gets Lost (The Cabots Book 1) Cat Sebastian
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb: A Novel, Cat Sebastian
The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings Book 3), Mackenzi Lee
His Sacred Incantations (The Warrior’s Guild Book 2), Scarlett Gale
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake (Winner Bakes All Book 1), Alexis Hall
Seducing the Sorcerer, Lee Welch
The Blackwing War (The Deep Witches Trilogy Book 1), K.B. Spangler
Series I took a chance on and then main-lined once I had a taste:
The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital, A. H. Lee
The Knight and the Necromancer: Book Two: The Border, A. H. Lee
The Knight and the Necromancer: Book Three: The Sea, A. H. Lee
Enthralled: A Short Novel Related to The Knight and the Necromancer, A. H. Lee
Saffron Alley (Sword Dance Book 2) A.J. Demas
Strong Wine (Sword Dance Book 3), A.J. Demas
Something Human A.J. Demas
One Night in Boukos, A.J. Demas
Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells
All Systems Red (Kindle Single): The Murderbot Diaries By: Martha Wells
Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries Book 6), By: Martha Wells
Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel (The Murderbot Diaries Book 5), By: Martha Wells
Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries By: Martha Wells
Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries By: Martha Wells
Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory: A Tor.com Original Murderbot Diaries Short Story (The Murderbot Diaries Book 7), Martha Wells
Spellbound: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 1)
Wonderstruck: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 3)
Starcrossed: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 2)
Highland Dragon Warrior: Sexy Shape Shifting Laird Fights for His Perfect Mate (Dawn of the Highland Dragon Book 1) Isabel Cooper
Highland Dragon Rebel (Dawn of the Highland Dragon Book 2)
Highland Dragon Master (Dawn of the Highland Dragon Book 3)
Series I liked but have not yet finished:
The Way Into Chaos: Book One of the Great Way, Harry Connolly: This very well done but VERY dense and requires a lot of attention. I bought the rest of the series on the strength of this book but haven’t had the braincells to read them yet.
The Bone Ships (The Tide Child Trilogy Book 1), RJ Barker – This one is also good, very strong characters, excellent worldbuilding, will suck you in like a whirlpool but also does demand you focus.
Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu (Novel) Vol. 1 – Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, ZeldaCW, Tai3_3 – Finally available in translation!!
The rest: These are also all in the A-B range except where otherwise noted.
Interface: A Novel, Neal Stephenson, J. Frederick George
Empire City: A Novel, Matt Gallagher
These two are both novels about insurrections, which I bought after, well, y’all can probabaly guess. Stephenson was as usual eerily prophetic.
The Apple-Tree Throne, Premee Mohamed – Excellent but also kind of a downer? I needed something warm and fuzzy afterwards as a palate cleanser.
100 Boyfriends, Brontez Purnell – this one is SUPER RAUNCHY but also very good. Walks the line between autobiography and fiction.
Lord of the Last Heartbeat: A Fantasy Romance (The Sacred Dark Book 1), May Peterson – Well written but – for me! – hard going. Again I may just not have been in the right headspace for it. I haven’t finished it yet but I don’t class it as a DNF, just that I have put a pin in it for now.
Under the Whispering Door, TJ Klune – A+ – very good but also very hard to get through, for some reason. Possibly reading a romance where one of the main characters is associated with Death during a pandemic is . . . not the best of ideas, IDK. That said: it was sharp and sweet and even funny, in places, and if you liked the Cerulean Sea book, you’ll (probably) like this one.
We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel. Quan Barry – Really fantastic young adult novel. Will make you crave bananas.
The Quiet House (Black and Blue Series Book 2) Lily Morton
Geoffrey the Very Strange: A M/M Fantasy Romance, Angel Martinez, Jude Dunn
Haven: A MM Paranormal Mystery Romance, Morgan Brice
The Hands of the Emperor, Victoria Goddard – This book is ENORMOUS and it is SO GOOD. Not a romance but also not not a romance? A story of two men who love each other in multiple different ways. Look, it’s magnificent, just READ IT. A++
The Snails of Dun Nas, K.L. Noone – Yes it really is about giant snails. There’s also a non-binary character! There’s some magic (obviously) and some derring-do. Escapism at it’s finest, A+
White Trash Warlock (The Adam Binder Novels Book 1) David R. Slayton
Trailer Park Trickster (The Adam Binder Novels Book 2) David R. Slayton
The world building is at times a little wobbly but on the whole very good.
And finally, my sole actual “book I wished I could have thrown across the room”:
Summons: A demon/mage story (Quirk of Fate Book 1), Lisa Oliver – this one gets a big fat F for having a vibe that was really unpleasant, specifically, it felt subtly but distinctly anti-Semitic and I noped out after two chapters and returned it.