Time to start catching up with stuff.
I am continuing to "read down" my library, in the ongoing Net Loss of Stuff project. Some of the books marked * (which means new-to-me) on these reading lists are brand-new purchases, but some are titles I've had for a long time and am just now reading. The TBR (to be read) continues to be frightful because I continue to buy books, but I'm trying to read old ones along with the new ones.
126. Sargent and Italy* ed. Bruce Robertson. An example of an "old" book, got this one at a museum. A big, fat art book with essays, some of which seemed really to be stretching for their point, but I definitely learned some actual facts, which is always good. This handsome volume is now with the Friends of the Library.
127. A Room with a View* by E.M. Forster. New purchase of a really old book, which I found completely entertaining.
128. Nice Dragons Finish Last* by Rachel Aaron. An urban-fantasy novel with a little too much world-building (slow start, in other words) but plenty of action and likable protagonists.
129. Ravished* by Amanda Quick. A very silly romance set during an unspecified time period which seemed to be late Victorian - based on the heroine's obsession with fossils - but with social stuff that seemed straight out of the Regency. Fetching characters generally save this author for me, because the plots are frequently preposterous.
130. West of the Revolution* by Claudio Saunt. A disappointing history. Given the premise of "what was happening in North America in 1776 that wasn't the Revolution," precious little is provided by way of synthesis. It's a collection of anecdotes, not all 1776-adjacent and not even chronological, uniformly ending with a subtextual punchline amounting to "and the Native Americans got screwed again."
131. Nacho Figueras Presents: High Season* by Jessica Whitman. A contemporary romance set in a rich Florida polo town (definitely a first for me), mostly good.
132. Beyond Heaving Bosoms* by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan. A guide to romance books, for romance readers. Nothing really new for me here, but entertaining.
133. Way Station* by Clifford D. Simak. A thoughtful SF classic in which a Civil War soldier becomes the stationmaster for a galactic travel portal, doesn't age, and eventually comes to the notice of the CIA. Complications ensue, but the CIA guy means well and the story does not end in disaster as it almost certainly would if written today. Has to be one of the loneliest protagonists EVER.
134. Target Engaged* by M.L. Buchman. A Delta Force military romance with two strong and likable leads. This author does not pull any punches on how difficult elite armed service is, nor on the can-be-difficult personalities that are drawn to it. Very solid book.
135. The Trouble with Mistletoe* by Jill Shalvis. Rounding out a month of new books and a really bizarrely wide range of romances with this light comedy set in San Francisco, featuring a builder/renovator hero and a grooming-shop owner heroine. Good animal characters. :-)