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My Reading List - April 2013
Currently Reading -
Currently Listening to -
Last Edited on: 5/1/13 12:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 65
The Red House Mark Haddon
Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean Richard Logan
The Sheep's in the meadow, Raccoons in the corn or, life in the Country Marguerite Hurrey Wolf
Breakup Dana Stabenow
The Dew Breaker Edwidge Danticat
Calling Invisible Women Jeanne Ray
Beach House Memories Mary Alice Monroe
The Cats of Sanctury House Sister Mary Winifred
Still Alice Lisa Genova
Best Bet Laura Pedersen
Cat Confessions Alluia Nolan
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap Wendy Welch
Gingerbread Cookies & Gunshots Leslie Meier
The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies Laura Levine
The Enders Hotel Brandon Schrand
Gingerbread Cookie Murder Joanne Fluke
Outside Passage Julia Scully
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty Joshilyn Jackson
The Chicken Chronicles Alice Walker
I Totally Meant to Do That Jane Borden
Last Edited on: 4/30/13 1:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 18
Pigs Can Fly by Barry Cryer - Strings of anecdotes about some of the best known (mostly old time) British comedians. Lots of fun stuff, if you know much about older British comedians. No plot or anything, just a bunch of stories.
Stieg Larsson, My Friend by Kurdo Baksi - A short bio of the author of the Millenium trilogy, a working bio anyway. He talks a lot anout Stieg's work and writing motivations but not much about his personal life. Of course he didn't have much personal life, he was a terrible workaholic, but it seems for best friends all they ever talked about was feminism, racism, and writing. It's a good portrait of activism but not much about the man, outside of his work related motivations. Maybe he just didn't want to put out personal details, apparently Stieg was a very, very private man. Not bad but not quite what I was expecting.
Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout - Probably the best Nero Wolfe book I've read, and that's saying something. A prize bull is purchased by a rich man so he can BBQ him, upsetting a whole bunch of people and a couple of them end up dead. And guess who just happens to become stranded outside the man's ranch? Rare opportunity tom see Nero Wolfe in action and out of his house.
The Playdate by Louise Millar - A little light as a mystery but a good story about a few neighbors who are all hiding something. Someone on this street is a nut, but who?
Plugged by Eoin Colfer - Humorous and action packed, a quick but enjoyable book. Lots of action but the humor aspect is Colfer's trademark and he does it very well.
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler - It was a very good story but bogged down near the middle with a backstory section that went on way too long. It was constant action and danger then screeched to a halt with the background. Really messed up the flow because it went on too long, and was all in one big section. It's quite gory and not a book you will enjoy if you're squeemish at all, and it does involve hurting children. Pretty badly.
The Demon of Dakar by Kjell Eriksson - Third in a series but easily a stand alone. Very little about the series star detective, which is a little odd. It's a loosely woven book with quite a few story lines that are marginally connected and mostly coincidentally related. The one thing I did like about it is in these detective books the cops always seem to miraculously conclude the right things and directions they should go but in this one their hypothesizing is often wrong. It's more realistic, cops are too often portrayed as nearly psychic in their investigations. There is a brief epilogue that opens up a new vein but with no indication of where it's going to go or how it happened, very open ended. The next book in the series doesn't seem to be about anything remotely related so it looks like that end is just going to hang there. Kind of weird. Not even enough info is given to imagine where the story could go.
Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend by Christopher Moore - That title should tell you everything you need to know to decide if this is a book for you. It's the story of Joshua's life before he came to fame at 30, told by his friend and companion Biff. Biff has somehow been written out of the gospel, which he finds quyite a nnoying, but he has been brought back to life by an angel in the modern day to write up their early lives. The first 3/4 were really good but when it got to the point where Joshua turns 30 and comes to the life that has been written about it takes a more serious turn (well, serious for Christopher Moore) and was much less fun. I give the first 3/4 5 stars and the last part 3 stars.
Vettech Tales by Phoenix Sullivan - I think it's ebook only because I couldn't find it here. A short book and not very useful, unless you maybe are a friend or relative of Ms Sullivan (not real name). I've worked in the industry, it doesn't happen like she says it did. Apparently she became a fully capable vet tech and groomer with one days instruction in cleaning cages. Um, ok.
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Pretty fun book, the pictures are great. They're all real vintage photos and some of them are right weird. The writer took these pictures and fleshed out the characters and added them to his story. Story is alright, pretty open ended. I think there may be a sequal planned, seems I heard that somewhere. It could use one.
No Room For Secrets by Joanna Lumley - A somewhat unconventional memoir, where she gives a tour of her house and tells stories about the things in the room that tell her life story. She's a little stuffier and posher than I thought she was but she has done some stuff.
Diners, Dives and Dead Ends by Terri L Austin - This was a really good one. A cozy but full of action, believable action. The heroine is a little supergirl-ish but it's believable. Might be a few too many men falling for her considering how average her looks are described, and her big butt is mentioned several times, but it wasn't a big part of the story so it was ok. Definitely getting book 2, but that seems to be all there is. Too bad.
The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - Good book, better than his Dalhousie mystery series. The cases aren't very deep but they're interesting and the characters are pretty full. It was a little annoying how often he referred to the lead as fat. Mr McCall Smith is no small man himself.
Big Brilliant Book Of Bart Simpson by Matt Groening - Book of Simpson's stories told comic book style. Not really what I was expecting but entertaining. Pretty short, I was disappointed because I actually paid for the book. Read it in about 1 1/2 hours.
Murder On The Thirtyfirst Floor by Per Wahloo - I thought this one sucked. Almost no mystery, lots of details about the detective's digestive tract, and mostly just plodding and boring. I've read one other of his and it was better than this one but not by much, I don't think this is an author I will pursue anymore.
Silence Of The Grave by Arnaldur Indridason - This was a really good one. It's about the skeleton of someone who had to have been killed 40 some years prior and uncovering who it was and what happened to them. Not much in the way of action but very well told and quite intriguing. It alternates between modern day and the activities of the detectives with the story of the people involved 40some years ago.
Stories From Candyland by Candy Spelling - Since the fued between her and her daughter Tori has been so public and she didn't come off very well in it I wanted to see what she had to say. She didn't say too much about it, she doesn't say too much about anything except her stuff. She comes off as extremely shallow and very material. She does seem to have tried with her kids, they just spoiled them so much I don't think they have a good grasp of real life. One weird thing I noticed is everything is "my". Normal people would say for example "I went to ther garage and got in the car" where she says "I went to my garage and got in my car". The word 'my' must appear in the book 5000 times. The way she tells her story she lives for approval from others and doesn't feel she has anything to offer other than material objects. Kinda sad, and really hard to relate too.
Last Edited on: 4/30/13 3:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 31
Finished: Cat on a Blue Monday by Carole Nelson Douglas--- [always a fun cozy series] Temple Barr and her cat, Midnight Louie, are at it again, solving crimes and involving other people, this time a cat-breeder, several nuns, a priest and her good-looking neighbor, Matt Devine. And they all have secrets!
Midnight Cactus by Bella Pollen --- A really wonderful book by an author I'd never previously read. Timely reading in that it deals with illegals coming across the border from Mexico, yet looks at it from the "other side", what those illegals face as they make their way across the desert. How some Americans are helping them once they get across, and also some who will do anything to stop them. Alice Coleman comes from England with her 2 small children to develop property in Arizonia that she and her husband own. She meets Duval, the foreman of the Mexican workers... A beautifully written story, funny and yet poignant...highy recommended.
Chill Before Serving by Cynthia Lawrence--- A quick little cozy mystery by an author I hadn't read before. Cat Deean is a LA caterer who get involved in several murders, all seemingly related and tied in with a chef her restaurant has recently hired. An interesting premise for the plot, well developed.
Ghost Shadow by Heather Graham --- First in the Bone Island trilogy and it really is a page-turner. I especially enjoyed it because I was recently in Key West and several of the scenes were familar to me. Katie O'Hara see ghosts and can talk to them. They are trying to tell her how to find the person who killed them...before he kills her!
I'm still trying to finish a book I started last month.... Where Trouble Sleeps by Clyde Edgerton. I'm having a hard time getting into this one. I usually like Edgerton's books, but this one has so many characters and it keeps skipping from one person and their happenings to another, then another.... I'm having difficulty keeping everyone straight. I'll eventually finish it.
Prime Cut by Diane Mott Davidson --- A continuation of the Goldy Shultz, caterer, series. Goldy tries to figure out who killed her mentor, chef Andre, along with another person while trying to keep her catering business from being ruined by an unscrupulous competitor. Always a fun read and lots of delicious recipes.
Also reading: Pawing Through the Past by Rita Mae Brown & Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich
Books read this year: Jan. --- 13, Feb. --- 11, March --- 9
Last Edited on: 4/24/13 7:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 9
Wool by Hugh Howey - I am loving this book. It's a futuristic book about a group of people that have been living in a silo for several generations. The climate outside is so toxic they can't go out, but every now and then somebody commits a crime or goes stir crazy and gets sent out. If you enjoy sci-fi/post-apocalyptic stuff, this one is for you. I finished this one last night, it will most likely be the best book I read all year.
Just Kids by Patti Smith - I wanted to like this one. I had a really great art history professor back in the 80s who mingled with and personally knew several of the visual artists from the 60-70s. Since then I have been facinated with artists/art from this time period. This book could have been so much better if not for the constant name dropping which made it hard to follow and just kind of boring. She has a really interesting story to tell and some of it was really good, if it was more organized and edited better I think it could have been great.
Last Edited on: 4/18/13 4:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
As a tax preparer, I my time is precious. I have had any exercise to speak of in a month, but I somehow sneak in reading time - why??
WILD by Cheryl Strayed - As a fan of hiking books (Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods), I couldn't resist the story of a lost woman hiking the Pacifric Crest Trail.
Mourning the death of her mother, the divorce of her soulmate, and kicking heroin - hiking the trail was thought to be a source of salvation. Ill-prepared and out of her element she fights physical and mental demons in this very well-written if not over the top tale. My favorite parts are when she has interaction with other hikers. Very honest in her self-evaluations, almost to the point of TMI. A great read.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaaccson - Here is another book that kept me up at night. I roadmap of how we got to were we are. Why is everyone on the phone, wearing headphones and text the crap out of each other? This guys fault! His faults don't stop there, a non-nonsense look into the man who made stomachs churn and many an Apple employee wish they were never born. The in-the-boardroom battles, and persistant phone calls - he almost always got his way. A softer side does emerge, easy to rage but easy to cry. A long book you wish were longer.
Recently Added to Wishlist
Last Edited on: 4/30/13 11:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 9
Pariah was an odd zombie tale with the zombies more of a backdrop to the storyline. Ingledove wasn't something that I'd normally read, but I enjoyed it.
Just started This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It by David Wong. I haven't read enough of it to have an opinion yet, but I enjoyed the first book and have high hopes for this one.
Thanks for the recommendation for Wool, Lou. It was on my WL for some time and I finally broke down and purchased it, but haven't read it yet. If you haven't already read them, you might like the Afterblight books.
Last Edited on: 4/6/13 11:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
So far this month I have read, A Knight in Shining Armor, The Last Romanov, and Sex Lives of the Kings Queens of England.
I am pulling stuff off my TBR that has been there for too long. I plan to start these books but toss them aside if they don’t pull my in. I just have too many good books waiting these day! Next up are:
The Bright Forever - done, this pulled me right in, very emotional, somewhat like "Lovely Bones" but very different.
Eating Heaven - can't start this, I keep trying.........
What Southern Women Know-That Every Woman Should - funny so far, butI need a plot based book right now.
Last Edited on: 4/11/13 2:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
I just finished Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. After reading Zone One, it was a relief to read a book that was well written. Blum addresses the emotional and physical suffering of the German people during WWII. Blum worked on the rememberance project started by Steven Spielburg and really reaches into the depths of the helplessness and hopelessness of the era. Worth the time.
Am reading "A Hunger Like No Other" by Kresley Cole.
Also nearly finished "The Angel's Game" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Had high hopes for this book, as one of my favorite books EVER was his book "The Shadow of the Wind". Sadly, it's nowhere near as good as "Shadow", though I am still enjoying it.
Now reading "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn. Liking it so far.
Last Edited on: 4/20/13 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
I am reading a book for a challenge that takes place in New Mexico. It is really a good one. Just a little slow. Takes place primarily in Las Vegas, New Mexico, one of my favorite little NM cities.
The Night Journal
Finished: The Thirteenth Tale~Diane Setterfield: Loved it! Ecstatic Gothic Mystery, A Book about books about eccentric family, scandal mixed with philosophy!
The following group is the selection that I brought with me to a trip to Florida:
New: The Paris Wife~Paula McLain: Really Liking this one, very engaging speculative fiction written in the voice of Hemingway's first wife, about their adventures in Paris and greater Europe in the 20's among expat artists and intellectuals. Could be read in conjunction with "A Movable Feast" Hemimgway's own recollection of the artistic salon of Gertrude Stein. FUN!
Kindle: The Secret Speech~Tom Rob Smith: Sequel to "Child 44" which was one of my picks for best read of the month a few months ago.
Firefly Beach~Meira Pentermann: A woman moves to the beach for some privacy and quiet painting time and starts to be haunted by an eerie light on the beach. For the Basement Book Club
Short Stories: (New Category) Fragile Things~Neil Gaiman: A good mix of stories and ideas by the author of Coraline and American Gods. some absorbing, some not so much, not knocked off my sox yet.
Granta 2008: Yet to crack the spine on this one.
Wild Card: Cutting for Stone~Abraham Vergese: Absorbing story of a pair of twins born of an East Indian nun and a stoic British surgeon. need to pick this one up again.
Last Edited on: 4/23/13 11:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
I have been home sick with cold and have been reading some light stuff....
Case Studies and One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
Her Hesitant Heart by Carla Kelly
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
The Ladies Maid by Susan Page Davis
Just Desserts by Barbara Bretton
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Working on Lucifers Hammer by Larry Niven
Last Edited on: 4/27/13 7:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Finished " A Northern Light", "The Things We Do for Love " and" Mrs. Tom Thumb". Now I am trying to get into "Never Let Me Go", bored so far, hope it gets better. I used somebody's "books to read before you die" list to pull some off of my TBR but many of them seem depressing!
Last Edited on: 4/26/13 9:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1