|Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.|
My Reading List - February 2013
Currently Reading -
Currently Listening to -
Last Edited on: 2/28/13 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 57
The Emperor was Divine Julie Otsuka
As Max Saw It Louis Begley
Cast a Giant Shadow John Kleiman
The Age of Miracles Karen Thompson Walker
A Father's Affair Karel Van Loon
Back to Abnormal Dana Wildsmith
Chez Moi Agnes Desarthe
Blood Will Drop Dana Stabenow
A Box of Darkness Sally Ryder Brady
Outnumbered: Raising 13 kids Mary Ann Kuharski
Above the Fall Line Amy Blackmarr
The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka
Hanging by a Thread Emmanuel Cauchy
Siesta Lane Amy Minato
Affairs of Steak Julie Hyzy
The Red Thread Ann Hood
An Underachiever's Diary Benjamin Anastas
A Round-Heeled Woman Jane Juska
The Ballad of Gussie and Clyde Aaron Latham
There's a Porcupine in My Outhouse Michael Tougias
Last Edited on: 2/27/13 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 21
Recently Added to Wishlist
Last Edited on: 2/23/13 3:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 10
Finished: The Last To Die by Beverly Barton--- 2nd in the Cherokee Point series. A psychotic serial killer is at work. Some pretty good plot twists, it does keep the reader guessing, at least until the last chapter or so.
The Chocolate Cat Caper by JoAnna Carl --- A quick little "cozy" about a young woman, recently divorced, her aunt who owns a chocolate shop and makes chocolates and a couple murders. Witty and fun to read, the first of the series.
A Place Called Rainwater by Dorothy Garlock -- As with all Garlock's books, the reader can truly get the feel of the era she's writing about. Her use of the language and attitudes of the people of those times are so real, the story comes alive. Rainwater is an oil boom town in the 1920s, and the characters in the story are typical of those who would have lived during that time period. Goodness and evil merge throughout the storyline, keeping the reader turning the pages until the very end. Highly recommend all this author's novels.
The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen --- I don't usually read historical romance/ mysteries, but a friend recommended this book to me so I read it... and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading the 2 sequels, Storm Winds and Reap the Wind . As Johansen explains at the end of the book, she has mixed fact with fiction which makes for very interesting reading. Set in the 1500s, Sanchia is a slave & thief, bought by a wealthy man to steal back the statue of The Wind Dancer that was stolen from his family. What happens next makes for a rousing tale.
Triple Witch by Sarah Graves --- A fun little 'cozy' mystery series. Jacobia Tiptree and her friend Ellie solve another murder case [in this case 3 murders] and Jacobia has to handle having her ex-husband moving to town and establishing his medical practice there. Lots of twists and turns make for an interesting read.
Triptych by Karin Slaughter --- The first in the Will Trent series and it is a page-turner! A very complicated plot, the action doesn't stop until the last page. A sixteen-year-old boy is sent to prison for killing a fifteen-year-old girl. What happens when he's paroled makes for heart-stopping reading.
The Falls by Karen Harper --- This is definitely one of those books that you can't put down. Tense plot, interesting characters, keeps the reader guessing until the very end. What happens when a husband goes missing in the middle of the night, ends up dead, an apparent suicide? His wife and the local sheriff look for answers. Karen Harper is an excellent author. Looking forward to reading more of her work.
Tallulahland by Lynn Messina --- What a delightful book! My first Messina book and I'll be looking for more. Tallulah West wants to start her own design company, but has lots of hang-ups. Missing her dead mother, conflicts with her father and his new wife, a friend who wants to be in the movies and a best friend who also happens to be a guy. Messina brings all these characters to life with witty verbal exchanges and an engaging story line.
Edwin of the Iron Shoes by Marcia Muller --- I've been meaning to start the Sharon McCone series for a long time and just hadn't gotten to it. I enjoyed this book, not a lot of action, but a pleasant read. Sharon investigates the murder of an antique dealer. I've got several others in this series, so I will continue to read them.
Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney --- It's hard to describe this book...could it possibly have happened? Yes...and Gaffney makes the reader believe in "the lost man" and his re-emergence into modern society, albeit the late 1800s. Can a man who lived isolated with wolves as his friends and family really adapt to the world he finds himself in? Gaffney does such a tremendous job in making the reader feel what Michael feels as he tries to learn about this new world. A very moving story, a few tears were shed.
Dead Even by Mariah Stewart --- Another great book by Mariah Stewart. This is the 4th in the series and it is as good as all the others. Someone is killing young girls and it's up to FBI profiler Annie McCall to help the police departments involved find the killer...only it turns out there are actually 2 killers and the second one is well hidden. A real page-turner.
Last Edited on: 2/28/13 6:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 11
The Long Journey Home by Margaret Robison - I've read most of Augusten Burroughs books about his crazy childhood and his brother's book about his crazy childhood and living with Asperger's so when I saw their mother wrote a memoir I had to get it, compare stories. Talk about crazy by the bucketfull. It's mostly about her very crazy family, her very crazy husband, and her very crazy life. Seriously, everyone is completely bats***. In a serious, if they weren't hospitalized they should have been, mentally disturbed. How these people all found each other and concentrated the crazy by breeding together is just scary. It's amazing Augusten and John Elder turned out as functional as they did, although they both certainly have their problems. John Elder has an adult son, can't wait for his book.
The Cruel Stars Of The Night by Kjell Eriksson - Three elderly men have been murdered and there are no leads. No connection can be found but there has to be one. The story alternates between the seemingly hopeless murder investigation and the story of an unstable young woman whose father is missing. You know they have to be connected just by how much time spent on her but it's not very clear. I'm not a big stickler for needing a nicely wrapped up ending but this one is particularly loose, really left hanging. The crazy girl was a little over the top, not entirely believable. The complexity of the mystery was good though.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - I loved this book, thought it was excellent. It's a dark and complex story about one messed up family being told by the last person who knows what really happened. She wants the truth to be told before she dies, since it's a story no one even knows happened about people who don't all even know they were part of it.
Plaster and Poison by Jennie Bentley - A cozy about a young couple in Maine who renovate houses together. They walk into the house they've been working on one morning to find a body in the bedroom. A little light on the mystery and heavy on the renovation but pleasant enough.
Just Kids by Patti Smith - A memoir by Patti Smith (the singer) of her relatioship with the controversial gay photographer Robert Maplethorpe in their youth. I was completely surprised by this book, and not just because I didn't know Robert wasn't always gay. Or he didn't always realize it, not sure how that works, but he seems to have switched teams in the middle of the game. I'm not a big fan of poetry or poets or avant garde type artists but the way she tells the story is just wonderful. How lovely to have lived at the Chelsea in the early 70's. Talk about the place to be. She pretty much sticks to just her life with Robert, keeping the time before and after to a minimum and there's not much at all about her music career. Lots about how she got to it, but it really took off as they parted and the story is about over. What an amazing relationship, not all roses but all consuming. It must be something to be that intune with someone, that comfortable. The last few pages were hard to read through the tears, as we all know Robert dies at the end. Unfortunately AIDS was a guaranteed death sentence in those days. Well worth the story even if you aren't a fan.
Elvis and The Dearly Departed by Peggy Webb - Cozy about a colorful family in the funeral business in Mississippi. The characters are pretty likeable and the writing is far more humor than thriller. A pleasant, humorous story but light on the mystery. Not much danger and intrigue, more wacky adventure than anything. The chapters alternate between the story about a body coming up missing from the funeral home and the hijinks of trying to get the body back and solving the murder that happens along the way and the thoughts of the family Basset Hound who is the reincarnation of Elvis Presley. The dog doesn't help much with the actual solving but since he's a dog he can see and hear things that the bad guys keep from other people he helps fill in some of the missing information and explains how some of the events happened.
The Yiddish Policemens Union by Michael Chabon - I may have missed the point of this book, I don't get all the positive reviews. I found it completely dreary. Everyone in it was dreary. The premise was dreary. The story was dreary. The mystery was pretty thin and kind of took a backseat to everyone running around talking about how dreary life is. My favorite thing about the book is that it is 400 pages long so I can use it for a challenge category. I read it for a discussion group on another site, maybe when the discussion gets going someone will explain what I'm missing here. Funny thing is I LIKE dark stories with messed up people, my favorite genre is Scandinavioan crime fiction mainly for the negativity of it. But this wasn't really dark, it was more tediously....dready. That's the only word for it.
Bad Science by Ben Goodacre - I was a bit disappointed in this one too. I thought it was going to be more about the processes of medical testing but was mostly about how the media reports it and the public misunderstands it. It was informative but I think the author is a bit over zealous in condemning all methods of alternative medicine as quackery. Some alternative medicines do work. They think they may even have figured out how exactly accupuncture works, it has documentable physical effects. So that kind of discredited him a little for me, but I try to keep in mind he is British and British society is extremely anti-homeopathy. The writing was more sensationalistic than I expect in a book by a scientist, it's clearly written for the same dumb general public that he says believe the hype of charletans. I did learn a few things though and got a few good tips on sites that are more what I was looking for, real science.
An Eye Doctor Answers: Answers to hundreds of the most common questions about eyes by Richard A Driscoll - Basically everything you could ever possibly want to know about the eye - how it works, what can go wrong with it, how to fix it. He gives easy enough to understand explanations but it's not dumbed down, and he cites all of his sources and studies mentioned. It is very informative and surprisingly interesting. He details exactly what they do (with pictures) in eye operations and what happens in the eye when it has problems. There was a long part about a specific disorder written by his wife that I kind of skimmed because I haven't even ever heard of it and it was very detailed info but the rest of it was really good. I only have one eye and I'm a little paranoid about anything happening to it so it is an area I'm interested in but I think even if you have a casual interest you would like it and it's not super long so it is worth a look.
A Bloody Storm by Richard Castle - Only on kindle at this point, not released in print yet. From the tv show Castle, about a mystery writer who gets involved with the police department to research his books. They have put out 2 series of books as if they were written by the fictional Richard Castle. This is #3 from the Derrick Storm series. I'm sure it's intentional because of the kitch factor but the character names are so silly, the "girl" is called April Showers. One of the other guys, a 'ghost' agent, is called Casper. It was a short story, not much to it. Pretty much a bit of fluff but too much blood for a cozy.
Cyndi Lauper, a Memoir - This is how you want a musician to write their memoir. While she does talk about her personal life, and very frankly, she also goes through how her music developed, and very detailed descriptions of the process involved in being a recording artist. There's a whole lot more to it than just standing there singing, and record companies can be a real pain in the butt. It seems there are quite a few people going after the money they can make off of someone else's talent, and always trying to exert their control over the situation. Even if you aren't a nig Lauper fan if you want to hear about the realities of the recording business this is a good place to go.
Comet In Moominland by Tove Jansson - Frick, once again this stupid page froze up when I was trying to add the link so I have to write it over agian and I don't feel like it! Kid's book, European style. The Europeans don't coddle their kids like we do and the subject matter can get more serious, In this one a comet is coming towards Earth, right towards Moominville, and they must go on a journey first to find out what is happening rhen to get back and evacuate everyone to a cave in time.
Last Edited on: 2/28/13 11:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 18
I have created some new categories this year so let's see if I can stick with them since I do so much sampling,ie: picking up books, putting them down until something really grabs me. I found that I was not committing enough and had a lot of books laying around that I need to finish, which is not that much fun, depending on the book, it could be like an old sandwich, but we won't go there! Also going to try some reading challenges that I found here and on the goodreads site.
So here are my attempts for Feb:
Finished: Tiny Beautiful Things~Cheryl Strayed: An advice column from Rumpus.net, started for fun but it get's serious quick! Strayed selected a great variety of letters covering all sorts of topic's, from financial ruin to cheating partners to grabby old men, they all have something in common and Strayed gives some worldly and sage advice, although I would have been more convinced if she had not used overly familair endearments so much. Still a thought provoking work and a comfort to know that whatever your problems in life are, you are not alone and there is probably a group for that!
Purple Hibiscus~ Chimamanda Ngizi Adichie: An account of how family and political life reflect each other in Nigeria during a Coup! very interesting and sad how people interpret thier loyalties!
Starting now: Austerlitz~W.G Sebold: Story about forgotten identity that takes place as a result of the Kindertransports in WW2, should be psychologically interesting and probably moving!
Gone Girl~Gillian Flynn: sample: Like it so far, I still haven't read her previous one which I have, so first things first!! Good introduction but think I am going to wait on this til it goes to paperback, too much hype right now.
Mystery/Thriller/Horror and Historical Fiction:
Instance of the Fingerpost~Ian Pears: I have blended the categories this month to make this one happen, I've have been waiting to read this one forever and finally found it in my collection! yay!
Civil War Lit List: ( see my profile) Probably Cloudsplitter~Russell Banks
January Carry overs:
NF: My Lobotomy~ Howard Dully: A sad, shocking and very revealing true life account of a surgical fad in the late 40's & early 50"s when "icepick" lobotomies were used as a panacea for depression, hysteria and "bad behavior"! Reading this story makes me want to write a strongly worded letter to those responsible!! Finished and returned to library, looking into more about history of Mental Illness and maltreatment, very interesting subject!
Wild Card: Saul & Patsy~Charles Baxter
Last Edited on: 2/27/13 10:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 8
Currently Reading: OPERATION BITE BACK, ROD CORONADO'S WAR TO SAVE AMERICAN WILDERNESS, BY DEAN KUIPERS
Finished Reading: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY BY SHEILA BURNFORD
AND RANCH OF DREAMS BY CLEVELAND AMORY
**Check them out and many others on my bookshelf! ***
Currently reading, The Trophy Wife by Ginna Gray. Very good book. I enjoyed the story and the twist and turns. You don't know untill the end....
Last Edited on: 2/12/13 2:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1