April 3, 2016

January, February and March 2016

Jan 1 The House of Tomorrow Peter Bognanni
2 Midnight Riot Ben Aaronovitch
3 Down Cemetery Road Mick Herron
4 As Close To Us As Breathing Elizabeth Poliner
Feb 5 Nobody Walks Mick Herron
6 Altered Carbon Richard K. Morgan
7 Anna and the Swallow Man Gavriel Savit
8 Daredevils Shawn Vestal
9 Lay Down Your Weary Tune W. B. Belcher
10 The Wolves Alex Berenson
Mar 11 Real Tigers Mick Herron
12 Dodgers Bill Beverly
13 Midnight Sun Jo Nesbo
14 Back Blast Mark Greaney
15 As Good As Gone Larry Watson

This time, I'm giving a Quarterly report!  I've done two months at a time previously, but never three!

My list of favorite authors is as long as my arm.  Because I read so much, I expose myself to a wide variety.  During these three months, I read books by five of my favorites, Mick Herron, Alex Berenson, Joe Nesbo, Mark Greaney and Larry Watson.  You can pick up any of their books, not just the novels on this list, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The primary reason I love reading debut authors is it's so darn hard to get published these days.  The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni is a debut novel; it's a unique and touching story about a teenage boy who has been raised in isolation by his grandmother.  The story is charming and thoughtful and a great read.  I highly recommend it.

Another debut that is outstanding is Dodgers by Bill Beverly.  From BN.com: "Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger. It is the story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys—including East's hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he's never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world and decide what kind of man he wants to become."

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit is also a debut novel.  It's YA, but I passed it around my Tai Chi Class and everyone who read it absolutely loved it.  This from the Kirkus Review:  "After a young girl is left to fend for herself in World War II Poland, she stumbles upon an intriguing gentleman who she hopes will guide her out of the emerging chaos of war. Anna Lania is 7 at the start of this multiyear tale with its overtones of folklore and magical realism. Her linguistics-professor father is taken away by the Germans during the expulsion of intellectuals at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. A linguist herself, Anna is drawn to the language abilities and bird savvy of the Swallow Man, so named to preserve his anonymity. As they make their way together across Poland, the Swallow Man has ingenious ways of explaining their new realities to Anna via storytelling while his real activities remain an enigma until the end. Most striking here is that debut author Savit creates a young girl's world that only consists of father figures—and it is not always clear how Anna is to determine whom to trust and whether or not these relationships and how she thinks of them are ultimately safe. The eventual conclusion: human connection, however, brief or imperfect, has the potential to save us all. Artful, original, insightful."

What are you reading?

February 24, 2016

November and December 2015

Last year was a rough year for me, I lost my husband, step-mother. and mom.  Blogging wasn't a priority, of course, but I'm getting back into the swing of things in many areas of my life, so I thought I'd do a catch up of my reading.  Here's a two-month report!

Nov 67 The Wrong Man Kate White
68 Did You Ever Have A Family Bill Clegg
69 The Do-Right Lisa Sandlin
70 The Devil's Share Wallace Stroby
71 The Things We Keep Sally Hepworth
72 My Southern Journey Rick Bragg
Dec 73 The Bone Labyrinth James Rollins
74 The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace Jeff Hobbs
75 Slow Horses Mick Herron
76 The Widow Fiona Barton
77 The Assistant Camille Perri
78 Dead Lions Mick Herron

This is going to be brief.  I loved "Did You Ever Have A Family", the story is masterfully told and you don't want to put it down.

I've read all of Wallace Stroby's Crissa Stone series, this last one, The Devil's Share did not disappoint.  Good writing and fast action, what more do you want!

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth deals with memory loss at a young age and its affect on everyone in the family.  Well written and warm hearted.

I love Rick Bragg and have read all his memoirs and family stories.  My Southern Journey is a great read.

I know you've probably heard of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.  Everything you've heard is true.  It's a fabulous accounting of, just as the title says, a short and tragic life.  It made me want to cry.

I have become a fan of Mick Herron.  I've devoured the Slough House series and I highly recommend it.  I'm looking forward to exploring his other work.

So many books, so little time.  Thanks for stopping by.
What are you reading?

November 11, 2015

October 2015 Reads

This is a good team to be on!

Oct 56 A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara
57 Orbiting Jupiter Gary D. Schmidt
58 The Killing Kind Chris Holm
59 Scrapper Matt Bell
60 Gonzo Girl Cheryl Della Pietra
61 The Tears of Dark Water Corban Addison
62 Shoot the Woman First Wallace Stroby
63 I Saw a Man Owen Sheers
64 Those We Left Behind Stewart Neville
65 Shovel Ready Adam Sternbergh
66 We Never Asked for Wings Vanessa Diffenbaugh

What a great month of reading I had.  I have two favorites, I couldn't choose just one,  The first is The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison.  There are six main characters in this tale about an around the world sailing trip undertaken by a father trying to "save" his troubled son.  The others are the wife and mother who waits at home, an FBI hostage negotiator, a Somali pirate and kidnapper, and the lawyer who defends the Somali.  Each character is skillfully developed by having chapters dedicated to him/her.  The story is visual and engrossing, and I came away with a better understanding of the elements that went into this story.  I haven't read Addison prior to this, but if this book is any indication of his talent, I'll be reading his other books.

My other favorite is We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I was already a fan of hers after devouring The Language of Flowers in 2011.  Diffenbaugh blends her beautiful writing with the themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in this powerful story about family.  Letty, the mom, works three jobs to support her children and parents, leaving all the "parenting" to her mom and dad.  After 14 years, Letty needs to "step up to the plate" parent-wise, when her parents decide to return to Mexico.  Like all parents, Letty makes mistakes, a lot of them, but she's driven by love and wanting to offer her children the best.  This is a great read.

Orbiting Jupiter is another family tale, this one written for 12-17 years old.  (I read everything; I just insist on good writing.)  Joseph has been "in the system" for awhile and finally finds a great foster home.  He has a backstory that includes fathering a child, Jupiter, at 13; and an abusive, manipulating father, but his goal is to find his child, who has also entered the foster care system, and he isn't allowed to see her.  His new foster brother, Jack, is 12 and narrates this tale.  The two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it might require.

The Killing Kind by Chris Holm awakened my love of hitmen!  Keller by Lawernce Block has been my favorite for many years.  Now, enter Hendricks!  He only takes contracts on other hitmen!  What a guy.  If there's a contract out on you, Hendricks will offer to hit the hitman for ten times the price on your head.  What a deal.  You get to live and the hitman goes away.  Of course, organized crime isn't too happy about losing their contracted killers, and they hire someone to take out our anti-hero.  This is a good, fun read!  Really.

If you're looking for a dark tale read Scrapper by Matt Bell.  It reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's equal parts dystopian novel, psychological thriller, literary fiction and takes place in the Motor City,  What more could you ask for?

What are you reading?