August 14, 2017

July 41 Alice and Oliver Charles Bock
42 I'm Thinking of Ending Things Iain Reid
43 Zero Sum Barry Eisler
44 Camino Island John Grisham
45 The Rat Catchers' Olympics Colin Cotterill
46 Before the Fall Noah Hawley
47 Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn Ward
48 The Life We Bury Allen Eskens
49 The Guise of Another Allen Eskens

Inspired by the author’s life, Alice and Oliver is a deeply affecting novel written with stunning reserves of compassion, humor, and wisdom. Alice Culvert is an extraordinary character—a woman of incredible heart and spirit—who will remain in memory long after the final page.  Instead of writing a memoir, Bock chooses to fictionalize his families ordeal.  This is a wonderful novel.

John Rain is my favorite assassin!  Zero Sum is the latest Rain novel by Barry Eisler.  The series is getting pretty deep but Eisler has held my attentions since 2002 when the series started with Rain Fall.

Grisham doesn't disappoint with Camino Island.  The story is fresh, intriguing and not predictable.  I stop reading authors who write the same story over and over, I still reading Grisham and look forward to many more stories from him.

Before the Fall is a taut and suspenseful page-turner.  You'll have a hard time putting it down.  Hawley is a "new to me" author and I predict I'll be reading his works as soon as they're published.

I'm resorting to a quote about Sing, Unburied, Sing, which is a fabulous read.  “Sing, Unburied, Sing is a road novel turned on its head and a family story with its feet to the fire. Lyric and devastating, Ward's unforgettable characters straddle past and present in this spellbinding return to the rural Mississippi of her first book. You'll never read anything like it.”
—Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Eskens' debut novel, The Life We Bury, is a solid and thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years--none more dangerous than championing a bitter old man convicted of a horrific crime.  His second novel, The Guise of Another is just as good, it's a taut, intelligent,heart-ripping story that explores the darkest places in the human psyche.  This guy can write and you should read him.

What are you reading?

June 2017 Reads

June 34 Stay with Me Ayobami Adebayo
35 Mink River Brian Doyle
36 Martin Martin Brian Doyle
37 The Late Show Michael Connelly
38 Give Up the Dead Joe Clifford
39 Crime Song David Swinson
40 The Force Don Winslow

As usual, I'm playing catch-up!  I'm leaving on a tour of Iceland on Wednesday and I'm determined to post two months of recommendations.

I'm adding Brian Doyle to my list of favorite authors.  Doyle is a born storyteller.  Mink River is his fabulous debut and Martin Martin is a well-deserved award winner.  Read them, you'll be happy you did.

I've read all of Michael Connelly's novels.  The Late Show introduces Renee Ballard, an LAPD detective fighting to prove herself in a man's world.  Connelly was a police reporter for the LA Times and his stories always ring true.

Joe Clifford scores another winner with Give Up the Dead.  Jay Porter is all about starting over but doesn't want an offer that seems too good to be true.  And it goes downhill from there.  Read it!

Crime Song is the follow up to Second Girl by Swinson.  An absolute must read if you love police procedurals as much as I do.  Love fallen detective Frank Marr.

What are you reading?

June 7, 2017

May 2017 Reads

May 24 Idaho Emily Ruskovich
25 Last Day on Mars Kevin Emerson
26 The Drifter Nick Petrie
27 Fierce Kingdom Gin Phillips
28 Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus Dusti Bowling
29 The Someday Birds Sally J. Pla
30 Since We Fell Dennis Lehane
31 Burning Bright Nick Petrie
32 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman
33 Standard Deviation Katherine Heiny

Wow, this month I read my old "normal" 10 books, and most of them were outstanding!  I've felt like such a slacker, but life and stitching take up valuable reading time.

I loved Idaho by Ruskovich.  Here's a quote that really sums it up.  "Emily Ruskovich has intricately entwined a terrifying human story with an austere and impervious setting. The result—something bigger than either—is beautiful, brutal, and incandescent."—Deirdre McNamer,

I also loved Last Day on Mars.  I'm not a Sci-Fi enthusiast, but I do read widely and this was a great read.  I felt like I was in the year 2213, the Earth is gone, we've fled to Mars, but need to find a permanent home. “Last Day on Mars is thrillingly ambitious and imaginative. Like a lovechild of Gravity and The Martian, it's a rousing space opera for any age, meticulously researched and relentlessly paced, that balances action, science, humor, and most importantly, two compelling main characters in Liam and Phoebe. A fantastic start to an epic new series.” —Soman Chainani

I've added a "new" favorite author, Nick Petrie.  I read a good review of The Drifter and thought I'd start with his first book Burning Bright.  People are comparing Petrie to Lee Child, but he is different and better.  His character Peter Ash is brilliant. Peter Ash came home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with only one souvenir: what he calls his “white static,” the buzzing claustrophobia due to post-traumatic stress that has driven him to spend a year roaming in nature, sleeping under the stars.  Read these books if you love Reacher and Bourne, you won't be disappointed.

Fierce Kingdom “is an elegant, taut, and tense survival story that explores the boundaries of parental love. By pitting love against fear, Gin Phillips questions the opposing forces of family bonds and shows how fierce one mother’s love can be.”—Claire Cameron  It was really hard to put down.

If you forced me to name a favorite author it would be Dennis Lehane.  He is the only author I re-read.  His 5 part series that starts with "A Drink Before the War", got me hooked.  Unlike many successful authors, Lehane doesn't write the same story over and over.  Each novel is fresh.  Most have a mystery at the core of the book.  Since We Fell is written from a woman's point of view and has many plot twist.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a quirky literary creation.  Eleanor is socially awkward and Honeyman's writing is exquisite, heartbreaking, funny, touching, unpredictable and irresistible.  I loved it.

I really liked Standard Deviation.  I didn't love each and everyone of the characters; I think that's a good thing.  The book is getting a lot of press and it's well deserved.  "Katherine Heiny's debut novel is not only one of the funniest books you will ever read, but true and poignant, too. And Audra is one of the most memorable characters ever to leap from the pages of a book." —John Harding,

What are you reading?