September 2, 2018

August 2018 Reads

August 59 Basketball, A Love Story Jackie MacMullan & Rafe Bartholomew
60 November Road Lou Berney
61 Clock Dance  Ann Tyler
62 Blood Standard Laird Barron
63 Night Town Timothy Hallinan
64 Small Moving Parts DB Jackson
65 Kitchen Yarns Ann Hood
66 Believe Me  JP Delaney
67 The Girl In Green Derek Miller

This was a good month for reading.  Basketball, A Love Story is a great read about the sport.  It'll be published 9/18/18, and I recommend it to all basketball fans, sports fans, and other humans. It has passion and heartbreak, triumph and betrayal. It is deeply intimate yet crosses oceans, upends lives and changes nations. This is the true story of basketball.

November Road will be published on 10/9/18, I highly recommend it.  It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope and find each other on the way. The backdrop is the assassination of JFK, but it's so much more.

I loved Clock Dance. It's a  charming novel about self-discovery and second chances, full of wonderful characters and zany adventures.  The ending made me very happy.

Night Town features Junior Bender, my favorite burglar. Junior Bender, may be L.A.’s smoothest operator but when he breaks one of the cardinal rules of burglary (don’t take scores that you’re being paid way too much for) he finds himself once again on the wrong side of, well, the wrong side.  A great addition to the series.  It'll be published on 11/6/18.

I loved, loved, loved Small Moving parts.  I usually pass my books on or donated them, this one I read in Scotland and packed it for my return because I want to re-read it! Two men, one young, one old, complete strangers who have made the same ultimate decision—that their lives are not worth living and it is time to take fate into their own hands. When their stories intersect on a single fateful night in West Texas, the ensuing friendship takes them down a perilous road neither imagined possible. As they contend with the police, horse thieves, and murderers, the two men forge an unbreakable bond, and together they discover that they each might have something to live for after all. Full of cowboy common sense that spans generations,

Kitchen Yarns is a memoir told in a moving collection of essays and recipes.  This is another book I intend to keep.  It'll be published on 12/8/18.

Believe Me is a twisty psychological thriller. It was a good fast read and I enjoyed it. Sometimes it's good to have a mindless escape!

The Girl in Green is Miller's second novel, it's entirely different from Norwegian By Night but equally great. It takes place in the war-torn Middle East, not long ago. It's a combo of literate storytelling and action-packed thriller with some humor thrown in. On my flight to JFK, I actually laughed out loud.

What are you reading?

August 12, 2018

July 2018 Reads

July 49 Scribe Alyson Hagy
50 Us Against You Frederik Backman
51 What I Leave Behind Alison McGhee
52 Human Hours Catherine Barnett
53 Half Hazard Kristen Tracy
54 The Mars Room Rachel Kushner
55 Where The Crawdads Sing Delia Owens
56 Under My Skin Lisa Unger
57 So Long Gone Andre Dubus III
58 The Devil All The Time Donald Ray Pollack

As usual, lots of good books.  Here's a rundown of the books I recommend/love.

First, Us Against You, I've read all of Backman's novels, starting with A Man Called Ove.  They are all outstanding and this one is no exception.  If you haven't read Backman, what is wrong with you?  Start reading him.

Where the Crawdads Sing is hard to describe, but I loved it. "An exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming of age story, and a surprising" murder mystery. The quote is on the back cover of the ARC. I had a hard time putting this down, to do other things. The story was very engaging and beautifully written.

Under My Skin, a mystery with an ending that you'll never suspect. This is a very good read.

So Long Gone, Dubus renders this story of love, jealousy, guilt, and atonement in a voice that rings with authenticity and evokes the texture of working-class lives.  He's a great writer and I've loved all his books.

The Devil All the Time, stayed up past my bedtime finishing this. The writing is great but the characters are brutal, repellant, and horrifying. Not for the faint of heart. Read it, but you've been warned.
What are you reading?

July 14, 2018

June 2018 Reads

June 42 Even Dogs In the Wild Ian Rankin
43 Ohio Stephen Markley
44 Rainsong Sue Hubbard
45 The Martin Chronicles John Fried
46 American Journal Tracy K. Smith editor
47 Still Life With Two Dead 
Peacocks and a Girl Diane Seuss
48 Annie Freeman's Fabulous
Traveling Funeral Kris Radish

Even Dogs In the Wild is a  Scottish police procedural. I really enjoyed this, Rankin kept me guessing.

I think Ohio by debut author Stephen Markley is going to be an instant best-seller.  The book will be published in August, and you don't want to miss it.  "Markley’s novel is alternately disturbing and gorgeous, providing a broad view of the anxieties of a post-9/11 Middle America and the complexities of the humans who navigate them." ~ Publisher's Weekly.

I picked Rainsong to read because the title reminded me of Plainsong, one of my favorite books.  The story starts slow, but I really liked it.  It will be published in September.  Here's the blurb from the BN site, "It unfolds as a compelling tale of grief, art, and the fragile, quiet ways in which time and place can offer a measure of redemption."

And, I picked up The Martin Chronicles, because of Martian Chronicles!  Sometimes these things work out.  This is a moving debut that perfectly captures the intense emotion, humor, and earnestness of young adulthood as Marty navigates a series of life-changing firsts: first kiss, first enemy, first loss, and ultimately, his first awareness that the world is not as simple or safe a place as he had once imagined.  The book will be published in January 2019.

Don't you just love this title, Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral?  I'm not big on "chick-lit", but this story was great, and it does Thelma and Louise, one better. “Radish sings the praises of sisterhood by creating an enticing world of women helping women to become the empowered individuals they were meant to be.” —Booklist

What are you reading?