November 5, 2016

October 2016 Reads

Oct 57 Tortilla Curtain T. C. Boyle
58 One of Us Tawni O'Dell
59 All The Missing Girls Megan Miranda
60 The Girl in the Well is Me Karen Rivers
61 Setting Free The Kites Alex George
62 Among the Living Jonathan Rabb
63 Darktown Thomas Mullen
64 Storm Front John Sandford

Twenty years after it was published and I can't tell you how many times I shelved it, I've finally read Tortilla Curtain and wish it hadn't taken me so long!  On the other hand, in today's political climate, it was a perfect read. It succeeds in stealing the front page news and bringing it home to the great American tradition of the social novel.

I highly recommend All the Missing Girls. "All the Missing Girls is a smart, suspenseful, and emotionally complex thriller. Told in reverse, this story will make you want to lock the doors, turn off the phone, and read until the last satisfying page." - Alafair Burke

The Girl in the Well is Me is a YA novel.  I read before passing it on to one of my favorite teens, Sophia.  Her Mom tells me she's loving it. “Superb . . . acrobatic . . . Karen Rivers is able to dive so seamlessly into the darker themes of growing up . . . Because of the tone and persistence of [protagonist] Kammie, the reader never loses faith that, although times may seem impossibly tough, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.”—Cleaver Magazine

Setting Free the Kites will be published in February 2017.  I think you should put it on your wish list, so you won't forget about it.  It's a touching, well-written novel; a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.  I'm currently passing it around my Tai Chi class.

Darktown by Thomas Mullen is an eye-opening look at racism in post-WWII Atlanta. "One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural, set in the city’s rigidly segregated black neighborhoods during the pre-civil-rights era and written with a ferocious passion that’ll knock the wind out of you." - New York Times Book Review

I love John Sanford's writing and my favorite character of Virgil Flowers.  Storm Front is a fun, fast-paced police procedural.  If you haven't read Sanford, I recommend him.  If you want to start a new series, start with Dark of the Moon.

What are you reading?

November 3, 2016

September 2016 Reads

Sep 49 Nothing Short of Dying Erik Storey
50 The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden Philippa Dowding
51 The Whites Richard Price
52 Dr. Knox Peter Spiegelman
53 The Night Charter Sam Hawken
54 Small great things Jodi Picoult
55 Red Right Hand Chris Holm
56 Order To Kill Kyle Mills

There's a lot to recommend on this list.  The first novel "Nothing Short of Dying" is a debut.  It's difficult to get published these days, so I love to read debut novels and this one did not disappoint.  It's a terrific debut, harsh and exceptional throughout.

Sometimes I read a YA or juvenile novel, just to see what's out there.  This month I read
"The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden".  It's written for 9-12-year-olds, but it kept me engaged with a positive story about dealing with loss, being a young teenager and growing up that will appeal to a wide audience.

If you haven't previously read Richard Price, read this one "The Whites", then his backlist, "Clockers" and "Lush Life".  I'm going to quote my favorite author regarding this great book. “Whether you call it a crime novel or a mystery novel or a giraffe with polka dots is largely irrelevant--The Whites is, simply put, a great American novel.” —Dennis Lehane

This is the first Jodi Picoult novel I've read.  There are so many great authors, it's hard to read them all.  I'm really glad I finally got around to reading "Small Great Things"  “A gripping courtroom drama . . . Given the current political climate, it is quite prescient and worthwhile. . . . This is a writer who understands her characters inside and out.”—Roxane Gay, The New York Times Book Review.

Order To Kill starts a new chapter in CIA's Mitch Rapps' life.  Kyle Mills has taken over where Vince Flynn left off and done a great job. "Kyle has done a top-notch job of blending the beloved characters of Irene Kennedy and Mitch Rapp with a high adventure, action-packed plot." - Military Press

You'll notice that I quote reviewers.  I do this to recommend the books to you and these reviews state it so well.
What are you reading?

September 4, 2016

August 2016 Reads

Aug 42 Underground Airlines Ben H. Winters
43 Missing, Presumed Susie Steiner
44 The Trouble with Goats and Sheep Joanna Canon
45 Rough Trade Todd Robinson
46 The Dollhouse Fiona Davis
47 Truly Madly Guilty Liane Moriarty
48 The Hard Bounce Todd Robinson

August was a great reading month!

As you might guess, the list of my favorite authors is as long as my arm.  Ben H. Winters is on the list.  Underground Airlines is American history re-imagined.  The Civil War didn't happen, there's still slavery in the States, everything else is pretty much the same.  This is a wonderful thought-provoking read.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner is a great British police procedural.  I love police procedurals, I think part of that is that my husband was a cop.  Steiner fleshes out the characters, you can't ask for a better read in this genre.

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is so much fun.  A neighbor has disappeared and two young girls are on the case!   This is one of the best, most lively mystery/coming of age stories I’ve read in ages.  It's a quirky and charming debut novel that I highly recommend.

This month I added a "new" favorite author to my list, Todd Robinson.  The main characters Boo and Junior really did come from the school of hard-knocks.  Robinson is a good solid author, the action is quick and I loved the two I read, Rough Trade and The Hard Bounce.

I loved The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis.  Here's a quote from Publishers Weekly, "Davis’s impeccably structured debut is equal parts mystery, tribute to midcentury New York City, and classic love story."  It has something for every reader and it's a great read.

This is the first time I've read Liane Moriarty.  From the title, I thought Truly Madly Guilty would be light-chic-lit.  It wasn't.  It was a well-written, fast-paced, nonlinear narrative that will have you puzzling together the before, the after, and the in between.  I like a book that makes me think!

What are you reading?