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?

April 2017 Reads

April 17 Blind Goddess  Anne Holt
18 Dead Joker Anne Holt
19 No Echo Anne Holt
20 Beyond the Truth Anne Holt
21 The Pursuit of Happiness Douglas Kennedy
22 One Kick Chelsea Cain
23 Birdman Mo Hayder

I was gone most of April, so I did a lot of reading on my Nook. (I went on a cruise and visited Barcelona for a week.)

According to Ancestry.com, I'm 59% Scandinavian; it's no wonder I enjoy reading Norwegian and Swedish authors.  Anne Holt is my latest crush.  Her heroine is Det. Hanne Wilhelmsen.  Hanne's colleague is Håkon Sand, an attorney with the Special Branch of the Oslo police,  I highly recommend this series.  There are a few more books but they weren't in my nook!

The Pursuit of Happiness is almost 600 pages; it's a spellbinding love story that spans the McCarthy era in NYC.  Lots of twists and turns but a good read.  Kennedy is a great writer.

Here's a quote about One Kick:  “Author Cain has done it again. One Kick is superb! From its breathtaking opening sequence, through scenes of wrenching evil and heart-clutching emotion to its roller coaster finale, this novel will stay with you for a long time. And what a heroine . . . Here's hoping for more Kick Lannigan soon!” —Jeffery Deaver,

Birdman takes place in London; it's about the hunt for a serial killer.  The book is full of horror and gore but it's not gratuitous.  Not for the faint of heart.
What are you reading?

April 27, 2017

March 2017 Reads

12 Right Behind You Lisa Gardner
13 Midnight Sun Jo Nesbo
14 Lincoln in the Bardo George Saunders
15 August Snow Stephen Mack Jones
16 The Gap of Time Jeanette Winterson

Only 5 books in March!  They were all great, so read them all!  I'm bossy, I know.

Right Behind You is a family drama and police procedure rolled into one suspenseful ride.  Gardner's writing is tight and keeps you interested until the end.

I love Jo Nesbo.  I read many Scandinavian authors and he's a favorite.  I can't say it better that this quick review:  "Readers who like their crime fiction cut-to-the-bone lean will love the opening pages of Jo Nesbø's new, swift-moving existential thriller Midnight Sun . . . A compelling exploration of love, faith, the meaning of life and redemption." --Richmond Times-Dispatch

So many readers were raving about Lincoln in the Bardo; I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  The fuss was about great writing.  Here's another quote: “A brilliant, Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love . . . Saunders has written an unsentimental novel of Shakespearean proportions, gorgeously stuffed with tragic characters, bawdy humor, terrifying visions, throat-catching tenderness, and a galloping narrative, all twined around the luminous cord connecting a father and son and backlit by a nation engulfed in fire.”—Elle

You know that I love debut authors.  It's difficult to get published these days; so I want to see what they've got.  August Snow is Jones' first novel, and it's a humdinger! "[A] witty, mayhem-packed first novel . . . Snow’s own voice has echoes of Raymond Chandler’s. Be assured that when the showdown comes, Snow—an action-hero with the heart of a mensch—and his crew prove up to that task."
—The Wall Street Journal

Last but not least, The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson is a retelling of Shakespeare's' Winters Tale.  I admit that I haven't read Shakespeare, but The Gap of Time made the story very accessible. "The Gap of Time takes the play’s themes of love, jealousy, and estrangement and spins them into a taut contemporary tale."--New York Times
What are you reading?