Lisa's 2017 Reading of Series and Other Pursuits
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In 2017, I will celebrate my 10th year on LT, and this is my 9th year of doing a category challenge. This year I plan to focus on making progress with some of my favorite series, but I will also decide if the many books I own that are part of a series are ones that I will continue with.
I read mainly mysteries, but I am open to other genres if I think the book will interest me.
I plan on ten categories with twelve books in each. I don't do book reviews per se, but I hope to make a comment about some of the more noteworthy books I come across in the upcoming year.
I also am going to try to make more visits to my own thread!
JUNE READING PLANS
Multicultural Women Authors
1. Love Medicine NOOK
3. The Lowland NOOK
4. Daughter Asha Bandele NOOK
8. Everything I Never Told You NOOK
10. The House on Mango Street
10. The Women in the Castle
11. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
12. Shotgun Lovesongs
9 Cane River
Awards, Runner Ups, and Honorable Mentions
I'm going to try to coordinate this category with the AwardsCAT.
February-Canada Reads/Morning News Tournament
March-Newberry and Caldecott/Genre- SKIPPED
May-Booker International /Edgar (hosting)
June-National Book Award/PEN Literary News of the World
July -Bailey's/Science Fiction or Fantasy Where'd You Go Bernadette Pleasantville
August -Miles Franklin/Stonewall
September -Man Booker/O.Henry His Bloody Project
October-Giller/Nobel in Literature
Next in Series
1. Author shares your first and last initials- Lisa Jackson Left To Die
2. Set in a time before you were born Daughter of Fortune
3. Author was born in 1930s Runaway
4. Debut work The Two-Family House
5. Book about books Booked To Die
6. Author abroad*
8. Place name in title Idaho
9. About an animal/animal in title The Monkey's Raincoat
10. Set in a beach community/resort Evil Under The Sun
11. Next book in a series you've started Rather Be The Devil
12.Owned for more than 5 years Bad Luck and Trouble Sept 2010
13. Read a CAT (this is usually the center/free square) The Mermaids Singing March RandomCAT-Luck of the Irish
14. A satire
15. Set in a place you want to visit
16. Author born/book published in 1917
17. One-word title Outrage
18. Color in the title The Peach Keeper
19. Published in the 1940s-1960s A Stranger in My Grave
20.Author uses initials Echoes in Death
21. Made into a movie
22. Collection of short stories American Housewife
23. Title refers to another literary work (for example, the title is a quote from another book
24. Set in a country you've never been to
25. Appeals to the senses
Looks like a great group of categories! I look forward to following along, especially the category for multicultural women authors!
Your challenge looks good Lisa. I will be looking at your short stories category. I pulled out several of my short story collections in anticipation of next year. I miss my short stories!
Good luck with your challenge! It is so easy to start series and so difficult to get around to finishing them!
Great set-up, Lisa. Looks like you have all the important bases covered. Looking forward to following along on during 2017. :)
>13 VivienneR: Thanks Vivienne, the multicultural women authors category is one that I am particularly excited about.
>14 luvamystery65: Thank you Roberta, I did see your very nice colorful thread , I want to take a look at your planned short story reads also.
>15 rabbitprincess: Thanks RP , I know it seems like all books are series now! I know that's not true, but it feels like it sometimes :)
>16 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! Thank you and of course I know I'll take a BB or two from your thread.
Congratulations on 10 years with LT and 9 years doing the category challenge! Love your setup - and making note that you have slated Oh Pioneers for the January CATWoman. I haven't been thinking about the CATs or paid any attention to the discussion threads, but I do own a copy of Oh Pioneers so I may join in some CAT reading in January after all!
Great challenge! Really enjoyed Everything I Never Told You so hope you enjoy it as well.
Happy 10th! Oh, all those series we start.... Good for you trying to make a dent!
I've been working on my series for the last 2 years and it really has made my reading thoroughly enjoyable. Hope 2017 is great for you!
Congratulations in advance for your tenth year in LT. You have certainly set up an ambitious challenge for yourself - 120 books! I like how you have Louis Erdrich as one of your female authors. She is one of my favorites! The Round House is amazing! I look forward to following your reading next year. Good luck and have fun!
>18 lkernagh: Hi Lori, let me know if you decide to read O Pioneers.
>19 LittleTaiko: Hi Stacy! Thank you! I must say my Multicultural Women Authors category is one that I am pretty excited about.
>20 -Eva-: Hi Eva: those series are evil aren't they?
>21 hailelib: Thank you, trying to find the images for each category is part of the fun for me.
>22 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks Tess!
>23 LisaMorr: HI Lisa, I'll have to stop by your thread and see what series reading you have planned for January.
>24 cyderry: Hi Cheli, thank you. I hope to make a dent in some of my long neglected series reads,
>25 mamzel: Thank you Louise Erdrich is great isn't she?
>26 The_Hibernator: Thank you Rachel.
Good Morning and Happy New Year Everyone !
In the wee hours of the early hours of the morning, which is my favorite time of the day, I finished two books. One was in progress, the other was a short read.
1. The Rottweiler by Ruth Rendell, a book I pulled off the shelves to read, was a so so read about a serial killer. The reader learns who the killer is early on, and then just kind of dragged from there. I've always maintained that a so so read of Ruth Rendell's is still worth reading.
2. Academy Street is basically a novella, mainly about the protagonist, Tessa who loses her mother when she is just seven years old. She can't seem to connect with her father, who is grief stricken and seems to be angered by the existence of his six children. There is overwhelming sadness and grief in this book, but it's wonderful characterization of Tess and the fact that it is beautifully written, made it a five star read for me. I love it when authors are able to write a good story that packs a punch without using hundreds and hundreds of sometimes unnecessary pages. This book was shortlisted for the Costa Award in 2014 in the first novel category.
>29 The_Hibernator: Thank you Rachel, that is just too cute!
3. American Housewife a collection of 13 short stories, a few weren't stories at all, maybe only a page or so. As you can surmise from the title, each story featured a various type of housewife and the relationships women have with each other sometimea snarky, competitive, and sarcastic. What I Do All Day provides a glimpse into all that goes into the perfect wife preparing for the perfect dinner party. This brought back a few childhood memories for me, not that we had dinner parties growing up, but my father used to ask my mom, a housewife, "what she did all day". I guess he thought the ironed uniform shirts for four people for a whole week, the spotless house,
and the various meals all made from scratch were done by magic! The tables turned when he had to retire and she went back to work!
Dumpster Diving With the Stars just didn't do anything for me. John Lithgow and Mario Batali make an appearance though.
Dead Doormen was creepy, and the last story about Tampax sponsoring a writer's book was kind of scary/ funny.
Hi, Lisa! Good to see your new thread - you know I love following your reading. I have American Housewife on my list of books to read for the Rooster, and now I really want to get to it. I do love short stories and these sound interesting.
On the last day of my holiday break 😭 I finished:
4. Amy and Isabelle I like Elizabeth Strout' s writing and I believe this was her debut novel. It's the story of a strained relationship between the mother Isabelle and her teenaged daughter Amy. It reminded me a lot of Peyton Place and there's one part that reminded me of Mommie Dearest. Isabelle has been keeping Amy's paternity a secret from her and is also in love with her boss, while Amy gets into trouble her teacher. Mother and daughter both learn life lessons and eventually connect. I enjoyed it, the ending seemed abrupt to me.
Happy New Year Lisa!! So glad I found your thread! I hope you're doing well.
I've been wanting to post the 2016 meme, I forgot to put it in my old thread. I like these, they're fun!
Describe yourself: Nobody's Fool
Describe how you feel: The Vanishing Year
Describe where you currently live: Crooked House
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?: Small Island
Your favorite form of transportation: The Green Road
Your best friend is: Queen of the South
You and your friends are: The Mothers
What’s the weather like?: Instructions for A Heatwave
You fear: The Tilted World
What is the best advice you have to give?: Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Thought for the day: Dear Life
How I would like to die: Leave Her To Heaven
Describe your soul's present condition: Fortune Smiles
>34 VictoriaPL: Thanks for dropping by Victoria, it's always nice to "see" you!
>35 jonesli: I have to say, I don't think I've read any of those books! We need to read something together this year!
>37 VictoriaPL: You're right Victoria we do need to read something together this year. Karin Slaughter has The Good Daughter coming out in August? I'll see what else we might like.
I highly recommend Nobody's Fool ,not sure if you've read Richard Russo before, but the main character Sully is a memorable one.
5. Outrage This was a good Scandinavian mystery/police procedural , but the main character, Inspector Erlendur was missing throughout the entire book. I've think I've reached a realization about some of the series reading that I've been doing, and I've decided that unless the next book is offered at a reduced price or available at the library, I'm going to take a break from it. I've been spending way too much money electronically which is worse because you don't see it as much as when the twenties disappear from the wallet. Then I get my credit card statement and think what did I buy?
There are so many books out there I will never be deprived of something I want to read!
6. Rattlebone is a quiet collection of short stories featuring the town of Rattlebone Kansas in the 1950's and focuses on the everyday lives of its African American inhabitants as they struggle with everyday life. Most of the stories feature young Irene Wilson, but other characters are introduced into the various stories as well.
In October Brown, Irene does her best to keep her father from falling for her teacher, and destroying her parents marriage when she realizes that her parents aren't happy with each other anyway.
In The Creation, Irene spends weeks preparing to recite a passage at a state competition, only to be told that she is not allowed to participate but maybe she could work with a white student who a can enter the competition.
And in The Last Day of School, a plane crashes in the town of Rattlebone , making its inhabitants famous. As a result all kinds of offers of educational and other assistance come pouring in. Irene is eligible for a scholarship but one of the members of the panel is her former teacher, October Brown.
Overall, a good collection of short stories, no really bad ones in the bunch.
I'm a little late getting here but have you starred now and looking forward to your reading this year.
7. Bent Road I was curious about this book which won an Edgar Award in 2012? I found it to be pretty good once I got used to the way the author switched various POV' s at breakneck speed. It's a combination of family secrets, children coming of age and a little mystery. Arthur Scott moves with his family from 1960's Detroit back to his Kansas home. There is a family secret regarding his sister who died twenty five years ago and her death is brought back to the forefront when a little girl disappears. I look forward to reading more by this author.
8. O Pioneers tells the story of the hard life early twentieth century Pioneers faced. The family in O Pioneers loses their father at an early age, but he trusts his daughter, Alexandra, rather than her brothers, to take care of their sizeable homsestead. She does so with great success, but pays the price of foregoing a personal life. When it finally looks like she might have a measure of happiness a bitter fight ensues when her brothers fear that her potential marriage will reduce their inheritance. Of course I love when a woman doesn't "stay in her place".
9. Underground Airlines I enjoyed this very unsettling, fast paced combination of thriller and alternative history. Victor, not his real name, is a former slave is a "double agent" who tracks down runaway slaves. While some of the book pushes the boundary of reality, it was very interesting albeit scary to imagine a world where slavery still exists in 4 states, and Abraham Lincoln was assassinated before becoming president.
Towards the end of the book, Victor does a bit of soul searching and takes a good look at his life and what he wants to do with the rest of it.
A satisfying read that I can see easily becoming a series. Wait did I just say that?
I don't need any more series temptation!
10 Talking to the Dead I really enjoyed this first in a series police procedural, featuring Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, set in Wales. Fiona is a bit odd, and doesn't follow her superior officer's direct orders, but seems to have good instincts when it comes to police work. I found this book to be very well written, and Fiona is surely an unforgettable character.
I think I picked this up for free as a Free Friday offering from Barnes and Noble back in November. Since I enjoyed the book so much, I was hoping to find the second book available for purchase or by slim chance at the library. No such luck.
The category that I assigned to this book, was for series that haven't been started. Oh well I started the series and I guess that will be it for now.
Goodness I sound maudlin , don't I? There's still plenty to read!
11 . The Girl Who Fell From The Sky is the story of Rachel Morse, who is biracial, and goes to live with her grandmother in a predominantly African American neighborhood in Portland. The book is set in the 1980's, and brought back a few good memories with cultural references from the period. The book is full of sadness, but also one of finding ones identity when you dont quite fit in either world, where you're too white for the black community but don't quite fit in the white community either.
To add to poor Rachel's identity difficulties, she has also lost her mother, brother, and baby sister, when all of them, including Rachel either fell or were pushed off a rooftop, with Rachel being the sole survivor. As the story moves forward, we learn of her mother's desperation in trying to protect her children and the feeling that she has no one to turn to. I kept wondering why Rachel's father didn't come back to raise her, but sometimes a parent must make the difficult decision to stay away, when it's in the best interest of the child.
I found this to be a very moving and thought provoking read. The author is biracial and you can feel her story is personal and the basis for the book.
>27 jonesli: - Well, there is a bit of a story for O Pioneers!. I try to find audiobooks at the local library for books I own on my TBR pile as I find audiobooks let me read while walking, etc. My local library catalogue states that the audiobook version of O Pioneers! is available for library patrons through the Hoopla service, but when I searched Hoopla, I got a "nil" response. Most annoying, which means I will be reading my print copy instead of listening to the audiobook. Don't know when I will get around to adding it to my print reading... ;-)
>28 jonesli: - "In the wee hours of the early hours of the morning, which is my favorite time of the day, I finished two books. " LOL.... I find that I am occasionally staying up into the wee hours of the morning with my embroidery project. I am not good at reading through the night, but for some strange reason, I have no problem pulling an "all nighter" with my cross stitch project. ;-)
Love your meme answers!
>28 jonesli: Oh I love reading in the wee hours of the morning. However, during the school year I have need to arise at 5am so don't get to do that. In the summer however, I read till 2-4 pm and then sleep till noon--that's my natural circadian rhythm and one I will probably follow once I retire in a few years. It does not bother me to do housework at 10pm!
>47 lkernagh: Hi Lori: I remember my mom buying me embroidery kits and I enjoyed them , as well as knitting and crocheting projects. Now I fear that my hands will cramp on me, but maybe I'll give it a try. Sorry about the library annoyance, I've had a few things I was waiting for suddenly disappear from the catalog .
Thanks, the meme is always a fun way to look back at the year's reading.
>48 tess_schoolmarm: Hi Tess: I'm usually up at 4, not by choice, it kind of just starting happening, but I need time to pull myself together without rushing to start work at 7. I always say I want to get in the habit of doing some small bit of housework each night so it doesn't become overwhelming on the weekend, but I never do it. I have a friend that dusts one night , cleans the bathroom another night, laundry another, etc. But she is super organized and I alas, am not.
>49 jonesli: I'm sort of like your friend in that I thoroughly clean 1 room each night..meaning move furniture and dust behind, wash the window, etc, each night. Only takes about 20-30 minutes if you do it faithfully each night. I do it during the day in the summer because I'm home. That way, each room is thoroughly cleaned once a week and since my kids are no longer at home, it really isn't even dirty the next week, but I clean it again anyway! It's become a habit and it keeps me moving at night because I teach online and then read and don't do a lot of moving.
I 've been lax at getting my reads posted here. I have been working quite a bit of overtime and my brain is fried. It won't be forever, and then there's comp days for the overtime, so there is that:)
12 The Vegetarian I found this oddly disturbing story of a Korean woman's descent into mental illness to be very well written. The story is told in three perspectives; the husband, the sicko brother in law, and her sister. It's probably something I wouldn't seek out if it hadn't been on the Tournament longlist. I'm glad that I read it.
13 The Dew Breaker I really enjoy short story collections in which the stories all connect with each other in some way. In this book, we have a Haitian man who has emigrated to Brooklyn and has a very dark past involving his former occupation in Haiti as a prison guard. The title Dew Breaker, is Creole for "torturer". All of the stories involve characters who were impacted in some way by the main character.
14 A Grown Up Kind of Pretty Let me just say how much I enjoy Joshilyn Jackson's writing. In Grown Up Kind of Pretty, there are three generations of Slocum women: Ginny (Big), Liza (Little) and young Mosey. Ginny had Liza when she was 15, Liza had Mosey when she was 15, so both Ginny and Liza are keeping a close watch on Mosey, who is 15. When a willow tree in the family's yard is moved to build a pool, all heck breaks lose when infant bones are found on the property. Whose baby is buried on the property and how did the infant get there?
15 The Peach Keeper I found this book to lack some of the magical element that was present in The Sugar Queen, Garden Spells, or The Girl Who Chased The Moon. This is yet another book I read back to back where bones were found on a property.
Paxton Osgood, wealthy socialite, is in charge of restoring the Blue Ridge Madam, and when a tree is planted on the property , a body is uncovered. I really didn't care for the story lines of the four younger characters, Willa, Sebastian, Paxton and Colin I did enjoy the back stories of the two grandmothers, friends through thick and thin.
>53 jonesli: Hi Lisa! Looking forward to your thoughts in The Peach Keeper!
>54 VictoriaPL: Hi Victoria , I thought it was just ok. I didn't hate it, but it didn't wow me like her other books did.
Hi Lisa, I haven't read anything by Joshilyn Jackson yet, but A Grown Up Kind of Prettyis on my wishlist and it sounds like a story I am going to enjoy.
Comp days are great! Be sure to use them to read all day, guilt-free ;)
I have two books by Joshilyn Jackson on my TBR - The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (which is already packed in a box for moving) and Someone Else's Love Story (which is on my e-reader). I could read Someone Else's Love Story next month for the Random Cat and since we'll be going on vacation, that would work out well.
>59 dudes22: Thanks for stopping by Betty! I want to read more Joshilyn Jackson but I'd better get to the library books I already have.
I won't finish anything else this month, so since my last post I finished The Lost Girls and The Mermaids Singing.
The Lost Girls is a dual time line story about sisters Lucy, Lilith, and the disappearance of their younger sister Emily, There are a couple of red herrings thrown into the story, mainly odd neighbors who may have had something to do with it. The modern timeline features Justine, Lilith's granddaughter, who inherits the house after Lucy's death,
The Mermaids Singing is a book I've been meaning to read for a while. It's the first in the Hill and Jordan series. I have read a stand alone by this author, so I had a feeling I would like this series. It's one that I plan to continue reading.
I read 17 books this month. I started two series, one is the Hill and Jordan mentioned above and the other is the Fiona Griffiths series. I was a little pouty about not having the next Fiona Griffiths book available, but I recently acquired books 2 and 3 .
My five star read was Academy Street.
The Hill and Jordan books are great and Robson Green plays a fantastic Hill on TV if you haven't already seen it.
Good Morning :
Weird day here in SE Pennsylvania. I went to bed with the temperature pretty warm for February , I'm guessing about fifty degrees. I woke up a little after four to pouring rain, then two hours later there was snow accumulation. I was hoping for a snow or weather event to stay home and read. Which is exactly what I am doing, as I have quite a few library books.
Here's what I read since my last post :
18 Her Every Fear was a pretty decent thriller, but nothing to take your breath away. Kate, who is from London, suffers from anxiety disorder related to a traumatic event with her boyfriend. She trades apartments with her cousin Corbin, whom she's never met in Boston. On her first day in the Boston apartment she learns thatCorbin's next door neighbor has been murdered. I would have gone back home, but Kate sticks around and tries to find out what happened. In the process she learns way more about her cousin than she wants to know. I have The Kind Worth Killing by this author and look forward to reading it soonish.
19. The Two-Family House was a great read. In 1947,we're introduced to Abe and Mort, who live in the same house, in converted apartments with their wives, Rose and Helen and their seven children. There is no mystery about what takes place, but it's enjoyable reading getting there. The two families get along very well and enjoy all types of holidays and other celebrations together.
Coincidentally, Rose who has three daughters, and Helen, who has four sons, find that they are both pregnant at the same time, with Rose hoping for a boy, and Helen hoping for a girl. Both women go into labor at the same time while theri husbands are away on a business trip. The babies are delivered by a midwife, and then Rose and Helen's relationship takes a turn.
This book was well written and the character development was also very good. I did feel at the very end that the author maybe got tired of the story because I found the ending to be just a bit abrupt.
20 The Kitchen God's Wife was a great read about a mother Winnie, and her daughter Pearl who each have a secret to share with each other.
Most of book is Winnie's account of her time spent in China during the World War 2 Era and the hard life she endured before emigrating to the United States for a new life.
Reading any book with a mother daughter relationship as part of the storyline makes me realize how blessed I am to still have my mom around and try to make up it up to her for my slightly selfish and rebellious teen years lol.
Talk about wishing for something and then getting it. Hope you have a wonderful reading day!
>62 -Eva-: Sorry I missed you up there Eva. I am looking forward to reading more in the Hill and Jordan series. I'll have to look for the tv series, hopefully it's on Netflix.
It's not currently streaming, but it looks like they have the DVDs - it's called Wire in the Blood.
Good Morning :
I'm enjoying a Saturday not at work and thought I would visit my thread. I haven't been able to read much lately, but I hope to make up for that in March.
I'll be back to fill in details about my reads, but here's what I finished since my last post:
The Girl Before
Daughter of Fortune
The Love of a Good Woman
Right Behind You
Rather Be The Devil
I'm still reading A Stranger In My Grave and also Walking The Perfect Square .
Hi Victoria : I hope to catch up here soon!
21. The Girl Before I really have to stop grabbing the latest psychological thriller that the library purchases. I think I read too many of them. This book held my interest and is supposed to be made into a movie. I thought I read that it was going to be directed by Ron Howard but I could be wrong about that.
The Girl Before is told in alternating pov's, both women who move into the same rental property years apart.
Emma, is the first tenant who has suffered a break in at her old apartment and wants to take charge of her life. What doesn't meet logic is that the owner of the property has very definite rules about what you can bring, think minimalist lifestyle, and spies on his tenants. Why anyone would put up with that is beyond me, but then its just a story. Something happens to Emma and we're not sure what happened to her until almost the end of the book.
Jane, is the second tenant who moves in after suffering the loss of her baby. Jane tries to find out what happened to Emma but does very dumb things trying to find out the truth.
This is not a must read right away kind of book, but if you are tired and don't want to concentrate on a complicated plot line this book might fit the bill.
22. Daughter of Fortune is a solid piece of historical fiction featuring the strong heroine Liza. Chilean born, and raised by a British woman, Liza takes off one day to find her boyfriend who is caught up in the 1840's California Gold Rush mania. I enjoyed Liza's story and found myself wanting to read more of her story. I'm hoping that there might be a sequel .
23. The Love of a Good Woman Like any other short story collection, there are some stories which are better than others. Alice Munro, however never disappoints. I didn't care too much for the title story about the strange death of an optician with a nice twist at the end.
24 Right Behind You I'm a big fan of Lisa Gardner. This book brings back the characters in her FBI Profiler series, Quincy and Rainey. The couple now has a teenage foster daughter whom they want to adopt. The young girl, Sharlah, was witness years ago when her brother killed their parents. Just when Sharlah is about to be adopted, her brother Telly shows up and his foster parents have been murdered, but did he do it?
>76 mamzel: Thanks Mamzel, I'm going to see if the library has it.
25 Idaho is the story of Ann who marries Wade. Wade is suffering from early onset dementia and may or may not remember that his ex-wife killed their younger daughter and that their older daughter disappeared. The story of Wade and his family is told with various points of view including Wade's ex-wife Jenny, who is serving a jail term, her cellmate, and their two daughters. The plot line travels from the past, to the present, and back again. Some questions are never answered, but overall it was a good read.
26 Rather Be The Devil I'm glad that Mr. Rankin decided to keep writing Rebus novels, although he is now retired, he still manages to cause trouble. The author has also done a good job weaving in his other character, Malcolm Fox into the story.
In this 21st installment, Rebus has a new girlfriend, has a health challenge, meets up with an old nemesis, and works an old case
27 My Husband's Wife This was another brand new at the library thriller. Lily marries Ed after a very brief relationship, studies to become a lawyer and becomes mesmerized with her first client, a convicted murderer. The other storyline is that of Lily and Ed's next door neighbor, Carla and her mother. At first one feels sorry for little Carla, who is neglected by her mother, but then her personality takes a disturbing turn. When Carla turns up at Lily's door sixteen years later, all you what hits the fan.
Isn't it just great! I too am very happy that Rankin keeps writing Rebus.
28 A Stranger in My Grave- Daisy Harker hires a lawyer to help her investigate the visions of her grave with a date that is four years earlier. Her mother and husband treat her like she's crazy, but is she?
Margaret Millar books have recently been republished, and I'd like to read more. She was married to Ross MacDonald, which reminds me I have more of his books to read also.
29. Walking The Perfect Square The last thing I need is to start yet another series. I enjoyed this first book in the Moe Prager series. The bulk of the storyline takes place twenty years ago, in flashback, when Injured on duty, police officer Moe, restless with not working, agrees to help find missing college student Patrick Maloney.
Twenty years later, Moe gets a call about a dying man who is in possession of a piece of paper with Moe's information on it, which is why the flashback occurs.
I found this to be a very well written crime novel, and yes I plan to read book number 2 soon. I hadn't heard of this author before, but it showed up as a recommendation for me.
30 Injustice For All - this is the second book in the J.P. Beamount series. J.P. is a Seattle police officer, who is on vacation, when a woman's scream wakes him up from a sound sleep.
As is often the case, I have a habit of after reading the first book in a series and liking it, I start accumulating others in the series. I think going forward, unless I love the book, I will read a few more to see how the series progresses.
That was one of the goals of my challenge, to determine if there are some series that I probably won't continue with. This series is one. But I will read what I have on the shelves, just because I can't pass on books without reading them first😊
>81 jonesli: Ooh, Margaret Millar books have recently been republished? If it's within the past two years, maybe I can suggest that my library purchase them :)
>84 rabbitprincess: Hi RP , I think I first noticed more of her books were becoming available late last year. Which ones if any have you read of hers?
31 The Mermaids Singing It's funny how I read two books with the same title almost back to back. This book is about three generations of women and their relationships with each other. Grainne, has just lost her mother Grace, when her grandmother, Clionna, who she barely remembers, arrives at her mother's funeral to take her back to Ireland with her. This book is beautifully written and is a great reminder that parenthood is not easy.I think sometimes the mother daughter dynamic can be tense at times, and that sometimes becoming a parent enables you to understand your own parent better. As the story unfolds, we learn why Grace left Ireland and why Grainne didn't really get to know her father.
88 Right Kay, me too. It wasn't as magical for me as her other offerings.
33 Garden of Lamentations I always look forward to a new installment in the James and Kincaid series. It's been a while since the last book, so I think that made me slow down and enjoy it. I really like the way the author portrays the two married police officers and their blended family of his son, her son and their foster daughter, complete with the chaos of family pets. Duncan is working the case of an attack on his former boss which may or may not involve past police corruption , while still trying to find out why he was transferred. Gemma's case involves that of a murdered nanny.After seventeen books in this series, I'm not tired of it at all. I look forward to the next one.
Lisa, I think it was a case of too many characters. She seems to have structured things so that LL is the first of a series. Another story? novella? set there has just been released. I'll admit that part of my disappointment was because she has been so reliably good for so long and I'd held on to my copy until I really wanted a lovely, magical book to read. And this was not it.
>87 jonesli: - >90 RidgewayGirl: - I just read LL too and also found it just so-so. I also download the novella (really a short, short story) Waking Kate which was supposed to be a prequel to LL and read it on vacation. It too was lacking. Interesting that you think it might be the beginning to a new series. It's only listed under the "novel" section on fantasticfiction.com and the site doesn't show any other books being released soon.
>91 dudes22: Hi Betty:I didn't realize there was a novella prequel to LL. I guess I was looking for the wow factor that I experienced when I read The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells.
34 Salvage The Bones was an amazing read about a poverty stricken family in Louisiana in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. There are some parts that are upsetting, but it totally fit with the frustration and desperation of the characters.
35 Bad Luck and Trouble I picked this book off my shelf just because. In this one Teacher is reunited with members of his old team after one member is killed. I don't read these in order, and my method for this works as the story lines do jump around from past to present. I still have a lot of them left to read but can't read too many at once
36 Booked To Die I was curious about this first book in a series about a police officer turned book dealer. It was pretty good, I may read more of them in the future.
>93 jonesli: - I'm a big fan of the John Dunning series. I wish he'd write some more.
>89 jonesli: - I was so happy to read the latest in the series too! They just keep getting better.
>94 dudes22: and >98 VivienneR: Hi Betty and Vivienne: I'm glad to see others enjoying the John Dunning series. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.
>95 VictoriaPL: and >96 RidgewayGirl: Hi Kay and Victoria! Now I want to re read The Sugar Queen!
>97 LittleTaiko: Hi Stacy. The Deborah Crombie series never disappoints.
Today is a snow day for me, although right now it's a freezing rain event that's supposed to switch over to snow later on.
37 Always: A Novel This latest book by Sarah Jio is the story of Kaley, happily engaged to Ryan who has her life turned upside down by the appearance of her old boyfriend Cade, who disappeared 10 years ago and is now homeless. Kailey struggles with trying to help Cade while keeping it a secret from her fiance. It turns out that Cade suffered a traumatic brain injury, which as the story unfolds, we find out exactly what happened to him.
>101 RidgewayGirl: Hi Kay: Did that auto correct strike again? I meant that I want to reread Sugar Queen because Lost Lake was so meh.
38 The Accident This was a decent thriller by Linwood Barclay. The basic plot is that of a bunch of suburbanites who have turned to criminal activities because of sub prime mortgages, layoffs, and credit card debt. Kind of unbelievable that just about everyone in one neighborhood would turn to selling drugs and knock off Prada bags, but it's a story right ? As Glen waits for his wife Sheila to come home from her business class, his worst fears are confirmed when he learns that she along with two other people, were killed in a car accident. Was Sheila part of the community crime ring or was something else going on in his wife's life?
39 Eileen Well this book just plain creeped me out and I loved it!
There is no holiday cheer in Eileen's life in the week leading up to Christmas. She spends her days as a secretary at a boy's prison, and her nights dealing with her alcoholic and verbally abusive father. Eileen doesn't seem to care about anything but purging her body and fantasizing about leaving her small town for the big city.
Her life changes forever when a young attractive woman named Rebecca is hired to teach at the prison and not in a good way. I didn't realize that this book was shortlisted for quite a few awards. I really enjoyed it, almost five stars.
So, a couple of snow and ice days and I finished the following:
40 The Body in the Moonlight
41 Banana Cream Pie Murder
While neither one these books require a great deal of attention to read, I enjoy them for the coziness and the occasional recipe that I find while reading them.
I originally bought many of the Faith Fairchild books for my mom at a book sale, thinking she would enjoy them (she did), and now I am working my way through them also. In this one, when someone dies after eating one of Faith's desserts, she vows to find out the motive behind the murder. She also has suspicions about the murder victim and her husband. This was a nice fast read. I also found a recipe for muffins that I want to try.
At times I thought that the Hannah Swenson series was getting a bit stale, but I think the author did a good job of shaking things up a little bit in the last book, and this one has a very nice twist that I liked. This time instead of Hannah finding the body, it was her mother Delores, who had the misfortune, as the victim was one of her mother's neighbors. There were some tasty recipes in this one also, but I tend to shy away from making things with a ton of ingredients or steps these days.
>109 dudes22: Hi Betty: where are you with each series? I've read the Hannah Swenson series in order, but I skip around with the Faith Fairchild.
43. In This Grave Hour, I was a little miffed with the author in the book before this one, but I was happy to see Maisie back home where she belongs with Billy and Sandra and her friends and family. The title of this book refers to part of the speech given by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in September of 1939, which is when England officially declared war on Germany during the beginning of World War II. Maisie becomes involved in a case involving the death of Belgian refugees and at the end of the book , she and her friend Priscilla revisit their past in a way.
The next one for me to read in the Faith Fairchild series is #3 - I wasn't sure I was going to continue, but I think I probably will. And #5 is next for me in the Hannah Swenson series. Have you tried any of the recipes from her books, yet?
>111 dudes22: Betty, I don't remember which books they were in, but I made Red Velvet Cookies from one of the Hannah books, but that was before the grandchildren starting wearing me out. There's also a no baking powder cake that was in one of the Faith books that's pretty good and not too many ingredients. It's slightly rich but not omg my stomach rich haha. It think in my old age that my patience for a lot of ingredients or a lot of prep work don't appeal to me much anymore.
Hi Lisa, your review of Eileen reminded me that Kay put this one on my wishlist. I went to Amazon to check up on it and was able to pick it up for $1.32. I am looking forward to it.
>113 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy: I'm glad that you got a copy of Eileen, I think I got it for a reduced price also.
44. Mississippi Noir This was a book that I wanted to read last month as it was on the very long longlist for the Tournament of Books. Like any other short story collection, some were better than others.
I liked Megan Abbott's story Oxford Girl, told from the perspective of a college couple when she becomes pregnant and their relationship takes a very bad turn.
Also good were: Losing Her Religion where a woman snaps and loses her mind when her married boyfriend wants to end their affair.
God's Gonna Trouble The Water- a white man and black woman are parents to a 4 year old girl and know that their relationship is doomed, but one night they take a chance with disastrous results.
45 Pekoe Most Poison Theo and Drayton attend a Rat Tea Party where someone is murdered and Theo is asked by Drayton to investigate. I love reading about the various teas and Hayley's delicious food. I missed Detective Tidwell in this one, but there's a new Detective in town who has chemistry with Theo.
Happy April everyone :
My nephew is 18 today, somehow that just doesn't seem possible !
Here's what I read in March since my last post:
46 Lamentation - a story about two brothers, Chris, a drug addict accused of murder, and his brother Jay, who struggles with trying to help his brother and getting his life back on track with his estranged girlfriend and young son. The story dragged a little in the beginning but kept my interest later on.
47 Evil Under The Sun - It's always a good thing when I find an Agatha Christie that I haven't read. Hercule Poirot is at a beach resort when a flirtatious wife is strangled. He works with the police to find the killer. A good read with the usual red herrings .
48 Missing Presumed This was a very good police procedural, although I think I may be reading too many of them lately. Detective Sargeant Manon Bradshaw gets involved with a high profile missing persons case. The case took a backseat to the very good character development, with various points of view.
49The Wangs vs The World This was an ok story about a Chinese American family who loses everything because of the recession. It's so cliché, but money isn't everything and it certainly can't buy you happiness. I think each of the characters learned a lesson throughout the book. The tone was meant to be humorous but it failed just a bit for me in this regard.
March was a good reading month for me. I read 20 books, mostly because I didn't have to work weekends and there were a few days off including snow days.
My notable reads included Eileen, Salvage The Bones, and The Mermaids Singing.
In the wee hours of the morning I finished book #50 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. The protagonist of the story is Li-Yan, a member of the A kha tribe, whose family cultivates tea leaves. She is the youngest and only daughter, who is encouraged to pursue her education. When she has a baby at 16, she is unable to kill her, as is the custom for a "reject baby". Instead, she leaves her baby at an orphanage and must leave her village. Her daughter Haley, is adopted by an American family, but struggles with wanting to know more about her heritage. The author was thorough in her research and I found this to be an enjoyable read.
The other book I finished today is Ill Will.I'm not sure where to begin. The premise sounded like something I would enjoy reading about murders committed decades apart. The main character, Dustin Tillman, is a psychologist whose wife has recently died of cancer. When he was a child, his parents, uncle, and aunt were murdered, supposedly by his older adopted brother, Rusty. When Rusty is released from prison, Dustin, and his cousins Kate and Wave seemingly want nothing to do with him and one or more of them testified against him. Is Rusty out for revenge or did someone else commit the murders? Meanwhile, a serial killer is killing young men according to some sort of pattern. Dustin's son, Aaron is a drug addict, but Dustin doesn't seem to notice. Dustin becomes pals with one of his patients, who is convinced that they can solve the present day murders.
I was very frustrated with this book and quite frankly sometimes I felt as though I was reading random thoughts. Also annoying were the chapters where the story was presented in columns which were not easy to read and there were also sentences throughout the book where the last word was omitted which drove me a little crazy. The ending left very little resolved, and I feel that a long book should have answered some questions.
52 The Marriage Lie Iris and Will appear to have the perfect marriage. When Will's plane crashes in Seattle when he was supposed to be in Florida, Iris realizes that she really didn't know her husband at all. A nicely paced thriller with a good twist at the end.
53 The Roanoke Girls When teenager Lane goes to live with her grandparents after her mother's suicide, she finally understands why her mother was as damaged as she was and the secrets of the Roanoke Girls. She becomes good friends with her cousin Allegra, who has a secret of her own. Lane flees to California to get away from her family, but returns years later when Allegra is missing.
This was a very well written story of a dysfunctional family with difficult subject matter that is not for everyone.
54 Caramel Crush Another fun read in the Cupcake Mystery series. Angie is preparing for her wedding while Mel is hired to bake break up cupcakes for an old college roommate who wants to break up with her boyfriend. I read these for fun but also to get recipe ideas. I think I might be getting a bit bored with this series though.
55. I've been watching Big Little Lies and decided that I wanted to read the book also. I have to admit that I got caught up in the lives of Celeste and her marital secret, Jane and her traumatic event, busy body Maddie, and the too good to be true Bonnie. The reader learns early on that someone is dead but we don't know who and most of the book is flashbacks told in various points of view.
Lisa, I read the book last summer and liked it. I haven't seen the miniseries yet, but plan to. There's a website that has an interesting look at the costuming for each of the characters that I've enjoyed reading. Here's the link to the first one:
>122 RidgewayGirl: Thanks for that link Kay, I enjoyed reading it also. Now that I think about it, each character's wardrobe fit their personalities perfectly. I think you'll like the miniseries ;Reese Witherspoon did a good job, as did Nicole Kidman, who can sometimes be hit or miss with me.
The series ended pretty much the same way the book did, but I hear there will be a round 2.
56 The Refugees An excellent collection of short stories in which Vietnamese immigrant characters all struggle in some manner. I loved all of the stories, which is unusual, because usually in a collection, there is one story that isn't as good as the rest. I found all of the stories diverse and well written. I loved "I'd Love You To Want Me", about a woman conflicted with giving her part time job which she enjoys, and becoming caregiver to her husband, suffering from dementia, who thinks his wife is a former lover.
59 Die Trying This is book number 2 in the Jack Reacher series. This time Reacher is in Chicago, helping a struggling woman with her dry cleaning, and is kidnapped with her. He soon realizes that she is an FBI agent, and just happens to be the daughter of an army general, who is now head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is one series that I read out of order, and not too many back to back, although they are addictive.
58 Mississippi Blood This is the last of the "Natchez Burning" trilogy. Penn Cage is trying to help defend his physician father, who is on trial for the murder of his former nurse, Viola Turner.
57 The Known World This was an excellent read, part Fiction mixed with historical fact, it tells the story of Henry Townsend, a former slave who became a plantation owner. It's a powerful look at how slavery affected so many individuals.
60 The Perfect Stranger I really have to stop reading every new thriller that comes out. This book was a bit of a struggle to get through. Leah, a reporter in Boston, is forced to leave her job and relocates to a small town in Pennsylvania. Her roommate , Emmy disappears, and may not be who she claims. By the middle of the book I just didn't care any more.
I won't finish anymore books today so I'll post my last two reads for the month and get started on May's reading.
61 Never Let You Go Yes, another thriller. Lindsey escapes her drunken abusive husband, makes a new life for herself, then finds out he has been released from prison. Supposedly wanting to make amends, her husband Andrew tries to form a relationship with their daughter Sophie, and show Lindsey he has changed. When bad things start to happen, Andrew is the primary suspect, but is there someone else to blame? I enjoyed this book primarily because the person I thought was to blame wasn't!
62Wild Swans I finished this multi generational story of the struggles of three women, amidst the Cultural Revolution , the reign of Chairman Mao, and the teachings of communism, which admittedly, I only knew a little bit about. A very thought provoking read.
Good Morning :
It's mid month and I have had a lot less LT time lately, not that I was a heavy poster before. I started a new job the beginning of the month and quite frankly, it's zapped my energy, but in a good way.
I have been reading, that will never suffer, no matter how busy I get, I think it keeps me sane!
63 Runaway I alway enjoy reading Alice Munro, she rarely disappoints.
64 Let Me Die In His Footsteps This was last year's Edgar winner, with the story being told in alternating time periods, 1936 and 1952. Young 15 year old Annie Holloran, knows that the woman raising her, is not her birth mother, and wonders what became of her trouble making mother who disappeared shortly after giving birth to her. I like this author's writing style and I think I have one book left of hers to read.
65 Anything Is Possible- a nice collection of short stories featuring characters who either interacted with Lucy Barton or were related to her.
66 Breath, Eyes, Memory This was the perfect book to read during Mother's Day month. After a mother sends for her daughter from Haiti to New York, they often struggle with their relationship.
67 When The Music's Over Last year's installment in the Alan Banks series, which are always enjoyable.
68 Postcards This is Annie Proulx's debut work. The life of the Blood family is forever changed when young Loyal takes off a dyer accidently killing his girlfriend. He sends his family a series of postcards from the 1940's to the 1980's and drifts from town to town working odd jobs. Postcards also play a role in the lives of his parents, sister and brother, and other characters throughout the book.
69 Into The Water I can't seem to keep myself from "grabbing " the latest thriller that comes out. You know every one of them is supposed to be just like Gone Girl or The Girl on The Train. This book was actually written by the author of The Girl on The Train and was pretty good once I paid attention to which character was speaking and in what time period. The plot focuses on generations of women who have died in a body of water, through suicide, murder, or under suspicion. I kind of saw the ending coming though.
>126 jonesli: Congrats on the new job Lisa!! Hope to catch up to you when you have more time and energy.
I am job-hunting myself. I have about 45 days left at my current position.
>127 VictoriaPL: Hi Victoria: Thank you and I wish you luck with your search.
70 16th Seduction I'm not sure why I keep reading James Patterson, I have noticed a change in the two series that I do read, Alex Cross and The Women's Murder Club. I may just take a pass on the next Women's Club book, there are too many other books out there to read.
In this installment, Lindsay and her husband and Joe are on scene having dinner when an explosion happens nearby. The supposed perpetrator confesses than later recants. All in all, there wasn't much interaction among the four friends, and I never got answers to some questions about the secondary plot, a man who escapes from a mental hospital and commits murders, but his storyline seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought.
>128 jonesli: - I've pretty much given up on Patterson too, Lisa. I still have a couple of Alex Cross on my TBR but have no impetus to get them read. I'm still reading the Women's Murder Club too, but each one has me wondering if I should continue or not. I think the next one I have to read is #12. The writing seems to get thinner as the series progress. But he certainly has figured out how to brand himself. Think of how many Patterson's appear at the library sales and used book stores.
>129 dudes22: Yes, he does know how to brand himself, that's for certain.
> 129 Hi Betty: I know what you mean, when I go to a library sale or used book store, the James Patterson books are practically falling off the shelves. I think I will wait before requesting the next Alex Cross. I also noticed most of his books are co-authored, I don't think that was the case when I first started reading these series.
>130 VictoriaPL: Hi Victoria! - That's for sure.
71 Just Mercy had me tearing up at times. Most of the book focuses on the author's attempts to free Walter McMillian, accused of murdering a young white woman, in Alabama. There are so many people who have and still are on Death Row for criminal acts.
I would never begin to debate the pros and cons of capital punishment, but the author's account of children and other individuals who yes, did stupid things, but were sentenced to death for their actions was thought provoking and sad. I found myself wondering just how many people may have been executed but were actually innocent of the crime in question.
This was a five star read for me.
>133 VictoriaPL: Hi Victoria, yep sneaking in before getting started on work lol!
James Patterson has twenty books scheduled to be published this year! And while I'm not a fan of that kind of mass-production, there's no doubt that he has people reading his books who would otherwise not read at all. And he donates a fair amount to literary-themed causes. So while I stopped reading his books some time ago, I'm happy for his success.
>136 RidgewayGirl: Excellent point Kay, I have seen articles and television features about his donations to literary causes, I do applaud that.
But twenty books, omg!
72 Since We Fell I never thought I would find a book by Dennis Lehane to be so-so. Since We Fell features a female protagonist , Rachel . Rachel, a journalist, has a breakdown while following tragic events in Haiti and becomes a recluse. Slowly, and I do mean slowly, the story evolves, that Rachel's husband may be hiding something from her. This wasn't a bad read, it just didn't have the same effect on me as Mystic River, the Kenzie and Genaro series, or the recent trilogy which begins with The Given Day.
73 Bitter Medicine I'm slowly making my way through this series, and like the few I've read so far enough to continue. In this one, Vic gets caught up in the death of a young pregnant girl, the sister of Lottie's nurse, who may have received inadequate medical care.
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