Thursday, January 04, 2018

What Are You Reading?

It's Thursday! And, I do want to know what you're reading. But, I also promised to share some of the Favorites Lists from some of Thursday's regular commentators. So, every Thursday and Friday for the coming weeks, I'll be sharing their lists and comments. I'll still run the Friday contests, but, in a separate post, you can see what your fellow readers liked in 2017. I know we'll all find some interesting books.

It's only appropraite that Jeff Meyerson is up first. Jeff was one of the first to say he'd like to share what he's reading, and he was one of the first to remind me about "What Are You Reading" when I dropped it. Thank you, Jeff, for always sharing your book lists, and your comments about others' books. I appreciate it. You've often taken the lead when I've been traveling or unavailable on Thursday. Thank you. And, thank you for your list of 2017 favorites.

These start with my favorite two, then are in order of reading.


Definitely my favorite current mystery writer, Connelly starts a new series featuring Renee Ballard, working an overnight shift at the LAPD.  TRUTH is the latest featuring Harry Bosch and his "Lincoln Lawyer" half-brother, Mickey Haller, and involves Bosch having to defend himself against charges that he framed a man for murder years ago.  The pages fairly fly by for me when I'm reading Connelly.


First in her series of Chronicles of St. Mary's, featuring Madeleine "Max" Maxwell and her fellow time-traveling historians.  Great stuff and another very fast read.

Jane Harper, THE DRY

Set in a small town in the Australian outback, this outstanding first novel brings Federal Agent Aaron Falk back to his home town for the first time in decades for the funeral of his best friend.  Long hidden mysteries come to light, including why Falk was driven away years ago.

Richard Bradford, RED SKY AT MORNING

I thought I'd read this years ago, but I think I was mistaken.  This 1968 novel was adapted into a very good movie starring Richard Thomas in 1971.  Young Josh Arnold and his mother sit out World War II in the High Country of New Mexico while his father is off in the Navy.  It's both a coming of age story and a wonderful evocation of the past.  Definitely recommended, as is the movie.

Joseph Haywood, HIGHER GROUND: More Woods Cop Stories (no cover art)

This is the second collection I've read of Haywood's stories about game wardens in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  This one features women agents and I think I enjoyed it even more than the first collection.  I still need to try his novels.

Philip Roth, NEMESIS

This one centers on a polio outbreak in Newark in the summer of 1944, and is narrated by teacher and playground director Bucky Cantor.  Very well done.

Edward D. Hoch, ALL BUT IMPOSSIBLE (ss)

My favorite of Hoch's series characters is small town Connecticut Dr. Sam Hawthorne. Crippen & Landru has now published four collections (with one more to come), bringing together all of the "impossible crime" stories solved by Hawthorne, starting in the late 1920s and up to the 1940s in the current collection.  Hoch's ingenuity when it comes to setting impossible situations for his character to solve never failed - like someone driving into a covered bridge and disappearing before reaching the other side - and this proves it yet again.


Lesa covered this latest Walt Longmire book, which flashes back to his earliest days as a cop.


Many of you have probably seen the 1970 movie version of DETAIL, which Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, and a very young Randy Quaid.  Read the book, and the sequel set 34 years later, trust me.  Quaid's character is sentenced to eight years for basically petty theft - he's 18, and something of a kleptomaniac - and two Navy lifers, 32 years old each, are sent to accompany him from Norfolk to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  The decide to give him a taste of life and what he'll be missing along the way, via train to Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.  I felt nostalgia for the 1969 world I remember.  The sequel picks up with the same characters in 2003, as the no longer young Larry Meadows seeks out his former companions to accompany him once again, on a sad journey of his own.  These books are only about 200 pages long each, but I guarantee you won't forget them.


Probably my favorite non-fiction book of the year.

Thank you, Jeff. I've added a few titles to my ever-growing TBR pile. Tomorrow, Grace Koshida will share her list of favorite books read in 2017.

What am I reading? I'm hooked on Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. I'm reading the fourth one, Broken Homes, right now. What about you? What are you reading? Or, would you rather comment on Jeff's reading list? You're welcome to do either. Please share!


Grace Koshida said...

Thanks, Jeff for your list of favourite 2017 reads. I have only read THE DRY (and liked it). I am a few books behind in the Bosch books. It's good to know you liked THE LATE SHOW with a new protagonist. I have THE WESTERN STAR on hold at the library so I hope to catch up with the latest Longmire since both you and Lesa recommend it. And I am slowly watching season 6 of Longmire on Netflix. I finished episode 5, trying to make it last.

Right now, I am reading MONUMENT ROAD by Michael Wiley. I have read his PI series set in Chicago. This is a new series featuring Franky Dast, a young man recently released after being on Death Row for 8 years in Florida.

After that, I will try ARCs by two new authors (for me): MURDER IN THE MANUSCRIPT ROOM by Con Lehane and A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS by Victoria Gilbert.

Lesa said...

Grace, I've read both of the ARCs you have coming up. I like mysteries involving books & libraries. Who would guess?

Kay said...

Great list, Jeff! I've read THE DRY and liked it a lot. Can't wait for the next in the series, FORCE OF NATURE. My mystery group will discuss THE DRY in March. My husband is caught up with Longmire and company - me, not caught up. He liked the new book though. And, Grace, we've already watch Season 6 of Longmire. Sigh. Guess we are done with that.

I'm reading Celeste Ng's LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE and liking it so far. I read her first book and led a book group discussion of it. I do have an advance copy of FORCE OF NATURE and also Donis Casey's new book that I am itching to start.

Lesa said...

Only those of you who read the comments will see this note. I don't know when/if Jeff will drop in today. They're trying to escape the cold weather, heading to Florida. I hope he doesn't get caught up in the current weather pattern.

Nann said...

"Red Sky At Morning" was one of the selections for a Let's Talk About It series that my library hosted....gee, maybe 1988? Thanks for the recommendation of the Aussie mystery. As for what I'm reading: I'm trying to finish ARCs from ALA Annual before I get a new haul at Midwinter. I was disappointed by "Carnegie's Maid" by Marie Benedict. There were several anachronisms and some implausible elements that could have been reworked. OTOH I am very much enjoying "The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World," by James Barron. Good narrative nonfiction is so interesting!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Thanks, Lesa! I'm honored to be first. We're in the snow and wind in Fredericksburg, Virginia today, heading south to Florida.

I wish we were there now.

Charlotte said...

First I would like to thank Lesa for being so gracious to share her blog by opening it up for us to share what we liked
in 2017 and what we read each week. I really enjoy this blog better than any other blog that I read.

Jeff, enjoyed your list of books that you liked and shared with us today. I read Craig Johnson's book, because of Lesa. It was good.
Got The Dry for Christmas, I will get to it someday 😊😊.
I want to read both of the books by Michael Connelly.
Trust you get to Florida safely and enjoy your time there.

I finished:
Murder on the SS Rosa by lee Strauss. A cozy mystery. Enjoyed reading it and bought book 2.
Murder at Hartigan House by Lee Strauss. A cozy mystery, enjoyed it. Light and moves fast.

I am reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.
If You were Here by Alafair Burke. Enjoining it a lot.
Murder at Bray Manor book 3 by Lee Strauss. Enjoying it also.

Keep on reading, there are plenty out there.

SandyG265 said...

Like Jeff my boyfriend likes Michael Connelly. I’m still waiting for THE DRY from the library.

This week I read MURDER SHE BARKED by Krista Davis which was a re-read.I also read WHEN BIRDY BABYSAT SPIDER, a short paranormal romance by Kristen Painter, and an ARC of BISCUITS AND SLAHED BROWNS by Maddie Day which I enjoyed.

Margie Buntng said...

Jeff, thanks so much for sharing. I read the first four on your list. My favorite character of Michael Connelly"s is the Lincoln Lawyer so it was fun to have both him and Harry Bosch in Two Kinds of Truth. I wasn't as crazy about his new female protagonist, but I'm sure I will warm up to her in time because Connelly's books are always terrific.. Count me among those loved The Dry, and I also enjoyed the Jodi Taylor book.

Right now I am zipping through Julie Lawson Timmer's Mrs. Saint and the Defectives, an unexpected delight about an elderly French woman who seems to know just what a new and reclusive neighbor needs after she and her son have lost everything, even though the neighbor resists her at every turn. Lesa, you would like this one.

At my request, I received The Wisdom of Sundays for Christmas. It's a collection of insights from Oprah's Super Soul Sundays, and it was just what I needed as a difficult year was ending.

Grace Koshida said...

Jeff: Safe travels, hope this "bomb cyclone" does not cause you too much trouble.

Lesa: Good to know you enjoyed these ARCs.

Sandy: I also have an ARC of BISCUITS AND SLASHED BROWNS. I like reading all of Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day's series.

Lesa said...

Margie! I put Mrs. Saint and the Defectives on hold here at the library. I should have it by Monday at the latest. Our copy at Central is checked out, but a couple other copies are available.

Busy day! I'm so glad to see everyone "back" from the holidays. Thanks for sharing what you're reading.

Those of you in the east, stay warm & safe. Jeff, Thank you again, and safe travels. I know you wish you were already there!

Charlotte, thank you.

Thanks everyone. More titles to come today, I'm sure.

Sharon said...

Thanks for your recommendations Jeff. The only book I read on your list was Morningstar by Ann Hood. I liked it very much. Safe travels to Florida.

Margie- Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is a delight isn't it? I did not see the ending coming. I am looking forward to this author's next book.

This week I finished Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson. The main character was loosely based on the author's journalist grandmother. My daughter recommended it. I liked the first half very much but toward the end it was a little to contrived for my liking.

Now I am reading Little Pieces of You and Me by Vanessa Greene. It isn't all that special but it's an easy read and I have too many pages read to give up on it now. Some books are like that.

Lesa said...

I never heard of Mrs. Saint and the Defectives, and now two of you recommended it. Thank you, Sharon. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Glen Davis said...

Jeff, I read the Time Travel novel. A bit too British for me, but entertaining.

I read:

Blackout by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn, a Christian thriller about a football player/special ops guy who fights terror.

Hit Me by Lawrence Black, the last book in the Keller series, I believe.

How to Host a Killer Party by Penny Warner, who should be much better known than she is.

Margie Bunting said...

Sharon, I'm glad you also loved Mrs. Saint and the Defectives. I don't even remember whether I had heard of it, but somehow the cover called out to me at the library (I had also seen it at B&N). I haven't finished it yet, but I'm already sure I'm going to highly rated it (my own ratings scale).

Lesa, you're in for a treat!

Lesa said...

Margie, Just picked it up. I have a couple to finish first, though.

Glen, I read Penny Warner's Connie Westphal books, but haven't read any of her books since. I should. Those were very good.

Susan said...

I don't keep a list of favorite books as I read throughout the year (although I may try this year), but two of my favorite books of 2017 were GLASS HOUSES by Louise Penny and BURNING BRIGHT by Nick Petrie.

Gram said...

I'm starting to reread Every Little Crook and Nanny by Evan Hunter...what a fun book. Different from his Ed McBain series.