Thursday, September 20, 2018

What Are You Reading?

It's Thursday! Time to talk books, both here and on #AskaLibrarian on Twitter. My favorite day of
the week!

I just finished a book I'll review here on Saturday, but I loved it, and I think you might enjoy it, Glen, if you can find a copy (I'm taking my copy to my brother-in-law in a few weeks). It's called The Negotiator by Brendan DuBois. The Negotiator is an unnamed narrator who admits he chose the dark path. He can look at items, though, and know what they're worth, so he acts as the in-between person for shady deals, for a price. Want to buy stolen jewels? A priceless book? A stolen painting? That's his job, until one of those jobs goes wrong. Now, he's out for revenge. Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher or one of my favorites, King Con by Stephen Cannell, may like this one.

So, what are you reading or listening to this week? I hope you enjoyed at least one of those books as much as I enjoyed mine.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I love DuBois's short stories - Lee Child called him the greatest short story writer of his generation - and most of his non-series books, so this will add to my ever-growing list. Also a side comment: DuBois once won on Jeopardy!

I still haven't caught up with everything. You would not believe how many books I have on the shelf. First, there are FOUR library ebook downloads I need to read because I can't renew them. Then, there are ELEVEN "regular" library books, including the three I picked up just yesterday. Also, there are the ones I haven't been able to resist buying and downloading, including Elaine Viets's third Angela Richman, Death Investigator book, ICE BLONDE (which was only $1.99!), and the book Jackie wanted for her birthday, RIck Wilson's EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES.

What am I actually reading? First, the Wilson. The man really has a turn of phrase. There is O. Henry's THE FOUR MILLION, my go-to collection when time is short and I want to read my story a day (nearly finished). Also, after hearing her and being intrigued by the idea of her new series, I'm reading (library download) Sara Blaedel's THE DAUGHTER (THE UNDERTAKER'S DAUGHTER), set in Racine, Wisconsin, home to the largest community of Danish immigrants in the Western Hemisphere outside Greenland. A woman whose father left her and her mother 33 years ago, when she was 7, finds her father has died and left her his funeral home in Racine. I like it so far and I'm curious where she will go with it, as Ilka (the daughter) is in the process of selling the business. Will she or won't she?

Lastly there is the huge AN INFORMAL HISTORY OF THE HUGOS: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000, by Jo Walton, who also wrote the terrific WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT. She looks back at science fiction's most prestigious awards, which books and stories won and which she would have voted for, as well as other possible choices.

Some of the "not yet started" books at the top of my list:

Craig Johnson, DEPTH OF WINTER (Walt Longmire)
P. J. Tracy, THE GUILTY DEAD (Monkeewrench)
Mary Robinette Kowal, THE CALCULATING STARS (first in her Lady Astronaut series, after a terrific novella started it)
Andrew Shaffer, HOPE NEVER DIES ('An Obama Biden Mystery')
Abbey Mei Otis, ALIEN VIRUS LOVE DISASTER: Stories (how could I resist a book with that title?)

We'll be home for the next seven plus weeks before our next trip, so I am really hoping I can get through these - at least before another batch of books comes in!

Lori's Reading Corner said...

I am reading an ARC of Deranged by TR Ragan. And I'm listening to Lies She Told by Cate Holahan.

SandyG265 said...

I had one of those weeks where I started a couple of books but couldn’t get interested in them. The only one I finished was A CAT ABROAD by Peter Gethers. It’s about a couple who move to France for a year and take their cat with them. There was an earlier book which I haven’t read.

Lesa said...

Oh, Jeff. I believe! Now you make Sara Blaedel's book sound interesting. I may have to pick that up. Maybe after I get through a million books at home, and the ones I'm reading for a committee I'm on. The Longmire book is on my list to read this weekend because it's due back next week, and there's a waiting list on it. I mentioned Mary Robinette Kowal's series yesterday on Poisoned Pen's blog. I should probably read the novella first. Reading time! Enjoy it.

Lesa said...

Lori, Quite often I'm not familiar with the titles you mention, although I recognize Cate Holahan's name.

Lesa said...

I get those moods sometimes, Sandy. I read both of Gethers' cat books, but it's been quite a while. Good luck on finding the right book or two in the next week.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

"The Lady Astronaut of Mars" is the title, Lesa. Read it FREE on It's a quick read.

Lesa said...

Oh, thanks, Jeff! I'll look it up.

Kay said...

First of all, I'll mention THE NEGOTIATOR to my husband. Sounds like his kind of read and we are always looking for new series for him. I'm his personal book 'shopper'. Ha!

I finished Hank Phillippi Ryan's new book, TRUST ME, yesterday. Oh my! Loved it. Wow. Got frustrated with some of the characters. Thought I might have figured out some stuff. Nope. Loved it. Did I say that? Ha!

Now I'm back to reading/listening to BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent for our next mystery book group meeting in a couple of weeks. A bit different as it's a historical set in early 19th century Iceland. Very rich with detail though and I'm liking it much more than I thought I might. What comes next? Who knows?

Lesa said...

I can't wait for my brother-in-law to read The Negotiator, Kay. It sounds like his kind of book, too. Then, he'll probably give it to one or both of his sons to read. Oh, yes. I understand that frustration with characters in TRUST ME.

I'm currently reading Ann Hood's book that comes out in December, Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Lie, Love, and Food. Loving it. I read 58 pages last night, and she already made me cry. It wasn't one of the recipes that made me cry, though. (smile)

Margie Bunting said...

Jeff, I feel your pain. I'm always at the limit on loans from two libraries, and sometimes they all seem to come at once. And of course, there are library ebook download and books I have bought or won or traded. Can't read fast enough to stay afloat, although I am a fast reader. Sigh . . .

I read AN ACT OF VILLAINY, fifth in Ashley Weaver's Amory Ames Mystery series set in early 1930s London. Amory and her husband get involved when their friend Gerard's mistress (and the star of his play) is murdered and Gerard and his wife are suspects. But other suspects are numerous, including those tied to the play or to the victim. Amory can relate to the wife's feelings because her own marriage has gone through some difficult times in the past. I enjoy these well-written period pieces.

In ALTER AGO by Brian Freeman, one of Jonathan Stride's old cases is being made into a movie, with a beloved box office king playing Jon himself. When murders occur that seem to echo this case (although the killer died in prison), Jon and his wife, also a detective, investigate. It's hard to describe the story without spoilers, but the intricate plot had me fooled until the very end. Teenager Cat, a former prostitute who lives with the Strides, plays a major role, as do fellow detective Maggie and PI Cab Bolton. There are multiple characters to root for, and the ending is satisfying. I am finding this series to be outstanding.

In Mary Feliz's DISORDERLY CONDUCT, the fourth mystery featuring professional organizer Maggie McDonald, Maggie's friend Tess loses her husband under mysterious circumstances and is jailed as the prime suspect in his murder. Maggie, her husband, and their sons are bunking with Tess and her family to escape from Silicon Valley brush fires when the murder occurs, so she steps in to care for Tess's teenage son and to sift through the clues to rescue her friend. Excerpts from Maggie's organizing notebook contain tips about open-air emergencies this time around. I enjoy this series and am hoping future books focus more on her job, which I find fascinating.

Charlotte said...

Finished reading:

Desert Rage by Betty Webb
Purrfect Murder by Nic Saint

Now reading:
Desert Vengeance by Betty Webb
Scene of the Grind by Tonya Kappes

Happy reading to everyone.

Nann said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Lesa. I'm nearly finished with Northland by Porter Fox. It's about the U.S./Canada border from Maine to Washington -- he traveled all of it. He skilfully goes from his present-day trip to the history and back again. It's a great antidote to the PBS News Hour book club selection this month, Reaching the Rockies by Robert Kaplan. Both Fox and Kaplan write about geopolitics. Fox informs and entertains. Kaplan lectures and scolds.

I'm also reading Mrs. Pankhurst's Purple Feather by Tessa Boase. It's a fascinating history. in the late 19th century women's hats were adorned not only with feathers but also with entire taxidermied birds. Millions and millions of birds were slaughtered to meet the demand. Feathers were prepared by sweatshop labo(u)r. British women organized to protest and protect birds -- at the same time that Emmeline Panhkurst organized the women's suffrage movement.

Mark Baker said...

I’m starting The Spirit in Question by Cynthia Kuhn.

Sharon said...

I finished MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM by Anne Youngson these week. It was good. I felt there was a little contrivance at the end concerning Tina and Edward. I whooped at the act of pettiness on Tina's part at the very end and I liked the way it ultimately ended very much.

I am currently reading AN ACT OF VILLAINY by Ashley Weaver. I am enjoying it very much.

Happy reading!

Glen Davis said...

Not a great reading week for me:

The Girl From Berlin by Ronald H. Balson; Billed as a Pi mystery, it is in fact a WWII romance set in Germany and Italy. I felt like it was a bait and switch.

Mandarin Plaid by SJ Rozan; typical PI mystery set in the underworld of the fashion industry. Lydia Chen spends most of the time complaining.

Murder Mystery Weekend; A group of well heeled Edinburghers go on murder mystery weekend, and one of them ends up dead, then Scotland Yard investigates.

Murder Uncorked; a strange book that starts out like a police procedural, but becomes something else entirely.

Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz; A divorcee travels to the jungles of Mexico for an adventure tour, and finds more adventure than she thinks when a maniac decides to kill her tour group.

Lesa said...

Margie and Sharon, It looks like Ashley Weaver is the author of the week. You both finished or are reading the latest in the series. That's why there are books for all of us. I just couldn't get into her first book, and I never went any further.

Alter Ago sounds fascinating, Margie.

Lesa said...

Charlotte, Betty said she just turned the last book in the series into her editor. She's going to wrap up the series, and start a new one.

Hugs, Charlotte.

Lesa said...

Both of your titles sound fascinating, Nann. I love it when some of you talk about books I haven't heard about.

Lesa said...

Mark, I'm so glad you take a couple minutes to mention your books here. Thank you.

Lesa said...

It does sound as if you had a so-so week, Glen. (I think you'd enjoy The Negotiator.)

katstev said...

During Hurricane Florence (I'm in NC), I read Juror #3 by James Patterson Friday & Saturday. I am currently 3/4 done with Piece of Her by Karin Slaughter and 1/2 through my book club book (have to finish by Tuesday) High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin. Listening to Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions (next book in series just came out) by Amy Stewart.

Nicole Pyles said...

Right now I'm reading book 4 in the City of Ember series! Along side that I'm rereading a favorite ...and then we came to the end by Joshua Ferris.

Lesa said...

Katstev, I hope everyone you love is safe after Hurricane Florence. Glad the books help you get through it!

Lesa said...

I haven't read the City of Ember series, but hear terrific things about it, Nicole.