Thursday, May 30, 2019

What Are You Reading?

I'm in New York City with my sister, Linda, and my best friend, Donna, right now. So, I'm probably
not reading at the moment. I'm going to rely on all of you to maintain the conversation and talk books. I'll check back to see the conversation on Saturday, if not before.

I can tell you the three books I took with me for the trip, spending time in airports, although Donna and I usually talk instead of reading. I'm excited about Heather Webber's July release, Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. They had me when they said for fans of Sarah Addison Allen. Magic, food, and a small Alabama town. I also have Susan Mallery's June 11th release, The Summer of Sunshine & Margot. It's about an etiquette coach, Margot Baxter, facing her toughest client. Bianca is an aging movie star, known for her shock-and-awe tactics, who must learn to be a diplomat's wife. Then, there's Margot's sister, Sunshine, the good-time girl determined to change her ways. And, of course, on a trip to New York, I took Lisa Grunwald's forthcoming book, Time After Time, because it's about a couple that meets at Grand Central Terminal. It's a love story with a touch of time travel. Let's face it. I might not get much read, but at least I'm prepared with books that sound appealing.

So, tell us all. What are you reading this week that appealed to you? Did the books hold up when you read them? I hope you all keep the conversation going!


SandyG265 said...

I haven’t finished a book this week. I’m reading THE TROUBLE WITH WITCHES by Kristen Painter. It’s set in a town where all of the residents have some sort of curse. Some are human and some are supernatural

Jeff Meyerson said...

You arrive and we're leaving town! Well, just for today, as we have a concert tonight out at Jones Beach (Bob Seger's Farewell Tour). The weather should improve after one last round of rain today.

It's one of those weeks I am happy for short stories, as I have put aside several library books that just didn't do it for me. I had hopes for Elinor Lipman's latest, but found the main character so off-putting that I had to agree with all the negative Amazon reader comments. A couple of science fiction books were too long to hold my interest. I had to return a couple of things I couldn't renew.

I did read THE GRAY MAN, as mentioned last week (and I returned it to the basement), and may read the next one in the series. Also read THE BRANSON BEAUTY, first in Claire Booth's Sheriff Hank Worth series. I particularly liked the way she let the back story come out gradually rather than info dump it at the beginning. There are two more in the series.

I'm nearly done with the ROBERT SILVERBERG SCIENCE FICTION MEGAPACK, a collection of early stories, and Mollie Panter-Downes's GOOD EVENING, MRS. CRAVEN, WWII stories set in English villages, originally published in The New Yorker. I also started her LONDON WAR NOTES 1939-1945, a weekly report also published in The New Yorker.

Margie Bunting said...

I love Ellery Adams' Book Retreat Mysteries, and MURDER IN THE READING ROOM blew me away. Jane is forced to go way out of her comfort zone to protect all she holds dear--her love (who is missing), her young twin sons, and the priceless works of literature in the secret library of Storyton Hall, of which she is proprietor. A ruthless member of a radical Templar group will stop at nothing to steal what he feels is rightfully his, leaving mayhem in his path. And a surprise twist turns Jane's life upside down. Not to be missed if you like this series, even though it's a bit over the top.

In THE NEVER GAME, first in a new series by Jeffrey Deaver, Colter Shaw makes his living by earning rewards offered by the police or by victims' relatives. Home-schooled along with his siblings by their survivalist parents, Colter learned his father's rules for survival to the letter and became the family's best tracker at a young age, which served him well in his later career. In this book, Colter tracks several kidnapping victims, and his efforts eventually lead him to some nefarious big-time online gamers and real-life situations that mirror those in a particularly dangerous game. It's set in Silicon Valley, where I live, but makes some errors (San Jose County--no such thing). Not sure whether I will seek out the next one.

I'm of two minds about Wendall Thomas's LOST LUGGAGE. On one hand, it is well written, amusing and fast-moving. On the other, it is intentionally preposterous. I was reminded of Janet Evanovich's books, of which I am not a fan. Lesa reviewed this book in detail in 2017, so I will just say it is about an ambitious and quick-thinking travel agent for seniors who finds herself embroiled in an international animal smuggling plot, trying to figure out who is the "bad guy" (is her family involved?). There is a second book in the series, but I will probably not be reading it, even though I must say I enjoyed this one at least a little bit.

Published 15 years ago, with a follow-on released this February, MOLOKA'I by Alan Brennert is the story of the leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, where 7-year-old Rachel is exiled in the late 19th century. Ripped away from her family, she finds that she is able to make a life for herself among her fellow patients, befriended by one special nun at the school she attends, making friends and even marrying. But her daughter is removed for adoption not long after her birth to protect her health, and Rachel longs to know how her life is progressing. I found this a beautiful story in a setting with which I was not very familiar. The second book focuses on Rachel's daughter, and I will definitely seek it out.

Lesa, I have two of the books you mentioned on my TBR list, so I am looking forward to hearing what you think about them. Have a great trip!

Mark Baker said...

Yesterday, I finished the newest Malice Domestic anthology - MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE. I enjoyed it, although I would have enjoyed it more had I spread it out more instead of trying to cram it into a few days.

Today, I'm going to start MURDER AT THE PALACE by Margaret Dumas. It sounded like so much fun, I had to give it a try even though it is a paranormal cozy. We'll see what I think.

Netteanne said...

I have two boos going one is Black Run by Antonio Manzini, an Italian author. Books takes place is the northern part of Italy, the protagonist is an exiled policeman who has been sent from his home in Rome to this cold, snowy northern city. I am enjoying it.

The second book has not caught my attention as much as the first but it is intriguing. Death in Provence by Serena Kent. An Expat Englishwoman who has purchased a decrepit house and there is a dead boy in the brackish swimming pool that is discovered on the second day of her stay in the house. Interesting characters.

Sharon said...

I finished THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGER by Camille DiMaio. I did not love it as much as my daughter (who recommended it) did.

I am enjoying Ellery Adams' MURDER IN THE SECRET GARDEN. I hope to catch up to the one you read soon Margie :)

Happy Reading!

Glen Davis said...

I read a lot of comics this week.

A manga about cooking contests was fun, showing you can make almost any subject interesting.

The Essential Iron Fist; Pulpy Kung Fu fun.

Nick Fury and The Howling Commandos and The Haunted Tank. Two war comics with very different tones. We've been at war for almost 20 years, and no war comics. Seems a bit odd.

Fire Season by Stephen Blackmoore; The usual anti social sorcerer fights evil in LA during, wait for it--Fire Season.

The Doll by Rex Sparger. I've had this book since I was in 4 grade, and somehow never read it till now. Decent 70's YA take off of the Exorcist.

Glen Davis said...

I completely forgot Last Stage to Hell's Junction by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins; a great 50's style hostage western.

Gram said...

Truth Worth Telling by Scott Pelley and Love and Lemons - a cookbook.

Carol N Wong said...

Always have a book with me when I go doctor appointments or tests. Hate just sitting an waiting and a lot of times there are no magazines.

Almost finished with My Sisters Keeper by Picolt. The bes tpart of the story is on disc # 11 the story is calming down and secrets have been revealed.

Finished and reviewed the other book and I have started another. It is an ARC for The Tudor Throne by Brandy Prudy. Pretty good with interesting detail but smaller print. That will take me longer to read so I looked for a shorter audio book to follow that one. I used to have overflowing bookcase but now I have some gaps. Gave a few of my read books to my son and some children's to my grandchildren.

Almost finished the stack of books that I have on my table. I could not wait, I have drawn a second stack. That was a lot of fun, I will have until July 1st to see how far I can get.

Gaye said...

Since my school year is over I am ready to read for me!!!
Just picked up The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone at the library today...guess I'll get ready for a diversion this weekend!
Margie, I loved Moloka'i. You brought back a great summer reading memory. Glad you will seek out the sequel. I enjoyed it but not nearly as much as Moloka'i.
Thanks for the Jeffrey Deaver review, my son and I usually read each ofnhis books but somehow this flew under my radar or got lost in my end of the school year madness!

Lesa said...

Thank you, everyone! It's Sunday, and I just now had time to catch up with your reading. I enjoy seeing the books that you're excited about, the ones that were just okay, and the ones you finally dump. That's okay, even when it's one I enjoyed. We all have different taste. My favorite lesson from Readers' Advisory is "Never Apologize for Your Reading Taste." This coming Tuesday, I'm reviewing a romance. I loved it, and I think it was just what I needed after all the crime fiction. Fun, with entertaining, likable characters. Mark, you'll have to let us know what you thought of Murder at the Palace.

Thank you, and hugs to all of you. Thanks for continuing the book conversation!