Thursday, June 20, 2019

What Are You Reading?

It's Thursday! I feel as if I'm still catching my breath after New York City, and then the trip to Ohio for a family wedding. It's always fun to spend time with family.

Of course, that means I didn't get any reading done other than books I'm reading on deadline. Of course, you'll all see those reviews here in a couple months. They're August releases.

Since I can't really talk about those books yet, would you tell me what you're reading? I'll check in now and then through the day today.


Kay said...

I just finished the second book in Betty Webb's Lena Jones series, DESERT WIVES. Decided to read through that series, beginning to end. Enjoying it very much. I'm about to finish SAVE ME FROM DANGEROUS MEN by S.A. Lelchuk. Also liking that book. A female bookstore owner who is also a private investigator. In her spare time, she 'protects' women by making sure the people who hurt them understand the consequences of their actions. The character is compared to Jack Reacher and Lisbeth Salander - eh, maybe. I do like the bookstore and the title dropping and since this is the first book of a proposed series, I'm more forgiving about some things.

Sharon said...

I finished THE FAMILY NEXT Door by Sally Hepworth. It was about an Australian cul de sac and the secrets each woman harbored. Not as good as THE MOTHER - IN-Law but I enjoyed it.

I am almost done with THE EDITOR by Steven Rowley. A new author writes a thinly disguised novel about his family. His editor, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, through the editing process helps him sort out his relationship with his mother. I had a hard time getting into this one but now I am finding it very good.

Happy Reading! And stay dry if you are in the rain-soaked part of the country like me.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Kay, my wife just got the final book in the Lena Jones series. She's a big fan.

It's been one of those weeks where I can't settle on one thing, so I'm reading about half a dozen books at once, going from one to the next to the next every day, which is certainly not ideal.

I'm reading:

James Grady, CONDOR: THE SHORT TAKES. He wrote SIX DAYS OF THE CONDOR in his early 20s, which was filmed as THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR starring Robert Redford. This is shorter - but long - stories about the same character, now quite a bit older.

Lawrence Block, ed. AT HOME IN THE DARK. Thanks Lesa for the Uncorrected Proof of this new anthology. Good so far.

Dan Stout, TITANSHADE. Sort of a science fiction/noir hybrid. Carter is a homicide cop in the title oil boomtown, where we co-exist with aliens, and 8-tracks are state of the art. The amphibian Squib Ambassador is murdered in a gruesome way, and Carter and his new Mollenkampi partner are on the case.

Mollie Panter-Downes, LONDON WAR NOTES 1939-1945. Just up to the Fall of France, 1940.


Tony Dunbar, FAT MAN BLUES. New Orleans lawyer Tubby Dubonnet.

Mark Greaney, ON TARGET. Second Gray Man thriller.

Don't ask.

Lesa said...

Kay, Like Jeff's wife, I have the last in the Lena Jones series. I just can't bring myself to read it yet, knowing it is the last one. I had two favorites in the series, both with historic elements.

Lesa said...

Yes, Sharon. I'm in the rain-soaked area, too. I feel so sorry for the farmers now, and us in the future when the prices of produce and meat shoot up.

Lesa said...

I won't ask, Jeff. But, I've been there, when nothing seemed to suit me.

Margie Bunting said...

In THE SCENT KEEPER by Erica Bauermeister, for as long as she can remember, Emmeline has lived with her father on a deserted island. They have to forage for their food, receiving "care packages" periodically because the island is only rarely accessible to small boats. But Emmeline's childhood is a happy one, even though her father is obsessed with the scents he manufactures with a mysterious machine and stores in a series of drawers, and he won't answer her questions about them. One day the unthinkable happens, and Emmeline has to be rescued from the island that has been her home. She lives for several years with a loving couple, goes to school for the first time, and meets a kind boy with a troubled home life. Ultimately, she travels to the big city to look for her missing past and continue her father's strange legacy. I gained a whole new perspective on scents from this book--fascinating. Another of Bauermeister's beautiful, lyrical stories.

A high school junior, Jessie had to move from Chicago to LA when her father remarried in TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum. She's not happy--bullied by the "cool girls," still mourning the death of her mother, feeling no love from her new stepbrother, and missing her best friend back home. She is also intimidated and overwhelmed by her new stepmother's wealth, and her ultra-expensive private school, although she manages to make a couple of new friends and snags an after-school job. Unexpectedly befriended by an anonymous male classmate, Jessie embarks on a daily correspondence, as the two reveal themselves to each other through texts. More than anything, she wishes she knew the identity of "Somebody Nobody," as there are several possible candidates. I found this to be a superior YA novel with a feel-good ending.

In THE SENTENCE IS DEATH, the sequel to THE WORD IS MURDER, Anthony Horowitz again casts himself as the narrator and sidekick to British PI Hawthorne, whose investigation Horowitz is chronicling in a book. That requires him to accompany Hawthorne as he tries to solve a mystery of multiple deaths, starting with the murder of a prominent divorce lawyer. The case involves an insufferable female poet, a caving death, a cryptic number painted on the wall at the murder scene, and much more. Complicating things further is the fact that the imposing female police inspector hates both Hawthorne and Horowitz and threatens mayhem if they solve the case before she does, and that Hawthorne himself is difficult though brilliant. This is such a creative series, and although I liked the first one a bit more, this one is definitely worthwhile. I read that Horowitz has at least 5 books planned in the series--bring 'em on! I especially enjoyed reading, in the Acknowledgments, that many of the characters are real people. And Horowitz also includes in cameos his real-life wife (producer of Foyle's War and other British TV series that Horowitz writes), and children.

The third in Jill Orr's light mystery series, THE UGLY TRUTH, is a worthy follow-on to the first two, which I read last year. Riley Ellison is a small-town newspaper journalist investigating and reporting on a double murder that stimulates national attention when a well-known Washington, DC lobbyist appears to be involved. All signs point to a popular local baker and cafe owner, who suddenly disappears. A couple of Riley's exes play roles, as well as a man who is new in town, working in the funeral parlor after his grandfather's stroke. At the same time, Riley's mentor has gone undercover to investigate the suspicious death of Riley's grandfather. The latter seems, at the end, to lead to the next in the series. A silly secondary plot related to a "Personal Romance Concierge" engaged by Riley in a 7-day free trial, has absolutely nothing to do with the story and seems to have ended, thank goodness.

Mark Baker said...

Yesterday, I finished up STRANGLED EGGS AND HAM by Maddie Day, which I enjoyed very much. Today, I’ll be starting SCOOP TO KILL by Wendy Lynn Watson. I read the first last year and enjoyed it.

On audio, I should be finishing THE WANTED by Robert Crais today, which will get me ready for his next book, currently scheduled for August. I find his books uneven, and this has things I like and things I’m rolling my eyes at.

Rosemary said...

Hi Lesa,

I'm reading 'What's Become of Waring?', and early novel by Anthony Powell, who wrote the voluminous Dance to the Music of Time. There's a vague sort of mystery about this one. It's narrated by a publisher's reader in London between the wars; the star author of the firm he works for is an elusive travel writer whom no-one has ever seen. When Waring's death is announced, someone must be found to write his biography asap - but who was he, and is he really dead?

As ever with Powell, the book is more about the lives of the aristocracy and the moneyed upper middle classes in the days when people dressed for dinner, men lunched at their clubs, and one holidayed in the South of France (and if one was short of a few bob one simply 'decided to take an overdraft at the bank'). Powell knew nothing about the working classes, and I suppose to his credit in some ways he didn't ever try to write about them. His books are fascinating records of a time long gone, and he's not above making fun of his characters. In this book there are seances, society weddings, weekend house parties, illicit engagements and 'flighty' women, boring men, cads, bounders..... At points Powell is what would nowadays be considered very un-PC, but you just have to run with it and enjoy his brilliant storytelling.

First lines: 'I was sitting in the Guards' Chapel under the terracotta lunette which contains the Centurion saying to one, Go and he goeth; and to the other, Come and he cometh; and to his servant, Do this and he doeth it. The occasion was the wedding of a girl called Fitzgibbon who was marrying a young man in the Coldstream. The incident took place in the address.'

Powell's writing never fails to suck me in.


Jeff Meyerson said...

Thanks for that, Rosemary. I read Powell's DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME back to back to back (first 11 volumes, waiting for the 12th to come out) in the mid-70s, but have never read his other novels. I even picked up the 12 volumes in paperback (3 in each volume) for "someday" rereading. I haven't watched the British mini-series yet, though it is on Amazon Prime/Acorn.

SandyG265 said...

I read THE UNICORN ANTHOLOGY edited by Peter S. Beagle. I enjoyed a couple of the stories but most of them were so so and a couple I had read before.

MURDER AMONG THE PINES by John Lawrence Reynolds. A short mystery set in Canada. I didn’t realize it was the third in a series when I picked it up from the library but the author provided enough background info that it didn’t matter.

Lesa said...


I really like Erica Bauermeister's books, and I have that one someplace at home. I need to take a little time after this weekend, and get to a few books I want to read before I get back on the LJ treadmill. Not complaining, though. I've read some terrific mysteries.

And, the YA book sounds very good as well.

Happy to hear that section of Jill Orr's books might be ending!

Lesa said...

With the Indiana setting, Mark, I need to get back to the Maddie Day books, too.

Lesa said...

Rosemary! You and Jeff are much more ambitious than I am. I would have a hard time with that book, or with his series.

Glen Davis said...

I read:

Daughter of War by Brad Taylor; Espionage and the refugee crisis. An uneasy mix of strongarms and the sappy.

The Extractor: Mission OUtback by JT Brannan; curiously quaint Men's adventure tale of a hostage rescue in Australia.

Double Switch by TT Monday: a relief pitcher in the MLB doubles as a detective/fixer for players in trouble, and gets in over his head trying to help a Cuban ballplayer. The baseball parts are better than the mystery parts.

Humans by Donald Westlake; God sends an angel to end the world. Reads like something out of the 60's, but written in 1990.

Rumbling Wine Barrels; Historical fiction about paisanos rum running in prohibition era California.

Sharpe's Gold; Another book with Sharpe in Iberia.

Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridson; a traffic cop is fascinated by stories of missing people, and tries to solve the murder of homeless person. Origin story of the detective.

MacTaggart's War by Ralph Dennis; 70's tale of a WWII heist that goes wrong. Sleazy and amoral, like the best 70's work.

October Holiday by Stephen P. Adams; Inspirational sci-fi.

Charlotte said...

Hi Lesa, I trust the wedding was fabulous.
Family being together is so very important. Spend as much time as you can. Even when you do that, without them seems so long.
You know what I mean. ~~ hugs

A lot of interesting reading happening this summer. Enjoy them.

Lesa said...

Glen, It sounds as if you might have hit a few better books this week, including "Sleazy and amoral, like the best 70's work."

Lesa said...

You're right, Charlotte. The wedding was fun because the family was together. Everyone of my sisters' kids were there, along with partners, except one. So, almost the entire family came. And, then it was fun at Mom's house after the reception because some stayed overnight there, too.

I do know what you mean, and I've really only appreciated that in the last nine years or so.

Nann said...

Hello from Washington, DC, where the ALA annual conference is getting underway. I am going to several forthcoming books events and several author events. My inflight reading was the ARC of Searching for Sylvia Lee by Jean Kwok. (Published this month; ARC from Midwinter.) it is really good--very readable, just the right amount of suspense.

My favorite books June are Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt and Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Claire.

Bill Anderson said...

I'm reading Owen Luakkanen's new Deception Cove. I'm loving the setting and characters so far. I just finished Elly Griffith's Stranger Diaries and really enjoyed the gothic-style setting.

Lesa said...

Nann! I went to grad school in D.C., and haven't been back since. I need to make a trip there. Enjoy ALA, the conference and the books.

Lesa said...

Bill, I was trying to remember who told me recently that they read and liked Deception Cove. Then, I realized it was you on Twitter. (sigh) Age?

Laurie Loewenstein said...

I have COLD DISH, the first in the Longmire series, on the bedtable. Very impressed!

Carol N Wong said...

I am listening to House Rules by Jodi Picoult and loving it.

On Monday, I took a book that I was beginning to read to my hemo/onc appointment. I was feeling very bad, my iron deficiency had brought my iron level to the basement level. My doctor was furious with me. I do not understand that. I did not get that bad on purpose. I was wheel chaired to the hospital They gave me the 1st transfusion at 7:00 p.m. When it was finished at 11 pm. I was taken to my room. They had to wait to see if I had a reaction to the blood and then started the 2nd one at 1:30 a.m. I read in the book that I brought me and it was awful. At 4:30 a.m. the 2nd one was finished, I had a chest x-rat, an EKG and more blood tests. No sleep, I just wanted to go home. Finally they released me at 7 p.m. When I was s igning papers, they told me that I had a weird chest x-ray and the results had not come back yet I may have walking pneumonia.

That was an unpleasant adventure and as I got home, I started to read A Man Called Ove. Will ll the book, good riddance. I had won it long ago. At least I finally am reading a book that I like very much.

Next week has got to be much better!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm reading Sonia Purnell's fascinating nonfiction book about Virginia Hall, the American woman who worked tirelessly to help the French Resistance during WWII. A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Laurie! I'm glad you appreciate Craig's debut.

Lesa said...

Oh, Carol. I'm so sorry. What a lousy week and day. I hope next week is better for you.

Lesa said...

That sounds fascinating, Patricia!

Gram said...

I'm reading The Stone Circle by Elly Griffith, The Summoning by Heather Graham, A Murder of Taste by Sally Goldenbaum, and The Truth Itself by James Rayburn.

Rosemary said...

Oh Lesa, Powell is great! Once you get into it, his writing is addictive. The Dance series has so many people in it I had to buy Hilary Spurling's excellent guidebook to keep track.

Jeff, I'm so glad to find a fellow Powell reader! I LOVED the TV series, which I watched on DVD a few years ago, but my family did not like it at all (so I watched it all in glorious isolation) - I think if you've read the books the acting style will make perfect sense to you, but of course none of them had. Miranda Richardson, Simon Russell Beale (as Widmerpool), Alan Bennett, Adrian Scarborough, Edward Fox - for me it was pure joy. Do let me know what you think if you watch it.


Lesa said...

Great variety, Gram. I think you have to do that when you read multiple titles at one time.

katstev said...

I am trying to finish up The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz. On audio, it's Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank (hilarious)!

Lesa said...

I really liked Queen Bee, katstev.

holdenj said...

Just finishing Julie Mulhern's latest, Telephone Line, with the new Elin Hilderbrand on deck! A good weekend!

Lesa said...

Don't you love a good reading weekend, holdenj? I read, and loved, the fourth in a mystery series. I won't go back and read the earlier ones, but Gumshoe Rock by Rob Leininger was terrific. August release.