Thursday, July 04, 2019

What Are You Reading?

I don't expect a lot of posts today, but just in case you want to drop in, I'm around. No big plans for
today, and I work tomorrow, so I didn't leave town. If you drop by, tell us what you're reading today or this week.

On the recommendation of my friend Kaye Wilkinson Barley, I'm reading Rick Steves' Travel as a Political Act. I'm not far into it, but I'll give my parents credit right now for taking us to historical and cultural sites on our vacations when we were young. Steves says it's fine to be a tourist, but Ireland is more than pubs and traditional music. (That was directed at me, since I always want to hear the traditional music.) But, even on our trip to Ireland, we went to the GPO, and bought tickets to learn about the Easter Rising, toured historical sites, went to parks with my brother-in-law's cousin who told us one of the parks was his favorite in Dublin. As much as I loved the pubs and music, we also appreciated the historical and cultural opportunities. Steves encourages travelers, saying we'll understand more of our world if we pay attention and meet the people when we travel. As I said, I'm not too far into the book, so I know there's much more meat to it.

What are you reading today or this week? Or what are you listening to?


SandyG265 said...

Happy 4th. We aren’t doing much today either. I managed to finish several books this week.

My favorite was an ARC of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber. It’s a story of love, life and family in a small southern town with just a bit of magic throw in. It’s the first book that I’ve read in a while that I didn’t want to put down.

I also read 10 Things Aliens Hate About You by Fiona Rourke. It’s the latest book in her series about an alien way station disguised as a truck stop.

Aunt Dimity and the Heart of a Gold by Nancy Atherton was an enjoyable story. I think this is the only mystery series I’ve ever read where no one gets murdered.

Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the earlier books in the series.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Happy 4th, Lesa. We're in Connecticut with cousins this week. I do have my book upstairs (and my
Kindle) so can check on my reading. I know I read Matthew Quirk's fast moving thriller, THE NIGHT AGENT, which was entertaining but not a rave for me. I'm reading Peter Orner collection of short stories (LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE) and the second Gray Man book by Mark Greaney and Paula Fox's DESPERATE CHARACTERS.

Gram said...

Fern Michaels - Hot Shot, Berg, Elizabeth - The Story of Arthur Truluv ( just started). Rereading Treachery in Death by J D Robb. and picking up Walking Dead Man by Hugh Pentecost at the library on Friday!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I just finished a book of short stories about pioneer women. The title story, The Spoilt Quilt, was written by Sandra Dallas, and my own contribution, Good Work for a Girl, is included. Of course, I would be expected to say the collection is wonderful, but I was amazed at the variety of plots and characters by both male and female authors. Pioneer women led hard lives in a harsh and hostile environment, so these aren't all happy stories.

The other book I'm reading is nonfiction, The Second Mountain by David Brooks.

Margie Bunting said...

I didn't expect to post today, but I find I do have a little time before leaving for a family event, so here goes . . .

A WILLING MURDER is Jude Deveraux's first foray into mystery writing. The niece of romance writer Sara, who comes to live with her after getting a real estate job in town, finds recently injured bad-boy Jack living there as well. When two bodies are found on the estate under an uprooted tree, everyone tries to help the police solve the long-ago murders of a woman with a bad reputation and her daughter, who befriended Jack when he was 11. The book didn't come together for me. It wasn't that the characters were unlikable--they just didn't seem authentic and were too "meh" to root for.

MRS. EVERYTHING by Jennifer Weiner is the story of two sisters born in the mid-1940s to a Jewish family in Michigan. Jo, the elder, is a tomboy and eventually learns she is a lesbian. Bethie is a girly girl--sweet, pretty, and talented. The story catalogs their lives from the 1950s to the present, and there is even a short chapter set in 2022. Their paths through life are unexpected, messy, and often a reflection of the times in which they are living. This is a departure for Weiner, who wanted to write a "bigger" book. Even at 400+ pages, it was a quick read. At first I didn't think it was very memorable, although entertaining, but I find myself thinking about it more than I would have predicted.

NATURALLY TAN, the autobiography of Tan France, the "fashion guy" from the Netflix Series Queer Eye, gave me just what I wanted. It's a witty, honest memoir about growing up brown, gay, and Muslim in Yorkshire, England. Tan expressed himself through clothing from an early age, struggled his way through dozens of short-term jobs, found success in the fashion industry, then almost gave it up because he was overwhelmed, before being picked out of thousands for the TV series. The story is told mostly in a joyous tone and seems to capture the essence of this charismatic man who knows himself well and has celebrated more than 10 years of marriage with a former "cowboy" who complements him perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER by Meg Macy, second in the Shamelessly Memorable Teddy Bear Mysteries, Silver Hollow, Michigan is celebrating "Oktobearfest" with all sorts of bear-themed events. But the murder of a shop assistant puts a pall on things. Proprietor of the Silver Bear Shop Sasha Silverman wonders if the murderer was really after the victim's boss. Sasha's high school nemesis, who is taking revenge on everyone she feels has wronged her. Honestly, this character had absolutely no redeeming qualities, so she came off as over-the-top.But of course, there are others following their own agendas, and the police are too busy on another case to pay proper attention to this one. I liked the holiday details, but I found the plot a bit hard to swallow and the ending unnecessarily gruesome (although not gory).

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

Sharon said...

Happy 4th!
This week I finished THE SCENT KEEPER by Erica Bauermeister. I really enjoyed this one. It had a fairy tale aspect when it described Emmeline's living on the island with her father. I found the science behind scent interesting and after finishing find myself more aware of the scents around me.

Next I tried WAITING FOR TOM HANKS by Kerry Winfrey. Although I enjoy a rom com movie and saw many of the ones mentioned in the 74 pages I read, this one just wasn't for me. I though the setting of Columbus, Ohio where I live with all the references to German Village, The Book Loft, and the Dispatch would help me reach the end but there are too many other books on my pile to read so I gave up.

Now I am reading THE WISDOM OF SALLY RED SHOES by Ruth Hogan. This one is interesting as it is about a woman trying to recover from grief as well as a storyline about a single mother with cancer. It sounds like it would be a downer of a read but I am enjoying the characters as well as the writing. I am interested to see how it ends. I have 100 pages left.

Happy Reading!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Margie, according to my wife, the Jennifer Weiner is partly autobiographical. Her mother divorced her father and announced that she was a lesbian.

Lesa said...

I love catching up with all your reading, and learning something new. Thanks for passing on Jackie's information about Jennifer Weiner's book, Jeff. I wouldn't have known.

Sandy, I have Nidnight at the Blackbird Cafe sitting beside me, although there are a couple other books first. Great to know you enjoyed it, though!

Enjoy the week with family, Jeff. It's so special.

Oh, Hugh Pentecost, Gram! I read so many of his books, and hadn't thought of them in quite a while.

Safe travels, Margie, and thank you for stopping in to share your reading. I liked the Jude Deveraux, but the second wasn't quite as good. You'll want to skip that one.

Sharon, I have every one of those books here someplace, and I actully know where two of them are!

Mark Baker said...

I am working on Ripe for Vengeance by Wendy Tyson. I'm about a third of the way into the book and absolutely loving it.

Lesa said...

Don't you enjoy those books that you can love? Few and far between, Mark.

Carol N Wong said...

Happy 4th to you and everyone. They have fireworks on the 3rd here, you can hear but see them.

I am really enjoyed listening to The Great Alone. The black sheep in my mother's family moved to Alaska a long tine ago. Now I have cousins there living in north of Fairbanks. I know for sure that I do not want to be there in the winter (18 hour days would drive me up a wall. But maybe sometime in a summer.

Have also started another book on my TBR shelves. Marmee and Louisa which uhich written by Louisa May Alcott' s grand niece. Very good so far,

Lesa said...

I think I'd like the long days, Carol, but not the long nights. It's bad enough when we "fall back".

I never heard of that book, Marmee and Louisa. Very interesting.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Carol, my cousin was raving about that book too.

Sharon said...

We were stationed at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks for three years. At first all the light was disconcerting (natives say it gets dark but it really is more like a, twilight. The dark comes gradually. You have to adjust to the time by your schedule rather than what you see our your window. We loved our time there. I have yet to see such beautiful flowers with all that daylight.

Lesa said...

what a lovely thought, Sharon, that the flowers benefited from all the daylight.

Glen Davis said...

I read

Murder with Collard Greens and Hot Sauce by AL Berry; A slow moving cozy, wherein I learned far more than I wanted to about Black women's hair.

Backlash by Brad Thor; Newest Scott Harvath novel. He gets kidnapped and taken to Russia, and has to escape to Finland. Thrilling.

Back of Beyond by CJ Box; Alcoholic cop rushes to Yellowstone Park to find his son, who is in from a serial killer. I'm sure I saw a Sydney Poitier movie with this same sort of plot.

Lesa said...

Glen, You do some of the best readers' advisory I've ever saw with those pithy comments.