Thursday, August 22, 2019

What Are You Reading?

It's Thursday! Let's talk about books. What have you been reading in the last week?   

Friday's my deadline for Library Journal for the October issue, so I've been reading October and November releases. There are some terrific ones coming up, some of the best books I've read this year. I'll be sharing them when the time comes.

In the meantime, I'm reading Susan Isaacs' October release, Takes One to Know One. I've only read fifty pages so far, but it's fun. Corie Geller is a bored suburban wife. Just a few years earlier, she was on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Attack Force. Now, she's a freelancer working with publishers of Arabic books. And, she's bored. She meets for a weekly lunch with six other people who are self-employed. One of those, Pete Delaney, seems off to her. After discussions with her father, an ex-cop, and her best friend, Corie decides to look into Pete's background. Did I mention that Corie is bored?

What are you reading this week? I'd love to know.


Jeff Meyerson said...

I will be finishing two books this morning - Wallace Stroby's exciting standalone, SOME DIE NAMELESS is about former mercenary Ray Devlin, still repenting things they did in South America years ago, who is "visited" by an old colleague who, out of the blue, tries to kill him. The other main character is Philadelphia investigative newspaper reporter Tracy Quinn. The one thing I don't understand is the book's copyright is July 2018 but it seems to have been published this July. I am a huge fan of his caper series featuring Crissa Stone, but I will read anything he writes. Good one.

The other book is the previously mentioned THE CASES OF LIEUTENANT TIMOTHY TRANT by Q. Patrick. The novella and short stories were originally published ca. 1940-1955 and are clever and fun.

Also finished THE KINGS OF LONDON, the second Breen & Tozer book by William Shaw set in 1968 "Swinging" London, which I liked, though not as much as the first (SHE'S LEAVING HOME).

SandyG265 said...

I finished SCONED TO DEATH by Lynn Cahoon. This didn’t grab me as much as the earlier books in the series did.

SKIN GAME by Stuart Woods. This is the third book in his Teddy Faye series. Teddy, a former CIA agent who’s supposed to be dead, gets called up to find a mole in the Paris office.

Tim Conway’s autobiography, WHAT’S SO FUNNY was an interesting read.

AND THEN THERE WRRE CRUMBS by Eve Calder is the first book in a new cozy mystery series set in Florida. It follows the standard cozy mystery formula but I like the characters. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

An ARC of MONSTER SHE WROTE by Lisa Kroger. This is a compendium of female writers whom the authors consider pioneers in the fields of horror or speculative fiction. It’s broken up into types of fiction and each section has a few pages about each author, ranging from Mary Shelly to the present. I discovered some authors I’d never heard of and a few books that I want to look for but it took me several weeks to get through it since I couldn’t read about more than a few authors at a sitting.

Lesa said...

That copyright does sound confusing, Jeff. I understand when it's published in another country first, but it sounds odd for a U.S. publication. Some other format first, maybe?

Lesa said...

Sandy, I read Sconed to Death, and I agree with you.

What's the Florida setting for And Then There Were Crumbs? Anyplace in particular, or a made up town? I'm always interested in the Florida books after living there for over 18 years.

donna from CT said...

Reading "the Perfect Plan" by Reardon - very dark and creepy - relationship between two brothers and horrible abusive father - depressing but I have to see where it ends up.

Lesa said...

I usually skip to the end of the book to see where it ends up, Donna, when I'm not interested in finishing the book. That's what I did with Gone Girl.

SandyG265 said...

Lesa, And Then There Were Crumbs is set in the town of Coral Cay. As far as I know it’s a made up town

Sharon said...

This week I finished WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS by Barbara O'Neal. It was very good. But then again I haven't read a Barbara O'Neal book I didn't enjoy.

Next I read LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS by Rhys Bowen. It was average. I had a difficult time remembering who all the characters were in the Happy Valley community but in the end it didn't matter much because I wasn't that invested in the story. I think I may just be tired of the series.

Now I am reading THE UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren. I put it on reserve after your review Lesa. I am up to page 200 and I must say it is great fun. Thank you for the recommendation.

Happy Reading!

Lesa said...

Thanks, Sandy. I was curious.

Lesa said...

Sharon, I haven't read When We Were Mermaids yet, but I agree with you. I've liked her books written as both Barbara O'Neal and Barbara Samuel.

I really felt the same way about Rhys Bowen's latest. My sister liked it more than I did.

You're welcome! The Unhoneymooners isn't a book I would normally read, but it was fun, and I really enjoyed it.

Margie Bunting said...

It was a busy reading week again, so I will divide my comments into two pieces.

I think I liked Rhys Bowen's LOVE AMONG THE CHEETAHS better than either Lesa or Sharon, although I agree that it isn't as light-hearted as previous installments. I thought the setting in Kenya was well portrayed and the plot interesting. I did miss Georgie's incompetent maid, Queenie, and other characters back home.

I was disappointed by THE CHELSEA GIRLS, after having liked Fiona Davis's The Masterpiece, although I did finish it and it was a quick read. It impressed me as a potboiler rather than a well-crafted look at how Joseph McCarthy and the House Unamerican Activities Committee ruined the lives of many respected show business professionals. Hazel and Maxine met on a USO tour in which they acted together in stage shows for the troops. Later, Hazel writes a stage play and is called upon to direct it as well, and Maxine takes the lead role. But when the Red Scare intervenes, affecting both women and everyone around them, everything changes. I wanted more character development and more depth.

In THE PRINTED LETTER BOOKSHOP by Katherine Reay, Maddie dies and leaves everything to her estranged niece, including her bookshop. Madeleine, an attorney who abruptly leaves her big-city job, plans to sell the shop and her aunt's house, but she soon finds she enjoys the environment more than she had expected. Janet and Claire, the other shop employees, are eager to hang on to their jobs, as they struggle with problems in their personal lives. But the shop's finances are a huge problem, and its future uncertain. This plot may sound familiar, as there are a lot of similar books, but the formula works here and results in a satisfying read.

MEET ME IN MONACO is a lovely, quick read that is set around Grace Kelly from the time she meets Prince Rainier to the royal wedding and onward. But the focus of the story is Sophie Duval, a creative and passionate young perfumer striving to keep her father's legacy alive in the face of a bleak financial future. Sophie hides Grace in her Cannes shop from a persistent member of the paparazzi, which starts an intermittent relationship with the popular actress who is about to become a princess. The photographer is another major player, a former soldier who would rather be shooting more artistic photographs but must take a lesser job to support his young daughter back home. Of course, it all comes together in the end. I really enjoyed it.

Margie Bunting said...

Part 2:

CHRISTMAS TRIFLE by Heather Haven is the first in the Snow Lake Romantic Suspense series. Bookended by two successive Christmases in the picturesque town of Snow Lake, Nevada, the plot centers on two chefs who give up on their marriage. Cliff has been absent for months, hosting a TV show which resembles "Restaurant Impossible," and his wife, Charly, wants more of a voice with respect to their shared restaurant, Chez Felix (Felix is their cat, and yes, they have a dog named Oscar). Out of spite, after Charly gets Chez Felix in the divorce, Cliff opens his own restaurant, and Charly's sous-chef, Francois leaves Charly's restaurant to work for Cliff. When Francois ultimately ends up dead, a police detective starts to think his murder may be linked to the murder of a pair of tourists months before. Could Cliff be the killer? And did Cliff and Charly divorce too soon? I thoroughly enjoyed this light but delightful story that isn't a romance (I'm not a fan of romances) and isn't really a mystery (it's a subplot) but manages to successfully combine the two. It will be released September 1.

The first in Julia Buckley's Hungarian Tea House Mysteries, DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY, is just as satisfying as her other two series. Hana, her mother and grandmother run a Hungarian tea house that hosts special events that feature tea, as well as delicious sandwiches and desserts. When a woman is poisoned at a Magyar Women event with arsenic in a valuable teacup, Hana's grandmother's tea leaf readings suddenly evoke Hungarian legends about wolves and evil women, and the police detective (last name Wolf) needs help deciphering the testimony of the event's attendees. Buckley writes superior cozies, without over-the-top characters or silliness.

I'm also reading Amor Towles' A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW for my alumni online book club. Usually I like to read a book all the way through, but this one fits the book club's requirements more easily--we are asked to read through each "book" (segment) by a particular date, then discuss. I don't want to read this one too quickly because the detail is to die for. Have any of you read it? I know it's been very popular.

Mark Baker said...

I’m working on the final story in HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER, a collection of stories by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. Of the three, I’m only a fan of Barbara Ross, and it’s her story I’m working on, so I’m excited to finally be there. The other two stories are just okay. Since I don’t know the characters, I found them a bit annoying at times, especially in Leslie’s story.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Ed McBain's THE BIG, BAD CITY because Barry Ergnag reviewed it for FFB on my blog.

Charlotte said...

Hi Lesa, a lot of reading going on, which is wonderful. So many outstanding out there to fill up each and still can’t read them all.
Trusting you are doing well and all the readers on this blog.
So looking to fall. Can’t hardly wait.
Be blessed and hugs.

Glen Davis said...

I read a lot this week:

Risk by Dick Francis; Never read Francis before, but I got ahold of this early-ish effort. Some pretty good tension, despite being ridiculous is some spots.

J is for Judgement by Sue Grafton; Every time I try to read one of these, at some point I start hearing the voice of mediocre comedienne Paula Poundstone, and I can't take it seriously any more.

A Six for the Toff by John Creasey; Saint rip-off The Toff gets sucked into the usual adventures, even though all he wants to do is watch cricket.

Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman; Showcase of 70's dumb-ness. These day it would probably be described as Die Hard in the desert.

Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell; Somebody acts like a fussbudget.

The Fallen by Ace Atkins; A novel length "We're not so different you and I" speech.

Some comic strip collections; For Better or For Worse includes the then controversial storyline where one of Michael's friends comes out. Dave, a totally 90's strip, and not in a good way. A Close to Home collection that pretty funny.

Withering Heights, a cozy that parodies a gothic romance, that got tiresome at the end.

Fiddlers by Ed McBain; McBain, like so many writers lost something in the years between 2005 and 2008. Some of them never got it back.

Lesa said...

Margie, My friend, Kaye says A Gentleman in Moscow is the best book she's read this year. I'm looking forward to The Printed Letter Bookshop and the Julia Buckley. (I love your reviews.)

Lesa said...

Mark, I read the Leslie Meier books for a short time, and tired of the character, so I get it.

Lesa said...

Ah, Kevin. I read a couple Ed McBain's, and always said I was saving them for retirement.

Lesa said...

Now, those are the reviews I missed last week, Glen. I like your pithy comments about books. My sister was a fan of Dick Francis and The Toff. I never really cared much for either of them. I did like For Better or For Worse, but I don't remember that particular storyline.

SandyG265 said...

Glen, I think John Creasey’s books actually predate The Saint so actually The Saint is ripping off Creasey.

Glen Davis said...

Lesa, it's very possible you never read that storyline in FBOFW. It was so controversial at the time that a number of newspapers did not run the storyline.

Lesa said...

You're right, Glen. And, considering the conservative places I lived, it might not have run.

Gram said...

The Labyrinth by Catherine Coulter - FBI series...not as good as some of them. Neon Prey by John Sandford - not too bad. Rereading Mrs. Pollifax Innocent Tourist. and just started Cliff's Edge by Meg Tilly.

Lesa said...

The Prey books are okay, Gram, but I've really learned to like the Virgil Flowers books. He has a new one out in October, Bloody Genius, and I loved that one.

Carol N Wong said...

Too many appointments, had surgery yesterday. I am listening to My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
by Fredrik Backman. I love it but did not at first.
Finished Home Girl, A great book written a lot of heart and realism But I had a time figuring out the British street slang.

Have started Running Away with Sherman. Sherman was rescued by an animal hoarder. Biographical and I have learned about his jobs around the world and Mika his wife and kids ti where he lives in a very isolated part of Amish county, so much so that when a woman sees another woman, she is desperate for conversion, no real stores, just places behind Amish barns.

Lesa said...

Carol, I hope you're recuperating and doing okay following your surgery. I hope the books are helping.