Thursday, August 08, 2019

What Are You Reading?

Happy Thursday! I missed talking with all of you last Thursday, but I was spending time talking with my Mom and sisters, which was great. We had a wonderful visit.



So, time to catch up. I did go back and read your comments, but it's not the same. What have you been reading this week? I'm reading Ann Mah's The Lost Vintage, about a woman who travels to the family vineyards in Burgundy, and discovers a family secret that leads back to World War II. There have been a number of novels about women in the war years, books that have come out since  The Nightingale. And, so many of them reflect the trauma women experienced, stories that really weren't written until women novelists started telling them.


So, what are you reading this week?


25 comments:

Jeff Meyerson said...

Current reading: LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND HISTORY, volume 7 in Jodi Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's. Also THE KINGS OF LONDON, William Shaw's second Breen and Tozer mystery, set in 1968 London. And THE CASES OF LIEUTENANT TIMOTHY TRANT, the complete collection of Trant stories by Q. Patrick (Richard Wilson Webb & Hugh Wheeler).

This week I read the dystopian GOLDEN STATE by Ben H. Winters, which did remind me at the end of MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE a bit. I liked this one and read it very quickly. In the future, California is now the title place and lying is illegal, with harsh punishment. Our hero is Speculator (they can detect lies) Laszlo Ratesic.

Next it was my first by Garry Disher, the Aussie writer of many police and other crime novels, with his new standalone (so far, at least), UNDER THE COLD BRIGHT LIGHTS, another I raced through in a couple of days. Alan Auhl is a retired Melbourne cop called back to the job to work in the Cold Case Squad, and he and his partners work on several cases. His interesting private life plays a big part in the book as well, which is why I wonder if a series is coming. Good one.

Sharon said...

Lovely picture of you and your family Lesa.

I liked THE LOST VINTAGE a lot.

I finished MEET ME IN MONACO by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb yesterday. The backdrop was Princess Grace's engagement and wedding. She is a very small character in the book. The real story is the romance between perfume designer Sophie Duvall and James Henderson, a British photographer. I enjoyed it very much.

Last night I started THE BOOK CHARMER by Karen Hawkins about Sarah Dove who has books speak to her. So far so good.

Happy Reading!

Lesa said...

Jeff! I'm so glad you liked Under the Cold Bright Lights. I does feel like it might be a series, doesn't it. I hope so.

What do you think about The Kings of London? I never heard of that series until the other day.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Sharon! Glad to know you liked The Lost Vintage!

I have The Book Charmer at home, and need to get to it soon. People are waiting.

SandyG265 said...

I read THE SPIDER HOUSE by Linda Anthony Hill. A group of college age people enlist a pair of psychics to investigate a haunted house full of giant spiders.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM: THE AMELIA ISLAND AFFAIR by M.S. Spencer. Bodies are found on the beach of the National Park and the rangers have to investigate. I was surprised to find out that the setting of the book is a real park.

HEARTWOOD BOX by Ann Aguirre is a teen book set in a small town where people keep disappearing. Of course there is also a mysterious laboratory on the outskirts of town.

AMELIA FANG AND THE BARBARIC BALL by Laura Ellen Anderson was a cute but not very deep book about a group of school age monsters

Jeff Meyerson said...

I've only read the first 10% of THE KINGS OF LONDON so far, so don't know enough, but there is a gruesome crime - a hacked-up body in a house that exploded. I did like the first in the series (SHE'S LEAVING HOME). I did like the spunky young WPC Helen Tozer. Now I see that Shaw has a second series (starting with THE BIRDWATCHER).

Too many books, too little time.

Also, the Breen/Tozer series can be confusing because the British and American titles change each book:

A Song From Dead Lips/She's Leaving Home
A House of Knives/The Kings of London
A Book of Scars/A Song for the Brokenhearted
Sympathy for the Devil/Play With Fire

Lesa said...

Interesting selections, Sandy. The Amelia Island Affair is the one that jumps out at me.

Lesa said...

Why do they do that, Jeff? That's a rhetorical question, not your responsibility to answer. But, I like the British titles better than the American ones.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm reading Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison. Topnotch American West historical about a young woman on her own. Gripping!

Unknown said...

I am reading Superior Death- how did I miss this Nevada Barr book published in 1990? It's like spending time with an old friend. The icy Lake Superior setting is refreshing when it's 90 degrees outside.

Charlotte said...

Hi Lesa, Glad your family came for a visit with you. Can’t beat having family and fur babies. You have both, of course stacks of books to fill up your home. 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😍
Have a blessed weekend.
Hugs ~ Charlotte

I am reading a book by Jenny Weaver, Barry Bennett. Not mysteries.
Finished a short book by Curry Blake, not a mystery.

Mark Baker said...

Last night, I finished up MURDER IN CHINATOWN by Victoria Thompson, which I enjoyed as always. I've still got a long ways to go to catch up on this series.

Today, I'll be diving into TILLING THE TRUTH by Julia Henry, the second in the Garden Squad mysteries.

Margie Bunting said...

I've read all five of Meg Mitchell Moore's books, and they all deliver. THE ISLANDERS takes place on Block Island, where literary sensation Anthony is trying to recover from the disaster of his second book due to a stunning accusation of plagiarism. Joy is a year-round island denizen, running a whoopie pie shop with the help of her 13-year old daughter, but her finances are threatened when a new food truck appears. Lu and her two young sons are summering on the island in a house supplied by her in-laws, while her doctor husband commutes (sporadically) from the mainland. A former attorney, Lu has been pressured to stay home with her sons and plan for a third child . . . but it isn't enough. All three struggle with their demons and ultimately come together to help each other. I found it very satisfying.

I don't read a lot of thrillers because I prefer to read books where the characters develop and there is someone to root for. However, Hank Philippi Ryan's (I won an ARC from the author) THE MURDER LIST redeems itself for me with a twisted, shocking, unexpected (at least by me) ending.

Lesa recommended Heather eEbber's MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACK BIRD CAFE. It has a similar theme to the Ellery Adams Book Retreat mysteries and the books of Sarah Addison Allen, and I thought it acquitted itself well. At the Blackbird Café in small-town Alabama, Zee's fruit pies have always given patrons dreams with messages from their late loved ones. Now that Anna Kate has returned to take over for her grandmother, the pies are not quite what they were, and the town has been flooded with bird watchers enthusiastic over the midnight appearances of the blackbirds. Will Anna Kate leave to pursue medical school, as she had promised her late mother, or will she stay on to keep the cafe's tradition going? She is not welcomed by some because of her mother's history involving a fatal accident, while others want her to stay. At the same time, young widow Natalie and her toddler daughter have also returned to discover that Natalie's domineering mother wants to run their lives. The magical realism makes this story special, and the emotional heft of the plot makes it memorable.

Another of Lesa's recommendations, LIVE AND LET CHAI by Bree Baker, is a charming cozy about Everly Swan (gotta love that name), whose sweet tea shop, Sun, Sand and Tea, is suddenly deserted when a difficult man is poisoned with her tea. I loved the setting and the townspeople, and the cliffhanger ending makes me want to find the next book in the series.

Lesa said...

Patricia, I like a good western historical sometimes, and I've discovered they're now calling westerns with a mystery twist - frontier mysteries. I like those.

Lesa said...

"Unknown" - Nevada Barr has a standalone due out next month - What Rose Forgot. It's not Anna Pigeon, but I like the sound of the main character.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Charlotte!

You're welcome to share the titles of your books if you want. We don't all read mysteries, and I don't read them all the time. If you'd rather not, that's okay, too. Just happy to have you drop in. Hugs!

Lesa said...

Mark, I'd have to read the whole series to catch up. Maybe someday!

Lesa said...

Like you, Margie, I'm not a big thriller reader. I agree. I like to see character development. I agree. That twisted ending in The Murder List came as a surprise to me, too.

I liked the second Bree Baker mystery even more than the first.

Gram said...

I too enjoyed MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACK BIRD CAFE. I just started Jeffrey Deaver's new series The Never Game. Also have book of Joyce Carol Oates' short mysteries? and Beneath the Scarlet Sky. I am also reading one of the Otto Penzler reprints Rocket to the Morgue, but so far not enough Sister Ursula to suit me. I am so happy about him bringing back some of the older books!

Lesa said...

I told everyone about Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe, and I'm the one who hasn't read it yet! I'll get to it, especially since you and Margie liked it, Gram. So many books...

Sam Sattler said...

Coincidentally, I'm reading a book about women in WWII, also. it's the popular "The Lost Sisters of Paris" by Pan Jenoff. I've also got a library copy of "Dragonfly," a similar book by Leila Meacham on my desk. There do see to be a lot of books along this theme lately - all written by women. I'm only 35 pages into "Lost Girls," but it seems to be setting itself up nicely for a thrilling run.

Sam Sattler said...

Make that "Lost Girls." I have no idea where I pulled 'Sisters" from.

Lesa said...

I think maybe the male view of the war has already been written, Sam, and it's the women's turn. I've heard good things about the Jenoff book.

Glen Davis said...

I read a couple of Big Nate collections by Lincoln Peirce.

All My Octobers by Mickey Mantle; some great baseball stories by one of the all time greats.

Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas; it tries to be a YA horror book, but wusses out. Actually ticked me off a little.

Lesa said...

At least the Mickey Mantle book was good, Glen.