Thursday, October 03, 2019

What Are You Reading?

Did you have a good reading week? I hope so. If not, I hope it was because you were busy, in a good

I'm reading D.M. Quincy's Dec. 10 release, Murder at the Opera. It's the third Atlas Catesby mystery, set in Regency London. I love the adventurer Atlas Catesby and the people he's surrounded by in this series. Quincy does a wonderful job with the atmosphere and the customs in society at the time.

I'm also reading Leah Price's nonfiction book, What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading. Slow-going with that one, no matter how much I'm interested in the subject. I've read less than 50 pages.

What are you reading this week? Please tell us!


Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I'm reading The Captain's Verses by Pablo Neruda. They are poems, and the book is set up with Spanish on the left page, English translation on the right page. I'm reading it because 1) I love poetry and 2) I'm learning Spanish. It's an excellent way to use what you know and learn new vocabulary in a context that is more interesting than just a grammar lesson.

Apart from that, I'm a mystery lover, and I've been reading the The Tell Me You Are . . . series by David Hagerty, based in Chicago. Really interesting series.

Jeff Meyerson said...

As happens when you are reading several books at the same time, they all came to an end almost at once, and I finished four books in the last two days.

Richard Russo's academic comedy STRAIGHT MAN was recommended by friends, and I'm glad I read it.

Dave Barry, Adam Mansbach & Alan Zweibel's A FIELD GUIDE TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE. I've read pretty much everything (and that is a lot) that Dave has written, but this is just not in the same arena as his BOOK OF BAD SONGS (a classic) or DAVE BARRY TURNS 40. Disappointing.

Crippen & Landru Publishers is celebrating their 25th Anniversary publishing quality collections of short mystery stories by some of the top people in the field, both currently writing and historically important (in their 'Lost Classics' series). I have bought and read every one of their 100+ books, and just read and enjoyed SILVER BULLETS, a 25th Anniversary anthology. I'd only read one of these stories previously. Definitely recommended.

Lastly, I raced through the last 150 or so pages of Dervla McTiernan's first, THE RUIN, set in Galway and featuring Sgt. Cormac Reilly. Excellent first novel and I already got her second at the library yesterday.

I also got, and started, SARAH JANE by the great James Sallis, which I know you already read. He can pack more into 200 spare pages than other authors do in 500.

Gram said...

I tried to finish The Testaments but just could not do it. I couldn't get interested in the characters and it was confusing as to who was narrating each section. I'm reading The Nature of Life and Death - Everybody leaves a Trace by Patricia Wiltshire...a book about spore and pollens, etc. that help find killers.

Lesa said...


What a wonderful way to study Spanish.

I've never heard of the Tell Me Who You Are series.

Lesa said...

Jeff, I've picked up The Ruin, but it might be a while until I get around to it. Margie's the one who recommended it last week, right? I didn't go back to look, but I know one of you suggested it, which is why I picked it up.

I like the sound of SILVER BULLETS. I've been reading more anthologies lately. Maybe your influence?

Lesa said...

Good morning, Gram! Interesting nonfiction selection. I'm sorry about The Testaments, but at least you didn't pick it up on my recommendation. (smile)

SandyG265 said...

I read IMMORTAL BORN by Lynsay Sands. This series is getting too predictable and she spends too much time explaining immortals in each book.

An ARC of THE CHEESY STEAK BURGER MURDER by Rosie A Point. This is the sixth and final book in her Burger Murder series. A quick read that wrapped up the ongoing storyline of the series.

An ARC of DEATH’S DAUGHTER by L.A. McGinnis. This is a paranormal romance series with an ongoing storyline. The Norse Gods are on Earth and are fighting the God of Chaos who wants to destroy everything

Lesa said...

Sandy, You always find interesting books I've never heard of. Not Lynsay Sands. I've heard of her. But, I never heard of that Burger Murder series. And, you must have enjoyed it because you finished the series.

Sharon said...

A new D.M. Quincy! I was beginning to wonder if there would be another....

This was an up and down reading week for me. I made it to page 88 of DRAWING HOME by Jamie Brenner before deciding it just wasn't going to hold my interest until the end. From the reviews in blogland, I am in the minority.

Then I read THE WINEMAKER'S WIFE by Kristen Harmel. My daughter recommended it. I did not love it as much as she did. Perhaps I am burned out on the WWII historical fiction but mostly I was disappointed in the lack of depth of Ines' storyline once she left the winery. For me this might have been better if the present day storyline and been eliminated.

Now I am reading THE SISTERS OF SUMMIT AVENUE by Lynn Cullen. I am enjoying it very much. It takes place during the depression. The younger sister is married but her husband is afflicted with the sleeping sickness so she is trying to eke out an existence on her own with 4 small children. The older sister works as a Betty for Betty Crocker in Minneapolis. I must admit I am fascinated by this part of the story. Despite the depressing time setting, all the characters are interesting and I can't wait to finish the last 100 pages.

Sorry to be long winded but back to the did not finish. I once read somewhere that you should only give a book as many pages as your age and if it hasn't drawn you in, you should cut it. I went over that with the Brenner book but actually came close to calling it at page number 66 which is closer to my age (62). Anyone else know about the page/age thing?

Happy Reading!

Margie Bunting said...

No, Lesa, I wasn't the one who recommended The Ruin, but it sounds interesting. And I am frustrated because I've been trying to place the new DM Quincy on hold, but neither library has it in the catalog yet.

In THE GLASS OCEAN, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White write seamlessly together about three characters surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. Two are on the Lusitania's last voyage--a young married socialite pining for another man, and the sister of a con-woman, yearning to go straight. The third is an author who, in 2013, is desperately searching for an idea for her second book. When she meets the son of a Lusitania passenger who was involved in the lives of the two previously mentioned women, she needs his help to unearth previously unknown information about his father's history. It is a complex story beautifully told in chapters alternating among the three women. This is the second collaboration for "Team W," and I just won an ARC of their third, due out in January 2020.

Leslie Karst's Sally Solari Mysteries are quick reads with interesting characters, set in the beach town of Santa Cruz, CA (about 45 minutes south of where I live in San Jose). In MURDER FROM SCRATCH, Sally is a chef and owner of the Gaughin restaurant. In this third in the series, her father tells her that her cousin, a blind 20-year-old, has just lost her mother to a drug overdose and she somewhat reluctantly agrees to take Evelyn (whom she hasn't seen in years) in until Evelyn feels she is ready to return to the house where she discovered her mother's body. The two become friends, and both become suspicious that the death was not a suicide but something much more insidious. Sally goes a bit further than an amateur sleuth should, of course, but I found the story light and entertaining.

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT by Vicki Delany is the first Christmas-themed book of the season for me. Rudolph is a year-round Christmas town, and Merry is the proprietor of Mrs. Claus's Treasures. The action centers around the reunion of Merry's mother's college friends after a 40-year absence, just before Thanksgiving, which turns out to be not such a great idea. The women snipe at each other constantly, until one of them succumbs to a peanut allergy when her Epipen cannot be found. A secondary plot features a town newcomer's campaign to supplant Merry's father as the town's Santa Claus (sacrilege!). Delany's writing is sharp, the plot is engaging (I love the fact that Merry's mother is quick to wash her hands of all of her former friends), and what's not to love about a Christmas town? It put me in a holiday mood.

In Uzma Jalalladin's AYESHA AT LAST, Khalid is a very conservative Muslim 26-year-old who sports a long beard and wears loose robes to his job at a marketing company. Ayesha longs to be a poet but has a fledgling career as a substitute teacher. Neither really understands the other, even though it is clear they are made for each other. In the meantime, marriages are being arranged by their parents, Ayesha subs for her younger, prettier cousin in a meeting at the mosque, and a case of mistaken identity ensues. You might guess that this is another book with parallels to Pride and Prejudice, but it is done very well. The story is fun (though maddening at times), the characters evolve, and I had a great time reading it.

Lesa said...

Yes, Sharon. A new D.M. Quincy. I think she told me earlier this year that she signed a contract for a couple more in the series. Yay!

Oh, I know about the pages/age thing, but that's not how I remember it. I remember it as take your age, subtract from 100, and that's how many you should read, because time's getting shorter. (smile) So, you and I are 62. We end up with 38. We only have to read 38 pages in a book, and then can discard it. And, honestly? Sometimes that's pushing it for me. Unless someone says hang in there, I usually give it a couple chapters and quit.

I understand the WWII burnout. I think that's one reason I enjoyed Ryan's book - WWI, and it wasn't a domestic novel.

Lesa said...

Margie, I think I have almost all of those books on TBR piles someplace, all except Ayesha at Last.

I'm sorry about the D.M. Quincy. Honestly? We won't order it for my library until next month, either. You'll just have to keep checking with your libraries. I just was excited to have it, and wanted to share what I was reading.

Should I tell you that Julia Spencer-Fleming has a new Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne coming out in April? Yes, I should because if you haven't read this series, you might want to check it out. It gives you time to catch up. You probably have read them, though. I told some at her publisher's that she was Louise Penny before Louise was, sweeping all the awards. Don't even attempt to place this on hold yet. Way too early for libraries, but I told librarians about it on Tuesday in an online conference.

donna from CT said...

Almost finished Karin Slaughter's latest - The Last Widow - her books are always good - fast read. I've been waiting for Julia Spencer-Fleming's latest - if you see her tell her she has to write faster!

Lesa said...

Ah, Donna. Julia had family issues for a few years, and her husband died. I'm sure she knows how we all feel about this series. She did ask if she could do a guest blog, so, hopefully, I'll have one here before release date.

Glen Davis said...

I read:

Murder for Christmas by Agatha Christie; Hercule Poirot solves a brutal murder in a British estate at yuletide. Strangely, Poirot never mentions his little gray cells.

Poisoner in Chief by Stephen Kentzer, a sort of biography of a guy who was in in charge of various MK programs for the CIA.

I Know You Know by Gilly MacMillan; A psychological Thriller about a guy who makes a podcast about a long ago child killing. Very British, and kind of lame.

Understrike by John Gardner; One of the Boysie Oakes series where the cowardly spy gets a double.

Trained to Hunt by Simon Gervais; 80's style Men's Adventure series, as Pierce Hunt goes all over the world killing bad guys while bad guys try to kill his loved ones in his own hometown.

Sea Dogs and the Secret of the Gold Medallion by Susan Lyons; A kids book where dogs who walk on two legs (and a cat) fight pirates and rescue royalty.

donna from CT said...

Lisa - OMG I had no idea her husband died. So sorry to hear that. I enjoyed all of her books and couldn't understand why there was such a long delay.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Had no idea about Julia Spencer-Fleming's husband. We've been waiting years for the next book.

Margie Bunting said...

Lesa, I've read at least 5 of Julia Spencer-Fleming's books and already had her April 2020 book on my TBR list. But I think there are quite a few that I haven't read, and I need to catch up. I did know about her husband, as I read a blog where she is a participant.

Nann said...

My husband and I love Julia S-F's books. (My husband knew her when she was in law school at the University of Southern Maine.) Thanks for the tip about her new book.

As for my reading: I just finished KINGDOMTIDE by Rye Curtis. (Publication January, 2020.) It's about a plane crash and rescue in Montanta -- but, oh, boy, does he take it in a different direction.

Lesa said...

Glen, I don't think I ever read Murder for Christmas. Agatha Christie wrote so many that I know I never read all of them.

Lesa said...

I didn't mean to spring it on everyone when I mentioned that Julia Spencer-Fleming's husband had died. I just wanted to let you all know why there was such a gap between books.

Lesa said...

Well, Nann. It's so good when a book surprises us with the unexpected turn.

Mark Baker said...

I completely forgot to stop by today. I forgot it was Thursday, to be honest. It's been a week.

Anyway, I finished Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs yesterday. It's the first in a new series from this middle grade author, and it was lots of fun.

Today, I'm working on Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinlay. It's a little slow to get going, but I'm enjoying it overall.

Lesa said...

Ah, beat you to that one, Mark. I've read Read It and Weep.

Glad you stopped by, though. Anytime!

Linnie Flores said...

I went Sci Fi this week with Ted Neill's Reaper Moon, my guilty pleasure is post apocalyptic books and movies, shows ect. Neill is a super writer and I recommend him!