Thursday, July 16, 2020

What Are You Reading?

First, how are you doing this week? What's happening in your state? Is it mandatory you wear a mask in your state or community? Please stay safe. I want all of us in this book circle to be here every week.

I can tell you what is next on my pile, but I haven't started it yet. I have three books to read for Library Journal by Monday. Really no problem, but no time to read from my TBR pile. I have a book called The Detective in the Dooryard: Reflections of a Maine Cop by Timothy Cotton. Maybe you're one of the 304,000+ people (as I am) who "liked" the page for the Bangor Maine Police Department. Timothy Cotton, a detective lieutenant with them, was asked by the police chief to handle their Facebook page. He, along with all of us, discovered he has a gift for humor, warmth, and a touch of sarcasm. He's a recipient of the Erma Bombeck Award for humor. I can't wait to read his stories.

What about you? What are you reading this week?


Jeff Meyerson said...

It's good here. Feeling better (today is four weeks) and despite partial reopening, New York has kept the numbers down so far. A dozen library branches have reopened for grab and go pickup, and as one of them is near us, I am waiting until the books I have had on hold for months come in. (I know a Steven F, Havill book is one.)

Currently reading three books, two short stories - THE BIG BOOK OF REEL MURDERS and Lawrence Block's latest editorial collection, THE DARKLING HALLS OF IVY, set on college campuses, with Joe Lansdale, Reed Farrel Coleman, Ian Rankin, and Owen King among the contributors. So far it is definitely above average.

Also reading (a gift from a friend) Wendy Lesser's survey of SCANDINAVIAN NOIR: In Search of a Mystery. She starts, as one would expect, with Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo's Martin Beck series, and goes from there. I've read a few of Lesser's books and this is definitely worth reading for anyone who reads Henning Mankell or Jo Nesbo or any other Swedish or Norwegian or Danish crime writers.

There are a couple of other things I am dipping into as well, and I just downloaded the newest Michael Connelly book, FAIR WARNING. (Granted, Jack McEvoy is my least favorite of his characters) and the newest Linda Castillo story, "The Pact."

SandyG265 said...

Things are still pretty good in NJ. We released one of the black swallowtail butterflies we’re raising yesterday and will have another swallowtail and a monarch to release shortly. It’s a fun project we can do at home.

This week I read PHANTOM LADY by Christina Lane. It’s a biography of Joan Harrison who went from being Alfred Hitchcock’s secretary to being one of the first female producers in Hollywood.

A BAD DAY FOR SUNSHINE by Darynda Jones. The new sheriff in town has to locate two missing teens while dealing with her past.

THE HAND OF MARY CONSTABLE by Paul Gallico. The Russians use seances to try to turn an American scientist to their side.

A SPRINKLING OF MURDER by Daryl Wood Gerber. A fairly standard cozy mystery with the addition of fairys.

The book by Paul Gallico was the best of the lot.

Lesa said...

I read all of the Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo books, Jeff, so long ago that he was still alive. And, then I guess I just decided that's enough Scandinavian noir for me. I haven't read anything since.

Lawrence Block does tend to put together a better-than-average collection, doesn't he?

I'm so glad you're feeling better & that you have library branches reopening!

Lesa said...

Well, then. I might just bring back A Bad Day for Sunshine without reading it Sandy. It sounds just okay from your comments.

You take care of yourself. I'm glad NJ is doing okay, and you have projects to keep you busy.

Sharon said...

Gov. DeWine fell just short of mandating masks in Ohio during his news conference last night although Franklin County passed a mask law. Wish I could say everyone is following the rules.....we grocery shop once a week (with masks) at 8 am, occasionally get no hold pick up meals and schedule our no holds pickups at the Grove City branch of the Southwest Public Library. My husband is still working from home which is where we are more days than not.

This week I finished HUSBANDS AND OTHER SHARP OBJECTS by Marilyn Simon Rothstein. It is the sequel to LIFT AND SEPARATE. I actually enjoyed it more than the first book.

I gave up on THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY by Natalie Jenner after 73 pages. I just not could not get into it.

Next was HOW THE PENGUINS SAVED VERONICA by Hazel Prior. This was my winner of the week. I just loved the story of crusty Veronica watching a program on penguins and deciding to travel to Antarctica to observe them before deciding to leave the program her millions.

I also read ELIZA STARTS A RUMOR by Jane L. Rosen. This was another quick read like HOW THE PENGUINS SAVED VERONICA. I liked the characters and the writing style but the themes were a little difficult like infidelity, agoraphobia, and #metoo. Despite the seriousness of it all, I enjoyed it. There was enough lightness in it to overcome what could have been a depressing read.

Now I am about a third of the way through THE SUMMER HOUSE by Lauren K. Denton. I enjoy her gentle Southern reads. This one is good so far.

Take care and happy reading!

Lesa said...

Our state isn't there, either, Sharon, with the masks, although we have a city order from our mayor, renewable in 7 days. I only go to the grocery store in the senior hour, the post office, bank drive-thru, and work. That's it. And, I wear a mask!

I need to read How the Penguins Saved Veronica. I have a copy in a pile at home. It sounds fun.

I'm on hold for The Jane Austen Society. I'll give it a chance when it comes in.

Margie Bunting said...

I can't remember whether masks are mandated for all of California, but they should be. I definitely wear one when I go to the store, post office, bank, etc., and I am happy to see people wearing them. I just ordered two more masks--in tropical themes--from my tailor.

In A CALL FOR KELP, the latest in the Seaside Café Mysteries, Everly Swan's aunts are hosting Mitzi Calgon, a retired star of swashbuckling movies who will be narrating a documentary about their efforts to save endangered honeybees. When Mitzi ends up dead before the film can be made, Everly and her detective friend Grady team up to identify the culprit out of a plethora of possible suspects. To me, the real star of this series is the picturesque beachside town of Charm, North Carolina, and its inhabitants, along with Everly's iced tea shop and her aunts' honeybee products store. I'll be looking for the next installment in December. Take a look at Lesa's review for more details.

In THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett, Desiree and Stella are identical twins living in the tiny town of Mallard, LA among a community of light-skinned African Americans. They leave town together as teenagers when their single mother can't afford to keep them in school and they are unhappy with their employment. But when Stella leaves Desiree later and isn't heard from for years, her family --including Desiree--doesn't understand. Desiree returns to Mallard with her dark-skinned daughter, fleeing her abusive husband, while Stella seeks happiness as a member of a white community and mother of a light-skinned daughter and keeps her secret even from her white husband. This is an engaging story about the twins, each with her own daughter, career, male companions, aspirations, and disappointments.

500 MILES FROM YOU is another charming book from the reliable Jenny Colgan. Lissa is a nurse in London's inner city who is suffering PTSD from witnessing a hit-and-run that killed a 15-year-old boy she knew. She is ordered to switch jobs for 3 months with Cormac, a nurse in rural Scotland, and to disconnect from social media to give her a chance to relax and heal. Neither Lissa nor Cormac look forward to the switch, both feeling like a fish out of water in their unfamiliar new surroundings. Colgan is expert at describing each of the venues, finding both the uncomfortable (to a new resident) and the high points, including lots of quirky characters. Lissa and Cormac reluctantly strike up an email correspondence and end up closer than either expected. Colgan is my go-to for comfort reads.

CindyD said...

Masks are required in Washington state and most people wear them. Many libraries are open for curbside pickup but ours isn't because it is moving - closer to us, which will be nice, although it is frustratingly small.
I just finished HER LAST FLIGHT by Beatrice Williams. I really liked it! I thought she did a good job of reimagining what might have happened to Amelia Earhart.

Lesa said...

You're right, Margie. Charm is really the star of that series, and I really enjoy the books.

Hmmm. I'll have to think about that. Go-to for comfort reads? I'm not sure for me.

Lesa said...

Oh, Cindy. You might enjoy Poisoned Pen's interview with Beatriz Williams. You can find it on YouTube -

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Boone has become a model of safe mask wearing and I am so proud. And I have to say, it's in part due to a FB page someone started a couple weeks ago which already has 3,000 members. Pro-Mask Businesses of the High Country is a moderated site (no politics/no religion) where businesses are telling us what their mask protocol is and members are sharing stories (the good and the bad) with their experiences with businesses in The High Country. The people who are trying to cause trouble, for the most part, are second home owners who are here for the summer and "think" they don't have to abide by the rules. Brave businesses are TELLING them to leave. I am proud of our little community.

Because we were without internet for a week, I did a lot of reading. Some really good, some just okay, and several books I was looking forward to, but ended up putting aside (those are not on the list).

The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris by Evie Gaughan
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (loved this)
Alone Time by Stephanie Rosenbloom
A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore
Do Not Go Gentle, Go to Paris by Gail Schilling (I wasn't all that carried away with the writing, but for someone considering a solo trip to say, Paris, it had some interesting points)
Riddle Island by Steve Hamilton (short, quick read - I love Steve Hamilton's writing)
The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little (ARC)
The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley (ARC)
Summer at Hope Haven by Kristin Harper (ARC)

Happy Thursday!!

Mark Baker said...

I've added your book to my wishlist at Amazon. (I use that as a place to hold all books I'm interested in to browse and buy later from anywhere.) Let us know how it is when you get to it.

Yesterday, I finished up DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, the first in the Connor Westphal series by Penny Warner. I read this book roughly 20 years ago, but hope this time to move on to the rest of the series. I enjoyed it as much as I remember enjoying it before. (I read it so long ago I don't have any review for it at all. Shocking!) If you aren't familiar with the series, Connor is deaf, and she is running a weekend newspaper in the California Gold Country. Really well done.

Today, I will be diving in to FROM BEER TO ETERNITY, the first in Sherry Harris's new series. I'm really looking forward to it.

Lesa said...

Kaye I love your combination of crime fiction and Paris and more Paris. I might have to look at Do Not Go Gentle, Go to Paris. I never know. I might go by myself sometime.

Good for Boone! Go Boone!

Lesa said...

As you said, Mark, it's been years since I read Penny Warner's series, and even then it was sort of scattershot. I read a book here and there.

I'm going to read Sherry Harris' book, too. I hope you let us know what you think.

Glen Davis said...

Masks are mandated in the entire state of California, and the governor just banned indoor dining, even in a county with no cases. A lot of people think it's a hoax, or that it started out real, but the response has become something else. Unfortunately, thanks to Newsom and some others, they can make a strong case.

I read mostly e-books:

Not quite Forgotten; A guy that was a POW in Vietnam since 1971 comes back to the USA. Affecting.

Find My Brother; An artist/ former SAS guy gets embroiled in fracking protest in England that russia is backing. He gets taken to Russia, and escapes with the brother. Getting out of Russia seemed way too easy.

How Do You Deal With A Dead Girl; a horror story where I rooted for the paranormal.

The Reflecting Pool; A female Secret Service Agent is found drowned in the Reflecting Pool. All the characters were unlikable.

Bury The Hatchet; Typical William W. Johnstone western.

The Sulu Seas Murder; Captain Hugh North goes to the tropics, and finds himself hunting for pearls and murderers. An ingenious death trap.

Lesa said...

I think it's all a big mess, Glen. I don't know what's going to happen (sigh).

Anyway, I read your annotations. Forgotten, I see, was affecting. That and The Sulu Seas Murder sound as if they were the best of the week. I liked the "horror story where I rooted for the paranormal". I bet that didn't work out as you hoped.

Thank you for your weekly notes. I really appreciate them!

Gram said...

Thank you all. I just put 6 new books on my wish list...two I can get on Overdrive!
Yes, we all have to wear masks here too.

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Gram. I'm happy when we can all share our reading and enable each other's TBR piles. (smile)

Patricia Stoltey said...

The governor of Colorado just made mask wearing required in public inside places as of midnight last night with some additions and exceptions. It was a good thing because our numbers are going up and there are so many people who think wearing a mask is a political statement instead of common sense protection for self and others.

I'm currently reading an advance copy of Hanging Falls by Margaret Mizushima (from Net Galley). I love this k-9 series so much.

Sandie Herron said...

Masks aren't mandatory in Florida, but at least the city of Sarasota requires them. My hubby does our grocery shopping, and he says that half the people in the store are mask-less. However, that will change with Publix now requiring all to wear masks. I'm so happy to see corporate America responding with mask rules in so many stores. It's the only way to bring the # of cases down. Unfortunately Florida hit the all time high for any state in # of cases last week - over 15,000 in one day!

I'm still reading the White House Chef series by Julie Hyzy, but I'm on book 7 of 9 now. Still as good as I remember. It's very character driven yet has a great plot, too. You'd think it would be very "foodie" because of the concept, but it's not, although there are recipes included. Perhaps because I'm listening to the audio versions, I haven't seen them.

Lesa said...

My grocery store will require them effective Monday, Sandie. I already go in the senior hour, and almost everyone wears them then anyways. I'm happy corporate America is stepping in to try to take care of us, even if it is because it's their business they want to keep afloat. Good for them.

No, they're not too foodie, Sandie. I agree. I've read all of them. And, if you see this, watch for some of your posts this weekend! Thank you, again!

Sandie Herron said...

Will do!

Lesa said...

Oh, I read Hanging Falls, Patricia. I enjoy that series, too.

You're right. I wish our governor would make masks mandatory. Our mayor did, but that doesn't help in the county, only the city.

katstev said...

Hi Lesa, In North Carolina, the governor has mandated mask wearing anytime you're around other people. However, not everyone is abiding by this and there is no penalty for not wearing one. If for no other reason, you should do it to protect others.
I am currently reading Cajun Justice by James Patterson and How Happiness Happens by Max Lucado. On audio, I am listening to The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs.

Lesa said...

Oh, Katstev! I'm waiting for a copy of The Lost and Found Bookshop at the library.

I agree. You should wear a mask to protect others.