Thursday, July 09, 2020

What Are You Reading?

First, how are you doing this week? That's the important question. The next is, of course, what are you reading?

I'm reading the second Movie Palace mystery by Margaret Dumas, Murder in the Balcony. I didn't realize the second and the third were out until a friend mentioned them on her blog. I really liked the first in the series, Murder at the Palace. The books take place in a historic movie theater in San Francisco that shows classic films. Nora Paige is the manager. Not only does she handle the day-to-day running of the theater and supervise the quirky staff, she's dealing now with a realtor who wants to buy up the entire block. She has help from the staff, the ghost of an usherette who died in 1937, and a handsome former crime lord who went straight. I also enjoy the movie reviews posted on a blog called "Movies My Friends Should Watch."

How about you? What are you reading this week?

Take care of yourself!


Gram said...

I really enjoyed the first book too, but I have to wait to read the others until inter-library loans begin again. Right now we are limited to what is in our small town library. In Overdrive I am re-reading a Catherine Coulter FBI book Split Second and I just downloaded After Sundown by Linda Howard and Linda Jones. Did I mention that I ran out of time on Overdrive to finish Ghosts of Harvard, it is very dark at the beginning and I only made it through 4 chapters. I will try to finish it when I can again download it.

Jeff Meyerson said...

You should also check out (if you haven't) Loren Estleman's Vslentino series. The hero is a film historian trying to rescue and preserve old movies before they disappear. He lives in an old movie theater he is renovating. The first book - FRAMES - is about discovering Erich von Stroheim's infamous GREED.

What did I read this week? Just finished C. L. Polk's STORMSONG, the sequel to her award-winning WITCHMARK. I know people have different tastes, but after reading raves on Amazon about how it was better than the first book, I couldn't help but be disappointed. The first book was, in my opinion, a lot stronger. Maybe it was the lead character/narrator, but Miles's sister Dame Grace is just not as interesting to me. Oh well, will have to see if book three wraps it up. I thought this was so so at best, readable but just not very involving.

As mentioned, I have been reading the separately published short stories (surely there will be a collection of them at some point) in Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder/Amish series. The sixth was "In Plain Sight" and it was rather nasty. One more to go.

I'm reading and enjoying Otto Penzler's collection, THE BIG BOOK OF REEL MURDERS, stories that were made into movies. I'm particularly happy he has included so many Cornell Woolrich stories.

Also read METHODS OF MADNESS, a collection of horror stories by Ray Garton I picked up on Kindle somewhere along the way. They could have been shorter, but they were OK.

I am finally starting to feel like I am getting closer to normal. Today marks three weeks since the surgery and I hope by next week at this time that I will be back to myself.

Unknown said...

I adore this series. Charming ghost, good writing, great characters, interesting plots. She can’t write them fast enough. PP, I watch the movies reviewed in the book via my straming service.

Lesa said...

Gram - Since I finished this last night & have the third, if you'd like them when I finish that one, email me at I can send you both of them. I should get to that next one soon.

Lesa said...

You're right, Jeff. It sounds as if I'd like that series by Estleman. I really like these books featuring classic films and theaters.

I'm glad you feel as if you're almost back to normal. Take care of yourself!

Lesa said...

Unknown, I'm really enjoying the series, and I'm keeping track of the movies she recommends. Last night I watched the dance scene with Eleanor Powell from Born to Dance. Magical!

SandyG265 said...

Our library opened for inside pickup and they are doing transfers between branches again so I got six of my holds. This week I read:

THE TIME OF GREEN MAGIC by Hillary McKay. A middle grade book that didn’t live up to it’s potential.

SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION by Kim Davis. An enjoyable cozy mystery featuring a cupcake baker.

THE WEREWOLF DATES THE DEPUTY by Kristen Painter. A paranormal romance where a werewolf and a Valkyrie run afoul of a spell bomb.

Lesa said...

Excellent, Sandy! I'm glad your library opened, and you have some of your holds!

Margie Bunting said...

Both of the books I read this week were for book clubs. I'd never read John Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN so I picked it for the theme of banned books. It's a novella so I was able to shoot through it in record time. From 2000 to 2009 it was ranked in the top 10 most challenged books in America and is no. 12 in the ALA's list of all-time most challenged books--mostly for language and for political reasons. The author was sympathetic to migrant farm workers and critical of big-business interests running farms in CA so he was perceived as being anti-business (and maybe unpatriotic). The story is about George and Lennie, migrant farm workers in Central CA who dreamed about being able to buy their own ranch and work for themselves. They were not related--George started traveling with Lennie when the latter's aunt turned him out. Lennie was huge and could do any strength-related task, but he was mentally disabled and got into trouble by hurting people and animals without knowing it. I enjoyed the author's descriptions of the venue and the simple story with a tragic ending.

I also re-read THE CUCKOO'S CALLING,first in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling). I have read all four books in this terrific series and am looking forward to the fifth in September. The character of Cormoran Strike is compelling. He's a bit (unhappily) overweight, lost part of a leg in Afghanistan, running out of money, and a brilliant investigator. With the help of his temporary secretary Robin, he takes on the case of supermodel Lula Landry, whose death has been ruled a suicide, but some insist she was pushed off the top of a building. The development of the two primary characters is fantastic, and the secondary characters are also fascinating. I also absolutely loved the description of everything and everywhere, which made me feel like I was almost part of the action. To top it off, last night I watched Emma Watson interview Lin-Manuel Miranda on YouTube and Lin mentioned how wonderful this series is--what better endorsement! I don't usually re-read, but I'm glad I did in this case.

Lesa, I just bought the third in Margaret Dumas' series on Kindle because I couldn't get it at the library. Love this series.

Sharon said...

Our library is also doing branch transfers so I picked up 7 books yesterday. Good thing they no longer assess fines if I get a behind reading all these in 21 days :)

This week I finished SOURDOUGH by Robin Sloan. It was a little different for me but I enjoyed it.

I gave up on THE BIG FINISH by Brooke Fossey after 110 pages. Perhaps I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to read this one.

Now I am reading HOW THE PENGUINS SAVED VERONICA by Hazel Prior. My daughter loved it. I am not very far into it yet.

Happy Reading!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

This past week I discovered and zoomed through Randall Silvis' Ryan DeMarco series. Admittedly, this series may not be for everyone and due to some pretty gruesome scenes wouldn't normally be for me. Except. The writing is just so darned good. This from a NetGalley reviewer: "Silvis infuses the story with philosophy, psychology, art, suspense, musical references, relationship goals, and bookish delights . . . Then there’s Silvis’s gorgeous literary prose, which adds a rich texture to the book."

Mark Baker said...

The first was one of the few paranormal cozies I read, and I enjoyed it. Haven't made it to two or three yet either.

I should be finishing up A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP by Abby Collette today. I've mostly enjoyed it, but I found it slower than it needed to be. Hopefully, I will have time to start QUICHE OF DEATH by Mary Lee Ashford today as well.

Lesa said...

Margie, Someday, I need to try The Cuckoo's Calling. I have the feeling I'd like the books.

I'm enjoying Dumas' series so much!

Lesa said...

Sharon, I think you're the second person here to say they gave up on The Big Finish. I'll be interested to see what you think about How the Penguins Saved Veronica.

Lesa said...

Kaye, You have me really curious about Silvis' books. I'm going to have to try one, and see if I like it.

Sending hugs! (Much better day today - so book-filled!)

Lesa said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that about A Deadly Inside Scoop, Mark. Well, darn. I hope you enjoy Ashford's book.

Glen Davis said...

I read one physical book this week:

Misled by Anderson Harp; Ex-Marine goes to Russia, then Alaska. I felt cold the whole time.


Starbuck; A self centered CEO travels back in time to a whaling ship to get his mind right. I was hoping for Battlestar Galactica.

Suspects; Triathlon racing lawyer tries to solve a murder, but only gets it half right.

A Town Divided; Small town lawyer gets involved in a murder case. Luckily the culprit gives himself away.

Lesa said...

Ha! Oh, Glen. My favorite today is Starbuck.