Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Books Read in 2024

Cumulative Reading List

Here's where I'll be tracking my reading in 2024. I used to aim for 50 books a year, but for 2024 I'm just hoping to do better than the dozen books I read last year. 

JANUARY

1. City of Glass (New York Trilogy, Book 1). Paul Auster (1985; fiction / mystery; 203 pages) 
2. Ghosts (New York Trilogy, Book 2). Paul Auster (1986; fiction / mystery; 100 pages) 
3. The Locked Room (New York Trilogy, Book 3). Paul Auster (1986; fiction / mystery; 179 pages) 
4. Heads You Lose (Inspector Cockrill #1). Christianna Brand (1941; fiction / mystery; 196 pages) 



FEBRUARY

5. Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot #8). Agatha Christie (1932; fiction / mystery; 288 pages) 
6. World's Fair. E.L. Doctorow (1985; fiction / historical fiction) (reading now)
7. The Brandons (Barsetshire #7). Angela Thirkell (1939; fiction) (reading now)

.......

MARCH
.......

APRIL
.......

MAY
.......

JUNE
.......

JULY
.......

AUGUST
.......

SEPTEMBER
.......

OCTOBER
.......

NOVEMBER
.......

DECEMBER
.......


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Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Books Read in 2023

Cumulative Reading List


Here's where I'll be tracking my reading in 2023. I'm getting a late start with the list, and didn't manage to do any reading in January or February. But my goal for 2023 is a lot lower than most years. If I read a book or two a month during the rest of this year, I'll be satisfied. 


MARCH

1. High Rising (Barsetshire #1). Angela Thirkell (1933; fiction)

APRIL

2. Wild Strawberries (Barsetshire #2). Angela Thirkell (1934; fiction) 
3. Bramton Wick. Elizabeth Fair (1952; fiction) 

MAY

4. The Windsors at War: The King, His Brother, and a Family Divided. Alexander Larman (2023; nonfiction / history)

JUNE

5. Landscape in Sunlight. Elizabeth Fair (1953; fiction) 

JULY

6. Death Comes to Marlow (Marlow Murder Club #2). Robert Thorogood (2023; fiction / mystery)

AUGUST

7. Looking Glass Sound. Catriona Ward (2023; fiction / horror) 

SEPTEMBER

8. The Heiress. Rachel Hawkins (2024; fiction / thriller) 

OCTOBER

9. The Messy Lives of Book People. Phaedra Patrick (2022; fiction / women's fiction / adult fantasy) 
10. The Love Story of Missy Carmichael. Beth Morrey (2020; fiction / women's fiction)

NOVEMBER

11. I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died (Emily Dickinson Mystery #2). Amanda Flower (2023; fiction / mystery / historical fiction) 

DECEMBER

12. When You Are Engulfed in Flames. David Sedaris (2008; nonfiction / humor / essays) 
13. Nothing to Be Frightened Of. Julian Barnes (2008; nonfiction / memoir / essays) (reading now)


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Monday, December 12, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

I have no idea what happened to the last month or so. Time flies, right? But I know what's happened to the last couple of weeks — for me, anyway. I came down with COVID right after Thanksgiving and I've been pretty wiped out ever since. I think I might be on the mend now, but I don't wanna speak too soon. I thought I was on the mend last week, too — and then, the dreaded rebound set in. So at the moment I'm in wait-and-see mode, with fingers crossed. 

But even with the brain fog, I've managed to finish a few books, so far this month....

Gambit
(Nero Wolfe #37)
by Rex Stout (pub. 1962)

(21st book in the Pendergast series)
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(expected pub. - Jan. 2023)


(Jeremy Logan #2)
by Lincoln Child (pub. 2008)

Those are by three of my favorite authors — I expected them to be entertaining, and they didn't disappoint. 

Not sure what's on the list for the rest of December, but at the moment I'm reading a classic bit of humor by another of my favorite writers. Because, right now, I could definitely use a few laughs....


by Will Cuppy
(first pub. 1931)


Happy reading, everyone — and have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 

Friday, November 04, 2022

Book Beginnings: The Cloisters


The Cloisters
by Katy Hays
Atria Books, November 2022


First sentence
Death always visited me in August. 
 
About the Book

Description from GoodReads:
 

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs. 

 

Initial Thoughts

I've only visited the Cloisters Museum once, but it was an amazing experience, and I'd love to go back someday. And I've always been interested in tarot cards and their history. So The Cloisters sounds like it could be just the book for me! Haven't actually started it yet, but that first sentence is something of a grabber, so I have high hopes. 


Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Monday, October 03, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


September seems to have disappeared while I wasn't really paying attention. But that's OK — it's never been one of my favorite months, even though it's my birthday month. Or maybe BECAUSE it's my birthday month. Anyhoo, I find it's suddenly October, a much nicer month (imho). 

I don't think I posted a reading update during September, so here's what I read last month:

by Melissa Dassori

by Lauren Owen

by Megan Goldin

by Laurie R. King

And here's what I'm reading right now:


Late Harvest Havoc
by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen


by Andrew Mayne

I haven't been posting any reviews here on the blog this year, and I regret that. I like to say at least a few words about everything I read, so in the future I can go back and see what I thought about the books. Because, you know, the memory isn't getting any better as the years melt away. So, I'm hoping to get a few reviews up this week. At least, that's the plan right now. 

Happy reading, everyone — and have a great week!



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Beginnings: Stay Awake


Stay Awake
by Megan Goldin
St. Martin's Press, August 2022


Opening Lines
Wednesday 2:42 A.M. 
Starbursts blink from streetlights like they're sharing a secret as I wake to find myself slumped in the back of a cab, without any recollection of how I got here, or where I'm going. 
 
About the Book

Description from GoodReads:
 

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently. 

 

Initial Thoughts

I was attracted to Stay Awake because that storyline reminded me a bit of the movie "Memento" (2000, Directed by Christopher Nolan), which was about a man with short-term memory loss trying to investigate his wife's death. I enjoyed the movie, but I'm happy to report that beyond that basic similar plot device, the stories in the book and film are (thankfully) completely different. 

Following the thoughts and actions of a central character who keeps forgetting what happened to her just a few paragraphs back is challenging. It's an interesting exercise that works sometimes, but sometimes just becomes irritating. 

I'm hoping to stay interested enough in this one to finish it, since I've started and abandoned several other books recently. And I really do hate to keep adding books to that "Did Not Finish" pile. 

Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Thursday, September 01, 2022

Book Beginnings: Small Angels


Small Angels
by Lauren Owen
Random House, August 2022


Opening Sentence
Tell it to the trees.

 

About the Book
Description from NetGalley: 
Lucia and her sisters grew up on the edge of Mockbeggar Woods. They knew it well—its danger, but also its beauty. As a lonely teenager, Kate was drawn to these sisters, who were unlike anyone she’d ever met. But when they brought her into the woods, something dark was awakened, and Kate has never been able to escape the terrible truth of what happened there. 
Chloe has been planning her dream wedding for months. She has the dress, the flowers, and the perfect venue: Small Angels, a charming old church set alongside dense, green woods in the village that her fiancΓ©, Sam, and his sister, Kate, grew up in. But days before the ceremony, Chloe starts to learn of unsettling stories about Small Angels and Mockbeggar Woods. And worse, she begins to see, smell, and hear things that couldn’t possibly be real. 
Now, Kate is returning home for the first time in years—for Sam and Chloe’s wedding. But the woods are stirring again, and Kate must reconnect with Lucia, her first love, to protect Chloe, the village, and herself. An unforgettable novel about the memories that hold us back and those that show us the way forward, this is storytelling at its most magical. 

 

Initial Thoughts

When I read that opening, I couldn't help thinking of the old phrase, "Tell it to the Marines!" Maybe it's all those World War II movies I watched as a kid. 

And no, I wasn't around during World War II. (Well, almost but not quite.)

Not that there would be anything wrong with that. 

I just watch a lot of old movies.

But back to Small Angels. I'm about three-quarters of the way through the book, and it seems like I've been reading it forever. It's not that I haven't been enjoying it, but I do think it's much too long. Hoping to finish it up tonight, although it's one of those books you might not want to read at bedtime. 


Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!


Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday. As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.