Monday, April 08, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



OK, it's Monday! But also — it's APRIL!!!! This year is movin' along much too fast, and my reading is going much too slow. Yeah — what else is new, right?

So this week I'm trying to get myself back into the reading groove, and I'm doing it with something I'm almost certain to love — one of Rex Stout's classic Nero Wolfe mysteries from the 1950s:



I've read quite a few of the Nero Wolfe series, but this is one I've missed up to now. I'm only a few pages in, but enjoying it so far.

If I manage to finish that one quickly, I've got several books I need to read and review this month. Three likely candidates:


Little Darlings, the debut novel by Melanie Golding
The Invited, a suspense novel by Jennifer McMahon
We Were Killers Once, the latest Brigid Quinn mystery, by Becky Masterman

Hmmm. Just noticed how those covers for The Invited and We Were Killers Once sort of echo each other. Odd. Well, anyway....

Certainly enough to keep me busy. Now if I can just keep all that pesky real-life stuff from sneaking up on my reading, I'll be fine.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely 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, March 22, 2019

Book Beginnings: Run Away


Run Away, by Harlan Coben (Grand Central Publishing, March 2019). This is the book's first line:
Simon sat on a bench in Central Park — in Strawberry Fields, to be more precise — and felt his heart shatter.

About the Book:
Simon Greene's college-age daughter Paige has gone missing. Addicted to drugs and under the control of her abusive boyfriend Aaron, she disappeared and made it clear that she didn't want to be found. 
But alerted by a conversation with a co-worker, Simon learns that Paige has been seen playing guitar in Central Park. He finds her but she's not the girl he remembers and was hoping to find. This new Paige is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly needs help. However, when Simon approaches her to beg her to come home, she runs away. And without really thinking, he follows her into a dangerous world, darker than any he ever knew existed. He feels he must try to protect her and save her from those dangers, but in doing so he puts his own life on the line, along with the lives of the family he loves.

Initial Thoughts:

I've been meaning to read something by Harlan Coben for years now. So when I was offered an advance copy of Run Away, I snapped it right up. And wow, I'm so glad I did. It took me a while to get started on it (too much "real life" stuff getting in the way of my reading), but I'm about halfway through now and loving it. Hoping to finish it up later today. Very happy to have found a new favorite author!

And I hope you're enjoying your current reading, too. Happy Friday, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



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, March 11, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


I've been really bad about blogging this year (or maybe I should say I've been really good at not blogging). Too many "real-life" things going on, these last couple of months. I have been reading, but haven't had much time for writing about it. (Things might be settling down now — fingers crossed!)

In February I finished a couple of books, one new work...


Murder Theory, by Andrew Mayne
(Book #3 in Mayne's The Naturalist series)

and one classic:


O Pioneers!, by Willa Cather
(The first book in her Great Plains Trilogy)

Didn't enjoy Murder Theory as much as I was expecting to, probably because I haven't read the earlier books in the series. But it wasn't terrible. On the other hand, its cover gets my vote as one of the worst I've ever seen.

Fortunately, O Pioneers! turned out to be a glorious read — so all was not lost in February's bookish world.

Right now I've got two books going — The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin, and The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths.




Both are ARCs that I really should have finished last month, but you know how that goes.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely 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, February 22, 2019

Book Beginnings: Barry Lyndon


Barry Lyndon, by William Makepeace Thackeray (first published 1844). Also sometimes called The Luck of Barry Lyndon, or The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon. These are the book's opening lines:
CHAPTER I.  MY PEDIGREE AND FAMILY—UNDERGO THE INFLUENCE OF THE TENDER PASSION
Since the days of Adam, there has been hardly a mischief done in this world but a woman has been at the bottom of it.

About the Book:
"Barry Lyndon" is the fictional autobiography of an adventurer and rogue. Born into the petty Irish gentry, and outmaneuvered in his first love affair, a ruined Barry volunteers for the British army. After seeing service in Germany he deserts and pursues the career of a gambler in the dissolute clubs and courts of Europe. In a determined effort to enter fashionable society, he marries a titled heiress but only to find himself easily outwitted.
Initial Thoughts:

Well, that's certainly a very non-PC way of looking at things, isn't it?

I've been looking around for a 19th Century classic to read for the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge, and this might be it. Barry Lyndon has been on my "must read" list for decades. Loved the Kubrick movie, but somehow I've never gotten around to reading the book. Maybe this could be the year.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



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.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Book Beginnings: The Last Romantics


The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin (William Morrow, February 2019). These are the book's first lines:
Year 2079
At first I believed the girl to be an apparition. A ghost. She rose from the crowd in the auditorium and walked to the microphone.
About the Book:
When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time. 
It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds and forces them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.  (—Publisher's website)
Initial Thoughts:

Haven't started this one yet, so I don't really know what I think of it. But it's an Early Reviewer book from Library Thing, and I've had it for several weeks now — so it's next on my to-read list. I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and I'm hoping this one will help nudge me out of it.

We'll see how that goes.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



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, January 31, 2019

Book Beginnings: O Pioneers!


O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (first published 1913). These are the first lines of Chapter One:
One January day, thirty years ago, the little town of Hanover, anchored on a windy Nebraska tableland, was trying not to be blown away.  A mist of fine snowflakes was curling and eddying about the cluster of low drab buildings huddled on the gray prairie, under a gray sky. 

About the Book:
Alexandra Bergson inherits the family farm when her father dies early. In spite of her brothers’ doubts, her ambitious vision for the land comes to fruition, but the price of success appears to be a small, quiet life. Then the equilibrium of country life is jeopardized by the return of Alexandra’s brother Emil and her childhood confidant, Carl Linstrum. 
O Pioneers! is at once a love letter to Nebraska and the tale of a remarkable heroine who remains resilient in the face of tragedy. (-- Penguin Books website)

Initial Thoughts:

I've tried to read Cather's O Pioneers! many times, but never got much farther than the opening paragraphs. I always found it just a little too — well, slow. Maybe depressing. Just take a look at those first sentences. See what I mean?

But I'm thinking of giving it one more chance this year, for the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge. It's a short book — I should be able to stick with it for the sake of the challenge. Maybe. We'll see....

Even though I've never managed to get all the way through the book, over the years I've bought several copies. The covers can be very seductive.


Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: To-Read List, Latest Additions


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. To read all the rules and link up, just head on over to her blog.

This week's topic is "Latest Additions to My To-Read List" and it's another one that makes me feel a little guilty. Or maybe just overwhelmed. My "To-Read" list is so enormous, it's impossible even to imagine that I could ever read all the books on it. But that's OK — I love making the list almost as much as I love reading the books. (Sometimes maybe more.) So let's take a look and see what we come up with....

Actually, there are a dozen books that have been added to my list pretty recently. Mostly fiction, but starting off with an interesting nonfiction title I found the other day.


The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books, by Edward Wilson-Lee
The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths
Murder Theory (The Naturalist series, #3), by Andrew Mayne



The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin
Light from Other Stars, by Erika Swyler
Old Baggage, by Lissa Evans



The Christie Curse, by Victoria Abbott (first book in her Book Collector Mystery series)
The Editor, by Steven Rowley
The Invited, by Jennifer McMahon



Lock Every Door, by Riley Sager
The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin series, #2), by M.C. Beaton


So that's my "Top Ten" list of twelve books I think I'd like to read. Some old, some not yet published. Enough to keep me occupied for at least a few months if I actually get to them. See anything tempting? Or if you've read any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts.