I read 5 books last month…

It’s December 1 and the first Monday of the month.
That means this post is a list of the books I read in November.
There were five.

retribution

This is the seventh in a series about detective Carol Jordan and Tony Hill.  I have not read the other six and I think  if I had I would have not been so frustrated with this one.  I liked it…it’s a good story.  A serial killer is doing his thing and taunting Jordan and Hill.  They had put him in prison for life but somehow he has escaped maximum security. That part of the story is pretty straight forward mystery.  But there is a Carol and Tony back story that kept being alluded to that made me want to know more and how it was shaping this story.  It was a good book and I liked it but that one thing bugged me.

let's just say

This was a fun fast read.  Diane Keaton, in all her eccentricities, seems like a normal person.  Someone it would be nice to know.  Lunch could turn into an adventure.  She talks about her kids like any mother does.  She tells funny stories about herself and acknowledges that she was never one to follow the crowd.  The bits about aging were so funny to me.  I guess because I could relate…even if I am not exactly eccentric…just a bit ditsy in my thinking.  It’s an easy afternoon read and women of a certain age will recognize themselves in the pages.

hounded

I have read a book or two by David Rosenfelt and really like his style.  There is lots of humor and realness to his characters.  Andy Carpenter is a lawyer that is unspeakably rich due to an early case and now he doesn’t have to work and doesn’t want to but gets pulled into legal battles because he likes people…for the most part…there are some he likes not much.  This time a good friend of his, police detective Pete Stanton, calls him for help.  Pete is being framed for the murder of an ex-con that Pete has mentored.  The murdered man has a young son and Pete asks Andy to take him in so he won’t go into the child welfare system.  Then Andy becomes Pete’s defense lawyer and surrogate dad to the boy.  The writing is quick-witted and sentimental.  I really liked the book.

sight

I have read several Iris Johansen books and they are always good.  This one she wrote with her son, Roy, and is no exception.  Kendra Michaels was blind until a radical new surgery gave her sight.  Now she is a music therapist and is sometimes called on by the FBI and CIA to help solve the unsolvable.  This is because she has extraordinary power of observation with the ability to see what other people don’t.  Not in a mystical sense but more of an awareness of the ordinary misplaced.  She is called into a case that has a serial killer recreating murders that she solved in the past.  He is doing in a series of steps that will lead to his ultimate victim…her.  I really liked this book.  I could not put it down and the killer was a shock.  I had no clue…I thought I knew but I was so wrong.

girls

Anne Rivers Siddons is a favorite author of mine.  She doesn’t write big splashy exciting novels.  Her books are about people you could know and love.  They are real and honest.  In this book the girls of August were four friends from the days when their husbands were in medical school.  Every August they went somewhere for a week of just the girls kind of stuff.  A few years ago one of them died and the weeks at the beach stopped.  But then the husband of the dead friend remarried and it is decided there will be another week for the girls of August…three of the original four and one newbie.  Each of them comes to the beach house with changes happening in their lives that the others don’t know about.  There is laughter and tempers flare, feelings are hurt and tears are shed.  As with all Siddons book there is a happy if somewhat bittersweet ending.  Worth reading.

So that’s it.

Click here and see what others are reading.

Click here and see what others are reading.

July books were good/not so good…

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It’s the last Monday of July and here are the books I read this month:

all

I liked this book.
It was an easy read about an uneasy subject, drug addiction.
A young working woman, married with a child, is overwhelmed
and turns to prescription pain medicine to help her cope.
Jennifer Weiner writes good easy read books that are interesting.

days

I can’t say I liked this book but I didn’t dislike it.
It was ok.
Last book in a series about  a 92-year-old woman who was born male.
Maybe if I had read the other books this one would have meant more.
I think because the characters are all from previous books
they aren’t well defined here.
At least, to me, it seemed a lot was alluded to that happened in the past
and it was a bit hard to follow.

strange

This is another book that has a main character, Bill, who has been in other books.
But this book stands on its own and I did like it.  I really liked Bill…he seemed real.
Bill was a police officer and is now a private detective.
He is married and has a daughter.
An old girlfriend calls him asking for help.
Her son has been arrested and charged with murder.
I liked all the characters…not so much the son,
but Bill and his old love and the attorney and sheriff.
I will read more by Mr. Pronzini.

ican

I don’t know what to say about this book.
I liked it, I didn’t like it, I didn’t like Dyer, I liked Dyer.
Confused?  Me, too.
It is his memoir. And it is all about him.
From the beginning to about three-quarters through I really didn’t like Dr. Dyer.
But in the end I guess he is ok.  Certainly successful.

live

I always like Johansen’s books and this one is no different.
That being said her books have a formula to them and though
they are interesting and have excitement and some surprises
you pretty much know who will win and who will lose.
In this book Catherine Ling, a CIA agent is sent to save a woman from a madman.
Her mentor and friend, Hu Chang, and her 11-year-old son, Luke,
end up part of the rescue effort.
There is a Guardian that the madman is trying to get to
through the woman he kidnapped who has been rescued.
The Guardian works for a Committee and has telepathic powers.
I like Johansen’s books so I recommend it.  It is a good read.bookjourney

Cat Image: Google
Book Covers: Goodreads

 

June reading was pretty good…

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It’s the last Monday of June and here is a list of books I read this month.

stilllifewith

I liked this…but I haven’t read a book by Anna Quindlen that I haven’t liked.
I did want to make the main character, Rebecca, get a move on;
took her forever to figure things out.

badwolf

This was very good.  Some good twists and turns and surprises.
Big bad secrets hidden for years by the “upper crust” and an important family.
It is one of those books that I almost figured out but not quite.

anyplace

Amy was raised by her crazy shoplifting grandmother
and sometimes by her small-time crook father.
She never knew her mother and is now determined to find out about her.
Susan Isaacs has a way with witty dialog but this time around it was a bit much.
I liked the book but it wasn’t a page turner.

museum

I always like Alice Hoffman books and I was not disappointed with this one.
It’s a love story that was weird, sad, strange, yet uplifting.
The Museum is a side-show of human oddities in the early 1900’s.
The owner’s daughter is used and abused
but she learns about love watching the “oddities”.
She meets a photographer and experiences love for the first time.
Well worth reading.

darkplaces

You must read this…but it is dark.
I read it in one day.  Could not put it down!
One morning, 25 years ago when Libby Day was seven,
her mother and sisters were murdered.
Her brother goes to prison for the murder partly because of her testimony.
Now she is questioning what she may or may not have seen that morning.
I never saw the end coming!
I had no idea what really happened until the last few pages of the book.
If you like mystery with weirdness read this but be warned it is ugly.

becareful

This was another very good book. It is volume four of the Clifton Chronicles.
I didn’t read the first three but this book does stand on its own.
This takes place in the 60’s and the Clifton-Barrington family is hard pressed
to keep from losing the ship building business that has been around for generations.
The characters are well drawn and I got to really liking the family
and really not liking their enemy.There is a fifth volume due out next year…
this fourth one was a cliff-hanger…I will have to read number five.
I may read the first three…or not.

spiritualmisfit

On a completely different note…
this book was sent to me to review which I am going to do this week .
It is one woman’s story of reconciling belief and doubt in her search for God.

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Right now I am reading I Can See Clearly Now by Dr.Wayne W. Dyer.
I am only about a quarter of the way through so the jury is still out.

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Hit the books to see what others are reading.

Cat Image: Google
Book Covers: Goodreads

A church lady wrote…

Black Cat Book Review

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Heart Wide Open by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson has been in church her whole life.  As a child she attended with her parents and did all the usual church child things;  Sunday school, vacation Bible school, annual revivals, prayer meetings. As a wife and mother she was at church when the doors were open.  She was a Church Lady.  Then one day she realized she was a hypocrite.heartwide

She was doing all the right church things but for the wrong reasons.  She was in church because it was what she had always done, it was what was expected of her, it was what Christians do.  With this came the knowledge that she wanted more, she wanted to love Jesus whole-heartedly without reservation.  But she didn’t know how.  Her prayer became “I admit it. I don’t love You like I should, but I want to love You. Help!”

In her book she tells how she came to know Jesus, not just know of Him, but to have her heart beat in tune with His.  It’s a choice she made and she shares her journey in this book.  With stories of her life she shares the steps she took to know God and to truly love Him.  Though the subject could be heavy and burdensome there is a lot of down home humor that shows Tomlinson’s Southern roots.  She asks questions and gives the answers she found while encouraging the reader to ask their own questions and find their own answers.  At the end of each chapter is a prayer that will help the reader begin their conversation with God as they get to know Him and love Him with all their heart.  If you have the church blahs this is a good place to start to turn it around and have a renewal of faith.

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Blogging for Books provided this book to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Get comfy and read something…

With the weather icy cold it’s a great time to
wrap up in an afghan with some hot chocolate, a cat, and a book.

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I am currently reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
It is one of those books that it seems not much is happening yet
it is fascinating and I must keep reading.

If you don’t have anything to read just now here are some books
that I read and liked.

eveSilencing Eve by Iris Johansen ****

I have never been disappointed in anything Iris Johansen has written.  There are several books with Eve Duncan as the main character.  In this one Eve has been kidnapped by the father of a dead pedophile and would be terrorist. The question is whether Eve and her kidnapper have been killed in an explosion or did they escape?  It is no spoiler to say of course, they survived.  The twists and turns of the story and the personalities of those trying to find Eve keeps the story moving along.

 thread

An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski ***

This is a true story of a New York journalist and the street kid she befriends. This unlikely friendship of Laura and Maurice is heartwarming and sad, encouraging and discouraging.  It made me wonder how a child who lives with neglect and abuse could trust anyone…ever.  Or how he survives and makes a good life for himself.  That is Maurice’s story.  Laura’s story is not so wrenching but she didn’t have the easiest time growing up.  She was successful in her career and had many friends but still felt adrift.  She doesn’t know what made her turn around and offer to take the 11-year-old panhandler to supper…but she did.  Definitely a book worth reading.  It might make you think about your own life a bit more realistically.  Personally, I know I never would have survived a life like Maurice’s.

lowThe Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri ****

This is so well written it took my breath away.  It is lyrical prose.  The story takes place in India and the United States.  About two brothers and a woman.  Politics, revolution, family, tragedy, love.  It’s all here and as beautiful and awful as it can be.  I got the book at the library and thought maybe it would be okay.  Sure shows how wrong I can be about the cover of a book.  Read this book!

ipoThe I.P.O. by Dan Koontz ***

This was a free Amazon e-book.  I downloaded it because it was free and I misread the author’s name and thought it was written by Dean Koontz.  When I realized it was written by Dan not Dean I thought about not reading it. Never heard of Dan and not all that interested from the title and promo blurb.  But what the heck I was all comfy and ready to read so I read.  It was a good story.  James Tyler starts up a company that arranges adoptions of exceptional children.  Children who have the potential to change the world with their intelligence, talents, and gifts. The adoption agency is a corporation, on the stock market, that trades on the future success of the children.  I liked the book it was interesting and thought provoking.

So, that’s it for today.

Happy week-end.

You might like one of these…

Black Cat Book Review

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Today instead of doing a review I am going tell you
just a little about some books I have recently read.

maidThe Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell

A bitter woman, estranged from her son, tells a story about a tragic fire to her grandson. I liked this book, although, I did find it hard to get into.  Once on my way I became interested in the characters and was quite surprised by the ending.

testTestimony by Anita Shreve

A sad story all around.  There is an incident at a boarding school involving 3 boys and a girl.  Because it was recorded and put on the internet it becomes a major crisis in many lives; the 4 students, their parents, the Head Master, friends, and community.  Each chapter is a testimony of the people involved and at times seems a bit simplistic but it does add to the character study of each person.

waterWe Are Water by Wally Lamb

A story about marriage and family and the secrets in them.   Anna, a successful outsider artist, has left her husband of twenty-seven years and is getting ready to marry her lover, a woman.  The turmoil this causes in the lives of her ex-husband and grown children is understandable and Shreve deftly tells each side of the story.  I came to like everyone in the family and wanted all to be happy.  There is a ghost in the story, part of a story within the story. Not spooky or eerie it makes the book richer.

neverNever Go Back by Lee Child

This is a Jack Reacher story.  Child has written tales of Reacher for years but this is the first I have read.  I like Reacher even though he is a bigger than life kind of tough guy and I usually prefer underdogs and normal folks. There is lots of action and intrigue and some humor.  I will say that after reading this and getting to know Jack Reacher I cannot image why Tom Cruise was ever cast to play him in a movie.  I am glad I read a Jack Reacher novel and now have no plans to see the movie.

dollycat_thumb.gifSo there you have it…books I liked and recommend to fellow readers.
Happy reading.

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