NanaCC’s (Colleen’s) 2019 Reading
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I enjoy listening to audio books in addition to reading paper books. In 2018 the mix was almost 50/50. 43 paper or kindle books, and 42 audio books. 52 of the books were by women. My final thread for 2018 can be found at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/293036
Happy reading everyone. I look forward to your suggestions to add to my towering wishlist.
A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer
In the Heat of the Moment by Viveca Sten, translated by Marlaine Delargy
Milkman by Anna Burns, narrated by Brid Brennan
To Darkness and to Death by Julia Spencer-Fleming
1- In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George
2- A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters
3- Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
4- The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
5- Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
6- The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
7- The Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett
8- My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
9- Closed Circles by Viveca Sten
10- Guiltless by Viveca Sten
11- Tonight You’re Dead by Viveca Sten
1- The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths, narrated by Clare Corbett
2- Becoming by Michelle Obama, Read by Michelle Obama
3- Shooting at Loons by Margaret Maron, narrated by C. J. Critt
4- In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin, narrated by James Macpherson
5- Tombland by C. J. Sansom, Narrated by Steven Crossley
6- In a Dark House by Deborah Crombie, narrated by Michael Deehy
7- In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming, narrated by Suzanne Toren
8- A Fountain Filled With Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming, narrated by Suzanne Toren
9- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, narrated by Rosamund Pike
10- Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins Mystery)by Walter Mosley, narrated by Michael Boatman
11- Raven Black by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Gordon Griffen
12- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
13- Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming, narrated by Suzanne Toren
14- The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley, narrated by Jayne Entwistle
15- Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie, narrated by Michael Deehy
Books Read Total = 26
Print/Kindle = 11; Audio = 15; Women authors = 19; New to me authors = 8
>5 arubabookwoman: I was up until 2:30 the last two nights, Deborah. I couldn’t put it down. I was in bed last night, and I kept looking at the clock, knowing I had to be up at 6:30. I finished at 2:30 and it was such a satisfying ending. I really like the series.
My first book of the year was a page turner, and possibly my favorite installment of the Lynley/Havers mysteries so far. Barbara Havers has a big role in this one. She is a great character. In this book, the ten year old daughter of a Junior Minister is abducted. The child’s mother has never released the name of the father, and has been elected on her family values platform. The father, editor of a sleazy newspaper, receives a letter saying that if he doesn’t publicly admit that he is the father of the child on the front page of the paper the child will be killed. This begins a tug of war between the mother and the editor, as she doesn’t believe that there is an abductor. She thinks the editor is writing the letters himself in order to embarrass her, and to cause her fall from favor.
I love this series. If you like mysteries, I don’t think you can go wrong. The first book in the series is A Great Deliverance.
I read quite a few of the Lynley/Havers series and enjoyed them, although I remember wishing Havers had more to do. That seems to be one I haven't read, so I'll have to take a look. Oh no, another TBR!!!
In the last couple of books, Havers’ challenges with her mother have become more of an issue for her, and I think that may have been a buildup to her becoming more involved. At least I hope so.
>15 rachbxl:, >16 AlisonY: Happy New Year to you as well. I’ll be spending the next few days “undecorating” my house. I had my big family party yesterday, and can now really start on the new year. Here is to good reading for all of us.
In book 6, forensic archaeologist, Ruth Galloway, has uncovered bones which are thought to be those of a Victorian murderess nicknamed Mother Hook. She had been hanged for murdering five children. In an eerie coincidence, DCI Nelson is investigating the suspicious death of a child.
This was another good installment in the series. The writing is good, and the mysteries are well done.
In this memoir, Michelle Obama tells her life story. She starts with growing up on the South Side of Chicago, through her graduation from Princeton and Harvard Law School, meeting the love of her life, and following him on his remarkable journey into politics and on to the White House. She talks about raising her daughters in such a public setting, while trying to keep them normal, and of her frustration with the security details that were always there, but were so necessary. She ends with thoughts about the last presidential election and the current occupant of the White House. The book, like the author, is inspiring. It made me tear up several times, and made me admire her even more than I did before reading it. I would definitely recommend it.
>30 AlisonY: When she got to that part of her story, Alison, she started with her feeling of disbelief when it became known that Trump was the Republican candidate. She talks about the “Billy Bush” tape, where Trump was bragging about assaulting women. She talks about her disbelief that so many women voted for a misogynist enabling him to be elected. She relates all of this in a very matter of fact way, but doesn’t dwell on it. It seems to me, that like everything else she has done, she has done this with class.
Is she simply a very clever lady who understands how to do good PR, or if you cut her open would she have genuine decency engraved inside her?
I still wonder if there will be a change of heart in terms of her becoming involved in politics. Perhaps if US politics aren't for her she could come over here and sort out this embarrassing Brexit mess. It seems like our House of Parliament know what they won't agree to but aren't so hot on what they will agree to.
I have just finished another book, The Gatekeepers, which suggests that President Obama did not enjoy "politics" himself---he wanted to get things done much more directly than was possible, and disliked the necessary "wheeling and dealing".
>25 NanaCC: Great review! I just finished the book and was really surprised at how good it was and how much she covered. I've got a hold on the audiobook at the library but I'm at the bottom of a long list. I'll be ready for the re-read by the time my name surfaces.
This is the first book in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael series. The year is 1137, and the Prior of Shrewsbury Abbey has ambitions. In the Welsh village of Gwytherin, the bones of Saint Winifred are calling to him...well, they have actually been brought to his attention by another ambitious monk, and a delegation heads to bring the saint’s bones back to Shrewsbury. Brother Cadfael, a Welshman, is part of the delegation to act as interpreter. The villagers are not happy with the plan to relocate their saint, and the most vocal opponent is murdered. Brother Cadfael uses his wits to seek out the murderer. This was an entertaining story, and I will continue reading the series.
Thank you to Meridith for putting the series on my radar.
In this book, third in the series, Judge Deborah Knott is asked to fill in for another judge who has been hospitalized. She heads to the coast, planning to spend the time at her cousin’s cottage on Harker’s ilsland. While clamming on her first night there, she finds the body of a local fisherman. She finds herself in the middle of a feud between the local fishermen and the new land developers who see the coastline as their playground.
This series is full of the “flavor” of North Carolina. The characters are great.
The 22nd book in the Rebus series doesn’t disappoint. A couple of teens find a body in an old car hidden in a gully. Siobhan Clark is part of the team investigating the murder, and retired Rebus shows up to give her a tip as to the victim’s identity. Rebus no longer smokes or drinks. He has emphysema and is finding the stairs harder to climb. But he hasn’t lost his edge. Malcom Fox is part of the team, and has been tasked with looking into the initial investigation of the victim who had been the focus of a botched missing persons investigation. With Rebus aging, I’m not sure where Rankin will take this series, but I’ll definitely be along for the ride.
So, it could go either way. I'll keep going with Rebus, but I'll also read a Blackburn & Fox series if Rebus should walk off into the sunset. Of course, I've been aging along with Rebus, Banks and others...so there is always another possibility....
*and I'm reading current the last Hanne Wilhelmsen installment (by Anne Holt)... :-(
>71 lauralkeet: I’ll be watching for the first time, Laura, so looking forward to it.
>72 RidgewayGirl: I really liked that one, Kay. Although, I must say that I’ve enjoyed almost all of them. I think the first was the weakest, but that is often the case with the first book in a series. And the addition of Siobhan and Fox added to this series.
I’ll be dropping a star on your thread as well.
Torontoc put this book on my wishlist last year, and I’m so glad that he did.
The character, Lillian Boxfish, is based upon the real life poet and ad woman Margaret Fishback. Lillian is an 85 year old woman who sets out on New Year’s Eve 1984 for a long walk. Along the way she reminisces about various stages of her life, which mimics that of the real life Fishback. As the highest paid woman ad writer in America, writing jingles for R. H. Macy’s department store, she has a successful career. Marriage puts an end to that, as Macy’s had a policy that once married, you were out the door. As she walks, a total of ten miles, she meets and chats with many people, dispensing nuggets of wisdom. I’m not doing justice to this charming little book, but I really enjoyed it.
The joys of belonging to Club Read. The wishlist just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
It has been a three year wait for this next installment, the seventh, in the Matthew Shardlake series. The audiobook is long at 37 hours, although the last two hours are not part of the story, but historical background. The year is 1549, and Shardlake has been asked by the Lady Elizabeth, Ann Boleyn’s daughter, to look into the arrest of John Boleyn for the murder of his wife. She wants to be sure that everything is above board, and that scandal can be avoided. Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas meet Shardlake’s old assistant Jack Barak in Norwich, and together they dig into the mystery of who really killed Edith Boleyn. The three characters get caught up in Kett’s Rebellion, which provides the historical backdrop for this story. I always enjoy the real life characters and events that appear in these stories, however, I think the telling of the historical event took over. The mystery seemed to take a backseat to the history. I’m not saying the historical aspects were boring. Far from it. I enjoyed the book, but I think it could have been edited down by about 200 pages. It is 800+ in the print version. If you like the Shardlake series, I’m pretty sure you will like this one.
This is the 10th book in the Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James mystery series. An arsonist sets fire to an old Victorian warehouse which is being renovated. A woman’s body is discovered, and Kincaid is called in from Scotland Yard to investigate. Gemma James is asked by a friend to look into the disappearance of a woman, and there is a possibility that the two cases may be linked. There is also the kidnapping of a ten year old girl. This was a pretty solid entry in the series.
>99 shadrach_anki: To be honest, I don’t remember how I felt about the other narrator, but they must have been ok because I kept going. There were a couple that were not on audible when I got to it, so I read the kindle version. But now it looks like Audible has all of them.
This is the first book in the Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries. I had added this book to my wishlist quite a while ago, at the recommendation of Linda (laytonwoman). Last week, Bonnie (brenzi) was gushing because the author has a new book in the series coming out next winter. Her enthusiasm, as well as the enthusiasm of others, pushed me to download the book. I am very glad that I did. A baby is left on the doorstep of the church. Reverend Fergusson becomes involved with the police chief Van Alstyne in their search for the baby’s mother. There is a murder or two. I will definitely look for the next in the series.
>105 japaul22: I don’t want to turn anyone off, Jennifer, because it was good. Shardlake and his assistants get so involved in the rebellion, that at times it seemed like they forgot what they were in Norwich to do. In the end, i thought the mystery was resolved very nicely.
The story takes place in 1921, with flashbacks to 1916. Perveen Mistry has a law degree from Oxford University, and has taken a position with her father’s law firm in Bombay. As one of the only women lawyers in India, she is unable to appear in court, but handles much of the business that can be done in the office. While going over documents pertaining to a deceased clients will, she finds some inconsistencies that lead her to believe the three widows are being cheated in some way. As a woman, she is able to speak to the women directly. The widows’ guardian is murdered, and Perveen becomes involved in trying to solve the mystery.
Perveen’s character is based upon a real woman who became India’s first female lawyer. The historical aspect and the insight into the customs of the time was interesting. The writing is similar in style to the Maisie Dobbs mysteries.
It's part of a trilogy of movies by Mehta, and I recommend all three (if you watch movies with subtitles...etc)
The second book in the Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries is darker than the first. Two gay men are brutally attacked in an obvious hate crime. When a third man is murdered, it seems to be linked to the first two attacks, but is it? Clare and Russ come close to dying while tracking down the murderer. I’m enjoying this series.
The first book in the Jackson Brodie series was a reread for me. Brodie is investigating three cold cases. The cases start to look like they have some connections. As a reread, I found some of the book too familiar, which for a mystery book isn’t necessarily a good thing. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a good book. I’m looking forward to the new book in the series when it comes out.
I am also looking forward to the new Atkinson. I am tempted to reread the others.
There are so many books I want to read. I’ll never get to everything.
Rosamund Pike’s narration of this book is wonderful. She brings the story of the Dashwood sisters to life as they find their lives changed after their father dies. Marianne wears her heart on her sleeve. Elinor is reserved and sensible. Secrets, misguided love. It was a fun read.
This is the first book in Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series. Easy is a black man in 1948 Los Angeles. He had joined the army to fight the Nazis during WWII, and after the war, he moved from Houston to L.A., bought a house, and has a job in an aircraft factory. As the story starts, he has just lost his job and is wondering where his next mortgage payment is going to come from. A white man offers him $100 to look for a girl named Daphne. Despite feeling suspicious, he needs the money, and takes the job. Bodies start piling up as one murder after another happen, and Easy has to do everything in his power to ensure that he isn’t the main suspect. Classic noir. I quite enjoyed it. Michael Boatman’s narration is good.
This is the first book in the Shetland Island mystery series. A teenage girl’s body is found near the house of an old man, Magnus Tait. Magnus had been accused after the disappearance of a young girl years earlier, but the police didn’t have enough evidence to charge him. The locals automatically jump to the conclusion that he is guilty of this crime. Magnus is childlike, and the local policeman investigating the teen girl’s murder is not convinced that Magnus had anything to do with it. I didn’t care for the narrator of this audiobook, and was tempted to quit it. I decided to keep going, and the book was good. I’d give it 3 stars. There were several possible suspects, and the ending was definitely a surprise.
Thanks for the tip, I'll avoid narrator Gordon Griffin.
It has taken me sometime to start reading your entries but it is worth the wait. I will try to keep up.
You have mentioned a number of series I have enjoyed and recommend; Margret Maron, both Deborah Knott and her New York police detective, oh dear her name escapes me. It started years ago, she left it to write Knott which she ended and started writing Sigrid ? again. It is not as light as Knott but I like it. Deborah Crombie is great and her series is still going with a new title coming this year; Julia Spencer Fleming has finished her series. I started it because I like ecclesiastical mysteries but it grew into much more.
I have Becoming on my list and after reading about it her will consider buying it. The list at the library is long. We don’t have a very good library system. I also put Lillian Boxwell Takes a Walk on my Club Read 2019 list.
Looking ahead on your musings Massey’s Widows has been nominated for a number of awards and the second in the series is due in May. Have you read her first series featuring an American Japanese antique seller/collector? I learned a lot about different aspects of Japanese culture. The first book is not as good as what follows so don’t let it stop you. I didn’t realize The Magpie Murders was going to turn into a series. I think it will be a hard format to maintain. I have read The Word is Murder but won’t say any more.
Thanks for your ideas.
Heh, heh, heh .... addict!
>139 VivienneR: I would never recommend the audio version after forcing myself to finish this one, Vivienne. I don’t know if he’d be the same with a different book, but there was something about his reading that made my skin crawl at times. The story was good.
>142 auntmarge64: Lol, Margaret. I would agree. :-)
I've always wanted to read Devil in a Blue Dress. Maybe this year.
I love the Shetland TV series; I read the first novel and, while I liked it, decided I would watch the series instead. Too many books...
>145 avaland: Thank you, Lois. I will definitely look for them. I’ve never read the Grantchester mysteries, although I’ve watched the series on PBS. Another series to add to my towering wishlist.
17. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
I loved Magpie Murders, so had high expectations for this one. I didn’t love it the way I had with Magpie, but I really did enjoy it. After reading the reviews, it seems like there are very mixed reviews. People either enjoy it, or they really dislike it.
As with most murder mysteries, it is hard to review without giving anything away. The book’s description basically says...The mother of a famous actor walks into a funeral parlor to make arrangements for her own funeral. Six hours later, she is found dead in her home. She has been strangled by a curtain cord. Ex-policeman, Daniel Hawthorne, has been asked to assist in the investigation. He asks Anthony Horowitz to write his story. The fictional Horowitz becomes Watson to Hawthorne’s Holmes. There were several red herrings along the way, and I didn’t see the twist. I found it a little slow to start, but quite entertaining. This is the first book in a relatively new series.
I am just starting this, I look forward to learning more about her and her family. The wife of the president can play a strong, but unofficial, role in your country, quite different from Canada.
Well this book was a big disappointment. I liked the first two books in Follett’s Century Trilogy. They are typical big family sagas following five families. The first went through WWI, the second through WWII. This book started with Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis and included every big world event in the second half of the twentieth century, while shoving in the younger members of the original five families. And, of course, they were all in some way involved in those huge world events. I can’t believe I stuck out the over 1,000 pages. ( I find it hard to abandon a book I’m reading.) Don’t make the same mistake I did.
I loved this book. Bonnie (brenzi) in the 75 group gave it a glowing review a short while ago, and I downloaded the book right away. The narration is perfect. Kya Clark is known as the swamp girl. Abandoned by her mother at the age of six, by her siblings, and eventually her abusive father, she manages to survive thanks to her knowledge of the marsh and to the kindness of a few key people. The townspeople look down her. She never attends school, because the children laughed at her when they found out she couldn’t read. She eludes the truant officer for years. An older boy who was friends with her older brother teaches her to read, and the story just blossoms from there. It is a heartbreaking coming of age story, filled with loss, love, resilience and of survival. There is a possible murder and a twist I didn’t see coming. The descriptions of the marsh on the North Carolina coastline are wonderful. Highly recommended.
**the touchstone is fixed
I’ve been watching the series The Durrells in Corfu on PBS, and I’m looking forward to the next season (I think it’s the fourth) which will start soon. The scenery is beautiful, the stories in each episode are quirky and delightful, and I always wonder how much has been embellished for the series. Well, after reading this book, apparently not much. The series is based upon Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy. Gerald Durrell was ten when his family first moved to Corfu. His love of animals took precedence, in his mind, over education. The island was a treasure trove of creatures big and small. When he wrote the book, he says that he started out writing a book about the animals he had made friends with on Corfu, but then he brought his family into the story, and it took off from there. There were many laugh out loud moments as I read the antics of the family. And there were many interesting descriptions of the insects and animals he studied and documented. He did eventually become a zoologist and dedicated his life trying to save endangered species of animals. This book was first in a trilogy. I’ll eventually read the other two.
I love the PBS series The Durrell's in Corfu and am looking forward to the next season.
The third book in this series moves back and forth from the 1920’s to the current timeframe of the series, which I think is the early 2000’s. Four children in the Ketchem family die of diphtheria in 1924, and in 1930 their father disappears. The widow sets up a fund to open a clinic in memory of her husband. She supports a promising young man through college and residency with the promise that he will continue as doctor for the clinic. Moving forward to present day, this doctor disappears. The doctor and clinic have been harassed by a woman who refuses to have her child vaccinated. She blames her sons’s autism on the vaccines that he received. Clare and Russ are once again pulled together to solve the mystery.
I got a lot of knitting done while listening to this one. :-)
I want to learn to knit. Your blanket sounds beautiful. You should post pictures.
As for learning how to knit, my daughter used YouTube videos and she is a whiz at it. I wasn’t ever successful trying to teach her myself, as she is left handed.
This is the second book in the Sandhamn mystery series. I was introduced to the series last year, when the first book, Still Waters, was offered as a free kindle book for World Book Day.
In this installment, a wealthy bankruptcy lawyer, Oscar Juliander, is shot at the start of a big race. Police detective Thomas Andreasson and his friend, lawyer Nora Linde, work together to uncover the who and why this murder happened.
Note, I did post on the message board that Amazon is offering nine free books as part of this year’s World Book Day. The offer is through April 24th. They are all books that have been translated into English.
Also meant to note that the Sandhamn books 1-6 are on sale right now in the kindle version on amazon. I think they must be part of the monthly deals, because I downloaded them earlier this month.
>193 auntmarge64: I forgot to add the link for amazon, so thank you for that. As for the Sandhamn series, I enjoyed the first enough to continue, and the second is a better mystery. So I’ll keep going. I downloaded all of them. They were either $1 or $1.99 each, so I couldn’t resist.
I really liked the Spencer-Fleming books when I read then. I am intrigued by the Sten series and got the 6 titles through Kindle Unlimited. At the moment I am rereading Maisie Dobbs and enjoying them more. I think I better understand her now and her mode of investigation.
This is the 10th book in the Flavia de Luce series. I read recently that Alan Bradley was 69 when he wrote the first book. He hadn’t been thinking about a series, but with the popularity of the book his publisher signed him up for a ten book contract. So this may or may not be the last in the series. Bradley says that it depends upon whether Flavia gives him another story.
In this installment, Flavia is now 12. Her sister Ophelia (Feely) is getting married. At the reception, as the bride and groom cut into the wedding cake, they find a severed finger stuck into the frosting. Flavia quickly wraps it in a napkin and whisks it away to her laboratory. While trying to figure out the ‘who and why’ of the finger, Flavia and Dogger (Flavia’s deceased father’s valet) in their newly formed Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations, are asked to investigate some missing letters. Flavia is growing up, but I love that she still rides around town on her bike, Gladys. I missed the usual banter between Flavia and her sisters, but Mrs Mullet and little cousin Undine were there to fill in the gaps. I chuckled over Mrs Mullet telling Flavia that her sister Daffy was locked up in the library reading some silly book called Useless by some woman named Joyce. If the series continues, the relationship between Flavia and Dogger, and their new agency could be put to good use.
This is the third book in the Sandhamn series. A teenage girl goes missing in the late fall. After a few weeks of searching, it is assumed that she has run away. Months later a severed arm is found buried in the woods, and police detective Thomas Andreasson is once again on Sandhamn investigating a murder. His friend, Nora Linde, is also on the island with her young boys after having a relationship ending fight with her husband. The mystery in this one is good. There is another storyline that takes place mostly in the 1920’s, and Sten manages to tie them together rather nicely.
This series is a bit addictive as each seems to end with a bit of a cliff hanger. In this one, book 4 in the Sandhamn series, a college student is found hanging in his dormitory room. At first it is assumed to be a suicide, but as a man he was interviewing for a school project is found murdered, Thomas Andreasson starts putting together clues that tie a group of former Coastal Rangers to the dead man.
Book 11 in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series is a page turner, or in my case a great listen. Kincaid and James are at Kincaid’s parents’ house with their boys for their Christmas holiday. The boys are delighted meeting their cousins. But the holiday is interrupted when the mummified body of a baby is found. And to top things off a woman is found murdered. Duncan’s sister and her husband are having troubles in their marriage, and their daughter Lally is mixed up in something quite dangerous. It sounds quite like a soap opera, but it was actually well done and very tense. Michael Deehy’s narration is very good.
Well I'm glad to hear that, since you *forced me* to buy #s 2-6 all on Kindle not so long ago! I have no idea when I'll start reading but I'm glad to see you enjoying them so much.
I think that the mysteries are better after the first book. I like that the relationship between Thomas and Nora is strictly platonic. The translator changed after the second book. I wonder if that helped, as well.
I just checked, and it was Vivienne who put Ruth Galloway on my wishlist.