What I Read – Week 37

I’m submitting early. I may have to do a second post. As of Thursday evening, my total books read was 4. Have I mentioned that there is NOTHING on TV? Except The Strain. I’m still watching The Strain. The book was better, but I like the flashbacks to the Nazi concentration camp, which were not very detailed in the book (at least the one that I read).

Another reason that I am posting early is that I have so many books on my Netgalley dashboard that it’s starting to freak me out. I’m not allowed another library book (not that I don’t have some at my house already) until I finish some of them. Unless one of my holds come through. Earlier this week I maxed out my digital holds with the BPL. I felt a little scared because that is normally a sign that I will get ALL OF THEM at once.

Babble, babble, babble. I haven’t even had any caffeine today. Here are the books.

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The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia Macneal – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This is Maggie Hope #4. This is one of my favorite series. I just love these. They’re spy / detective / mystery novels set in World War II. This one featured appearances by Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming, and Kim Philby among others. I love the fact that she always includes the pets. Churchill really did have a marmalade cat named Nelson. I looked it up. To say that she does her research is a total understatement. If she has a character stomping around near the lochs in Scotland, she goes there and checks it out for herself. I imagine this helps with the visualization. I love Maggie, but I’m only giving this 4 stars. It’s high praise for a mystery novel, but not nearly as brilliant as the awesomeness that appeared in books 1 and 3.

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – I originally got this as an e-book with my points on First to Read from Penguin. I got to the crucial chapter (the one with the reveal) and it expired. I had no idea that they take them away (There is a phone app and it sucks and it takes me forever to read the books.). Then I hurried and joined the impossibly long wait list to get a copy from the BPL. I’m not sure the book was even out. And yes, you can join the library wait list BEFORE the book is available. That is why the hot new autumn read that came out yesterday already has 300 people in line in front of you. I know I told you, but don’t tell anyone else because that will just be more people in the line in front of you, and we really don’t want for that to happen. So anyway…. This book. It is really well written. The characters are amazingly well developed. I love that she keeps the suspense going until the end. I liked this more than The Husband’s Secret, which was also really good. Basically, you know someone is dead because the police are interviewing witnesses throughout the book. But you have no idea who or why it happened. I like that her books seem all bright and sunnyish (basically normal) until you find out there is something dark and horrifying under the surface. I’m giving it 4 stars.

I should probably stop now. I invented a new word. And then I spelled surface so horrifyingly wrong that there were no spelling suggestions. Nope. Plugging along….

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The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry – I downloaded this as an audiobook to my phone from the Norwood Public Library (or maybe the BPL, so don’t get upset if you try to find this and it isn’t where you expect). This is Cotton Malone #7. I’ve been reading these totally out of order ever since I discovered them. It doesn’t seem to matter. These are spy thrillers. I finally found out the difference between a mystery and a thriller. In a mystery, you don’t know who the bad guy is. In a thriller, you know who the bad guy is, but you don’t know the motive. Don’t you feel smarter now? Next week we’ll be discussing the difference between sci-fi and fantasy (not really). I like this series. In this one, the characters are looking for congressional transcripts that uphold an obscure article of the constitution. There are bad guys, pirates, gun fights, and bombs. Are you sold? I like them. This one is getting 3 stars.

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People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via Netgalley. You should read this. But only if you have a sense of humor. She is so brutally honest that she gets herself into trouble occasionally. I follow her blog via facebook, so I had read a couple of the chapters previously. I don’t live in suburbia and I don’t have children or someone that I refer to as the hubs, but that did not make this any less funny. She is really, really fucking hysterically funny. This just came out on Tuesday, so don’t hold your breath if you only buy books in the second hand bookstores (or yard sales). I have no idea if the library near you has a copy. Mine doesn’t. Just buy it. I linked the title to amazon in case you’re super lazy. I’m giving this 5 fucking brilliant stars.

So there you go. I’m hoping to finish some others. But we’re supposed to be able to see the Northern Lights for like the first time ever, so I may be outside with my camera equipment instead.

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