Week 47 – 2017

As promised, I’m posting another week on the heels of the last. Sorry if you get blasted with email. I’m jumping straight into this one. Week 47 covers November 20 – 26 (which included Thanksgiving). Feedback is encouraged, as always.

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – I borrowed this as an actual book from my mum. This is Miss Marple #3. A maid finds the body of a young woman in the Bantry’s drawing room. Just kidding. It was in the library. I know I’m not funny. It’s okay. No one in the house has ever seen her before, supposedly. Mrs. Bantry enlists the help of local busybody Miss Marple to keep her husband’s reputation out of the gutter. Even being accused of murder is a scandal worthy of being shunned by the neighborhood. I actually didn’t like this book. That surprised me. It’s possible that I expect more of Miss Christie. I also had just read Murder on the Orient Express which is hailed as one of her best. That may have been a mistake. I do prefer Poirot, but I was looking to finish something short that I could return to its owner over the holiday. I’m giving it 2 stars.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This is Shadowshaper #1. This book is hard to describe. There is magic and mystery and culture and zombies and family and what it means to be a true friend. Sierra’s grandfather shared a cultural secret with an anthropologist who is now trying to take all of the magic for himself. The grandfather is incapacitated so Sierra and her friends and family (Shadowshapers or not) must find a way to stop him. There is something quite stunning about this book. The author has a way of making words into magic that helps the readers mind to sort of float into the story and imagine it right along with him. You’ll have to read it. It defies explanation. I’m giving it 4 stars.

InterWorld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves (narrated by Christopher Evan Welch) – I borrowed this as an audiobook from the BPL. This is InterWorld #1. I actually finished an audiobook. I haven’t read a lot of these this year for whatever reason and I’ve finished far fewer than I’ve started. In this, Joey finds out that the world as he knows it is just one plane running concurrently with many others. Some worlds are ruled by magic while others (like his own) are ruled by science. Joey teams up with different versions of himself to conquer evil. Or at least hold it at bay. I’d definitely recommend this for a long car ride. It is thoroughly entertaining. I’m giving it 3 stars.

And that’s it for Week 47. So much for not starting a bunch of new series. Oops. Let me know what you think. I believe my opinion of The Body in the Library will be stunningly unpopular (though I guess not so stunning as I’m already predicting it).

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Week 46 – 2017

It’s freezing here on the first day of the year. I even have a space heater going because the furnace is struggling to keep up. The heating bills are going to be atrocious. And it’s a holiday and I have no reason to go anywhere, so it’s the perfect time to snuggle up with a blanket and get some reading done. And also catch up on the poor blog. I want to point out that there is no week 45. I went to Iceland reading an impossibly long library book and didn’t finish until I was on the way back from Denmark. But I made a dent in several books and so hopefully Week 46 will not be a disappointment. Week 46 covers November 13 – 19 (and then there was Thanksgiving so that’s where November went to so quickly). Feedback is treasured, even if you just hit the like button at the end of the post. Or tell me that you hate it or disagree with something I said. All of that is highly encouraged.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This book is a tome, but considerably shorter than most of this author’s books. If you are worried about your book count for your Goodreads goal, this is not the book for you. Not just because it is long, but because you have to use your brain to read it. It makes you think, rather than just telling a story. This book is about witches and time travel and history and all sorts of other things. There is something incredibly unique about this author’s imagination. Not only can he make up entire worlds that never existed, but he can also write historical fiction that makes you feel like you’re there experiencing it. While this isn’t his absolute best, it is still good and I will read the sequel if one gets written. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is Her Royal Spyness #1. I thought this was pretty cute. This was my first foray into this series. I should really finish some of the ones I’ve started rater that beginning new ones, but that’s how it goes. Georgie runs away to London after her brother cuts off her allowance and ends up trying a few different schemes to support herself, including a stint at Harrods, wedding crashing and airing out houses for rich people who are coming to town. She also has to act as spy for the queen and solve a murder. You know, no big deal. It’s fun. I’d probably put it in the cozy category. I’m giving it 3 stars.


Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb – I received this as an actual book in a Goodreads giveaway. I love a good epistolary novel. This one was no exception. This is the story of Evie and Thomas, Will and Alice and all of the other people that they correspond with. When Thomas and Will go off to fight in France, the letter writing begins. The friendship between them all develops and they care from each other from afar, through letters. I always find this a clever way to tell a story. I definitely recommend it.

Also, as an aside, this book traveled with me from Boston to Iceland, then on to Denmark and back to Boston and served as a great companion in my down time. And I have since taken it to NY to give to my sister who took it to NJ. I hope she enjoys it as well.

I’m giving this 4 stars.

And that covers Week 46. Only 6 more posts to go in order to wrap up 2017! There is nothing quite like starting out the new year 6 weeks behind schedule. You all may need to bear with me if I start posting more than 1 in a day to catch up.

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Week 44 – 2017

It’s almost the end of the year (2 more days) and I have 2 months of reading still to go over. That seems like a bit of a daunting task, so I’ll just jump right in. Week 44 covers October 30 – November 5. And then I went on vacation, so it’s likely that the next post will be pretty barren. As always, feedback is treasured so don’t be afraid to voice your opinions.

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This was a book club pick. I think we may have picked it because it isn’t very long. We are busy people. I thought this was pretty stunning. The author is an exile from Cuba and this book tells the story of a Cuban family and what it means to be Cuban and also what it means to have your family scattered around the world. It also gets into the politics quite a bit and the problems faced by people living in a regime going through a period of turmoil. Even within the family, the political views are varied and their individual experiences differ. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart – I received this as an actual book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is Kopp Sisters #3. I had to read the second one before I got to this, which meant going on the library wait list and waiting my turn. Then I took forever to actually read this because somehow it’s much easier to read on the Kindle. Anyway…. I really like this series. This third book continues the story of the Kopp sisters. In this, Constance is expected to address the white slavery issue and Fleurette runs away with a Vaudeville act. This causes Norma to go a bit off the rails with worry, which Constance remains relatively calm and attempts to rein her in. These are real people from history that the author used to create historical fiction. She always cites the articles that she used to tell the story. I appreciate that. It’s an interesting concept and I really like the trend. I definitely recommend this series. I’m giving this 4 stars.

And that, sadly, is it for Week 44. Let me know what you think.

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Week 43 – 2017

It’s almost the end of the year and I am way behind as usual. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday, whatever ones you like to participate in, even if it is just a work holiday. Week 43 covers October 23 – 29. As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave – I received this in my first ever PageHabit subscription box. It is an actual book and I paid money for it. Which is rather an anomaly for me. In this, a detective is killed in pursuit of a suspect and his partner also kills the suspect. The detective has donated his organs, but specifically his eyes to his nephew who is blind and in his care since both of his parents have died. The suspects organs are also donated. There is a bit of a mix-up at the hospital. The nephew begins having dreams from both his uncle’s perspective and that of the killer. They begin to question the existence of muscle memory. I almost revealed a spoiler there. This is a very good book and I highly recommend it. Mine came with annotations from the author which were very cool. They also donate money to literacy programs in Africa, so this was well worth it in my opinion. I’m giving the book 5 stars.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – I borrowed this as an actual book from my mum. This is Hercule Poirot #10. I’ve been slowly reading through this series and I believe there are about 30 more of these Poirot’s to go. This is the best one so far in my opinion, though I did figure this out rather sooner than the author intended. This was just made into a movie that everyone seems to adore and I look forward to seeing it for myself. I did read this because the movie was coming out and I had it in my stack to read. The stack is a monster, though and I could have easily chosen something else. In this one, Poirot is on a train and there happens to be a murder, which is pretty bad luck for the murderer, because Poirot will figure it all out using his little gray cells. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Tales of the Night by Peter Høeg – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. I was trying to get Smilla’s Sense of Snow, but the library didn’t have a format that jived with my Kindle. I read this because I was getting ready for a trip to Copenhagen (and Iceland), and I wanted to sample some of the local authors to get a feel for the setting. This is an interesting selection of short stories. The tales are all from one night and happen all over the world. It is an interesting concept. My favorite was “Pity for the Children of Vaden Town” in which the town attempts to keep smallpox at bay. This lives up to the translation theory that if it was crap, no one would bother to translate it. I thought it was really interesting and the stories are well written. I’m giving it 3 stars.

Watch Me by Jody Gehrman – I received this as an actual book from Goodreads. This is a psychological thriller, which is my current favorite genre. This is told from the perspective of the stalker and the victim. Sam is obsessed with Kate, to the point where he has gotten into the college where she teaches and has signed up for her creative writing class. He does all of the creepy stalker things, like steal her keys to get in her house. Kate is a struggling author who happens to be working as a creative writing professor at a rather small college. She finds herself falling for Sam mostly because of the intense interest he pays her. It helps that he shows up in places she doesn’t expect him to be (not that he has access to her email or anything). Things get really intense and you’ll just have to read it. Actually, I just realized that I already wrote a blurb on Goodreads for this:

“The blurb on the back of this book says, “A Gripping Psychological Thriller.” I totally agree. Kate is an author and an English professor. Sam is a student who is entirely obsessed with his professor. Sam is also a sociopath. This is my favorite type of book. It’s the kind that immediately pulls you in and then compels you to read it until the end, mostly just to see who’s still alive at the end of the train wreck. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Do I need to use quotation marks when I’m quoting myself? No idea. Anyway, I’m giving it 4 stars.

And that is it for Week 43. Let me know if you have read any of these, or plan to now that you’ve read my blurbs.

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Week 42 – 2017

I’m going to jump right in because I am behind schedule. Week 42 covers October 16 – 22. As always, feedback is encouraged.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This author is quickly becoming one of my favorites. In this one, refugees are fleeing the Russian advance through Germany at the end of WWII. The unlikely travel companions band together to help each other in their flight to the relative safety of a German evacuation attempt. They seem to be fleeing one evil only to find salvation from another, but I guess sometimes life is about the least worst option. The narration changes between the refugees and tells their very different stories and experiences during the war and what they have been forced to endure in order to survive this far. I really enjoyed this. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Macbeth by Jo Nesbø – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is the Macbeth retelling from the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I know that’s hard to believe with the title and all. In this one, Macbeth is re-imagined as a 1970s police drama in Norway. Because, well, why not? This is a Shakespeare tragedy, so everyone dies. That is not a spoiler. If you haven’t read Macbeth, you should probably do so immediately. (I think I just figured out where George R.R. Martin got the idea that you can kill all of the main characters and keep going. That should have been obvious.) This is dark and well written and this author is quite amazing, so I definitely recommend it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. I love this cover for one thing. This is a travelogue of epic proportions. Not only do they travel via boat, but they travel through time, using maps to navigate into other times and places. It’s really very clever. The Captain is on a quest to find his lost love and Nix is trying to make sure it never happens. You’ll understand when you read it. I’m not always a fan of time travel books because the premise can be pretty flimsy, like the author doesn’t have quite enough imagination to pull it off and pull you into the story, but that is definitely not the case here. I loved it. I’m giving it 4 stars.


And that is it for Week 42. Let me know if you have any suggestions as to what my next read should be or if you have any comments about all of these.

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Week 41 – 2017

Sorry for not posting for a while. This is possibly the craziest month ever. This is the only weekend, for example, that I am actually in my apartment on my own for some of the time. I’m going to bounce right in. As always, thank you for your feedback in advance.

Week 41 covers October 9 – 15.

Neuromancer by William Gibson – I borrowed this from the Boston Public Library as an e-book. This is Sprawl #1. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It was interesting. It’s sort of matrix-y. Considering the fact that this came out in 1984, it is incredibly advanced and impressive. I think it still translates to the current state of technology. A cyber thief is tasked with stealing things from the big bad corporation. I liked it. I thought it was interesting. I’m giving it 3 stars.



City of Lies by Victoria Thompson – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is Counterfeit Lady #1. I thought this was surprisingly good. I just expected a fun mystery type read, but this was really a well written historical fiction novel. Elizabeth is a grifter, running a con with her partner in crime and the target is a vicious and dangerous man. When they make off with his money, he beats her partner and Elizabeth hides among a suffragist protest and ends up getting herself (and an entire crowd of women) arrested and shipped off to prison. And that’s just where the fun begins. I was really impressed with this. The cover made it seem sort of YA and not that serious. It was actually quite awesome and the author did a great job with the research. I’m giving it 4 stars.

 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – I borrowed this as an actual book from the BPL. It is Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1. This was a book club pick. I thought this was great. It’s a book about books, which I love. And a translation, which also gets extra props from me. This is hard to explain. A young boy is taken to a book suppository which is the home of forgotten books and told to pick one and take care of it. Once he reads the book, he wants to find others and the author. Except someone is trying to find all of the books and destroy them. There are also people looking to find the author and destroy him as well. The book tells the story of the author and the young boy in a concurrent manner. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

And that is it for Week 41. Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions as to what I should read next.


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Week 40 – 2017

Hi All! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend. They never seem long enough, but fortunately I really love my job. Week 40 covers October 2 – 8. I feel like I’m really caught up for once, but I had better stay ahead of the game because the next couple of months are going to be really busy.

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. I really liked the strange cover, which is how it got my attention. It is also post-apocalyptic, which I typically like. This book is pretty weird. I think you might really have to be into this genre to truly appreciate this one. Rachel is a scavenger in this new world and finds some sort of living thing somehow attached to the fur of the giant bear (forgot his name. sorry.) and brings him (it?) home where she lives with Wick who immediately wants to take it (him?) apart and study him. The story is hard to explain. It’s sort of a journey of self discovery for all of the characters. What does it mean to be a person? What is right and wrong? You’ll see what I mean. I’m giving it 4 stars.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This one was truly stunning. In this, there are so many mysteries all tied to one abandoned boarding school. The main character’s sister was found murdered on the grounds. A body is found in an old well. And there is a ghost. What really happened to all 3 of these girls? They lived decades apart and their only link is a piece of land in rural Vermont. It is historical fiction and mystery and a little bit of horror (there is a ghost, after all) all wrapped into one incredibly engaging story. I definitely recommend it. I’m giving it 5 stars.


Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is Aurora Teagarden #10. I’m really glad that the author circled back to this series. I find these characters amusing and they are almost better now that they have been updated (technology changes a lot). Obviously the characters themselves haven’t aged. Which is totally fine, because who wants to age? There is a lot going on in this one. Aurora has just had a baby and is coming down with the flu just as her husband needs to go to a conference and hopefully win an award. They bring in a babysitter who subsequently disappears in the middle of the night and obviously don’t forget the dead body in the backyard. These aren’t supposed to be serious or scary, so the overabundance of plot elements works somehow. It sucked me right in and was certainly entertaining. I definitely recommend it. Read the whole series if you like this kind of thing. I’m giving it 4 stars.

And that’s it for Week 40. As always, feedback is encouraged an appreciated. I love hearing from all of you.


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