Give me the love: Unappreciated Books

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This week’s them is Underappreciated/Unknown Books, which means it’s my turn to shine! I read a lot of old books and there are plenty that I’m sure you’ve never heard of. Here we go!

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Monsters I Have Known by Jess Hartley. I don’t read a lot of supernatural/ghost stories, but sometimes I like a good creepy tale. I was asked to review this one by the author and I really enjoyed this book. With only 5 other GR reviews, you are all missing out on this one. The first story and one entitled “Material Witness” were my favorites.

The Deadly Side of the Square by Lee Jordan. This one was published back in the 90s, so I’m sure none of you have read it. Sophie Mendel has been through a lot in her time–widowhood, World War, death of a beloved daughter–and she’s not about to give in to life now. When the elderly residents of her decrepit apartment building start leaving–sometimes feet first–she digs in her heels and determines to stay.

But someone is just as determined to make her leave. Once Sophie is gone, the building can be razed and new, expensive developments be built. Only Sophie stands in their way. But Sophie is a lot tougher than they expected, and she’s got friends on her side. Great story with lots of twists.

Stroke of Death by Josephine Bell. An elderly man starved by his caretaker. Or was he? Young physical therapist thinks he needs help and enlist a local doctor, but things are never as simple as they look. The neat twist at the ending made this one stand out for me.

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Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars by Mabel Armstrong. This was one of the first books I got for free in exchange for a review, and I still think it’s a great book. It profiles female astronomers through the ages and it’s told in an easy to read format perfect for younger readers. Women in STEM!

Away With Them to Prison (Antony Maitland 43) by Sara Woods. I used to love this English crime series featuring a English barrister who investigates crime. All his clients are innocent, naturally, and he always extracts a confession from the real guilty party in open court. This time it’s a couple of policemen who wind up on trial for corruption.

Death Lurks in the Bush  (Kelly Ryan #3) by Kate Grilley. I got this one at the dollar store. I’ve never read any others in this Caribbean mystery series, but if you like Death in Paradise on the BBC, you’d like this one too.

Goodbye to Poplarhaven by Edward Geary. I read this one because I knew the writer as my college English professor. He was a good, rather reserved teacher, but as a writer he is observant, wry and funny. This is his memoir, an ode to life in small town rural Utah.

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Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

The Facts in the Case of E A Poe by Andrew Sinclair. A man is convinced he is the reincarnation of the great writer Edgar Allan Poe. Is he right? Decide for yourself. This one is on Kindle Unlimited.

Death’s Bright Dart by V C Clinton-Baddeley. I have a lot of these old, out of print murder mysteries on my list. What can I say? I love them. This one has an expert on poisons being mysteriously murdered during a lecture on poisons. This one is the first in the short series.

The Lord Mayor of Death by Marion Babson. The first one I read by this author and still my favorite. Great story of a terrorist threat during a parade, efforts of the police to prevent a panic and spot the bomb, a missing girl, and the mayor who has decided to let the show go on with himself as bait.



It’s a little late in the day, but I hope you’ll find something in here worth reading. I can’t wait to see your lists. Feel free to link them in the comments and I’ll check them out. Happy reading!

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Currently reading 2/18

Happy Monday. How was your weekend? My Saturday was a little busy, but Sunday was all about naps and PJs. Not bad at all. 🙂

Currently reading

Audio:

Grant by Ron Chernow. I swear, I really am going to finish this book. The story has Grant in the last days of his second term as president. They tried to get him to run for a third term, but he said no. I didn’t know that! I’m at 80% and I’m hoping some of the remaining portion is a bibliography which I can skip. It’s been great, but I’m ready to be done. Will definitely do a review when I’m finished.

Ebook:

The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen. I’ve been reading this one even longer, but this time I don’t mind. It’s one I read when I forget my other books and I always enjoy it. So many interesting stories and fact, and the writing is great.

Print:

Emma Brown by Clare Boylan. I’m doing a little mini challenge to read books off your shelf. My goal is 5 this month and I’ve already cleared off 3. This one is number 4. I’ve had it for several years, but never got around to picking it up. It’s historical fiction, based on an unfinished manuscript by Charlotte Bronte. So far it is really hitting the right tone. It’s been telling two stories, back and forth, and I’m curious about when they are going to link up.

Study in Brimstone (Warlock Holmes #1) by G S Denning. Recently bought, but I swear I have a good excuse! I was looking for my book club pick when this series caught my eye, and I HAD to pick them up. Not very far in, but it is hitting all the right notes with me. Take a look at the cover:

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Sherlock Holmes is a genius. Warlock Holmes is something else.

So many fun details and the writing is really enjoyable. Not far along with this one either, but it’s off to a great start.

In other news, I’ve decided to add a new shelf to my GoodReads : READ SOON. I have 1800+ books on my TBR list there, and when I get to the library or decide to buy something, I get totally overwhelmed. I started a new shelf which I’m limiting to 10-15 books, no more. That way I can remember which books I really, really want to read soon. Then when something sounds AMAZING, I won’t forget about it.

What are you reading? Finished anything great lately? Tell me all about it in the comments and happy reading!

Top 10 Tuesday

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I don’t do memes very much, but I’d like to get into them as I think I might get more readers over here. This week’s them is Favorite Couples in Books. It’s hosted by That Arty Girl. Although it isn’t specified, for this list I’m going with couples in the romantic sense. These are in no particular order.

Princess Sarene and Prince Raoden, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

elantris What happens to a society when their gods become monsters? 

I love the slow way that this romance develops. They become allies first, then friends, then more. Individually they are such strong, caring people, but as a couple they are so much more powerful. Knowing he is cursed, Raoden wants to hold back from loving her and revealing his identity, but Sarene just won’t give up. And I love Raoden’s determination to find a way to live instead of just existing. This book is a stand alone, (except for a short story), so if you’ve been wanting to try Sanderson’s writing, this is a good place to start.

Steris Harms and Lord Waxilium Ladrian, Mistborn Adventures, by Brandon Sanderson

24357485 I swear I do read other authors besides Sanderson! But this couple just grew on me so much. It’s meant to be a political match. He’s got the money; she’s got the influence. But they grow on you! I felt like I just didn’t get Steris at first. I kept expecting they would split up. But Sanderson does the unexpected, and instead of putting them with someone more suitable, he revealed the way they really were meant for each other. Steris grows so much over the series that you almost can’t believe she’s the same woman! I love her so much. And Wax learns to let go of his guilt and betrayal over his first wife’s death and realize that he can’t picture life without Steris. It’s just so perfect! Hard ship, right here.

 

Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan

Going in a totally different direction here, but I mean, come on, you can’t  help loving these two. Percy is a little slower to get there, but when he does, he is 100% on Annabeth’s side. They went through Hell for each other, literally, and if every a young couple deserved a chance to settle down and build a new life, it is these two. All the hearts.

Sir Percy Blakeney and Marguerite St. Just, The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy

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So swoon-worthy! I love the book and the movie version of this couple. Marguerite is passionate and fiery, Percy is daring and brave, and they have to overcome all these obstacles to find true love! The book and the movie have different ending, but each one has Percy rescuing Marguerite from the French Revolution. And they both look fabulous the whole time!

Annis Wychwood and Oliver Carleton, Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

I had to put a book by Georgette Heyer in here, as she is my favorite romance writer of all time. Finally I chose these two. Annis lives in Regency Bath with a companion. As a lady in her late twenties, she’s obviously a spinster, doomed to a life as a single woman. (How times have changed!) Oliver is a gentleman with reputation as being rude and unconventional. It is, if not quite love at first sight, a definite attraction. They share the same sardonic sense of humor, and that’s kind of my thing, because anyone who makes me laugh has already stolen half my heart. These guys are made for each other.

Amaranthe Lokdon and Sicarius, Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker

Trigger warning for attempted sexual assault and torture.

She’s in the Imperial law force. He’s an assassin. She’s sent to bring him in. But it turns out, they both want the same thing – to protect the Emperor. This is definitely a slow burn. Sicarius has a really dark past and he’s very slow to trust. But Amaranthe just won’t give up on him.  I love this series, and it needs more love. If you like found family stories, with lots of humor and plenty of heist action (plus a little steampunk-y goodness), you should totally check it out.

The Entire Cast of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

OMG OMG OMG. I loved these ships so damn much. Wylan and Jesper, Nina and Matthias (my heart!), and especially Kaz and Inej. What makes these work is that each of them is broken in their own way, but they become someone better when they’re together. I don’t need to elaborate too much on this one, because so many people have read these books. If you have, then you know what I mean! Love these guys.

Scarlet Benoit and Wolf Kesley, the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

This one was hard, because I also love Thorn and Cressida, but I think Scarlet and Wolf are a teeny bit better. Scarlet is so feisty and so protective of her family. Once she decides that Wolf is part of her family, they become an unbeatable team. And poor Wolf – he’s been through so much, never dared to hope for anything better. Once he finds it though, he would do anything for Scarlet.

Capt. Cordelia Naismith and Admiral Adal Vorkosigan, Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Trigger warning for attempted sexual assault.

Cordelia, you badass. They are both amazing characters, but I love that Bujold really gives Cordelia a chance to shine. They’re not a traditional couple – she’s a career officer and he’s the Butcher of Barrayar. But once they decide they love each other, Cordelia especially will let nothing stand in her way of getting a life with the man she loves. Sure, there’s some fun sci-fi stuff in here, but it’s this relationship that makes the book worth reading.

Sarah Agnes Prine and Captain Jack Elliott, These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

Trigger warning for sexual assault, death of a child

It’s been a while since I’ve read this one, but they were so amazing that I have to give them some space here. Sarah and her family are on their way to new home when their wagon train is attacked by Indians and her father is killed. This is not a spoiler, it’s literally in chapter one. That’s your warning right there that this book is not going to be an easy ride. Stuff happens, and it’s hard reading sometimes. What makes it worth it is watching the relationship grow between Sarah and Captain Jack. It was so sweet and tender, and  he was so patient and kind. I just love this series so, so much.



So what do you think? Do we share any favorites? Who’s on your list? Let me know in the comments.

What are you reading? 2/5

Hey readers! I missed posting yesterday so today I’m going to catch up with all of you on what’s what.

My current reads:

Audio:

Still slogging through Grant by Ron Chernow. I have 16 hours left on this baby! I made it through the Civil War and into the presidency, but I need a break. It really is good but no much fun.

So I borrowed A Thousand Beginnings and Endings from the library. It is a collection of short stories inspired by Asian folk tales and myths. Do I like it? Well, let’s just say that one story revolving a dead mom who may or may not have turned into a ghost that haunts her father and inhabits a MMORPG had me standing by the kitchen sink with tears rolling down my face late last night. I can’t even explain it, except to say that something about that story really got to me.

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Print book:

I just went to the library and checked out a fresh stack. I just finished Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry and now I’m reading The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace. It’s good, but not sobbing in the kitchen good.

Ebook:

I’m a little stuck on Where Eagles Date by Alistair MacLean. I like it, but the MC is really an insufferable know-it-all. Still, gotta love stories about beating up Nazis.

What are you reading? Do you like it? Tell me in the comments.

January Wrap Up

A month has gone into 2019 and now is a good time to see how my reading has gone.

 

Started 28 books

DNF 4 books

6 audio books (including one I’m still listening to)

1 graphic novel/comic book

best audio: The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean

Best nonfiction: The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

Best YA: The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

Book club: Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyami

Overall, it was a slightly disappointing month. I didn’t have many absolute stinkers, but I also didn’t have any 5 star books and only a few 4 stars. I hope February will be better.

 

 

What are you reading?

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Happy Monday! It’s a holiday here in the US. We’re planning a laid back day, a little shopping and a movie. I want to see Aquaman but the hubby picked Mary Poppins. Have any of you seen it?

I hope you’re all enjoying your reading. I went to the library Friday and I have a fresh stack to get to.

Currently reading:

Plantation Shudders (Cajun Country 1) by Eileen Byron

Grant by Ron Chernow

That’s it from me. Happy reading! 📚

 

Book Club 2019!

Last night was my first book club meeting of the year. This year I thought it would be fun to share our reads so that you could read along, if you are interested. Or if any of these books catch your attention – on your TBR or ones you’ve already read – be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want to find out more about the books, the pictures will take you to the Goodreads page.

Bookends 2019 – by Category this year

January – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyami, my pick! New Author

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February – Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King, Biography

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March – The Rent Collector by Camron Wright, Fiction

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April – Where the Crawdad Sing by Delia Owens, Historical Fiction

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May – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Teens

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June – Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, Self-Help

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July – Web of Deceit by Susan Sleeman, Mystery/Thriller

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August – Educated by Tara Westover, Memoir

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September – Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg, Humor

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October – The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson, Children’s book

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November – Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden, Romance

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December – The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing, Classic

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I’m also in another book club, and I’m the one in charge of picking ALL the books! No pressure, right? They need to be appropriate for a church book club but still good reads that will appeal to the group. So far we’ve only had two meetings. We read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Both were very popular. Our next book is going to be Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterley and I’m not sure what we’re reading after that! I need to get organized on that one. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Until next time, happy reading!

Weekend reading📓

Hey, it’s Speedy Reader. It’s been an intense week, for lots of reasons, but I have had the chance to start an awesome new nonfiction book. It’s called Life and Death in the Andes by Kim MacQuarrie. It’s a collection of stories, arranged more or less geographically, that cover crime, history, religion, and culture. It really makes me want to visit South America. I’m loving this on audio. Enthusiastic recommendation here! What are you reading?

What Summer Reading?

Every year for the last maybe 15 years I’ve participated in my library’s summer reading program. When the kids were little it was a great way for them to earn free prizes and keep them occupied when they were out of school. There were even fun prizes for the adults, from free t-shirts to books, candy, and free meals.

This year is the first time I didn’t participate. I signed up all right, but I didn’t finish a single book review. I don’t know what happened. It’s tempting to blame it all on depression, but I’m not aware of being more depressed than say, the year my dad died. It just seems like I haven’t been interested in reading lately.

Things are looking up slightly. I’ve finished a couple of books recently and I’m really enjoying this  month’s book club pick. I don’t know. Let’s hope it was just a fluke and I can enjoy a good book again.

What are you reading this weekend?

One of the reasons I haven’t posted much lately is that I haven’t been reading much. I’m not even going to try to catch up on what I have finished, but things are slowly looking up this week and I have a few books I’m working on.

The first is one for review called .Sawdust in His Shoes by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I was excited to win this one from Library Thing because I’ve read one of her books before and really liked it. This one is about a boy who grew up in the circus. It has a very old-fashioned feel to it, but I don’t mean that in a bad way.

I’m also rereading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It was our pick for book club in July. I was really into it but then I just got too depressed to finish. And I’m listening to a nonfiction book called Frontier Grit about pioneer women. Great stories but too much moralizing.

So what are you reading? Have a good weekend.