I don’t have a lot to say, just a note that I am busy with two great audio books, one in my car 🚗 and one at home, The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson and The Plantagenets by Dan Jones. Also I can’t wait to see 👀 Black Panther! I’m going today so no spoilers! Hope your day is great 👍.
I just finished the BEST audio book – It’s called Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz.
Gregg Hurwitz writes these great thriller than always have me on the edge of my seat. They’re one of my secret pleasure from the library, secret because I get one and hide up in my room and read it like crazy until I get to end. Just don’t even talk to me until I’m done, because they’re that good.
Usually his books are stand alone, which I like because I can read them in any order, based on when the library has them, and I don’t have to remember the character names or whatever. I just know the suspense all has to wrap up in one book, which makes it more intense. But then I heard he had a series, and I had to check it out.
Who is Orphan X?
The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them. But he’s not merely a legend.
“Excellent…A smart, stylish, state-of-the-art thriller…might give Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books a run for their money.”—The Washington Post
Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He’s also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as an Orphan, an off-the-books black box program designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence asset: An assassin. Evan was Orphan X—until he broke with the program and used everything he learned to disappear. But now someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training who will exploit Evan’s secret new identity as the Nowhere Man to eliminate him.
What a great ride! It reminded me a little of Alias, a little of the movie Salt. Evan is the Nowhere Man, and if you’re in real trouble, desperate trouble, he’s the best friend you could have. I love Evan as a character, and I love the way Hurwitz takes the time to develop who he is at the beginning of the book, and then show us how he got there and how he changes. I know you don’t read thriller for character development, but I think that’s what shows a great writer.
I got this one on audio, like I said, and I think that’s totally the way to go. I’m already planning to download the next one. I don’t want to give away too much, but the description of the second book already has me wondering how Evan is going to get out of this mess. If you like edge of your seat books, pick this one soon.
Hey bookies! How was your weekend? Mine was quiet. I need to do something this week! Besides read, lol. Speaking of which, what are we all reading?
I have a new audio book for my car and it’s super good – Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz. I want to go on a long trip just so I can finish it!
I’m currently reading several books 📚 now, including one for a friend in my writer’s group. Besides that I have a memoir called “Ollie Ollie in come free”, and a re-read of the first Thursday Next book, The Eyre Affair.
What about you? Any books you want to share?
I’ve been reading a lot lately but I haven’t been able to keep up the reviews on here. I thought I would do some short reviews and bundle a bunch of them together so you can see what I’ve been up to.
Murder among friends
The Accident by Linwood Barclay centers around a man whose wife dies in a drunk driving accident. He can’t believe that she would have gotten behind the wheel in that state, but her death starts him asking questions that trigger a rash of violence all around him. I really like this writer – what a page turner!
I found The Man Who Would Be King at the thrift store for a dollar. I love Rudyard Kipling, so this little collection of 5 of his best stories was just what I needed. If you can find such a collection (and I think some of them are free on Kindle) this is a great place to start. I loved Kim and Jungle Stories too.
After finishing my book for book club, I was looking for another good book to listen to from my library. I decided on Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell. It’s the first book I’ve read by her and I enjoyed it. This one is about the history of Hawaii, a state with such a rich and interesting heritage that I feel she barely scratched the surface. She has a rather annoying voice though, so I think I’d read it instead of listen.
We did have to say goodbye to Tina and it was just as heartbreaking as we thought it would be. She was feisty right up to the last, but went right off to sleep in the end. It sort of broke my heart today to come home to all the signs she left around the house, to be cooking dinner and not have her under foot demanding her fair share. We still have Rosie, but to go from 3 cats to one in just eight months is such a shock. We had Tina for 15 years and Spooky for 12. It’s not easy to say goodbye.
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I had a yucky cold! Which means I got lots of reading and gaming done, but not much else. I did go to Winger’s for burgers with my husband, and that was fun. But otherwise it was a slow weekend.
Now for what I’m reading!
I guess I got on the Net Galley’s good list at last, because I got everything I asked for! I’m happy and stressed, because now I have even more to catch up on. Plus I got an ARC from Library Thing too. Add all my indy review requests, and I really don’t need to go to the library for a month.
This is one of the ones I got from Net Galley. I was SUPER excited at that, because I loved The Martian, book and movie. I’ve already finished it and a review is coming soon. My son, who discovered this author before I did, is really jealous. Let me just describe it briefly as a space version of Ocean’s 11.
This one is my audio book from Overdrive I’ve been listening to while I sew. It’s about the scientists who discovered aspects of evolution before Charles Darwin. It’s interesting, but not so much that it’s keeping my attention. I find my mind wandering and realize that I missed everything for several minutes.
This book is a different story. The plot and the characters are so well done that I keep wanting to drive somewhere just so I can listen. This one is on audio book in my car on CD and it’s so good. It’s got magic and wizards and hints of evil plots to steal the throne. I think something bad is about to happen and I can’t wait!
I’m also reading a CERTAIN BOOK that I can’t name because it’s SECRET! It’s about to be revealed on Friday and then you’ll have plenty of time to tell your friends to follow my blog and have a chance to win a SIGNED COPY. But it’s really exciting, with an orphan MC, an oppressive government, and a fairy tale twist.
Have you read any of these? What did you think? What are you reading? Comment below and let me know.
This review appeared last year.
Author: John Scalzi
How did I hear about this book? I liked the author, so I went looking for more
Let me start by saying that I’ve never read the sci-fi classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which inspired the title and the content of this book, as well as the classic film Blade Runner. This one I picked not because of any fondness for the original, but because I love John Scalzi’s unpredictable plots and dense worldbuilding and because it had Wil Wheaton as the narrator. After a couple of Audible duds, this one seemed like a sure bet.
I was so right. It is really hilarious and twisted. It starts with a prolonged bit about flatulence that was very funny but also sophomoric. That was kind of why it was funny. But it’s not your typical fart joke book, so don’t let that discourage you. See, it’s all about aliens and politics and cloning and religion. I don’t really even know how to explain it all, but I really liked it. This book got me through the 2016 election results, and that’s surprisingly appropriate. Completely recommended. 4.6 rating
A friend of mine asked, “Everyone out there has a story. Can we love them before we know it? And will we take the time to find out?” That’s the burning question in the book, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
Ove is not an old man, not in years, but he has become the grumpy old neighbor. He complains about everything and everyone. Some days he only talks to complain. Other days he doesn’t talk at all.
He wasn’t always like this. He used to be less grumpy. Not warm and friendly, but not so prickly and angry. That was before Sonia died. Now Ove is ready to give up on life. But life, in the form of new neighbors, a homeless cat, and a couple of teenagers, is not ready to give up on him.
I wasn’t sure I would like this one, as it sounds like a “message” book, and I hate those. It was a book club pick, and those are always unpredictable. But with this one I was laughing out loud in the first chapter. The writer uses humor and pathos masterfully to have your emotions swinging back and forth. And yes, it did make me cry, but I didn’t feel like I was being manipulated into it.
Ove reminds me of some people I know and love. He has a big heart, he just has very little tolerance for stupid people. And there are a LOT of stupid people about. I’m giving this one 5 stars out of 5! And if you want to read it, you should try the audiobook. The narrator captured all the voices so well plus the dry humor comes through.
I drive an old truck that used to belong to my dad. I love it, even though it’s a little temperamental and kinda creaky. (Just like him.) It also has a CD player, the only working one I have access to. I mostly use it for audiobooks, and recently finished The Queen of Attolia, which once again blew me away.
Then I ran into 2 duds in a row.
The first was Fairest by Marissa Meyer. I loved The Lunar Chronicles, but a whole book about Levana? I wasn’t sure. Still, I was definitely curious. Well, I didn’t get very far into it before I realized that it wasn’t for me. Levana was such a hateful character, I just didn’t want to spend several hours in her company. She’s so cruel and selfish, I couldn’t put up with it.
The second was Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl. It was described as a cross between I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (which I really liked) and Pride and Prejudice (which I love). It sounded like a can’t miss. It missed. It was meant to be satire, but again I just didn’t like the main character. Althea is on the hunt for a rich husband, but I found her too irritating to care what happened. The humor just missed for me.
So I went back to the library and found one more I’m going to try, Galileo’s Daughter. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, so here’s hoping it’s a good absorbing story. (Although honestly, nothing’s going to measure up to Euginides.)
Title: Private (Private #1)
Author: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Source: Audible freebie
Setting: Los Angeles, present day
“Wouldn’t it be neat if there was a private investigation business that was WAY COOLER than the cops? With a super advanced crime lab that had all the latest stuff? And investigators who could carry big guns and didn’t have to follow all the police regulations? And they worked for all the big clients because they were so cool?”
Well, yeah, I guess that would be neat. Not very believable, but neat. And I would read that.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a whole bunch of diverse characters that all have sexy secrets and every one has this like, diverse background that we’ll go into in complete detail, like an Irish secretary who is working on her citizenship? And a quirky scientist guy who does his own forensic exams? And a damaged main character who inherits the whole business from his criminal dad and has to fight with his EVIL TWIN BROTHER???”
Um, I guess so. Evil twins are kind of over done, but…
“And would wouldn’t it be EVEN BETTER if the crime exposed the rotten underbelly of Hollywood with the mob and prostitutes and drugs and serial killers after school girls and a conspiracy to undermine professional football?”
Wait, how does football fit in to this?
“Wouldn’t you totally read that?”
Not on purpose I wouldn’t.
“Oh, so we’ll just throw it all in there a little at a time, so you’re already hooked on the story and you have to read it to see what happens. Wouldn’t that be super cool?”
Reader Discovers Enchanting New Audio! Details to Come!
Author: Garth Nix
I heard a lot about this one when it came out. It seemed like everyone in YA and MG books was talking about it, and honestly, it sounds hilarious. Young princess has to kiss a frog to disenchant him, but he won’t cooperate. Pretty great premise, right?
Princess Anya is not in love with anyone. She’s too young. But her sister’s true love has been turned into a frog by their step-stepfather and her sister is too much of a drip to save him herself, so Anya steps in to save the prince. Along the way, she’ll meet the Association of Responsible Robbers, a Truly Terrifying Giant, a Druid or two, and the Evil Gray Mist. Royal Dog Ardent accompanies Anya on her Quest, which starts as a simple one – get the ingredients for Disenchanting Lip Balm, kiss the frog, go home – and turns into something much more complicated.
I loved the characters in this one. Anya has a nice little character arc, growing from a girl who only wants to stay in the library and study magic while someone else deals with everything to a leader who faces her problems head on. Anya also meets some great friends. Even Ardent the dog has a solid story line.
This was so much fun on audio. I really recommend the format. But it would also be great to read aloud or turn into a little play for kids at school. It is a little young, but sometimes that’s a fun change.