I had some great reading time this month. It was a huge help during the 10 days that Chris and I had our epic colds. Every book I read this month was good so I'm not going to pick a favorite. I hope you find something good and leave your recommendations in the comments.
Don't Open The Door by Allison Brennan. I've read two of her books previous to this one. One I thought was tedious and one that was a very interesting premise. This one is just annoying with cliche characters. After 2 hours, I gave up.
By Joe R. Lansdale, Read by Brad Sanders
Joe Lansdale can WRITE and Brad Sanders was the perfect narrator for this wild western.
Loosely based on the real-life slave-turned-cowboy, Nat Love, Paradise Sky is a brutal and beautiful novel about the wildness of the West in the last 1800's.
After the Civil War, Nat (formerly Willie) and his father have settled down to farming when an insane local landowner is cause for Nat to run and strike out on his own. A farmer named Loving takes him in and teaches him farming, cooking, shooting, horseback riding and all sorts of other life skills. When Mr. Loving dies Nat takes on his name as a tribute and heads West.
He becomes a Buffalo Soldier and eventually finds his way to Deadwood where he becomes a bouncer at the infamous Gem Hotel. The Texas landowner is still searching for him so his life will not settle until that business is taken care of.
This book reminds me of the style of Larry McMurtry. The characters are richly drawn and the scenes are vivid. It's a western so the language is crude and there's plenty of murder aod gore. If you like a good Western I think you will enjoy this one. It got me through a week of being sick and made the time pass faster.
By Robert Bailey, Read by Joe Knezevich
This is the 1st in the Jason Rich series. Jason Rich is that personal injury lawyer that you see on billboards around your town. He's never been a criminal trial attorney. He's also in rehab for an alcohol addiction so he misses 2 weeks of calls from his sister begging for his help.
Jason's sister, Jana, has been charged with hiring a hit man to kill her husband and she wants Jason to represent her. The two have barely spoken in years but he agrees to take the case for his nieces. He returns to his hometown to try to unravel what really happened.
This was good enough as a first in a series for me to want to read another.
The Invincible Miss Cust
By Penny Haw, Read By Lucy Rayner
This is a historical novel about Aleen Cust. She was born in Ireland in 1868 and always dreamed of being a veterinarian but women couldn't pursue that career and her mother wouldn't have her embarrass the family by trying.
But, of course, she did do it. With the help of mentors, she was the first woman to enroll in the New Veterinary College in Edinburgh. She wasn't initially allowed to get the formal certificate but she found a way to practice anyway. She was the first woman veterinarian in Britain and Ireland. It's an interesting story and holds closely to the knows facts about her life.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
By Helen Simonson, Read By Peter Altschuler
In a small English village a wonderful cast of characters reside including Major Earnest Pettigrew (retired). The Major leads a quiet life since his wife died. He sees his son infrequently as he lives and works in London. When the Major's brother dies it seems that everyone and everything around him is changing. His son and niece are after a pair of historic guns to be sold for their benefit. The local land owner seems to be planning a large development and his son shows up with a new girlfriend looking for a weekend cottage. In the midst of this, he becomes friends with Mrs Jasmina Ali, the local Pakistani shop owner.
What ensues is a story about manners and tradition and the humor of trying to stick to the old ways. It's an endearing story about people trying to be happy and relevant in today's society.
By C.J. Box, Read by David Chandler
This is #23 in the Joe Pickett series. Joe is a Wyoming game warden with a reputation for getting involved in things he shouldn't and for destroying a record number of state vehicles. After 23 books you would expect the story lines to get a little tired but Box does a great job of keeping the characters moving forward. He's also very good at using current events/trends as elements in the story. In this one we have crypto mining and CCP influencing US politics. All quite believable.
Joe is tracking a wounded elk during a big snowstorm. He has permission to track on the private property. He does find the elk but also finds the body of a man that was killed by the exhaust fan of a structure full of computers.....in the middle of a vast cattle ranch. The victim is a university professor. As Joe is trying to learn more the body disappears and everyone, including the governor, tells him to stop investigating.
It's fast paced, plausible and a fun read.
By James Hayman, Read By Stephen Mendel
This is #3 of 5 in the McCabe and Savage series. This story centers around the theft and distribution of Canadian OxyContin. A young woman is found mutilated and a local doctor is lying in the road nearby, a victim of a hit and run.
Maggie Savage returned to the small seaport town to help with the investigation because the doctor is her best friend. Her partner, Michael McCabe, joins her after a few days.
As the investigation develops and other bodies are discovered, it seems that the man they are looking for might not exist. Only the sister of the murdered girl may have a clue, but she is missing.
The ending wasn't a huge surprise but it was sure fun getting there. The story is fast paced with plenty of twists and turns. This is an older series (this book is set in 2009) but if they didn't mention the date in each chapter heading, you would never know.
By Mary Roach
Once the days start to heat up in the Spring I try to get a little sun each day to prepare for our family beach trip at the end of May. I want to spend lots of time in the sun at the beach but I don't want to burn. When I sit in the sun I like to have a book to read so I don't get bored and antsy. This book served me well in my sun because each chapter takes about 15 - 20 minutes to read. One chapter for each side.
The book is a collection of essays about the conflicts between humans and nature and each essay is a completely unique topic and each is in her light-hearted but serious writing style. In each chapter she introduces specialists in some very unique areas of science: cougar trackers, danger tree blasters, macaque managers and lots of others. The footnotes are gems on their own.
It's an interesting and fun book and I learned a few things. I'd be inclined to suggest this for young people interested in animal welfare but a lot of her humor references things that anyone under 50 probably wouldn't know. Who actually remember Charles Nelson Riley?
The River Between Us
By Liz Fenwick, Read By Lucy Scott
You know how there's a "Cozy" Mystery category? Well, if there was a Cozy Historical Fiction category, this book would be in it. It's kind of like Kate Morton, but Kate Morton is a better writer.
Theo's (Theodoro) marriage has just ended and she escapes to the River Tamar near Cornwall. It's totally run down and she's looking forward to making it liveable again. On her first day, she finds a stash of letters from WWI (that no one else has ever found before). These letters were written from a servant of the nearby manor house to a young woman who lived in the manor.
Meanwhile Theo's own family history has some secrets that are coming to light since her Grandmother died. There's lots of DNA testing going on in Theo's era that tells some of the story of 100 years prior.
It's a fine book of escapist reading. EVERYTHING ties together and everyone is happy in the end. It's a little too gift-wrapped for me but I think a lot of people would really enjoy this book.
Who Is Maud Dixon?
By Alexandra Andrews, Read By Theresa Plummer
Florence Darrow dreams of being a writer and starts her adult life as an editorial assistant in NYC. She's frankly, not very self-aware or likable. After a stupid affair with her boss, she's given a chance to start over as an assistant to the reclusive writer Maud Dixon. They head to Marrakesh on a research trip and Florence has a terrible car accident. She awakens in the hospital with Maud missing. Can she become the writer?
I picked this up because I read Carole's book review post last week. Most of the books she recommended are new and not yet in audio format. But this one was and I decided to give it a try. To be honest, if not for her recommendation I would have stopped listening after 2 hours. It's a slow start but it does pick up speed and has a lot of twists. It's a very interesting plot and this book is more psychological thriller than standard mystery/thriller. If you like books like Gone Girl, you will like this one.
In the end I did enjoy it. I thought the plot was clever but, boy, did I hate both characters.
The Book Woman's Daughter
By Kim Michele Richardson, Read By Katie Schorr
I was so excited to see that there was a sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and I was not disappointed. Both books are historical fiction about the real-life Fugate family of Kentucky and about the packhorse library of rural Kentucky.
Honey Lovett is the 17 year old daughter of the famous blue packhorse librarian. When her parents are arrested for breaking anti-miscegenation laws (blue people were considered a different race and not allowed to marry whites or other races), Honey is left alone. Worse, the county social worker is determined to put her in a children's prison workhouse where she would have to stay until 21. She's determined to prove that she can take care of herself.
The narrator is perfect for the story and I couldn't put this book down and it was a great way to end the month.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.