It looks like August was a light reading month for me. That's partly because we were on vacation for 2 weeks of the month and partly because some of the books are very long.
My two "serious" books, The Admirals and Witness, will not appeal to many but I enjoyed both of them and am very happy that I read Witness.
I liked all of the non-fiction books except Luck and Judgement.
What have you read this month that you loved?
by Walter Borneman, Narrated by Brian Troxell
Well I kicked off the month with a long and serious one. I'll just start off by saying that biographies aren't for everyone. I like them because I retain history lessons better when told through the individuals that were key to the event. I'm horrid with chronological dates.
I don't even know why I picked up this particular book. Although Chris was in the Navy and his Dad was on the USS Luce when it was sunk by a Japanese Kamakaze pilot (he survived) I've never been interested in US Naval history. This one appealed to me because of the uniqueness of these 4 particular men. They are the only Admirals in US Naval history to have been awarded 5 stars. The books was also an Audible Deal of the Day and it had great reviews.
Surprisingly, even to me, I loved it. Yes, it's about the events of the war but it's mostly about these 4 men, their lives, their roles in the war and their distinct personalities. If you are into this kind of book I thin you will really enjoy this one.
The Time it Never Rained
by Elmer Kelton, Narrated by George Guidall
This book was initially published in 1973 but it's still a great story over 4 decades later. It centers around Charlie Flagg, a cattle and sheep rancher in West Texas. He has always struggled but has kept his ranch going decade after decade. When an extended drought settles in he holds out against government programs meant to help and tries to hold his ranch, life and freedom together until the rains come again.
As you are listening to this you feel the slow pace of ranch life and although it's a slow tale you slow down to pace with it instead of getting frustrated. The book really draws you in to live with and to see life from the various perspective of each character. While it's a "old" story, much of what's dealt with parallels things we read about in current events. I really enjoyed this listen.
by Ann Cleeves, Narrated by Gordon Griffin
This is the third book in the Shetland Island series. I admit that I sometimes have trouble following some of the names but I like Inspector Jimmy Perez and some of the quirky characters that live on these remote islands.
It all starts with a young archaeologist finding some ancient bones. Soon the elderly woman who owns the property is killed. What looks like an accidental shooting turns into something else when the archaeologist commits suicide.
It was a great vacation read while I was stitching a lot of shibori while enjoying the beautiful August weather in Maine.
The Burning Room
By Michael Connelly
Although I have this linked to the Audible book I actually read this one in paper. It was one of the books I read while were were on vacation.
This is #19 in the Harry Bosch series. Harry is working cold cases and is teamed up with a new detective, Lucy Soto. They start on one cold case but end up working 3.
There's not much to say about liking or not liking this book because I love all of the Bosch novels. I read Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Kyle Mills and Anne Perry when I want a no-risk great read. Even though I read the paper version I notice that Titus Welliver is now narrating the Bosch books. That seems like a good idea since he is playing Bosch in the TV series.
by Anne Perry
This is #13 in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. It's not available in audio so I took my vacation trip as an opportunity to read the paperback. In this one Thomas and Charlotte are investigating the murder of a judge who is connected to another case that's 5 years old.
I continue to enjoy this series. Anne Perry is an excellent writer and makes you feel that she bringing you right into Victorian England.
Luck and Judgement
by Peter Grainger, Narrated by Gildart Jackson
This is the 3rd book in the DC Smith detective series. I have not read the first 2 books so this must have been an Audible Deal of the Day and, honestly, I didn't care for it.
The story opens with the report of a worker missing from a North Sea oil rig. It seems to be a simple case of accidental death but DC Smith isn't so sure and continues the investigation back onshore.
The plot line is actually really interesting but the characters came off kind of flat to me and there's an annoying amount of sarcasm in EVERY conversation. The dialogue is 10x too clever and it ultimately turned me off. I listened to this on vacation and found myself falling asleep when I was listening to it.
I will say that the Audible review for this book are outstanding so you might want to try the first one in the series to see if you like it.
by Whittaker Chambers, Narrated by John MacDonald
Witness was first published in 1952 and is the true story of Whittaker Chambers' work as a member of the Communist Party spying for the Soviet Union. It is also the story of how Chambers exposed Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy.
Chris and I had about 35 hours of driving for our vacation trip and chose this book (at 30 hours) to listen to during our drive time.
We are both shocked that this book wasn't part of our history study in school. It is a profound book about a critical point in US history. It's also a human nature story because Chambers shares a lot of information to explain how and why this American chose to join the Communist Party, what being a party member requires and what brought him to leave the party and ultimately expose other party members.
I believe this book is as relevant today as it was in 1952 and we are both glad that we read it. Reading it is an undertaking. The detail is, at times, excruciating, but you realize that it is all really necessary and worthwhile.
8/31/2017 10:53:21 am
I'm just finishing up _ A God in Ruins_ by Kate Atkinson. It's very well written and gripping in some places. It's about a man's life story and it covers some of the Nazi war years, which usually stops me listening, but this is a different perspective on it. It meets your length requirement, I highly recommend it if you haven't already enjoyed it.
8/31/2017 12:05:38 pm
Have you watched Shetland the series? I think it was on Netflix - I watched all of it and waiting to see if another season comes out - I have not read the books well check and see if the library has them and if not amazon
9/1/2017 10:54:58 am
Thank you for these reviews. I just added two books to my grandson's Christmas list ~ ~ as he's a voracious reader, history buff, war student. The Admirals will be a perfect read for him ~ ~ AND the Witness will explain things to him that he doesn't yet understand. I appreciate the thorough reviews of books I might not have picked up! It's a generous gift on your part.
9/6/2017 10:56:38 am
Thank you again for your book reviews; I always enjoy reading them! I'm a Bosch fan too but have not seen the tv series. I am now reading one of your recommendations - American Kingpin - and it is a fascinating read! Thanks again for recommending it.
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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.