It's vacation month and since we've been with friends I have tried to be less anti-social than normal. that means I've finished fewer books. I finished 7 books and my favorites were probably The Collector's Daughter and The Second Life of Mirielle West. Of course I loved Manitou Canyon because I still love the Cork O'Connor series.
My listening time for August was 93 hours and 54 minutes. Year to date that's 937 hours and 20 minutes.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - Annoying book where all women are geniuses, all men are pigs and all people of faith are idiots. It also isn't "laugh out loud funny", as advertised. Fell flat for me.
Hey Ranger! True Tales of Humor and Misadventure from America’s National Parks – After the second story about phone service for park rangers I couldn’t take it anymore.
The Second Life of Mirielle West (757)
Mirielle West is a socialite in 1920's LA going from party to party with her actor husband. One day she burns her hand and goes to the doctor where it's discovered that she has leprosy. Before she knows what happened she is shipped to a leprosy hospital in Carville, Louisiana.
Carville, LA is a real place and the living situation and treatments are true to life so there's a good dose of authentic history in this book. The book is about her difficult adjustment to her new life in Carville.
I enjoyed this book especially the unique storyline set around leprosy before antibiotics were discovered. Often Mirielle is unlikable but I think her character is absolutely believable.
Haven Point (830)
By Virginia Hume, Read By Cassandra Campbell
I selected this book to listen to on the drive up to Maine simply because it’s set in Maine. It’s about generations of a Boston Brahmin family that spend summers at Haven Point, their Maine vacation home. It’s a long book and it kept my interest but it’s not one that I’d remember. The characters were a little flat, the “big family secret” wasn’t anything that qualified as needing to be secret and the townspeople were annoyingly cliquish and shallow just like you would expect of country club types.
My review could be colored by the fact that I got sick on the drive up and was coughing my lungs out. A book would have to have been outstanding to make me happy on that drive.
Manitou Canyon (694)
By William Kent Krueger, Read By David Chandler
This is #15 in the Cork O’Connor series. WKK is one of my favorite writers and I love the O’Connor series. His characters are strong an interesting and he sets a beautiful stage in the Minnesota Boundary waters. It was nice to listen to this book while sitting lakeside in a cabin in the woods.
It’s November and a man has gone missing after a camping trip. The official search ended but the man’s grandchildren ask Cork to continue the search. It’s a race against winter weather to try to find him. When Cork doesn’t contact home on schedule another search is started.
Like all of the books in this series, it’s fast paced and the storyline is enhanced with some Ojibwe mysticism.
The Golden Couple (663)
By Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Read By Karissa Vacker and Marin Ireland
Marissa and Mathew Bishop are the golden couple until Marissa makes a mistake that threatens their relationship. The agree to see Avery Chambers, a therapist who guarantees that she can fix your problems in 10 sessions.
What follows is a bunch of weird events in all their lives that seem to be timed together.
The book is one big guessing game. I'm not sure if it's suspense or psychological thriller. There was a lot of misdirection and guessing. It was a fine story for a long car ride. I think if you like psychological mysteries that you will really enjoye this one.
The Other Wife (633)
By Michael Robotham, Read By Sean Barrett
This is book #9 in the Joe O'Loughlin series set in London. Joe is a psychologist with Parkinson's disease and his wife recently died from a medical accident.
The book opens with a call from the hospital that his father is injured and in a coma. When he gets to the hospital he discovers that the woman who brought his father in is another wife. The book follows the unraveling of the life of his respected surgeon father.
What seems like a fall down the stairs is actually an attack and there are questionable activities in the family trust. These books are really good but you need to know that they are a little dark. I thought the plot was quite unique and I appreciated that.
The Collector's Tomb (692)
By Gill Paul, Read By Imogen Church
I suppose that this book is historical fiction. The main character, Lady Evelyn Herbert, is real. She grew up in Highclere Castle (Downton Abby) and was the daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon. Carnarvon, along with Howard Carter, discovered Tutankhamun's tomb and Evelyn was with him when they first saw the inside of the tomb. It's speculated that she was the first person in the tomb.
This is definitely a novel but much of the story is true. I don't think that the most controversial storyline was true but it made for an interesting book. The character development was very good and I was riveted to the story.
By Meg Mitchell Moore, Read By Stacey Glembowski
I went a little overboard picking books for August that are Maine-centric. This is another one.
Louisa spent her life growing up in a coastal Maine community where her father was a well-respected judged. She's come home for the summer with her 3 children to spend time with her parents and to work on her book. She is on sabbatical from her position has a History professor. Her father has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and her husband stayed in Brooklyn to work on his business venture as a very critical time for it.
Kristie has also recently come to this little town in Maine in a Greyhound bus. She's dealing with the grief of losing her mother and the secrets that her mother revealed about her birth.
It seemed like a good summer read but in the end it was kind of uneven and disappointing. Louisa was pretty darned annoying and hypocritical. On the one hand she's a staunch feminist but she's not interested in helping a woman who might have been wronged by her own family and she isn't good at being independent. She's a horrible communicator with her husband and sets standards for him that she's unwilling to place on herself. She's kind of an entitled brat. Frankly, I found her childish and unlikable. Her children, however, were delightful while her mother was a bit delusional. Kristie is an interesting character who has had a very tough life and, rightfully, doesn't truest too many people. The best character in the book is Kristie's boyfriend. He's a real gem.
I was glad enough for this one to end and I did like the ending. Everyone finally grows up.
To me the interesting part of the book was the insistence on strong feminist messages but in the end it's more traditional values that save the day. Not sure if that was intended or not but that's what it is.
A Necessary End (608)
By Peter Robinson, Read By James Langton
This is #4 in the Inspector Banks series. It's an older series and this one is set during the term of Margaret Thatcher so there's a lot of political discussion.
A local peaceful political demonstration turns ugly when a police officer is stabbed and dies. Chief Inspector Banks is on the case until a senior officer is sent from London to head the investigation. Superintendent Burgess is the prototypical bully cop and doesn't waste time being brutal to the members of a small commune-style community.
I like the Banks series but I felt this one was a little awkward. Every character had to be introduced with their political leanings and it was hard to keep up with all of them for a while. This was my least favorite in the series so far.
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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.