I did not post yesterday because a post about me laying around and napping through this cold isn't post worthy. I'm lucky that today is the last day of the month and I can post about my December books.
December was a particulary good month for books. There's only one that I'd specifically recommend not reading although I think Algorithms would be better in paper than audio if the topic is of interest to you. My big winners of the month are Salt, Escape Clause, Citizen Creek and Cure but the rest are worthy too.
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown
By Eric Blehm
With that unweildy title you get the gist of this book. It's the biography of Adam Brown and Fearless is the right title. By all accounts he was fearless from birth and had an incredible tolerance for pain.
If you like books like Unbroken and American Sniper you might like this one. Adam Brown is a brave and driven person with flaws. He became a Navy SEAL as a goal to help him escape a drug addiction. It's a true rredemption story. My only caveat is that if you do not like Christian literature you will not like this. I didn't realize it had heavy Christian overtones until I was reading it and it's an integral part of his story and life. It might turn some readers off but if not, I think you will appreciate getting to know Adam Brown.
The Shut Eye
by Belinda Bauer
It was news to me that a Psychic is also called a Shut Eye but now I know. This is the story of a missing toddler and his mother's desperate search to find him, even by asking a local Shut Eye to help. She's seen as crazy by everyone except one detective who has been obsessed with a missing girl case for over a year.
I got this on one of Audible's Daily Deals so had very low expectations. I could not have been more pleasantly surprised. The author tells a great story with lots of interwoven details.
by Lalita Tademy
Oh wow, what a gem of a book! I knew going in that it was a "historical novel" but thought it was a general historical story telling what life was like for a slave of a Native American tribe. It wasn't until the end that I discovered that the two main characters of the book were real people.
Cow Tom started life as a slave and was a translator for his chief of a Creek Indian tribe. Rose is his granddaughter. The book is told in 3 basic parts: Cow Tom's life until he had his family free of slavery, the period of time when his life overlapped that of his granddaughter Rose adn the third part about Rose's life. It's an amazing story. Rose's grandson is Jake Simmons, Jr, one of the msot famous and successful oil brokers.
Lalita Tademy is an outstanding writer. If you read this you will KNOW these people and want to spend more time with them. It's a beautifully written book.
Salt: A World History
by Mark Kurlansky
"Who knew?" That's what I kept saying as I listened to this book. It's exactly what it says it is. It's world history told through the history of salt and salt mining. It's loaded with "Oh, I had no idea" moments and is sprinkled with ancient and traditional recipies, especially recipes for traditional ways to preserve meats and vegetables with salt. If you like nonfiction, you will enjoy this book.
Because We Are
by Ted Oswald
Continuing my month of good luck in books is this gem. It's, as it says on the cover, a novel of Haiti as told through the character of a young orphaned girl named Liberty.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book but Liberty drew me in from the first chapter. The author, I believe, truly conveyed the realities of life in Haiti and showed us a culture where children must grow up fast. He may have given Liberty and Jacques a little too much maturity and wisdom but the story was so good that I didn't mind. The narrator was PERFECT! The only complaint I have is that it was a little difficult to keep up at times when the story switches back and forth between scenes and times. There was no break in the narration to indicate a change. Otherwise it is a beautiful book.
A Tapping At My Door
by David Jackson
This is the first book in a new series and is a typical murder mystery with a detective with a lot of baggage. It' set in Liverpool England and opens with a woman opening her back door to shoo away a raven tapping at her door. Then the killer strikes. DS Nathan Cody is assigned to the case and he brings along a lot of emotional baggage from a previous undercover case gone bad. The second murder reveals that the targets of the murders are all police officers.
While the storyline is somewhat formulaic, the story is really well told and I was interested throughout. I usually listen to books as I fall asleep at night but I couldn't listen to this one because I was too engrossed to fall asleep. That's a good sign for a book!
Algorythms to Live By
by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
I admit, I had low expectations for this book but it was a Audible Deal fo the Day so was only $4 and worth the risk. Sometimes I loves these geeky books. Sometiems not. This is a "not".
First, my #1 rule of books is that the author should NEVER narrate the book. They are always bad at it and this is no exception. He knws this topic inside out and seems a little bored with it himself. I generally don't buy author-narrated books but this one slipped by me.
The subject matter is interesting. It's about how we can manage decision in out lives, like how many people to interview and who to hire for a job. But it's presented too dryly for those of us who aren't enigneers or mathematicians. While A Tapping At My Door kept me awake at night, this one is a good sleep aid and I'll work my way through it in that way.
by John Sandford
Thsi is #9 in the Virgil Flowers series and he's trying to find 2 tigers stolen from the local zoo before they are killed for Chinese medicines.
It's John Sandford and Virgil Flowers. What's not to love?
by James Kaufman
Joe Hart has a illustrious Navy career and now has a perfect wife and a successful law career and then his wife is killed by a drive-by shooter. He heads to the mountains to escape. Preston Wilson is a wealthy owner of several car dealerships and he's about to lose all of it. He needs the help of the right attorney and Joe Hart is it. Coincidentally, their paths have crossed in the past. Preston hikes into the mountains to beg Joe to take his case.
Sometimes you read a book and you know it will make a great movie. Tom Clancy, for example, gave is Jack Ryan and he's perfect for the big screen. While I was reading this book all I could think about was how this was written as a Lifetime movie scrpit. Joe is too perfect. We don't get to see him work. The work just seems to magically happen because he's so busy going off and taking care of his collectibles. It's soap opera with no depth of character.
Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body
by Jo Marchant
No book has surprised me more than this one. I have no idea why I picked it but am so glad I did. This isn't a new age book about how you can cure your diseases using Acupuncture, Reiki, Homeopathy or other non-traditional treatments. It's about the current research in the placebo effect and how effectively it can be used for things like pain management, reducing drug doses and managing side effects. Those methods might be Homeopathy or other non-traditional treatments but we aren't getting better becasue of the treatment but because we think we wil get better. Even when we know we are taking a placebo we can still get benefit. Jo Marchant shares the research being done using mind over body for pain manegement, MS, IBS, CFS, labor and delivery and other chronic medical issues. It's very enlightening and I recommend it to everyone.
I'm saving this one to read again.
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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.