It was fun last month to see how you track your own reading lists. Goodreads sounds like a great idea and I wish it had existed 20 years ago but I can't imagine going in now to enter everything I've read or trying to manage between an old spreadsheet list and a new internet list. But I can see how it's a great tool and a great way to get ideas for new books to read.
This is the last report for the year. My spreadsheet tells me that I "read" 101 books this year. My favorites were:
The Strangler Vine by MJ Carter
Follow The River by James Alexander Thom
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Chain of Title by David Dayan
John Adams by David McCullough
The Dead Key by DM Pulley
My favorite series are:
Harry Bosch by Michael Connolly
Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers by John Sandford
William Monk by Anne Perry
Tracey Crosswhite by Robert Dugoni
Here are the books for December. It was a slow reading month with only 6 books but 5 out of the 6 were good!
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
by Sharyn McCrumb, Narrated by Sally Darling
This is the second book in the Ballad series. I read the first one, If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O, back in April. I didn't love the first one but I liked it well enough to try another. These are set in the mountains of Tennessee just west of the North Carolina border.
Here's the publisher's summary:
Laura Bryce has lived in the small east Tennessee community such a short time that she still feels like an outsider. But when there is violence on the Underhill farm, the sheriff calls on her to represent the church. He will handle the bodies, but she must comfort the bereaved. However, the unspeakable carnage she confronts in the farmhouse will push her down a rocky pathway of danger and heartache.
I have no idea where that came from but it doesn't come close to describing the plot of the novel. Yes there's a murder-suicide at the Underhill farm but Laura Byce is barely connected to it. In fact, no one in the town ever gets around to helping out the 2 surviving Underhill kids. Add in a sheriff who has an uncharacteristic obsession with Naomi Judd, a dying old man obsessed with a polluted river that no one cared about before, a woman who sees dead people and the future and you get a tedious book about weird people in a small town who are just making do day to day. I couldn't wait for it to end.
By C.J. Box, Narrated by David Chandler
After the disappointment of The hangman's Daughter I needed a reliable read. Joe Pickett is always reliable. I'm actually reading this series out of order but it's not a problem. This is an early one. I think it's #4 in the series.
Joe and his daughters are fishing when they stumble upon a mutilated deer. After some investigation Joe discovers that it's part of a series of crimes.
George, Nicholas and Wilhelm
By Miranda Carter, Read By Rosalyn Landor
I've mentioned in the past that my history education leaves much to be desired. I try to make up for that by reading. But even in my self-education I have pretty much ignored World War I. When this book showed up in the Daily Deal I got it. I also got a better education.
It's about the three rulers of Britain, Germany and Russia. They were first cousins. The book starts in the reign of Queen Victoria and takes us through the lives and reigns of George, Nicholas and Wilhelm.
While I enjoyed the book and learned a lot, it got tedious at times. It's a 21 hour read and probably could have been 15 but it was still worthwhile. But I only recommend this one to serious history readers.
Corridors of the Night
by Anne Perry, Narrated by David Collacci
This is #21 in the William Monk series and was a great read to follow the seriousness of the previous history lesson. In this one Hamilton Rand is a genius chemist who is determined to find a cure for "white blood disease", what we now know as leukemia. He is completely blind to the risk and costs of the treatment. Hester Monk isn't.
I don't know how Anne Perry keeps this series so fresh but I'm glad she does.
These are hard core mysteries but they are harder edged than cozy mysteries. I have a friend who prefers cozy mysteries. Her husband prefers hard core mysteries. They have trouble finding books to listen to on long car rides. I recommended that she give Anne Perry a try. I think her books are a good mid-way between the 2 genres.
The Winthrop Woman
By Anya Seton, Narrated by Corrie James
Anya Seton is most knows for romance novels so it's no surprise that I had never heard of her until this book appeared as a Daily Deal. It's historical fiction based on the life if Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett. The book seems to stay relatively true to her biography (on Wikipedia) and expertly weaves in the events and mores of the time. She was born in England but arrived in Massachusetts with the Puritan immigration. Her uncle and father-in-law, John Winthrop was the first Governor of Massachusetts. Elizabeth was one of the few female landowners in the mid-1600's in the new colony and owned much of the land that is now Greewich, CT. But even if you don't like history, this is mostly a novel about a woman who didn't quite fit in with the times but who made a good life for herself on her own terms. More research on the web will help you distinguish the history from the fiction....if you are interested.
By Robert McCammon, Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
This is the third installment in the Matthew Corbett series. It's 1702 in New York City when Matthew and his partner are hired to escort a mass murderer from an insane asylum near Philadelphia to the docks of NYC. Things, of course, don't go as planned.
Like any story about a serial killer this one has large doses of gruesomeness. Not enough to give me nightmares but its' still pretty raw.
Like the other books it's really well written and well narrated. It's important to read these books in order. There's way too much overlap with the story lines to try to follow this book before reading the other two. It even ends with hints to the next installment. I should probably read these a little closer together so I don't forget the important characters.
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.
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