It's the last book report of the year! If my spreadsheet is right, I read 109 books this year and my total since 1995 (when I started keeping records) is 1446. That's all pretty meaningless but the accountant in me likes keeping track. I think that half of my books this year came from the library so I've saved about $400 off my Audible bill and that stat isn't meaningless at all!
This month my favorite book, hand down, is Me by Elton John. What good books have you read lately? What was your favorite book this year? It's hard for me to choose but if pressed I'd probably name Once Upon a River as my favorite fiction book and Sapiens as my favorite non-fiction.
By Elton John, Read By Taron Egerton
What a great book! Imagine that you are at a dinner party with a great storyteller and you don't want the evening to end. That's how I felt listening to this book. It's clear that Elton John has reached a point in his life where he's perfectly happy. Because of that he was able to look back on his life with honestly and humor. It's an amazing life and he's lucky to be alive.
If you like music history, Elton John music or just love a good biography you should read this book. The narrator is OUTSTANDING. There were times when I thought that Elton was reading the book. It makes sense because Taron Egerton was the person who played Elton in the musical Rocketman.
Down the River unto the Sea
By Walter Mosley, Read by Dion Graham
Walter Mosley is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely love is Easy Rawlins series. This novel introduces a new character, Joe King Oliver. Oliver is a former NYPD investigator who was framed and ended up in solitary at Rikers. The novel starts 10 years later when he's a private detective. He's received a card in the mail from the woman who was paid to frame him. Now he's investigating his own case along with the case of a black radical journalist accused of killing 2 police officers.
Mosely is a master of creating memorable and sympathetic characters even when those characters live on the "edge" of society.
The Ride of a Lifetime
By Robert Iger
I love non-fiction but generally avoid contemporary autobiographies because I think it's difficult for people to be truly honest in telling their own stories. In this book Iger did a masterful job of really avoiding telling much personal information and that's OK.
Iger has been the CEO of Disney for over 15 years and this book tells the story of the instinct, dedication and just plain hard work it takes to run a company as big as Disney. During his tenure Disney acquired Pixar, Lucasfilms, Marvel and 21st Century Fox. They also opened a Disney park in Shanghi.
Through the book you get an understanding of just how long deals like these take to complete and integrate. For someone new in business or studying business this would be a very valuable book to read. There's some great advice for people who manage teams and projects. I enjoyed it.
What Rose Forgot
By Nevada Barr, Read By Kate Burton
Rose Dennis is a hippie step-grandmother who wakes up in a hospital gown in a field. Two boys on bicycles find her and return her to the Alzheimer's Unit in a nursing home. She knows something is wrong when she overhears someone saying that she will not last the week.
She avoids taking her medication to keep her head clear so she can escape. After escaping from the nursing home and hiding out at her home, someone tries to murder her. But Grandma is one tough cookie and thwarts the murder attempt.
Her computer expert sister, Marion, and granddaughter, Mel help her find out who is after her while someone is determined to kill her.
It's not a great book but hippie Grandma as heroine was refreshing. I don't think it was intended but the book was quite funny and would make a great movie.
By Mason Cross, Read By Eric Meyers
This is the 3rd book in the Carter Blake series. 5 years ago Carter Blake left the secret government organization Winterlong. Now one of the people who made a deal with him to leave him alone for his silence has decided that he can't risk the deal any longer. He's set out to eliminate Blake.
Lots of action and Blake is a fun character but there's confusion in the writing. The story skips between many events are different times and, maybe because of the audio format, it's a little difficult to keep track.
Although the writing isn't as good as it should be it kept my interest and I might keep reading the series. I think it is important to read these books in order.
Upstairs at the White House
By J. B. West, Read By Jason Martin
This bookwas first published in 1973 and was a best seller for months. Mr. West was the Chief Usher at the White house and was the person closest to the President's family. His tenure at the White House covered the Presidencies from Roosevelt to Nixon.
It's not a salacious laundry airing but an honest look at what life in the White House was like for the First Families. You learn what the residents were like as people and how the White House is run. I found it very interesting.
The Girls in the Garden
By Lisa Jewell, Read By Colleen Premdergast
This is the third Jewell book that I've read this year. It's my least favorite but still a good book.
The setting is a community garden in London. Everyone fees that their children are safe until a midsummer's night party when Grace is found dead. What unfolds is background on family relationships in the neighborhood, some history about a previous death and jealous relationships among the teens in the neighborhood.
I enjoyed the story but it was a bit difficult to follow all of the characters in the book, especially the teens.
The Night Fire
By Michael Connelly
Read by Titus Welliver and Christine Lakin
This is #22 in the Bosch series and #3 in the Ballard series.
Harry's mentor John Jack Thompson has died and his widow gives Harry a murder book that Thompson took with him when he retired. It looks like no work was ever really done on it. Bosch takes it to Ballard to help him work it. They soon discover that he may have taken the book so that it never got solved.
Adding Renee Ballard has kept the Bosch series fresh and moving forward. There are secondary investigations and precinct politics to add to the story.
An Obvious Fact
By Craig Johnson, Read By George Guidall
It's been a few years since I've read a Walt Longmire novel. They don't meet my 10 hour minimum for purchase from Audible but I've discovered that my library has them. They are a good light read so I picked this one to read this weekend between football games and spending time with our visitors.
The TV series kind of ruined the book series for me because I didn't like several of the casting choices in the series but I love George Guidall as a narrator for Walt.
In this middle of the Sturgis motorcycle rally a young motorcyclist is run off the road and ends up in critical condition. Walt is asked to help investigate. Henry Standing Bear and Vic are along to assist. This one involves an old love of Henry's, Lola.
These books aren't high literature but I really enjoy the banter and clever dialogue and they are very entertaining.
12/31/2019 01:14:01 pm
You introduced me to Lisa Jewell and this month listened to "I Found You" and enjoyed it. Will get more from her. You also introduced Connelly to me and happy to put another on hold. Alas, Craig Johnson isn't available to me in a format for my listening device. My win for December would have to be Testaments, by Atwood. All the best for 2020.
I like some of Nevada Barr's book but have only read the ones with the National Parks I will need to look for this one, I've read the Michael Connelly book and liked it and the White House one.
12/31/2019 03:42:16 pm
I will have to check and see if they have that Elton John book at the library.
12/31/2019 05:38:47 pm
Thank you so much for your book reviews - they've helped me to read some great books this year! "Once Upon a River" was one of my favorites, too, and I really enjoyed Isaacson's biography of Ben Franklin. I just finished an older book called "Fishing With John", written by a woman who married a Canadian salmon fisherman. She went along on his boat for 4 years. The book is a description of fishing on the coast of BC, interesting stories about the people they knew, and a picture of an unusual life. It's a very different book from the other things I've read recently.
1/1/2020 09:02:26 am
Thanks for the heads up on Me by Elton John. I didn't realize it was out. I have placed a hold at my public library - and also placed a hold for the DVD Rocketman.
Becky in VA
1/1/2020 03:00:44 pm
Thanks, I've added ME to my reading list. I just finished THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah - an excellent read!
1/1/2020 05:54:23 pm
I'm not familiar with Walter Mosley so I'll be looking for his books at the library and I didn't know Michael Connelly had a new one so that's going on my list too. Might read the Elton John one as well. Thanks Vicki!
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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.