January was a light reading month for me. Of course that's because I spent most of it in the recliner watching TV and not listening to books. That's why I only finished 5 books.
The truth is that I really listened to 6. Last month I finished the month with the book Cure about the science of mind over body. I got so much out of it that I actually read it twice in case I missed something.
Then I started some new books. Hands down my favorite book this month is A Gentleman In Moscow. I wouldn't necessarily recommend any of the rest unless that particular genre speaks to you.
by Joseph Finder
Adam Cassidy works in the tech industry and isn't particularly driven. One day he decided to host a party for a friend in the mailroom and figures out a way to have the company foot the bill. He gets caught and that's the beginning of a tale of complex corporate espionage.
This book was written in 2004 so the technology referenced is quite dated but that doesn't take away from the story because the story requires a complete willingness to accept implausibility. First the character simply isn't smart or motivated enough to do what he does and the ending is completely predictable from the minute he is hired by Trion Systems. This book was apparently made into a movie that was a box office bomb. That should have been a clue. Glad I only paid $4 for it.
On The Move
by Oliver Sacks
I love biographies because usually biographies are about exceptional people and this book (actually an autobiography) is no exception. Oliver Sacks is best knows as the neurologist represented in the movie Awakenings about the encephalitis patients that he treated with L Dopa. Robin Williams played him in the movie and Robert DiNero played one of the patients. But that's a very small part of a life that included a passion for motorcycles, body building, drug addiction and an undying interest in the workings of the brain. Throw in the added complication of being gay in the 50's and 60's. It was a fascinating read.
A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles
What a lovely book! I was skeptical because I had read Rules of Civility and didn't really like it. This one, however, is a gem.
In 1922 in the Bolshevik revolution Count Alexander Rostov is spared execution but is sentenced to life under house arrest at the Metropol Hotel. The story follows him for decades as he makes a life of meaning in his attic room. If you like audiobooks this one is beautifully narrated too.
Empire of the Summer Moon
by S. C. Gwynne
Before reading this book you could write everything I know about Texas history on a pin head. I barely know about the Alamo. It's just not something that was taught in history class in Virginia schools in the 1960's and 1970's. This book is about the Comanche Indian tribe and their eventual defeat by the white man.
The cover of the book highlights Quanah Parker, the last Comanche Chief and implies that the book is about him. But it's really a true history book going back to the Comanche's first interaction with the Mexicans, their adoption of the horse, the influx of white settlers and the ultimate clashes.
If you believe the current narratives about Indian tribes being peaceful and respecting Mother Earth you do not want to read this book. It is unapologetic and truthful about the brutality and violence on ALL sides during this period.
If you are into history you will like this book. If you are into "light" history this book might be a bit much. It took me a while to get through it but I'm glad I read it.
by Ann Cleeves
This is the second book in the Shetland series. As that implies, these mysteries are set in the Shetland area of Scotland. In this one a mystery man shows up at a surprisingly poorly attended art exhibit and has a emotional breakdown. The next day he is found dead in a local fishing shed. Jimmy Perez is the local police officer tasked with finding out who he is and why he was murdered. Of course there are other murders to keep things going.
These books aren't white knuckle mysteries. In fact, I figured out very early on who the culprit was but I didn't know why. What I like about these books is the character development. They are just the kind of people you would expect to find in any small town or village anywhere. It's a good light read and was a great follow on to Empire of the Summer Sun.
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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.