Another month of books has gone by and it was a great month because there isn't a disappointment in the list. Behold the Dreamers was a wonderful surprise and the others were all very good. The last 2 non-fiction books were chose specifically for vacation drive time and beach reading so I don't expect either of those to have general appeal.
Have you read any good books this month? I usually set a 10 hour minimum for audiobooks so the longer the book, the better! Which brings me to a question. Has anyone read Infinite Jest? I saw it in a bookstore in Hatteras and put it in my Audible Wish list but it is 56 hours so I'd like to get an opinion or two before I get into it.
By Robert McCammon, Narrated by Marc Vieter
Robert McCmmon is the author of the Matthew Corbett series that I enjoy so much. That series is set in the 18th century. With this book, a standalone book, we are taken to Depression-era Louisiana and introduced to John Partlow and Ginger LaFrance, two hucksters who take advantage of the gullible.
Elsewhere there's Curtis a young black man who is a redcap at the train station and, unknown to everyone, has a special talent to communicate telepathically and he currently has regular conversations with a young girl named Nilla. When Nilla is abducted he feels compelled to help.
I'm generally not into any book that crosses this close to sci-fi but, I admit, this is a very well-written tale and the telepathy is handled very well. It was a great book to start off the month.
Hong Kong Black
By Alex Ryan, Narrated by MacLeod Andrews
This is the second in the Nick Foley series. Nich is a ex-Navy SEAL working for an NGO in China to provide clean drinking water to poor populations. But, as in the last book, he's drawn back into his old life. This time he's called by his CIA agent friend to check in on another missing agent, Peter Yu. He discovers that the agent hasn't been see in 4 days. Meanwhile, Nick's love interest, Dash, has been investigating a situation where dozens of mutilated bodies have been washed ashore. Once of them is the missing Yu.
The story is action packed and moves along at a good pace. The plot is very interesting and as I read it I just hoped that the things being done here really possible in real life....although I'm not confident.
I don't see any evidence of a 3rd Nick Foley book but the authors (Brian Anderws and Jefffrey Wilson) have lots of other books to choose from.
Behold the Dreamers
By Imbolo Mbue, Narrated by Prentice Onayemi
I almost passed on this book because it was so hyped when it came out and, frankly, I'm not a big Oprah fan so avoid her recommended books. But this one came up as a Deal of the Day bargain so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did!
Jende Jonga has immigrated to New York City from Cameroon to try to make a better life for his wife, Neni and their young son. He eventually finds a job as a chauffeur for an executive at Lehman Brothers.
This is a book about life, life choices and cultural norms. It's about the consequences of which immigration lawyer you hire, who you work for, what your priorities are in life and finding out what "home" is. It's a nice story with the addition of the Lehman Brothers crisis I think that many readers might think this is a biography. It's not, it's purely a novel but you could see how this could be someone's real life story.
The narrator is fantastic!
The Secret Soldier
By Alex Berensen, Narrated by George Guidall
This is #5 in the John Wells series. Wells is a former CIA agent who still has a need for the challenge. In this book he is hired by the Saudi government, specifically King Abdullah. Someone is attacking the Saud family and trying to send the country into turmoil.
This is very fast paced and I couldn't put it down. I think it's my favorite in the series so far.
The Confessions of Young Nero
By Margaret George, Narrated by Steve West, Susan Denaker and Katharine McEwan
There are few authors who write as thoroughly researched historical fiction novels. The first one I read was Memoirs of Cleopatra and it's still my favorite. But this one was right up there. It tells the story of Nero as if he is narrating the story. She stays very true to historical events as well as they can be knows. There is no actual documentation from contemporaries of Nero so our history of him is told by historians of later generations. At the end of the book George explains her research, things that she interpreted differently from other historians and literary license that she took with some time periods and place names. It was 20 hours of great entertainment.
I contain Multitudes
By Ed Yong
Although I'm including the Audible link for this book I actually read this one with my eyes! Gasp!
Last year I started reading The Gene on vacation. It's a big undertaking and actually took 2 vacations to finish but it was a great book about about the history of genetics and current research in the field. I Contain Multitudes is a great complement to The Gene because microbe research is front and center for research and new treatments for all sorts of auto-immune diseases. Researchers generally agree that gut health is the secret to so many of our ailments including obesity, allergies, asthma, diabetes, cancer and much more.
I don't think this book is as well organized or as well written as The Gene but the information was very interesting and valuable. I learned 2 things that are relevant and useful today. First, fiber is incredibly important for gut health. He says "where you have populations with little poop (constipation) you will have the need for lots of hospitals". Second, is that the probiotic yogurts that we are eating are great to help prevent diarrhea after antibiotics but not much use beyond that. The microbes in them are quite generic and not in high enough quantities to make a difference. It would be like taking my quarter acre pond water and dumping it in the Atlantic Ocean to try to bring down the salinity level.
On the hopeful front there's some great progress being made in mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and zika.
If you are interested in science you might enjoy this one.
By William Warner, Narrated by Henry Strozier
When Chris and I go on a trip we try to find a good book to listen to. Often is a mystery or a humor book by Carl Hiaasen. This year we decided to go non-fiction and local.
Beautiful Swimmers is an old book originally published in the 1970's and it's all about the Blue Crabs of the Chesapeake Bay and the Watermen who build careers around them.
A lot of the information in this book is dated but it's still a great read about one of my favorite foods. In a way it was good to read the dated information because it really shows how far we've come in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and restoring many of the native species, including crabs.
It isn't for everyone but Bay locals might enjoy it.
The Secret Place
By Tana French, Narrated By Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson
This is #5 in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I read #6 in this series a few months ago and now I realize that it would have made a lot more sense if I had read them in order!
In this one there's been a murder at an all-girls boarding school. A boy from a nearby school was found dead on the grounds of the girl's school. The case went cold until one of the students found a note on a bulletin board called "The Secret Place". It's where the girls can post anonymous thoughts. The note that's found says "I know who killed Chris Harper".
The narration is great and the author captured perfectly the annoying dialect of teenagers. It's tots amazeballs.
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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.