Monday, December 9, 2013

Whatcha Readin' ?

Book Reviews

Okay, it’s time to discuss books. What have you been reading of late? I hope the busy holiday season hasn’t interrupted this necessary pleasure. I’ve got a few things to say about some of the books I’ve been reading. Here goes.

The 13th Tale
By Diane Setterfield

What an interesting book. Gothic-y, a mystery wrapped in enigma.  Two women set out on a journey. Oh, gag. I hate it when someone says that. Here’s the deal. A young woman, who lives and breathes books, snags an interview with an old woman whose writing has captivated the world for decades. The thing is, the old woman has never told the world the truth about her own life – until now. Oooo, sets the stage nicely for some murder, mayhem, mental problems – and a connection the two women share that keeps them talking. I liked it.

Cover of Snow

I met the author, Jenny Milchman, when she attended our November Mavens of Mayhem meeting. I often will buy the books of authors I’ve met, and I bought hers. She told me she liked my speaking voice and she laughed at the bit I'd read from The Red Shoelace Killer. I'm a sucker for flattery, I guess. Several authors read from their works at that meeting. Raising my hand as one of them. Anyway, her book was quite good. Set locally (Adirondacks) and with a protagonist who would do what I hope I’d do if I woke up one morning and found my husband hanging from the rafters. She grieves, wonders, and then goes looking for his killer, butting heads with authorities who have held sway over the town for decades. She uncovers naughty secrets about them all and one about her husband that’s a shocker. Worth the read.

Anne Perry

This writer’s own disturbing past was revealed not too many years ago and lends a certain aura to her work. She’s a convicted murderer. Read about it here. I met her at Bouchercon, briefly, when she signed the book I’d bought. I’d never read her. And I haven’t read the book she signed because she warned me not to. Creepy sounding, I know. But it’s the last in her Monk series and she advised that I read the others first. What I did do was purchase several of her earlier books for my Kindle. The Cater Street Hangman is the first in another series she wrote early on in her career. She develops her characters and sets them up for future installments. Victorian. Detective meets strong woman. Unlikely, but guilty, perpetrator. Worth my time to the extent that I “Kindled” two more. I'll get around to Monk. 


Now, tell me what you’re reading. 


Image: Free Digital Photos

13 comments:

  1. Great minds think alike! I actually have an upcoming post on this very topic! :D Thanks for sharing your books.

    I finished Ann Tatlock's Sweet Mercy recently, and am reading The Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green. Am also poking through a non fiction book called The Heat is On by Dana Demetre, and of course, the Bible.

    Happy reading and writing!

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    1. Hi, Karen. Nice to have you. How in the world would we live without books? I'll check out some of these. Thanks!

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  2. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Well, right now I'm reading this lovely blog post. :-) I've also come across a great journal/book that's called The Woman's Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden. Should be in every girl's personal library.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. I'll take a look. We all need comfort! =0)

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  3. I just read "Christmas, Present" (can't remember the author's name) It was written from the viewpoint of a woman dying of a brain hemmorage. Interesting. Marion

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    1. Oh, gosh, Marion. Doesn't sound too cheery, but that's how it is sometimes. Thanks for commenting, my friend.

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  4. Hi, Susan:

    Isn't this a fun question to ask readers? I ask this question every other month or so on my blog. I love learning about what other people are reading.

    You've already introduced me to Diane Setterfield and Jenny Milchman when you discussed them on my blog recently. I thank you for that! I'll take a look at Anne Perry's work as well.

    I was at an event yesterday and a woman highly recommended Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Have you read her books? I've heard rave reviews of that series before and am officially sold on it. I've added it to my Christmas Wish List. :-)

    Honestly, all I have on my Christmas Wish List are books. I'm pretty low maintenance, and books are such a source of comfort and entertainment for me that unwrapping a book I really want is a great joy to me. :-)

    Enjoy the rest of your week. Be well.

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    1. Janette, I am not fond of Gabaldon. I didn't finish Outlander and didn't care for the underlying themes in her detective series. We all have different likes. Let me know what you think when you read her. Hugs.

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    2. Follow up: Well, I ended up borrowing a friend's copy of Outlander and did not get very far before putting the book down and returning it. Not my sort of thing and some of the "themes" detracted from the story, Other people love this series. To each his own.

      Anyway, I agree with your take on this! Thought I'd share. Be well.

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  5. I adore mysteries, fictional ones. My brain runs so hot and hard all day long that I find fiction is my way to unwind and turn the brain off for awhile. I make no apologies for this, but instead shall just pick up another mystery and lose myself for an hour or two. :D

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    1. We writers have a tough slog with our heads buzzing all day, don't we? Glad to know you relax like I do!

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  6. I'm just finishing The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne for the second time as I picked it up from my bookshelf and thought, Oh, this looks good! It was and since I must have originally read it seven years ago and my memory is going, it is again! Then I'm going to read (also for the second time) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I introduced that one to one of my nephews and it got him reading again (yeah!) and for my birthday, he took me to see the movie. Now I want to re-read it. (The movie was good, too, but as always the book is better!)

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  7. Cindy, I re-read my favorite books all the time. And even if you have a good memory you can't remember it all. I find it a comfort to go back to a book that made me love it. Yup, book is usually better.

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