Books read

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

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Books read

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1sjgoins
Editat: gen. 15, 2015, 12:42pm

1/Aunty Lee's Delights: a Singaporean Mystery by Ovidia Yu--rather a light mystery but not quite a cozy

2/Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story (British Library - British…
by J. Jefferson Farjeon--an older mystery, a little dated in style but has a feel for the time

3/Blood on the Water by Anne Perry--in the William Monk series. As always a commentary on the role of women and the place of the poor in Victorian England.

My rather obvious reading choice is mysteries and some psychological thrillers, often British. At least in my library's winter read I have more choice than in the summer program.

2drneutron
gen. 14, 2015, 12:32pm

Welcome! Looks like you've made a good start.

3thornton37814
gen. 15, 2015, 9:52pm

>1 sjgoins: I am pretty sure that I have that on a list of books I want to read. It seems that it may have been an ER book that was won but never received.

4sjgoins
gen. 26, 2015, 12:35pm

Finally I get to add a couple more books. The Devil's Cave (4) by Martin Walker is part of a series about a French chief of police (actually the only policeman) in the small town of St. Denis. The mystery is fine, but so is the description of the French countryside, culinary delights, and other aspects of the culture. The Secret Keeper (5) by Kate Morton is more of a description of a British family whose mother is reaching the end of a long life. Told by one daughter with flashbacks, the book traces events from the 30s through WW II and how they relate to a dramatic crime witnessed by the daughter when she was in her teens.

5OMBWarrior47
gen. 27, 2015, 7:51pm

Hey saw your message in the introthread and thought I'd come poking around your thread to see how you are doing. I also took a look at your page it looks like we share quite a few books in common! Looks like you're doing good so far with the challenge!

6sjgoins
feb. 5, 2015, 2:48pm

Thanks for the comments. I've added two more books--both from just about the same era: (6)A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger and (7)The Brotherhood of Book Hunters by Raphael Jerusalmy. In the first a book is purported to predict the deaths of British kings, including the present king, Richard II. Chaucer features prominently in this. The Brotherhood involves political ploys between Rome, Jerusalem, and the Medicis who all try to maneuver Francois Villon into finding a particular set of ancient manuscripts.
Time for something lighter in substance.

7sjgoins
feb. 9, 2015, 8:57pm

Just finished the library's Winter Read by completing my 8th book of the year: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, a novel set in 1987 about a girl and her artist uncle who was dying of AIDS. Actually it's more about how his illness affected the girl and her family as well as the uncle's partner--and the way all their relationships changed.

8charl08
feb. 10, 2015, 7:12pm

>4 sjgoins: I enjoy the Bruno Chief of Police series - as you say, as much for the setting as for the crime though! I was trying to track down which one of the books talks about truffle crime, and google took me to his website, complete with recipes (although I don't think I can run to the truffle ones, sadly!).

Wondered if you were also a fan of Martin O'Brien's Jacquot books?

9sjgoins
feb. 22, 2015, 3:19pm

Thanks for the mention of Martin O'Brien; someone else mentioned him to me, and I'd forgotten the name. Always looking for another author.

Just finished book 9: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It does remind me of Gone Girl--mostly because I'm not fond of any of its characters, even Rachel (mostly pity there). And I read book 10: Murdor on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson. It's sort of like reading Anne Perry if her books were set in NYC. Not quite the depth of her writing but good descriptions of class distinctions. This is the first of the Gaslight mysteries so potential is there for improvement.

10sjgoins
feb. 26, 2015, 9:15pm

11. Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner
12. Poison Flower by Thomas Perry 7th book in Jane Whitefield series

11sjgoins
març 14, 2015, 4:22pm

Adding book (13) Cajun Nights by D.J. Donaldson. Had potential but characters didn't seem to act in character. Only OK.
Book (14) The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler Olsen was better developed. Though set in WW II, it could be a study of people in mental institutions in any period of time--particularly what happens to people caught in such an institution who don't belong there. Two British airmen are shot down over Germany and "escape" immediate capture by getting on a troop train that is taking German soldiers to a mental hospital. It's a study in surviving medication, electroshock treatment, and SS patients who are not who they seem to be.
And for a quirky switch, book (15) is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. It's a melding of vintage photos with the story woven around them.

12sjgoins
abr. 11, 2015, 2:49pm

(16) The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham is one of the books upon which the long-running BBC series Midsomer Murders is based. (17) Motive is Jonathan Kellerman's new mystery pairing Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis. I like the articulate conversations between the two. (18) Rain on the Dead by Jack Higgins is another Sean Dillon suspense novel. Quick, clever, good escape. And (19) Murder in the Marais by Cara Black is the first of a series featuring a Franco-American private detective Aimee Leduc, who works in Paris. This mystery features a 50 year old unsolved murder of a French collaborator in WW II and a recent attempt on the life of someone else from the old Jewish section of Paris. A good beginning novel.

13sjgoins
abr. 23, 2015, 5:10pm

'''''''
Book (20) is Clive Cussler's The Assassin, which is a sort of prequel for his Isaac Bell series, fast-paced action--good escape. (21) is Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara. Based on what eminent domain did to Quabbin, MA, flooding it to get a reservoir to serve Boston, it describes choices various townspeople make and the results of those choices. (22) The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a feel good novel about a crusty bookstore owner, an abandoned baby in a microcosm setting of a New England island town. Books, babies, and beaches--what's not to like. (23) Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas contains the reminiscences of an Iranian born woman who came with her family to the US when she was 7. Her family's adjustment to American culture while maintaining their Iranian ties is a study in how to survive growing up--wherever. Well worth the read.

14sjgoins
maig 2, 2015, 4:15pm

(24) I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovitz reveals both the rigid constrictions and the comfort religion brings three young Hasidic Jews. Fascinating conflict between doing what is right according to one's religion and being able to adapt to the situations in today's world. Reminds me of Chaim Potok's books. (25) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr creates the tension of living in Germany and France during WW II, particularly through the lives of a young German boy who is conscripted to discover illegal radio transmissions and of a blind French girl, learning to survive in her limited world.

15sjgoins
maig 21, 2015, 10:04pm

(26) Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani is a feel-good novel of Virginia in the 70s. It contains a mix of real and created characters and events. (27) A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen is the third book in the Department Q series with detective Carl Morck and his team who work on cold cases. This one involves a serial kidnapper and killer of children of extremely religious families.

16sjgoins
maig 21, 2015, 10:15pm

Forgot to add (28) The Keeper of Lost Causes and (29) The Absent One, both by Jussi Adler-Olsen and books 1 and 2 in the Department Q series. The Alphabet House mentioned earlier is a stand alone book not part of the series.

17sjgoins
Editat: maig 26, 2015, 2:43pm

Margaret Allingham's Albert Campion series begins with (for me, at least) The Mind Readers (30). It's a bit dated, requires some suspension of belief, and is a little pedantic in places.

18sjgoins
jul. 13, 2015, 4:54pm

Because of the library's summer reading program, I have added several books--some of which I mightn't have read without the impetus of the "BINGO"-like categories. (31)The Edge of Normal (Reeve LeClaire Series)
by Carla Norton is one I might have picked. A former kidnap victim is asked to help with a current victim who won't talk to anyone else about her ordeal. And (32)14th Deadly Sin (Women's Murder Club) by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro is another which I'd usually read. It's the one Patterson series I follow, since there are so many and it's hard to keep up. (33)Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much (Icons) by Michael Wood describes Hitchcock through analyzing his movies--an effective approach, though a spoiler if you hadn't seen the films. (34)Murder on Gramercy Park (Gaslight Mystery) by Victoria Thompson is the third book in the series. It is another US Anne Perry-like mystery with emphasis on the social order of early 1900's New York.

(35)The Cannon Mound Gang (LIN) (Linford Western) by Marshall Grover is a socially conscious Western. Just OK. (36)Piranha (The Oregon Files) by Clive Cussler, Boyd Morrison is a fast-paced thriller that is just a good adventure. (37) My "required" travel book Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson is a clever cartoon guide to Japan, especially to contemporary places. (38)On Assignment With National Geographic: The Inside Story of Legendary Explorers, Photographers, and Adventurers by Mark Collins Jenkins is pretty much self-explanatory. Actually interesting. (39) My required YA book was Knifepoint by Alex Van Tol. It's very short so too much was solved in a rather unbelievably quick time. The YA reviews I read were positive, so it has its followers. (40)Gertruda's Oath: A Child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape During World War II by Ram Oren, Barbara Harshav (Translator) was recommended to me. It is a true story of a Polish Catholic nanny's promise to save her Jewish employers' son during the war and to take him to Palestine afterward. Each story of people saved emphasizes the horror of how many more than the 6+ million could have been killed.

19sjgoins
jul. 16, 2015, 9:26pm

(41) Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight. Well written but has some convenient clues.

20sjgoins
jul. 19, 2015, 8:18pm

(42) Jonathan Tropper's book This Is Where I Leave You puts the fun back in dysfunctional families.

21sjgoins
jul. 22, 2015, 3:11pm

(43) The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks is pure romance. The reader does need to accept coincidences. These last two books make me wonder about writers' seeing families that really work, yet there is some truth in each, and they must be more interesting to many readers.

22sjgoins
jul. 22, 2015, 11:16pm

(44) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a charming fable read at one level for children and as a philosophy of life for older "children."

23sjgoins
jul. 24, 2015, 10:07am

(45) The River's Gift by Mercedes Lackey. A quick fantasy read.

24sjgoins
jul. 27, 2015, 11:23pm

(46)The Mirror Man by Grant Ansert is a mystery with a bit of a paranormal twist.

25sjgoins
ag. 4, 2015, 2:55pm

Two new books, (47) Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs and (48) Anne Hillerman's Rock with Wings, are continuations of each author's series and well worth the read if it's your genre.

26sjgoins
ag. 9, 2015, 7:21pm

(49) I read Raven Black by Ann Cleeves after seeing the PBS dramatization Shetland. It captures the bleakness of the islands and the personality of the residents. And the mysteries are well described.

27drneutron
ag. 10, 2015, 9:00am

Yup, some of my favorites! I just finished the sixth, Thin Air.

28thornton37814
ag. 13, 2015, 9:06pm

>26 sjgoins: Love Ann Cleeves' Shetland series.

29sjgoins
ag. 16, 2015, 8:42pm

Thanks for the corroboration of my opinion of her books. I've the second book on hold and am looking forward to reading it.
The book (50) The House Girl: a Novel by Tara Conklin is two stories. One is of a new law associate, Lina, who is given the task of finding a descendant of slaves as, really, a poster child for a reparations lawsuit. The second story is of a house slave, who may be the artist that becomes the ancestor of the person named in the present day lawsuit.

30sjgoins
set. 4, 2015, 10:32pm

(51)The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George and (52)The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh have similar premises. In the first the bookshop owner will sell a book to a customer only if it will meet that person's needs. In the second book a girl who survived the foster care system in LA gets a job arranging and selling flowers, and she sets guidelines that she uses the meaning of each flower used to help her customers.

Michael Koryta's (53)Last Words sends a detective from Florida to Indiana to get him away from trouble he created for himself in trying to find his wife's killer but also to help solve a cold case that no one seems to want reopened. It also sets up the detective to reappear in another book--or more.

(54)The Renaissance Man by Martin Walker is the next in the series of Bruno, chief of police novels, in which Bruno tries to solve an international theft of antiques that also seems linked to a murder.

31sjgoins
set. 28, 2015, 2:27pm

(54) Correction: The previous Bruno book was The Resistance Man, not Renaissance Man.
(55) The next in the Gaslight Series books, is Murder on Mulberry Bend by Victoria Thompson.
(56) The Search for Anne Perry by Joanne Drayton is the biography of the Anne Perry, analyzing her friendship that led to committing a murder and her atonement through both the judicial system and her writing.
(57) The Solomon Curse by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake is #7 in the Fargo series. Predictable but fast paced.
(58) Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill is a fragmented (though often interesting) description of a marriage, with all its difficulties.
(59) X by Sue Grafton is worth waiting for. Her articulate self-deprecating Kinsey Millhone is still intriguing.
(60) Murder on Marble Row by Victoria Thompson continues the Gaslight series. It advances the relationship between the main characters of the series while solving murder.

32sjgoins
oct. 8, 2015, 11:32pm

(61) Val McDermid's book The Vanishing Point is a mix of a brighter-than-she-seems reality star, her ghost writer, a kidnapped child, and some interesting twists. A good story even if one has to ignore some overly convenient situations.

33sjgoins
oct. 21, 2015, 2:02pm

(62) Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson: a wife suffering from a daily recurring amnesia.
(63) Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat: a story of the daily struggles in a poor Haitian fishing village, with back stories interconnecting all its people.

34sjgoins
oct. 25, 2015, 3:56pm

(64) Murder on Lenox Hill by Victoria Thompson explores a crime against a child, which expands to include several victims.

35sjgoins
nov. 9, 2015, 8:11pm

(65) White Nights by Ann Cleeves, second in Shetland Islands Mysteries. Similar to PBS show in that both are defined by the location.
(66) A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George. Full of infuriating characters, convoluted plots, and totally intriguing.

36sjgoins
nov. 15, 2015, 9:46pm

(67) The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
(68) Run by Ann Patchett

37sjgoins
nov. 18, 2015, 12:42pm

(69) Murder in Little Italy by Victoria Thompson--another Gaslight series book.

38sjgoins
nov. 22, 2015, 7:33pm

(70) Wish You Happy Forever by Jenny Bowen tells of her (and her organization's) efforts to establish orphanages in China in which the children are nurtured by Chinese volunteers rather than being left sitting or lying on chairs or cots all day.

39sjgoins
des. 3, 2015, 9:09pm

(71) Murder in Chinatown by Victoria Thompson is the next in the Gaslight series.
(72) The Murderer's Daughter by Jonathan Kellerman is not an Alex Delaware book, though he is mentioned a few times. The central character is the title character. She is an intriguing personality, but I don't think she is a good candidate for a series. The book does read as smoothly as his other mysteries.

40sjgoins
des. 5, 2015, 9:37pm

(73) Under the Dragon's Tail (Murdoch Mysteries) by Maureen Jennings is another Victorian mystery--this time set in Toronto. It has elements of Anne Perry and Victoria Thompson but is more self-conscious and crude --because it's possible rather than because it fits the story. Since it is only the second book in the series, I'll try another one to see if there's a settling down of the elements of the books to a more believable format.

41thornton37814
des. 6, 2015, 3:49pm

You are almost there!

42sjgoins
des. 10, 2015, 12:23am

Yes!
(74) Corridors of the Night is one of Anne Perry's William Monk series. The characters continue to develop in this series, and a "practical" justice is occasionally meted out.

43sjgoins
des. 12, 2015, 8:54pm

Finally!
(75) Silent Run by Barbara Freethy is an okay romantic mystery. Somewhat predictable.

44drneutron
des. 13, 2015, 8:19am

Congrats on 75!

45sjgoins
des. 15, 2015, 2:05pm

Thanks. One more for good measure: (76) The Children Return by Martin Walker is another great addition to the Bruno, Chief of Police series.

46sjgoins
des. 15, 2015, 2:06pm

Thanks. Some decent reads this year.

47sjgoins
des. 17, 2015, 11:04pm

And one more: (77) Murder on Bank Street by Victoria Thompson finally completes a mystery described in the first series. Still many similarities with Anne Perry's books but different enough to make them worth reading.

48sjgoins
des. 29, 2015, 11:26pm

(78) Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy is a decent first novel, though a bit forced. More judgment reserved till I read the second book.