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text 2017-10-02 07:37
September: Coda
It's a Book - Lane Smith
Bibliomysteries: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores - Otto Penzler
Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews
White Hot - Ilona Andrews
Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier
Magic and Macaroons - Bailey Cates

I'm going to preface this monthly wrap-up with the disclaimer that there were a lot of short books and short stories in the mix this month.

 

Total number was 26 - A number I was completely unprepared for.  I think the Bingo game sort of distracted me from paying attention to numbers, even though on some level I knew I'd read enough to complete my bingo card. 

 

Not including re-reads, I had one 5-star read this month; a children's book that I recommend for all ages, It's a Book by Lane Smith.  If you see it in the library or store, read it - even if you have no reason to buy it, it'll make you laugh when you get to the end.

 

I had three 4.5 star reads, one an anthology (up front, I've only read a few of the stories - the rating reflects the stories not the overall collection), and the first two in Ilona Andrews' new urban fantasy series, masquerading as paranormal romance.

 

My least favorite read was easily Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier; literary classic or not, that ending was horse-shit.

 

In the midst of all of that were a lot of 4 star reads, and the completion of my 2017 Reading Challenge (Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates on 14 Sept), all of which tally up to a very successful reading month.  

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text 2017-08-31 08:04
August Reading Colophon
The Informed Gardener - Linda Chalker-Scott
Lowcountry Bonfire - Susan M. Boyer
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) - Betty White
Death in the Vines: A Verlaque and Bonnet Provencal Mystery - M.L. Longworth
Grey Mask - Patricia Wentworth
Murder on the Ile Sordou - M.L. Longworth
Basket Case - Nancy Haddock

17 books this month with only one 4.5 star read sitting at the top, which is a typical month for me; much more typical than the spectacularly good reading months I had in the first half of 2017.

 

Six 4 star reads rounded things about and the worse book I read was... really, there weren't any.  Nothing below 3 stars, so really a very average reading month overall.

 

And now, on to BINGO!

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text 2017-07-05 01:52
June Reading
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski

12 books read in June.  Not my highest month, but respectable by any measure.

 

5,332 pages read for a total of 37,037 pages read so far this year.  At the halfway mark of the Reading Challenge I've read 144 books out of the 200 slated for the year.  My second half of the year is always a slower reading time, so I feel like I'm actually right on track.

 

Just the one 4.5 star read this month: Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski; the best reading in fiction this month didn't surpass 4 stars, but there were 6 of those which is more than half the remaining books.  So all in all, a good month.

 

4 Stars:

A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters  Paws and Effect - Sofie Kelly  The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart  
Nightshade for Warning - Bailey Cattrell  Sweep in Peace - Ilona Andrews  One of Our Thursdays Is Missing - Jasper Fforde  

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text 2017-06-02 04:11
May Reading: Epilogue
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight - Darynda Jones
Mycroft Holmes - Anna Waterhouse,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

21 books this month.  One DNF.  Lots of 4 star reads but nothing in the 4.5 or 5 star range this month.  Very little non-fiction either, as I'm mostly focusing on BookLikes-opoly.

 

Of my 4 star reads the one that stand out in my mind were Eleventh Grave in Moonlight  and Mycroft Holmes.

 

This month I've read 6,262 pages for a total of 31,705 year to date.

 

A pretty good month overall, just not as terrific as they've been so far this year.  Still I'll take this as a 'bad' month any day!

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text 2017-05-01 08:10
April Reading in Review
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Fast Women - Jennifer Crusie
The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle
Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties - Rachel Cooke
Roger, Sausage and Whippet - Christopher Moore
The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama - Roland Merullo
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures - Carla D. Hayden,Library of Congress

I had 2 weeks of school holidays and Easter weekend in my favour this month, but unforeseen events put a hitch in my gitalong at the end of April.  Still I had a solid reading month and I'm not complaining at all.

 

28 books  / 7,511 pages read.

 

2 Five-star reads this time, although one of them is a re-read.  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman  was so good in audio, I went out and bought a print copy for my shelves.  Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie is one of my all-time favourites and it never gets tired.

 

3 out of the 5 4.5 star reads were non-fiction, but one of those, Roger, Sausage and Whippet by Christopher Moore, a glossary of WWI terms, snuck a narrative in that was riveting, if only in its unexpectedness.  Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke was great too, although as I said in my review, I'm not sure some of these women could be called roll models.  The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Carla D. Hayden, Library of Congress is one of those books you either appreciate, or you don't.  Obviously, I did.  

 

The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama by Roland Merullo is the fictional equivalent of The Card Catalog - it's not going to be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it left me chewing over more than a few things.

 

But by far, the breakout star of my month was The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe by Arthur Conan Doyle, a short ghost story that is believed to be one of the first Doyle wrote but was never published in his lifetime.  The only reason I dinged it 1/2 star is because the introduction is 30 pages longer than the story itself, and spends a lot of those 30 pages excusing the weakness of the story itself, which, by the way, isn't weak at all; it's a ripper of a ghost story.  If you like Doyle or ghosts, or both, you should find this story and read it.  

 

May your May be full of extraordinary reads.  And I don't mean maybe.  (sorry.)

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