February Reading Wrap Up


February was a great reading month.  Slowed down a bit and even though I read thirteen books this month and cleared 6 more dusty books off my shelves and the remaining were ebooks, added 5 more. My buying ban was suspended for one day on account our Mom/son trip to Barnes & Noble during the Superbowl.  Plus he kept handing me books – this looks good mom!  Since this is the Chinese new year and it’s the year of the dragon,  we got The Bone Ships by R.J. Barker, as well as the latest in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series – Curse of Salem by Kay Hooper and Kristin Hannah’s The Women, John Scalzi’s Redshirts, and Ernest Cline’s Armada.  

And I admit I cheated while listening to an audible book of Jenny Colgan's Cafe by the Sea. I was enjoying the story so much, had to get the kindle version to finish since I wouldn't be able to listen to the rest of the story as much as I wanted.
Our 52 Books author of the month was Ben Aaronovitch and I completed three more books in the Rivers of London series which is about Peter Grant, a mixed race detective, for the London Metropolitan Police who works for Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale, the head of a magical and supernatural Special Operations Unit.  A combination mystery, fantasy, and police procedural, the series is both serious and hilarious.

I alternated between  Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series and rereading Elizabeth Hunter's Irin Chronicles while on the treadmill this month. 

Ben Aaronovitch - Moon over Soho #2 Rivers of London:  **** Someone is killing jazz musicians, (396, e)

Ben Aaronovitch - Whispers Underground #3 Rivers of London:  ****A murder in the underground leads Peter to a hidden community, the art scene, and the Faceless Man (429, e)

Ben Aaronovitch - Broken Homes #4 Rivers of London:  ****Chasing the Faceless man, Peter runs across weird happenings at an condemned housing estate in which everyone is a suspect, as well as some prickly river spirits. (320, e)

Sharon Bolton - Now You See Me #1 Lancey Flint: **** A London, police procedural which is full of twists and turns, red herrings, and a jack the ripper look alike, (400)

Jenny Colgan - Cafe by the Sea #1 Mure: **** Paralegal Flora left Scotland years before and swore she wouldn't go back. When her boss and secret crush requested she return as part of her job, she learns what family and life are really about. (416, e and audible)

Justin Cronin - The Ferryman: *****  Real life or a dystopian world, the future or the past, a dream or reality, upper class versus the working class, fantasy or deceit, lies or truths. This story is so complex, it leaves you breathless, especially with the twists and turns. (Dystopian, alternate world, 560)

John Grisham - Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer:  ****Thirteen year old Theo, the son of two lawyers provides advice to his school mates while getting involved in a murder mystery and murder trial in which he's the only one who knows the truth and has to figure out what to do. 

Elizabeth Hunter Irin Chronicles is a paranormal romance with fallen angels, the children of angels, and the Irina battling for rule in Istanbul.  ****The Scribe #1 (292, e), The Singer #2 (330, e), and The Secret #3 (373, e), about Ava and Malachi incredible love story and search for the truth. 

Iain Pears - Giotti's Hand #5 Jonathan Argyll: ***An art history mystery in which the twists and turns and cover ups on all sides about how far will the police go to resolve a cold case. (Italy, police procedural, 278)

Paola Peritti - The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree:  ****Nine year old Mafalda eyesight is failing and she'll be blind within 6 months and she's determine to do all the things kids do before she can no longer see. She measures her sight by the distance she can see to the cherry tree at school.  Her story is full of angst, stubbornness, friendship, acceptance, and grief. ( 219)

Mark Pryor - The Book Artist #8 Hugo Marston :  **** A murder mystery set in Paris in which a book artist is killed and it seems like everyone is guilty, including Hugo and his girlfriend. (Paris, murder mystery, American embassy security, dusty, 272)

One Five Star read and the rest four stars with one DNF as Peter Robinson's No Cure for Love just couldn't hold my interest. 

Currently in progress :

Two chunky books:  Mark Helprin's  romance and historical fiction story about a socialite and a soldier In Sunlight and in Shadow (705), and David Brin's environmental science fiction fantasy about the world going extinct - Earth (704)  

Audible books:  Mark Weir's The Martian with James. In the car -  V.E. Schwab's Fragile Threads of Power. 

Ebook: Alternating between Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London #5 Foxglove Summer and The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna.

My rating system is a mishmash of goodreads and others.  

5 star - Loved the author, and will read anything they publish. Loved the story line, loved the characters.  Couldn't put it down. Made me think. Will read it again. 

4 star - Liked the story, liked the characters, but not necessarily rereadable

3 star - Good but....

2 star - Failed to live up to my expectations 

1 star - DNF - Not my cup of tea at all and didn't want to continue.  

January Reading Wrap Up


Since my buying ban  is in effect, I read 11 physical books and 9 ebooks for a total of 7690 pages which equals 248 pages a day.  I read during breakfast, lunch, while on the treadmill, and after dinner. We don't watch much television and reading is as necessary as breathing to me.  

The longest book was Aeronaut's Windlass and the shortest was the novella The Pale Dreamer.  My rating system is a mishmash of goodreads and others.  

5 star - Loved the author, and will read anything they publish. Loved the story line, loved the characters.  Couldn't put it down. Made me think. Will read it again. 

4 star - Liked the story.  Liked the characters. Reread 

3 star - Okay story. 

2 star - Meh - disappointed or irritated by characters, storyline, or author's writing. 

1 star - DNF - Not my cup of tea at all, didn't want to continue reading, waste of my time. 

Lyssa Kay Adams - Undercover Bromance  ***  Characters were juvenile for their age. (Men read romance, sexual harassment, justice, 348, e)

Sara Nisha Adams - The Reading List  **** New to me author and look forward to reading more. A story about friendship and grief. A teenage girl working in library for the summer and an elderly gentleman form a friendship over books. Someone, to be revealed later, left a list of books where three different people found them with the note “Just in case you need it” and each book turned out to relate to their life and help them, somehow, someway for the better. Although I’ve already read some of the books, now I want to read them all, keeping in mind the life lessons learned by the characters in the story. A goal for this year, or maybe next. We’ll see how it goes.  (Books, friendship, grief, 373)

Sarah Addison Allen - Other Birds  ***  Coming off of Garden Spells, Other Birds didn't tug on my emotion strings as much as the Waverley's. The characters were poignant, all experiencing abandonment or other issues which affected their lives. As they work through invisible pigeons, ghosts, neglect, grief, and loss, the characters come together to form a family. I'll have to read it again when I can appreciate the story and not compare it to another book.     (Magical realism, South Carolina, Grief, romance, birds, 290)

Marie Brennan - Tropic of Serpents #2 Lady Trent *****  Lady Trent is fascinating and enjoyed the world building and the science and her efforts to discover all she could about dragons. Whether she is navigating the male centric Victorian society to learning from the Moulish natives of Eriga, she puts her all into it. From assimilating into the culture of the palace to living with the native Indians in the swamp land of Green Hell. I love how the Moulish force her to face herself when they make her go through a purification right when she has a string of bad luck and how the guardian of the eggs puts her to the test. And her strength and ingenuity in her test to prove to Yeyuama she could be trusted to protect the dragon eggs. She is continually learning and may stumble, but she'll get right back up again, and forge onward. (Historical Fantasy, Victorian, Dragons, Green Hell, Natives, 331)

Brendan Slocumb - Violin Conspiracy ****  A mystery thriller set in New York and Europe centered around the theft of Ray's Stradivarius. Ray grieves the loss of his violin and possibly the end of his music career, his life and struggles to get where he is presently is revealed in flashbacks of his greedy family, the racism he experiences, his joy of classical music, and the competitive nature of musicians.  (334, e)

R.F. Kuang - Babel: An Arcane History *****  Once I started reading, couldn't put it down. The etymology discussions, how the characters related to the world around them, how the characters grew in knowledge, the choices they made, some good, some bad, the heart wrenching decisions. All of it combined to create a story that made me think and how it related to today's world and why people do the things they do.  (Historical Fantasy, dystopian, oxford, etymology, racism, theme of the week - cliffhanger, 544, e)

Samantha Shannon - The Bone Season #1 / The Pale Dreamer novella  ****  A dystopian world in which magic thrives behind the scenes, but is persecuted by the world. Aliens has taken over an alternative oxford, allowed by the government as a deterrent to an even greater threat. The aliens serve as prison keepers for the magically inclined.  Dark despair pervades the entire story.  (Aliens, magic vs non magic, alternative Oxford, theme of the week  - dystopian, 480, e)

Jenny Colgan - The Bookshop on the Corner **** Charming story about a young woman who takes on the adventure of moving to a new place and starting a book mobile. (Scotland, UK, 368, e)

Ashley Poston  - The Dead Romantics  ****  Another charming story about a ghostwriter who falls in love with a ghost. (Books, ghostwriter, grief, crows, 368)

J.D. Robb - Random in Death #58 In Death series  *****  (Futuristic thriller, murder, police procedural, 368)

J.T. Ellison - Lie to Me *****  Finally dove into the story which lead to me reading every spare minute. Fast paced, psychological thriller and would have never guessed who caused Sutton's and Ethan's marriage to implode. They were both to blame, yet there was someone else hiding in the shadows pulling all their strings. Thrill ride of a story with so many twists and turns, it will make you dizzy.  (Psychological thriller, lots of twists and turns, 413)

Emily St. John Mandel - Sea of Tranquility  **  Unlike any time travel book I’ve read in which it seemed all nonsensical and flat.    (Post apocalyptic, time travel, Writer, covid, 272) 

Evie Woods - The Lost Bookshop  **** four characters, dual timelines, how the past affects the present, abusive relationships, what is real and what is not, learning to trust again.  (Magical realism, dual timelines historical and present, books, England, Ireland, USA,  444, e)

Sulari Gentill - The Woman in the Library ****  A mystery within a mystery set in Boston with so many twists and turns , the characters don't know who to trust. (Mystery thriller, Boston, murder, deceit, books, 292)

Haruki Murakami - Sputnik Sweetheart  *****  I love Murakami and he always leaves me with something to think about. This one more so than others. The same themes rewritten in a different way: Cats, music, love, loss, life. The ending isn't quite so clear cut or is it?    (Author of the month, magical realism, Japan, love lost, 224, e)


Jim Butcher - Aeronauts Windlass #1 Cinder Spires **** Reread before start Olympian Affair. Just as good the second time around. An epic fantasy involving magic and technology combined, airship battles, talking cats, strange characters, and etheric forces.  (Dusty reread, 781)

Jenna Black  - Dark Descendant ***  Reread while on treadmill involving demi gods, immortality, private eyes, and good versus evil.  Don't think I'll reread the rest of the series again. (336, e)

Karen Rose - Count to Ten  *** * Reread of a mystery thriller revolving around an arson investigator and a police detective.  (Mystery thriller, Chicago, Illinois, romance, murder, Theme of the week - Fire, 563)

Dean Koontz - Odd Thomas ****  Odd Thomas is a quirky character who sees dead people and tries to stop the bad guys.  (Supernatural thriller, 435, e)