Good reads

I took a reading hiatus over the summer while the Little Man was here. We were just so busy. And since I almost exclusively read audiobooks, I don’t necessarily want him overhearing about the gruesome murders and sex and whatnot. But since he’s been at the gp’s, I’m making up for lost time. And it’s been a pretty awesome month of books!

Getting Old is to Die For
Y’all know I love a good cozy mystery. If it has elderly ladies or cats, I’m all over that s**t. I discovered the Gladdy Gold mysteries this spring, and I’ve liked them all so far. This is the 4th installment, and we finally get to find out who murdered Gladdy’s husband years ago, something that’s been mentioned in passing in the previous books.

The Company We Keep: A Husband and Wife True-Life Spy Story
I’m determined to read more non-fiction this fall. It used to make up at least half of what I read, but the past couple of years I’ve let it go more than I’d like.
This was a very engrossing read. Lots of descriptions of various war-torn places around the world. I have to say that I enjoyed Dayna’s entries more than her husband’s. You get to see through her what it’s like to come up through the ranks of the CIA as a woman. Robert’s, while interesting, struck me as very cynical. Which is understandable given his job. But the differences in the way he treats his first family and the way he treats his family with his new wife were aggravating to me. I think that colored my views of this otherwise very interesting book.

Rosemary and Rue
I didn’t know anything about this book when I picked it up. So when, in the first chapter, the main character gets turned into a fish… well I wasn’t sure I would care for this one. But I  really warmed up to it. Fantasy novels about fairies (or faeries) aren’t my favorites normally, but Rosemary and Rue won me over with it’s humor, and I did feel sympathy for Toby as she tried to put her life back together. I’ll be picking up the next in this series for sure.

Anna Karenina
I could write a book about this book. It was so different from what I was expecting, in a really good way. Anna’s story makes up only a part of this book, and to me, it isn’t the most interesting. Family, faith, politics, societal hypocrisy, drug addiction and mental illness, the class systems in Russia and Europe are big themes. And also farming. Lots and lots about farming.

Happier at Home
After Anna, I needed something lighter. Definitely a pallet cleanser (thanks for that one, Megan!) I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This could partially be because we do so many of these things in my family already, so it was nice validation. Declutter regularly? Check. Do things you enjoy? Check. Kiss your husband everyday? Check Plus. Though her husband seems like a bit of a tool sometimes, she’s not necessarily the easiest person to live with either. But I like how she doesn’t try to change anyone, she concentrates on the positive changes in herself. You can’t make anyone else happy, but you can foster an environment of happiness in your home.

The Great Gatsby 
Okay, clearly I’m no literary critic. I’m sure this book has many literary merits. But I just don’t like it. Didn’t like it in high school, don’t like it now.  I think my dislike this time around can partially be blamed on reading Anna right before this. I was SO OVER rich people screwing around on their spouses and generally being dicks. And neglecting their children. And having parties. And gossiping. And whining. This one has all that, with a little domestic violence thrown in.  Maybe I’ll try again in ten more years…

Bookmarked for Death and Bookplate Special
I liked the first BookTown mystery, but the 2nd and 3rd books were a little disappointing. I figured out who the killer was about halfway through in both books. The main character, who owns a mystery bookstore, does what all cozy mystery small business owners do- she neglects her business to go solve mysteries. And that bugs the hell out of me. Although I will say that these books bring up social issues that I haven’t seen much in a lot of cozies, the hardships of running a small business and providing your employees with a living wage and health insurance coverage (two of my most passionate causes). But she does it in such a sanctimonious way that it’s off-putting. I will probably continue with this series, because I’m OCD where series are concerned, not because I necessarily want to.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
 waited a long time to read this book, it’s one of the few where I saw the movie first. I really disliked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I had very low expectations for this one. It was surprisingly good! It didn’t seem as gory as PP&Z, but there was definitely blood and violence. It hurt my Southern pride to have so many prominent southerners be in league with the vampires. I don’t like it when something as complex as the Civil War i painted only in black and white. But other than that, I enjoyed it.

Grave Peril: Dresden Files #3
I’m plugging along in the Dresden Files books. This one focused on ghosts and vampires. Like the others, it had some horrifically gory scenes, but tempered them with a bit of humor. Someone in Harry’s life gets irreparably changed, leaving a cliffhanger ending. Will be picking up the next one soon.

Beautiful Creatures
This book was about 200 pages longer than it needed to be. Maybe if they had taken out some of the main character’s judgmental diatribes on the state of small-town southern schools… Don’t get me wrong, I know there is a lot wrong with southern schools. A Lot. But the rampant stereotypes in this book made me want to throw up in my mouth. Every girl is a Belle girl (“good girl”) or a Pageant Girl (slut). Oh until she comes along. She is the only one who understands him… blah blah blah… And somebody please tell me what the hell is up with the parents in all these YA novels?? No wonder these kids are screwed up, the parents are Never Around. Or they’re… well I won’t spoil the ending. If you’ve made it that far in the book, you deserve a surprise. Oh and there’s also woowoo witchy stuff too.

The Phryne Fisher books
I have a lady crush on Phryne Fisher. She is my favorite mystery heroine since Amelia Peabody. I’ve been devouring these books for the past few days. They’re pretty short, easy reads. Phryne is like James Bond if James Bond was a flapper. I can’t help thinking of how certain other 1920’s literary characters would react to her. She’d party it up with Gatsby, and find the prettiest boy there to take home with her. Nero Wolfe would have respect for her intelligence, while Archie would certainly fall in love with her. She would eat Bertie Wooster for lunch, for sure.

So that’s what I’ve been reading the past three weeks or so. I have a big pile of books waiting for me, but I’m kind of stuck on Phryne right now. I keep saying “just one more, then I’ll read something else…”

I love to see what other people are reading. Be my friend on Goodreads!

4 thoughts on “Good reads

  1. Pingback: Good Reads, vol. 2 | hclappy scraps

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  3. Pingback: Good Reads vol. 4 | hclappy scraps

  4. Pingback: Good Reads vol. 6: Holiday Murder Mystery Extravaganza, Part 2 | hclappy scraps

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