The Clinic

by Jonathan Kellerman

The Clinic by Jonathan Kellerman

This was another free book from my brother’s bargain book hunting. I’d just read one of Kellerman’s wife’s books and decided I should decide who was the better writer. I hadn’t been terribly impressed with Faye Kellerman’s book, but Jonathan Kellerman had an interesting spin on the suspense novel. Read More »

Death at the Priory: Love, Sex, and Murder in Victorian England

by James Ruddick

Death at the Priory : Love, Sex, and Murder in Victorian England by James Ruddick

I love a good true crime book as much (or more) than the next gal. I also enjoy reading about Victorian England. In theory this is the sort of book I love, but the execution did nothing for me, and Ruddick’s “investigation” left a lot to be desired. Death at the Priory seeks to illuminate the 1875 poisoning of Charles Bravo. Read More »

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

by Alan Bradley

The Dead and Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

I have been a vocal fan of the Flavia de Luce novels since I read the first. I’ve been deeply invested in the mystery and watching the characters unfold, but I must say this last book was challenging to me. Not because it wasn’t well written. Not because Flavia didn’t get up to her usual mischief. Not because some questions weren’t finally answered. What I found disconcerting was that I am not sure I like where the series is going. Read More »

The Fault of the Apple

by Frederic Wakeman

The Fault of the Apple by Frederic Wakeman

I am not sure where or how this book came into my possession. I seem to remember a yard sale somewhere. My copy is a hardback without a dust jacket, and the beautiful binding makes it look very intriguing. Yet another case of not judging a book by its cover, because this book hit the trifecta of awful. Read More »

Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer

by Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabel: The Necromancer by Jonathan Howard

Hmmm… I am still on the fence about this book, and the grade that I gave it. Truly, it hovered between the B-/C+ range. This is another of my little brother’s gift books from his bargain book hunting. Read More »

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

by Stephen King

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon By Stephen King

I’ve never been a reader of Stephen King books. I have read various articles that King wrote about both reading and writing, and I’ve found those interesting, but my attempts at reading his books while I was in high school didn’t make me a lifelong fan. Read More »

Critical Conditions

by Stephen White

Critical Conditions by Stephen White

I’ve never read anything that Stephen White had written before. This little gem came into my hands via my brother who got a bin full of books for me from some sort of heavily discounted sale. This isn’t a book I would have selected to read on my own, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results. White’s series follows Alan Gregory a clinical psychologist who gets involved in all sorts of bizarre criminal cases/situations. Read More »

What W.H. Auden Can Do For You

by Alexander McCall Smith

What W.H. Auden Can Do For You by Alexander McCall Smith

According to the foreword on this book, I am the target audience. I like (not love) poetry and I am only familiar with W.H. Auden in a superficial way. I am a self proclaimed fan of all things Alexander McCall Smith, but unfortunately, his own love of Auden’s work does not translate well. It is the classic non fiction mistake. When the author is too close to his subject, it makes it challenging to remain unbiased and write something with a wide appeal for all. Read More »

The Battle for WondLa

by Tony DiTerlizzi

The Battle For WondLa by Tony Diterlizzi

The third and final book in the WondLa trilogy was a sweet little read. Though much was predictable, clearly Eva Nine is going to triumph, but it was an interesting journey. Read More »

The Shadow Thieves: The Cronus Chronicles Book One

by Anne Ursu

The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu

When I first started this book I was unsure of whether I liked it, or not. The whimsical narrative style seemed a little too cutesy for my personal taste, but when I was young I had an interest in Greek and Roman mythology. Read More »

The Quality of Mercy

by Barry Unsworth

The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth

I was unaware that this book was the highly anticipated sequel to Sacred Hunger. It only took 12 years to follow-up so I am sure fans of the original book might differ from me in their opinions of the book. Sacred Hunger follows a slave ship and talks a lot about greed, apparently. Well, at least if wikipedia is to be believed. Read More »

Pigs in Heaven

by Barbara Kingsolver

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

I seem to be burning through these fiction selections that my younger brother got for me. Pigs in Heaven is not a book that would have appealed to me, or that I would have chosen on my own. But as a free book, what a nice addition. A note, this is actually not the first book in a series of books about a lot of the same people so… proceed with caution. Read More »

Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water

by Mark Reisner

Cadillac Desert by Mark Reisner

I’ve talked about my youngest brother before. He is the type who would leave really horrible books hidden in your bookshelf. He is also the type to unload his old books on you. He is ALSO the type who is studying environmental law in law school. I generally have a queue of books that I am scheduled to read, but my little brother is a perpetual queue skipper. He came over with a book he’d read for one of his classes and wanted someone to discuss it with. As he knows I will read almost anything, I was an obvious choice. Read More »

The First Wives Club

by Olivia Goldsmith

The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith

This book was… just disappointing in many ways. It was worse than meh, but not quite the most horrible thing I’ve ever read. Ringing endorsement, I know.  Read More »

Carter Beats the Devil

by Glen David Gold

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold

I am surprised that I’d never heard of this book before I read it. It won some awards and sold well, but the first time I saw it was when my little brother dropped of a bin full of books he’d purchased for me at one of those bookstores going out of business sales. Read More »

Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus

by Carolina Maria de Jesus

Child of the Dark by Carolina Maria de Jesus

I was reluctant to read this book because I was worried at the emotions it might bring out. I lived in Brazil for a year and a half, and spent a fair amount of time visiting favelas and speaking to the poor and weary who were unfortunate enough to call those wretched places home. Read More »

A Hero For WondLa

by Tony DiTerlizzi

A Hero For WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

I almost feel like I should have re-read The Search for WondLa before reading this sequel as it takes up the action where the other book left off. Read More »

You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives

by Deborah Tannen

You Were Always Mom's Favorite: Sisters in Conversations Throughout Their Lives by Deborah Tannen

I wanted to read this book from the moment I read a review on NPR.com. I don’t have sisters, but I have always been fascinated with the dynamic. Having come from a home with three brothers and moving into an all girls apartment in college, I could tell you stories of culture shock! Read More »

V is for Vengeance

by Sue Grafton

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

Another Kinsey Millhone mystery and the series is winding down. It seems that Grafton has decided to stick with telling the narrative from various points of view. I enjoy this, as sometime Kinsey is a bit too cute a narrator for my taste. Read More »

U is for Undertow

by Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

In this installment in the Alphabet Series, Kinsey Millhone gets roped into investigating a possible body dump that happened twenty years ago. Michael Sutton shows up at Kinsey’s office and begs her to investigate a cold case kidnapping/murder. He claims that he has had triggered memories and Kinsey believes him until she realizes Michael Sutton is a highly impressionable young man  who once accused his father of sexual abuse, then recanted, but not before destroying his entire family. So Sutton isn’t the most reliable source. Read More »

Heroes on Horseback: A Life and Times of the Last Gaucho Caudillos

by John Charles Chasteen

Heroes on Horseback by John Charles Chasteen

This is another gift from my younger brother, and I suspect it was a remnant from his university days. The name Chasteen looked familiar, and sure enough, I have Born in Blood and Fire and Problems in Modern Latin American History from my university days. I double majored in Political Science and Latin American Studies, so lets just say Chasteen and I crossed paths quite a bit in the form of required reading. Read More »

Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains

by Jenny Bowen, founder of Half the Sky Foundation

Wish You Happy Forever by Jenny Bowen

I really shouldn’t read books like this when I am pregnant. Sure, orphans get to me any time, but when I am pregnant I have no control over the tears. Whenever I find anything particularly sad, or touching, my eyes turn into sprinklers. This book was both touching, and sad, in spades. Read More »

The Butterfly Mosque

by G. Willow Wilson

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

This book came highly recommended, by someone whose opinion I trust. That in and of itself can be dangerous. It is hard to read a book that has been talked up so much because I want something amazing. Well, The Butterfly Mosque wasn’t amazing, but it was certainly good. Read More »

A Body to Die For

by Kate White

A Body to Die For by Kate White

Apparently this is the second book in a series, but it came to me free so I dove right in. I guess I have been spoiled by great mystery writers (Tana French, Alan Bradley) or really fun mystery writers (Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich), because White’s effort fell flat. Read More »

Yes Sister, No Sister: My Life as a Trainee Nurse in 1950s Yorkshire

by Jennifer Craig

Yes Sister, No Sister by Jennifer Craig

The title of this book pretty much sums up what is about. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had not read the Call the Midwife Trilogy beforehand. This memoir seems to have a lot less heart than the Midwife books, though I did learn more about the mechanics of training to be a nurse. Read More »

The Importance of Being Seven

by Alexander McCall Smith

The Importance of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith

This is the sixth installment in Smith’s 44 Scotland Street Series. I recommend reading these books as a series, and not as stand alone novels. I enjoyed this book immensely and particularly enjoyed Smith’s note to the reader at the beginning of the book. He speaks about the title, The Importance of Being Seven. Bertie, one of our main characters is almost seven. Smith tries to capture that feeling of wanting something very much (to be seven, in Bertie’s case) and not quite being there. Read More »

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

by Alexander McCall Smith

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith

I have taken a significant amount of time off of the the 44 Scotland Street Series, not because I don’t love them, but because they are that particular brand of warm comfort that one remembers when one needs a nice little read that leave the reader feeling uplifted. If you are unfamiliar with the series, please ignore this review straight away and start at the beginning. You will thank me. Read More »

Two for the Dough

by Janet Evanovich

Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich

This is the second book in the Stephanie Plum series. One has to kind of feel for Stephanie as a heroine because she tries to be tough, but she just isn’t tough enough. Read More »

The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

by Simon Winchester

The Men who United the States by Simon Winchester

I wanted to like this book. I did. I’ve been a fan of Winchester and simply LOVED The Professor and the Madman. Unfortunately, The Men Who United the States suffered from a classic mistake made in nonfiction: the author was too close to the subject. Read More »

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Interrupted Tale

by Maryrose Wood

The incorrigible children of Ashton Place: The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood

It is no secret that I have been a fan of this series of books. Sadly, this is the fourth book meaning there are only two more to go. When I think about where these books could be taking me, I get excited, and that is exactly what books should do.

Read More »