The Sojourner

by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Sojourner by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Of all the depressing books I’ve read where not much goes on… well, what to say? It was depressing and not much happens. I could stop there, but I know you want to know more. Read More »

Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson

by Raymond W. Thorp and Robert Bunker

Crow Killer by Raymond Thorpe and Robert Bunker

Though I don’t typically read mountain man books, this was a birthday gift that looked pretty interesting. Also, I know very little about any but the most famous mountain men and I am always interested in learning new things. Sadly, Crow Killer ended up being a little too folksy and not academic enough for me. Read More »

Fatal Voyage

by Kathy Reichs

Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs

I was excited about this book. I liked the first couple of seasons of the tv series Bones, and a big part of what I enjoyed was the character Temperance Brennan. I should have known the books would be different, and not in a way that I enjoyed. This is why I typically stay away from movie or tv versions of books, and I’ve got to say, I think this is the first time I enjoyed the tv version better. Read More »

Cruel and Unusual

by Patricia Cornwell

Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell

I’ve never read a Corwell novel, but I see them everywhere in the supermarket, airport, bookstores. I understand that she is extremely popular and though I enjoy mysteries, I’ve never felt compelled to read her stuff. Cruel and Unusual came from bin of free books that my little brother dropped off for me. Read More »

The Devil’s Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century

by Harold Schechter

The Devil's Gentleman by Harold Schechter

Finally, a delightful non fiction about murder… just what you were all hoping for, I am sure. This book follows the poisoning murders of two people and the subsequent trials of Roland Molineux in the late 1800s.

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by Faye Kellerman

Stalker by Faye Kellerman

I’ve never read a Faye Kellerman book before. It isn’t what I would consider ‘my type of book,’ but I can’t say no to free and it looked like an easy and unchallenging read. That is probably the highest praise I can give this book, because it wasn’t compelling or exciting. This one turned out to be Meh. Read More »

The Big Ditch: How America Took, Built, Ran, and Ultimately Gave Away the Panama Canal

by Noel Maurer and Carlos Yu

The Big Ditch by Noel Maurer and Carlos Yu

Finally! An academically written book about a historical event from an economics perspective! I have been hoping to read something of this nature for a while now and happily my kindly husband obliged with this little birthday gift. Maurer and Yu have all the academic credentials one could hope for which lead me to worry that the writing would be dry, it wasn’t. Read More »

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

by Hampton Sides

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

I have a fascination with arctic (or antarctic) adventure biographies. It isn’t exactly that I wish I was born in a different time, I love my modern conveniences, but I have a great admiration for those who dared to venture out and discover the world that we know today. I’d heard a little about the USS Jeannette’s turbulent journey, but not enough to make the book uninteresting. Also, not enough to spoil the ending. Read More »

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 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 »