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Monthly "Reads" > dec 2010 - sandi

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Sandi (sandin954) | 548 comments Happy New Year!!!

Here are my December reads:

Top Read

Hard Frost (Inspector Frost, #4) by R.D. WingfieldHard Frost
R.D. Wingfield
The Denton police division is shorthanded after a car crash involving several tipsy policemen so Inspector Frost is called in early from his vacation and has to cope with, among other things, blackmail, dead bodies, and a kidnapper. I always enjoy the books in this series and while Frost is not the most likable character he does get the job done even if it takes a few tries.

Good Reads

Now I Can Die in Peace  How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox by Bill SimmonsNow I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox
Bill Simmons
ESPN's Sports Guy's account of the Red Sox finally winning the World Series. I enjoy Simmon's style, you can tell he really does care, and for the most part thought the book was quite good. I just wish I would have read it a couple of years ago, back before the whole Red Sox Nation thing became so annoying.

CryoBurn (Vorkosigan Saga, #14) by Lois McMaster BujoldCryoBurn
Lois McMaster Bujold
Finally, after eight years, Miles is back and, while a bit older, still is able to stir up everything and everyone around him. This has always been my favorite science fiction series because of the great characters and the way Lois McMaster Bujold is able to show how her future technology really affects society. While I would not rank this book as one of the best in the series, it was a fine addition and I hope there will be more sooner than later.

Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe, #5) by Bernard CornwellSharpe's Prey
Bernard Cornwell
Richard Sharpe manages to get himself in the middle of the action during the bombardment, by the British, of Copenhagen. As always, an enjoyable listen. I did not know anything about this particular battle so found the history very interesting. Listened to the audio version read by Patrick Tull.

The Most Dangerous Game by Gavin LyallThe Most Dangerous Game
Gavin Lyall
Combination aviation and espionage thriller set in Finland and published back in 1963. Engaging first person narrative and lots of well written action scenes made this a fast, entertaining read.

A Whisper to the Living (Inspector Rostnikov) by Stuart M. KaminskyA Whisper to the Living
Stuart M. Kaminsky
What will probably be the final book in the Rostnikov series since the author passed away in 2009 though I would be overjoyed if there was a secret cache of further books somewhere. I love the characters in this series and was glad to see certain things finally play out. I will very much miss Rostnikov, Karpo, and all the others but luckily I have plenty of more of Stuart M. Kaminsky's work to read.

A Smattering of Ignorance by Oscar LevantA Smattering of Ignorance
Oscar Levant
I became intrigued with Oscar Levant after seeing a clip of him from a television talk show that was included in the documentary about Fran Lebowitz so I decided to seek out this book which was published in 1939. Most of the book was about classical music conductors and musical composers, which I know nothing about, but the writing style and witticism kept me interested. I did throughly enjoy the two sections on his friendships with Harpo Marx and George Gershwin.

Vertical Run by Joseph R. GarberVertical Run
Joseph R. Garber
From the first page the action starts and does not let up. David Elliot is a successful middle-aged executive who goes into work just like every weekday morning but what happens next is anything but normal. The present day narrative switches off with scenes from David's past in Vietnam which helps the believability factor. A real page turner.

Six Bad Things by Charlie HustonSix Bad Things
Charlie Huston
At the opening of this book Hank Thompson is enjoying his life in the Yucatán Peninsula with the only downside being his narrower than usual ear canals but, if you read the first book, Caught Stealing, you know that will not last long. Like the first book, lots of gritty action and wild circumstances. Overall though, I did not think this book was quite as good as Caught Stealing mainly because the supporting characters just did not seem as interesting and some of Hank's actions did not seem logical. Listened to the audio version which was read by Christian Conn.

Things That Must Not Be Forgotten  A Childhood in Wartime China by Michael David KwanThings That Must Not Be Forgotten: A Childhood in Wartime China
Michael David Kwan
An interesting memoir about the author's childhood, which was very different than most Chinese since his mother was European and his father was an executive with the Chinese rail system, during World War 2 in China.

Love Among the Chickens (Sound Library) by P.G. WodehouseLove Among the Chickens
P.G. Wodehouse
One of P.G. Wodehouse's first published books in the States, the story is narrated by a young writer who somewhat hesitantly agrees to help out an old friend with newly hatched plan of running a chicken farm even though the friend, Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, is described as "the sort of man who will ask you out to dinner, borrows the money from you to pay the bill, and winds up the evening by embroiling you in a fight with a cabman." Lots of laughs, romance, chickens, and golf. Listened to the audio version read with great enthusiasm by Jonathan Cecil.

OK Read

The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones Mysteries) by Dianne DayThe Strange Files of Fremont Jones
Dianne Day
First in a historical mystery series set in San Francisco during the early 1900's. I liked the main character, though I doubt if she was historically appropriate, but the various plot elements were just OK and there was a bit too much romance.

I ended up reading or listening to 146 books in 2010 (up from 134 in 2009). Of those, 96 were on the page and 50 were audio. I read a total of 28,782 pages (299.81 average pages per book) and listened to 474.75 hours of audio (9.49 average hours per audio).


Marcy | 862 comments Happy New Year to you! Looks like you had a very busy reading month. I read Vertical Run a few years ago and remember abandoning chores and errands so that I could sit and keep reading it.


Barry (BarryPz) | 1690 comments Six Bad Things
Charlie Huston

I thought this trilogy foretold great things for Huston, but I was disappointed in what followed.


Carol/Bonadie (Bonadie) | 3939 comments Sacrilege!!!! I listen to Bill Simmons' podcast, and will of course buy this book with my Red Sox Nation Barnes and Nobel gift card. ;-)

I just wish I would have read it a couple of years ago, back before the whole Red Sox Nation thing became so annoying.


Ann (AnnRumsey) | 6245 comments Sandi:
What a fabulous year you have had! I liked Huston's Caught Stealing and have been meaning to get to more of the Hank Thompson books.
I am jealous that you read so many audio books, more than double my total. Unless I start listening while cleaning as Carol has suggested I can't imagine getting to that many, but wish I could! ;) Thanks for sharing your comments!
Sandi wrote: "Happy New Year!!!
Six Bad Things Charlie Huston At the opening of this book Hank Thompson is enjoying his life in the Yucatán Peninsula with the only downside being his narrower than usual ear canals but, if you read the first book, Caught Stealing, you know that will not last long. Like the first book, lots of gritty action and wild circumstances.
I ended up reading or listening to 146 books in 2010 (up from 134 in 2009). Of those, 96 were on the page and 50 were audio. I read a total of 28,782 pages (299.81 average pages per book) and listened to 474.75 hours of audio (9.49 average hours per audio). "



Melodie (MelodieCO) | 2268 comments Great year, Sandi!! You've put a couple of books on my TBR pile this past year!


Sandi (sandin954) | 548 comments >>I am jealous that you read so many audio books, more than double my total. Unless I start listening while cleaning as Carol has suggested I can't imagine getting to that many, but wish I could! ;) <<

I probably could have finished a couple more audios this year if I had not gotten into the bad habit of having my brother drive me to the library on Saturday (and then stopping by Dairy Queen) instead of walking or riding my bike. I did not listen to any really long audios this year so that is why my count is somewhat inflated.


JanG | 163 comments Great month! I'm going to check out Vertical Run. I see you've signed up for BCon STL! Great! I signed up as soon as I got home from SF. I'm coming a day early to do some sightseeing. Can't wait!


Ann (AnnRumsey) | 6245 comments Sandi:
The length of the audio books we listen to can really make a difference in the total count. The Passage this year really slowed my count down for it took quite a while to finish.
Sandi wrote: ">>I did not listen to any really long audios this year so that is why my count is somewhat inflated. "


Sandi (sandin954) | 548 comments JanG wrote: "Great month! I'm going to check out Vertical Run. I see you've signed up for BCon STL! Great! I signed up as soon as I got home from SF. I'm coming a day early to do some sightseeing. Can't w..."

It will be great to see you in St. Louis.


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