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What Are You Reading / Reviews > March 2016: What Are You Reading

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message 1: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
What did you read this month?

How do you rate it?

What was it about?

Did you like it?

Why?

Why Not?


message 2: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot, #37) by Agatha Christie
Elephants Can Remember: Poirot, Christie

★ ★ ★

I did & I didn't.... Endless prattling supposition for the purpose of confounding the reader not only bores me, but annoys the hell out of me.

Mrs. Ariadne Oliver attends a Literary Luncheon where she is guest speaker. After the luncheon she is accosted by a nasty woman who insists that Mrs. Oliver look into the deaths of Mrs. Oliver's goddaughter Celia's parents, an apparent double suicide to determine exactly whom shot whom.... for the purpose of determining the possible mental health of Ceila who is long-time childhood friends with the woman's adopted son.

Ceila's aunt, her mother's twin, has long been in & out of mental institutions for murdering young male children...

Celia was away in Switzerland when her parents died, but there were others in the house, now elderly & retired ( Elephants) who remember bits & pieces of what went on.

M. Poirot is brought into the investigation for his relationship w/ the police.

I pretty figured out what actually happened, but not the overly sentimental & pseudo-romantic reasoning (which ruined the ending for me).


message 3: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17) by Agatha Christie
Death on the Nile: M. Poirot, Christie

★ ★ ★ ★

Linet is a rich American heiress who has moved to a country village in England. She has purchased a manor form an older gentleman who has fallen on hard times and has restored it.

Linet is being pursued by an impoverished young man who hopes to access Linet's vast fortune in order to restore his family home & his fortune as well. However, Linet soon realizes that to marry him, would mean giving up her new home and living in his..... She promptly breaks off with him and he moves to Canada.

Linet has a friend, Jacqueline who is ever down on her luck, but refuses to take handouts from Linet. Soon however, Jacqueline is to marry Simon and the one favor Jacqueline asks of Linet is to employ Simon as her estate Caretaker/Overseer.

Linet, no matter how generous to her friends, has never once denied herself anything, and promptly marries Simon.

Linet & Simon go to Egypt for their Honeymoon, where Monsieur Poirot is vacationing... all is well until Jacqueline shows up and begins harassing the newly weds.

One night after a game of bridge, Linet retires early, as does M. Poirot. Jacqueline causes a scene and in front of two witnesses shots Simon in the leg..... Both are taken to their respective cabins and remain there under close supervision.

The next morning Linet is found in dead her cabin, shot through the head.... Many people had motive, but the one w/ the most motive has an alibi and witnesses.....

Later Linet's maid is murdered as is the old woman who knows who killed the maid.

The end had a nice but unusual twist.

I like this book, the plot was very ingenious, but if one pays close attention the clues are there.


message 4: by Book Concierge (last edited Mar 20, 2016 01:40PM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide, #1) by Chris Ewan
The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam – Chris Ewan
4****

Charlie Howard is a successful mystery author, writing a series that features a professional burglar, Faulks. As a sideline – and I guess you could call it research – he also occasionally accepts a commission to steal certain items. When a stranger offers him an unusually high fee to steal a couple of seemingly worthless monkey figurines, his instincts tell him to decline while his curiosity urges him to comply. Before long he’s embroiled in a major intrigue, and a suspect in a murder.

This was a highly entertaining mystery. I couldn’t help but think of Lawrence Block’s Bernie Rhodenbarr series, but the comparison is a good one. The pace is quick, the characters interesting, and the charms of Amsterdam (a city I have visited) evident. I didn’t really like the way he revealed the culprit; bringing everyone together and having a long speech to lay out the crime and point out the responsible party (or parties) seems a bit tedious. Still, I was charmed by Charlie and want to read more of this series.


message 5: by Karin (new)

Karin Fallen Land by Taylor Brown Fallen Land by Taylor Brown ★★★

It’s the last year of the American civil war. Callum, fifteen and a seasoned horse thief has ended up with a group of outlaws in order to survive; Ava, seventeen and orphaned, is keeping the family farm going and staying alive. When the band Callum is with come across Ava, he kills a man to protect her from being raped, but ends up unconscious after having an ear shot off in a shot designed for his head by the man he killed to protect Ava, and has no idea what happens to her. When he finds out, he steals a great horse from the leader of the outlaw group, a former Colonel, and sets off to help her. In the end, he and Ava end up on the run from bounty hunters, fleeing for their lives on a remarkable horse, working hard to stay alive as they glean for food in a beautiful but ravaged land.

The writing is solid, and the description well done. Despite is shady background as an orphan trying to survive; it’s hard not to root for Callum who is clearly a gentleman when it comes to women, or for Ava who is a bright, resilient young woman with a mind and heart worthy of admiration. I liked this book, and if you enjoy the kind of one step ahead, physical peril and injury, fighting literally with people as well as the elements to stay alive, the horrors of war, then you will probably like this book better than I did.


message 6: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide, #1) by Chris Ewan

The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam
– Chris Ewan
4****

It sounded like Bernie, so I put a hold on it.......



message 7: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Death of a Nurse (Hamish Macbeth, #31) by M.C. Beaton
Death of a Nurse, Beaton

★ ★ ★

light, easy, fast read.... Better than the last few.

Hamish meets a "hot" nurse who is taking care of a wheelchair bound older man... They agree on a dinner date, but she never shows up.

A few days later, however, her battered body shows up at the base of a sea cliff & her belongings on the bodies of Halloween "guisers"....

Turns out she was stringing along her client for his money, she was a regular at Tommel Castle bar cadging drinks & dinner from the male guests.

His new partner is so clumsy, he breaks most everything he touches, so he moves in to the former butler's quarters at Tommel Castle where he strikes up a friendship w/ Priscilla & her father....

Priscilla is now engaged and very nearly kidnapped....

The new person taking Blair's place is a woman, who takes no prisoners and has no problem w/ Hamish's methods... but she does have a problem w/ Blair & Daviot and succinctly puts them both in their place.

Thankfully, Hamish wasn't as arrogant about his "needs" and women as usual. I find that gets really old... as his attitude is what makes him unattractive to women.

All in all a good story.....


message 8: by Karin (new)

Karin Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
★★★.5 rounded up to 4

When in Seattle, on May 2nd, a rare late snowstorm known as a “Blackberry Winter” strikes, Claire is assigned a feature story on the last “Blackberry Winter” on May 2, 1933. As she investigates, we also go back in time as this is two stories; one of Claire, whose marriage is struggling one year after the tragic loss of her child, and the other of Vera, whose three year old son Daniel went missing in that late snowstorm in 1933, his teddy bear dropped in the snow. As Claire unravels what she can of the unsolved, and for the most part, ignored, disappearance of Vera’s son, she is forced not only to face her own life in a new way, but to find out how she and Vera’s past are linked.

This novel was written as well as the other book I read by Sarah Jio, Morning Glory that I gave 4.5 stars to. And while this is definitely a different pair of tales than the other, both involve the loss of children, grief and tragedy, I think I read this too soon after the other. If you are a Sarah Jio fan and haven’t read this, or if you’ve never read anything by her, it’s worth a read if you like this sort of story with a mystery but that is not something that fits under the mystery genre per se, but is more mainstream. This novel was an instant best seller, and she won an award for a novel I have not read.


message 9: by Erin (new)

Erin (nahokuangelxo) | 8 comments I am reading Above the Sky by Jenny Lynne I am really enjoying it


Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (silversreviews) I just finished reading THE OTHER WIDOW by Susan Crawford. Loved it. It will be reviewed some time in April once it has been published. I will have the review on Goodreads and on my blog.

I am currently reading THE SECRETS OF FLIGHT by Maggie Leffler. I am really enjoying it.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews
http://silversolara.blogspot.com


Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (silversreviews) Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews wrote: "I just finished reading THE OTHER WIDOW by Susan Crawford. Loved it. It will be reviewed some time in April once it has been published. I will have the review on Goodreads and on my blog.

I am cur..."


The Secrets of Flight was marvelous. Great debut...wonderful characters. Loved it.


message 12: by Olympia (new)

Olympia (oly366) | 1 comments Currently reading The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. Not that far into it but it seems quite interesting.


message 13: by Marti (last edited Mar 19, 2016 08:57AM) (new)

Marti (coloreader) | 25 comments I just finished The Revenant (review on my Books page) and started on My Name is Lucy Barton. I also just got an OverDrive notice that Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline is ready for me! I'm always rushing to get books read by my 21 day deadline!


message 14: by Karin (new)

Karin I just finished Twelve Bar Blues the other day, lost 2 books I've been reading, but am totally caught up in Parable of the Sower, a scifi read (so far, I don't see any science, but that might come in books later in the series).


message 15: by Kimberly (last edited Mar 19, 2016 05:32PM) (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
The Clocks (Hercule Poirot, #34) by Agatha Christie

The Clocks: M. Poirot Christie

★ ★

I figured out a small portion but not "who done it" or why..... That was the twist away from the given clues.....

I basically skimmed the first 12 chapters (Poirot didn't come in until after that).....

I really dislike chatter/filler.....


message 16: by Kimberly (last edited Mar 19, 2016 05:45PM) (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Amsterdam by Chris Ewan

Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam, Chris Ewan

★ ★ ★

He's likable, the other characters were not.....

Charlie (a mystery writer & professional thief by night) is hired by another professional thief, Michael, to steal two plaster monkeys, that goes with the third which is already in his possession.

When Michael is found beaten & left for dead in his apartment things become dangerous & interesting.....

I figured out "who done it".... The story was a bit shallow (as was Charlie).....

I much prefer Bock's, Bernie Rhodenbarr.... But Block has a lot more books featuring Bernie......


message 17: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie

Hickory Dickory Dock: M. Poirot, Christie

★ ★ ★ ★

I found this book to be very interesting, the characters were an odd lot, most all with something to hide...

The story begins w/ Miss Lemon (M. Poirot's most perfect secretary) handing M. Poirot a letter w/ 3 mistakes in it.

Miss Lemon is upset as her sister, who manages a
group of (mostly) students living in a boarding house, is in a quandary as to what to do about various people's belongings gone missing.....

Miss Lemon asks M. Poirot to meet with her sister to discover who the thief is... but as soon as the thief reveals herself & her motives she is murdered...

Although I didn't feel much for the characters, I didn't dislike them either....

What I did notice was the prejudice with which Christie painted the foreign students...... but it wasn't as blatant as in other of her books.


message 18: by Paige (new)

Paige P (paigepradko) | 0 comments Just finished Mudbound by Hillary Jordan Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.
4 stars.
My stomach is still a little queazy.

My review if you are interested.


message 19: by Kimberly (last edited Mar 22, 2016 03:07PM) (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4) by Alan Bradley
I'm Half Sick of Shadows, Alan Bradley

★ ★ ★ ★

Cin you were right.... This book was better than the 1st two, but I will stick to my belief that Bradley does not have the voice of an 11-year old girl.... He's so "affected", but now I can ignore that.

Flaiva (11 yr-old girl) is a chemistry wizard enamored of poisons... She lives with a semi-absent father & two self-absorbed older sisters.

The house has been rented out during the christmas season to a film crew and the film's star has agreed to present a short scene from Romeo & Juliet as a benefit for the Parish Church's much needed new roof and most of the town has turned out to see it.

Unfortunately no one is able to leave after the performance (as they have been snowed in) so they all settle down for the night; that is except Flavia who decides to have a midnight chat w/ the star.

Upon nearing the star's room, Flavia hears an odd flapping sound; and when Flavia enters the room she finds the sound coming from a film projector with it's film run out & spinning on its reel. She also finds the star dead in her chair staring w/ dead eyes at the now blank screen dressed in the same costume she had been wearing in the film.....

It was interesting, not overly long..... not much detail to the procedures of the police but a good short story.


message 20: by Karin (new)

Karin Kimberly wrote: "I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4) by Alan Bradley
I'm Half Sick of Shadows, Alan Bradley

★ ★ ★ ★

Cin you were right.... This book was better than the 1st two, but I will stick to my belief that Brad..."


I suggest listening to the audio.


message 21: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Karin wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4) by Alan Bradley
I'm Half Sick of Shadows, Alan Bradley

Sorry Karin, I abhor audiobooks..... I tune out, get lost, & often very angry at the voices of the narrators/readers.

★ ★ ★ ★

Cin you were right.... This book was better than the 1st two, but I will stick to my..."



message 22: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Paige wrote: "Just finished Mudbound by Hillary Jordan Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.
4 stars.
My stomach is still a little queazy.

My review if you are interested."


It's a powerful story that has stayed with me.


message 24: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Audiobook performed by Cassandra Campbell.
4****

From the book jacket: “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. When Lydia’s body is found, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another

My reactions:
I love this kind of character-driven novel. Ng explores the nuances of family dynamics – how a parent’s own disappointments may translate into dreams for a child’s future, how a child may feel burdened by those dreams, how siblings may compete for or retreat from parental attention. More importantly, Ng looks at how everyone struggles to understand and love one another. And how large a role open communication (or lack of it) plays in our relationships.

Cassandra Campbell does a fine job narrating the audio version. She has good pacing, and I felt connected to the characters by her performance.


message 25: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Monday, Monday by Elizabeth Crook
Monday, Monday – Elizabeth Crook
4****

In August 1966 Charles Whitman shot and killed or wounded dozens of students, faculty and first responders from the clock tower on the University of Texas campus in Austin. This novel explores the effects of that event on the lives of three fictitious characters: Shelly, a young student who is seriously wounded, and two cousins, Wyatt and Jack, who come to the aid of Shelly and other victims.

What a wonderfully complex character-driven story. Growing up in Texas in the 60s I vividly remember the event that opens this novel. It was a reference to that event in the book publicity that caught my attention and put this on my TBR list. But the mass killing is only the plot device Crook uses to introduce these characters to one another. The novel really focuses on the relationships they build – to one another, and to other people not involved in the killings on the August day. As the story follows them through the decades we come to know their strengths, weaknesses, dreams, and fears.

I’m so glad I finally read it!


message 26: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1105 comments Mod
Dance Hall of the Dead (Navajo Mysteries, #2) by Tony Hillerman
Dance Hall of the Dead – Tony Hillerman
Audiobook performed by George Guidall
3***

It's book number two in Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn series ... need I say more?

Good mysteries with a little Native American cultural information in the mix. I love the way Leaphorn thinks things through before acting.

George Guidall does a good job on the audio. He has good pacing and I really like the way he voices Leaphorn. There were times when Guidall’s performance transported me to my childhood, listening to my grandfather (or grandmother, or aunts or uncles) telling stories in the dark, as we all sat on the porch of a summer evening. But the press of daily life got in my way and the library deadline was fast approaching, so I abandoned the audio and finished reading the second half of the book in a day.

Definitely a series I will continue.


Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews (silversreviews) I am currently reading and am almost done with:

STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD by Susan Meissner

I am enjoying the read. Review will be live on my blog and Goodreads on April 8.

A giveaway for the book is at the link below. Today is the last day for the giveaway if you want to stop by:

http://silversolara.blogspot.com/2016...

Elizabeth


message 28: by Kimberly (last edited Mar 31, 2016 08:43AM) (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Dear Cin I finished two more in the series, but not in order:

A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3) by Alan Bradley

A Red Herring Without Mustard, Alan Bradley

★ ★ ★

Flavia goes to the "fete" and visits the Gypsy to have her fortune told, which results in disaster; for as the Gypsy tells Flavia that she sees her mother alive, Flavia jumps up, knocks over a candle & the Gypsy's tent burns to the ground.....

Flavia take it upon herself by making amends & takes the Gypsy back to the estate & allows her to camp (as once did Flavia's mother), thus making an odd friendship...

Later, when Flavia goes back to visit she finds the Gypsy dead, her skull bashed in, thus setting off a sting of events uncovering the past lies of the townspeople.

I didn't particularly like the characters, I especially do not like Flavia's oldest sister... Such a Nasty Pill.

I also do not understand why Bradley never has Flavia get older, I've read 3-4 now & she is still 11, which makes for a murder every 3-4 months!


message 29: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 ) by Alan Bradley

Speaking From Among the Bones Alan Bradley

★ ★

The church's organist has done a bunk, and Flavia's eldest sister "Feely" (Ophelia) has taken his place.... Something is wrong with the pipe organ and when Feely & Flavia go up to invetigate they find a bat....

Meanwhile the remains of the local saint are about to be disinterred and in doing so the body of the organist is found above the crypt....

It is really important that I like the characters and I find that more & more I detest Flavia's sisters, especially the eldest.... their cruelty could be well done away with.


message 30: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 1059 comments Mod
Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie

Crazy for You, Jennifer Crusie



I can only say that it was "ok"., because I don't remember the characters' names......

The art teacher is living w/ the coach... apparently he just decided she was going to be his wife & slowly took over her life....

Everything is going smoothly for him until she rescues the dog and he sets out to get rid of it, which pisses her off enough for her to move out & buy her own place....

The move causes a chain-reaction: the coach starts losing all his games then begins stalking & sabotaging her; the acting Principal gets vindictive; her mother comes out of the closet; her best friend tries (and fails) to spice up her marriage; and she falls in love w/ her best friend (former brother-in-law).....

My main problem was she was wishy-washy & kept ignoring the main problem & threat.... Which to me was sheer stupidity on her part.


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