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Monthly "Reads" > Carol's Yikes It's August Already July Reads

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message 1: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Aug 02, 2014 06:50PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Death at La Fenice (Commissario Brunetti, #1) by Donna Leon Death at La Fenice Donna Leon. 5/5

After having this on my Kindle for a couple of years I’ve finally gotten around to reading this well regarded police procedural based in Venice, Italy. Commissario Guido Brunetti is called in to investigate the poisoning of one of the top opera conductors. I see why people recommend this solidly plotted series filled with interesting characters not the least of whom is our investigator. The ending surprised me, which I always appreciate in a mystery. I will definitely continue with the series.

A Natural Woman A Memoir by Carole King A Natural Woman: A Memoir Carole King. 4/5

This was a fascinating story of the brilliant singer/songwriter. She entered the business at a very early age, in the ‘60s, and collaborated with then husband Gerry Goffin on signature songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s, like Up on the Roof, One Fine Day, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, I could go on and on. Even though she’s written songs for many of my favorite artists, I’d never heard of her before Tapestry, which I played incessantly and could probably sing start to finish. King is an unusual woman, very much not Hollywood, more back-to-nature. She left Hollywood to raise her children on farms with little modern conveniences, returning every now and then to reconnect with her musical roots. She is back in the limelight with a show on Broadway based on her life, called “Beautiful” after one of the songs on her Tapestry album. Whenever I see her I smile -- she seems like such a warm spirit. The book was thoroughly entertaining, although it did bog down a bit for this city girl when she detailed her life on the various farms. Still, thoroughly enjoyable.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King Mr. Mercedes Stephen King. Read by Wil Patton. 4/5

King’s first attempt at a straight telling of a mass murderer detective story was a fair success, although when I thought about it the characters and plot developments were pretty stock. But, nobody knows character development and suspense like King, so it worked. Wil Patton’s narration was excellent, although his voice reminded me constantly of the Dave Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke, which he also reads.

Death By Honeymoon (Caribbean Murder, #1) by Jaden Skye Death By HoneymoonDeath by Honeymoon. Jaden Skye. 1/5

The lowest score I have given a book in recent memory. This was a story of a woman who loses her husband on their honeymoon in Barbados, and when the explanation of his death doesn’t pass the smell test she goes investigating. The writing was so simplistic and poor I got annoyed very early on, and only finished because I was curious enough about how it would turn out that I soldiered on. I’m amazed that there are more to this series and can only hope the writing and plotting improves. However, I won’t be reading any more to find out. (Kindle version)

The Black-Eyed Blonde A Philip Marlowe Novel by Benjamin Black The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel. Benjamin Black. 2/5

Classic P.I. set-up -- drop dead blonde walks into Marlowe’s office and wants him to find her supposedly dead lover -- unfolds into a so-so story. All the requisite directions and mis-directions, I just didn’t care much about any of it.

Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins Robert B. Parker's Cheap Shot Ace Atkins. Read by Joe Mantegna. 3/5

Spenser gets called in to investigate the kidnapping of the child of NE Patriot star Kinjo Heywood. This felt a little bit ripped from the headlines, with the supposed involvement of the player in the shooting death over a woman reminiscent of one of the crimes former Patriot Aaron Hernandez is accused of committing. That kept taking me out of the story, which otherwise was typical Spenser and enjoyable. Spenser’s lack of use of contractions “.. I could not wait for him to explain..” sounded awkward when being read, but that’s Spenser. I’m not wild about Mantegna as a narrator, among other things his lack of familiarity with Boston comes across in some mispronunciation of Boston landmarks ( Government Center instead of Government Center), and his female voices are atrocious.


Cop Town by Karin Slaughter Cop Town. Karin Slaughter. Kathleen Early? 4.5/5

It’s the ‘70’s in Atlanta and sexism and racism is alive and well on the Atlanta police force. This story of two women on the force, one a veteran and one a rookie, was fascinating for its social background and for the murder central to the plot, not so much for its main characters. Still, I wound up liking it enough to give a 4.5, and would probably read a sequel.


message 2: by Dan in AZ (new)

Dan in AZ | 2678 comments Nice month, Carol. The Carol King sounds interesting.


message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Good month Carol, except for the one star read.

The Donna Leon series is one I need to get back into reading. I did enjoy both the characters and the Venice setting.


message 4: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3626 comments Very interested in the Carole King book! Just starting Mr. Mercedes myself.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments I know what you mean about "where did July go?", Carol!
Your month includes some good and bad, I wish we had found a better offering for group discussion in The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel, but thoroughly enjoyed the conversations on Mr. Mercedes and Cop Town.
I'll have to look into Donna Leon.
A good narrator can really add or detract from a book, a pet peeve of mine is poor female voices. Government Center?
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Death at La FeniceDeath at La Fenice Donna Leon. 5/5...
I’m not wild about Mantegna as a narrator, among other things his lack of familiarity with Boston comes across in some mispronunciation of Boston landmarks ( Government Center instead of Government Center), and his female voices are atrocious."



message 6: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Ann wrote: "Government Center? ..."

Sorry, the italics to indicate the right and wrong emphasis didn't make it through my copy and paste. I'll go back and add them now.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Ahhh! Thanks!
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Ann wrote: "Government Center? ..."
Sorry, the italics to indicate the right and wrong emphasis didn't make it through my copy and paste. I'll go back and add them now."



message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

The Carole King book sounds really good! I tried to get tickets to the Broadway play about her about two weeks ago but the prices jumped after it won the Tony. Maybe I will read this while I wait for the prices to go down. :) Great month!


message 9: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3593 comments I know what you mean. where did june or july go? shore time is going way to fast this year between not being down there and the weather hasn't been perfect.


message 10: by Brakedrum (new)

Brakedrum | 1203 comments Great month!


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