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Book Related Banter > December, 2019 What are You reading?

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message 1: by Cameron (last edited Jan 06, 2019 04:23PM) (new)

Cameron | 11 comments The title of this discussion will be changed monthly to reflect the current month.

This is a continuation of the monthly "What are you reading" discussion that Michael started in the Amazon Kindle forum. This great discussion group has been enjoyed by so many .

"Here's how this works - list a book you are currently reading or just recently read on your Kindle (insert the product link by clicking add book/author above the text box so others can find it), whether you would recommend it, did you get it free, and anything else you would care to share.
And here's the standard continuation of each month's request for prior participants in the poll: if you like or dislike a title you have read, in addition to telling us about it in this informal poll, how about writing a book review on the Amazon website? The review will certainly last and be visible a lot longer than this poll will. If you're like me, you look at the customer reviews in order to see if you want to investigate a book further. Since we are all a little community here, and while I realize each review is each person's opinion and we may not like the same thing, I know your friends and online discussion neighbors would appreciate your honest assessment of the likes and dislikes without providing a spoiler - I know I would! Your reviews don't need to be a long dissertation of the book, I like to keep them short, sweet, and (hopefully) to the point.

Many thanks to Michael for starting this thread and for all the posters who keep it going. I know I have found many an enjoyable book from this thread.

Authors should NOT use this discussion group to advertise their books. There are other discussion groups for that purpose.

Hope everyone is having a nice Winter


message 3: by John (last edited Jul 21, 2018 06:18AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished BLACK DAWN (Black Dawn) by Jay Allan. This is the continuing the saga of Tyler Barron and Andi LaFarge as they try to protect the Confederacy against the Hegemony, an invader from deep space. Adm. Sara Eaton and the crew of the Repulse deal with a Hegemony exploration fleet, while Barron and LaForge contend with political upheaval and double dealing in Megara, capital of the Confederacy. This was a KOLL selection for July, and rates four stars.


Next up is NUA'LL (Nua'll) by S. H. Jucha, the latest in his on going series about a space tug operator who becomes involved with the survivors of an ancient civilization.

John


message 4: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Wrapped up THE TEMPLAR'S REVENGE (The Templar's Revenge) by J. Robert Kennedy. James Acton and Laura Palmer manage to get themselves into trouble, this time with a religious artifact that had been thought lost when the Saracens, under Saladin, captured Jerusalem. Their quest is mainly centered in the south of France, but spills over into Italy. Lots of action and a high body count for a couple of archaeology professors. Three stars for this one.

John


message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 91 comments Just finished Singularity by Eldon Farrell and it's a real page-turner. I had an ARC - it's out in August.


message 6: by John (last edited Jul 30, 2018 12:37PM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished a four star effort from S. H. Jucha, NUA'LL (Nua'll). Alex Racine and his entourage move forward in their search for the alien race which considers all other races inferior and deems them unworthy of existence. In the process of uncovering the Artifice, as the controlling being calls itself, they manage to rescue several hundred children from a mining colony in deep space. What will the next installment of this space opera bring--probably something like the space version of the "Gunfight at the OK Corral". Lots of action and continuing development of the human/SADE (self-aware digital entity, think Cdr. DATA of Star Trek).

Next up is R. D. Brady's THE BELIAL SACRIFICE (The Belial Sacrifice) which takes me from deep space to the supernatural. This is the last book in what has been a very good series.

John


message 7: by John (last edited Aug 05, 2018 08:37AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished R. D. Brady's THE BELIAL SACRIFICE (The Belial Sacrifice). The final book in the BELIAL series. Delaney McPherson engages in one last battle with fallen angels and double dealing governments around the world. Lots of action, some mind bending activities, and even some people doing good things. Interesting story. Four stars for this one.

An FLP loaner, THE OTHER WOMAN (The Other Woman) by Daniel Silva is next. All of the Gabriel Allon books have been great.

John


message 8: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished THE OTHER WOMAN (The Other Woman) by Daniel Silva. Not a bad story, but definitely not one of the best in the series. Gabriel Allon is all spy chaser in this one--there is no three or four page interlude where he is painstakingly restoring a long lost painting. Add to this several loose ends when all is said and done, and THE OTHER WOMAN gets four stars.

Next is THE TIGER'S PREY (The Tiger's Prey) by Wilbur Smith. This is the latest in the Courtney Family series.

John


message 9: by Cameron (last edited Aug 14, 2018 01:25PM) (new)

Cameron | 11 comments I read and really enjoyed The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni recently.

I have read one other book by this author and have a few more of his books on my TBR.


message 10: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It was beautifully written, thought provoking, melancholy - a book that will linger in my mind for a long time. 5/5 stars.


message 11: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 455 comments Completed for the 2018 SFFBC Owned Books Challenge on this forum: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

from Doranna Durgin, a series dealing, in part, with a horse changed into a human (the prequel does not include her story):
Barrenlands
Dun Lady's Jess
Changespell
Changespell Legacy

and

On The Map: Why the world looks the way it does by Simon Garfield which is an interesting history of maps. This one does not seem to be available to US residents as a Kindle book but the hardcover is available as On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks. It's another example of the name changes between the US and UK editions of a book


message 12: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished INTO THE DARKNESS (Into the Darkness), book #1 in the Crimson Worlds Refugee series. Deep space adventure, complete with a long dead ( thousands of years) master race, present day double dealing, and over-accomplishing space crews. Will Adm. Terrence Compton be able to pull everyone together and carry the day? Read on...
This one is 3.5 stars.

Next is THE TIGER'S PREY (The Tiger's Prey) by Wilbur Smith. This is the latest in the Courtney Family series.

John


message 13: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer. It’s a fun, lighthearted mystery featuring Joe Biden and Barack Obama investigating the death of a railroad conductor that Biden knew from his years commuting betwwen Delaware and DC on Amtrak. It’s told from the point of view of Biden, who’s feelings are hurt because his bestie Obama has apparently forgotten about him as he’s moved on to a life of vacationing with celebrities. I recommend it if you are nostalgic for the days of Obama and Biden. It’s not great literature, but it’s a lot of fun. 4/5 stars.

Next up is another library e-book, The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware.


message 14: by John (last edited Aug 20, 2018 11:33AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished EAGLE IN THE SKY (Eagle in the Sky) by Wilbur Smith. David Morgan does not want to run a billion dollar business in South Africa. He wants to fly military jets, preferably in combat. He finds the Israeli Air Force, and Debra Mordecai and things are looking up. Then a series of miscalculations and medical problems threaten to completely derail his future. Wilbur Smith provides his usual action filled narrative, but this one is filled with a lot of sometimes extraneous details--a page and a half on what someone is wearing to a reception, and things like that. Drops the rating from four to three stars.


Next up is FREEFALL--EARTH'S LAST GAMBIT (Freefall) by Felix Savage. New author for me, so I don't know what to expect.

John


message 15: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments I just finished The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After. It was a powerful story about a survivor of the Rwanda genocide in the 1990s.


message 16: by Sonya (new)

Sonya marie madden | 267 comments Price Lestat
The Stand


message 17: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished FREEFALL (Freefall) by Felix Savage. Space opera about trying to put together a trip to Europa (a moon of Jupiter) to investigate an alien spacecraft. A multi-national team, working at several different locations, goes from a concept to the design, engineering, procurement, and fabrication, in space, of two support vehicles and a command module for the five year mission. This is all done in three years, and members of the astronaut crew, again multi-national, are changed out as the ship is preparing to leave earth orbit for Jupiter. Too many things just don't add up. This one only gets a couple of stars.

Next is a KOLL selection, SHADOW OF THE GODS (Shadows of the Gods) by Jay Allan.

John


message 18: by Kellie (last edited Aug 27, 2018 02:07PM) (new)

Kellie | 44 comments I finished Infestation Infestation by William Meikle . Now I started The Cemetery Keeper's Wife by Maryann McFadden The Cemetery Keeper's Wife. I went to Centenary College (Now Centenary University) so this is a very interesting read for me.


message 19: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. It was a real page turner. It reminded me of a Daphne duMaurier novel, with a poor, young woman alone in the world and an English manor house hiding family secrets. 4/5 stars.


message 20: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments I finished And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. She is truly the queen of suspense.


message 21: by John (last edited Aug 30, 2018 05:42AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished SHADOW OF THE GODS (Shadows of the Gods) by Jay Allan, a KOLL selection. Admiral Compton and his Alliance fleet continue to battle the Imperium forces across the uncharted reaches of deep space. Long lost genealogy comes to the forefront as Compton's people discover artifacts leading to the original creators of the Imperium and its ruling artificial intelligence, The Regent. Stay tuned, there's more to come. Four stars for this one.


THE TIGER'S PREY (The Tiger's Prey) by Wilbur Smith is next in line. This is the continuing saga of the Courtney family in South Africa.

John


message 22: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished THE TIGER'S PREY (The Tiger's Prey) by Wilbur Smith. This is the continuing story of the Courtney family as they make their mark in South Africa, with stops at several East India Company trading sites on the Indian sub-continent. Tom Courtney, his brother Dorian, and nephew Francis, face challenges from within their family, Guy and Christopher Courtney, and from pirates that prey on shipping in the Indian Ocean. Lots of activity, sex, and violence in the typical Wilbur Smith style. Four stars for this one.

Next is Larry Bond's FIRST TEAM--FIRES OF WAR (Fires of War).

John


message 23: by David (new)

David Antrobus (david_antrobus) | 1 comments I recently finished I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, and it got a rare five stars from me (actually 4.5, but still). A truly harrowing read with a twist that seemed to divide people but that worked for me. The slow build of dread and wrongness was nearly unbearable.

I'm now reading Furnace by Livia Llewellyn. Already hooked by the luscious prose.


message 24: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments Just finished The Fallen by David Baldacci. This is the latest in the Memory Man series. Lots of murder and mayhem in a small town. I enjoyed it.
Now on to Magpie Murders.


message 25: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished FIRES OF WAR (Fires of War) by Larry Bond. Not one of Bond's better efforts--too much time spent dealing with medical issues. Two stars for this one.

Jay Allan's REVENGE OF THE ANCIENTS (Revenge of the Ancients), a KOLL selection is next.

John


message 26: by John (last edited Sep 14, 2018 06:07AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished Jay Allan's REVENGE OF THE ANCIENTS (Revenge of the Ancients ), a KOLL selection for this month. Continuing story of Adm. Terence Compton and his decimated fleet of earth's starship as they seek the Regent, an artificial intelligence determined to eradicate all biological entities. Lots of action and intrigue spread across the vast reaches of deep space. Four stars.

Not sure what is next--need something a little less intense for a change.


message 27: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. It was a rather creepy psychological thriller. I wasn’t crazy about it. The author was good at building up the suspense and it was a real page turner, but it just didn’t feel very realistic to me. It was too over the top. Three and a half stars.


message 28: by C. (new)

C. | 70 comments Reading the cozy mystery~ "Murder She Barked", by Krista Davis. Kindle book from my library. Murder, She Barked (Paws and Claws Mystery, #1) by Krista Davis


message 29: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished a couple of books over the last week or so. First is NOBLE BEGINNINGS (Noble Beginnings) by L. T. Ryan. This is the story of two Marines attached to a CIA team in Iraq. They don't get along with the CIA guys, and therein lies the tale. The Marines are setup to take the fall for the death of an Iraqi family and, as time goes on, several other clandestine operators. This one is a bit of a stretch--two stars worth.

Also finished THE ROMANOV CROSS (The Romanov Cross) by Robert Masello. Interesting combination of genres--part military, part medical thriller, and part zombie. The time span is from the assassination of the Romanov family in Russia in 1918 to present day Afghanistan. The common thread is the Spanish Flu pandemic of the early 20th century, and the possibility of the virus lying dormant in victims buried on an island off the coast of Alaska, near the Arctic Circle. What else is concealed on St. Peter Island? This one rates 3.5 stars.


John


message 30: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments Just finished The Underground Railroad for a book discussion at my local bookstore. I was never sure that i wanted to read it because of the subject matter i knew it would be brutal. I'm so glad that I read it! It is historical fiction about a slave girl and her determination to be free.


message 31: by John (last edited Oct 04, 2018 05:53AM) (new)

John | 259 comments Finished Clive Cussler's SHADOW TYRANTS (Shadow Tyrants), a loaner from FLP. Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the "tramp steamer" Oregon go against a group of inheritors who have different ideas regarding saving the world. From India to the Mediterranean, the chase goes on. As one world-ending threat is defused, another pops up. In typical Cussler fashion, there is a lot of action, high body count, and absolutely NO profanity or vulgarity. This one gets a solid four stars.

Now it is off to deep space with Jay Allan's INVASION (BLOOD ON THE STARS)Invasion).

John


message 32: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments I finished A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It was a long read! He is very wordy!
Now reading Lethal White by Robert Galbraith. Ive been waiting for this one.


message 33: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished THE RELIC HUNTERS (The Relic Hunters) by David Leadbeater. Intro for a new group similar to the Matt Drake, Alicia Myles, and THE DISAVOWED series. This one involves a group whose métier is the undetected theft of high value art and artifacts. Coerced into helping the CIA, their assignment to recover the statue of Zeus quickly leaves a high profile trail of bodies and wreckage across England, Germany, and Greece. So much for being "out of sight, out of mind". Three stars.


Now it is off to deep space with Jay Allan's INVASION (BLOOD ON THE STARS) (Invasion) .

John


message 34: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 455 comments Bedlam's Bard by Mercedes Lackey which is two books in one

Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories by Jane Yolen = a nice collection of scifi/fantasy short stories

The Complete Miss Marple Collection by Agatha Christie = I really enjoyed this collection which also includes the short stories with Miss Marple

Murder in Saint-Germain by Cara Black = very good

A More Perfect Union and Name Withheld by J.A. Jance = good fast reads


message 35: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished The Power by Naomi Alderman. Wow! It’s an excellent piece of speculative fiction. The premise is that young women have acquired the ability to generate an electrical force that they can discharge through their hands to hurt or kill people. This flips society on it’s head, with women taking control. The writing is excellent. To say the book is thought-provoking is an understatement. It made many “Best of...” lists last year, deservedly so. 5/5 stars.

Now I’m reading a library hold that came in: “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams” by Matthew Walker. I’d heard the author interviewed on a podcast and decided to give it a try. It’s an interesting and easy read, so far.


message 36: by C. (last edited Oct 15, 2018 12:58AM) (new)

C. | 70 comments I loved Lock The Cellar Door so much that after reading the first chapter of the next book in the series, provided at the end of LTCD, that I immediately purchased and started reading the Kindle version of Midnight at Half Moon Bay (Gen Delacourt Mystery #7) by Molly Greene ,so I am reading that now, plus just purchased and downloaded~ The Little Cottage on the Hill by Emma Davies


message 37: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished Jay Allan's INVASION (Blood on the Stars) (Invasion). Tyler Barron continues to lead the Confederation in an epic struggle against the invading Hegemony, a race of people who consider themselves genetically superior to everyone else. The Hegemony has an overwhelming superiority in military hardware and "enhanced" warriors, but does not have the leadership or emotional bearing of the Confederation. The battles are fought over millions of kilometers of deep space, and the destruction level is high on both sides. Factor in a couple of personal vendettas, some double dealing politicians (yes, they exist even in deep space, in the future), and a power hungry dictator, and you have all the ingredients of a major war. A solid four stars.


Moving from the future in deep space to the Middle Ages in the Mediterranean for Elliot Baker's THE SUN GOD'S HEIR (Return), a KOLL selection. This is the first book in a three book series by a new author for me, so I don't really know what to expect. Stay tuned.


John


message 38: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments I finished two books this weekend: Crazy Rich Asians was a fun book to listen to!
Back Side of a Blue Moonby Caleb Pirtle is a fictional account of the beginning of the oil boom in East Texas in the 1930s. Since i am from this area i really enjoyed it.


message 39: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished Elliott Baker's THE SUN GOD'S HEIR (RETURN) (Return). Interesting story that spans several thousand years. In the mid-1600's, Rene Gilbert, goes to sea on family trading ship in the Mediterranean, after defeating Victor Gaspard, a local bully, in a duel. Gaspard, near death, is "rescued" by the essence of Horemheb from ancient Egypt. That Horemheb/Gaspard want vengeance against Rene is a foregone conclusion. How that vengeance is to be extracted is the premise for this story, and the next two books in the series. There are a lot of interesting characters and relationships, along with bloody battles and a high body count in this story. Three stars for this one.

John


message 40: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker. The author is a neuroscientist at UC Berkeley. This is a well-written, easy to read explanation of what happens to our bodies and brains while we sleep, and what happens if we don’t get enough sleep. I found it fascinating and learned a lot. For example, I didn’t know that your flu vaccine is less effective if you are sleep deprived. Nor did I know that not getting enough sleep increases your chances of getting cancer. I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to get my eight hours of shut eye after reading this. 5/5 stars.


message 41: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished JET--ROGUE STATE(Rogue State) by Russell Blake. JET, one of the most accomplished covert agents in the world, again has her intended "retirement" interrupted by a diabolical plot to destroy Israel. All of her skills and cunning are required to identify and deal with the plotters, from North Korea to China to Iran. Trying to salvage a couple of poorly planned operations also presents problems. The body count, as usual, is very high. Three stars for this one.

THE MODLIGIANI SCANDAL(Modigliani Scandal) by Ken Follett is next. Something is amiss in the art world. Imagine that.

John


message 42: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished Ken Follett's MODLIGIANI SCANDAL (Modigliani Scandal). Lighthearted story about some "enterprising" artists who perpetrate a scam on the staid world of art dealers in London. Three stars.

Now on to Harvey Church's ALIBI AFICIONADO (Alibi Aficionado). Supposed to be like Carl Hiaasen--time will tell.

John


message 43: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished ALIBI AFICIONADO (Alibi Aficionado) by Harvey Church, a KOLL selection for November. Edwin Burrows is a CPA turned detective who's plodding ways remind you of Colombo, except with an over active sex drive. How he saves the company he works for, and the resulting lifestyle changes makes for an easy read. Three stars.

John


message 44: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Valdez | 2 comments The Woman in the Window and I Was Told There'd be Cake.


message 45: by Kellie (new)

Kellie | 44 comments I just finished All by Myself, Alone (All By Myself, Alone) by Mary Higgins Clark. Great book. Now to finish The Cemetary Keeper’s Wife (The Cemetery Keeper's Wife).


message 46: by John (new)

John | 259 comments Finished Clive Cussler's SEA OF GREED (Sea of Greed), a loaner from FLP. Once again Clive Cussler comes thru. Kurt Austin and his crew manage to save the world one more time. This time, they take on a group that wants to take control of the world's oil supply. The ending is a bit lame, and there are a couple of loose ends, but this is the NUMA operations that everyone has come to know and love, with NO profanity or vulgarity. Four stars for this one.

THE CHARLEMAGNE PURSUIT (The Charlemagne Pursuit) by Steve Berry is next. This is Cotton Malone, covert agent turned bookseller, and always a good read.

John


message 47: by Suze73 (new)

Suze73 | 192 comments I finished Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I love Pride and Prejudice, so I was curious to give this a try. I was dubious at the beginning. What’s the point of transporting a classic to modern times? Why not come up with an original plot? But I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author is a terrific writer. It was fun and breezy and full of pop culture references. She made some interesting choices in updating the characters and plot, which doesn’t sit well with all Austin fans, but I found the book compulsively readable. It left me feeling warm and fuzzy at the end, just like the original. 5/5 stars.

I abandoned At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. It seemed like the author didn’t have enough info on the topic to fill a book, so he constantly went off on tangents. It’s the kind of book I read at night to help me wind down and fall asleep, but.... meh..... it didn’t hold my interest, so I gave up on it.

I also abandoned Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini. It didn’t hold my interest.

A library hold came in, Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward. I’ll give it a try, but I’m not sure I’m in the mood for it.


message 48: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 455 comments I managed to persevere through Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series

The Sword of Truth Series: Story Arc #1 - Darken Rahl

#1 - Wizard's First Rule (1994) = Done

#2 - Stone of Tears (1995) = Done

The Sword of Truth Series: Story Arc #2 - Imperial Order

#3 - Blood of the Fold (1996) = Done

#4 - Temple of the Winds (1997) = Done

#4.5 - Debt of Bones (1998) (Prequel novella) = read earlier

#5 - Soul of the Fire (1999) = Done

#6 - Faith of the Fallen (2000) = Done

The Sword of Truth Series: Story Arc #3 - Pristinely Ungifted

#7 - The Pillars of Creation (2002) = Done

#8 - Naked Empire (2003) = Done

The Sword of Truth Series: Story Arc #4 - Chainfire

#9 - Chainfire (2005) = In the middle of

#10 - Phantom (2006) = Done = newly completed

#11 - Confessor (2007) = Done = newly completed

The Sword of Truth Series: Modern Standalone

#12 - The Law of Nines (2009) = Nope not really part of the series

The Sword of Truth Series: Story Arc #5 - The Darklands

#13 - The Omen Machine (2011) = Done

#14 - The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus (2012) (necessary prequel novel) = read earlier but re-reading now = Done

#15 - The Third Kingdom (2013) = Done

#16 - Severed Souls (2014) = Done

#17 - Warheart (2015) = Done

And I am working on Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino which is pretty good so far. Now on to Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders series


message 49: by Jan (new)

Jan | 115 comments Recently finished The Dry by Jane Harper for my book club. It was a good mystery set in Australia.

I read Ghost by Jason Reynolds. This was on the GAR list. It was about a young boy who joins a track team. I wish i had known about this book when I taught fourth grade!

Winter Gardenby Kristin Hannah. I enjoyed this one. A story of two sisters getting to know their mom after their father dies. I liked the Russian history.


message 50: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 455 comments just started Ship of Magic in the Liveship Trilogy


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