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Monthly "Reads" > jan 2015 - sandi

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message 1: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Hi everyone,

Had a most excellent month of reading. Here are my January reads:

Top Reads

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger Ordinary Grace
William Kent Krueger
An excellent novel of family, loss, and justice set in the 1960s in Minnesota. This really exceeded my expectations after a bit of a slow start. The characters were fully realized and the plotting very sure-handed. This won the 2014 Edgar, Anthony, and Barry for best novel.

True Grit by Charles Portis True Grit
Charles Portis
A classic Western that lives up to the hype. Mattie is a unique character with a totally compelling voice. I had seen the original film with John Wayne many years ago but, as usual, the book was so much better. Listened to the audio version which was read by Donna Tartt whose love and enthusiasm for the book was readily apparent.

The Rage by Gene Kerrigan The Rage
Gene Kerrigan
Another high quality Irish crime novel from the author. Dark and gritty with completely realistic characters and situations and excellent plotting and pacing.

Good Reads

A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #2) by Rhys Bowen A Royal Pain
Rhys Bowen
A fun historical mystery set in England in the 1930s. While the plot was a bit outlandish the characters were developed well and the narration by Katherine Kellgren enhanced the entertainment.

Debt of Dishonour by Robert Goddard Debt of Dishonour
Robert Goddard
While this book had many of the characteristics of the author's previous books, which were all excellent, this just missed the mark. The plot was a bit too deliberate even for me and the main character grated a bit. The ending though was very good and this was a worthwhile read, better than most, just not quite up to the standards I expect from Goddard.

The Hackman Blues by Ken Bruen The Hackman Blues
Ken Bruen
Short, violent, darkly funny, and written in the author's trademark staccato like style this was a good early work by Bruen though he definitely got better with later books.

The Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone The Anatomy of Deception
Lawrence Goldstone
A quite good work of historical suspense. I especially liked how the author was able to weave real life characters into the narrative and make it very plausible and the sections on medical procedures which were well done. The main character was a bit wearing at times though but probably historically accurate. Listened to the audio version which was read by David Ackroyd who did a great job with the first person narration.

Josie and Jack by Kelly Braffet Josie and Jack
Kelly Braffet
Dark and disturbing tale of two teen siblings who live with their more than eccentric college professor father. For a first book, I thought the plot flowed well and the overall tone helped add to the suspense.

Rumpole à la Carte by John Mortimer Rumpole à la Carte
John Mortimer
Six short stories featuring the always entertaining Rumpole of the Bailey. All of the stories were strong and the narration by Frederick Davidson was quite good.

The Secret Lovers by Charles McCarry The Secret Lovers
Charles McCarry
A good Cold War spy story though I have enjoyed the other books in the series more. The plot was plenty complicated but one of the female characters was particularly annoying and unrealistic compared to the others in the book. Listened to the audio version which was read by Stefan Rudnicki.

The Boys of Winter The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team by Wayne Coffey The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team
Wayne Coffey
This book recounts the famous hockey match between the USA and the Soviets during the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Usually I am not a fan of books that rehash entire games (especially hockey which I have a very limited knowledge of) but this was so well written and the game so exciting that I had no problem turning the pages. The author also interspersed the personal stories of the team members and Coach Herb Brooks through the narrative including where they were twenty-five years after their historic victory.

message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Good month, indeed, Sandi!
How interesting that Donna Tartt narrated True Grit. I hope to read several on your list as always! Ken Bruen and Gene Kerrigan's especially.

message 3: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3626 comments I read TRUE GRIT years ago. My mom had a copy of it before the movie came out. I remember liking it. I didn't see the original movie until some years after it was originally released. The remake was very good, too. The book about the 1980 hockey team looks like something I might get Ed interested in!

message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 1342 comments Good month Sandi

message 5: by Dan in AZ (new)

Dan in AZ | 2678 comments Wow, Sandi, what a month to start the year.

message 6: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3593 comments great start for the year.

message 7: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8060 comments Quite a few good ones, Sandi! Am tempted by the hockey one. Also, I've never read Rumpole, although I watched a few episodes when it was on PBS. It might be interesting to read one.

message 8: by Susie (new)

Susie Fevella (susieinks) | 1639 comments Wow Sandi! Great month!

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