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Monthly "Reads" > january 2011 - sandi

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message 1: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1232 comments A good start to the new year. Here are my January reads:

Top Reads

Air by Geoff Ryman Air
Geoff Ryman
A thought provoking science fiction tale that was nominated for a Nebula and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best novel. One of the better depictions of how technology can so utterly change and sometimes destroy old ways of life. I found the main character, Chung Mae, fascinating. A true heroine who is definitely not perfect. The descriptions of life in a small Third World village were also quite believable. The story meandered a bit in the middle and there were a couple of plot points that seemed extraneous but the technology never became overwhelming and overall I thought it was a very good read.

Betrayal (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) by Karin Alvtegen Betrayal
Karin Alvtegen
Tense, taut tale of psychological suspense set in Sweden. Great characterizations, a chilling atmosphere, and an exploration of betrayals from various points of view made this a real page turner.

The Sentry (Joe Pike) by Robert Crais The Sentry
Robert Crais
I really don't know of a more readable author than Robert Crais. Even though I had a few quibbles with some of the plotting I could not turn the pages fast enough.

Good Reads

The Seduction of Water by Carol Goodman The Seduction of Water
Carol Goodman
A novel about searching for the truth and family secrets. Iris Greenfeder is a struggling writer who, after selling an essay about her mother (a semi-famous fantasy writer who died under mysterious circumstances and never finished the third book of her trilogy), is commissioned to write a memoir about her mother and takes a job at the hotel in upstate New York where they lived. Deliberately paced with well described settings, I enjoyed this book for the most part but did think there were a few too many coincidences that helped the plot move forward.

The Butcher's Boy by Thomas Perry The Butcher's Boy
Thomas Perry
In the introduction to this 1983 Edgar winner for best first novel, Michael Connelly promises the reader a great suspense ride and the book lives up to it. A lean, spare prose style with a dual narrative that follows a Justice Department employee and the title character that was read with a low key style by Michael Kramer made this an enjoyable audio.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson
I finally got around to listening to this tale of the supernatural which is considered a classic. I did enjoy it for the most part but had some problems with the narration by David Warner which I felt was too fast (usually I have the opposite problem and think that most narration could be sped up a bit) and made it hard to grasp all the plot points.

Life by Keith Richards Life
Keith Richards
A pretty engaging memoir with some fascinating anecdotes about the whole rock n' roll life. A fairly straight ahead narrative that, once it started flowing, felt like Keith was just sitting next to you spinning yarns. His love of music was readily apparent and it was interesting to learn that he is also a big reader.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork Marcelo in the Real World
Francisco X. Stork
Perfectly pleasant story of a young man with Asperger's who is challenged by his father to work in the mail room at the law firm his father heads so he can get some experience with the real world. Marcelo's voice is really well done throughout the entire book but I felt most of the other characters were a bit slight and wished the author had a lighter touch at certain points during the book. I listened to the audio version read by Lincoln Hoppe who really excelled with Marcelo's first person narration.

The Tartan Sell by Jonathan Gash The Tartan Sell
Jonathan Gash
Lovejoy must head to Scotland to clear his name and, as always, manages to sniff out antiques and romance numerous women along the way. It has been ten years since I read a Lovejoy book and I will not wait that long again. A twisty plot and some hilarious situations made this one of the best books in the series so far.

Kim (Classic Fiction) by Rudyard Kipling Kim
Rudyard Kipling
While reading Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads I came across an essay on this book written by Tom Grace about how this was one of the best spy and adventure novels of all time so I decided to listen to the audio version read by Ralph Cosham. Perhaps a bit too long and the prose style was somewhat too flowery for my taste but I did enjoy the great friendship between Kim and the Lama and learning more about "The Great Game".

Man in the Middle by John Amaechi Man in the Middle
John Amaechi
John Amaechi was one of my favorite Big Ten players ever. He was a wide body who always worked hard and, with his English accent, gave great post game interviews. I had no idea of his sexuality, which is the hook of this memoir, but it is handled with proper English reserve and the rest of his story is pretty interesting though told in a somewhat plodding prose style.


message 2: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments I always think your reading shows a great variety of interests! Kim is one of those classics I always mean to revisit, but somehow never do.


message 3: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3644 comments I've got the Keith Richards book on my wish list!


message 4: by Ann (last edited Feb 01, 2011 09:09PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14988 comments Sandi:
I always wish I had several of your books in my tbr pile. Life is one that I do have queued up on audio and Marcelo in the Real world sounds intriguing!
Sandi wrote: "Marcelo in the Real World
Francisco X. Stork Perfectly pleasant story of a young man with Asperger's who is challenged by his father to work in the mail room at the law firm his father heads so he can get some experience with the real world."



message 5: by Brakedrum (new)

Brakedrum | 1203 comments I used to watch the Lovejoy series fathfully many years ago. I didn't know there were books written about Lovejoy. I will certainly seek them out!!

Keith Richards book also looks interesting.


message 6: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1232 comments Brakedrum wrote: "I used to watch the Lovejoy series faithfully many years ago. I didn't know there were books written about Lovejoy. I will certainly seek them out!!

Keith Richards book also looks interesting."


I always enjoyed the Lovejoy series on TV too. The book Lovejoy is a bit rougher around the edges than the TV Lovejoy was though.


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