So Many Books...So Little Time!

Reading is my first love. I'll read almost anything. If I make it past the first 50 pages, it's all good. If not, no problem, Mount TBR looms large and I work constantly to keep it in check! I am first and foremost a READER. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on books.I am not a professional reviewer, nor am I any kind of literary critic. Just honest opinions, that's what I'm about. If I liked what I read, I'll let you know what I liked. If I didn't like what I read, I will also let you know why not. Please send me recommendations and let me know what you've been reading. I love to hear from fellow book lovers!

The Cukoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

The Cukoo's Calling is a new mystery written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I knew she was the author when I bought it but I really feel that this book would easily have stood on it's own as a new author. I really liked it!


Cormoran Strike is our down-on-his luck detective. The opening scene is great, with a new temporary secretary almost getting bowled over by Cormoran's now ex-fiancee, fleeing the office after attacking Strike. The following scene, where Robin, the temp, is nearly knocked back down the stairs by Strike, is so funny and awkward, to say the least.


The case that Strike is asked to investigate is a death that was ruled a suicide by the police. The deceased was world-famous super-model Lula Landry. The client is Landry's brother, John Bristow. Bristow remembered Cormoran from their childhood, when Strike was friends with John's older brother, Charlie. Charlie also died tragically when he accidentally rode is bicycle off the edge of a quarry over Eater break. Strike never forgot Charlie and his connection with the family compels him to take on the case. What follows is a very thorough investigation by Strike of the very twisted and complicated lives of the Landry-Bristow family.


I found Cormoran Strike to be a wonderful character and Robin, his excellent Girl Friday. Please, oh please, be more of these!

My love for Goodreads is ruined...

My love for Goodreads is ruined and I am so sad. This censorship debacle has been so discouraging. I am reading more and more on these awful people that post and trade Goodreader's real names and personal info to then make threats against them. I cannot be a part of something that is a threat to the safety of a person who is just sharing an opinion of a book. This is so insane.... I used to love that place.


I would love to become an active member of this site but my reviews aren't clever or visually interesting. I just like to read and share my opinions with other readers. I want to read books and rate them, and save lists of the stuff I liked, and read other people's lists of what they liked, and why. I will try but frankly this whole debacle has left me feeling over-exposed and vulnerable. I am not a troll and the only author interactions I have had have been very pleasant. I write mostly three and four star reviews. I just don't know that these harmless reviews aren't going to catch the eye of some nut who will then target for not liking their favorite book.... Is it really worth it? Today, I feel like the answer is no.

Today's Library

Reblogged from Literary Creature:

Reblogged from Brin's Book Blog:
NOS4A2 - Joe Hill My first Joe Hill, and boy, the nut doesn't fall far from the tree with this one! Excellent story, great atmosphere, maybe a little too long, but overall, 4 stars. I really liked it!
The Watchman - Robert Crais Joe Pike = Total Badass

I love me some badasses... Next please!
White Heat - M.J. McGrath "White Heat" is the first in a mystery series set on Ellesmere Island which is next to Greenland though it's actually part of Canada. The protagonist is Edie Kiglatuk, an Inuit woman who makes her living as a hunting and fishing guide. Edie becomes caught up in a mystery when one of the two men she is out guiding for is shot by someone out in the middle of nowhere. She tries to get him back to the village for medical help but he ends up dying along the way. His assistant goes along with the local mayor in deciding that the dead man must have been killed in a ricochet from his own rifle but Edie knows this is a load of bull but has no idea why they are trying to cover it up. Things go from bad to worse when someone Edie loves is found dead and the reason for his death is reported as suicide, though Edie KNOWS this is also not true. So bodies are stacking up, people are going missing and Edie is on the hunt, trying to figure it all out.

Edie is aided by the Ellesmere Island police sergeant, Derek Palliser, who is caught in with his own issues. Someone is leaving their dogs running wild and his lemming research is being ruined. He is also nursing a broken heart when his girlfriend Mischa leaves him at the end of summer. He is not all that willing to help Edie at first but with more bodies piling up and more evidence of foul play in the so-called suicide, Derek has no choice but to do what he can to help Edie.

The mystery in this one was so-so but the setting and the characters were so interesting! I found myself sharing little tidbits of Inuit lore with my family that I learned in this book. I will be looking for the next in the series because I really enjoyed getting to know Edie and about life above the 60th parallel. I'm from southern USA where we rarely ever get snow or ice so I found the descriptions just fascinating. Recommended for those that like a light mystery and are interested in learning about the Inuit culture.
Hour of the Rat - Lisa Brackmann I am so glad Lisa Brackmann wrote another story about Ellie McEnroe. The first one, "Rock, Paper, Tiger" was very dark and left me worried about Ellie. So Lisa has done me the favor of catching me up with Ellie again, and she is okay! Well, sort of.

Ellie's mom is in Beijing, staying with her for a seemingly never-ending visit. And Mom has taken up with one of Ellie's neighbors, Andy, which Ellie finds a bit... awkward. Then there is the extremely persistent assistant, Vicky Huang, who won't stop pestering Ellie about the opportunity to buy a piece of art by Lao Zhao, Ellie's former lover and now refugee, running from the Chinese secret police. It all gets rather complicated (like it wasn't already?) when Ellie's friend, Dog Turner, asks for her help finding his younger brother, who was last known to be somewhere in China. Ellie feels obligated to help (there is more to this story), so she talks her mom into going on a little vacation, which just happens to be the last know location of Dog's brother, Jason. Poor Ellie has no idea what can of worms she has opened, and then the secret police "invite her for tea" which is a polite way of telling her she is informally being questioned, and it really is time for Ellie to get out of town for a while.

So much going on in this story! But I loved it, and I stayed up late just to finish. Really good, thanks, Lisa B!
Pigeon English - Stephen Kelman I should probably write a long detailed review of this book; it really deserves it. But I am not the most articulate person and I don't feel I could give it it's due praise in words that would convey how I felt about it.

I should have known that reading a book in a language other than my own would be difficult; I speak American Southern English and this is written in London slang English. Yes, I got most of it but much of it was truly a foreign language. I still don't know what "hutious" means and if I never hear "innit" in real life, that will be okay with me. Here's the thing about this book; after a while I didn't care about the language, the story had me completely wrapped up. Harri was such a little charmer, so innocent and unaware of the very violent surroundings he and his family were living in. The little stories he would tell about his Dad, Grandma and little sister back in Ghana were so sweet. Told against the real life stuff he and his older sister were dealing with living in the projects of London, these experiences were as different as night and day.

I really hated the end. That's why I can't give it five stars. It really pissed me off but I think that was the author's intention. The story ends abruptly and in a way that completely surprised me. So much so that I reread the last chapter a few times to make sure I had gotten it right. I had, and it sucked.
Torment - Jeremy Bishop Too much religiosity in this for me to really get into. Also hated the ending... way too harsh.
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead - Sara Gran Hmmm... I am really stumped on what to say about this book. I really liked it, it was a real page-turner, but I am at a loss when it comes to the words to describe what it is about. Well, basically it's about a woman who is a detective but she has studied under the school of Jacques Silette, and the mode of detection is very mystical and spiritual, and thus difficult for me to describe as I have little experience of either of those things.

Claire DeWitt is a the detective. Recovering from a recent breakdown, Claire receives a call from Leon, a man down in New Orleans. Leon's uncle Vic has gone missing after Hurricane Katrina and he wants help to find out what happened to Vic. Claire used to live in New Orleans, when she was being mentored in the art of detection by another student of Jacques Silette, Constance. Claire has many memories of those times, some good, some awful, and a good deal of her own life's mystery needs to be shaken out and examined while she is back in New Orleans.

The mystery to be solved involves the kids of New Orleans, the forgotten ones, the kids in the Wards, the ones who got left off or disappeared from the foster rosters. Their struggle to survive during the storm and their lives in the aftermath are part of the weave in the web of this mystery. I live along the Gulf Coast and Katrina refugees are still here in my area; some never went back, some had nothing to go back to. The story also incorporated the Indian culture of New Orleans. This was really interesting and I wanted to know more about the groups and subcultures of this old city.
These Is My Words - Nancy E. Turner "These Is My Words" is a beautiful and tragic account of the life and times of a young woman and her family living in the American Southwest in the late 1800s.

Sarah Prine is seventeen years old when she starts writing her journal as she and her family join a small wagon train from their current home in New Mexico to San Angelo, TX where her father has heard there is plenty of land for them to raise their horses. The trip turns tragic when they are set upon by the local tribes, their horses are stolen, and several people are killed or dies along the way. By the time they get to San Angelo, Sarah has lost her father, one of her brothers, and her mother and another brother are in bad shape. Her eldest brother Albert makes the decision for the family to head back where they came from and try to resettle. This time, they join an much larger wagon train which is also accompanied by a battalion of Army soldiers who will protect them on their way back. Leading this group of soldiers is Captain Jack Elliot, and he surely confounds young Sarah with his teasing attitude toward her. However, he is all business when things get tough and his reputation for fighting and the command he has over his men is impressive. But Sarah's mama had warned her never to to take up with a no good soldier, so she tries to put him out of her mind once and for all. It seems fate has other plans though, and eventually Sarah finds Captain Jack Elliot once again, but in much different circumstances for them both.

Oh, I loved this book! I am so glad I finally picked it up and it was so hard to put down, even when it had me in tears. I don't always like stories that are told as a diary but this one was so readable and had me staying up late just to get a little further. Fantastic read for people who like a good western adventure story and enjoy a little romance, too.
The Burning - Jane Casey Police procedural about a serial murder investigation and a victim that doesn't fit the profile. Chapters switch back and forth between two of the characters: Maeve Kerrigan, the DC in charge of investigating the copy-cat murder, and Louise North, the best friend of the victim. A couple of chapters are from other perspectives, but mostly it switches back and forth from Maeve to Louise. I liked Maeve and her team. I am interested to see how those relationships develop. I will be looking for the next in this series.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs A very unique combination of old photographs and an interesting story about the death of an old man and a secluded home for "peculiar children". Jake's grandfather Abe is killed mysteriously and Jake is the only witness to the "monster" that killed him. Abe's last words to Jake are about the home he lived in as a child and the woman who took care of the "peculiar children", Miss Peregrine. Abe urges Jake to "find The Bird" and warn her.

After this traumatic event, Jake suffers a minor breakdown and begins seeing a therapist who suggests Jake look into his grandfather's past to come to terms with the present. Jake's grandfather had told him some fantastic stories about the children's home he grew up in after he was shipped out of Poland by his Jewish parents just before WWII. Abe described the kids he lived with to Jake and even showed him some amazing photographs, like the boy holding a giant boulder over his head with one hand, or the girl who appeared to be floating above the ground. As a young boy, Jake was fascinated but as he grew older he began to doubt all the stories and finally told his grandfather that he didn't believe them any more. However, there was something compelling about Abe's last words, and with the suggestion of his therapist, Jake's father takes him on a trip to the island where Abe lived with Miss Peregrine. Upon arriving, they find that the house is now a ruin and no one on the island knows anything about the people that used to live there. But Jake knows that somehow the Peculiars are still around, hiding, and very likely in danger from whatever it was that killed his grandfather.

Very creative story, loved the photographs! Will look for the next in this series (yes, series!)
Midnight Riot  - Ben Aaronovitch Really liked this! I have the next one on my radar, will try to pick it up this week before we go on vacation. Midnight Riot is a great intro to a new series. I loved our hero, Peter Grant, and his new boss, Inspector Nightingale. The cross of a police drama with the supernatural world totally works here, IMO. It's a lot more lighthearted than a police drama with all the magical aspects of an urban fantasy firmly in place. Can't wait to get started on the next one!
The Keeper of Lost Causes - Jussi Adler-Olsen,  Lisa Hartford Wow, what a story! I had figured out "who dunnit" early on but man, it was fun watching Carl and Assad, his trusty assistant, figure it all out. Definitely getting the next one in this series, very good!

Currently reading

The Curse of the Mistwraith (Wars of Light & Shadow, #1; Arc 1, #1)
Janny Wurts