Header Photo Credit

  • Author, Artist Charles O'Hay

Happiness to See Me


  • PASCAL
    4/7/03 - 10/7/16
    Forever in my heart.

Reading List

  • Philip Kerr: The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel

    Philip Kerr: The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel
    Not only is the writing here incredible, the descriptions, sense of place, the character of Bernie (I love him, even with his own personal sense of morality that is informed by his desire to stay alive and unharmed--but who can blame him, really?) is SO fully real, I feel as if I know him. But the brilliant bits of Kerr's Gunther series is the research. He incorporates real events, real timelines, and real people into his narratives. So well done. I am enjoying these no end. I'm so thrilled that there are so many books still left for me to read in this series, including the final book, which came out less than a month after Kerr died (and what a tragedy). Fantastic stuff here.

  • Philip Kerr: Berlin Noir: March Violets; The Pale Criminal; A German Requiem

    Philip Kerr: Berlin Noir: March Violets; The Pale Criminal; A German Requiem
    Do not miss, I mean it. You'll miss something really unique and unforgettable. The Kindle version is like $1.99 for all three. The best $2- you'll ever spend in your life. Immerse yourself in Berlin just as the Nazis are coming to power. Frightening and fascinating. A++

  • Philip Kerr: Berlin Noir: Penguin eBook (Bernie Gunther Mystery 1)

    Philip Kerr: Berlin Noir: Penguin eBook (Bernie Gunther Mystery 1)
    Damn Kerr is good. The sense of place is so real in these books, the reader can feel the fear of the looming Nazi occupation and war--it's thick with ominous crazy. The wry metaphors are fabulous, the mystery labyrinthine and frightening, and Bernie Gunther and is waivering morality is a fascinating character, perhaps a glimpse of what the average Berliner was feeling as the Nazi's took over more and more of everyday life as the Jews' became scapegoats for everything from the bad economy to murder. Excellent. I'm so sorry to hear that Kerr has just died of cancer at 62. So sad.

  • John Lescroart: Betrayal (Dismas Hardy Book 12)

    John Lescroart: Betrayal (Dismas Hardy Book 12)
    Whoa!

  • John Lescroart: The Motive (Dismas Hardy)

    John Lescroart: The Motive (Dismas Hardy)
    Fabulous! Next!

  • John Lescroart: The Second Chair (Dismas Hardy Book 10)

    John Lescroart: The Second Chair (Dismas Hardy Book 10)
    Bring it on!

  • John Lescroart: The First Law (Dismas Hardy Book 9)

    John Lescroart: The First Law (Dismas Hardy Book 9)
    Like crack, I can't stop reading.

  • John Lescroart: The Oath (Dismas Hardy, Book 8)

    John Lescroart: The Oath (Dismas Hardy, Book 8)
    My favorite so far in the series, even though a major character...well...see for yourself.

  • John Lescroart: The Hearing (Dismas Hardy)

    John Lescroart: The Hearing (Dismas Hardy)
    A wild ride! I enjoyed every bit.

  • John Lescroart: Nothing but the Truth (Dismas Hardy Book 6)

    John Lescroart: Nothing but the Truth (Dismas Hardy Book 6)
    Great.

  • John Lescroart: The Mercy Rule (Dismas Hardy, Book 5)

    John Lescroart: The Mercy Rule (Dismas Hardy, Book 5)
    Excellent.

  • John Lescroart: The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, Book 4)

    John Lescroart: The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, Book 4)
    Lurve.

  • John Lescroart: Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy, Book 3)

    John Lescroart: Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy, Book 3)
    And we're off.... new obsession! Reading about a book every other day...damn good, great legal thrillers, and the characters--they make these books.

  • John Lescroart: The Vig (Dismas Hardy)

    John Lescroart: The Vig (Dismas Hardy)
    If anything, an even better story than _Dead Irish._ Dismas is coming out of a ten-year mourning after the death of his son, and waking up to life again. I can't get enough of these characters and San Francisco, a city I've spent a lot of time in since 1991 (when my sister moved there).

  • John Lescroart: Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy)

    John Lescroart: Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy)
    Written in the early 80s, it's biases are showing, but it's a great time capsule of a different time. The story kicks ass. A pub in San Francisco, is a big place/character in the book (series), The Little Shamrock, at over 100 years old the oldest bar in San Francisco, and I've been there. The story grabbed me and didn't let me go. I had to know about the murder, and the characters of Dismas, Frannie, Abe, and Moses.

  • G. M. Ford: Family Values (A Leo Waterman Mystery)

    G. M. Ford: Family Values (A Leo Waterman Mystery)
    A master of the hardboiled detective novel, and funny as hell, this latest outing from Ford does not disappoint. I read it in one sitting, refusing to put it down for hours. I wish he could write faster--I guess I'll have to start with the firs Leo Waterman mystery and work my way back through them. Favorite conceit? The pack of homeless alcoholics, friends of his late crime lord father, he hires to do surveillance and other low-level dectecting. They're a hoot.

  • JANET SOSKICE: Sisters Of Sinai

    JANET SOSKICE: Sisters Of Sinai
    A real-life Indiana Jones story involving wealthy twin Victorian ladies (Scottish), and their scholarship and trips to St.Catherine's Monastery (the site of the Burning Bush in Mt. Sinai), in the late 1800s--traveling on land via camel--and their discovery of the oldest known handwritten copy of the Gospels (150 AD) on a palimpsest. They taught themselves Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac so they could read the ancient texts they later traveled around and purchased to preserve. They were amazing women at a time when women were expected to stay home, breed, and "luncheon." They had amazing lives. So inspiring, I can't recommend this more highly. Just read it for yourself.

  • Madeleine L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)

    Madeleine L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
    I first read, and loved, this book in 4th grade. I re-read it in preparation for the Oprah film version that is coming out next week. I do plan to see it. The book was just as good as I remembered albeit shorter (it is a children's book). I hope the film stays true to the book and its intent, it really is quite wonderful.

  • Tony Earley: Somehow Form a Family: Stories That Are Mostly True

    Tony Earley: Somehow Form a Family: Stories That Are Mostly True
    My writing workshops peers kept telling me my pieces reminded them of this author, this book, so I thought I should check it out. Well, they are right! And I've never read him before or heard of him, frankly. The stories are wonderful and relatable--he's one year old than I, and although he's from NC and I'm from SoCal, our lives went through the same cultural experiences, especially TV. I bought a used copy and it turns out it was signed by Earley. Nice! Unfortunately, someone wrote all over the inside for a class. Too bad. Highly recommend insightful warm, and nuanced (also funny). A+

  • Dorothy West: The Wedding: A Novel

    Dorothy West: The Wedding: A Novel
    Published when West was in her 80s, it's a candid examination of race* and just what it means to exist in different shades of color in 1950s US. Written from the perspective of both white and black characters, it is startlingly honest and insightful. *Not my word--we're all one race, just variegated shades and sizes.

  • Chris Offutt: The Same River Twice: A Memoir

    Chris Offutt: The Same River Twice: A Memoir
    I've b ecome a fan of Offutt since I first read him a year ago. He's a prize-winning memoirist, my genre, and he has a unique voice and perspective. This book alternated between his gypsy-like 20s and 30s, with his present day (at time of publication) waiting for his first son to be born. It's a great juxtaposition between the man-child and the man-in-waiting. Lovely, lyrically written story.

  • Terri Reid: Clear Expectations - A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book 20) (The Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery Series) (Volume 20)

    Terri Reid: Clear Expectations - A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book 20) (The Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery Series) (Volume 20)
    My favorite, relaxing, go-to "fluff" reads when I just need to unwind and turn off my brain. This is No. 20, and ends, shall we say, at a good stopping point. Is this it for Mary Reilly and Bradley Alden? I hope not. I really enjoy spending time with them.

  • Connie Willis: Blackout

    Connie Willis: Blackout
    The first book I've finished since school ended (for me), I struggled to get through. It had some editorial, contextual, and plot hole errors, but I loved hearing about The Blitz. I perservered, and the characters got more interesting, became more alive, although one character fell off the radar completely. Weird. There is a follow-up book--good, because this ends on a cliffhanger and WTH?--but it's full price. Nope. Back to Sedaris and Magpie Murders on audiobooks. Thanks for that HD!! :P

  • Charlaine Harris: All the Little Liars: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries)

    Charlaine Harris: All the Little Liars: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries)
    Honestly? I could've written this. (Maybe I should?) But I love the character of Aurora "Roe" and the social interactions of Southern peoples, but I read it to relax. And it does that supremely well. The next book is out on the 26th. And after she said she wouldn't write anymore Aurora Teagarden books. Maybe it was the TV show that did it. (Yes Roe has a show.)

  • David Foster Wallace: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

    David Foster Wallace: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments
    This is so funny, and so on target, skewering the cruise/tourist industry (written in the 90s), I laughed my way through it all while nodding my head "yes" in agreement. What a loss that DFW ended his life so early...so many unwritten stories left to tell. This is a do-not-miss, for sure.

  • Maxine Hong Kingston: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

    Maxine Hong Kingston: The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
    Strange but crafted in an interesting way that I admire.

  • Mary Karr: Lit: A Memoir (P.S.)

    Mary Karr: Lit: A Memoir (P.S.)
    Inspirational. If she can do it...

  • Mary Karr: Cherry

    Mary Karr: Cherry
    We could be sisters.

  • Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Floating World

    Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Floating World
    The first book we read for comp lit and a good way to gain entry into "artists of the floating world." This book is soft and subtle, a work of art about an artist who cannot admit to himself the passive atrocities he committed in wartime Japan and the lies he tells himself to live his life. Beautiful and sublime I think this was my favorite of the four we read. Ishiguro is on my summer reading list.

  • Salman Rushdie: Midnight's Children: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)

    Salman Rushdie: Midnight's Children: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
    For Comp Lit (<3 that class); I tried reading this when first released in 1981 and quickly gave up. This is not a text for casual readers or amateurs. This is a dense text that requires you to stay aware, remain engaged, and let the intertwined magical realism of the stories take you along to the conclusion that Rushdie wants you to understand: How colonialism affected the colonized...and I would argue continues to affect. I loved this book and appreciated the artistry with which it was written (in only four years AND was edited down by about half). Loved it.

  • Bharati Mukherjee: The Holder of the World

    Bharati Mukherjee: The Holder of the World
    I read this for a comp lit class the last two weeks, and I LOVED it. It's layered, complex, the narrators voice changes from three different people, past, present, and future, sometimes without warning. adding to the time shifts and structure of the piece, in and out, up and down, narrators and locations. It's full of stories about Puritan Salem, MA, England, and colonial India. It's a wonderful book, and only adds to my sadness of the recent passing of Muhkerjee.

  • Amy Dickinson: The Mighty Queens of Freeville: The True Story of a Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them

    Amy Dickinson: The Mighty Queens of Freeville: The True Story of a Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them
    A fairly good read, especially the early, tough parts after her marriage abruptly ended. I'd give it a B+. Enjoyable enough for some escape reading over break.

  • Robert Crais: The Promise (An Elvis Cole Novel)

    Robert Crais: The Promise (An Elvis Cole Novel)
    Crais gets better with every year. This one was a tightly woven mystery with several different bad actors, including Al Queda, Agencies: police, FBI, Homeland Security, and mousy missing woman who, well, I won't spoil it, but yeah. This was great and full of intrigue and surprises. Great characters and tight, suspenseful writing. Thans RC, for a great read.

  • Naomi Novik: Uprooted

    Naomi Novik: Uprooted
    I went to the ends of the earth to get a copy of this book, finally getting a library card and they had it (I needed a library card anyway). The story was great--about 2/3's of the way through. Then she basically told me the magic about the evil "wood" and ruined the rest of the book IMHO. I'm so glad I didn't buy it. This should have been a three book series. There was so much more to discover and discuss, but she just...handed it to us on a platter. Not that it was bad, it just took away a lot of the momentum for me. Sigh.

  • John Sandford: Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel)

    John Sandford: Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel)
    Normally a Sandford book is a day with sunshine spent reveling in the mysteries and beauty of Minnesota. Not this time. In fact...this book does not even feel like Sandford wrote it--it feels like someone trying to write like him (ghostwriter?). Virgil Fuckin' Flowers felt like a caricature of himself, his GF was suddenly fully formed and did not seem like her previous iterations, and WTF is up with the weird sister, Sparkle, and her priest boyfriend? It didn't work for me, not in a mystery novel. It felt...weird. I can only give it a C. I regret paying full price for it.

  • Michael Connelly: The Wrong Side of Goodbye (A Harry Bosch Novel)

    Michael Connelly: The Wrong Side of Goodbye (A Harry Bosch Novel)
    Wonderful story. Connelly's writing is tight, his characters true to their history, strong, courageous, and morally right; and the braided story of a missing person and a serial rapist weave in and around one another causing chaos and danger in our hero's, Harry Bosch's, life. I loved every minute of this. My only complaint was that it was too short and I'd like to see more of Maddy and Harry's relationship. Thanks Mr. Connelly, for a wonderfully spent day in your universe. A+++

  • Hester Young: The Gates of Evangeline

    Hester Young: The Gates of Evangeline
    It took me about two weeks to read this as I read it about a chapter or so every night, that last 20 minutes before my meds kick in. It was recommended to me by Amazon based on my "reading preferences." It was not that good. I had figured out the whole arc of the story before it hit the halfway point; sooner. There was nothing interesting or surprising in this story. The author and her editor also missed some good opportunities to really expand this into a layered and interesting book. Too bad they missed out on it. Thanks for that, Amazon. Nyah.

  • Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven
    This book is brilliant. Layered, textured, nuanced, it's about people, about truth, about life...it just happens to be after a biological apocalypse. Art and love can survive anything if we want it to.

  • Alison Ashlyn: Buying His Bride (The Donovan Brothers Trilogy Book 1)

    Alison Ashlyn: Buying His Bride (The Donovan Brothers Trilogy Book 1)
    I am not a fan of the romance genre. However...a very dear friend has written one, so to be supportive I bought a copy. OMG, the sex scenes? Are smokin' hot without being crude. I had to step away a few times to fan myself. Seriously. If you just want a quick and sexy story? This is it. Now go, get your own.

  • Justin Cronin: The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)

    Justin Cronin: The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)
    I finally finished this 800-lb bastard of a book. OMG is it long. Multiple plot lines, multiple time lines, multiple protagonists and POVs. Way too much detail that we just don't need. That send, I like how it ended enough to buy Book II. It's also 800 $%@ing pages.

  • Matthew Thomas: We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel

    Matthew Thomas: We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel
    Another wonderful family drama about an Irish Catholic first generation girl, born during WWII, and her American experience...anchored with an Alzheimer's disease story of the protagonist's brilliant, neuroscientist professor husband. Had I known this, I would have skipped it (dealing with my mother's dementia it was very hard to read about.) Still, a very moving read.

  • Jean Thompson: The Year We Left Home: A Novel

    Jean Thompson: The Year We Left Home: A Novel
    A realistic portrait of the Vietnam era generation growing up middle class in rural Iowa. Each chapter is told from a diffeent point of view.This is one of my favorite books of this year. This is a do not miss.

  • Annie Weatherwax: All We Had: A Novel

    Annie Weatherwax: All We Had: A Novel
    Boy, do I relate to this story about a mother and daughter leading hardscrabble lives with mom doing just about anyone or anything so she and her daughter can get by. Just when their life starts to really improve, the housing market goes bust, Great Recession, and more suffering in a large scale. Poignant, heartbreaking, and relatable growing up poor, it was painful and heartwarming just the same. This may inform my writing a bit.

  • Robin Sloan: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    Robin Sloan: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
    This was charming and meshes old-school paper books and figuring out problems using your brain and pen and paper, with the new media, and which is adapting and changing roughly every 90 days, and how these two variables merge to create something greater than the whole. Very interesting. It made me a little anxious, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

  • John Sandford: Extreme Prey

    John Sandford: Extreme Prey
    Everything I've come to expect from Sandford only with less character development. Fun, quick, like a scoop of ice cream.

  • David Sedaris: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

    David Sedaris: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
    So funny, OMG, and manages to make my family seem normal.

  • David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day

    David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day
    Sedaris is a hoot, and a spot-on cultural commentator for the 21st century.

  • David Sedaris: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

    David Sedaris: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
    David...where have you been all my life? Oh. My. Gawd. <3

  • Mary Karr: The Liars' Club: A Memoir

    Mary Karr: The Liars' Club: A Memoir
    I can see why this book received so much acclaim: It's pretty fabulous. The language is rich while remaining colloquial, the story horrific even while it is being amusing. She has set the bar for memoir, and set it high. Her story is incredible even if it had been badly written, which it absolutely is not. It's brilliant. It's amazing any of us survive our childhoods. A do not miss.

  • David Miller: AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

    David Miller: AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
    This is a gritty, dirty, in the trenches first person account of hiking over 2,000 miles on the AT from its start in Georgia to its terminus in Maine. I found it compelling, if not the most lyrical prose I've ever read.

  • Michael Connelly: The Crossing (Bosch)

    Michael Connelly: The Crossing (Bosch)
    Connelly gets his mojo back. This is classic Bosch--hardnosed, relentless, and smart, only now he's retired and *gasp* working for the defense (his half brother, Mickey Haller), when Haller's investigator is hurt in an accident. This is tight writing and sophisticated plotting. I really didn't know where he was going with it until about half way. Then...I got put off the trail because my Kindle said I had 45% read when I got to the end. I figured there was more story. Nope. A free copy of another book BRASS VERDICT. Too bad. I figured I had a lot more story to go. Sad face.

  • Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

    Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
    Funny, perceptive, and informative, this was a joy to read. Much better than the movie (which was very good).

  • Bill Bryson: I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away

    Bill Bryson: I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away
    A collection of his newspaper columns, two of them had me rolling in my chair in hysterical laughter. I'm a fan for life, Bill.

  • Bill Bryson: Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe

    Bill Bryson: Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
    What can I say? I've fallen for this witty curmudgeon.

  • Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island

    Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island
    A bit dated, but no less insightful or hysterical. I enjoyed this quite a bit. More Bryson books are on my TBR list.

  • J. K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

    J. K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy
    Rowling is no fool, and she nails this unflinching portrait of familial, social, and cultural dysfunction. Sometimes hard to watch, sometimes funny, as the self-absorbed characters blunder idiotically into their own messes, it's still spot on.

  • Garth Risk Hallberg: City on Fire: A novel

    Garth Risk Hallberg: City on Fire: A novel
    This is a great, great book, especially if you remember the 70s as I do. It is very dense, has many characters and plots, and is quite long. The library took it off my Kindle before I could renew it, so I had to get back in line to check it out again. I can at the 51% mark, recommend it very highly.

  • Jack Finney: Time and Again

    Jack Finney: Time and Again
    Charming. Finney takes us from 1970s New York to 1882 American Victorian New York. It was really immersive, the reader definitely gets the feel of the spirit of New York in the years before the Belle Epoque. There are even period photos--fascinating. There is a follow-up, I am trying to decide if I want to get it. The love story portion of the story was a little unbelievable to me, so I did have a problem with that. Otherwise it was a delightful read--even the language felt 1882. A-.

  • Matthew Mather: Nomad (Volume 1)

    Matthew Mather: Nomad (Volume 1)
    So unbelievably awful, OMG. It made The Perils of Pauline seem like a sedate afternoon tea. *rolleyes* Some very interesting science interspersed with some implausible high action and multiple injuries exposition and narrative. On the same person. Yawn. It was free from Kindle Unlimited. For a reason. Don't bother. Just horrid.

  • Kevin Wignall: The Hunter's Prayer

    Kevin Wignall: The Hunter's Prayer
    Not as good as A Death in Sweden, but I understand it's being made into a movie with Sam Worthington. The movie will probably be better than the book in this case.

  • Kevin Wignall: A Death in Sweden

    Kevin Wignall: A Death in Sweden
    Great! Non-stop action, exotic locales, dangerous people, running from assassins, and several unexpected plot twists...this was the perfect distraction on a dismal day.

  • Hugh Howey: The Shell Collector: A Story of the Seven Seas

    Hugh Howey: The Shell Collector: A Story of the Seven Seas
    A prophetic story of our near future. The one where the oceans have risen, the cities have flooded, and the animals are going extinct, and shells are collected and sold like tulips of old. Yet what are shells, exactly? The dwelling places of dead animals. Howey writes clearly of what we can expect if we don't change, but this story is also a romantic one, a change of pace for HH. I enjoyed it.

  • Gabrielle Zevin: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel

    Gabrielle Zevin: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel
    A love story to books, bookstores, writers and writing, I didn't want it to end. Not a cozy by any means, but I loved this world and its characters; my dream has always been to own a bookstore. I loved all the characters, but A.J. in particular, warts and all--what a pleasure to spend time here.

  • Stephen King: Finders Keepers: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy)

    Stephen King: Finders Keepers: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy)
    I'd been waiting for what felt like years to read this follow-up to Mr. Mercedes. I was on a waiting list with my library for the eBook. I nearly...nearly bought a copy, but reined myself in decided to try patience. It showed up late yesterday afternoon in my Ereader (Kindle). I put everything aside and gobbled it down until 2am. SO worth it. Great, great, great story. And the ending? Well, let's just say it's a long time until June when Book III comes out. I may have to re-read both books then. Thanks, Stephen.

  • Camille Pagán: Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

    Camille Pagán: Life and Other Near-Death Experiences
    Wry as hell, funny, and honest. I enjoyed this very much.

  • Ben Winters: Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II (The Last Policeman Trilogy)

    Ben Winters: Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II (The Last Policeman Trilogy)
    It's now only six months until the asteroid impact. Society has broken down further--no police force, food hoarding, riots, mayhem, and CI's, catastrophe immigrants coming from the East as we now know the impact will be Malaysia. Also no electricity so no Internet, cell phones, lights, trains, and so on. Food is becoming more difficult to find, and Henry Palace, our hero, is on another mission to discover the truth...at all costs.

  • Ben H. Winters: The Last Policeman: A Novel (Last Policeman Trilogy Book 1)

    Ben H. Winters: The Last Policeman: A Novel (Last Policeman Trilogy Book 1)
    I love blended genre's, and why I seem to home in on urban fantasy a lot. This series blends a pre-apocalyptic contemporary New Hampshire (an asteroid is going to hit the Earth in 18 months), with the detective novel. It's quite wonderful and exceptionally well done, even with the ever-so slightly unreliable narrator.

  • Stephen King: Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy)

    Stephen King: Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy)
    Not what I was expecting at all. This was a typical detective story, albeit the protagonist is retired. I enjoyed this quite a bit and am delighted to see there's a second book and third due out next June. I"ll be reading. Bill Hodges is a memorable, fully rounded character--someone I enjoy spending time with. Great story.

  • Stephen King: Revival: A Novel

    Stephen King: Revival: A Novel
    Great story. King does here what he does best: invites us into the lives and worlds of strangers with the minute details of their lives. Then he embeds it in a good story and well, suspension of disbelief is in full force. What can I say? I"m a fan and this was a great read.

  • Holly Black: The Darkest Part of the Forest

    Holly Black: The Darkest Part of the Forest
    A strange book. I often felt that I might be reading book II or III in a series, because people, places, and events were brought up as if I should already know what they are. I would page back and find nothing referencing said thing. Once I finished, I realized it was a style choice by the author to indicate...well, something HUGE that is going on with the protagonist. Unfortunately it only makes sense after you've finished. Most of the time it just feels awkward. Interesting take on the Faery story, however. I like when technology intersects with mythology. It was better in COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, IMHO.

  • Hugh Howey: Beacon 23: The Novel

    Hugh Howey: Beacon 23: The Novel
    I don't think that Hugh Howey can write anything that is bad. I love the unreliable narrator/protagonist in this story , it's brilliant. All we are saying is give peace a chance. awesome story. I'd love to see this as a movie.

  • Holly Black: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

    Holly Black: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
    Great take on the vampire tale. I love the trope of social media on the part of the vampires and groupies. Very good.

  • Holly Black: Black Heart (The Curse Workers)

    Holly Black: Black Heart (The Curse Workers)
    Great wrap-up to this three book series. I was wondering how she would tie everything up. Of course, she leaves room for a new book / series of books with this ending. Highly addictive and entertaining.

  • Holly Black: Red Glove (The Curse Workers)

    Holly Black: Red Glove (The Curse Workers)
    How excited was I to find that my local library had these available for Kindle--and they weren't checked out, so no waiting. Yay! This was even better than the first one albeit darker and a bit more gory. I loved it. I've already downloaded book III Black Heart, and started it last night. This author has a number of series, the library has them, so I'm looking forward to reading them all.

  • Holly Black: White Cat (The Curse Workers)

    Holly Black: White Cat (The Curse Workers)
    I saw this at B&N when I was there last week (I snapped a photo so as not to forget), and I ordered a sample for my Kindle. I liked it and was intrigued enough to buy the full copy. It was a lot of fun, in a dark and moody way. It's about a family of con-[wo]men who also have magic, i.e., curses, in different aspects of reality--emotions, dreams, physical, etc. One curse per person. There's Russian gangsters, a murder, a woman who may or may not be a cat, prep school, Atlantic City, family uber-dysfunction. My only complaint is that it was too short. There are two more books, however. Hmm....

  • Barbara Neely: Blanche Passes Go

    Barbara Neely: Blanche Passes Go
    Oh Blanche, this can't be the end, can it? Please come back, Blaaaaanche!

  • Barbara Neely: Blanche Cleans Up: A Blanche White Mystery (Blanche White series Book 3)

    Barbara Neely: Blanche Cleans Up: A Blanche White Mystery (Blanche White series Book 3)
    This is my favorite in the series so far. I totally, totally relate to this story having grown up pretty poor myself. I understand what it's like to try and pay the light bill and the gas bill with the same $65-, and having to pick one. Struggling to keep your head above water, where one emergency can send you right to the streets. And the constant, constant striving and struggling and just keeping your head above water. Add to this the lovely sense of community in the Roxbury area of Boston and a good murder mystery, and this is a fabulous book.

  • Barbara Neely: Blanche Among the Talented Tenth

    Barbara Neely: Blanche Among the Talented Tenth
    I don't think I've read a book before that lays out and discusses black color-spectrum racism. I knew a little bit about this, but didn't realize just how deep it ran. Also, getting a view of upper middle class African Americans is extremely interesting. (Guess what? They're just like other races uppity middle classes. :-) )

  • Barbara Neely: Blanche on the Lam (Crime, Penguin)

    Barbara Neely: Blanche on the Lam (Crime, Penguin)
    Witty, insightful, wonderfully written, I love Blanche her smartass self. Want to know what black people really think of white people? Right here. Be prepared to fall in love a little bit, tho.

  • Robert Galbraith: Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike)

    Robert Galbraith: Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike)
    Really good. A labyrinthine, graphic, messy mystery. I had no idea where she was going with it and even expected a George R. R. Martin (not saying either way) moment(s). This just came out, so there is no book IV in the near future. Pout.

  • Kate Atkinson: Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel
    Sadly, this is the last book (so far -- IV) in the Jackson Brodie series. :-( This is the darkest and most twisted of the series. Atkinson's character explorations are thick, ugly, and vast, and yet while it is interesting, we don't understand how the characters can possibly be related, but they are. Brilliant. There is a TV series for Jackson Brodie in the UK. I'll have to check into it.

  • Kate Atkinson: When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel
    Book II in the Jackson Brodie series, Atkinson deftly interweaves her storylines and explores and expands her characters with a pure, unblinking view is some of the best writing I've come upon in years. I could totally see a thesis or dissertation on all her works, they're that good.

  • Kate Atkinson: One Good Turn: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: One Good Turn: A Novel
    Jackson Brodie II, even wittier and darker than Book I with some new and interesting characters. The characters are more interesting than the murder/crime mysteries. She really nails the peculiarities of being human.

  • Kate Atkinson: Case Histories: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: Case Histories: A Novel
    Incredible. Very insightful regarding the dysfunction of families. Also witty as hell in that British way AND a murder mystery. Brilliant. Great character development.

  • Kate Atkinson: Case Histories: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: Case Histories: A Novel
    Brilliant. Highly recommend. And delighted to see that there are three more in this "Jackson Brodie" series.

  • Russell Blake: Jet (Volume 1)

    Russell Blake: Jet (Volume 1)
    I am now on book 6 of this series of 9 (more?). They have problems. They are clearly quickly written and poorly edited, but they are a lot of fun. I love a kick ads heroine who always succeeds despite overwhelming odds is empowering. Jet is former Mossad black ops, and she is as good as it gets in the spy game...including sanctions: assassinations. Things really heat up after she fakes her death to live a normal life after becoming pregnant, but bad guys seem to always find her. Good. Violent. Technological asskicking action spy thrillers. Lots of fun.

  • Russell Blake: The Delphi Chronicle

    Russell Blake: The Delphi Chronicle
    I really liked Blake's "Black" series of books, and this showed up in my Kindle Unlimited recommendation list, so I jumped. It didn't feel like three books. It felt like three novellas. Just as I was finishing what I thought was book 1 of the series, I discovered I'd actually read the whole trilogy. Huh. Badly edited, plot holes, and context errors, I realize that Russell likes to crank 'em out, but even a good story should be well written. Just sayin'.

  • Dean Koontz: 77 Shadow Street (with bonus novella The Moonlit Mind): A Novel

    Dean Koontz: 77 Shadow Street (with bonus novella The Moonlit Mind): A Novel
    I don't usually like horror (nightmares. Really.), but a sample found me sucked in, so I finished it. Ingenious idea for the source of the horror, but Koontz, as is his wont, gets to the denouement and them *bam* book is over. It's the Anne Perry school of narrative. _dislike_

  • David Lagercrantz: The Girl in the Spider's Web: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series

    David Lagercrantz: The Girl in the Spider's Web: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series
    What can I say? I had to try it. The first half is not inspiring--a lot of telling and little showing. However...about halfway...it got really good. I mean, really, really good. The twists and turns in the story were divine, and the writing got a lot better. Maybe because it was a lot of dialog. It felt more like Stieg's writing than a ghostwriter. I update my opinion to B+, only because the first half was so plodding.

  • Veronica Roth: Insurgent (Divergent Series)

    Veronica Roth: Insurgent (Divergent Series)
    Again, probably a better movie than a book, I don't know if I am going to read any more of the series. I can probably wait for the movies.

  • Veronica Roth: Divergent (Divergent Series)

    Veronica Roth: Divergent (Divergent Series)
    I succumbed to the fad. A very good story, good ideas, but uninspiring writing. It's a great movie, I'm sure.

  • Jim Butcher: Working for Bigfoot

    Jim Butcher: Working for Bigfoot
    Cute. Some short stories from the world of Harry Dresden. Since a Dresden book didn't come out this year--like it has every year for a while, now--this will keep Harry's fans (like me) slightly appeased while we wait for more Harry (and his new Steampunk book).

  • John Sandford: Gathering Prey

    John Sandford: Gathering Prey
    Dammit this guy is good. You can never die, Mr. Sandford. You need to live forever and keep writing about Davenport, Weather, Letty, and Virgil-fucking-Flowers. I insist.

  • Winston Graham: The Four Swans (Poldark)

    Winston Graham: The Four Swans (Poldark)

  • Winston Graham: The Black Moon (Poldark)

    Winston Graham: The Black Moon (Poldark)

  • Winston Graham: Warleggan (Poldark)

    Winston Graham: Warleggan (Poldark)

  • Winston Graham: Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 (Poldark)

    Winston Graham: Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 (Poldark)

  • Winston Graham: Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 (Poldark)

    Winston Graham: Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 (Poldark)

  • Winston Graham: Jeremy Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1790-1791

    Winston Graham: Jeremy Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1790-1791

  • Winston Graham: Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787

    Winston Graham: Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787

August 12, 2019

July 11, 2019

July 01, 2019

May 29, 2019

May 16, 2019

May 09, 2019

May 08, 2019

April 27, 2019

April 26, 2019

April 24, 2019

Loans, Donations, Martini Fun(d)!

  • Donations Accepted, Loans Will Be Repaid
    Thank you. paypal.me/justjulesR
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Poetry

  • Some Thoughts on AUTUMN ~ My Favorite Season


    “No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have
    seen in one autumnal face."
    --John Donne, the autumnal

    “Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
    We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
    --Humbert Wolfe

    But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.
    --Stephen King, Salem's Lot

    Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring. --Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Jules' Bucket List

  • My Bucket List
    Everyone should have one...not just the ill.


    * Trip to Hawaii

    * Trip to Italy

    * Trip to NYC

    * Publish my novel (finish it first.)

    * Trip to Alaska -- and actually see a whale

    * Learn all the lyrics to every song in Les Miserable before the movie comes out in December. :-D

    * Learn to sew. On a sewing machine

    * Re-learn crocheting. Knitting is impossible. I could barely see the yarn and needles five years ago _before_ I had any eye issues. LOL

    I'll keep adding to it as I think of things.