Sunday, February 12, 2017

What I'm Reading.........

Friday I went to see that classic movie of all time, John Wick Chapter 2. Yes, even though it was almost eighty today here in Denver in February, I spent a few hours in a darkened theater spending my latest gift card in order to watch mayhem, violence, Keanu Reeves and the cutest dog ever. Hey, it's warmer in Denver than either Hawaii or Florida. At least it was on Friday.

My problem is that like movies-and books and TV shows. In fact, I like almost all movies, as long as they are not pornographic or cannibalistic.  I am capable of watching The Best Years of Our Lives one evening with family, and John Wick 2 the next day. The same is true of my reading and television watching style. It is who I am. Whether it be current fiction, television or the movies, I tend to watch, read or listen to a fair amount of mindless drivel-interspersed with more meaty fare, if you will.  I rely on various book and movie clubs to keep me honest and up to date on some of that more meaty reading(and watching).

When it comes to my reading, my primary sources of fiction tend to be current mysteries and police procedurals, with the occasional Danielle Steele or Nora Roberts thrown in. Robert Crais, John Sandford, Alex Kava, Lee Child, Harlan Coban-these are my go to guys and gals. Being an avid reader though, it was time for some new authors. Somehow, I have reached that tipping point when I am current on all my favorite authors and no new books are scheduled for a few months. In other words, I needed some new author recommendations. And since I read at least a couple books a week, I needed them now. Thankfully some recommendations and a new website sent me on my successful way.



A fellow bookworm recommended the website Fantastic Fiction. Let me tell you folks, if you are also looking for books, you really need to check out this website. Not only does it list every author, it also shows each individual series-in order. So, if you were to say, want to start reading the "Prey" books by John Sandford, a quick look shows you all the books, in order they were written. Now, I know that some books and series stand fine on their own, without having read the books before, but many series are served better by reading in order as we learn the ins, outs, and quirks of each character, yes? 



Also, after hearing my plea a couple knitting friends suggested new authors, authors that I'm fairly sure some of my readers know intimately.  Since the first of the year, I've read the entire John Puller series by David Baldachi, three books by mystery author Thomas Perry including The Old Man, and more than a few similar tomes, if you will, including a couple by Catherine Coulter. What can I say, you can never read too many books or too many mysteries.

Fortunately, I belong to more than a single book group and my book groups pull tend to pull me out of my normal reading style above and into more serious fare. Because of this I have also recently read Cutting for Stone, Desperation Road, and the Wide Sargasso Sea (choose your own classic month). Surprisingly and in spite of the rave reviews, Cutting was not my favorite novel and I constantly encourage folks to read his first book, an autobiography of being an Indian doctor in Appalachia-during the aids crisis.

The Wide Sargasso Sea on the other hand, was...interesting. For those not in the know, this book is one authors attempt to explain how an exotic beauty ended up mad and chained in the attic in Jane Eyre. Without explaining or giving things away, Rochester does not come out of this particular book smelling like a rose-but then he's not the most likeable friendly fellow in the original book, either!

I can't speak for anyone else but my reading goes in cycles, and not the way you might think. During the fall I watch more TV and read less. Between football (college and pro) the World Series, basketball championships, soccer and the couple regular TV shows I watch, September to Christmas tends to be more of a TV watching time and less of a reading period. On the other hand, while it may still be darker in the evening, winter tends to be less of a TV period-I generally binge on one Amazon or Netflix show at a time and that's it.

And just in case I take my reading too seriously, the folks in my book groups keep it real. Our March book of choice?  Light reading from the dollar store, where the person whose month it is grabbed twenty paperback novels of the same title with questionable origin. Hey, reading by any other name is still reading, right? 


As for my non reading time?  I've started a log cabin knitting throw similar to this one for my living room. My genealogy calls me to my laptop on a regular basis. My immigrant/refugee ministry is very active in terms of both advocating and service, especially with the very tragic current events situation in this country. I've started on a large Easter quilt and am writing every day. 




I also signed up for senior college classes for spring (Writing and great decisions) and have tried to walk 30 minutes. And finally, since this is my year of streamining and my time, I have learned about the joys of doing-absolutely nothing.

And now, back to my current book............


17 comments:

  1. I can tell you are doing what you enjoy, which is key to a happy retirement, I think. Another site I use for mysteries is stopyourekillingme.com which lists all books in a series in order. Plus when browsing there I discovered a mystery series set in Laos and other goodies. It has a cool subject index so you can find things like Victorian mysteries, police procedurals, etc. Happy reading.

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    1. Great, another book website!!! Thank you!

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  2. My two favorite mystery/procedural authors are Ian Rankin and Tana French. Rankin's Inspector Rebus mysteries are set in Edinburgh, and it's as much of a character as any human. French's books are set in Ireland, and each features a pair of detectives. The secondary one moves up to become the main character in each subsequent book, so I recommend starting with her first book if you've never read her before. Her 'Faithful Place' is a work of art, in my opinion. I like Scandanavian mysteries as well. 'Smilla's Sense of Snow' by Peter Hoeg is outstanding, as is anything by Jussi Adler or Karen Fossum. My favorite though is 'The Exception' by Christian Jungerson - a real page turner.

    Thanks too for your list - I'm always looking for new authors to check out!

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  3. I love the John Sanford series! Another great series is the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny. You do need to read the books in order to keep up with the characters as they change and grow. All the bookies in the series are excellent but the latest few are sublime! And she has a compelling personal story which makes me appreciate her books even more.

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  4. Plugging away at Jane Smiley's "The Greenlanders"; not as easy a read as her "A Thousand Acres". I've renewed The Greenlanders too often at the local library and the last time I was told it was the last time! Other books -
    Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy
    Soulmate by Deepak Chopra
    The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
    Spin by Catherine McKenzie
    The High Mountains of Portugal by Yenn Martel
    And on deck, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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    1. Good for you. Ikeep a ten page wish list on Amazon and then slowly request it from the library.

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  5. Thanks for a few new reading ideas. Have you tried the Cormoran Strike mysteries by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling)?

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    1. Nope, but I will add those to my list.

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  6. John Sanford is great! Consider Louise Penny'/ Armand Gamache series--it is wonderful. The series should be read in order but I find the more recent books better. Author has a compelling personal stories which makes me appreciate her writing even more.

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  7. You wicked, wicked woman :-) I have a 'books to read' spreadsheet that already ensures that I can't read them all before I die and you post this link to Fantastic Fiction. I will now have to listen to audiobooks in my sleep ! I am an avid reader and struggle when I can't finish a book in a day. I love mysteries (Connelly, Baldacci, Cornwell), and highly recommend David Rosenfelt if you love dogs - his stories that involve his golden retriever are amusing and engaging (and involve murders). Elly Griffiths writes a lovely series about an anthropologist (I do enjoy some British mysteries) and Marcia Clark (yes, that Marcia Clark) has a pretty decent series about a female ADA in LA.
    Thanks again, I think, for the FF info. I shall update and lengthen my spreadsheet.

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    1. I would have the spread sheet, but Imake it a list on Amazon now and then slowly grab them from the library.

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  8. Very useful post i really appreciate thanks for sharing such a nice post.

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  9. I do the exact same thing. Wish list on Amazon, but get most from the library. I just finished The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. It was a page turner for me.

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  10. I've never read Sandford's Prey books but I love his Virgil Flowers series.
    Thanks, Laura, for the mention of "Smilla's Sense of Snow". You're the only other person I've run into who's heard of it, much less read it.
    So many books, so little time.
    Joan, Michigan

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  11. Wow I envy all your reading as well as retirement. I wish I could have that time and I fear no retirement in sight for me. David Baldacci has a summer home next to my old summer home. (which I sold a few years back) He would give me his books signed. I did not enjoy them as much as my hubby or others. I did enjoy when he described something on the lake or the mountains because it was real and I knew where he was describing and for some reason that was fun for me. Otherwise not his biggest fan. But I am a fan of those quilts. My goodness those are beautiful!

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  12. I'm exhausted with all your activity -- good for you. You might be interested in a romance novelist elderblogger in our midst whose books in various series are historical fiction infused with actual fact set in the southwest. I haven't read any as have been focused on other reading.
    She's at: Rainy Day Thoughts https://rainydaythought.blogspot.com/

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