Thursday, February 25, 2021

Plot It Yourself, by Rex Stout

  • Title:  Plot It Yourself
  • Author:  Rex Stout
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County, VA Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 2/20/2021
  • Finished: 2/24/2021
Another enjoyable Nero Wolf mystery.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Looking for Rachel Wallace, by Robert B Parker

Title: Looking for Rachel Wallace
Author: Robert B Parker
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 2/9/2021
Finished: 2/13/2021

I think this is my favorite Spenser novel.  Was in the mood for a familiar read so went this this one, again. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Murder by the Book, by Rex Stout

Title: Murder by the Book
Author: Rex Stout
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started: 2/8/20201
Finished: 2/12/2021

Another fun, comfortable, Nero Wolfe book re-read. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Doorbell Rang, by Rex Stout

Title: The Doorbell Rang
Author: Rex Stout
Borrowed from DC public library audiobook
Started: 2/2/2021
Finished: 2/6/2021

Re-reading of a great Nero Wolfe book, takes on the fbi.  Hoover shows up at the end and isn't let in the house.  Good stuff.  

Monday, February 1, 2021

Conviction, by Denise Mina

Title: Conviction
Author: Denise Mina
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 1/20/2021
Finished: 1/31/2021


Boon club selection, I liked it. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tangerine, by Christine Mangan

Title: Tangerine
Author: Christine Mangan
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Audiobook
Started: 1/20/2021
Finished: 1/26/2021

Book club book, didn't care for this one.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Fer-De-Lance, by Rex Stout

Title: Fer-De-Lance
Author: Rex Stout
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started: 1/15/2021
Finished: 1/19/2021

First Nero Wolfe book, read it before but needed and easy and fun distraction. And I hadn't read it for a long time. A decade maybe. Still enjoyable. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Alex, by Pierre Lemaitre

Title: Alex
Author: Pierre Lemaitre
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Audiobook
Started:  1/3/2021
Finished: 1/17/2021

Book club book (my choice), this one is tough, lots of really bad things happening, hard to read some of this violence. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Title: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Author: Haruki Murakami
Borrowed in paperback from Little Free Library
Started: 1/3/2021
Finished: 1/15/2021

Read this one slowly, really enjoyed it, nice to digest a couple of chapters a night.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Something That May Shock and Discredit You,by Daniel Lavery

Title: Something That May Shock and Discredit You
Author: Daniel Lavery
Purchased from Amazon Kindle Edition
Started: 1/2/2021
Finished: 1/6/2021

Book club selection, didn't enjoy it. Disjointed and not for me.  Seemed like he was going for a David Sedaris thing, but it didn't work for me at all. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Italian Secretary, by Caleb Carr

Title: The Italian Secretary
Author: Caleb Carr
Hardback from Little Free Library
Started: 1/1/2021
Finished: 1/2/2021

First book of the new year, enjoyable Holmes pastiche. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Hunting Party, by Lucy Foley

Title: The Hunting Party
Author: Lucy Foley
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 12/15/2020
Finished: 12/25/2020

Enjoyable but very similar to the other Foley book I read earlier this year (The Guest List). 

Forgot to record this one last week, so posting this update out of order. 

One Minute Out, by Mark Greaney

Title: One Minute Out
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 12/24/2020
Finished: 12/30/2020

My final book of 2021. Crazy year, read print/Kindle more than. Listened to audiobooks for the first time since starting this blog.  Also blew away my previous record of books in a year.  

This was another Grey Man novel, decent enough. 

Black-Eyed Susans, by Julia Heaberlin

Title: Black-Eyed Susan's
Author: Julia Heaberlin
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 12/ 25/2020
Finished: 12/30/2020

Book club selection, really enjoyed it.  

Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood

Title: The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Borrowed paperback from little free library in DC
Started: 9/1/2020
Finished: 12/24/2020

I liked this one but left it at the beach for months after starting -- so it took me a while to finish. Unlike any other Atwood novel I've read, but enjoyable all the same.  

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Mission Critical, by Mark Greaney

Title: Mission Critical
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 12/13/2020
Finished: 12/18/2020

Another Grey Man novel, pretty fun action book and series. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas Story, by James McIvor

Title: God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers: A True Civil War Christmas Story
Author: James McIvor
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 12/13/2020
Finished: 12/16/2020

Enjoyable short book about civil war soldiers and Christmas.  

Monday, December 14, 2020

Last Christmas in Paris, by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Title: Last Christmas in Paris
Author: Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 12/6/2020
Finished: 12/13/2020

Book club selection, romantic WWI novel, enjoyable. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Tomb, by F. Paul Wilson

Title: The Tomb
Author: F. Paul Wilson
Borrowed from DC public library softback
Started: 12/2/2020
Finished: 12/12/2020

Didn't like this as much as the Keep, but still entertaining enough.  Also my first trip to the public library via Covid.  

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Shane, by Jack Schaefer

Title: Shane
Author: Jack Schaefer
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Audiobook
Started: 12/1/2020
Finished: 12/5/2020

Read this one before, it's such a good story. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Nobody Move, by Denis Johnson

Title: Nobody Move
Author: Denis Johnson
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 11/23/2020
Finished: 11/30/2020

Loved this one the first time I read it. Still liked it, but not quite as much this time around. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Agent in Place, by Mark Greaney

Title: Agent in Place
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 11/25/2020
Finished: 11/29/2020

Another entertaining Gray Man novel. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman

Title: Anxious People
Author: Fredrik Backman
Purchased from Amazon.com Kindle Edition
Started: 11/21/2020
Finished: 11/27/2020

Also a book club book for a different group than the last post.  I LOVED this book.  One of the best I've read all year, and I've read some good ones. Life affirming, just fantastic. 

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley

Title: The Guest List
Author: Lucy Foley
Purchased hardback from Kramer Books in DC
Started: 11/14/2020
Finished: 11/27/2020

Book club book, my wife and I read it aloud over a couple of weeks.  Very entertaining, especially read that way.  Enjoyed this quite a bit. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Dachshund through the Snow, by David Rosenfeld

Title: Dachshund through the Snow
Author: David Rosenfeld
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Audiobook
Started: 11/20/2020
Finished: 11/23/2020

First audiobook in a while, these Andy Carpenter books are fun and easy listens. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Time Machine Did It, by John Swartzwelder

Title: The Time Machine Did It
Author: John Swartzwelder
Purchased from amazon.com Kindle Edition
Started: 11/2/19/2020
Finished:  11/21/2020

I've had this on my wishlist for years, finally pulled the trigger.  It's a very funny book, but also very short.  


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Gunmetal Gray, by Mark Greaney

Title: Gunmetal Gray
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 11/15/2020
Finished: 11/19/2020

Best of the Gray Man series so far, honestly very enjoyable. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy, by John Maddox Roberts

Title: SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy
Author: John Maddox Roberts
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 11/12/2020
Finished: 11/14/2020

Second in this SPQR ancient Rome detective series. Not bad, not great. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett

Title: The Vanishing Half
Author: Brit Bennett
Purchased hardback from amazon.com
Started: 11/8/20202
Finished: 11/11/2020

Book club choice, not as literary as I expected.  More of a quick beach read. Ok but not my favorite. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Back Blast, by Mark Greaney

Title: Back Blast
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 11/5/2020
Finished:11/8/2020

Probably the best of the Grey Man novels so far. Faint praise if you've read my other reviews, but still, credit where do -- very entertaining. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

SPQR I: The King's Gambit

Title: SPQR I: The King's Gambit
Author: John Maddox Roberts
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 11/2/2020
Finished: 11/5/2020

I'd swear I'd read this one before, but it wasn't in my list. Enjoyable but didn't love it. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, by Ellen Datlow

Tis the season for haunted stuff, so I picked this one up mostly to see how I would like the writing of Nathan Ballingrud whom I had seen recommended elsewhere.  Most of the stories were very good, and I only recognized one as something I'd read before.  Overall enjoyable.

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Keep, by F. Paul Wilson

  • Title:  The Keep
  • Author: F. Paul Wilson
  • Purchased from Amazon.com Kindle Edition
  • Started: 10/20/2020
  • Finished: 10/24/2020
This has been on my to-read list for years, but was never available at my local libraries.  However, during Amazon's prime days I bought a new kindle paperwhite which gave me $5 in kindle credit.  The Keep had dropped to $2.99 so I was able to get it for free.

Turns out to be seasonably appropriate, since it is a horror/adventure novel.  I enjoyed it, particularly the first half or so which is very good.  Got a bit dumber as the book went on, but still a fun read and I'd go through more of Wilson's books if they were available from the library.

One note about the paperwhite -- I bought it wanting something I could read in the sun since every other device I have is useless in direct light.  It works as advertised for that purpose, but I was shocked at how cheap it feels and how slow it is compared to even my original Kindle Fire (now 10 years old).  I'm happy with it for the price I paid on Prime Day, but still, really feels like a cheaply made device.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Sweet Thursday, by John Steinbeck

  • Title:  Sweet Thursday
  • Author: John Steinbeck
  • Borrowed from Worcester County, MD Public Library (audiobook) and Fairfax County, VA, Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 10/13/2020
  • Finished: 10/22/2020
This was a book club selection, and I liked it, but not having read Cannery Row the characters and their quirks were jarring at first.  Also did something I don't often do with this one and switched between audiobook and Kindle edition as I felt like listing or directly reading, respectively.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James

Title: The Turn of the Screw
Author: Henry James
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library eBook
Started: 10/17/2020
Finished: 10/20/2020

My wife and I read this one to each other.  Not a romantic book, but it is a good one. Lots of fun for this time of year.  I'm firmly in the "no ghosts" camp. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Blue Moon, by Lee Child

Title: Blue Moon
Author: Lee Child
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started:  10/11/2020
Finished: 10/16/2020

Another terrible Reacher novel, but stupidly enjoyable. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Letter of Marque, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Letter of Marque
  • Author: Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from Worcester County, MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 10/9/2020
  • Finished: 10/12/2020
As a series the books are fantastic.  Individual books have big highs and a few have some lows.  This is one that I love a bit less than the others.  The first half or so is great, but the Steven/Diana stuff near the end is just a bit too much melodrama.  So still extremely enjoyable in the series, but as an individual entry not my favorite.

I didn't keep notes when I read this  in 2013 so I have no clue if I felt the same way back then.  

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dead Eye, by Mark Greaney

Title: Dead Eye
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 10/1/2020
Finished: 10/10/2020

Another stupid but fun Gray Man novel. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Reverse of the Medal, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Reverse of the Medal
  • Author: Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from Worcester, MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 10/2/2020
  • Finished: 10/8/2020
I absolutely love this series and it really hits its stride now.  The first time I read this one the scene where Jack is being put in pillory and all the sailors surround and cheer him -- it made me cry.  Knowing it was coming make it slightly less impactful, but it is still really moving.  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Far Side of the World, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Far Side of the World
  • Author: Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from Worcester County, MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 9/29/2020
  • Finished: 10/1/2020
God these books are JUST SO GOOD.  I can't believe O'Brian as me rooting against the Americans in the War of 1812, but this is just an outstanding series, and an outstanding entry in said series.  Good, good stuff.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Treason's Harbour, by Patrick O'Brian

Title: Treason's Harbour
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started: 9/22/2020
Finished: 9/28/2020

This series is just so good.  I can't text during my first reading if I knew Ray was the traitor, I think I had picked up on it by this book but really not sure.  I know the answer now, of course, but on this second reading it is obvious and all the clues are there.  Good stuff.  

Friday, September 25, 2020

Ballistic, by Mark Greaney

Title: Ballistic
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 9/15/2020
Finished: 9/25/2020

This one started out pretty good.  Like a legitimately good novel and not the action movie-ish throw away books these are like the earlier two (I say this with love, Greaney hit on a winning formula and I applaud him, but literature these ain't).  And then about halfway through the book reverted to form and while entertaining as hell to read, it was as silly as the rest.  Got to hand it to Greaney -- having the love interest decide to become a nun was the coup de grace. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Ionian Mission, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Ionian Mission
  • Author:  Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 9/15/2020
  • Finished: 9/21/2020
Cruising right along through my re-read.  This Aubrey-Maturin series is just so good.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Surgeon's Mate, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Surgeon's Mate
  • Author: Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 9/10/2020
  • Finished: 9/14/2020
The first time I read this book back in October of 2012 I said it was my least favorite in the series so far.  Second time around it's a favorite.  I'm better able to comprehend the story, and embarrassed to admit I only now got the joke of the title when Maturin gets married at the end...

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Eighth Detective, by Alex Pavesi

  • Title:  The Eighth Detective
  • Author:  Alex Pavesi
  • Purchased Hardcover from bookstore in Bethany Beach, DE
  • Started: 9/7/2020
  • Finished: 9/10/2020
Book club book (my selection based on WSJ review), pretty good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Fortune of War, by Patrick O'Brian

Title: The Fortune of War
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started:  9/6/2020
Finished: 9/9/2020

Continuing at high speed through these books, I just love them and it's been so long since I ran through the series last. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

On Target, by Mark Greaney

Title: On Target
Author: Mark Greaney
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 8/31/2020
Finished: 9/6/2020

Second in The Grey Man series, pretty terrible, but easy to read. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Desolation Island, by Patrick O'Brian

Title: Desolation Island
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 8/30/2020
Finished: 9/5/2020

My re-read is hitting high speed, love these books.  

Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Mauritius Command, by Patrick O'Brian

Title: The Mauritius Command
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 8/25/2020
Finished: 8/29/2020

These books are so good, and fun to reread where you catch more and are more comfortable with the larger story.  Crazy enjoyable.  

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Gray Man, by Mark Greaney

  • Title:  The Gray Man
  • Author:  Mark Greaney
  • Borrowed from Little Free Library in Ocean City, MD (Paperback)
  • Started: 8/25/2020
  • Finished: 8/27/2020
Terrible novel, terrific beach read.  Just like the Reacher novels I'll probably burn through this series despite how bad they are.  Hard to knock action movie-like books.