I managed to get a lot of reading done in July. I think it was because it was a bad month at work, and I couldn’t focus on anything else.
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
This was a great book written by a Cuban-American about the political, cultural and generational divisions in a Cuban-American family. It was a bit reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in its use of magical realism. I highly recommend it. It’s an old book (1993) but not dated as far as I could see.
Saints Preserve Us by L.K. Ellwood
This was one of many free ebooks I have downloaded. It was interesting to me in large part because of my previous exposure to the workings of Catholicism. It was an easy read, if not quite as satisfying as I would have liked.
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
I have been going to read this book since before it came out. I met Darynda at a writing group we had in Portales when she was furiously working on the second book in the series before this one was published. While I have no justification for taking so long to read this one, I can honestly say it was worth the wait. As I feel justified in spending more money on books, hers will be the first ones I buy.
The Marinara Murders by Erik Hanberg
This is a book I bought in a bundle — StoryBundle, I think. It was a fun read. I actually started reading it because my husband picked it up and was enjoying it a lot. There were some twists in the plot that made it fun. It is the second in a series of three books about a disgraced detective who lives in his mother’s basement. I will probably read the others before long.
Bedlam Boyz by Ellen Guon
I enjoyed this book, but I could never figure out where the title came from. It kept me interested, and it also made me want to read more in this series. It apparently was the prequel to the first book in this series, Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, by Mercedes Lackey and Guon.
When the Legends Die by Hal Borland
This was a book I pulled off the shelf at work. It takes place in the early 20th century and tells the story of a young Ute boy who grows into a man straddling two cultures. It reminded me in some ways of The Light in the Forest, which I read some years ago with my students. The two stories are, in some ways, opposites, but they raise some of the same issues. I enjoyed this a lot. Much of it takes place in the Southwest, so it was interesting in that regard in addition to the story it told.
The Watchers by Lynnie Purcell
Another young adult book. It is about a half-angel who moves back to her mother’s home town and discovers that she is the center of a massive search. Apparently there is something in her blood. Along the way, she meets a group of “good” half-angels who set out to protect her from the bad ones who are after her. This is the first book in a series, and I think I will read more of them.
The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin
Dare I say it? This is the first George RR Martin book I have ever read. It has nothing to do with fantasy or science fiction or anything else Martin is known for. According to a blurb on the cover, it is the best book on 1960s rock that Stephen King has ever read. I don’t know about that, but I really enjoyed the book. It might not appeal to people who didn’t live through those times, but I would recommend that you give it a try before dismissing it outright. The story is extremely entertaining. It also helped me to make my decision about my job. (More on that later!)
So I exceeded my goal of seven books for July. I probably won’t read that much in August, but you never know!