I am amazed to see how much I read this month. Of course, we drove from New Mexico to Illinois, and I was a passenger most of the time. And I wasn’t working before the trip and only two hours a day since then. But in spite of all that, I am impressed!
Non-fiction this month was restricted to just one book: When It Was Great by Jim Sinay and Wid Bastian. I don’t gamble and I have never been to Vegas, but I found Sinay’s description of the Las Vegas I saw in movies and on TV as a teenager was pretty interesting.
The fiction list is considerably longer:
- Death by Request by Jaden Skye was a fun read. I have read a number of books in this series, and I always enjoy them. It seems like Skye needs to slow down and do a more thorough edit before she pushes the publish button. But putting that aside, the story was good. It is a light read. I will keep reading the series.
- Louisiana Hotshot by Julie Smith was a truly enjoyable book. I loved the characters, and the story was good. I had tried reading another of Smith’s books but couldn’t get into it. Now that I have finished this one, I think I will go back and give the other one a try.
- Leave No Stone Unturned by Julie Glidewell was a fun read. I enjoyed reading about an older woman who had a life. Most of the light mysteries I have been reading are about twenty-somethings. There is nothing wrong with that, but this was a nice change.
- Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs was another fun one. The basic story is a bit predictable, but the Blackmore sisters had a way of making it fresh.
- You Know Who I Am by Diane Patterson was a really unusual book. At least I thought so. And it was unusual in a good way. Drusilla Thorne is a complicated character unlike any I have come across before. The story was good and it really kept me guessing. I just got the second book in this series and plan to start reading it soon.
- Don’t Be a Stranger by A.R. Winters was fun. Valerie Inkerman is a private investigator — sort of. When her roommate gets accused of murder, she gets a chance to put her skills to the test. The mystery itself was a good one.
- The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen by N. L. Wilson was another book with a slightly older main character. It was a really good book with interesting characters. Sometimes it seemed a little far-fetched, but it was still good.
- Deadly Stillwater by Roger Stelljes was the first book in this series that I have read. At times I wished I had read the first two books before reading this one, just so I could better understand why some of the characters didn’t like McRyan and his crew. It wasn’t really a problem, though, as the book stands well on its own. This was a very interesting story, and it was told well. I highly recommend it.
- Castle Cay by Lee Hanson was a complicated story with interesting characters. I like Julie O’Hara. Sometimes I felt that the author’s use of flashbacks wasn’t a good idea, but overall I liked even that part of it. I hope to read more in this series.
- Agents of Change by Guy Harrison was one I started and put down and then eventually picked up again. I finally finished it. I still haven ‘t really decided how I feel about it. The book is broken into two parts, and I think the first part was easier to read and follow. The second part was more confusing. I am not usually into conspiracy theory stuff, but this one had its moments.
- Buried in Benidorm by L.H. Thomson was a great book. I loved the way Thomson described Spain. I haven’t read many books that take place there, so that part of it was fun. Max Castillo, the main character, was really great. I have known many former priests; Castillo and his struggles seemed authentic. The only complaint that I have at all about the book is that Castillo did a Sherlock Holmes and had to bring all the characters together for the big reveal. Like Holmes, the guilty party wasn’t obvious to anyone but the detective himself. But that is a small price to pay for a really enjoyable book.
I read three pieces of shorter fiction:
- Run Girl by Eva Hudson was actually longer than one of the books I listed as fiction, but I am too lazy to move this one or the other. The book is set in London, and I really enjoyed the detail Hudson included. As I have probably said before, I read books set in places I don’t know in order to learn about the place. Hudson allowed me to learn a lot about the city. The story was interesting, and I enjoyed the FBI agent main character.
- John Carter and the Giant of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs was probably my least favorite John Carter book to date. I am not sure why. The fault may be mine as I started it and then abandoned it for a while before finally finishing it. It was an OK read, though.
- “In a Grove” by Ryunosuke Akutagawa is a short story written in 1922. It was the basis for Akira Kurosawa’s Rashōmon. It is a fascinating story.
After all that, I only listened to one audiobook this month: The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I really enjoyed it. Since I am not in the car more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time these days, I don’t know how many more audiobooks I will actually finish in the coming months. Guess we’ll see. But I will definitely go back to LibriVox to get more when I run out of books I have already downloaded.
I don’t expect to read nearly so much in July. Or ever again, probably. But you never know!