Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

June Reading

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!

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