Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

July Reading

When I look at the list of books I read last month, I am amazed!  How did I do anything but read?  But actually, none of the books I read were all that difficult to read.  They were more what you might call “beach reads” than serious reading.  That isn’t to say they weren’t great reads, though.

Again, I only read 1 non-fiction book: Roller Coasters, Flumes, and Flying Saucers by Robert R. Reynolds.  It was the story of the company that created most of the rides for Disneyland and many other amusement parks.  It was a read fun read.  I was fascinated to see how intimately Walt Disney was involved in the development of the rides.  I went to Disneyland in 1957 and, while I don’t remember much, I do remember some of what they talked about in the book.  These guys were real pioneers, inventing much of both the rides and the production process for them.

Now for the fiction:

This was an excellent story and very well written.  I was caught up in it from the beginning.  The characters — even the bad guys — were very well written and like able. I will read more in this series.

A professor becomes a cop while on sabbatical.  Pretty unlikely, I thought, but a good story nonetheless.  And then I discovered that it was actually based on a true story!  Written by the professor/cop and a cop turned professor!  I highly recommend this book!

I had started this book before and put it down.  Then after reading Louisiana Hotshot by Smith, I decided to try again.  And I am glad that I did.  It is a Louisiana kind of book, for sure.  Very twisted, filled with larger than life characters.  I am hooked!

What do you do when your beekeeping rival is found dead in your hives?  You investigate, of course!  This was a fun read.  It is another series I plan to read more of.

The story in this book was very good.  The writing made it hard to read, though.  Just the fact that people who worked together every day always referred to each other by title and last name — Deputy Coroner Shillings, for example — was enough to make me put the book down several times before I finished it.  But I did finish it.  And I am glad I did.  As I said, the story was very good.  And the characters were interesting.  I plan to read another book in this series to see if Benzaim got better with dialog as she has more practice.

This book left me a little unsettled.  I am all for flawed heroes, but I wonder if Jake isn’t almost too flawed.  It was a very good book, and I really enjoyed it in spite of that, though.  I haven’t read anything else by Zafiro yet — although I have another book on my ereader.  I will definitely read this next one soon.

This was a dark, complicated story, but I loved it.  Part of the reason, I know, is that I am still in love with books about the West.  If you are a fan of Longmire, you’ll like this book.

I loved this book!  It reminded me of Lindsay Buroker’s Emperor’s Edge books.  It was a fun story.  The characters are all fascinating!  I will definitely read more in this series!

I read two pieces of shorter fiction:

And finally, I listened to two audiobooks from Librivox:

  • Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

As you may have noticed, I have listened to a lot of the John Carter novels by Burroughs.  I enjoy them.  I have to say that I really enjoyed this one.  It was one of the best I have listened to or read so far.

  • Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott

I have this book downloaded to read as well as having downloaded the audio version.  I have to say that I would probably never have read it if all I had was the “book” version.  I can now say that I have “read” it, though.  The only problem was that I didn’t have the drawings that accompany the text.  The reader described them well, but it wasn’t quite the same as looking at them.  Now that I know the story, I think I may actually read the text version of it.  I think it would be worth my time!

So that was my month in reading.  It was a good one.  As I start teaching new classes in a couple weeks, August may not be as good.  Oh well…

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