Another month is just about over. It started off slowly, reading-wide, but ended up pretty good.
I read one non-fiction book, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol. 2 by Lafcadio Hearn. I had started it some time ago but just wasn’t motivated to finish it. It didn’t seem as applicable to the novel my son and I are writing as the first volume had been, and I had trouble making myself finish reading it. It was, actually, quite good, though. Hearn lived in Japan a long, long time ago and lived more as a Japanese than as an American. He experienced the culture probably as completely as anyone could. I admire him for that.
I finished five novels this month:
- Found Innocent by Carolyn Arnold was the fourth book in the series. I haven’t read any others, but I probably will. This was a good book — but there were times I wasn’t fond of the main character. She wasn’t always very easy to relate to. And her partner was a little odd. But the story was interesting.
- 15 Minutes: A Time Travel Suspense Thriller by Jill Cooper was a fascinating story. The hero uses her 15 minutes in the past to save her mother, but it only makes her life worse. There were a lot of interesting twists and turns, although I wasn’t impressed with the real bad guy. He seemed more like a jerlk than anything else. It was a good read, though, so you should check it out.
- Unleashed by Emily Kimelman started off completely unbelievable but got better. There were still some parts that were a little jarring because of how unrealistic they were, but overall I liked the book a lot. I have a couple more books in this series that I will get around to reading before long, and I am anticipating that they will be pretty good. This was book one and pretty much the back story. I think I will like the character better as Sydney Rye than I did as Joy.
- OMEGA Exile by Stephen Arseneault was the first real science fiction book I have read in a while. I decided it was time since I was going to a science fiction convention over this past weekend. I couldn’t really tell you how or why I picked this one to read, but I am very glad I did. It was easily the best book I read this month. It was well written and had really likable characters. The story was excellent. I have not read anything else by this author, but I plan to.
- Crushed by Barbara Ellen Brink is the second in a series of winery mysteries but the first one of them I have read. It was a good story — a quick, easy read. I enjoyed it a lot. The romances are a little predictable, but there is enough action and suspense that you don’t get bogged down in that part of it. I plan to read more in the series.
I read three pieces of short fiction:
- Justice Calling by Annie Bellet is a good book if you like stories about gamers and sorcerers and shape shifters. I enjoyed it a lot. It was an easy read. It is the first in the series, and I will likely read more of them. The characters are fun.
- “Solstice Day Gifts” by Lindsay Buroker is an Emperor’s Edge short story. I love these characters, and my only real complaint was that the story was too short. I know; I should read a novel if I want a longer story. And I will. But this was fun, and I am glad I read it.
- Sleep Walking Now and Then by Richard Bowes is a novelette from Tor.com. It wasn’t really my kind of story, but I enjoyed it. It is a story about a theatrical production that is based on some mysterious goings-on in the hotel where it is staged. Try it. You might like it.
The only audiobook I finished this month was Countdown by Kurt Becker, SJ. The book has a lot of religion, as you might expect from a book written by a Jesuit, but it embraced science and space exploration, something that surprised me a bit. The book was written in 1958, and it is totally believable if you can put yourself back in that time. (I can because I was 8 then.) It takes place in the Panhandle of Texas, near where I lived for three years in eastern New Mexico and through which I have traveled countless times. It seemed familiar to me, and I enjoyed it. It probably isn’t for everyone, though. I got the audiobook from Librivox.org.
So I am ready to start my September reading. I will start it today, actually. Let’s see how it goes.