March Reading

It wasn’t as good a month for reading as February was, but I am not complaining.

I read two non-fiction books:

  • there is no goat by Jennifer Dunham was the story of the fourteen months Dunham spent as a civilian working in Afghanistan. It was a good book.  She alludes to criticism she has received for the book, but I cannot criticize it. I thought she did a good job of showing what the culture is like. I have never lived in Afghanistan, but I have lived in many other countries. Dunham presented an unbiased view based on her experiences. Working with Afghanis as she did, she was in a position to learn a lot, and I am glad that she decided to share her experiences in this book.
  • 52 Ways to Get Unstuck by Chris Mandeville was a book of exercises to try when you are stuck in your writing. I tried a number of them as I was reading, and I can see their value. Mandeville shares the exercise and shares the experience she or another author had when they tried it with their own writing. I expect I will go back and look at this one again when I am working more on the second book my son and I are writing.

Mysteries and Thrillers:

  • Cold Call by Dean Wesley Smith was a good story. A group of retired police detectives works to solve the murder of a friend of one of them – the latest in a series of murders by a serial killer. The characters were interesting, and I really enjoyed reading about them. I know I will read more of this series.
  • Legend of War Creek by Randall Reneau is the fourth book in this series. I have read the third one but not the first two. This story, like the third one, was excellent. While some things happened that I object to, Reneau did what he had to do to move the series along.At least I hope there will be more books in the series. Brandon will be a different person in any future books, but I think he would still be worth reading about.
  • Terror Unleashed by Wesley Robert Lowe was a good book, but I was confused at times. There was a flashback that wasn’t clearly a flashback – at least not to me. Sometimes it seemed that there were little pieces of the story in Lowe’s mind that didn’t get transferred to the page. There was a lot of violence, but most of it wasn’t too bad. In spite of all that, I will be reading more about Noah Reid, the main character. I expect the subsequent ones will benefit from Lowe’s experience writing this book.

Speculative Fiction

  • Mageborn: The Blacksmith’s Son by Michael G. Manning was a very good book. I have been reading so many fantasy books lately, that I have seen the basic idea many times: child born to magical parents who die is raised by non-magical person but he ends up saving the day. This was an excellent story built on that basic premise. I will definitely read more in the series.
  • Ren of Atikala by David Adams was in a boxed series that I bought. I read it mostly because it was the next book after The Blacksmith’s Son. It involves races of people that live below the surface of the earth. Parts of it were a little confusing to me because they involved wandering around below ground, but overall it was a good story.
  • Magic of Thieves by C. Greenwood was another good book. It varies from the aforementioned storyline of a magical child raised by non-magical people in that the young heroine was raised by a band of thieves. It is a good story, the first in a series of 6 books. I plan to read more of them.
  • An Oath of Bothers by Morgan Rice was one of the more unhappy books in the series. We are getting close to the end, and things seem to be falling apart more than ever. But in spite of that, I loved the book. There are three more books to go before we reach the end, and I am trying to spread them out a little because I don’t want to be finished with the series. I have really loved it.

I read two books of historical fiction:

  • The Shopkeeper by James D. Best is part of an interesting series taking place in the West in the late 1800s.  The main character, Steve Dancy, sold a successful business and moved West with the idea of writing about his adventures. He has so many adventures, though, that he doesn’t seem to have been able to write about any of them by the end of this book. Dancy is not entirely a likable character, but he is interesting. As the blurb on Amazon says, “Steve Dancy tales. Honest Westerns. Filled with dishonest characters.”  There are five books in the series, and I hope to read them all.
  • Uneasy Spirits by M. Louisa Locke is another in a series I have been reading for some time. Set in San Francisco at the same time Steve Dancy is working in Nevada, this book tells the story of Annie Fuller’s detective work, investigating some fraudulent spiritualists. It is a great story. Annie Fuller and her friends are all totally likable. This is the second book in the series, so it takes place before the last one I read. That wasn’t a problem at all, though. I really recommend these books!

I listened to three audiobooks, all of them Dr. Who stories:

I liked all three very much. The Marian Conspiracy was probably my favorite because I really enjoy history, and this story had The Doctor traveling to England when Queen Mary was on the throne.

I thought I might get more reading done last month because I had a week of break from classes, but somehow or other that didn’t happen. Not that I did anything else, really. But I am happy with the reading I got done. Let’s see how April goes!


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