Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

September reading

Last month’s reading tapered off from what I did in August.  Actually, it fell off the side of a cliff.  There was no tapering about it.

I read 2 non-fiction books:

  • Million Dollar Professionalism for the Writer by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta  was a short but worthwhile book about how to avoid shooting yourself in the foot as an author – how not to burn bridges or alienate people unnecessarily.   It is, as it says, about being a professional. A lot of it seems like common sense, but obviously — judging from the real-life examples in the book — it needs to be said. It is a good book for anyone thinking about writing as a career.
  • We Were Soldiers, Too: The Unknown Battle to defend the Demilitarized Zone Against North Korea During the Cold War by Bob Kern was an interesting read. I admit to not knowing much about the Korean Conflict or what goes on near the DMZ today, so I really found it enlightening. The book is basically the stories of several men who served there since the war “ended”. Probably because of that, it was a little uneven. Sometimes terms were explained in more detail than was necessary and other times they were not explained at all. The book could have used a good copy editor, too. But in spite of those complaints, I am glad I read the book. I learned things that I had not known. Kern has written a couple other books in this series. I probably won’t read them, but you might if you are more interested in the military than I am.

 

I only read four mysteries, three of them by authors I knew I liked, and one by an author that I can now add to that list:

  • Deadly Lode by Randall Reneau was a good story. This is the first in a 4-book series. I have already read the last two books, so there were some things that I knew that Trace didn’t as he moved through his days. It didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the story, although parts of it were kind of bittersweet as a result of that knowledge. As always with this series, I learned more about mining and geology. I will definitely try to read the second book before too long. Reneau has another series started, and I already have the first book in that one, so I will probably try it soon. Reneau is a good writer and a good storyteller.
  • St. Paul Conspiracy by Roger Stelljes is the second book in what is currently a six-book series. It is the third one I have read, and I enjoyed this one as much as I did the others. Of course, I was again privy to some knowledge that Mac didn’t have since I have read books number three and four, but that was not a problem at all. Mac McRyan is a likable guy, and he and his friends are good cops. I really enjoyed this book!
  • A Bodkin for the Bride by Patrice Greenwood is the fourth book in the series and the third one I have read. I enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes it seems like Ellen is able to be a little too involved in the murders that take place, but I can suspend disbelief enough to really enjoy the stories. In addition, I have learned a lot about a wide range of topics. As I have noted before, I really like learning something from the books I read.
  • Blood Orchids by Toby Neal is, amazingly, the first book in this series. I really enjoyed it. Set in Hawaii and written by someone who was raised there, it offered a lot of knowledge about the islands. The story was good, and the characters were engaging. I plan to read more of these books.

OK, that’s all the time I have right now. I’ll finish the report tomorrow!

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