08 January 2022

Books I read in 2021


  1. The Kremlin Conspiracy, by Joel  C. Rosenberg,  espionage fiction Moscow and DC present day. Lots of set up of the character’s life but I liked him. It also had a mid action sort of ending clearly setting up the series. I don’t usually like not getting the full resolution but I really liked the book so expect I’ll pick up more of the series. 
  2. The Lost Man, by Jane Harper, mystery fiction Australian outback, present day ish. Library ebook. Enjoyed a haunted feeling reading this story and wondering where it was going. I will read more from her. 
  3. The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware, UK and On a ship and Norway. I tired of drunk and panicky protagonist and skimmed. I will try another Ruth Ware book as the story line was interesting.  Library ebook. 
  4. These is My Words, by Nancy Sutton, western territories mostly Arizona. Library audiobook. Based some on real stories. Compelling character or I would have stopped listening. The reader was very polished sounding for the story. Plus the library audiobook was poorly executed the last word in each chapter was cut off and one time it said switch to the next Cd.  That said I will not read more of this character. It was emotionally exhausting subject matter. I can highly recommend it though. 
  5. The 5th Horseman, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, San Francisco modern day, Murder Club series. Library ebook. I like these characters and pick one up now and then.  
  6. Portuguese irregular verbs, by Alexander McCall Smith, German university with a visit to Ireland and India. Very silly bit of mocking of Academia. Quick read. Library ebook. 
  7. The Guardians, by John Grisham, Georgia and Florida, a bit of soapboxing re justice system but I really enjoyed the characters. I listened to library audiobook, the character voices were very nicely done. 
  8. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas, set mostly in France, published in 1844. Epic book. I chose audio library book. Tedious copy of CDs but well read. “And so wait and hope.” Also a recommendation I might never have gotten around to otherwise.  I’ll miss this book. 
  9. The Word is Murder, by Anthony Horowitz, turns out this was nonfiction which I didn’t realize. I’d seen it on a list and liked the sound of it. I got the library ebook and got into the second chapter realizing it was based on real events. Really enjoyed it. It’s written very well he wrote for Foyles War and Midsomer Murders Tv shows. 
  10. Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz, mostly London. Fiction ebook. Liked the premise of the two books in one, an editor searching for the meaning in a novel after an unexpected death.  It was good but at times I couldn’t pick it up. I think I didn’t like some characters. But I can recommend his writing for sure. I eagerly got this after reading the previous book on my list but didn’t like it as much. 
  11. A Casualty of War, by Charles Todd, Mostly Britain during the final days of World War 1. This is the last one of this series. It is one of the few I’ve read every book. I loved these, this was the Bess Crawford series. I should check out one of the others. *heard later there may be more for this series. 
—— tried Montaigne in Barn Boots, by Michael Perry. Supposed to be humor and philosophy. Not my cup of tea. 
  1. Skyjack, by K. J. Howe, Thriller, ebook. Second in the series, I liked it. Four stars but a couple things that felt under researched distracted me (even though it is a well done book with lots of expert help). I like the strong protagonist. 
  2. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 1/2 Years Old, sort of fiction, author is secret and semi true. Entertaining. I did an audio book version with Derek Jacobi reading. Poignant and Delightful.  Recommended by a friend.  
  3. The Library of the Lost and Found,  by  Phaedra Patrick,  Fiction. Delightful book set in UK with books as a presence and impetus for changing later in life. Love this book. Library ebook. 
  4. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, by Balli Kaye Jaswal. Fiction Set in Indian sub culture in London. Listed on humor lists so I thought erotic was tongue in cheek. Well, the main plot is not erotic, but interesting characters and intrigue I enjoyed. Interspersed are the widows exaggerated stories. Again an entertaining book though I skipped over the little sexy stories often to get to the main plot. Ebook. 
  5. Tears of the Giraffe, by Allister McCall Smith, fiction mystery set in Botswana. Delightful, light reading with characters you’d enjoy having tea with. Library ebook. 
  6. The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton, fiction. Recommended. Not a traditional mystery but I enjoyed the unusual plot and the varied perspectives of a murder. Interesting concept. Set in a 1920s rich weekend house party environment. Very clean and I definitely can recommend this book.  Library audiobook, good voices. 
  7. Walk the Wire, by David Baldacci, 6th book in Amos Decker series. Set in a murder in the Fracking area in North Dakota. Complicated plot. I enjoyed it. The synesthesia aspect of the character is mostly absent this far into the series but the detective aspect is good. library ebook. 
  8. Last Days of Night, by Graham Moore,  fictional historical NYC based on true stories from the Current Wars in late 1800s. Very interesting and well written. Library audiobook. I enjoyed this both for the gatsby-esque time period as well as the semi true story drama. 
  9. The Third Twin, by Ken Follett, Baltimore area, mystery fiction, stand alone, library ebook. It has a copyright of 1996 and I found the descriptions of technology too specific and distracting. I debated if it was even behind the times for when it was written. Some formatting issues in the ebook or editing that caused dialogue to appear without line breaks between the characters speaking at times. That said, I really enjoyed the premise/plot. 
  10. Sworn to Silence, by Linda Castillo, mystery fiction, set in Ohio, library ebook. Police procedural a bit more detailed than I like. Set in Amish area with a former Amish police chief which gives a good twist to the series. This one had some dark themes, good writing but I couldn’t read this series straight through, too rough. But pick one up now and then. 
  11. The Chemist, by Stephanie Meyer, espionage fiction, DC and Texas, modern day. Library ebook. Enjoyed this plot and the characters a lot! Shocked to discover this is the Twilight author. No vampires or sexy weird at all here! 
  12. In for a Penny, by Kelsey Browning and Nancy Naigle, ebook, mystery fiction  southern Amateur Sleuth, Texas.  Fun characters, light read, well written. 
  13. The Woods, by Harlan Corben, mystery fiction, New Jersey, modern day. Audiobook. I read a lot of him and it was a safe pick on sale. Good characters and some twists I didn’t see coming. Good writer. 
  14. Lovable, by Kelly Flanagan. Nonfiction.audiobook. Lots to think about. May need to read again. 
  15. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt, fiction, audiobook. I know this is a best seller but I find her books long and the characters so introspective and full of themselves that I weary of them. I listened on fast speed. Clearly my opinion is the minority. A bit too literary for me while the plot had an interesting idea. I don’t think the characters changed much perhaps that’s why I don’t like  these. 
  16. Undertaking Irene, by Pamela Burton, cozy mystery fiction. Silly and easy read. Enjoyed the characters, fast moving. I’ll probably read more of the series at doomed point. Ebook. 
  17. Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, fiction 1898, Gothic. Library audiobook. Spooky! Rich atmosphere. Enjoyed it.  Would enjoy a conversation group for this one. Several movies have used this as a base. 
  18. The Apocalypse Watch, by Robert Ludlum, espionage fiction 1995. I struggled with hokey dialogue out of character for his writing. The main character was a bit too noir for me. Old technology  described a lot. The plot line of political opponents being planted and groomed for decades to take over when a crisis is triggered  was interesting and so I hung in there. Suspenseful ending. I read at the end his appreciation to his doctors from a heart attack or something cardiac. Made me wonder if he had help on the dialogue so it didn’t ring quite right. It was very long. Library ebook. 
  19. Get out of Your Head, by Jennie Allen, spiritual self help for transformation of thinking. I liked her style. She read the audiobook which kept it very real. I may buy the ebook to be able to flip through. Library audiobook. 
  20. Unforeseen, by Nick Pirog, fiction noir, old school 80s. Free set by Audible. Beware free sets. I won’t be finishing the set. I finished the one book to see what happened but no more. Old technology, old tough guy attitude. Ick. Probably was fine or unremarkable when it was written. 
  21. After Paul left Corinth: the influence of secular ethics and social change. By Bruce W. Winter. Hard reading maybe a thesis project but interesting cultural implications particularly in comparison of contemporary documents and word usage. Nonfiction. 
  22. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson, mystery suspense. Listed on some favorites lists so I picked it up. Not current but creepy and suspenseful. Library ebook. 
  23. A Nice Class of Corpse, by Simon Brett. Mystery fiction. I like his writing and it is old school British in the vein of Agatha Christie. I will read more of this series. Library ebook. 
  24. The Searcher, by Tana French. Mystery fiction set in Ireland contemporary. She’s a good writer. Brood-some and interesting characters. I didn’t like some people in er series but this stand alone worked for me. Library ebook. 
  25. The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane SetterfIeld, set in UK, contemporary but written in gothic style, mystery but vague on time period. Good writing, spooky. Ebook. 
  26. Mrs., Presumed Dead, by Simon Brett, UK 1980s, Mrs. Pargeter novel 2, delightful light mysteries. Library ebook. 
  27. Eight Perfect Murders, by Peter Swanson, Boston, New England. Mystery. Audiobook. Premise is: a book list and a bookstore owner. Interesting.
  28. I am C-3PO, by Anthony Daniels, delightful memoir of his experiences in costume, acting, and all the variety of directors and film sets. Nonfiction audiobook. You have got to do the audiobook because he reads it and he is so delightfully droll.
  29. Loveable, by Kelly Flanagan, nonfiction, self help, audiobook. Quick read. Lingering ideas to think on. Recommend. 
  30. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra,  by Vaseem Khan, mystery set in India. Audiobook. Enjoyed this light and fun book. 
  31. The Bodies Left Behind, by Jeffery Deaver, mystery, cop book set in Wisconsin. A huge amount of the book is in the woods in one night. Good suspense. The amazing thing was thinking the book was over after that and so much more happened. Good read. 
  32. An Unexpected Grief, by C.S. Lewis, paperbook, nonfiction. Very personal and real.  A one day read. 
  33. Six Years, by Harlan Corben, mystery, audiobook, New York state I think, I don't recall since I forgot to write this one down immediately. I love the premise of losing a love and then someone denying they were who they were. The idyllic relationships seemed a bit of a stretch but hey, it's fiction. He's a good writer. 
  34. Paradise Lodge, by Nina Stibbe, UK Leichester, 1970s, fiction, very funny coming of age type story.  Laughed out loud several times. 
  35. The Risk Agent, By Ridley Pearson, espionage action fiction. Set in China. Enjoyed the complexity of the character  connections. He is a very suspenseful writer. I’d forgotten about him and I’m glad to find some new books. 
  36. I am half sick of shadows, by Alan Bradley, series set in 1950s UK, mystery Flavia de Luce child sleuth.  These are fun. Library audiobook. This one is Christmas themed so I waited until December.
  37. Singapore Sapphire, by AM Stuart, historical mystery. Sympathetic and interesting characters.audiobook. I’ll probably pick up more of the series. 
  38. Weight of Glory, CS Lewis, series of talks he gave at Oxford in 1940s. Audiobook.  Rich. You could re-read it to absorb more.