07 January 2023

Books Read in 2022

Audiobooks boosted my numbers as did a better library access portal. I read two in the series by Harlan Coben in one year. I drift through series but intend to pick up several series in 2023 that I've only hit one or two books. I abandoned two books this year. Both audio and both purchased. Bummer. Favorites hard to pick:  Whistling in the Dark was an unexpectedly great read and a different kind of story. Non Fiction: Prayer in the Night was also very different and a nice change. Happy Reading! 

  1. The Murder Stone, by Charles Todd, historical mystery fiction, WW I, ebook. Stand alone.  Great writing. Always enjoy Todd. (began in 2021 finished on Jan. 3) ebook
  2. The Body Keeper, by Anne Frasier, detective fiction set in Minneapolis in winter. Rich setting and characters. Good writing a bit heavier on themes. ebook
  3. The Haunts of Men, by Susan Hill, detective fiction UK Lepperton. Liked the characters and setting but a bit dark at the end. I will probably read more of the series Detective Simon Serrailer but he wasn't as big a player as someone else in the book so that gave him a lot of mystery. ebook
  4. Moonfleet, by J Meade Faulkner, fiction originally 1898, adventure story UK, original version of the idea of Bluebeard the pirate. Audiobook
  5. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, fiction 1960s. Audiobook. A friend kept saying the book was so much better than the movie so I read it. The audio actors were terrific. A great book. 
  6. 1984, by George Orwell,  alternative history fiction, audiobook  library. I couldn’t remember if I’d read this in school so decided to give it a shot. I either saw a movie or read it as I remembered as I went. Thought provoking but dreary and at time haunting of things occurring. 
  7. Anxious People, by Fredrick Backman,  fiction Sweden but not Stockholm, billed as humor. It had very funny bits but a more emotional poignant drama than I’d imagined. He's a good writer with rich stories and characters. I'll wait awhile before I pick up another one. 
  8. Murder with Puffins, by Donna Andrews, mystery fiction island off coast of Maine. On a humorous books list.  Cute but corny at least for my present state of mind. It was also written in late 80s/early 90s so a bit outdated. Interesting how some books hold and others seem dated.
  9. Death of a poison pen, by M. C. Beaton, mystery  Fiction, set in Scotland. Heavy on the accents. Cozy. Enjoyable characters. 1980s but I respect that they updated them a bit for digital release.  I pick up a Hamish MacBeth mystery every now and then. Library ebook. 
  10. A Deadly Influence, by Mark Omer, Mystery Fiction, NY, modern  day. Main character is a hostage negotiator who had been in a cult as a child. Really liked the characters. Writing was good and I will read more of this author. Audiobook. 
  11. A Prayer in the Night, For those who Work or Watch or Weep, by Tish Harrison Warren. Nonfiction. One of the best personal spiritual growth pieces I've read. Or maybe the fact I read it with insomnia made it hit me more than usual. Often reading a chapter at 4 am. ebook. 
  12. Bootlegger’s Daughter, by Margaret Maron, mystery fiction, North Carolina 1992. Had good ratings. It was entertaining but I probably won’t be reading the series. Too sort of stereotypical with politics and the south and the 1990s. 
  13. Orphan X, by Gregg Hurwitz,  tecno thriller, LA area. Lots of hardware and fight description. Suspenseful. Not sure if I’ll do more of these. 
  14. Pretty Girls, by Karen Slaughter, mystery suspense fiction, set in Atlanta GA area. Audio library book. Very suspenseful. Good twists. Was a bit graphic on the crimes. 
  15. Tell me Who I am, by Alex and Marcus Lewis with Joanna Hodgkin. Nonfiction Memoir,  London, Sussex, UK. Recommended by friend who said read then watch the series on Netflix. What a story! Crazy what can happen in real life. Not a spoiler: I’m always strangely fascinated by head injury stories. Not sure if I’ll watch the series. Hard stuff happened and I may not need a second round of it. 
  16. Blood Money, by Thomas Perry, mystery fiction all over the USA, liked the characters and the mafia element. Perry is a classic. This was 1999 but the tech was so light it didn't distract. Library ebook.
  17. The Boy from the Woods, by Harlan Coben. mystery fiction, around New York, New Jersey. If this is the start of a series, I'll be back to read more.  I think Harlan has become a favorite for me, always rich characters and engaging plots without anything garish or vulgar.  I also like stand alone books  that I don't feel committed by order of books in a series and he does a lot of those so it's easy to pick one up and move on to others. 
  18. Rising Strong, by Brene Brown, recommended and read in both audio and paper. Self Help, brain work. 
  19. The Accident, by Chris Pavone, New York and various parts of the world. I liked Expats the previous book by Pavone. This was suspenseful but there was way to much included research on each neighborhood in New York City. If it had forwarded the plot every time, okay, but I felt bogged down. I know other people really like the scene setting. It was a good story line. I liked the ending and appreciated a lot of the plot twists. 
  20. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett, 1978, WWII UK. This was on some of those must read in a life time lists and I was in the mood for espionage. I did this as audiobook and it was so good. I had trouble stopping it toward the end. Interesting characters. 
  21. The Liar's Girl, by Catherine Ryan Howard, set in Dublin modern day and 10 years ago. Mystery suspense. Audiobook. I'm on the fence. I enjoyed the writing. The main character irritated me at times so I grew weary a bit but there were some good plot twists. Won't rush out for the next one. 
  22. The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig, set in 1910 mostly as flashbacks in homesteading Montana focusing on a small one room school and one family. I don't remember where I read the recommendation but I had this one hanging out there and after that last book I needed something to clear my palate so to speak that had nothing to do with mysteries. This was well written and engaging - especially considering this is not a genre I pick up. Not quite western but settlers. Characters were rich and engaging and the main character had to make tough decisions as a very bright kid. 
  23. The  Midnight Library, by Matt Haig. Fiction, an alternative reality  life experience that brings to light the value of living right where you are, no matter what to the main character. UK present day. Library ebook. Interesting concept. Good sentiment. Heavier than 'feel good' despite the lists. 
  24. Whistling in the dark, by Lesley Kagen, mystery fiction, Milwaukee 1960s?, little girl is the protagonist. Suspenseful and well written. I’d seen it recommended  and it was discounted so I bought it.  Ebook. Highly recommend. 
  25. The Survivors, by Jane Harper, fiction, present day Australian small beach town. I enjoy her writing. Not traditional mystery in my view but suspenseful full of complicated character relationships. Audiobook library loan. 
  26. The Ghost Runner by Parker Bilal, mystery fiction. Main character Makana, an immigrant detective in Egypt 2002. Complicated rich culture and plot. A bit dark. Used Paperback. 
  27. Caught, by Harlan Coben, mystery fiction, modern New Jersey. It was a good complicated plot with a challenging though very subtle character development challenges for the book people and me too. 
  28. The Broken Girls, by Simone St James, mystery fiction,  set in Vermont 1950s, and present day parallel stories. This story had murder, cops, ghosts, everything. I bought it thinking it was an author I knew but it was a new one to me. It was an enjoyable audiobook. 
  29. Need to know, by Karen Cleveland, set in DC CIA but a family situation. It was good writing. A review in the front section sort of gave some of the idea away at least to my suspicion mind. It was tense and written well. I wasn’t always with the protagonist. I might try something else by this author in future. 
  30. The Soul of Shame, by Curt Thompson MD, nonfiction, brain work, research, challenges to tackle stuff. Written with a Christian world view. Many practical tips to apply to life, work, family. So much of society issues root in shame. Audiobook.
  31. The Poet, by Michael Connolly, murder mystery, 1996, Denver, FBI, LA settings. He tends to be on the darker side. Complicated plots. Older tech some dated aspects but it didn’t overwhelm the story. Ebook
  32. The Case of the Reincarnated Client, by Tarquín Hall, India, private detective. Always enjoy these characters and the audiobook reader is so good. Audiobook.
  33. Troubled Blood, by Robert Galbraith, UK mystery fiction, London. Library audiobook. 5th in the series. Compelling characters that I enjoy yet some what dark so I don't read the series quickly. 
  34. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George, fiction. Modern day-ish Paris and Provence. I love French flavors and enjoyed the audio readers in this library audiobook and the atmosphere. Charming. I found this title on a list of feel good books in addition to The Midnight Library. I'm beginning to think "feel good" is code for overcoming something really dreadful. So not what I'd call light but it turns around. 
  35. Uprooting Ernie, by Pamela Buford, Mystery Fiction current day Long Island, NY. Light comedic story telling. Easy read. 
  36. Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear, mystery fiction WWI and next 10 years. Audio library book. Good easy read. I didn't totally buy all the special insight and meditation aspects but I liked the characters. 
  37. Invisible, by James Patterson and Dave Ellis,  mystery suspense. Library audiobook. Enjoyed the twists and turns here very much.  I imagine these themes wouldn’t be published today. It was written in 2014. Thought provoking. 
  38. Midnight in the Garden of good and Evil, by John Berendt. Documentary of a crime. I read this as I’d seen write ups about this book and the film that seemed to set it in a classic type. I unfortunately didn’t enjoy it though you felt you really knew the extraordinary characters in a extraordinary city. Library audiobook. Glad it was finished. 
  39. Tornado weather, by Deborah E. Kennedy. One of the award winners from Bouchercon mystery awards. I was quite disappointed by the themes and characters. I think the innovative writing style with a different character voice for each chapter perhaps made it award worthy. Ebook. 
  40. The Question of the Missing Head by EJ Copperman and Jeff Cohen, mystery. Light and enjoyable with an Asperger’s main character. Audiobook. 
  41. Lightning Strike, William Kent Krueger, mystery fiction small town Minnesota. Interesting twists. I thought I was picking up a stand alone book. It was number 19 in a series. Disappointing because it's really good but I know myself and I won't go back to the beginning but I will read more from here. This one was his childhood event so it could almost be a stand alone. Good read. Library ebook. 
  42. Open Season, by Linda Howard, small town Alabama billed as a cozy mystery, it was a romance with a side of mystery. Not bad writing, but I don't want to know who touched what in such detail - which romances seem intent on telling you. audiobook. 
  43. The Power of Regret, How Looking Backward Moves us Forward, by Daniel H. Pink, nonfiction research on regret. Recommended to me. Really incredible info and tempting to read again or go find the worksheets. Really useful thinking themes. Audiobook. 
  44. Crime on the Fens, by Joy Ellis, crime fiction UK, modern time. Really liked the characters and the angst but then adjustment between them. I will definitely read more of this series. Audiobook.
  45. Body Movers, by Stephanie Bond, mystery modern day New York suburban settings, first few chapters were hard going but I ended up really liking the characters. A bit zany and will definitely read more here. Audiobook.
  46. Why Me? Stories of Suffering and overcoming, by Roger Carswell. Non Fiction, Paperbook.
  47. The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D., by Nichole Bernier, fiction drama. Very compelling and complex characters. Definitely the kind of thing you want to discuss after. Painful but emotions rang true.  Related to characters. Ebook. 
  48. Slow Horses, by Mick Herron, British secret intelligence rejects fall into a complicated situation. A darker story. I have not seen the tv series but I will read more of these characters. Library ebook. 
  49. In Such Good Company, by Carol  Burnett, a memoir. Library audiobook.  Enjoyed it! 
  50. What Angels Fear, by C.S. Harris, historical murder mystery fiction. Audiobook. Good reader and written well. Lots of twists and turns in the plot. First of a series. I’ll likely do more. 
  51. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, Kentucky 1930s. Audiobook library. Great reader, terrific plot based on blue people of Kentucky. I was engaged all the way through and intrigued by the time and place. Highly recommend. 
  52. Finlay Donovan is Killing it, by Elle Cosimano, library ebook. DC area modern day mystery. This book had the right mix of humor, plot, mystery and characters I was interested in. I will read more of this series. 
  53. The Match, by Harlan Coben, mystery fiction, Wilde series.  NYC and mountains-woods outside city. Liked this second book in series as much as the first. Library ebook. Love this author. 
  54. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, by Rachel Joyce. UK across country. Drama. Very good writing. I liked the characters and the unexpected way the story played out. Had melancholy moments but a good story. 
  55. The Missing American, by Kwei Quartey, mystery fiction set in Ghana. Library Audiobook. Interesting corruption, characters and plot lines. I could definitely read more of the series. 
  56. The Bone Garden, by Tess Gerritsen, Boston mostly in history 1830s but also with a current day plot. Ebook.
  57. The Carmarthen Murders, by John Nicholl, UK Wales modern day detective mystery. Started engaging but turned the detective into a caricature rather than deepening as it went. Strange ending, not unjustified but focused on victim's action not the detectives. I don't think I'll read more of these though they were not poorly done, dark and then odd unjustified occurrences with the characters. 
  58. Billy Summers, by Stephen King, USA several places. Good writing again an ending that left me unsatisfied despite deep character involvement. 
Unfinished: Win the Day, by Mark Batterson (audio nonfiction) just felt like I had the idea and it was repeating so I decided I was done. Bitter is the New Black, by Jen Lancaster. Audiobook. Couldn't finish black is the new snobby I deserve better and apparently I had trouble getting into the humor. Maybe my frame of mind. Writing wasn't bad in either case and I got through more than half the books but just couldn't keep going.