Tagged: 2017 reading challenge

Whats In a Name Challenge 2017

What’s in a Name 2017 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

The What’s in a Name Reading Challenge hosted by The Worm Hole was a lot of fun. The challenge was to choose a book from each of six categories, write reviews of each of them, and post them on the appropriate pages at The Worm Hole. I’m happy to say that I have finished the challenge–my first real reading challenge ever. Here are the books I read in the order I read them, along with links to my reviews: A title which has an “X” somewhere in it: The Chronicles...

The Story Knife by Fr. Brad Reynolds, S.J.

Late last year when I was trying to find books for the What’s in a Name Reading Challenge, the hardest to find was a book whose title included “an item of cutlery.” After a lot of searching I finally settled on a book I had last read in 1996 when it first came out, The Story Knife, a mystery by Fr. Brad Reynolds, SJ. Fr. Reynolds is a Jesuit priest (like Pope Francis), and he happens to have grown up right here in Spokane, Washington, where I live. I...

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

What’s a clergyman to do when murder is committed in his home? Start investigating, that’s what, especially when Miss Marple lives next door. Leonard Clement is the vicar in St. Mary Mead, a small English village. He’s also the narrator of The Murder at the Vicarage, the first full length novel to feature Agatha’s Christie’s elderly sleuth Miss Jane Marple. When Colonel Protheroe is murdered in Clement’s study, the difficulty is not in finding a suspect, but in sorting through all the people who wanted him dead–including the vicar...

The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson

If you love genealogy, mysteries, or stories set in contemporary London, then you will likely enjoy The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson. Main character Jefferson Tayte is an American genealogist on a brief visit to London when he gets embroiled in an elaborate (and confusing) plot to topple the British monarchy. They key to the mystery lies in the genealogical records of the House of Stuart, but Tayte has to survive long enough to be able to solve it. This genealogical thriller is a quick and...

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

I had no idea when I began reading The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly that it was such a highly regarded mystery novel. I had heard of the movie starring Matthew McMcConaughey, so when the ebook went on sale for $2.99 I figured it was a pretty safe bet to be entertaining. It was all that and more. It’s no wonder that in 2006 it was awarded the Shamus Award and the Macavity Award for best mystery novel and, in 2010 was nominated for the Best Mystery Novel of...

Florence, Italy

Classics Club Book #13: Romola by George Eliot

Under every guilty secret there is hidden a brood of guilty wishes, whose unwholesome infecting life is cherished by the darkness. I chose to read Romola for the 2017 Back to the Classics Challenge as my “Classic set in a place you’d like to visit.” The story takes place in Florence, Italy, which is one of my bucket-list destinations. Written by George Eliot in 1863, Romola transports the reader to Florence in 1492, where the main characters rub elbows with Niccolo Machiavelli, Girolamo Savonarola, members of the Medici family,...

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

The Man in the Brown Suit is a mystery novel, but it also reads like a grand adventure. There’s a murder to be solved for sure, but there’s also espionage, a perilous sea voyage, diamond smuggling, kidnapping, a journey across Africa, and romance. Looking back, I’m amazed at how much Agatha Christie was able to fit into the novel. And yet, it didn’t seemed forced or crammed in. Here’s how the publisher describes the book: Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes...

Mountain of Books

Mount Vancouver TBR Checkpoint – October 2017

Wow, somehow I missed doing any checkpoints for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge, but at least I’ll get one in before the end of the year. TBR stands for “To Be Read,” and refers to the mountain of books that have been sitting on my shelves or in my Amazon cloud that I haven’t read yet. It’s the middle of October, and I’ve read 22 books on my way to Mount Vancouver, leaving me with 6 more books to go. Here are my finished books so far: The...

Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma

Classics Club Book #12: Emma by Jane Austen

The last time I read Jane Austen’s Emma was long before I had seen the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow. Since then I’ve seen the movie maybe half a dozen times, as it’s become one of my girls’ favorites. Because I’ve seen it so many times, the movie has overshadowed the book in my memory. So as I picked up my Kindle to read the novel for my Classics Club Challenge I was curious about how different the two might be and how the movie would stand up next to the...

Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen

Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen

One of the things I love most about reading on a Kindle is rediscovering books and authors I haven’t read in a long, long time. As I come across bargain books from my youth through ebook discount services like BookBub and Early Bird Books, I purchase them and put them on my ever-growing To-Be-Read list. That’s how I ended up re-reading one of my favorite books from the past, Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen. Empire of the East blends science fiction and fantasy in post-apocalyptic America.The story has...

Classics Club Book #11: O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman. O Pioneers! deserves more, but this is going to be a short review, because I’m catching up on reviewing books I read this summer. Willa Cather’s novel of the Nebraska prairie reminded me of Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley, which I read earlier this year. Both novels are beautifully written stories drawn from their authors’ childhood memories. In the case of O Pioneers!, the memories are of life on the plains of Nebraska,...

Lonesome Dove

Classics Club Book #10: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

He had known several men who blew their heads off, and he had pondered it much. It seemed to him it was probably because they could not take enough happiness just from the sky and the moon to carry them over the low feelings that came to all men. Lonesome Dove has been on my to-be-read list for over twenty years. A classic western and a Pulitzer prize winner, I’ve started it at least three times. I’ve even successfully avoided watching the Lonesome Dove TV miniseries all these years...

London Plague of 1665

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

Many consciences were awakened; many hard hearts melted into tears; many a penitent confession was made of crimes long concealed. It would wound the soul of any Christian to have heard the dying groans of many a despairing creature, and none durst come near to comfort them. Many a robbery, many a murder, was then confessed aloud, and nobody surviving to record the accounts of it. When A Journal of the Plague Year was first published in 1722 as the “Observations and Memorials” of a “citizen” who called himself...

Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm

The best thing I can say about Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm is that it helped me meet the letter “Z” requirement for my 2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. I forced myself to keep reading this dated satire long after I lost interest in it. From the publisher: Max Beerbohm’s only novel is a comic masterpiece set in the privileged environs of Judas College, Oxford. When beautiful prestidigitator Zuleika Dobson gains admittance to the all-male campus, romance is suddenly in the air. But the smitten undergraduates are out of...

The Sapphire Rose Banner

The Sapphire Rose by David Eddings

The Sapphire Rose is the final book in the David Eddings fantasy trilogy The Elenium, and overall it provides a satisfactory conclusion. There were even a few twists I wasn’t expecting. Rather than summarize the book and give away some of the events of the earlier two books, I will simply say that The Sapphire Rose continues to tell the story of Sparhawk’s quest to save his queen from death, while at the same time trying to prevent the evil god Azash from getting loose and wreaking havoc on the...