Sunday, October 31, 2021

Vanilla Vendetta

 I finally started this series by Rosie A Point.  I have had it checked out in my Kindle Unlimited account for months now.  I'm not really sure what I think of the series yet.  I will finish the other 2 in the box set before deciding whether I will continue on with the series or not.  
The book was a quick and easy read that I finished within a day but I did find the main character a bit annoying.  Charlie is a spy in hiding and I found that concept to be a bit far fetched for some reason.  I think I found her character to be over the top and not very believable.  I guess I just have trouble visualizing James Bond/Mission Impossible being a character in a cozy mystery.   The series is titled Mission Inn Possible, playing on the surname of the owner of the B&B that is central to the story.  I guess that should be an indication that it is meant to be somewhat cheeky and a play on the theme.

As mentioned, I will continue to give the next 2 books a try before I make a final decision on the series.  Maybe the characters will grow on my as they develop in the series.  


Vanilla VendettaVanilla Vendetta by Rosie A. Point
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My verdict is still out on this series. While I ended up liking the mystery and the characters, the premise behind our main character's arrival in Gossip, TX seemed a bit fanciful. The spy in hiding felt a bit over the top for me but Ms. Point did a wonderful job of progressing Charlie from a high strung spy to settling into her role as a maid at a B&B. The guilty party was a bit of a surprise so that will keep the reader guessing. If you don't mind a cozy with a bit of a stretch on the back story of the main detective then this is a good series to try.

View all my reviews


  

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. AtoZ   #2021AtoZReadingChallenge  #AlphabetSoupChallenge   "V"
  2. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #124
  3. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #138
  4. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #81
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #118
  6. Craving for Cozies  Book #99
  7. Pick your Poison #19-1 A book about secret societies/clubs 
  8. Backpacking Bookworm  #bbReadingChallenge2021 
  9. Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tags
  10. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scenes 
      • Row 3
        • Bar, store, restaurant
    • Weapons
      • Row 1 
        • Poison, poisoned food
    • Detectives- Charlie/ Gamma
    • Victims- Pete 
  11. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #76  Shot #1


   

Saturday, October 30, 2021

I Survived Hurricane Katrina

 This is the 3rd book in the I Survived series for children.  I picked this book because I had a prompt to read a non fiction book about a weather disaster.  I mistakenly thought this was non fiction when I first checked it out from the library.  I think for the purposes of my challenge I may tweak the prompt to count this unless I can come up with another book for that prompt before year end.  

The book itself was very vivid and it was easy to imagine being caught up in the storm and the ensuing flooding.  The characters' emotions and experiences are well written without being too terrifying for a young reader.  The author hits her target audience well, providing facts that occurred in real life and combining it with a story they can relate to.   I am glad I read this book


Hurricane Katrina, 2005Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Moving story

This is a well told story. The emotions and descriptions were vivid and believable. It was easy to visualize the things Barry was experiencing. Although it is a children's book I enjoyed reading it and found it engaging

View all my reviews


 

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #117
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  LA
  3. Pick your Poison #23-2 A nonfiction* book about a weather related disaster 


Hook, Line, and Murder

 This is the 54th book in the Murder, She Wrote series by Jessica Fletcher.  This one has a good plot that is more about a missing person than solving a murder which makes for a nice change.  It is also easy at times to feel empathy toward the villain and to dislike some of the good guys.  This is due to the depth of motives/reasoning that is explained in the story.  If you like fishing and outdoor adventure this book has plenty of that included in its plot and description.  There is also a bit of an unexpected twist at the end which is a bit unusual for this series.  All in all this is a good installment in the long written series.


Hook, Line and MurderHook, Line and Murder by Jessica Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An enjoyable installment in the series. I liked that it involved another strong female lead along with Jessica Fletcher. The story of a fugitive in Maine seemed probable as did the revenge aspect of the story. There is a good twist toward the end that made for an added plus

View all my reviews


  

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #116
  2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2021  Murder She Wrote #46
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #126
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #137
  5. Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2021   
  6. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #80
  7. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #117
  8. Craving for Cozies  Book #98
  9. Medical Examiner Challenge  Toe Tags
  10. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scenes 
      • Row 1
        • Boat
    • Weapons
      • Row 4
        • Push or fall
    • Detectives- Jessica
    • Victims- Wes Caruthers
  11. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #12  Shot #6


Friday, October 29, 2021

Foul Play

 Installment # 59 in the Stone Barrington series by Stuart Woods turned out to be a bit surprising.  There were more twists and turns than a typical book in this series.  The client is also a bit more layered than many of them- it is not really clear whether he is innocent and naive or a manipulator in disguise.   This book will have Stone flying back and forth to the Cape and CA.  If you like to travel vicariously through your books and characters you will enjoy all the descriptions of flying private and glamourous living.  Of course it wouldn't be a book about Stone without bedroom scenes but these are more implied than many of the other books in the past- I must say I enjoy this format more; it's kind of like a movie cutting to the doorway and then the post action scene as the resumption of the story.  The series will keep everyone engaged to see where Stone and Holly's relationship goes going forward.  Always a fun thriller to read and this one even had a bit of a shocking ending


Foul PlayFoul Play by Stuart Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a bit more surprising than many of the Stone Barrington books. There were definitely more twists and turns than many of the recent installments. While Stone is definitely following in his bedroom tryst ways, there is a bit of a hint at developing the relationship with Holly Barker in a different direction than previously expected. The readers will have to stay tuned to see how that turns out. The client in this book is a bit different and it is hard to ascertain his motives at times- is he innocent victim or a behind the scenes manipulator? The journey to finding out the truth is quite exciting.

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #115 
  2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2021  Series 3 Stone Barrington #59 
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #122
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #136
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #116
  6. Medical Examiner Challenge  3 Toe Tags
  7. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scenes 
      • Row 1
        • Airplane or airport
      • Row 5
        • Home or business office
    • Weapons
      • Row 2 
        • Hand gun
      • Row 3
        • Bomb or explosion
    • Detectives-Stone/Dino
    • Victims- Rod & Shep Treadhouse; Victor Kranik
  8. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #5b  Shot #2

  

The Picture of Dorian Gray

 Well  I must say that between my book club and the challenges I have read a number of books that I would not have chosen otherwise this year.  This book by Oscar Wilde certainly falls in that category.  There is a story that is captivating in itself but then there is a much deeper philosophical discussion going on within the book as well. You can definitely see the influence of Wilde's life and experiences in this work and it definitely feels like a great big stick it to the upper class of England  novel as well.  This is definitely a novel with layers and it feels like a gothic novel with some super natural elements as well.  If you are looking for a classic for the Halloween season this would be a good choice



The Picture of Dorian GrayThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow is this book a bit creepy and deep. Definitely not a quick read but it is engrossing. Makes you stop and think about who is good and evil in the world. Definitely need to remember the era it was written in when reading it. A good classic that isn't necessarily heavily read.

View all my reviews



Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #114
  2. Beat the Backlist #BTB2021  #16 banned book 
  3. 2021TBR  #2021ReadingChallenge # 3 friend recommendation 
  4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #121
  5. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #135
  6. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #12. A book you have seen on someone’s bookshelf
  7. BooklistQueen   #16. Published in the 1800s 
  8. NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2021  #8 written pre 1900
  9. While I was Reading  #1 A book published before 2000
  10. Pick your Poison #11-4 A book with a monster on the cover 
  11. Bloggers Bookshelf   #bloggersbookshelf #15 mentioned in a tv show or film 
  12. Beyond the Bookends  mental health fiction

  

Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Long Quiche Goodbye

 I have previously read other cozy works by this author written under the pseudonym of Daryl Wood Gerber, but this is the first I have read in the Cheese Shop series.    I enjoyed the characters in this book very much and look forward to reading more stories with them included.  Aames does a wonderful job of creating characters you like a lot and others you really do NOT like at all.  Some of the antagonists have a bit of extreme behavior- think Real Housewives meet a cozy mystery, that at times seems a bit ludicrous but the story still works.   It is wonderful to see the interactions of 3 generations of a family in this story and there are some realistic parenting moments that many readers will relate to perhaps.  

All in all I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series.   If you like cheese at all, your mouth will water at the descriptions and pairings presented. 



The Long Quiche GoodbyeThe Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great start to a cozy mystery set in OH. Charlotte and her cousin Matthew are hosting a reopening gala for the family Fromagerie when a business nemesis if found murdered. Unfortunately their Grandmere, Bernadette, is the one who finds him and is the suspected killer. Charlotte works with her assistant, Rebecca, to find the guilty party and prove her grandmother innocent. This is all the while she is running the business, helping raise her twin nieces and attempting to start a budding romance. There are plenty of suspects to go around and Charlotte makes some monumental faux pas while trying to solve the chase. The series is off to a good start with this book and the wine and cheese info is delicious sounding as well.

View all my reviews


Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #113
  2. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #120
  3. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #134
  4. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #79
  5. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #115
  6. Craving for Cozies  Book #97
  7. Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tags
  8. Beachcomber Challenge  
    • Crime Scenes 
      • Row 4
        • Street or sidewalk
      • Weapons
        • Row 2 
          • Knife
      • Detectives- Charlotte/Rebecca
      • Victims- Ed Woodhouse
    • Six Shooter Challenge  Target #66  Shot #2


    Wednesday, October 27, 2021

    Kilt Dead

     I had read a previous installment of the Liss MacCrimmon series by Kaitlyn Dunnett last year.  I had selected that book because it fulfilled the "X" requirement in my alphabet challenge.  I usually try to read series from the beginning but this was an exception.  I did feel the fact I had read a future book did not ruin this book although it would have been better to read them in order as certain facts about the central characters make it a bit predictable since I had read a future book.  If you like cozy mysteries with strong young and older women in the primary detective role then you will like this book.  Additionally, anyone interested in Scottish heritage and goods will find this book a fun read.


    Kilt DeadKilt Dead by Kaitlyn Dunnett
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This is the first in the series set in a small town in Maine. Liss is a great character coming back to her hometown after a min unexpected end to her career. The book centers around her Scottish heritage and her Aunt’s Emporium. The story has many likeable and unlikeable characters. The mystery unravels and an unexpected suspect is revealed. The book does a great job of balancing the mystery with character and relationships developing as Liss reacquainted herself with HS friends as she tries to solve the mystery

    View all my reviews


    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #112
    2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2021  Liss MacCrimmon #1
    3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #119
    4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book # 133
    5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #78
    6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #114
    7. Craving for Cozies  Book #96
    8. Pick your Poison #7-3 A book with a plaid cover
    9. Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tags
    10. Beachcomber Challenge  
      • Crime Scenes 
        • Row 3
          • Bar, store, restaurant
      • Weapons
        • Row 4
          • Push or fall
      • Detectives- Liss
      • Victims- Ms. Norton
    11. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #75  Shot #1


    Fish Out of Water

     This was a fun new cozy mystery by Marc Jedel.  I came across this book in Kindle Unlimited and decided to give it a go.  I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the mystery.   In a genre filled with single women as the central amateur detectives, this book veers on a different course.  Jedel, created a married couple as the center of the story.  He takes it one step further by alternating voices as the narrator; switching between the husband and wife. This made for a very enjoyable book since the 2 characters are very different personalities so the different perspectives where generally very obvious.  Occasionally, I would forget who the "I" was in the storyline and have to check for the heading at the beginning of the chapter but usually it was unnecessary.   

    The mystery itself was well developed and the criminal was not revealed until the end as the story intended.  I look forward to reading more in the series as well as trying the Silicon Valley based series by the author as well.  

    Fish Out of WaterFish Out of Water by Marc Jedel
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    I really enjoyed this cozy. The mystery structure was well written and complex with multiple layers. Plenty of disagreeable characters that lead to many suspects. I think the thing I liked most though was the characters. Instead of a single woman recovering from some relationship tragedy this book is about Elizabeth and Josh, a married couple. The point of view alternates between the two and makes a unique take on the cozy mystery genre. I really look forward to reading more in the series

    View all my reviews


    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

    1. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  AR
    2. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #
    3. Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2021   
    4. Cozy Mysteries   #3 male author
    5. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #77
    6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #113
    7. Craving for Cozies  Book #95
    8. Medical Examiner Challenge  1 Toe Tags
    9. Beachcomber Challenge  
      • Crime Scenes 
        • Row 4
          • Street or sidewalk
      • Weapons
        • Row 2 
          • Rock, brick, blunt object
      • Detectives- Elizabeth/Josh
      • Victims- Duncan
    10. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #74  Shot #1


    Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    Murder at Marble House

     This cozy by Alyssa Maxwell is the 2nd installment in her Gilded Newport series.  This story centers around a woman, Emma, who is a bit of an rebel for her time.  She is a cousin of the Vanderbilt family and finds herself at the center of an investigation into the murder of a medium at her Aunt's home.  She must delicately investigate the murder and its relationship to the disappearance of her cousin, Constance, from Marble House.  The cozy gives the reader a glimpse into the past and the wealth of the Vanderbilt's and their peers in Newport, RI in the 1900s.   The mystery is well written and it is interesting to read about a woman who is challenging the norm or her era; all the while experiencing many of the same struggles woman face in the modern era.  


    Murder at Marble HouseMurder at Marble House by Alyssa Maxwell
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Enjoyable historic cozy featuring the Vanderbilts and their cousin Emma Cross. Set in Newport in the gilded age this is a charming series with a strong female lead who has a firm resilience. She is strong willed and independent in an era when women were to be proper and run a household. She is inspiring in her determination and her desire to do as she believes is right not just what others think she should do. The mystery itself is well structured and compelling including the motivations for the crimes.

    View all my reviews


    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #111
    2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes  Rhode Island
    3. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2021  
    4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #118
    5. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #132
    6. Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2021   
    7. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #76
    8. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #112
    9. Craving for Cozies  Book #94
    10. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #14
    11. Medical Examiner Challenge  2 Toe Tags
    12. Beachcomber Challenge  
      • Crime Scenes 
        • Row 5
          • Garden, park, gazebo
          • Beach or shoreline
      • Weapons
        • Row 5
          • Hands or fists
      • Detectives- Emma/Derrick/Jesse
      • Victims- Ellen Deveraux/ Lady Alexa
    13. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #38  Shot #2

    Monday, October 25, 2021

    Steampunk Poe

     This is the first book I have ever truly DNF'd.   There have been other books I lost interest in and set aside to never have picked up again yet, but this one I made a conscience decision to stop reading.  I had selected this book to meet a prompt regarding steampunk.  I am still glad I did so as I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the book at all the illustrations.  I just could not adjust to Poe's reading style.  I tried several of the stories- Tell Tale Heart (reread),  The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher and the poem the Raven.   I just struggled to read the language and finally decided to stop instead of forcing myself through the book just because it's a classic author and a book I picked up at the library.  Boy did it feel good to make that decision.




    Steampunk: PoeSteampunk: Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    I must admit I ended up DNF thins book. I just could not get past the formal old style of writing. I tried reading 3 stories and several poems but just found myself not enjoying the reading. I gave this a 3 star because the steampunk illustrations were wonderful. I found myself lingering over the drawings and really seeing them relate to the stories Poe wrote. If you enjoy the classics and Poe this is a book worth checking out

    View all my reviews


    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #110
    2. Beat the Backlist #BTB2021  #49 written in verse
    3. 2021TBR  #2021ReadingChallenge #  9 a classic 
    4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #117
    5. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #131
    6. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #13
    7. BooklistQueen   #9 Poetry
    8. Monthly Motif #MonthlyMotifGXO  - Shadow/ black cover
    9. 52 books in 52 weeks  #3-4 steampunk


    Sunday, October 24, 2021

    A Flock of an Alibi

     This was an anthology that I discovered through one of the author newsletters I receive.  Since it was free on Kindle Unlimited I decided to give it a try.  Each of the stories is a short novella cozy.   Some involve murder, others alternate types of crimes.  They all had the common theme of a flamingo as a central part of the story.   The short stories were a quick and enjoyable read and I will certainly try more books by the various authors.



    A Flock of an AlibiA Flock of an Alibi by Verena DeLuca
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Fun flamingo featured anthology

    Great variety of cozy novellas. Some funnier others more intentional in their mysteries. Hard not to end up with a smile while reading these stories all centered around the beautiful pink bird

    View all my reviews


      

    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


    1. Beat the Backlist #BTB2021  #43 anthology
    2. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #75
    3. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #111
    4. Craving for Cozies  Book #93
    5. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2021 #9. AN ANTHOLOGY
    6. Medical Examiner Challenge  3 Toe Tags
    7. Beachcomber Challenge  
      • Crime Scenes 
        • Row 4
          • Hotel room
          • Swimming pool, spa, jacuzzi
      • Weapons
        • Row 4
          • Push or fall
        • Row 5
          • Medicine or drugs


    Saturday, October 23, 2021

    Murder in Season

     This is book 52 in the Murder She Wrote series penned by Jessica Fletcher and co authors.  This is the first I have read with the new author Jon Land and I must say he gave a bit of a refreshing feel to the series.  The storyline was a bit less predictable while still including the mainstay of characters in Cabot Cove.  Jessica has just returned to her home after a major renovation due to fire and her nephew Grady and his family come for the holidays.  There is a bit of a nostalgic feel as Jessica realizes how much she misses have family to celebrate the holidays with and life in general.  The mystery is well structured and spans centuries in the discovery of the guilty parties.  

    The founders of Cabot Cove had secrets and they are unearthed in this book along with some of the descendants' secrets as well.  I appreciated the handling of the discovery of a connection to past behaviors that are not acceptable in today's world.  The presentation of the situation and then the commenting by characters that you cannot view historical events through filters of society today was a welcome change from many books that try to sermonize to readers.  The authors do a wonderful job of condemning the acts as something that shouldn't be repeated today but also provide the framework of the historic time to explain how it fit into that era.  

    I look forward to reading more in this series if this new author continues to co-write with Jessica.


    Murder in SeasonMurder in Season by Jessica Fletcher
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This book has a new co author and I feel it has given new originality to the series. Set in the ever charming Cabot Cove at the holiday season, it is enjoyable to experience small town holiday traditions. Unfortunately crime has other plans for a smooth Christmas with family and friends for Jessica Fletcher. She and Sheriff Metzger find themselves investigating multiple murders related to the founding families of the town. I appreciate they addressed the problem with applying current social standards to history. You don’t have to condone the actions of the past but also they need to be viewed with a perspective of the times not the modern norms. The mystery is well constructed and keeps the reader wondering until the end. The twist on the missing treasure is a wonderful aspect too. I look forward to reading more by this new author duo

    View all my reviews


    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #109
    2. Finishing the Series   #FinishingTheSeries2021  27-2
    3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #116
    4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #130
    5. Calendar of Crime  #CalendarOfCrime2021   
    6. Cruisin thru Cozies  Free choice #74
    7. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #110
    8. Craving for Cozies  Book #92
    9. Medical Examiner Challenge  4 Toe Tags
    10. Beachcomber Challenge  
      • Crime Scenes 
        • Row 1
          • Pathway or forest
        • Row 2
          • Lawn
        • Row 5
          • Home or business office
      • Weapons
        • Row 2 
          • Rock, brick, blunt object
          • Axe or hatchet
        • Row 5
          • Medicine or drugs
          • Hands or fists
      • Detectives- Jessica/Mort
    11. Six Shooter Challenge  Target #12  Shot #5


    The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World

     This is a fun take on a non fiction book about geography of the world.  It is not just the map locale and where countries are on the globe, but rather the human geography, political geography and much more.  Gary Fuller does a great job of keeping a potentially boring topic very interesting.  Each chapter corresponds to a sub area of geography.  He introduces the chapter with several trivia questions and answers them as he writes the chapter.  The reader with a wonderful memory could clean up on Jeopardy or their next cruise trivia session if they are able to remember all the information he bestows.  There is quite a variety of information in the book including topographical information, history of different nations and peoples among other details.  

    If you enjoy reading non fiction that covers a breadth of information without being too serious you may enjoy this book;  I certainly did.  


    The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World: Geography for the Lost and FoundThe Trivia Lover's Guide to the World: Geography for the Lost and Found by Gary Fuller
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Interesting read especially if you like trivia. The format of the book is a nice one for picking up and reading for a bit and then setting aside. Each chapter talks about geography centered around trivia questions. Fuller discusses geography as more than just location but rather the expanded meaning of the field including political, human, topographical etc. It is an interesting book if you like to expand your knowledge about the world around us

    View all my reviews


    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #108
    2. Non Fiction Reader  #2021ReadNonFic  Travel


    Friday, October 22, 2021

    Shadow of the Wind

     This is a translated work by Carlos Ruiz Zafron.  It is a bit historical mystery, a bit magical realism with some romance thrown in.  This book was selected for my book club and I wasn't too sure about the selection but I ended up really enjoying the book.  It is a bit of a slow read at the beginning, not in the sense that you feel as though you are trudging through chapters.  Rather, it is just a slow methodical read that is quite enjoyable.  As the book progresses the pace definitely picks up and I was hard pressed to put the book down.  The mystery unravels as you learn about the characters and their intertwining stories.  There are lots of characters that can be a bit difficult to keep straight initially, but as the story progresses the familiarity grows as well. The book spans a period of 9 years in Daniel's life and reveals his growth and obsession with Julian Carax, the author he has become enamored with after selecting his work from the Cemetery of Lost Books

    Zafron writes characters that draw emotion from the reader.  Some you cannot help but root for as an underdog type character, others are down right despicable and unlikeable.  The story definitely draws the reader in and it would be impossible not to feel emotion for the characters and their plights.  He is also a masterful story teller who weaves different character storylines together masterfully.  Each section reveals someone else's connection to the narrator, Daniel, and Julian Carax.  I thought the stories were well connected and made sense.  There are other works in the series and I look forward to seeing if they are separate storylines about books selected from the Cemetery of it there will be stories told from others' perspectives.   Time will tell but I do intend to try the next book for sure.  


    The Shadow of the WindThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    This book starts out at a slow steady pace but gradually picks up to a fast paced Nobel you don’t want to put down. Ruiz creates characters and a storyline that weave together in amazing intricacies but are still quite plausible. The whole novel is set amid the lure and mystery of Barcelona and is set in the era of turmoil surrounding the civil war. The implicit lack of trust of Barcelona citizens helps fuel the story more. I look forward to reading more in this series

    View all my reviews



    Challenge Prompts

    The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  


    1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #107
    2. Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "Z"
    3. 2021TBR  #2021ReadingChallenge # 9 a classic 
    4. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #115
    5. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #129
    6. Cloak & Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal  Book #109
    7. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #12
    8. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #21  A genre hybrid 
    9. Around the Year in 52 Books #37. A book from the Are You Well Read in World Literature list