Wednesday, August 17, 2022

August's Bookish Art...

Robert Emil Stubner -- Summer Afternoon

"A book was a powerful thing. It could take her away from all 
her incessant worries for whole minutes at a time."
--Susan Wiggs, The Lost and Found Bookshop

Sunday, August 14, 2022

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was first published in 1968. It's centered around Abel, a young Native American who returns to New Mexico from serving in the war in 1945. But he is no longer the young man he once was. 
"Abel walked into the canyon. His return to town had been a failure, for all his looking forward. He had tried in the days that followed to speak to his grandfather, but he could not say the things he wanted; he had tried to pray, to sing, to enter into the old rhythm of the tongue, but he was no longer attuned to it."
Things get worse. In 1952 he ends up in Los Angeles, just out of prison, still lost, and still drinking too much. 

Momaday's writing is very descriptive and poetic, though not always straightforward. There are jumps in time and narrative voice that I found confusing in places; there's also a dream-like, surreal quality to his slowly unfolding narrative that I didn't love. It made it hard to connect to Abel. In fact, over half of the novel isn't even told from his point of view. The author gives the reader glimpses from his past, and one memory from his time in the war, and a few scenes with him in Los Angeles, but the biggest part of his story is related by his roommate, Ben. It's a unique way to tell a story but one that didn't quite work for me. 

Abel's story is very sad, and I had a lot of sympathy for him. And I thought this novel was interesting. But I didn't love it. Still, I'm not sorry I read it. Especially because it counts as my "Classic by a BIPOC Author" for Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge. 

Happy Reading!

For a much better review of this book, check out Kathy's at Reading Matters; she's the one who first made me aware of this classic novel. 


Thursday, August 11, 2022

A fun romantic adventure...

 Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

3 Things I loved about this book:
💗 It's set in Canyonlands, Utah --which made it very easy for me (being from Utah) to visualize the awesome scenery the characters were riding and hiking through.

💗 There's a treasure hunt! I loved how Lily and Leo pieced together the clues and figured out the secret codes left by Duke Wilder as they searched for Butch Cassidy's legendary lost treasure.

💗 Lily Wilder and Leo Grady. I loved how these two characters came back together after being apart for the last ten years, and how they had several honest and heartfelt conversations in order to work through their past heartbreak. Their chemistry and steamy romance was pretty great, too.

With plenty of action, humor, friendship, mystery, heart and romance, this was a captivating and fun book.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is supposed to be "Hilarious Book Titles" but I honestly couldn't come up with any, so I'm going rogue instead. 

Here's my list of Ten Books with August in the Title:

The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons 

Snow in August by Pete Hamill

Light in August by William Faulkner

August Isle by Ali Standish

August Heat by Andrea Camilleri

The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

One August Night by Victoria Hislop

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Dark August by Katie Tallo

August by Callan Wink

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

From the blurb:  "Physician Arthur Conan Doyle is invited to take a break from his practice to assist London police in tracking down Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees, with the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Dr. Joseph Bell––Doyle’s inspiration for Sherlock Holmes––agrees to work with him. Soon the two are joined by Margaret Harkness, an author who knows how to use a Derringer as well as she knows the dank alleys and courtyards of the East End where she resides. Pursuing leads through London and Whitechapel becomes infinitely more dangerous for the trio when the hunters become the hunted in this adventurous debut novel and series starter."

My thoughts:  I've always been drawn to novels about Jack the Ripper, and this one is exceptional. I loved the voice Harper creates for Arthur Conan Doyle as he narrates his adventures on the streets of Whitechapel with Professor Bell and Margaret Harkness. Margaret is an equally great character: independent, capable, and fierce. (And apparently a real person, too.) I enjoyed how the author weaves these historical figures into the infamous murder investigation of Jack the Ripper and his victims. This novel is atmospheric and well-plotted. Harper's attention to historical detail really brings London's East End to life. His writing is amazing, and this novel is suspenseful, unexpected, riveting and fun. For me, this was a 5-star read. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Need a laugh?


(Because John Atkinson at Wrong Hands always makes me laugh!)

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 1, 2022

Sleeper 13 by Rob Sinclair

When Aydin Torkal was nine, his father took him to Afghanistan to be trained to fight the infidels. At the Farm, he and fourteen other young boys were taught to kill. They called him Talatashar, number thirteen.

Now grown, Aydin has been stationed in Paris, one of thirteen militants about to pull off a series of deadly attacks across Europe. He doesn't know all the details; he doesn't even know where his other twelve brothers have been sent. Then his sister, Nilay, who's been searching for him for years, is killed in Syria, and Ayden knows that it had to have been one of his brothers who was order to kill her because she was getting too close to the truth. So he leaves Paris to go in search of the man who murdered his sister.
"...all of the others, they were out there, and Aydin was damn certain they all wanted him dead. They would come for him .... again and again to kill him .... and they would harm anyone who got in their way. If he ran he had no chance. What he needed was to fight back. It was time to use his hatred. It was time to become the hunter."

The other main character in this novel is Rachel Cox, a British SIS agent in MI5. She's been hunting for any information on the thirteen militants for years, but she can't find any real proof of their existence until Aydin, or Talatashar, breaks ranks. His defection just might lead her team to the other twelve in time to stop the deadly attacks. If she can get to him before his brothers do.

Sleeper 13 is an entertaining read with lots of action and suspense. It has a similar vibe to the Jason Bourne movies and the Orphan X books (although it's not quite as good). I liked how strong and determined Rachel was, even when she didn't get any support from her superiors. And Aydin? He's a conflicted yet ultimately sympathetic character. I liked him, too. All in all, this was a fun read. I look forward to checking out the next book in this series.  

Happy reading!