Monday, January 17, 2022

Friday, January 14, 2022

Old Bones by Preston & Child

Historian Clive Benton has just found the long-lost diary of Tamzene Donner. In it he discovers clues and a hand drawn map to the lost Third Camp of the Donner Party. Excited to dig up the truth about the strange and horrific things that happened there, he enlists archaeologist Nora Kelly and her team to help him find and excavate the site. 

Meanwhile, back in New Mexico, rookie FBI agent Corrie Swanson has been assigned to a grave-robbing case. Someone dug up the grave of a woman who died back in the Civil War and stole her skull. But why?

The way these two seemingly unconnected story lines intersect is a crazy fun ride. But then Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child always write a compelling story. And there's usually a touch of supernatural horror in their books which I love, although there's not much of that in this particular book. Both Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson are recurring characters (and two of my favorites), but you don't need to have read any of their earlier books in order to enjoy this one.

I always find it interesting to read about the Donner Party, and Preston & Child's lost Third Camp, high up in an isolated canyon in the Sierra Nevadas, made for an eerie and atmospheric setting. And I liked the various plot twists and turns, although a few of them did feel a little predictable. I would have loved it if there had been more of a supernatural element in this one, but Old Bones is still a suspenseful and entertaining read; I'd give it 4 stars.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

2022 Back to the Classics Challenge...


I'm very happy that Karen @ Books and Chocolate is hosting this reading challenge again this year. I've participated in it three times before and it's always fun. And I already have a list of classic novels that I want to read this year. I just have to figure out which book will fit in which category. Karen has come up with twelve great categories--some are the same as last year's challenge, and some are new:

A 19th Century Classic
A 20th Century Classic
A Classic by a Woman Author
A Classic in translation
A Classic by a BIPOC Author
Mystery/Detective/Crime Classic
A Classic Short Story Collection
Pre-1800 Classic
A Nonfiction Classic
A Classic that's been on your TBR list the longest
A Classic set in a place you'd like to visit
Wild Card Classic

Aren't they fun categories? The two hardest for me will be finding a classic that's set in a place I'd like to visit, and making myself finally read one of the two Pre-1800 classics I have sitting on my shelves. I don't know if I'll manage to finish all twelve categories this year, but I'm going to try. And if I only get six books read, that's okay, too.  If you want to join in and read some classics this year, you can find all the rules and sign up for this challenge here: Back to the Classics 2022.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 11, 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 Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection. But I decided to tweak it and do Ten Books from my TBR Shelf that I'm Planning on Reading this Year instead. 

1. This Poison Will Remain by Fred Vargas

2. Called Into Action by Paris Wynters

3. Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson

4. Hope's Highest Mountain by Misty M. Beller

5. Sons of Evagard by Sean Danker

6. Breakdown by Bruno Miller

7. Dark Magic by Adam Wright

8. Home With the Dead by P.J. Dziekan

9. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

10. Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

A bookish book...

My Live With Bob:  Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul

For twenty-eight years Paul has kept track of the books she's read in a notebook she named Bob. Those books track the different stages of her life from high school and college, to living abroad, different jobs, marriage, divorce, children. All of it. Books and reading helped shape her life; in turn, her life experiences influenced the books she chose to read. As a lifelong reader myself, I related.

I laughed when she wrote: "There was a shiftiness to kids who secreted themselves in a corner to read instead of what they should have been doing.... I did everything I could to read my way out of doing anything else. It was the one thing I was good at."

And I nodded my head in agreement when she said:  "...lending a book to an unreliable reader inevitably leads to regret. It is lovely to share books, but they need to come home. I have known people to maintain years-long grudges over unreturned books. Who can blame them?" (I admit, I still remember the name of the girl who borrowed my copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes in high school and never returned it; and I still haven't quite forgiven my uncle who lost one of the books he borrowed from me...mostly because he was so unapologetic about it.)

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. But then I do tend to like reading books about books and reading. Paul's a likable person, and her musings on reading made me smile. And I agreed with many of her sentiments, though not all of them. Some of the chapters were less interesting to me than others, but that's typical in any biography. And while this one won't make my favorites list at the end of the year, it's a solid 3-star read. Now I'm off to choose my next book. Because as Paul writes, "There (are) lots of books needing to be read."

Happy Reading!


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Signing up for this reading challenge...


So one of my reading goals this year is to read more books from off my own shelves. I have a lot of books that I bought because I was very excited to read them at the time, only then I never did. And they've been sitting on my bookshelf gathering dust ever since. And it's dumb. I own them, I should read them. (Or give them away to make room on my shelves for new books.) Which makes this the perfect reading challenge for me. 

The Backlist Reader Challenge is hosted by Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard, and the goal is to read books this year that you already own and are sitting unread on your TBR shelf...or that happen to already be on your TBR order to reduce your TBR mountain to a more manageable pile. You decide the number of books you plan to read. All the rules (and there aren't many) are laid out at The Bookwyrm's Hoard. I've participated in this challenge before and it's not only easy, but it's a lot of fun.

For my reading challenge goal this year, I'm going to focus on reading the books I already own rather than choosing any books from off my 'Want to Read' list; and I already have a stack of twenty books sitting by my bed that I plan on reading...if I can figure out how to work them in around all those library books I keep checking out. I don't know that I'll review them all, but I hope to at least review the really good ones, and then discard the rest. Wish me luck!

And Happy Reading!

Monday, January 3, 2022

Dead by Dawn by Paul Doiron

From the blurb:

"Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is fighting for his life. Ambushed on a darkened winter road, he plunges his Jeep into a frozen river and must escape drowning beneath the ice. Surviving the crash is only the first challenge he faces in a nightlong battle to stay alive and one step ahead of his unknown, heavily armed pursuers. To outwit them and return to his friends and family, none of whom knows where he is, Bowditch must dissect the hours leading up to the ambush and solve two riddles: who are these people who desperately want him dead and what has he done to incur their wrath?"

My thoughts:

There's so much to like about this book: Mike's struggle to survive in the Maine woods is intense and compelling; the wintry Maine setting is as stark and beautiful as it is dangerous; the alternating chapters that detail the events leading up to Mike's ambush are interesting, as is the mystery behind everything; and I loved Mike's wild wolf/dog Shadow.  Talk about a great read!

Dead by Dawn is the 12th book in Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series. And even though I've never read any of his other books, Doiron is such a good writer I never once felt lost. I just got swept up in the story. The only bad thing is that I now want to read all the other books in this series, which adds eleven new books to my already lengthy TBR list. But if they're all as good as this one, then I guess that's a good problem to have. 

Happy Reading!