♦♦♦ I was pretty excited to win this book in a GoodReads contest, not just because I got a free book, but because I really was ready to read the second book. The first book, The Rosie Project, I totally adored. I couldn’t wait to read this one, but for some reason I just kept putting it off for other things. When it was delivered though, I dove right in. I’m not sure exactly what happened or why I just wasn’t thrilled with the sequel. It was still a good book, and there were some poignant moments, but it did’t have quite the same appeal. It seemed more contrived. I wonder if the it was because the first book was so refreshing and surprising in so many ways, and this one was nothing new? What I do love about these books are the characters.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ The latest in the Gray Man series does not disappoint. I haven’t really been reading this year, which I hate, but there are only so many hours in the day. I’ve chosen other things this year. . . bucket list things, so a decent trade. However, my husband and I started this one just before we went on vacation. He loves the action and the gratuitous violence. I enjoy the action (but probably not the violence as much) and the story line. I thoroughly wallow in the depth of imagination and the art of story telling. Greaney’s Gray Man series, about an American (former CIA) assassin is well written. Every time I think that we’ve heard all there is, another awesome book comes out with a new twist and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I say, “Just keep writing them Mark! My family will keep listening!”
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I expected to LOVE this book. I obviously loved it with a four star rating, but it wasn’t the best book of all time to me. I wonder if I’d read the print version, if I’d have loved it even more? Seems like I’ve read a lot of WWII books lately and the difference was that this one was told from a German point of view, and a French one. I loved that. There wasn’t much about the Holocaust, but the story was still a very human one. It definitely didn’t end the way I had longed for it to, but it was so much more realistic. This was not a fairy tale. Not really. A good story though, heartbreaking at times, buoyant at times too. I love books that are like real life. Brutal, honest and, well, you do the best with what you’re dealt. Misery, love, defeat, hate, ugliness and beauty, just like life. Yes. A definite read.
♦ ♦ ♦ .5 Depravity. Raw and unhinged, so much so that I felt a little sick. Holy moley. I like murder mysteries and thrillers, but there’s a line at which I start to wish maybe it hadn’t been crossed. This is one I wouldn’t recommend to my kids who are both teenagers. The crimes committed in the book are brutal and sick. Yes, I know that most serial murders are brutal and sick, but … sigh. I’ll admit, I did enjoy this book (I liked the cops), but found myself listening with expressions of horror clearly written on my face. My hubs and I were listening to this one together and I actually remember gasping out loud and using some colorful language at the images clearly painted in my head. So, be forewarned that this one is brutal, but the characters (the good guys anyway) had me cheering them on.
♦ ♦ ♦ I’m blaming this Vampire book thing (I’ve read a few now) on Audible. They have these sales, see. It’s not my fault, they used the two words “book” and “sale” in the same sentence. I am not alone in this. Admit it. So, this last sale happened to be a “First Two Books in a Series” sale for $5.95 each. These books are normally $29 + if you just buy them flat out, so it’s a real deal. So, I tend to peruse the books on offer by looking at how many people have rated them, and then look for books with no fewer than 4 stars. I love it when book has over 1,000 reviews and has 4 stars. That’s saying something. So, I thought that even though I’m not a huge vampire book fan, if it’s got really high ratings, why not? So, this is the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #1. There are vampires in rural Louisiana y’all. Although this is not the best book I’ve read, I’ll admit I enjoyed the “southern charm” of it all and totally love hearing the author’s interpretation of vampires, what they’re like, their habits, their looks, where they sleep and who and what they kill. Did you know that there’s a famous singer who is now a vamp? Humor always pleases me, in the right context, of course. This one works. I will probably read/listen to the second one too! Anyone got some synthetic A Positive laying around?
♦ ♦ ♦ .5 At the beginning of this series, there was only one druid left in the world. He was a quirky, tattooed rare book store owner in Tempe, Arizona. I, and many other readers, fell in love with him at first read. Now, several books later, said druid has trained another druid and fallen for her, and has brought his old arch druid back from his exile to a time island. There are now 3 druids working with the earth’s elementals to protect nature and fight forces of evil on this plane and others. The introduction of Atticus’ arch druid brings some humor and history to the story, however, much of this book focused on Granuaile and her new Irish wolf hound. I’m not as enchanted with her story, but I’ll read as many in this series as Kevin Hearne will put out there for us. Enjoyable!
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Audible gets a prize for this one. This was one of their books of the week, or some such promotion, and I got it free. Yep. It’s been in my library for some time, but I just never thought to listen to it. I mean, how good could a “freebie” be? The ratings were good, but I just sort of ignored it, until last week. We were on a big, long road trip and finished our book. So, I was flipping through what I had in my library, looking specifically for something my husband might enjoy (that means it has to have some action!) and decided we should give it a go.
Good move! We both enjoyed this book about a renowned assassin who goes from hunter to hunted in a weird twist of fate. It becomes a story of survival, almost in a Jason Bourne sense, and kept us entertained the whole way through. We both agreed on the 4 star rating and plan to read the other Gray Man books. The author, Mark Greany, has written several books with Tom Clancy, which I find very interesting. Give it a try.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ So, Adrian McKinty is my new favorite. Wait a week and it could change, but I love these books about “The Troubles.” There’s enough real life history and an interesting cop story too. Sean Duffy, our main man, is quite human, believable, a little quirky and likes his vodka. He tends to be tenacious (good characteristic in a cop) but to the point of self detriment. During a dark time in Northern Ireland, he’s a Catholic cop in service to the Brits. This makes him unpopular with both sides of the conflict. Gerard Doyle is a class narrator and brings the Audible versions to life. I think my Northern Irish hubby, (I trapped him in my car with me and made him listen to the last half of this book) even enjoyed what he heard. I just sent the first book to my brother to read. Yes, I’d recommend this series. Start with The Cold, Cold Ground. You’re welcome!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I didn’t know what I would think of this book. I don’t watch much TV, so I had no idea who Tory Johnson was. All I knew about her was what I read online. She lost a ton of weight and wrote a book. What pulled me in was that it wasn’t a “how-to” or another “special diet” book, it was just the story of what it took for this woman to wrap her head around this weight loss thing that remains elusive to the likes of me (and obviously millions of Americans). Some of the things she says to herself are the exact (verbatim) things I say to myself all the time. I could totally relate and sometimes those things, when I heard her read them, made me cry.
What’s so great about this book is that she and I are so different. She struggled with her weight her whole life. I, as an athlete, never had a problem. She is a self proclaimed couch potato who “hates to sweat.” What? I LOVE to sweat, and I can’t still on the couch. If I can find a ball to chase, I’m there! But, even as we are different, we are the same.
If you’ve been struggling with your weight, or know someone who is, this story is really, surprisingly, inspirational. My favorite “shift wisdom” point is where she says to ask yourself, “Is this a priority, or a preference?” Wow. That cookie is definitely a preference. The extra time on the tennis court, or in the pool is priority for me. Pretty simple, and an easy thing to remember. Give this one a read, it might just be the nudge you (or I) need. Way to go Tory!
♥♥♥ The plot thickens. There’s an assassination attempt on the president and the good magical guys of the Grimnoir Society look guilty. The feds are after them with some nasty, nasty characters who have (gasp) magical powers as well. Powerful, nasty powers and our favorite characters are the targets. Old enemies may not be enemies, or are they? As always, there’s lots of blood, guts and gratuitous violence to keep you on the edge of your seat (or my case, gripping the steering wheel). If you’ve read the other book, grab this one and pick up where you left off! Oh, and there’s a bit of a love story in there too!