Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday Thirteen 422: Recently Read

Below are featured the last thirteen books completed this year. So far, I have completed 47 books in my goal of 80 -- which includes five classics in a goal of ten, and 20 out of 40 criteria for the 2016 Ultimate Challenge (my goal was to do at least half, so yay me!). As always, click on any cover or link for more info.


ROW 1:
Lemon Pies and Little White Lies is book four in Ellery Adams’ Charmed Pie Shoppe series, which is based on the legend of Merlin and Morgan La Faye. Diane Vallere was the June Featured Author in the Cozy Mysteries group at Goodreads, and I read two books in her Material Witness series, Suede to Rest and Crushed Velvet.

ROW 2: More cozy mysteries. Killer Maize is part of a Farmers’ Market series by Earlene Fowler was a September 2013 Featured Author. I read book one of her Bennie Harper quilting series way back then, but never seemed to get round to book two, Irish Chain, until now. Leann Sweeney was an October 2012 Featured Author, and her Cats in Trouble series, of which this is book seven, is a favorite of mine. How can you go wrong with cats and quilts? Book eight is out later this summer.

ROW 3: Yes, more cozies. Boiled Over is the second book in Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake series, and there are two more in Mount TBR. Death is Like a Box of Chocolates is a first in series by a new-to-me author, Kathy Aarons, and is set at a combined book and chocolate store—how perfect is that? Sheila Connolly is another favorite author, and was a cozy Featured Author in October 2015. Sour Apples is book six in her Orchard series, and she writes a number of other series as well, including one set in Ireland, and a glass-blowing series under the name of Sarah Atwell.

ROW 4: O, Pioneers! by Willa Cather was a reread for me, and a second quarter group read for a GR romance group. I liked this one when we read it in college, and enjoyed it even more this time around. It also fit an Ultimate Challenge criteria of a classic from the 20th century. Skin by Roald Dahl was a May group read, the criteria for that month being a book of short stories (it narrowly edged out a collection by Hemingway). I wasn’t planning to read this one, but then stumbled across a cheap copy at Half Price Books. A couple of the stories seemed vaguely familiar, though I did not recall reading them previously. As much as I love the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I had never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also by Roald Dahl. This fit the Ultimate Challenge criteria of a book you can read in a day (155 pages). Naturally, I had to watch the movie again when I was done. (And yes, there was some chocolate consumption while reading and watching.)

ROW 5: Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton is a nonfiction book I stumbled upon in the bookstore clearance section. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but something about this one—a journal spanning a year in the author’s life as she approaches age 60— drew me to it. May Sarton was an American poet and novelist who also published a number of personal journals.

YOUR TURN: What are you reading these days?

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen


mittens said...

Im curious what you felt (regardless of her skill as a poet or her fame) about the woman writing this book. My own sense was disappointment. I expected more out of May Sarton than this, but even poets, I find, are difficult people, it's the nature of the beast.

Right now Im finishing up the last two books Terry Pratchett wrote, and while they are good solid books in their own right, as a friend said, in warning, they aren't up to what we think of as the gold standard of Pratchett. They are by turns thoughtful, and funny, and sad, but definitely goodbye books.

Mia Celeste said...

I Just finished a book called Night Life. It was a mystery thriller set in the 1950's and a book called Fourteen, which was a cool look at the "haunted apartment." I don't want to give any spoilers away, but I loved the twists and story behind the strange happenings in the apartment building. Also the characters were fun.

I haven't read Skin, but now I'll look for it. Thanks.

CountryDew said...

I just finished The Water's Edge, by Sara Gruen. It was a bit boring in the beginning but I was glad I hung in there with the story. Up next is Hold Still, a memoir by Sally Mann.

Heather said...

Mittens: I honestly don't know much about May Sarton, other thank what I gleaned from this book. In many ways, I can relate to her changing moods, and especially to that need for solitude after being forced to deal with people for any length of time. Much as I like visiting my sister, I need time to myself to recharge and look forward to returning home again.

Mia: That second book intrigues me. I had not heard of Skin prior to this reading, either, though a couple of the stories in it were familiar.

Anita: Glad you enjoyed the Sara Gruen once you got into it. I've only read one by her, Water for Elephants, which I did enjoy (partly because Wisconsin was the summer home of Barnum & Bailey and Circus World Museum is a pretty big thing here).

Alice Audrey said...

You had me at "Merlin". I'll add it to my wish list.

colleen said...

I just tried to get that May Sarton book from the library but they didn't have it. Did you like it? OH, I just saw your comment above. I wonder what her later journals are like and how she wrote about aging....through her 80s and beyond.