06 December 2018

52 Books in 52 Weeks ~ Pt. 4

Part 4:  contains the books, #141 to #206, I’ve read or listened through in August up to 25 December 2018       (I'll update with the last few reads as I complete each book.)
Part 3:  contains the books, #107 to #140, June and July 2018. 
Part 2:  contains the books, #66 to #106,  April and May 2018.
Part 1:  contains the books, #01 to #64, April and May 2018.  
(yes, I read a book numbered 65 but have chosen not to review it.)

The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook, at the time of reading with the range being:
(1) = would not recommend,
(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,
(3) = would recommend.
(4) = Really good, enjoyable, (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend
(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend

The next few are ongoing, sip, reads so I’m adding them here until they are finished:
A:  How the Heather Looks ~ Joan Bodger 
B: The Christian Family ~ Larry Christenson (4) Put into my revisit later basket
C: Christian Living in the Home ~ Jay Adams (4) Put into my revisit later basket
D:  The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children ~ Katherine Paterson 
E:  Mere Christianity ~ C.S. Lewis (see my review below, 178b)
F:  The Autobiography of George Muller ~ George Muller (see my review below, 191)
G:  KJV Bible: The Book of Hebrews

(As in previous posts, I haven't included the books I'm reading for my own extra-mural studies;  and,  the titles in green are ones I pre-read as possible reads for Daisy. 

The blue numbers are for books read for a Brit Trip Reading Challenge.)
  
1:  KJV Life Application Study Bible:  The Books of Acts (5+) the Bible linked is lovely to use!
2: My standard KJV Bible:  The Book of Psalms (5++)  Beautiful.  I’ve benefited so much from, close to, a year-long study through the Psalms.

August   
141:   Duplicate Death: Inspector Hemingway Bk3 ~ Georgette Heyer  (3+London    Repeat listen.  Night time book (extra: some light cursing, the first murder victim is a narcissistic bisexual drug pusher.)

142:   Keto: Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals ~ Martina Slajerova  N/F   (book) (4)

143:  The Scourge ~ Jennifer Nielsen  Audio (3)   Y/A audiobook.   I appreciated the twist the author gave to a nation with 'leprosy'.  Clever and engaging.  The ending portion with an inexperienced teen  'leading' a cavalcade of experienced adults was just too far-fetched for me.  In my opinion, The Scourge feels more like a 'girl' friendly read with a sassy girl as the main protagonist, the romance angle and the "chaste" kiss. 

144:   The Art of War ~ Sun Tzu (4 ) N/F  Classic (epkukapuka)  I appreciated this read much more than I expected to.  Many of life’s wars are against circumstances, not people per se,  and as my ds delights in this book I was looking for the inspiration that he seems to glean from it to apply to ‘fights’ that life gifts out way.

 “The wise warrior avoids the war” but if “On desperate ground fight with all your life.”

145:  Miss Silver Intervenes: Miss Silver Bk 6 ~  Patricia Wentworth, narrated by Diana Bishop (3London    Fuller Review

146:  The Mountains Have a Secret: Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte Bk12 ~ Arthur W. Upfield, narrated by Peter Hosking  Australian Golden era mystery. (3+Though the story ended a little flat, I enjoyed the sheer vintage Aussie-ness of this book and the word usage Upfield gifts Inspector Bonie with.

147:  No Shred of Evidence: Ian Rutledge Bk18 ~ Charles Todd  (3+Cornwall

148:  The ABC Murders: Hercule Poirot Bk 13 ~ Agatha Christie,  Narrated by Hugh Fraser  (3+) Hampshire, Sussex, Devon, Yorkshire, London  Extra: the ideas the author portrays as fact about “epileptics” is a dated view of the era she lived in. ☺

149:  The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II ~  Karen Dolby (2)   N/F  wildcard

149 b:  One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia ~ Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon    PICTURE BOOK (3)

150:  The Last Queen of England:  Jefferson Tayte Bk3 ~ Steve Robinson,  narrated by Simon Vance  (3)  London  Interesting ‘conspiracy theory’ storyline. 
I wouldn’t recommend this to some of my IRL associates.  
See my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2492265666

151Man of Two Tribes: Inspector Bonaparte Bk 21 ~ Arthur Upfield  (library CD) (3 ) if you’re easily offended by vintage era portrayals of /mindset towards women, Aborigines, and,  criminals then don’t read these books.  They have helped me to see, a little more, into the ‘culture’ my Australian parent’s generation (90+  and mostly deceased now) grew up in.  The description of the Australian landscape and scenery is really well written. 

152:  Appleby & The Ospreys: Inspector Appleby #36 ~ Michael Innes (epukapuka ) (2) wildcard?   Life took a curve ball and I struggled to get through this.

153:  Prince Philip: I Know I am Rude, But I Like It: The Royals and the Rest of Us as Seen By Prince Philip ~ Nigel Cawthorne (2) N/F  wildcard and I for Edelweiss

154:  Overture to Death: Roderick Alleyn Bk8 ~ Ngaio Marsh  (3+) audio/abridged   Dorset

155:  The Love That I Have ~ James Moloney  (Aust author) (4+) Historical Fict
Not quite 5 stars. Pre-read this as a potential (NCEA Reader Response, English essay) read for Daisy.   A WWII story written from the German perspective, about two Germans.  See my review here: http://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-love-that-i-have-james-moloney.html

156:  Tallgrass ~ Sandra Dallas (epukapuka audiobook) (5I think Lorelei King's talented narration made this book - not sure I would have appreciated it this much in the written format.  See my review here: http://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/08/tallgrass-sandra-dallas.html

157:  Behold, Here’s Poison: Inspector Hannasyde Bk2 ~ Georgette Heyer  (3) “Poplars” wildcard/ London   Re-read.  Randall may be one of my least liked out of Heyer’s main male characters... he’s so bitingly sarcastic, he must surely be a relative of the Duke of Avon ( These Old Shades), yet he's needed for Heyer to deliver her sharp wit through.  I think the mystery is clever, and enjoyed the relisten. 


158:   Poison on the Pen: Miss Silver Bk29 ~ Patricia Wentworth  (4)  wildcard  Fuller Review

159:  The Reluctant Detective ~ Martha Ockley   (library book)  (2) Became a Skim read.   Birminghamshire/ West Midlands.     I skipped ahead through this, I prefer mysteries penned during the golden era as opposed to ones written in modern times. Looks like the author is setting things up to get the Priest and her atheist ex, a DI, back together. Not the flavour of cosy-mystery tea I like to sip from, too many violent mental health issues (slashing/ a ‘violent’ suicide/ someone with a religious psychotic disorder) to count as a cosy read, and the Church of England setting felt a bit off to me, not sure why it just did.

September
160:  L  =  The Cat Who Tailed a Thief ~ Lilian Jackson Braun  (3loved the narrator! 

161:  The Gazebo: Miss Silver Bk27 ~ Patricia Wentworth, narrated by Diana Bishop (4) Grovehill, Hertfordshire/ North Yorkshire/ London  (I wouldn’t recommend this to those that have had/are living thru issues with a manipulators or narcissist.)  Fuller Review

162:  Watchers of Time: Ian Rutledge Bk5 ~ Charles Todd (epukapuka) (3+Norfolk/ London/ Essex

163:  O =   Killers of the Flower Moon:  Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI ~ David Grann (epukapuka)   (5)
 
164:  The Quiet Gentleman ~ Georgette Heyer, narrated by Cornelius Garrett (4+)  Lincolnshire     repeat listen.  I always wonder what happened to start the shift in Gervase’s first impression of Miss Morville,  Heyer never tells us.

165:  TThe Card: A Story of Adventure in the Five Towns ~ Arnold Bennett  (3Staffordshire  (Brit Trip)

166:  Enemy Women ~ Paulette Jiles (epukapuka) (2
I was really looking forward to reading this ebook after enjoying "News of the World" so much. I found the writing style and the dialogue in this Jiles book odd – I couldn’t seem to engage with it, so started skipping and jumping ahead past the (small amount of) swearing and sensual content to the last few chapters. Counts as a disappointment read for me.

167:  The Realms Thereunder: Ancient Earth Trilogy #1 ~ Ross Lawhead (epukapuka) (2) Oxford     I found this book really hard going.  I wanted to like it, it had all the ingredients to make it a story I'd enjoy. Too much backstory, and definitely the intro book to a series. I won't be reading any further.

168:  U =  Unveiled: Tamar (Lineage of Grace Bk1)  ~ Francine Rivers (2)   The good thing about reading a fictionalised account of bible history is that it encourages me to pull out some bible commentaries to see what is filler, biblical and historical fact, and artistic supposition. This story contained more sexually focused content than I prefer in my reads; but, as the biblical account centres around Tamara trying to conceive I'm not sure that Rivers could have written this book without focusing on Tamara's marital relationships.  Another member of my family thought this was a very good fictionalised read good, and deserved, at least,  a  (4).

169:  Cotillion ~ Georgette Heyer, narrated by Phyllida Nash (4)   Leicestershire/ London  Relisten.  Love Phyllida Nash as a narrator of Heyer's books. Freddie is a favourite, so much nicer than that nasty womanising, egotistical, Jack.

170:  The Bees ~ Laline Paull (epukapuka) (2)
I wanted to pre-read this as it's a suggested read on my teens high school (last year in highschool) reading list. Even though some of Paull’s descriptive writing is beautiful this is definitely not a book  I'd hand to my teen, it's about the social hierarchy, sex life, and the lusts of the hive.  Has shades of 1984, and Brave New World - a book I passionately dislike - in it.  For others that like to know yes this book has swearing, including one ‘c” bomb.

171:  S =  Amberwell ~ D.E. Stevenson (4.5More realistic than other Stevenson books I’ve read so far. I enjoyed spending time at Amberwell and am looking forward to its sequel, Summerhills.

October
172:  M = The Murder Stone ~ Charles Todd (epukapuka) (2) Devonshire/ Somerset/ Essex

173:  A Forgotten Place: Bess Crawford #10 ~ Charles Todd (epukapuka) (4) Dover/ London/ Gloucestershire/ (Wales, Cardiff/ Swansea)  The story seemed slow until I took into account that the authors were trying to give the impression of the ‘trapped in a void’ feel the authors had placed Bess in.  The tying up of the story felt rushed compared to the tone of the rest of the book.  I wish Bess would end up with a significant romantic interest …. maybe she’ll meet up with Ian Rutledge, wave goodbye to the protective Simon, and they’ll go and solve cases together ;)

174:  L = Lady of Quality ~ Georgette Heyer  (3.5)   Bath.   Repeat listen. Though I think Heyer did better with this storyline in Black Sheep, the audio of Lady of Quality still makes for a rather charming gentle listen - perfect for when life is busy and cluttered.

175:  D =  The Millionaire Next Door ~ Thomas J. Stanley (4) a commonsense, watch what you spend and where you spend it, approach.  Don’t raise, nor become the cash cow to children who see you as their lifelong financial provider.  
 
176:  G = The Graveyard Book ~ Neil Gaiman (epukapuka ) Juvenile Fiction  Spooky London (ish)   https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2555121614

177:  I’d Rather Be Reading ~ Anne Bogel  N/F   I really wanted to like this book, it's about a topic I love, yet the reality didn't match up to what I was hoping it would be.  I was hoping for a book crammed full of lovely long lists of titles the author has read, and why she loves them.

(Her blog is a better spot to rifle through ;-) )  Since I didn't read it all - I just start skipping ahead through the chapters - I'm not giving this book a rating.

178:  A =  Churchill: The Statesman as Artist ~ David Cannadine  N/F (epukapuka) (3.5) multiple locations  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2552312595

178b:  Mere Christianity ~ C.S Lewis  (epukapuka)  I just cannot get into this book - I've tried a printed copy, audio books, and an ebook.  This is, at least, my 4th try over the last five years.  Time for me to lay it aside and count it as attempted.

179:  IIf I Run: Bk 1 ~ Terri Blackstock  (4)

180:  Kindred ~ Steve Robinson, narrated by Simon Vance  London / Germany (3)
goodreads review

181:  R = Birds, Beasts and Relatives: Corfu Bk2 ~ Gerald Durrell  N/F  London / Greece   Audible Audio (3I didn’t appreciate this book as much as the first one – the humour felt contrived and the author seemed to focus more on sexual toned ‘funnies’ including others sexual persuasions.

182:  O Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out ~ Harry Kemelman (3goodreads review

183:  Faro’s Daughter ~ Georgette Heyer    London  audiobook (2The audiobook, complete with beautifully played,  though thoroughly irritating,  musical breaks, just ruined the revisiting of this story for me – but then Deb and Max are not favourite Heyer characters of mine  to start with.

184:  The Way Mum Does It ~ Alexandra O'Brien  (epukapuka)  N/F (3.5) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2560242399

185:  The Four Graces: Miss Buncle Bk4 ~ D.E. Stevenson (3.5)  Wildcard (Chevis Green) / London      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2556376029


November
186:  SSomeday the Rabbi Will Leave ~ Harry Kemelman (3.5)  audio https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2567506565

187:  I =  The Ivory Dagger: Miss Silver Bk18 ~ Patricia Wentworth  (4-) Emsworth, Hampshire (free ebook collection https://www.fadedpage.com/sc/wentworth.php)
goodreads review

188:  Summerhills:  Ayrton Family Bk2 ~ D.E. Stevenson (5)  Scotland / Nth Yorkshire, England   Gorgeous.  Such a lovely, gentle,  happy ending read.  My fuller review at Goodreads contains a spoiler, so do ignore as needed:  review

189:  As Bright as Heaven ~ Susan Meissner  (epukapuka)  (2.5 ) WWI Pennsylvania / Philadelphia. USA    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2582985454

189b:  The Magic Finger ~ Roald Dahl  (1) audio

190:   D =  Portrait of a Spy: Gabriel Allon Bk11 ~ Daniel da Silva, narrated by Simon Vance (3Cornwall /  London / Paris / New York / Saudi Arabia / Dubai.   Some really interesting art aspects in this book.    https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2564705264  

191:  A =  The Autobiography of George Muller ~ George Muller (3.5)  (audio) London/ Devon/ Bristol/ Wiltshire.   https://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-autobiography-of-george-muller.html

192:  Lonesome Road: Miss Silver Bk3 ~ Patricia Wentworth  (4+ ) “Ledlington” wildcard
I finished this in October and am just reviewing it now. For anyone that might be interested it’s 10/18  on this list. Fuller Review

193:  The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way ~ Bill Bryson N/F  (2.5) (epukapuka)  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2588574404

194:  The Fallen Angel: Gabriel Allon Bk12 ~ Daniel da Silva, narration by George Guidall (3https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2591307200  Extra for others that like to know stuff like this in advance too: some swearing, incs one f-bomb.  Miscarriage and infertility, death of child, a few bedroom scenes which added nothing to the story (no adult rated details).

195:  Year of No Sugar ~ Eve. O Schaub   N/F (2audio https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2588308096   Extra:  some cursing, no f-bombs.

196:  Legacy of the Dead: Ian Rutledge Bk4 ~ Charles Todd (epukapuka) (3.5)  London, Hampshire, Tyne & Wear(?) Durham.   Ended in a rush, with too many loose tangled threads.  I did skip all the throwback references to how Hamish came to live inside Ian’s head. 

196b:  Prayers for Sale ~ Sandra Dallas   (audio.  no rating/abandoned) Tennessee / Colorado  USA Civil war, Depression era. 
Some possible trigger content in this book:  a stillborn baby, death of two other babies one by accidental drowning the other is murdered by its father.  Extreme domestic violence.   This book feels a bit preachy: educate the reader that not all prostitutes are bad women.  I’m over a quarter of the way through this book and it’s not holding my interest -  Tall Grass by the same author was a much more engaging read – so I’m abandoning it.

197: The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild ~ Lawrence Anthony,  Graham Spence, narrated by Simon Vance (4.5) Simon Vance does a superb job narrating this book, he made a story that interested me from the go-get that much more enjoyable.  (A few curse words, no f-bombs.  Some tragic loss of animals, other portions so sad.  Senseless poaching for tusks, and, trophy shootings.)

197a: Y =  The Yellow Face ~  Arthur Conan Doyle (3) audio  London & wildcard  I didn’t see the solution twist at the end coming, which could be a sensitive issue for some.

198: The Mill on the Floss ~ George Elliot , narrated by Laura Paton  (2) (p579 chunkster)  Classic  Lincolnshire   https://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-mill-on-floss-george-elliot-spoiler.html

199:  My Reading Life ~ Pat Conroy  (Abandoned just over ½ way through –at that point it was rapidly sank to a 2). .  I don’t have an established reading base with any of Pat Conroys other books, this is my first read of his, and  I was doing okay with getting through this, the first portion was very interesting,  then we hit part 4: the famous name dropping, and love life of people at, or post, book gatherings (yawn) I could cope with, the swearing and f-bombs I couldn’t.

200:  Royal Escape ~ Georgette Heyer, narrated by Cornelius Garrett   audio/ebook  (4)   Historical fiction.  Shropshire  https://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/12/royal-escape-georgette-heyer.html   

201:  Piercing the Darkness:  Darkness #2 ~ Frank E. Peretti (epukapuka/audio) (3https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1498542393

202:  Out of the Past: Miss Silver Bk 23 ~ Patricia Wentworth  (4) wildcard. 
203:  The Kingmaker's Daughter: Cousins' War Bk 4 ~ Philippa Gregory, narrated by Bianca Amato  (4.5)   Historical fict   Northumberland / North Yorkshire/ Kent / London / Warwickshire / Dorset / Gloucestershire / (Berkhamsted Castle) Hertfordshire / (Ludlow Castle) Shropshire / York / Durham Somerset / Nottinghamshire. 
204:  The Raphael Affair: Jonathan Argyll Bk1 ~ Iain Pears (epukapuka) (4A slow, cautious, clever book: a nice introduction to Jonathan Argyll and his cohorts.  It took me a while to find my reading groove and to muddle through all the Italian names. Nice ending! I'll definitely be reading the next book.        Extra: clean read, romance-wise, no bed hopping or sensual scenes.

December (reading to spell out  "Holly"  to complete the Blossom Book challenge)
205L =  A Lonely Death: Ian Rutledge Bk13 ~ Charles Todd (epukapuka) (4) London, Sussex, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire, (Belton … which County?) Hampshire, Shropshire, Dover.     I think this is the best of Ian Rutledge’s books I’ve read so far -  I'm not reading in order, and,  I do skip over all retro references to Hamish in these books – the ending was much better than in other books, not as abrupt.  I'm glad the author had Mrs. Channing honour her marriage vows to her severely war-damaged husband, and not have her running off with Ian.  Poor Ian, will he ever be lucky in love?

206: The Corinthian ~ Georgette Heyer  (audio, repeat listen ) (3) London / Chippinham, Wiltshire / Somerset / Gloucestershire / Chillingham, Northumberland / West Midlands     This is not one of my favourite Heyer/narrator stories, but it seems a bit better than when I listened through it a while back, as I knew what to expect and was prepared for the disappointment spots in the storytelling. 
(I don’t like the stuttering/stammering theme Heyer injects into her two of her books, this one, and The Covenient Marriage;  the later one I won’t revisit, I found it hard to listen to and rather painful to read.)


207:  Envious Casca: Inspector Hemingway Bk2 ~ Georgette Heyer, narrated by Ulli Birve (3.5) (Christmas) wildcard (faux country house “Lexham Manor”)    If you don’t like books with ‘bright young things in it, sans the Verkers in Death in the Stocks – Georgette Heyer, then you might want to skip this one.   
Clever, and, witty writing - I just flat-out enjoy Inspector Hemingway's droll humour! 
Extra for those that like to know things like this too: Heyer showcases, with a very light hand, a play that has been written about a prostitute.  One girl is told she’s a ‘female dog’

**
We usually finish off the year listening to The Life of Jesus, a Radio drama by Focus on the Family, and, then we try to indulge in some light, even bubblegum style listens - Paul Temple BBC Radio dramas - during summer break.  I'm not sure what we'll listen to this year, yet.

Still to read
L =  The Mission Walker ~ Edie Littlefield Sundby, narrated by Jaimee Paul  N/F  (listening to this at the moment. Whew!  The first quarter was an emotive listen: swallow, blink hard, and continue tomorrow….  I need the map to able to appreciate the actual walk portion of the story, it’s tapered off to interesting but not riveting in the midst of the book. Once Edie got to Sierra Vista I was back to fully engaged. This is a faith-filled, challenging, for me, read)

OThursday the Rabbi Walked Out ~ Harry Kemelman  already read that #182   
The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children ~ Katherine Paterson   N/F   (book)   Sip reading,  really enjoying this book!


Y =  Year at Thrush Green: Thrush Green Bk12 ~ Miss Read


How the Heather Looks Joan Bodger   memoir  I'm sip reading this; it's a delighful, gentle read - perfect for those that love books about children's books and authors.

The locations were kindly posted by another BaW poster, on The Well Trained Mind Forums: (21 counties)  Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Durham, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Scotland (Dunbar, Edinburgh), Shropshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Wales (Monmouthshire), Yorkshire (N), Yorkshire (W)

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