Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Book List

Despite completing several cross stitch projects this month, August has been another good reading month.

Books Read:

  1. The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers (2007) by Sarnath Banerjee
    I found the story hard to follow, perhaps too clever for me, but Banerjee is a talented artist and I had no trouble interpreting the emotions he portrayed. 
  2. A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (2013) by Marie Brennan
    Fabulous yarn with a wonderful narrator; I look forward to more installments!
  3. Transparent Things (1972) by Vladimir Nabokov
    Parts of it were absolutely brilliant, parts of it I didn't get. I plan to reread it in a few weeks before writing about it.
  4. The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (2011) by Alexander McCall Smith
    The twelfth in his charming No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  I've not read all of them, but this was as gentle, warm and enjoyable as the others I have read.
  5. Death at the President's Lodging (1936) by Michael Innes
    I found this an intelligent  well-written novel--it's rare I need the dictionary for a mystery!--and the solution was believable and amusing.  This was my first time reading Innes, and he will be a favorite.
  6. Some Die Eloquent (1979) by Catherine Aird
    The first mystery I've run across by Aird; she's now another author I wish I had found sooner.  I look forward to reading more!  
  7. The Imposter Bride (2013) by Nancy Richler
    Well written and richly layered; I read it in two days.  (Don't be fooled by the title; it's not a romance.)  Highly recommend this one.
  8. The G-String Murders (1941) by Gypsy Rose Lee
    Rather ambitious plot with a somewhat murky ending, but both characterizations and conversations were excellent.  The inside look at the burlesque was also wonderful.
  9. American Born Chinese (2006) by Gene Luen Yang
    Graphic novel, often poignant, with an excellent message that would be especially relevant to teens that feel like outsiders.
Audio Books: 

  1. Death of a Gossip (1985) by M. C. Beaton
    The first of the Hamish MacBeth mysteries.  I didn't care for the foul language, and the readers weren't given enough information/clues, but I did like Hamish quite a bit; I may read more of this series, if I find myself short of audiobooks.
  2. Poseidon's Gold (1993) by Lindsey Davis
    I am rereading the earlier ones of this series as I work my way to the ones I've not yet read.  I enjoy the characters and plots, and especially all the historical details.
  3. The Secret of the Old Clock (1930) by Carolyn Keene
    I am sure I must've read this one as a pre-teen, since my parents blessed me with a large collection of Nancy Drew books, but I didn't remember the plot.  It was silly, yes, but I still enjoyed it--especially now that I can picture the clothes and vehicles in the right time period.
  4. Sparkling Cyanide (1945) by Agatha Christie
    An intriguing "stand-alone" mystery.  I hadn't read this one before and was kept constantly guessing and changing my mind about who was guilty.
  5. By the Pricking of My Thumbs (1968) by Agatha Christie
    Another in the Tommy and Tuppence series; a rather complex solution, but satisfying, nonetheless. 
  6. Anne of Green Gables (1908) by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  7. Anne of Avonlea (1909) by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  8. Anne of the Island (1915) by  Lucy Maud Montgomery
    I had seen the two Anne mini-series as a teen, but had never read the books.  These books are gentle, pleasurable, and full of the morals and mores of the turn of the 20th century.  I was immediately drawn into the stories and felt deeply for the characters.  I will definitely read the rest of the series.  (Naturally, the mini-series bear only little resemblence to the books; why make up things for the movies when the books were filled with such wonderful material?!?!?)
  9. The Sign of the Four (1890) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    The second Holmes novel; better written and more enjoyable than the first but still not of the quality that the short stories will become.  Still good fun, though.
  10. Instructions for a Heat Wave (2013) by Maggie O'Farrell
    The characters and situations seemed very true to life, as did the rather ambiguous ending.  I found it an excellent read.
  11. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell
    Wow.  I'll be writing up some notes about it soon.  (update: my discussion is here.)

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