My favorite books so far this year . . .

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week I’m talking about my favorite books so far this year. I’m lucky, because I’ve read some very good books.  🙂

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“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”

  • by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Reviewed: January 21
  • Grade: A

Foxglove Summer

  • by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Series: Peter Grant #5
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Reviewed: February 2
  • Grade: A-

Karen Memory

  • by Elizabeth Bear
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Fantasy (steampunk)
  • Reviewed: March 13
  • Grade: B+

Dead Heat

  • by Patricia Briggs
  • Series: Alpha & Omega #4
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Reviewed: May 30
  • Grade: A-

Raven Black

  • by Ann Cleeves
  • Series: Shetland #1
  • Genre: Contemporary Mystery
  • Reviewed: June 17
  • Grade: B+

Uprooted

  • by Naomi Novik
  • Series: None
  • Genre: fantasy
  • Reviewed: June 19
  • Grade: A

Ready Player One

  • by Ernest Cline
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Science Fiction (distopia)
  • Reviewed: June 27
  • Grade: A

Necessary as Blood

  • by Deborah Crombie
  • Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series #13
  • Genre: Contemporary Mystery (police procedural)
  • Reviewed: June 26
  • Grade: A

Lock In

  • by John Scalzi
  • Series: Lock In #1
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Reviewed: not reviewed yet
  • Grade: A

The Siren Depths

  • by Martha Wells
  • Series: The Books of the Raksura #3
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Reviewed: not reviewed yet
  • Grade: A

What are your favorite books so far this year?

Sunday Post: Jun 28

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgThe Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week

Home & blog

Rain and more rain . . . and a birthday!
Today is my husband’s birthday! Yay! I got him a book he’s been wanting. It hasn’t been available on Amazon for quite awhile so I found it at The Book Depository. So glad I could get it from there.
We got home from Iowa Monday evening and all week I’ve played catch-up. I did get cards finished and mailed for birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions. Plus a birthday card for my husband!

We’ve had thunderstorms several days this week. Today it started raining in the morning and we’ve had thunderstorms this afternoon plus a flood watch and tornado watch. Our pond has never been so high. At least our grass is nice and green and the plants are growing.

However, when we looked closely at our plants we discovered most of them being eaten by Japanese beetles. One of our roses must have had 50 or more beetles eating the poor plants. I hate these beetles. It makes me feel sick to see our poor plants. Of course, we’re growing several of their favorite plants–roses, birches and crape myrtles. They’ve become a serious problem in North America where they don’t have natural predators. (In Japan they aren’t much of a problem since they have predators to take care of them.) Our next door neighbor has two Japanese beetle traps. Unfortunately, several studies have found the traps may attract more beetles than they trap. Our neighbor doesn’t believe this. 😦

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Disturbed Earth by E. E. Richardson

What I read last week

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

When Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Library Books

None

E-books

The Rabbit Factory & Bloodthirsty by Marshall Karp

Laisrathera by M.C.A. Hogarth

Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks (Kindle First book–free)

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

The Book of Bart by Ryan Hill

Audiobooks

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

The Art of Racing in the Wind by Garth Stein

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

Around the Internet

Free Sync Audio books

Sync is back again for the summer (May 7 – Aug 14). Sync is a program which provides two free young adult audiobook downloads each week. One audiobook is a current audiobook and the other is a classic audiobook. Each set of two books are only available for one week.

To listen to these books you must download Overdrive Media Console. It is available free to download at the Sync site.

For the week of June 25 – July 2

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

For the week July 2 – 9

Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon & Chris Macias

Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja

Next Week

Home & blog

Our guests arrive this next week! I’m excited to see everyone and at the last minute my sister-in-law is able to come, too! Very happy about that. Also our three children are coming. So happy to have everyone visiting. We’re going to make seven trips to airports to pick up and drop off! I’m going to try to get next week’s posts all set up because, of course, I’m not that organized yet!

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review: When Last the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
  • Review: Lock In by John Scalzi
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning next week?

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready-player-oneReady Player One
by Ernest Cline
Series: None
Genre: Science Fiction (Dystopia)
Setting: Oklahoma City, OK and Columbus, OH, 2045
Published by Crown, 2011
E-book, purchased
375 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Then the Hunt for Halliday’s Easter egg began. That was what saved me, I think. Suddenly I’d found something worth doing. A dream worth chasing.

. . .

The moment I began searching for the egg, the future no longer seemed so bleak.

and

…there was no escaping the truth. In real life, I was nothing but an antisocial hermit. A Recluse. A pale-skinned pop culture-obsessed geek. An agoraphobic shut-in. with no real friends, family, or genuine human contact. I was just another sad, lost, lonely soul, wasting his life on a glorified videogame.

Cheers

  • I loved this! It’s a love fest for all things 1980’s!
  • This book is so different and original. Great world building.
  • “Real” life is very difficult and depressing and most people live in a virtual world called the OASIS. Many of them play on-line games. That is what Wade Watts does in his free time.
  • Wade even attends school in the OASIS. When the book begins Wade lives with his aunt in a trailer house. The trailer houses are stacked one on top of another with narrow space between the next stack of trailer houses. The mid-twenty-first century slum.
  • We don’t see very much of the “real” world.
  • The book reminds me a little of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because there is a contest in Ready Player One also. However, the stakes are much higher in Ready Player One since the winner in this story inherits everything the creator of the OASIS owned when he died. The whole world goes wild trying to find the clues hidden in the OASIS.
  • James Halliday (creator of the OASIS) was worth billions and was obsessed with the 1980’s–the decade he was a teenager. The contest he has created is filled with 1980’s pop culture references and video games.
  • The contest takes years and individuals aren’t the only ones interested in winning. And not everyone plays nice.
  • As I read the book I could see it as a movie–and now I see it will become a movie!

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I was so surprised when I read this book. I hadn’t heard of the author or the book until a few weeks before I bought and read it. I’m so glad I found it!
  • And I’m happy that Mr. Cline’s second book–Armada–is coming out in July.

Awards

  • Prometheus Award for Best Novel (2012)
  • ALA Alex Award (2012)
  • Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2014),
  • Tähtivaeltaja Award Nominee (2013)
  • Green Mountain Book Award Nominee (2015)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Ernest Cline is a novelist, screenwriter and self-confessed geek. This is his first novel and it’s a New York Times bestseller! The book is set to become a movie by Warner Bros. with Steven Spielberg as the director.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book with a number in the title)

Review: Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie

necessary-as-bloodNecessary as Blood
by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series #13
Genre: Contemporary Mystery (police procedural)
Setting: East End, London, England
Published by Harper Collins e-books, 2009
E-book, purchased
388 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: Once the haunt of Jack the Ripper, London’s East End is a vibrant mix of history and new ideas, but the trendy galleries of Brick Lane disguise a seedy underside where unthinkable crimes bring terror to the innocent. Artist and young mother Sandra Gilles disappears without trace after leaving her three-year-old daughter, Charlotte, with a friend at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Her lawyer husband, Naz Malik, is devastated – but he’s also the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

“…I don’t feel quite right about using our parish church for hatch, match, and dispatch,” she amended. “It just seems a bit callous, somehow.”

and

Whatever her rationale, she was meddling in their case, and he didn’t like it. He disliked even more the fact that he couldn’t complain about it.

But he would just have to bide his time.

Cheers

  • This is such a good series and I especially like the conclusion of this book in the personal life of Gemma and Duncan.

    necessary-as-blood-map
    Laura Hartman Maestro’s map from the hardcover edition endpapers
  • Gemma and Duncan are such fun to read about both in their professional lives and in their personal lives.
  • Duncan and Gemma are engaged in this book, but Duncan is worried that Gemma may not want to get married since she keeps putting off setting a date for the wedding.
  • I also love reading about Kit and Toby. Ms. Crombie does a good job with the children in these books.
  • We get more of a view of Gemma’s family in this book. Gemma’s mother has cancer and is in the hospital. Gemma’s father isn’t the strong one in the relationship and he has trouble holding things together. He lashes out at Gemma who is very hurt by the things he says to her.
  • The mystery in this book is very good. It was hard to figure out exactly what had happened. It’s especially heartbreaking because of three-year-old Charlotte whose mother disappeared.
  • Gemma gets involved in this case, but from a different angle than Duncan and his sergeant.
  • I’ve mentioned before how much I love the maps which are in the hardcover edition endpapers. Laura Hartman Maestro does a wonderful job drawing them. Most of the maps are also available to view on Ms. Crombie’s web page. Though don’t look too closely at a map from a book you haven’t read–it might contain spoilers.

Jeers

  • None

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I love this series. Each book is so good and I love reading about the solving of the mysteries as well as reading more about Gemma and Duncan and their family.
  • My only worry is that there are only 16 books in the series so far and this is number 13. I think she’s writing another book in the series, but there’s no publishing date yet.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • A trip to Yorkshire inspired Deborah Crombie’s first Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mystery. She’s a Texas native who still lives in Texas though she spends time in England every year.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog

Favorite Top Ten Topics

toptentuesday2

Happy Birthday Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week we talk about our favorite Top Ten Tuesday Topics from the last five years. I haven’t been doing this meme for five years, but I have done it for a couple of years so this post is my favorite topics from those I’ve done.

For each topic I’ve chosen I give one of my favorites from that post.

1. Goals and Resolutions–I’ve written out my Goals and Resolutions the last two years.

  • The one I really want to complete–Write and schedule at least three weeks of posts.

Making my blogging & reading life easier (August 20, 2013)

  • My Kindle e-reader. I love it–as simple as that!

Places books have made me want to visit (October 14, 2014)

  • The Scotland coast north of Aberdeen (from The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley)

Favorite book quotes (February 25, 2014)

  • “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Reading turn-offs (October 1, 2013)

  • Too many flashbacks

Books for people who like historical mysteries (March 10, 2015)

  • Murder on St. Mark’s Place by Victoria Thompson

My sci fi/fantasy book club (January 27, 2015)

  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

My favorite mystery writers (January 20, 2015)

  • Deborah Crombie who writes the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid series. I’ve read 13 books in this series in less than a year.

Memorable Secondary Characters? (August 27, 2013)

  • The Luidaeg–She obviously likes Toby, but she’s also short-tempered and very dangerous. (from the October Daye series)

Top Ten Most Vivid Book World/Settings (April 16, 2013)

  • Doomsday Book by Connie Willis–time travel back in history to 1348 England during the Black Plague

What are your favorite Top Ten topics?

Sunday Post: Jun 21

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week

Home & blog

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Hot, humid and stormy several days in Maryland. We left for Iowa Thursday evening and it’s cooler here. We’ve had a great weekend celebrating Father’s Day with my father-in-law. Several other family members are here as well as a number of dogs! We’ve barbecued, gone to a play at the local community theater (saw Cats–I love the music for it), lots of yard work, log splitting and lots and lots of talking! A great long weekend. 🙂

I’m late with my Sunday Post since Sunday evening is the soonest I could find time to finish it up!

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

What I read last week

The Siren Depths by Martha Wells (audiobook)

Rose Point by M.C.A. Hogarth

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

 

Library Books

None

E-books

The Deep End by Julie Mulhern

Audiobooks

Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh

Glory Road by Robert Heinlein

Around the Internet

Free Sync Audio books

Sync is back again for the summer (May 7 – Aug 14). Sync is a program which provides two free young adult audiobook downloads each week. One audiobook is a current audiobook and the other is a classic audiobook. Each set of two books are only available for one week.

To listen to these books you must download Overdrive Media Console. It is available free to download at the Sync site.

Audiobooks for download the week of June 18 – 25

For the week of June 18 – 25

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Next Week

Home & blog

We travel back to Maryland on Monday. I’m sure I’ll have a busy week since I have guests (my brother and three children) arriving for the last week of June. They all arrive and leave at different times so I have to keep a schedule for all the pick-up and drop-off ! I’m really looking forward to all of them coming.

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review:Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie
  • Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning next week?

Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

shades-of-milk-and-honeyShades of Milk and Honey
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Series: Glamourist Histories #1
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Tor Books,
E-book, purchased
304 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.

Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right–and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

This debut novel from an award-winning talent scratches a literary itch you never knew you had. Like wandering onto a secret picnic attended by Pride and Prejudice and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Shades of Milk and Honey is precisely the sort of tale we would expect from Jane Austen…if only she had been a fantasy writer.

“. . . Illusions should be entrancing without someone looking behind the scenes to see how they are made. Would you enjoy a play where you saw the mechanicals exposed? For me, it is much the same. I want the illusion to remain whole. If someone thinks about how it is done, then I have failed in my art.”

At last Jane apprehended his meaning and how she had transgressed at the ball and then again here, but her own principles were different. “I have always thought that an educated audience could more fully appreciate the effort which went into creating a piece of art.”

Cheers

  • A fantasy with a nod to Jane Austen and Regency England.
  • Manipulating glamour is so much a part of this world. The magic is very interesting–especially how it’s so tied up with the manners of the society.
  • I like the way Jane uses her glamour. Playing music, for example, to enhance it with glamour.
  • This world has so much potential.

Jeers

  • I thought the story had a lot of potential, but didn’t quite live up to that potential. I want more magic and world building and less romance maybe?
  • The story has the basics of many of Jane Austen’s books–society events, the silly young women, an older, plainer spinster–but not some of the substance.
  • Jane’s sister and mother are so annoying!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’ve wanted to read this book for quite awhile, but just hadn’t gotten to it.
  • I listened to a novella–“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”–written by Ms. Kowal and that whetted my appetite for more books by her, but that story is very different from this fantasy.
  • Because I enjoyed “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” so much I expected to really like this book. Thus, I’m disappointed with this book, but I’m going to read the second book and hope I like it more.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Mary Robinette Kowal is not only an award-winning writer, but also an award-winning puppeteer. One of her short stories–“For Want of a Nail”–won the Nebula Award in 2011 and this book was also nominated for a Nebula Award. “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” won a Hugo Award last year. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

UprootedUprooted
by Naomi Novik
Series: Unknown
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Del Rey, 2015
Library book
438 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

“It was all right when I did it,” I said, “but when you did it, it was wrong. As though–you were following a trail, but a tree had fallen down in the meantime, or some hedge grew up, and you insisted on continuing on anyway, instead of going around it–”

“There are no hedges!” he roared.

“It comes, I suppose,” I said thoughtfully, speaking to the air, of spending too much time alone indoors, and forgetting that living things don’t always stay where you put them.”

He ordered me from the room in stiff fury.

Cheers

  • I love this fantasy. Such a good book and so fun to read.
  • The author grew up listening to Polish fairy tales and with this story she pays her respect to that beginning.
  • I also love the cover of this book. I think it’s my favorite of the year so far.
  • I like the way Ms. Novik took a story, a trope about young women given to a dragon–and completely changes it. It’s still a fairy tale just not the one we think it is. I love the opening sentences: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice . . . .”
  • A book of magic–wizards and witches–and some kind of alien evil in the woods. And different types of magic which neither group understands.
  • This isn’t a young adult fantasy even though the main character is just 17.
  • The friendships (or lack of them) in this book are so important to the story. Especially the friendship between Agnieszka and Kasia.
  • I like that the romance in this story is not the focus. I’ve mentioned before I like my fantasy without a lot of romance.
  • I like the mysteries in this fantasy. What exactly is the Wood? How and why does it do the things it does? What is happening in the capital? What does the Dragon do to keep the valley safe? Why does he take a young woman from the valley every ten years?
  • The answers to all these questions make a great story.
  • Every part of this story is wonderful. I recommend this story to anyone who likes fantasy. And even those who think they don’t!

Jeers

  • I would love to read more books set in this world.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I recently found His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik in a box of books I was sorting to donate to my library. That makes me happy! I’ve had the book for quite awhile and now I really want to read it now that I’ve had a taste of Ms. Novik’s writing.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Naomi Novik lives in NYC with her husband and many computers. She grew up listening to Polish folk tales. Her first novel–His Majesty’s Dragon–was published in 2006. This was the first book in the Temeraire series about the Napoleonic Wars–but with dragons! And now she has written Uprooted–an entirely different fantasy.

Reading Challenges

TBR Review: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

raven-blackRaven Black
by Ann Cleeves
Narrated by Gordon Griffin
Series: Shetland #1
Genre: Mystery
Published by Minotaur Books, 2006 (Macmillan Audio, 2014)
Audiobook, purchased
384 pages
11 hours, 21 minutes
Grade: B+
Narrator grade: B+
Synopsis: Raven Black begins on New Year’s Eve with a lonely outcast named Magnus Tait, who stays home waiting for visitors who never come. But the next morning the body of a murdered teenage girl is discovered nearby, and suspicion falls on Magnus. Inspector Jimmy Perez enters an investigative maze that leads deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go.

It was precisely midnight when he stepped through the door. Taylor had said he wanted everyone in the Incident Room an hour before first light the next day, but Perez wasn’t ready for sleep. As he switched on the kettle to make tea, he remembered he hadn’t eaten since lunchtime and stuck sliced bread under the grill, fished margarine and marmalade from the fridge. He’d have breakfast now, save time in the morning.

Cheers

  • This is my TBR Review for June. This reading challenge is hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian. We post a review on the third Wednesday every month and she provides a topic each month to choose our TBR read from. This is an optional exercise, but fun for me to try to find a TBR book that fits the topic. This month the challenge is to choose an author that I have more than one of her books in my TBR pile. I think I have four or five of Ann Cleeves’ books.
  • I really like this book. I like the way the author tells the story–from a number of points of view–as we as well as the police try to figure out why the girl was murdered. The narrator did a great job narrating the book.
  • This is a character-driven mystery. There’s not a lot of action. That’s what I really like about it–learning more about the people and motivations.
  • The story told from many points of view (POV)–Jimmy Perez, the inspector from Shetland Island; Fran Hunter who finds the body; Magnus Tait, the lonely old man whom everyone is sure killed a girl who disappeared in the past; Sally Henry a girl who doesn’t fit in with her peers.
  • Even though the main POV is Jimmy Perez’s, the police inspector, this isn’t really a police procedural, because we see so many other POV’s during the story.
  • The Shetland Islands setting is so important to the story. An island–the isolation, the weather, the islanders v. newcomers (mostly English) v. tourists are all part of this story.
  • I like reading about islands and the people who live on them. Islands are so unique as are the people who live on them.
  • I didn’t figure out the solution to this mystery until the end.

Jeers

  • In the next book I want to learn more about Jimmy Perez.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is a good beginning of a mystery series. I want to read more of the books.
  • I would really like to see the TV show for this series though I want to read the books first.

Awards

  • CWA Gold Dagger Award (2006)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Ann Cleeves is a British mystery writer–author of the Vera Stanhope series and the Shetland series–both series made into TV series.
  • She worked as a cook at the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle. While there she met a visiting ornithologist who became her husband. He was appointed warden to a small tidal island nature preserve. They were the only residents there and Ms. Cleeves found plenty of time to write. After that they moved to Northumberland which provided inspiration for many of her books. They now live in the North East.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • TBR Challenge–hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian (an author with more than one book in my TBR pile)
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (A book turned into a TV show–though I haven’t seen the TV show)

My TBR books for summer

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week we talk about our TBR books for the summer.

All these books are from my TBR pile. Last week I talked about books I especially want that come out this summer. (See the list at the end of TBR list).

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The Ghost Brigade

  • Author: John Scalzi
  • Series: Old Man’s War #2
  • Genre: Science Fiction

The Seat of Magic

  • Author: J. Kathleen Cheney
  • Series: The Golden City #2
  • Genre: Fantasy

Shadow of Night

  • Author: Deborah Harkness
  • Series: All Souls Trilogy #2
  • Genre: Fantasy

Caliban’s War

  • Author: James S. A. Corey
  • Series: Expanse #2
  • Genre: Science Fiction

The Martian

  • Author: Andy Weir
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Science Fiction

The Thorn of Dentonhill: A Novel of Maradaine

  • Author: Marshall Ryan Maresca
  • Series: Maradaine #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

Master of Plagues

  • Author: E. L. Tettensor
  • Series: Nicolas Lenoir #2
  • Genre: Fantasy

A Natural History of Dragons

  • Author: Marie Brennan
  • Series: Memoir of Lady Trent #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

First Time in Forever

  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Series: Puffin Island #1
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

Earth Flight

  • Author: Janet Edwards
  • Series: Earth Girl #3
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Note: This book comes out in September in the United States, but I bought the UK version from Book Depository earlier in the year.

These are the books coming out this summer I especially want to read (which I talked about in last week’s post):

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (already read!)

Stories of the Raksura, Vol. 2 by Martha Wells

Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy

A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Armada by Ernest Cline

One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

Hallow Point by Ari Marmell

A Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

What are your TBR books for the summer?