September 2018 books on my list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of asbooks-on-my-list the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget.

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I missed.

September 4

I’d Rather by Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

by Anne Bogel

Series: None

Published by Baker Books

Genre: Nonfiction

160 pages

Synopsis: For so many people, reading isn’t just a hobby or a way to pass the time–it’s a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can’t imagine life without them.

I’d Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone’s life, I’d Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover. 

Wild Fire

by Ann Cleeves

Series: Shetland Island #8

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

416 pages

Synopsis: When the Flemingsdesigner Helena and architect Danielmove into a remote community in the north of Shetland, they think it’s a fresh start for themselves and their children.

But their arrival triggers resentment, and Helena begins to receive small drawings of a gallows and a hanged man. Gossip spreads like wildfire.

A story of dysfunctional families and fractured relationships, Inspector Jimmy Perez’s eighth case will intrigue series fans and Shetland Island newcomers alike. 

Terra Nullius by Claire G. ColemanTerra Nullius

by Claire G. Coleman

Series: Unknown

Published by Small Beer Press

Genre: Science Fiction

294 pages

Synopsis: Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.

The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.

This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history.

Hidden Sun

by Jaine Fenn

Series: Shadowlands Book 1

Published by Angry Robot

Genre: Fantasy

448 pages

Synopsis: An eccentric noblewoman scientist’s journey into a hostile environment will change her world forever, in this enthralling fantasy novel.

Rhia Harlyn is a noble in Shen, one of the dozens of shadowlands which separate the bright, alien skyland. She has a missing brother, an unwanted marriage proposal and an interest in science considered unbecoming in her gender. Her brother’s disappearance coincided with a violent unsolved murder, and Rhia impulsively joins the search party headed into the skyland – a place whose dangers and wonders have long fascinated her. The dangerous journey brings her into conflict with a young rebel stuck between the worlds of shadow and light, and a charismatic cult leader who believes he can defeat death itself.

Daughters of Forgotten Light

by Sean Grigsby

Series: Unknown

Published by Angry Robot

Genre: Science Fiction

352 pages

Synopsis: A floating prison is home to Earth’s unwanted people, where they are forgotten… but not yet dead, in this wild science fiction adventure

Deep space penal colony Oubliette, population: scum.

Lena “Horror” Horowitz leads the Daughters of Forgotten Light, one of three vicious gangs fighting for survival on Oubliette. Their fragile truce is shaken when a new shipment arrives from Earth carrying a fresh batch of prisoners and supplies to squabble over. But the delivery includes two new surprises: a drone, and a baby. Earth Senator Linda Dolfuse wants evidence of the bloodthirsty gangs to justify the government finally eradicating the wasters dumped on Oubliette. There’s only one problem: the baby in the drone’s video may be hers. 

Depth of Winter

by Craig Johnson

Series: Walt Longmire #14

Published by Viking

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

304 pages

Synopsis: Welcome to Walt Longmire’s worst nightmare. In Craig Johnson’s latest mystery, Depth of Winter, an international hit man and the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico has kidnapped Walt’s beloved daughter, Cady, to auction her off to his worst enemies, of which there are many. The American government is of limited help and the Mexican one even less. Walt heads into the one-hundred-and-ten degree heat of the Northern Mexican desert alone, one man against an army. 

Ignite the Stars

by Maura Milan

Series: Unknown

Published by Albert Whitman & Company

Genre: YA Science Fiction

400 pages

Synopsis: Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?

In this exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure—perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles—debut author Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine. 

Not Even Bones

by Rebecca Schaeffer

Series: Unknown

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster. 

September 11

A Borrowing of Bones

by Paula Munier

Series: Mercy Carr #1

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: First in a gripping new mystery series about a retired MP and her bomb-sniffing dog who become embroiled in an investigation in the beautiful Vermont wilderness. 

It may be the Fourth of July weekend, but for retired soldiers Mercy Carr and Belgian Malinois Elvis, it’s just another walk in the remote Lye Brook Wilderness—until the former bomb-sniffing dog alerts to explosives and they find a squalling baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with what appear to be human bones. U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search-and rescue Newfoundland Susie Bear respond to Mercy’s 911 call, and the four must work together to track down a missing mother, solve a cold-case murder, and keep the citizens of Vermont safe on potentially the most incendiary Independence Day since the American Revolution.

A Borrowing of Bones is full of complex twists and real details about search-and-rescue dog training that Paula learned through the training of her own dog. With its canine sidekicks and rich, dramatic story, this debut will be a must-have for mystery fans.

September 18

Worldshaper

by Edward Willett

Series: Unknown

Published by DAW Books

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.

But one shattering moment of violence changes everything. Mysterious attackers kill her best friend. They’re about to kill Shawna. She can’t believe it’s happening–and just like that, it isn’t. It hasn’t. No one else remembers the attack, or her friend. To everyone else, Shawna’s friend never existed…

Everyone, that is, except the mysterious stranger who shows up in Shawna’s shop. He claims her world has been perfect because she Shaped it to be perfect; that it is only one of uncounted Shaped worlds in a great Labyrinth; and that all those worlds are under threat from the Adversary who has now invaded hers. She cannot save her world, he says, but she might be able to save others–if she will follow him from world to world, learning their secrets and carrying them to Ygrair, the mysterious Lady at the Labyrinth’s heart.

Frightened and hounded, Shawna sets off on a desperate journey, uncertain whom she can trust, how to use her newfound power, and what awaits her in the myriad worlds beyond her own.

 September 25

The Sisters of the Winter Wood

by Rena Rossner

Series: Unknown

Published by Redhook

Genre: Fantasy

464 pages

Synopsis: Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life – even if they’ve heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.

But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.

Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods…

The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be – and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer. 

What books do you want to get in September?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Razor by J. Barton Mitchell

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

The Razor by J. Barton Mitchell

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor Books

Publishing date: November 27

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: Brilliant engineer Marcus Flynn has been sentenced to 11-H37 alongside the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals. A hard labor prison planet better known as the Razor, where life expectancy is short and all roads are dead ends.

At least until the Lost Prophet goes active…

In a few hours, prison guards and staff are evacuated, the prisoners are left to die, and dark mysteries begin to surface.

Only Flynn has the skills and knowledge to unravel them, but he will have to rely on the most unlikely of allies–killers, assassins, pirates and smugglers. If they can survive each other they just might survive the Razor…and claim it for their own.

……………………

I like the sound of this book. I’m interested to find out what’s happening on this prison planet. Science fiction is one of my favorite genres!

Review: Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger

Series: Cork O’Connor #4

Genre: Mystery

Setting: Northern Minnesota

Source: Audiobook, Library (11 hours, 15 hours)

Narrator: David Chandler

Publishing Date: 2004

512 pages

Synopsis: When the corpse of a beautiful high school student is discovered on a hillside four months after her disappearance on New Year’s Eve, all evidence points to her boyfriend, local bad boy Solemn Winter Moon. Despite Solemn’s self-incriminating decision to go into hiding, Cork O’Connor, Aurora, Minnesota’s former sheriff, isn’t about to hang the crime on a kid he’s convinced is innocent. In an uphill battle to clear Solemn’s name, Cork encounters no shortage of adversity. Some — like bigotry and bureaucracy — he knows all too well. What Cork isn’t prepared for is the emergence of a long-held resentment from his own childhood. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated. And that’s when the miracles start happening….

My thoughts

I read the first three of this series in 2017 and really liked them. I’ve meant to get back to the series and finally did. I listened to the audiobook and though it was 11 hours long it only took about three days to finish it! The narrator is great and the mystery is very good. It kept me guessing! Just like Cork I had many suspects throughout the course of the book!

The setting in the series is also one I really like. The books take place in northern Minnesota among lakes and forests. The main character is the former sheriff of his county and is part Irish and part Ojibwe Indian. The Ojibwe people and culture play a big part in these books and I love that. Cork O’Connor is very human, makes mistakes, but has strong ethical beliefs. He was raised Catholic, but no longer goes to church. Things happened in earlier books that caused him to doubt the existence of God. This book really explores different beliefs as well as miracles and spirituality. What is real when it comes to God? And how do we really know? How do we interpret “signs” from God? Are they real or not? Is God real? I like how this book talks about these things during the course of this mystery without preaching and without taking anything away from the mystery.

I also like that these books have lots about the relationships of the characters–especially Cork’s family. They have their ups-and-downs in and they’re not perfect, but they love each other. Cork has Ojibwe friends as well as white friends. There are tensions between the two groups of people in this book (as in earlier books), but Cork tries to have good relations with both groups.

I recommend this series if you like mysteries set in interesting places along with compelling characters and ideas.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Awards

Anthony Award for Best Novel (2005)

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book I borrowed (from the library)

Review: Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf

Series: Unknown

Genre: Mystery

Setting: Iowa

Source: Audiobook, Library

Narrator: Julia Whelan

Publishing Date: 2017

296 pages

Synopsis: When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters–her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

My thoughts

This is the first time I’ve read any books by Heather Gudenkauf, but I want to read more. I really enjoyed this story about a woman who lost her hearing in an accident. Her life fell apart after that–she lost her nursing job, she started drinking, her marriage fell apart, she no longer can see her step-daughter as often as she’d like to and she’s estranged from most of her friends. I like that this book feels authentic. The author doesn’t pull any punches.

Background

Two years after her accident Amelia is finally getting her life back together, but it hasn’t been easy. She’s living alone except for her hearing dog, Stitch. She’s applied for a job, but not as a nurse. She loves nursing, but she can’t go back to that yet. She’s joined AA and struggles daily to remain sober. However, she is staying sober.

She does get the job though she missed the first interview when she found a murder victim. The murder victim turns out to be a nurse that Amelia was good friends with before her accident. After the accident she shut out most people. Gwen, the murdered woman, had reached out to Amelia on several occasions–the last time a month or so before–but Amelia ignored her. Since Amelia knew Gwen she’s more drawn to try to find out why Gwen was murdered. There are lots of clues and it’s hard to know why Gwen was murdered. Some strange and scary things happen to Amelia, too–though maybe they’re just her imagination.

Narrator

The mystery is really good. There are a number of parts I thought were scary, but it didn’t stop me from continuing to listen feverishly. I liked the narrator of this audiobook–Julia Whelan. She’s easy to understand though maybe a little too matter-of-fact sometimes. However, I would listen to another book she narrates.

The characters

The fact that Amelia can’t hear really ramps up the suspense in the story. I like that Amelia is determined to be self-sufficient and manage her own life. Stitch is fun to read about. For the most part, he’s a great companion and pretty good hearing dog. He isn’t as obedient as I would have expected though he does come through when he needs to. I was a little surprised he was a hearing dog since he doesn’t always listen too well to Amelia. (That is acknowledged in the book.)

Jake is Amelia’s best friend and the one who has helped her the most to come to terms with her life. He’s a police officer and solidly behind her. Jake was her brother’s best friend and Amelia tagged along behind them–much to their chagrin. She had a crush on him when she was young. Amelia’s husband, David, is still in Amelia’s life. They’re separated, but not divorced. David allows Amelia to have supervised visits with her stepdaughter, but is not very helpful or understanding of what Amelia has gone through.

I’d love to read another book with these characters. However, it doesn’t look like Ms. Gudenkauf writes sequels. I recommend this book–especially if you like mysteries, dogs, people overcoming handicaps and good stories.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book by a local author (Iowa)

Review: Spindle by W.R. Gingell

Spindle by W.R. GingellSpindle by W.R. Gingell

Series: Two Monarchies Sequence #1

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2015

377 pages

Synopsis: She’s not a princess . . . but then, he’s no prince. 

Polyhymnia is deep in enchanted sleep. High in a tower, behind an impenetrable barrier of magical thorns, she sleeps, dreams, and falls ever deeper into her curse. 

Woken by a kiss, Poly finds herself in an alien world where three hundred years have passed and everyone she has ever known is dead. Luck, the enchanter who woke her, seems to think she is the princess. Understandable, since he found her asleep on the princess’ bed, in the royal suite, and dressed in the princess’ clothes. 

Who cursed Poly? Why is someone trying to kill her and Luck? Why can’t she stop falling asleep? 
And why does her hair keep growing? 

Sometimes breaking the curse is just the beginning of the journey.

My thoughts

I loved this fantasy! W.R. Gingell is fast becoming one of my favorite fantasy authors. Several of the books and series I’ve read are a fairytale retelling which is what this book also is. It uses the Sleeping Beauty fairytale as its basis and then turns it all around.

I really enjoyed the story and the characters. The author often adds some romance without that taking over the story and I like that. She also has lots of humor in the book which is always fun. The world building is also interesting. Polyhymnia is woken from a very deep sleep and she doesn’t have much memory of why she fell asleep or exactly who she is. And she keeps falling asleep. Luck is the enchanter who woke her up with a kiss. He thinks she’s a princess and she keeps insisting she isn’t and that she doesn’t have any magic. Luck and Poly bicker and disagree about lots of things, but they also have each other’s back. The two of them embark on a journey and face many adventures. A very good book!

I’ve still got a lot of questions which is great since there are more books in this series. The book has a very satisfying ending, but lots of room for the next book to start where this left off. And it has different main characters. And lots of cats!

I’ve already got the next book in the series–Blackfoot–and will read it soon.

Have you read any books by this author?

My Rating: B+

Reading Challenges

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge hosted by MsNoseinaBook–A fantasy book inspired by a fairytale

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Murder on Millionaires’ Row by Erin Lindsey

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Murder on Millionaires’ Row by Erin Lindsey

Series: Unknown

Published by Minotaur Books

Publishing date: October 2

Genre: Historical Mystery

400 pages

Synopsis: Rose Gallagher might dream of bigger things, but she’s content enough with her life as a housemaid. After all, it’s not every girl from Five Points who gets to spend her days in a posh Fifth Avenue brownstone, even if only to sweep its floors. But all that changes on the day her boss, Mr. Thomas Wiltshire, disappears. Rose is certain Mr. Wiltshire is in trouble, but the police treat his disappearance as nothing more than the whims of a rich young man behaving badly. Meanwhile, the friend who reported him missing is suspiciously unhelpful. With nowhere left to turn, Rose takes it upon herself to find her handsome young employer.

The investigation takes her from the marble palaces of Fifth Avenue to the sordid streets of Five Points. When a ghostly apparition accosts her on the street, Rose begins to realize that the world around her isn’t at all as it seems―and her place in it is about to change forever.

……………………………

I love the cover of this Gilded Age historical mystery. I’ve read at least one of Erin Lindsey’s fantasy novels and I’m interested to see how this mystery is. It sounds entertaining.

How I choose what to read next

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about: The things we’re drawn to when choosing our next reads. I’m very much a mood reader so at any one time I have lots of books I’m thinking about reading. However, a book may sit on my Kindle for months (maybe a few years) before I finally decide to read it. Sometimes I forget about it and sometimes I’m just not wanting to read that author or that particular book anymore. So how do I choose what to read next?

Here are the things I consider:

  1. Other people’s reviews and recommendations–I get a lot of recommendations from other bloggers. I love reading other bloggers’ reviews plus sometimes bloggers recommend a specific book to me either on my blog or on Goodreads.
  2. The author–If I’ve read other things by an author and liked them I might decide to get another book by the author.
  3. The next book in a series I love–When I can get the next book in a series that I love I usually like to read the book soon.
  4. The synopsis–I don’t usually read the whole synopsis since I don’t want to spoil the book, but I do read a little so I have an idea whether it’s the type of book I want to read.
  5. Books on sale, inexpensive or found at the library–I can’t afford to pay $10 for ebooks (which seems to be the price point these days for a lot ebooks.) (Probably 99% of my books are ebooks or audiobooks these days because it’s easier for me to read and listen to them.) If I can’t find a digital copy at the library or it doesn’t go on sale sometimes I don’t ever read the book.
  6. Books with exotic settings–Sometimes I like to read books set in places other than the United States (or in a different part of the States than I live). Most of the fantasy and science fiction I read also count as an exotic setting.
  7. The genre–Sometimes I’m in the mood for a mystery and sometimes a science fiction or fantasy. Occasionally I will read a different genre, but right now I’m reading mostly those three genres.
  8. Reading challenges–I like to join book challenges each year and sometimes I wouldn’t have found a book that I read except that it fits one of the challenges.
  9. The cover–Sometimes I’m browsing on Goodreads or Kirkus or another site and I see a great cover which encourages me to find out more about the book. However, I have to confess that I’ve never read a book just because I liked the cover.

Since I was looking for a book to read yesterday I decided to show the books I’m considering reading next & why:

Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern–The next book in one of my favorite mystery series.

The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey–I read a book by this author a few months ago plus this one is set in Japan.

Murder at Cape Three Points by Kwei Quartey–It’s a mystery set in Ghana and the ebook was on sale (but it’s the third in the series)

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles by Kij Johnson–a fantasy short story about a cat and has a great looking cover.

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor–the next book in a time travel series (exotic setting).  (Originally recommended by Li @ Me and My Books).

Drifters’ Alliance, Book 1 by Elle Casey–reviewed by Sarah @ Brainfluff.

………………..

And the book I chose? Shadow Dancing by Julie Mulhern

What about you? How do you choose the next book to read?

Sunday Post: I’m back again!

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home

My husband and I drove to Indiana this last week where one of our daughter’s has moved. She sold her house in Iowa at the end of June (on the first day it was listed for sale!) so she bought a house in Indiana and signed the paperwork for it this week. My husband and I brought some of the things she had left at our house (including her two Labrador Retrievers!). Bailey and Juneau were so happy to see her!

Once the house was hers we painted her bedrooms, a hallway and living room. She wanted to get them painted before her household goods get delivered (next Thursday or Friday). I’m going to stay here in Indiana through next weekend and then meet up with my husband in eastern Iowa where he is working to get a house ready to sell.

Television

I didn’t watch any television this last week since my daughter didn’t get her internet connected until late in the week plus she doesn’t have a TV since her household goods aren’t here yet.

Blog

I haven’t done a Sunday Post for several months. I struggled earlier this year to get blog posts (especially reviews) written. I think I’m getting a handle on my review books so I’m happy about that. I’ve started just writing a few sentences for some of the books I read. So far that seems to work okay.

Since I’m travelling sometime next weekend I’m not sure I will get to do a Sunday Post and then the next week I won’t have internet for part of the week. I’m going to try to have some posts scheduled.

Last week
Next week
  • Tell Me Something Tuesday
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Review: Spindle by W.R. Gingell
  • Review: Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Sunday Post (tentative since this is a travel day for me)

My books

What I’m reading
  • Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany
  • Blackfoot by W.R. Gingell
  • Black Velvet by Steven Henry
What I read last week
  • Gun Shy by Donna Ball
  • Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger
Books I got this week

Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego

Black Velvet by Steven Henry

Drifters’ Alliance, Book 1 by Elle Casey

The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey

What did you do last week?

Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha WellsArtificial Condition by Martha Wells

Series: The Murderbot Diaries #2

Genre: Science Fiction Novella

Source: Hardback, Library

Publishing Date: 2018

158 pages

Synopsis: It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

My thoughts

I love Murderbot! These books by Martha Wells are such fun to read. Murderbot is so self-aware. I keep thinking of her as female though she’s actually neither male nor female and doesn’t want to be either. It’s hard for me to think of her as “it” as that seems to make her less than she is. However, the author makes a point of calling Murderbot an it so I guess I have to follow that lead. The fact that Murderbot has organic parts as well as inorganic parts makes it hard to think of it as property and with no feelings. Murderbot hacked its “governor” (which made it do whatever humans told it to do) which makes Murderbot’s desire to just watch video serials understandable. Even though Murderbot was treated as an object owned by a company and had to obey orders it has strong ethical beliefs.

This is a short book, but lots is packed in to the story. Murderbot is on its own in this book though it makes some friends along the way. It has decided to investigate what happened in its past–why it calls itself “Murderbot.” After that incident Murderbot’s memory was mostly wiped so it has only vague memories of what happened

Since Murderbot is traveling alone it is posing as an augmented human since security units are either owned by a company or have a human guardian. It hitches a ride on a research transport vehicle that it names ART. ART initially scares Murderbot, but they come to an understanding and help each other. I love the interactions between Murderbot and ART. There’s a lot of snark as well as genuine feeling between them.

The book has mystery, humor, adventure and danger. I already have the third book in the series!

My Rating: A-

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — The next book in a series you’ve started

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Way of the Shield by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

the way of the shield by marshall ryan marescaThe Way of the Shield by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Series: Maradaine Elite #1

Published by DAW Books

Publishing date: October 2

Genre: Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: Dayne Heldrin always dreamed of being a member of the Tarian Order. In centuries past, the Elite Orders of Druthal were warriors that stood for order, justice, and the common people. But now, with constables, King’s Marshals, and a standing army, there is little need for such organizations, and the Tarian Order is one of the last remnants of this ancient legacy. Nevertheless, Dayne trained his body and mind, learned the arts of defense and fighting, to become a candidate for the Tarian Order.

When a failed rescue puts Dayne at fault for injuring the child of a powerful family, his future with the Tarians is in jeopardy. The Parliament controls the purse strings for the Order, and Dayne has angered the wrong members of Parliament. He returns to the capital city of Maradaine in shame, ready to be cast out of the Order when the period of his candidacy ends.

Dayne finds Maradaine in turmoil, as revolutions and dark conspiracies brew around him, threatening members of Parliament and common people alike. Dayne is drawn into the uproar, desperate not to have one more death or injury on his conscience, but the Order wants him to stay out of the situation. The city threatens to tear itself apart, and Dayne must decide between his own future and his vow to always stand between the helpless and harm.

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I really like how Marshall Ryan Maresca has written several series set in this universe. It is very fun to read these different books with different characters. Sometimes some of the things that happened in other series are mentioned in other series. I really like that. This sounds like another good start of a series that will show us another part of Maradaine.