October 2020 books on my list

Mysteries, Science Fiction, Historical, Young Adult, Fantasy, Christmas, Time Travel–Any books here that strike your fancy?

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 as 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 might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

October 1

The Unspoken

by Ian K. Smith

Series: Ashe Cayne #1

Published by Thomas Mercer

Genre: Mystery

295 pages

Synopsis: Former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. After refusing to participate in a police department cover-up involving the death of a young black man, Cayne is pushed out of the force. But he won’t sit quietly on the sidelines: he’s compelled to fight for justice as a private investigator…even if it means putting himself in jeopardy.

When a young woman, Tinsley Gerrigan, goes missing, her wealthy parents from the North Shore hire Cayne to find her. As Cayne looks into her life and past, he uncovers secrets Tinsley’s been hiding from her family. Cayne fears he may never find Tinsley alive.

His worries spike when Tinsley’s boyfriend is found dead—another black man murdered on the tough Chicago streets. Cayne must navigate his complicated relationships within the Chicago PD, leveraging his contacts and police skills to find the missing young woman, see justice done, and earn his redemption.

October 6

Over the Woodward Wall

by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire)

Published by Tordotcom

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, YA

208 pages

Synopsis: Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street.
They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures.

And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

Machine

by Elizabeth Bear

Series: White Space #2

Published by: Gallery / Saga

Genre: Science fiction, Space Opera

496 pages

Synopsis: Meet Doctor Jens.

She hasn’t had a decent cup of coffee in fifteen years. Her workday begins when she jumps out of perfectly good space ships and continues with developing treatments for sick alien species she’s never seen before. She loves her life. Even without the coffee.

But Dr. Jens is about to discover an astonishing mystery: two ships, one ancient and one new, locked in a deadly embrace. The crew is suffering from an unknown ailment and the shipmind is trapped in an inadequate body, much of her memory pared away.

Unfortunately, Dr. Jens can’t resist a mystery and she begins doing some digging. She has no idea that she’s about to discover horrifying and life-changing truths.

Deception by Gaslight

by Kate Belli

Series: Gilded Gaslight Mystery #1

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

327 pages

Synopsis: Glittering Gilded-Age New York holds its lavish charms–and a litany of deadly sins–as intrepid reporter Genevieve Stewart uncovers a trail of corruption and murder.

As a chill sets in on New York City in the winter of 1888, a jewel thief dubbed the “Robin Hood of the Lower East Side” has been stealing from the city’s wealthiest and giving to the poor. Genevieve Stewart–a young woman whose family is part of Mrs. Astor’s famed 400 but who has forged a life of her own as a reporter–decides to chase the story, but gets more than she bargained for: a murder victim sprawled in a dark alley in the dangerous Five Points neighborhood.

A handsome neighborhood tough comes to her rescue–but when she encounters the same man at a glamorous ball a few nights later, she realizes he’s society scion Daniel McCaffrey. Could this be her Robin Hood? When two more murders rock the Knickerbocker world, it becomes apparent that something much more sinister is afoot than a few stolen diamond necklaces. Genevieve is determined to prove that Daniel is Robin Hood–but she’s loath to believe he is a killer as well. From the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue to the sordid back alleys of Five Points, the truth is just one murder away.

Bright and Dangerous Objects

by Anneliese Mackintosh

Published by Tin House Books

Genre: Science Fiction

240 pages

Synopsis: Commercial deep-sea diver Solvig has a secret. She wants to be one of the first human beings to colonize Mars, and she’s one of a hundred people shortlisted by the Mars Project to do just that. But to fulfil her ambition, she’ll have to leave behind everything she’s ever known—for the rest of her life.

As the prospect of heading to space becomes more real, thirty-seven-year-old Solvig is forced to define who she really is. Will she come clean to James, her partner, about her plans?  Or will she turn her back on the project, and commit to her life on Earth? Maybe even try for a baby, like James is hoping? Is there any way she can start a family and go to Mars? Does she even want both things? Intimate and captivating, Bright and Dangerous Objects explores the space between ambition and obligation, grappling with questions women have faced for centuries while investigating a future that humanity is only beginning to think about. In frank, honest, and moving prose, author Anneliese Mackintosh moves from sea to sky, head to heart, and present to future, asking all the while what it means when our wildest dreams begin to come true.

Murder on Cold Street

by Sherry Thomas

Series: Lady Sherlock #5

Published by Berkley Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.

Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.

Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?

The Devil and the Dark Water

by Stuart Turton

Published by Sourcebook Landmarks

Genre: Historical Mystery

448 pages

Synopsis: A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

October 13

A Stitch in Time

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: A Stitch in Time #1

Published by KLA Fricke Inc.

Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance

336 pages

Synopsis: Thorne Manor has always been haunted…and it has always haunted Bronwyn Dale. As a young girl, Bronwyn could pass through a time slip in her great-aunt’s house, where she visited William Thorne, a boy her own age, born two centuries earlier. After a family tragedy, the house was shuttered and Bronwyn was convinced that William existed only in her imagination.

Now, twenty years later Bronwyn inherits Thorne Manor. And when she returns, William is waiting.

Space Throne

by Brian Corley

Published by Electric Fern

Genre: Science Fiction

305 pages

Synopsis: Parr never meant for any of this to happen. All he wanted to do was pilot the Aurora around the galaxy and avoid his royal duties for a while.

Now, in the wake of his parents’ mysterious demise, it’s time to un-fake his death and take up the mantle meant for him since birth.

Unfortunately, it won’t be easy.

A pirate king and the galaxy’s most dangerous bounty hunter stand between him and the gates of his home, Bilena Epso Ach.

Parr will need the help of two unlikely friends. Manc Yelray, a wise-cracking old pirate with money on his mind and an appetite for strange similies. And Ren, a smooth-talking outlander with a plan, and a shadowy secret of her own.

But do they have what it takes? And what will they eat along the way? Because there’s only one rule in space: never eat the hot snack.

ANYTHING but the hot snack.

October 15

Hard Time

by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Time Police #2

Published by Headline

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

352 pages

Synopsis: Team Weird are back causing havoc in the Time Police in this irresistible spin-off series by international bestseller Jodi Taylor, author of The Chronicles of St Mary’s. If you love Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde, you’ll love the Time Police.

A time slip in Versailles, problems in the Ice Age and illegal time travellers in need of rescue. Must be a job for the Time Police.

Luke, Jane and Matthew are back and ready to cause havoc – inadvertently or otherwise – in their latest adventures.

October 20

Christmas at the Island Hotel

by Jenny Colgan

Series: Mure #4

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Fiction, Christmas, Romance

352 pages

Synopsis: On the tiny, beautiful, and remote island of Mure, halfway between Scotland and Norway, a new hotel opening is a big event. New mother Flora MacKenzie and her brother Fintan are working themselves half to death to get it ready in time for Christmas. 

The new hotel’s impressive kitchens throw together two unlikely new friends: Isla Gregor is the hardworking young girl who has been a waitress in the island’s cafe, dreaming of a bigger, better life now that she’s at a proper fancy hotel. Konstantin Pederson is working his way up in the hotel’s kitchens too…but he is also, secretly, the only son of the Duke of Utsire. Konstantin has been sent to learn what it is to work hard for a living, before receiving his inheritance. Although he’s initially resentful, the place grows on him; he has never met anyone quite like Isla and her fellow Murians before. 

As the island’s residents and special VIP guests gather for the hotel’s grand opening gala, Christmas is in the air. But so are more than a few small-town secrets…

What October books are you interested in?

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish discoveries in 2019

Favorite new authors, genres I don’t usually read, Kindle Unlimited, WordPress.com and Libby

That Artsy Reader Girl has hosted Top Ten Tuesday since January of 2018. This is a fun meme with specific topics each week. If you like to make lists and talk about books be sure to check it out.

Today I’m talking about some of the Bookish discoveries I made In 2019.

Genres I don’t usually read

Memoir
  • I read Becoming by Michelle Obama. I don’t usually read memoirs or biographies, but I enjoyed this one a lot–especially since I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Michelle Obama. So interesting to hear about her childhood, her meeting with and marriage to Barack Obama, and then her life as the First Lady in the White House.
Nonfiction

I don’t read very much nonfiction, but I read two that were completely different from each other, but I enjoyed them both a lot.

Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage was about dogs used in the military both during wartime and peacetime. I loved the talk about the bonds between the dogs and their handlers and the dogs even help soldiers that aren’t their handlers. The dogs save peoples’ lives and since they are working dogs have a strong drive and love of working.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is a completely different type of book. I listened to the audiobook. It’s a series of letters between Helene Hanff and employees of the Marks and Company Bookshop over a 20 year period. They all become friends although they haven’t met face-to-face. I used to write long letters to friends, but these days not so much. This book shows why regular correspondence can be such a joy.

Middle Grade
  • Zero G by Dan Wells and Wish by Barbara O’Connor are both Audible Original books which were free in the program they began last fall for Audible members. Members get to choose two free audiobooks from about six books. I admit I’ve had problems some months choosing two books that interested me. Plus I quit Audible for several months because of the price. I recently rejoined when they offered a reduced price for three months. One of the types of books I enjoyed listening to are the middle grade books they’ve often had in the free program.

Favorite new authors

Lucy Dillon
  • I read both Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts and Walking Back to Happiness by Lucy Dillon.
  • I loved both of these books. There are lots of dogs in the books and some romance!
Linda Holmes
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over was such a good book. At the end of the book I felt so happy which is one of the reasons I love reading.

Apps

Libby

I get as many books as I can from the library. I’m not quite sure when I downloaded the library app Libby to my phone, but it’s so much better than library apps I’ve had in the past. I use Libby to listen to the audiobooks I check out and I really like it.

Other apps I use a lot–Audible, Kindle, goodreads–are all ones I’ve used for a long time.

Websites

WordPress.com

I discovered I could move my blog from a self-published wordpress blog to wordpress.com and keep the name of my blog plus save a lot of money and not have to figure out how to do everything on my own.

Miscellaneous

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon offered Kindle Unlimited (KU) for a reduced price for three months last fall. I’d tried it once before, but didn’t find enough books at that time to continue paying for it. This time I’ve found a lot of books that interest me. Some of the books are from favorite authors, but a lot of them are from authors I haven’t read before. I love to try new authors and KU books are often independently published. And I love finding books like that, too.

Since I’m now paying full price I’m keeping track of the KU books I read each month. I figure I need to read at least two KU books a month to get my money’s worth. (Most KU books seem to cost about $4.99 without a KU membership.)

  • I read a total of nine KU books since October (when I signed up for KU). Four of the KU books are by Katherine Pathak.
  • They’re all in the DCI Dani Bevan Mystery series. I enjoy these mysteries, but I might not have found them if they weren’t KU books since Pathak was a new author to me and one I hadn’t heard of before. And I might not have read that many books so quickly.

Did you make Bookish Discoveries last year? What were they?

Review: Zero G by Dan Wells

Zero G by Dan Wells

Series: None

Genre: Middle Grade Science Fiction

Setting: On board a spaceship

Source: Audiobook (Free monthly member selection from Audible) (4 hours, 8 minutes)

Narrators: Emily Woo,  Margaret Ying Drake, Josh Hurley, Allyson Johnson, David Shih, Eddy Lee, Jennifer Van Dyck, Betsy Hogg, Chelsea Spack, Polly Lee 

Publishing Date: 2018

Synopsis: It’s one kid versus an entire band of space pirates in this cosmic middle grade caper from New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells.

Zero is just one of 20,000 people aboard a spaceship bound for a new planet set to be colonized. The journey is over a century long but luckily, everyone is in stasis, so they’ll be safe and sound asleep during the trip. Everyone that is, except for Zero, whose pod has malfunctioned, waking him up a hundred years early. His initial excitement in roaming the ship alone quickly turns to a heart-stopping interstellar adventure when a family of space pirates show up, trying to hijack the ship and take the colonizers hostage. With everyone he knows fast asleep, it’s up to Zero to think fast and find a way to stop them–all on his own.

My thoughts

This is a fun adventure story. I think it’s more middle grade book than young adult (which is how some people on Goodreads describe it). It’s important to remember this is a middle grade book so some suspension of disbelief is needed. I didn’t have a problem because the story is so much fun. Zero is such a courageous, adventurous character.

Spaceship to new planet

Zero is 12-years-old and travelling with his family to a new planet. Everyone will be in stasis during the voyage since the trip will take about 100 years. Zero is super adventurous so before he and his family are scheduled to sleep he escapes his family and enjoys the zero gravity by flying through the spaceship exploring various parts of the ship. He meets the ship’s pilot who will guide the ship through the solar system the first few weeks of the trip so they avoid collisions with asteroids. And he even meets the ship’s AI. The AI will help the pilot guide the ship. After meeting them Zero realizes he needs to quickly head back to the part of the ship where his family is scheduled to sleep. When he gets back he discovers his two brothers are already asleep and his parents are beginning to worry about him. They enter their pods and soon sleep.

When Zero wakes up he’s excited to talk to his family and see the new planet. However, when he leaves his sleep pod neither his family nor anyone else near them is awake. He remembers the ship AI and talks to it. The ship AI tells him they’re only weeks into the trip and it thinks his pod must have malfunctioned somehow. They are approaching the Kuiper Belt at the edge of the Solar System. After that the ship goes into its hyper drive which a human can’t survive. At that time even the ship’s pilot goes into a sleep pod so he can survive and wake up to guide the ship to their new planet.

Zero quickly discovers the ship’s pilot is missing and there’s no one to pilot the ship through the asteroids of the Kuiper Belt. He also discovers the AI has some holes in its memory. The AI tells Zero he will have to help pilot the ship to avoid asteroids since the AI isn’t programmed to do that. Just after he helps the ship avoid an asteroid, Zero sees something else headed toward them. It turns out it’s a spaceship filled with space pirates! When Zero finds that out he realizes he has to save the ship and all the people on it. Zero is very innovative as he wages guerrilla warfare against the pirates! There’s excitement throughout the rest of the story. Several of the pirates are bad people, but I think this wouldn’t be a problem for most kids. Maybe because Zero is such an intrepid opponent.

Narration

I loved the full cast narration. Really fun to listen to.

Bottom line

I think this would be a great audio for a family to listen to on a road trip. I think my kids would have loved this when they were younger and I’d guess even kids as young as about 8-years-old as well as many adults will enjoy this. I’d love to listen to more Zero G stories about his adventures on their new planetary home.

My Rating: A-

Narrator Ratings: A-

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

  • 52 books in 52 weeks hosted by the mommymannegren.com blog (a children’s book–I’m interpreting that as middle grade book)
  • Review Writing Challenge hosted by Shari @ Delighted Reader blog

Review: Sargasso of Space by Andre Norton

Sargasso of Space by Andre Norton

Series: Solar Queen #1

Genre: Science Fiction

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 1955

286 pages

Synopsis: Dane signed on with the independent cargo ship Solar Queen looking for a career in off-world trade. In Sargasso of Space, the Solar Queen free traders win exclusive rights to trade with the planet Limbo, but the crew arrives to find most of the planet’s surface charred, with little signs of life. They find a valley with life, but others may still lurk. Worse yet, a strange force threatens to cripple the Queen. They must solve the planet’s mysteries if they hope to escape not only with tradable goods, but their lives.

My thoughts

I remember reading this as a teenager. There are three in the series and I remember wanting to read more about the Solar Queen’s adventures. I’ve always liked books about traders in space. (That was one of the things I loved about Firefly–one of my favorite TV shows.)

This book is told from Dane Thorson’s POV. He’s the newest, youngest and least experienced member of the crew. He is disappointed when he discovers he is apprenticed to a small independent free trader. The large company ships are the ships that have the most profitable markets. However, Dane soon gets to know his shipmates and settles in. That’s the first part of the book.

The adventures begin when the ship happens to land on a world where an auction takes place for trading rights for new worlds. The Solar Queen manages to get the last world, but when they look at the specs for that world they immediately see there are lots of problems. The rest of the book is a series of adventures, problems and danger the crew must overcome. I enjoyed it this time as much as I remember enjoying the book years ago. I think this would be a great middle grade or young adult book.

My Rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book set on a different planet