As to my reading plans, I'm moving along nicely. According to my overall Goodreads' total challenge of reading 120 books in 2017, I'm 3 books ahead of schedule. Mind you, I have read a great many shortish books so that may be somewhat misleading. As to variety, because I've been trying to complete my 12 + 4 challenge (all Science Fiction) and also work through a number of mystery series, the variety hasn't been great, if you just consider genres. But I'm sure it'll all work out in the end. Ultimately, the key is to enjoy what I'm reading and let the challenges resolve themselves as they may.
|My favourite book of February|
Feb 2017 Total
Books Read 10 22
Pages Read (approx.) 2,600 5,600 (Average per book - 255)
< 250 5 12
250 - 350 3 7
351 - 450 2 2
> 450 0 1
Female 3 4
Male 7 18
5 - star 0 1
4 - star 9 13
3 - star 1 8
Fiction 0 2
Mystery 5 10
SciFi 5 10
Non-Fiction 0 0
Humour 0 0
Classics 0 0
Reading Group Challenges
|One of 4 completed|
1. Ballroom of the Skies by John D. MacDonald (1952) - 3 stars
2. City by Clifford D. Simak (1952) - 4 stars
3. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester (1953) - 4 stars
4. The Door to Summer by Robert Heinlein (1957) - 4 stars
Canadian Literature (1 of 5) - Nothing read in this category in February
Classics (0 of 4) - Nothing read in February
|Joe Gunther #1|
5. Open Season by Archer Mayor (Joe Gunther #1) - 4 stars
6. The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker (Bruno, Chief of Police #4) - 4 stars
|Kat Colorado #1|
7. The Judas Pair by Jonathan Gash (Lovejoy #1) - 4 stars
8. Katwalk by Karen Kijewski (Kat Colorado #1) - 4 stars
9. Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris (Harper Connelly #4 - series complete) - 4 stars
10. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #3) - 4 stars
Horror (0 of 5)
Science Fiction (0 of 5) - I'm thinking that if I finish my 12 + 4 challenge early enough, as in March or early April, I'll do another combining a mix of Fantasy/ Horror / SciFi and that will leave me the other book of the 4 I read at a time for the remaining genres. :0)
Fiction (1 of 15) (nothing new in February)
Non-Fiction (0 of 5)
Spy / Thriller / War (0 of 10)
My Top 3 Books of February
"The Crowded Grave is the 4th book in the Bruno, Chief of Police mystery series, by Martin Walker, a series that very quickly became one of my favourites. Bruno is the police chief in the small French hamlet of St. Denis and the stories for the most part focus on cases and the lives of the people who reside in the community and surrounding area.
In The Crowded Grave, Bruno investigates a body discovered at an archaeological dig and crimes against local foie gras producers. As well, he is seconded to the national security apparatus as they are organising a conference in the local area between French and Spanish governments. Add to the mix a new, young state prosecutor, on whose bad side Bruno seems to fall, and the arrival of previous love, Isabelle, and you've got the makings of a fast-paced interesting story.
There is so much to like about the Bruno books as they focus on more than just crime. There is the wonderful, close community of St. Denis, the fantastic cuisine that they share with you with such enjoyment and the scenic area where the stories are set. It's difficult not to want to visit.
The mysteries in The Crowded Grave are interesting as you have possible involvement by PETA, suspicious activities by Basque separates, a decades old mystery. It definitely keeps the story moving along and Bruno has to use all of his wits to try and sort out whether the various activities are related. Throw in the fact that his current love, English resident Pamela, has family problems of her own to deal with and the confusion to Bruno of the arrival of Isabelle and it's an intriguing story. The story is wrapped up very nicely although it left me very sad at the end; something that I never expected to happen, that did and left me heart - broken. But I'll leave that for you to find out. If you've never delved into Bruno's world, I recommend it heartily. If you have, this book is a worthy follow-on to the first three. (4 stars)"
The remaining books are -
The Devil's Cave (2012)
Bruno and the Carol Singers (2012) - e-book / short story
The Resistance Man (2013)
Children of War (US title The Children Return) (2014)
The Dying Season (US title The Patriarch) (2015)
Fatal Pursuit (2015)
"City by Clifford D. Simak was a reread for me. It had been 40 years since last I'd read it so I wanted to see if it would have a similar impact as my memories of it. I had recently read The Werewolf Principle by Simak and thoroughly enjoyed it. So with that short preamble, I decided to read a copy of City that I found recently.
Basically, it did not disappoint. The story is more of a series of short stories about the future of mankind on Earth. The stories are told by dogs, who have been surgically given the ability to speak and also have had their eyes altered to provide them with a human view perspective. There is a preamble before each story which outlines the dogs views on whether the stories are true themselves.
The main humans are the Webster family who are involved in all of the changes that are taking place in the future. It is a Webster who makes the changes to the dogs, who impact on a philosophy that might give a hope for the future, etc. The other main character, besides the dogs is Jenkins, the old family butler, who also happens to be a robot. The stories move farther and farther into the future with drastic changes to mankind, the dogs, robots, etc.
The stories tie together nicely and make for a fascinating view of the future. I'm glad I read again; it was worth digging it out again. (4 stars)"
"Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris is the fourth and final book in Harris' Harper Connelly supernatural mystery series. While I'm sad that it's ended, just as I was sad when her Lily Bard mysteries ended, at least everything was wrapped up nicely.
Harper and her step brother, Tolliver, travel around the US, mainly the South, helping people discover how their kin died. When Harper was young, she was struck by lightning. One of the after-effects is that she can see how a person died or, as in most of her stories, was murdered. She and Tolliver get involved in the mysteries trying to solve the crimes.
In this final story, the two have returned to Dallas to see their younger sisters and Tolliver's brother to try and decide if they want to settle down in the area. Their childhoods were not the best and the area brings back many, many bad memories; their parents were drug addicts, their sister Cameron disappeared at a young age, etc.
One of the surprises for them during this visit, where they also conduct some business in Texarkana for a wealthy land owner, is the discovery the Tolliver's father, Harper's step father, has been released from prison and wants to regain contact with Tolliver. Another 'bad' surprise is an attempt on Harper's life; someone tries to shoot her but hits Tolliver instead.
So you have a few mysteries to solve as well as try to resolve the series. It's an interesting, well-paced story with nice twists and turns, just like the other books in this excellent series. The results, while a bit pat maybe, are very satisfying and succeed in the aim at wrapping up the stories and the outstanding issues. I like Harper and Tolliver and also some of the other characters, especially Manfred, their other supernatural friend. So now I have the Sookie books and the Midnight Crossing books to work through. (4 stars)"
1. Time Out of Joint by Phillip K. Dick (12 + 4 SciFi Challenge)
2. Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman (Ongoing series, Cops - Joe Leaphorn #3)
3. Murder on Washington Square by Victoria Thompson (Ongoing series, Sleuths - Gaslight #4)
4. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (Fiction)
In my next BLog entry, I'll update my recent book purchases. Have a great day!