Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

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LadyKestrel
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Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby LadyKestrel » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:06 pm

Has another year gone by already? As usual, I'll be adding to my list here as the year progresses.

January
1. Cold Days by Jim Butcher
2. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
3. Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
4. False Prophet by Faye Kellerman
5. A Plague on Both Your Houses by Susanna Gregory

February
6. The Passage by Justin Cronin
7. The Twelve by Justin Cronin

March
8. The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
9. Vale of the Vole by Piers Anthony
10. Ethan Fromme by Edith Wharton
11. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhig
12. Heaven Cent by Piers Anthony
13. Dying on the Vine by Aaron Elkins
14. Room by Emma Donoghue
15. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

April
16. Luck of the Draw by Piers Anthony
17. Sanctuary by Faye Kellerman
18. Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
19. Protector by C. J. Cherryh
20. Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman
21. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
22. Notorius Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
23. Justice by Faye Kellerman
24. Prayers for the Dead by Faye Kellerman

May
25. Man from Mundania by Piers Anthony
26. Grievous Sin by Faye Kellerman
27. Isle of View by Piers Anthony
28. Question Quest by Piers Anthony
29. The Color of Her Panties by Piers Anthony
30. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
31. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
32. Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith

June
33. The Sunday List of Dreams by Kris Radish
34. The Apothecary Rose by Candace Robb
35. The Lady Chapel by Candace Robb
36. The Nun's Tale by Candace Robb
37. The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver

July
38. The Riddle of St. Leonard's by Candace Robb
39. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
40. Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
41. The Invisible Thread: A Journey Home by Elizabeth Wallace
42. The King's Bishop by Candace Robb
43. Lexicon by Max Barry
44. The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis
45. The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
46. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

August
47. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
48. Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan
49. The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
50. This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart

September
51. Joyland by Stephen King
52. The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean
53. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
54. A Spy for the Redeemer by Candace Robb
55. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith

October
56. The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith
57. The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith
58. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
59. The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith
60. Expresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
61. The Comforts of a Muddy Sunday by Alexander McCall Smith

November
62. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
63. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
64. The October List by Jeffery Deaver
65. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
66. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
67. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
68. Inferno by Dan Brown
69. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith

December
70. We Are Water by Wally Lamb
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby LadyKestrel » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:38 pm

1. Cold Days by Jim Butcher
I’ve been reading the Dresden Files stories since watching the disappointingly short-run television series. This is the 14th full length novel in the series, and there’s also an anthology of shorter Dresden stories called Side Jobs.

Harry’s job description changed radically after making a deal with Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, in order to save someone he loved and also rid the world of an evil race of vampires. When this novel opens, Harry has just awakened from being mostly dead and found he was being cared for in Mab’s fortress, Arctis Tor. Although Mab’s idea of tender loving care is not for the slow nor faint of heart, Harry grows stronger and assumes his role as Winter Knight. At his queen’s bidding, he is given an impossible assignment - to kill an immortal. On top of it all, there is a magical storm brewing that threatens the very fabric of the real world. All in a days work for Harry and his friends, unless something goes wrong, which, of course, is inevitable.

This is another exciting addition to Harry’s saga, and I eagerly await the next one.

2. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
The author won a Pulitzer Prize for this novel back in 1993. I had read one of her other novels, Accordion Crimes, which was well written but just didn't grab me enough to want to read another of hers right away. However, while shifting my books around recently, I came across this one again and decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.

With original and sometimes startling images, the author tells the story of Quoyle, a not-very-good newspaper man, who moves to his ancestral home in Nova Scotia with his aunt and two daughters to pick up the pieces of his life after the death of his well-loved but unfaithful wife. As he slowly begins to acclimate to the place, Quoyle discovers some of the stories of his wayward ancestors and secrets of the place. There is a mystery to solve and a love to be discovered as this lonely and rather hapless man finally finds his rightful place in the world. The ending to the tale is very satisfying.

3. Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman
I've gotten hooked on another series, the Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mysteries. The two main characters first came together when Peter, a detective with the LAPD, was assigned to investigate an attack at a yeshiva in an orthodox Jewish community where Rina taught. Peter and Rina have gradually gotten closer, and in this 4th novel of the series, they have married and are spending their honeymoon with family in Brooklyn to celebrate the High Holidays. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the celebration falls apart completely when a sheltered but difficult teenage boy named Noam runs away from the community. Since finding runaways is Decker's specialty, he begins to track the boy across the country and discovers that Noam may be in the company of a dangerous psychopath. The story becomes fast moving and suspenseful as Decker gets closer to his target and hopefully find the boy before it's too late.

4. False Prophet by Faye Kellerman
This is the 5th book in Kellerman’s Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mystery series. The beautiful owner of a popular L.A. health spa, Lilah Brecht, has been attacked and robbed in her home, and Peter takes the case. Lilah claims to know who her attackers are because she has psychic abilities, and she makes it difficult for Decker by latching onto him as her savior and interfering with his family life. Things are made even more difficult by Lilah’s aging movie star mother and a sinister web of intrigue and secrets that surround the family. Only through many plot twists and turns will Decker find out the truth.

Although it’s not as suspenseful as the previous mystery, Kellerman weaves an interesting plot with several surprises.

5. A Plague on Both Your Houses: The First Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory
In 1348, the Black Death is fast approaching England, and those who live and work in Cambridge are restless and fearful. Matthew Bartholomew is a teacher of medicine at Michaelhouse, part of the small but growing University of Cambridge, and is a physician with some unorthodox but effective treatment methods that are often looked upon skeptically by his patients and fellow physicians.

When the Master of Michaelhouse dies in mysterious circumstances, the University authorities call it suicide and try to cover it up. However, when more scholars start dying and a body disappears, Matthew begins his own investigation. His search for the truth leads him into a messy tangle of lies that has him doubting everyone, including his family and friends.

Matthew’s investigation is swept aside as the plague begins to devastate the town, and he struggles to save people without knowing the cause of this terrible pestilence. Despite horrifying death all around them, there are some men who remain focused on gaining power and wealth, and Matthew is drawn deeper into their web of deceit that threatens not only him but the survival of both the University and the town.

This is a wonderful mystery reminiscent of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series. Not only do the characters ring true, but Gregory gives us a complete picture of town and university life in the Middle Ages. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment of this series.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby Diat60 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:55 pm

Thanks so much for pointing me to Susannah Gregory and "A Plague on Both Your Houses". I've just ordered it from Amazon. It sounds like the beginning of a really good series, now that we've read the Shardlake books by C.J. Sansom. Love these mediaeval detective books.
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby LadyKestrel » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:33 pm

You're welcome, Diat. I hope you enjoy it. I started Justin Cronin's The Passage last night and am having a difficult time putting it down.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby LadyKestrel » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:39 pm

6. The Passage by Justin Cronin
I know I'm getting a bit forgetful as time goes by, but I had completely forgotten that I read this book back when it first came out in 2010. As I was reading it the second time, bits and pieces seemed familiar, but never once did the entire plot of the book come flooding back to me as it usually does when I pick up something I've read before. In fact, I kept thinking that the familiarity came from the fact that it reminded me of other stories, mainly Nick Haraway's The Gone-Away World and Stephen King's The Stand. I did look at my book list, however, and there it was, marked as read.

I don't know where my brain was the first time, but I really enjoyed this saga about a sinister US government experiment gone terribly wrong and those who try to make it right again. As the world as we know it falls apart, one man seeks sanctuary for himself and a young girl who is the key to setting the world right. The tale of her travels and those she encounters is both suspenseful and heartbreaking. The end of the novel gives us hope, but does not resolve all the issues. Despite the 776 pages, I found myself wanting more.

7. The Twelve by Justin Cronin
This is the sequel to The Passage, and I read both books back-to-back. I'm glad I did because the main characters were fresh in my mind, so the introduction of many new characters was easier to keep straight.

This is a continuation of the quest of Amy and her companions to find the remaining experimental subjects and their followers, called virals, and to free the country of their deadly menace. However, the way is fraught with terror and treachery, and not just from the virals. It's a suspense-filled continuation of the saga, and there promises to be one more novel to conclude the story. I hope it comes out soon.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby LadyKestrel » Sun May 19, 2013 12:33 pm

8. The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
Thursday Next has been in semi-retirement since her attempted assassination in the last book. She is healing slowly but is determined to get back into the swing of things with the help of a few dozen painkiller patches. When her former SpecOps division is reinstated, she feels she is ready to head the Literary Detectives, but instead finds herself as chief librarian of the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat at Fatso’s Drink Not Included Library. Her former boss thinks she’ll be safe and more comfortable there while she recovers, but trouble always has a way of finding Thursday. This time it’s in the form of synthetic Thursdays called Day Players who seem to be able to download her consciousness and are trying to raise all kinds of havoc in her name.

In the meantime, Thursday’s daughter, Tuesday, is trying to finish an Anti-Smite Shield in time to prevent the destruction of Swindon by an angry diety, and her son, Friday, is dealing with the shutting down of the ChronoGuard and a prediction that may put him behind bars if it all comes true.

This is the seventh fun-filled romp through Fforde’s very humorous and literary fantasy world. Like Thurday’s painkiller patches, I’ve come to rely on these absurd but wonderfully addictive novels and eagerly await the next installment.

9. Vale of the Vole by Piers Anthony
Young Esk, the son of an ogre and a nymph, has found a comfortable hideout to escape periodically from his sometimes chaotic home life. Unfortunately, the seductive demoness Metria has also found the hideout and won’t leave him alone, so he decides to go visit the Good Magician Humfrey to rid himself of her.

Esk’s quest soon becomes a mission of mercy when he and Chex, a lovely winged centaur, decide to help Volney Vole rid his beautiful winding river home of the demons who are bent on destroying it. They travel the nooks and crannies of Xanth seeking help from all kinds burrowing creatures to defend the vale from the evil horde.

This is the tenth pun-filled book in the Magic of Xanth series, and once again a team of unusual companions learn to pool their strengths to right a wrong for the good of all.

10. Ethan Fromme by Edith Wharton
Set in the harsh winter landscape of New England, this is a tragic tale of a decent, hard-working man who is tied to his barely productive farm and the demands of his mean-spirited, invalid wife, Zeena. When Zeena’s sweet and humble young cousin, Mattie, comes to take care of her, stoic Ethan is drawn to her as everything his wife is not, and he falls deeply in love.

Ethan’s story, told by a narrator, is a beautifully written drama, and it’s sad irony will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

11. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhig
I’ve read many self-help books in my time, and most have come up short in actually helping except to line the pockets of some self-proclaimed guru. This book is one of the rare exceptions. By exploring the science of how habits work, the author shows us how individuals, companies, and communities can change. It’s a practical book, and one that should be read by anyone who has the urge to make a change in his or her own behavior.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby Ghostlady » Sun May 19, 2013 8:33 pm

If you haven't seen the Ethan Frome movie, you can watch it on YouTube. It is a great movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhXCRgvs1gg
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Re: Lady Kestrel's Book Nook - 2013

Postby LadyKestrel » Sun May 19, 2013 9:18 pm

I had planned on getting it. My book discussion group would like to watch it.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz

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