Reading List: August 2017

Since school started, blogging took a backseat.  The school year has not gotten off to the smoothest start, and I’ve been more stressed than expected.  Surprisingly, that means that I read more in August.  After being on the computer all day at work, I don’t want to surf the web or play around online during the evening.  I either curl up on the couch in the evening and flip channels or crawl in bed and read.  Here is the rundown on the seven books I finished in August:

King and Maxwell by David Baldacci:  I took this with me on my trip at the end of July and finished it up at the beginning of August after I got home.  King and Maxwell are two ex-Secret Service agents who now run a private detective agency.  David Baldacci has a whole series of books based on these characters.  I admit that when I was packing for my trip I grabbed this book thinking it was the first one in the series, and I was rather disappointed that it’s actually one of the later books.  I generally like to read series in order, but oh well!  This was a story about a soldier being framed in an attempt to cover up a failed covert mission in Afghanistan, and King and Maxwell help him clear his name and be reunited with his son.  It was a well planned storyline and fast paced enough to keep my interest, so I will read more from this series.

Bring Me A Unicorn:  Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh:  I did not expect to like this book nearly as much as I did.  It is set back in the 1920s and chronicles Anne as a young school girl, her travels with her family (her father is a diplomat and US ambassador to Mexico), and finally her budding romance with Charles Lindbergh.  This is the first book of diaries and letters that I can remember reading, but it was fun to read because it felt so real and genuine.  I didn’t know much about Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic or the early mania surrounding aviation, so historically this was also interesting.  Reading this made me have a stronger desire to journal and document my own experiences.

A Nearly Perfect Copy by Allison Amend:  Just reading the dust jacket, this book sounds right up my alley.  I picked it up in Chicago at a second hand shop because I was attracted to the story about art and forgery.  Elm is a grieving mother who has lost a child and is trying to hang on to what is left of her family and her job at a prestigious art auction house.  Gabriel is a middle aged struggling artist who is starting to wonder if his work is ever going to be noticed.  They both have reasons for wanting to cash in on a forgery.  The writing is not the issue with this book.  The characters are good and there is an interesting back and forth between focusing on characters in America and those in Paris.  I just did not connect personally to the story, particularly to Elm who is sort of a pathetic character.  Yes, she’s lost a child and we’re supposed to understand that she’s grieving and not quite making sense… but her character and her actions really don’t make sense.  I finished it, but if I had it to do over again I would skip this book.

Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown by Adena Halpern:  The subtitle to this book is “Notes from a Single Girl’s Closet.”  It was a fun read, had some comical stories, and was fairly short.  There really isn’t any substance at all to this book, but if you’re a fashionista and want to know that other people are as into clothes as you are, then  you might like it.

Spider’s Web by Agatha Christie:  This was the novel adapted from Christie’s play.  It’s the typical Agatha Christie plot- a murder in an English country house where there just so happens to be a bunch of guests, any one of whom could have done it.  It’s shorter than most Agatha Christie books and not as deep of a plot, but if you like the genre then it’s an entertaining read.  As a teenager I read most things Agatha Christie, and I would like to figure out which books I missed and go back to read them.

Home by Harlan Coben:  This is part of Coben’s series featuring PI Myron Bolitar, and it was a great mystery book.  The plot centers around a kidnapping from ten years ago where two young boys were taken from an affluent home.  There was a ransom demand but no further contact, and the boys were not seen again.  Now ten years later, one of the boys is found, but the other is still missing.  Myron and his friend Win are the two on the case trying to figure out what happened ten years ago and what is happening now.  It’s a tricky plot that I don’t want to give away, but I read this book very quickly and was really into it.  This is the first Myron Bolitar book that I’ve liked, usually I stick with Coben’s stand alone novels.

Queen Takes King by Gigi Levangie Grazier:  This is chic lit- fun and entertaining but mindless.  The story centers around Cynthia Power, a former ballerina now trophy wife, who declares that she is divorcing her real estate developer husband.  The day after their 25th wedding anniversary party, the paper carries a photo of the two of them at the party and a photo of her husband with his mistress taken hours before the party.  The story centers around their contentious divorce, Cynthia’s power struggles on the board of directors for the ballet, and their daughter who might be a lesbian but might be bisexual… so basically it’s a central story about divorce with some other random stories thrown in to flesh things out.  Don’t expect much in the way of substance, because the plot is typical and expected.  Unsurprisingly, everything works out the way it should and the characters end up happy in their new lives.  That being said, it’s a fun read if you’re looking for a book to pass the time.

So that’s it for my August reading list!  It was an eclectic collection of books last month.  Seven books in a month is better than usual, and I already know that September will not be as prolific.  (So far, I’ve gotten bogged down with one book, and I have yet to finish a single book this month!)  My collection of unread books continues to grow because I keep stopping at the thrift shop and buying more!  I don’t think it can be called a “pile” of books anymore.  Someone stop me since I have no self control, but at least I’ll be set for winter reading!  Let me know what you’ve been reading lately!

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