Recent reads: February 2024
It’s been over a month since my last book round up and in some ways I can’t believe it. I’ve been reading more than ever lately as I stay away from screens, one reason this post has taken so long. Now that I’m not on a computer all day, it’s been much harder to push myself to write and post than it was and the more I spend time away from screens, the less time I want to spend on them. In addition to what’s below, I’ve been steadily reading The Power Broker and really enjoying the book, Caro does a great job of diving into details and then zooming out to help you see why what’s been happening is important within the context of Moses’ life.
The sequel, of sorts, to Harlem Shuffle was interesting and not too bad, but I really like the main character and he was less a focus in this book. The three parts of the book felt a lot like novellas that were loosely connected, which I liked quite a bit because you could put it down in between parts without worrying about forgetting pertinent details. If you like the first book, you’ll probably like this one, but the story (or stories) didn’t draw me in as deeply.
The first book in the Jackson Brodie series and it’s unlike other mysteries I’ve read lately. Brodie is brought into cases that are cold and don’t feel like their connected in any way, but as the story goes along you find out more details. That being said, I didn’t see all of the ending coming at all and that’s the mark of a good mystery in my opinion.
Last Seen Wearing
The second book in the Inspector Morse series, which is a bit tricky to find, yet G managed to track it down and put it in my Christmas stocking. Morse books are very much in the weeds often, with tangents and side shoots that make it hard to know where they’re going and this book is no exception. The endings are always really satisfying though and it’s been interesting to read these after having watched all of Endeavour.
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn
Another Inpsector Morse book, also tracked down by G for my Christmas stocking. This was a really interesting case and as I’ve gotten used to the way Dexter writes, I’ve started to enjoy these more and more. What I really like about reading mysteries is they are like watching TV in a way, but more relaxing without the glowing screen and these fit the bill quite well.
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
A completely fluffy mystery that takes place during World War II and centers around a woman who was born in Britain but grew up in America and is now living in London. She gets a job working for the Prime Minister and she’s also trying to find out more about her parents along with a mystery that involves the PM. Not the best mystery I’ve read, but I finished it and am contemplating the second book in the series, a nice way to escape this bat shit crazy world we’re currently living in.
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
I’m fairly certain this title made it on my list via a NY Times reading newsletter, because it’s an older book but quite acclaimed. It’s a difficult story to read about a woman who retires to a hotel to live with other older people and try to pass her days in some fashion. She’s lonely, as it seems all the older people living there are, but through a chance meeting with a young man in then neighborhood she sees a life line to some community. It’s a heartfelt story that at times is utterly heartbreaking.
The second book in the Slow Horses series that I read quickly in order to watch the second season of the TV series before my free trial of Apple TV+ runs out. The book was really well done and I like the Jackson Lamb character more and more. If you like spy thrillers with a twist of them being the spies that MI5 hates, you’ll love this series. They’re fast paced, well plotted, and funny. Alas, I’ve watched the first episode of the season that’s based on this book and am not sure I like how they’ve adapted it.
Lest you think all I’ve been reading is mysteries and spy novels, this is something completely different. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a book about a man who walks from New York to Phoenix after his partner leaves him, but it ended up being a really lovely book about community, what matters in life, and how we relate to our neighbors. I also loved learning more about birds via Gil learning about them.
Snow, Glass, Apples
A graphic novel based on the Snow White story that got on my list quite a long while ago and I’ve been prioritizing grabbing things from the library that are on the shelf and this was. Not my favorite graphic novel, but I did find the very adult spin on the classic tale an interesting way to look at it. There were also parts of it that weren’t quite clear so I was a bit confused at the end, but maybe that’s part of what Gaiman intended.
Warrior Girl Unearthed
The second book from Angeline Boulley that takes place on Sugar Island and in the same community, this time roughly ten years after the first. I enjoyed the first book so figured I would the second, but that turned out not to be the case. It was pretty good until the final part and then it went off the rails for me. I had a very hard time believing that a group of teenagers would be able to do what they did without the adults and the close knit community figuring out what was going on. But the focus on the way in which Native American remains still have not been returned to the tribes so long after the law passed to ensure they would be was extremely interesting and something I knew nothing about.