Thursday, November 4, 2021

October 2021 Reads

Another varied month of reading.  My favorites were Other People's Children, The Night Fire,  and Anthem (no, not Ayn Rand, be serious). Have you read any of these?

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (2021) – Klara’s destiny is to accompany a needy teen home as a companion and she is hand-picked by Josie and her mother because of her unusual empathy. This was a Book Group choice that started out well but turned out to be only so so. My mini-review.

Neither Five Nor Three by Helen MacInnes (1951) – Rona begins to suspect her fiancé has a secret life as a budding communist, and this is a big deal. I am a big fan but this was not Helen’s best!  I wish my grandmother were alive so she could tell me if it was like this in the 50s at Columbia where my grandfather and Helen's husband taught.

The Love-Child by Edith Olivier (1927) – Lonely Agatha becomes obsessed with the invisible friend she had as a child in this reissue from the British Library Women Writers series. My review and Liz Dexter's review for another take.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo (2017) – A young woman in NYC meets someone on 9/11 she feels is her soulmate and even after it doesn’t work out, she can’t forget him and luxuriates in her misery, despite sensible friends who tell her to get on with her life.  This seemed more like a YA than an adult novel.

Other People’s Children by Joanna Trollope (1998) (audio) – I really enjoyed this novel about three women dealing with divorced men and their possessive offspring.  


Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong (2019) – In the fourth book of this series, Casey asks her estranged sister to come to Rockton to operate on a resident as she copes with the murder of a federal marshal. I thought Casey was pretty nasty to the sister after dragging her to the back of beyond. I am enjoying this series but this is my least favorite so far.
The Night Fire by Michael Connelly (2019) (audio) – this is the third book about LAPD Detective Renée Ballard who gets some help from Harry Bosch in linking his cold case and her hot case. I really liked this book and enjoy Renée as a character although my sister and I both wish she did not insist on sleeping in a tent on the beach. Isn’t that just asking for trouble?

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner (2021)(audio) – A new series featuring Frankie Elkins, a woman with a past who now devotes her life to finding missing people. So far she has never found one alive! Will that change in Boston?  My review.

Home to Roost by Andrew Garve (1976) – After Walter's marriage collapses, he is suspected of killing his wife’s lover - but did he do it? My review.

Historical Fiction

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies (2015) – a young Englishwoman comes to Ceylon with her husband determined to embrace her new life but his secrets threaten her happiness. I enjoyed this but guessed the plot due to a Barbara Delinsky I read in 2007. Still, I look forward to reading more by this author.

Contemporary Romance

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter (2022) – An improbable romance about a wrong number text message that brings a couple together without knowing in real life they feel nothing but exasperation for the other.

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon (2022) – Ari can’t enjoy her career as a meteorologist because of the way her boss and the boss’s ex carry on at work. Then the sports anchor suggests they coax the two back together. What could go wrong?   Another strong entry by the author of The Ex Talk.

Children’s Books

How to Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson (2021) – Calla North’s first term at her mother’s former boarding school is threatened by an evil headmistress and her mother’s trip to the Amazon.  My review.

Middle-Grade Children’s Fantasy

A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond (1976) – an American family on sabbatical in Wales is distracted from its grief when the son finds the key to Taliesin’s harp. 
My review.
Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones (1976) – A fantasy in which three children try to break a curse and broker peace among rival groups. My review.

Young Adult

In Her Father’s Footsteps by Bianca Bradbury (1976) – A would-be vet is distracted from her academic goals and common-sense approach to life when her widowed father starts dating. 
My review.

Mystery of the Emerald Buddha by Betty Cavanna (1976) – Lisette is spending the summer in Thailand with her photographer father when the priceless Buddha is stolen and she is the only one who can find it. 
My review.

Some Other Now by Sarah Everett (2021) – Jessi has always found refuge with the Cohen brothers and their mother until dating one of the brothers threatens her relationship with his sibling. Overwrought!
Anthem by Deborah Wiles (2019) – Cousins Molly and Norman take a road trip in 1969 searching for Molly’s brother who has been drafted, with a musical backdrop that makes the reader long for a playlist. It turned out there is a playlistMy review.

Picture Books

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962) – The classic story about a snowy day in New York featuring an African American child
. My review.

“[T]he simplicity of the story made Keats popular worldwide — “The Snowy Day,” translated into at least 10 languages, has sold millions of copies since publication (3.8 million since 2000 alone) — and the book and its successors went on to influence a younger generation." NYT


LyzzyBee said...

Some good reading there, very varied, and some excellent cover art!

Ruthiella said...

I loved Klara and the Sun but am pre-disposed to like anything by Ishiguro I think!

I've heard so much about The Love Child, particularly from blogger Simon Thomas. I definitely must get to it one of these days!

TracyK said...

Every month I say the same thing. How do you read so many books? And it isn't only that you read the books but you have a lot going on in your life too.

Anyway, this is a good set of books and lots of variety. You are getting so far ahead of me in the Kelly Armstrong series. I hope to read one soon but probably no sooner than January. And someday I hope to read more by Michael Connelly too.

I am reading novellas this month for Novellas in November and enjoying it.

CLM said...

I do a lot of reading when I should be sleeping or cleaning, Tracy! But I'm at the point where I can't find anything in the house, so I know it is time for serious tidying up.

Ruthiella, I got that Klara was solar but I didn't understand her bartering with the sun and why it seemed to work. I did think the ending was very effective with the manager finding her in the junkyard.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This is one I've wanted to read for a few months; I have the audio - maybe in 2022 I'll get to it. Most readers have enjoyed it.