Wednesday, April 6, 2022

My March 2022 Reads

Children’s Books

Which Way is Home by Maria Kiely (2020) - A debut novel about a family escaping Czechoslovakia after the 1948 Communist takeover, based on the author's mother who was the co-master of Adams House at Harvard when I was in college.
The Bound Girl by Nan Denker (1957) – this was a charming, if predictable, historical novel set in 1712 Colonial Massachusetts about a French girl whose father dies on the voyage to the New World. A kindly sea captain finds a good family to accept her as an indentured servant, where she chafes at their Puritan rules and longs for the love that surrounded her at home. My review.
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (1953) – Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole escape from their boarding school to Narnia where they set out on a quest to find the lost prince, son of King Caspian.  My review.

Mystery/Suspense

The Case of the Dotty Dowager by Cathy Ace (2015) – Four women representing Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England join forces to conduct investigations. Here, they are troubleshooting a dead body that disappeared. My review.
Mercy by David Baldacci (2021) (audio) – In this fourth book in the Atlee Pine series, the FBI agent is still desperately trying to find the twin sister who was kidnapped when they were six. I am really enjoying this series!

Evil Intent by Kate Charles (2005) – As a new curate in a London church, Callie Anson is dismayed by the animosity toward women clergy – from male clergy, parishioners, and even the wife of her own Vicar/boss. And when one of these critical ministers is murdered, Callie’s female mentor is suspect number one!
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie (1951) – When Victoria Jones leaves her secretarial job in London to seek adventure in Baghdad, she finds herself in a world of espionage and danger, with a special assignment of her own.  My review.

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz (2016) (audio) – Evan Smoak, also known as Orphan X, is a trained assassin who has rejected the government that trained him and now helps those in trouble. Then he realizes he is being set up by a foe who wants him dead, just as he is being distracted by overtures of friendship in his apartment building. Bonus, it was narrated by Scott Brick.
Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen (2021) – This is the first in a new mystery series featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, about a cold case involving someone she knew as a child, and she is forced to work it with her ex-husband.

Young Adult

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (2021) – In this absorbing prequel to The Hate U Give, Maverick, a high school student whose mother is hoping he will go to college, becomes a teen parent and has to decide if he wants to escape from dealing drugs as the only way to support his family.
Romance

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas (2021) – I am definitely a fan of the enemies to lovers trope and this may be part of what my friend Danielle referred to as “stem romance” as the heroine is an engineer. I enjoyed it, although found it a bit repetitious and would have preferred heroine Catalina to be wittier and less hostile to the hero.

Fiction

The Cuckoo in Spring by Elizabeth Cadell (1954) – When art dealer Julian visits a remote country house in Yorkshire to assess a collection, he becomes captivated by the beautiful young woman working in the kitchen. My review.
Hotel Portofino by J.P. O’Connell (2022) – I read this book was going to be dramatized in 2022 for Masterpiece Theatre and wanted to read it first. It’s about an English family that opens a boutique hotel on the Italian Riviera after WWI. My review.

Historical Fiction

Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean (2022) – Jeannie Dougal lives with her widowed mother and siblings in the Glasgow tenements and, while they get by, WWII complicates their lives. Jennie gets a job in a factory and must cope with a difficult fiancĂ©; her brother returns from the war with PTSD (although the phrase had not yet been coined); and her younger sister is growing up too quickly. My review.
Nonfiction

Literary Trails by Christina Hardyment (2021) – Hardyment traces the literary associations of famous writers from Austen to Conan Doyle and Kipling at locations throughout Great Britain. My review.

6 comments:

TracyK said...

Another good reading month for you. I have read A Drink of Deadly Wine by Kate Charles, and I have more in that series, but haven't read Evil Intent.

I look forward to your review of The Cuckoo in Spring by Elizabeth Cadell, it sounds interesting.

TracyK said...

Also I ordered a copy of Literary Trails after I read your review and my copy came today. It is a trade paperback and looks just like new except for the owner's name on the title page. I have looked through it a bit already and I can tell I will enjoy it.

LyzzyBee said...

The Cuckoo in Spring looks like a lovely edition and I must read that Angie Thomas, one to get in the next book token splurge!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

How had I not yet heard of Which Way is Home?!?! I am usually so alert to books about Czechoslovakia so I'd delighted to know know about this - and my library hold has now, of course, been placed.

CLM said...

Tracy, I really liked those early books of Kate Charles so was glad to see she was still writing - was actually surprised to find this book in my own library! When I noticed the pub date for The Cuckoo in Spring, I decided to wait until the 1954 Club to review it! Isn't Literary Trails fun? It's not the type of book you read all at once but it is lovely to dip into. I hope you enjoy. I had to lend her other book to my mother because I realized I would not have time to read it before it was due. One of my libraries has no fines and the other seems to fine even it is closed so I have to be careful to keep them straight!

I enjoyed the Angie Thomas but it takes a lot of mental adjustment to root for the drug dealer. I think it is the type of book to get from the library because I doubt you would reread it or lend it. It would be educational for my nephews that age to read it but I can't imagine they would unless it were assigned for school.

Claire, it was a charming little book. You may feel at first, as I did, that it is strange to be reading about a family fleeing from Communists rather than Nazis because that is much more common in fiction (at least in the books I read). I came across it at the Harvard campus store where it was faced out. First, the cover caught my eye and then the author's name, which I recognized, although have never met her. I hope you enjoy it.



Cath said...

Several of those I want to get to at some stage, The David Baldaci series for instance as the idea of a search for a lost twin really appeals. I don't think I know the Cathy Ace series so am going to look into those too.