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« July, 2015 »

The President’s Shadow   book icon  
by Brad Meltzer (2015)

read: 30 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Have enjoyed other Meltzer thrillers and needed a palate cleanser after those awful Gross books. This was good. Intrigue at the White House. Opposing secret orders. Mystery men and an island where secret experiments were carried out. This one was a little more grim than some of the others. I get the feeling that Meltzer feels he needs to up the ante of what is happening to keep people interested. I’m not so sure I agree but I did like this book and it left us with enough questions that I’m sure another is in the works.

The Androids Dream   book icon  
by John Scalzi (2007)

read: 26 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Another totally fun book from Scalzi. This one was, I was sure, working its way to a shaggy dog story conclusion but actually it was much more satisfying than that. Equal parts silly and serious, this book about a future universe where the earth is just one of many inhabited planets and there’s some diplomatic intrigue that needs working out was engaging from start to finish.

One Mile Under   book icon  
by Andrew Gross (2015)

read: 23 July 2015
rating: [0]
category: fiction

A Ty Hauck book! I thought this would be better. And it was better but only just. I missed Hauck but there wasn’t so much of him in this book actually and it was more slightly schlocky thriller stuff. No relationship stuff and not that much of a mystery, more like an annoying female character who keeps forcing herself into the situations and then, surprise, something bad happens to her. I think I am done with Gross.

The Transcriptionist   book icon  
by Amy Rowland (2015)

read: 23 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Was a little concerned about this one because it’s one of those novels written by someone who used to hold the job that the novel is about, but I shouldn’t have worried. This is a nice tight little novel about the weird world of the left-behind (job/person/people/offices) as the worldmoves on by. And lions, sort of. I liked it, I wish I could read it again, Rowland did a great job.

Eyes Wide Open   book icon  
by Andrew Gross (2011)

read: 12 July 2015
rating: [-]
category: fiction

I liked Andrew Gross' Ty Hauck series but this book was just terrible. His impetus was, loosely, a family member’s suicide that seemed inexplicable. However, he mushed that story (and a bunch of people who are all unreliable narrators due to various mental illnesses which makes for really difficult reading) with what feels like a rip off of the Charles Manson murder story which makes it all seem really schlocky. Don’t read this book.

The Long Way Home   book icon  
by Louise Penny (2014)

read: 10 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Hard to talk about this book without spoilers so I’ll just say that it was less coppish and more travelogue than a lot of her books. Enjoyed it but not as much as a lot of the other ones.

The Hangman   book icon  
by Louise Penny (2010)

read: 10 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

More of a novella really, this little book only has some of the characters but a lot of the good aspects of Penny’s best whodunits. Shot and easy to read in not much time. A good filler if you’re waiting for other books from her to be written.

Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight   book icon  
by Martin Gardner (1982)

read: 10 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

I started this book years ago and then left it out in the rain and then it was in the freezer for a year or so. It’s SO GREAT. If you like math puzzles but can get bogged down with too much detail or too many arcane diagrams, this is for you. Lots of short anecdotes illustrating a math puzzle or a conundrum. Just enough backstory to make it interesting--and for you to look up if it turns out it’s your thing--and then on the next thing. Entertaining cartoons and the always readable Gardner explaining it all. Worth tracking down, a really great book.

How the Light Gets In   book icon  
by Louise Penny (2014)

read: 2 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Back in Three Pines this story focuses on the combination of a murder mystery and the culmination of the messy corruption scandal at the heart of the Sūreté. Two parallel stories, but one a lot more interesting than the other, I felt the mainstream murder mystery got a little under fleshed out because of the much larger and more interesting/thrilling aspect of this book.

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