Monday, November 30, 2015

My November Reads, 2015

Twelve books read in November - eight of them by the same author! Once I discovered I could still check out books from my old hometown library, I quickly got caught up on a favorite series.

These four, numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 in William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series complete all the ones I had not yet read and the Creston library has the latest, so once I read it I will just have to wait until Krueger writes a new one. His writing never disappoints, whether it is the O'Connor series or his stand alones.

Also read this month were numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6 - Iron Lake, Boundary Waters, Blood Hollow and Copper River. (The gaps in numbers are because Creston has #3, 5, 11, 12, and 13 and I had already read them.)
Rating the eight Krueger books I read this month is easy - they are all 4.0's with the exception of Thunder Bay. I'm giving it a 4.5. I liked it best I think because it tells the back story of one of the series regulars, 90+ year old Henry Meloux, an Ojibwa Mide (medicine man). Henry asks Cork to help him find his son, a man who would be in his 70's and someone Henry has never met. In order to do so Cork needs to know about Henry's younger days and the lost love that produced a son.

The other four books read this month are a come-down from these eight - two 2.5's, one 3.0 and one 3.5.

Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates is my 3.5. It is a tale a suspense I began reading, appropriately, on Halloween. A respected and successful mystery writer begins secretly writing dark 'pot-boilers' under the pseudonym, Jack of Spades. The character, plus alcohol, begin taking over his life and he starts to act out some of the plots from his books. This was a psychological thriller about the opposing forces in the mind of an ambitious writer and the line between genius and madness.

Michael Koryta is an author recommended to me by my son, Preston. Our library only has one book by him, not the title Preston had read and recommended, but I decided to give Envy the Night a try and see how the author writes.
My initial reaction after a half dozen pages wasn't too favorable but I decided to give it a few more pages and really got into it. (I had just finished reading those first four Krueger books and I think I was comparing the two authors - possibly because this book, too, has nearly the same geographical setting - Northern Wisconsin near the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The story is about a young man trying to escape the legacy left by his father, a former FBI agent turned hired gun. The fact that he bears the same name as his father and was trained from an early age by him to handle firearms and physically defend himself from attackers makes it hard for him to escape his past. This turned out to be a good recommendation and a good read. Rated it 3.0

The two 2.5's - Dorothea Benton Frank's, All the Single Ladies, one of her Low Country books which I usually love, was a disappointment. It is about the friendship between three women but it seemed dis-jointed, like Frank jumped around too much without finishing a thought. Too pat. Too close to a writing deadline?

And Amanda Quick's Garden of Lies. Quick is a new author for me. The book was just like the author's name - a quick read. The story and the writing were both o.k. - a mystery/romance set in Victorian England - but not enough to set it apart from all the others of this genre.

I've already started on my December reads with four books here at home to finish before I need to go to the library again. If the weather stays like it is today, December will be another full month of reading!

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