10 November 2020

Show Us Your Books - October 2020

I started last month talking about my spreadsheet that lists the books I've promised to review. I've finally added another page to that spreadsheet. The additional page just lists my (so far) 39 books I have saved up to read whenever. Most of them are Amazon First Reads. If you have Amazon Prime, you have to take advantage of First Reads!

This month I'm only featuring eight books in my post for Show Us Your Books (hosted by Life According to Steph and Jana Says). I did finish 12 books in October, but the first four ended up in last months post. All eight of the books I'm talking about today link to full reviews at Books I Think You Should Read, where I'm a frequent guest reviewer. All titles link to Goodreads.

My reading is slowing down now, especially this last week. I have worked elections on and off for 30 years or so, and last week was no exception. But I also agreed to be a lunch lady at my son's school starting last Monday. Apparently sanity and realistic obligations were not on my priority list last week. This weekend has been a total re-charge, and I finished a book earlier today that will make it to next month's post. Hopefully I can slide back into my five-hours/day work schedule and get some reading done too going forward. 

Since I know everyone is comparing, our elementary schools currently offer either in-person or virtual for the rest of the year, and you can no longer change your course. My son is virtual, but I serve lunch at the school. To the best of my knowledge, we have three positive current COVID tests of elementary students, which has resulted in three quarantined classes, plus those near the students on the bus. We have six total elementary schools in our district, and our cases are in three separate schools. Our middle school and high school have students choosing in-person learning starting back tomorrow. Those in virtual (like my daughter) can choose to switch to in-person at the semester break in late January. 

On to the books!

Finished Reading:

Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past by Gabrielle Robinson - This was a unique WWII story. While compiling letters, journals, and correspondences from her grandfather's life, the author discovered that he was actually a member of the Nazi party. The book looks at his real life as a German citizen, none of whom had it easy during the war. Read along as she attempts to reconcile the man she knew as caring and nurturing with the party membership that she was so disappointed to discover. My full 3.5 out of 5 star review is here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Unspoken (Ashe Cayne #1) by Ian K. Smith - Ashe Cayne used to be a Chicago police detective, but by standing up for what was right, he was forced out of the department. Now he's a private investigator instead. Being his own boss works out much better for him, and lets him satisfy his thirst for justice. He was a likable hero, and I gave the book 3.5 out of 5 stars in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐

Interference by Brad Parks - I really liked this one. At first, I was worried that I didn't understand enough about the quantum physics angle to 'get' the progression of the main plot, but that evolved in a different direction before the book ended. Yeah - hard to tell you about without spoiling it! I definitely liked the characters. The main quantum physicist was married to a woman with hearing loss, who narrated much of the story for us. The police detective looking into it all as part of his new position in missing persons was also a character with more depth than expected. Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars in my review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Prospects of a Woman: A Novel by Wendy Voorsanger - Oh, Elisabeth Parker. The main character of this story did what she needed to do. Growing up with her friend Louisa May Alcott, they dreamed of what it would be like to be married women, supporting their men and keeping a happy home. But Elisabeth ends up out west, with a husband who isn't really interested in her, and frequently the only woman for miles around. She isn't very likable, but neither is her situation. The book was quite interesting though. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars as a unique historical fiction in my full review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Matrimony, Inc: From Personal Ads to Swiping Right, a Story of America Looking for Love by Francesca Beauman - Not something I've ever given a lot of thought to, personal ads have been around nearly as long as newspapers! While the ads themselves were interesting, even more telling was the way the qualities we've looked for in a mate have changed - or stayed the same. The author had a perfect snarky voice for pointing out what some of the ads really wanted to find, which never would have been appealing in print. My favorite part was about the crimes committed when victims were lured by personal ads. That could have been expanded into a book of its own, in my opinion. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to those interested in social history, as I mentioned in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐

You Can Go Home Now by Michael Elias - I think this was my favorite read from my post today. I do love me some good vigilante justice. Nina Karim became a cop to avenge her father's death at the hands of pro-life fanatics. Now she has access to lots of information that will help her track her father's killer. In the meantime, she's ended up under cover at a women's shelter trying to unravel the death of a former cop who was also an abusive husband. Is it all linked together? You'll have to read it to know for sure! I gave this one 3.5 out of 5 stars when I reviewed it here, but I've only liked it more the longer I think about it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

60 Stories About 30 Seconds: How I Got Away With Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (Or Maybe Just Part of It) by Bruce Van Dusen - While the title obviously implies a lot of info about Van Dusen's career, most of the essays seemed to me to be a lot about human nature, and a bit about being a director of commercials. Essays can tell plenty about a person, in not a lot of words. In this book, they were an enjoyable way to pass a bit of time. Overall, I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. Check out my full review and a giveaway until 11/11/20 here. ⭐⭐⭐

The Preserve by Ariel S. Winter - Humans and robots have been living in segregated communities in this book, but when a cyborg (considered mostly human) is found murdered and a possible link to bad robot software is discovered, the robots threaten to take over the human preserve again. Chief Laughton and his previous robot partner Kir have very little time to unravel the crime and bring the right parties to justice, while trying to keep the rest of the robots from overrunning the human community. As a regular commentor mentioned on my full review, this would make a great movie! I gave the book 3.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Currently Reading: 

I'll be wrapping up the newest Stephanie Plum novel, Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich very soon, then starting on my library copy of A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire.

Reading Next:

I usually read a kindle book and a print book at the same time, so I'll be cracking the spine on either The Boiling Season by Christopher Hebert or The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner. Also to be started soon is my book club's selection: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow.

Wishing you and yours lots of health, happiness, and engrossing books. 

Heard anything good/bad about my recent or upcoming reads? I'd love to know!


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I don't think I've heard of any of these, including what you're going to be reading. I screenshot to look into further on Goodreads!

NY Foodie Family said...

I think everyone's reading has slowed down a bit recently! I haven't heard of any of these books!

Julie said...

Will have to look into a few of these! Good luck with the schooling, my husband is the tech person for a district high school and its been a whirlwind being on that side of the crowd.

Anthea said...

I don't think I've heard of any of these. Everyone seems to read so much in a month and I was proud of reading 3 books in October.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I don't know most of these! Thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed most.


Jana @ Jana Says said...

The cover of The Preserve is interesting and trippy. I like it!

Shea Lennon said...

Most of these are new to me, which I always enjoy--although it's dangerous because my TBR is already too long, ha!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

Lots of books that not everyone else is reading - thanks for sharing them! And thanks for being an election worker too.