JudiY Books read in 2015

Snak100 Books in 2015 Challenge

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JudiY Books read in 2015

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Redigeret: jan 1, 2016, 9:00am

I really need to slow down a bit in 2015 - except there are so many interesting books out there! :)

1. 1/1 Finished Remarkable Creatures, Really interesting short bios of people who made momentous discoveries - Darwin, Wallace, DuBois, the Alvarezes - people who added greatly to our understanding of natural history. Nicely put together and pretty well written.

2. 1/4 Read The Particle at the End of the Universe. When I added it, I realized I'd read it a couple years ago, too, but I think this time I understood more of it. Describes how the LHC came to be built, how it looks for particles and why the Higgs boson is important, as well as it's implications. Good book.

3. 1/7 Finished Creating Minnesota, since I've lived here all my life. Interesting - I now know why some streets have the names they do - a bit sobering, in the way we've treated Indians especially, and a few very startling statements tracing the roots of the DFL back to the Communist Party - no footnotes or citations on that one, either. Not a bad read, especially about the very earliest days.

4. 1/8 So much for slowing down. Read Garment of Shadows by Laurie King - starts with Mary waking up with no memory of who she is, wends its way through a labynith of plots and counter-plots in colonial Morocco and is an altogether enjoyable read.

5. 1/9 Re-read Philip Jose Farmer's To Your Scattered Bodies Go, since I'm trying to clear out books and decide what to keep. Interesting theme - either a second chance to become a better human being or a somewhat diabolical anthropological experiment, but no longer compelling. These will go to the next library sale, I think.

6. 1/16 Read From Eternity to Here Sean Carroll's explanation of the arrow of time. Probably only understood about half, but he writes well - humor, even! He also clearly identifies what's known through experiments, and what's speculation. The upshot - we don't know. Also read about half of The Yard and couldn't get interested in the characters, and same for In the Woods. Too much introspection in the latter for me, though I may finish it later, just to find out what really happened.

7. 1/20 Finished Ancient Egypt: Everyday life in the land of the Nile. Interesting, if oddly arranged book about Egypt under the pharaohs. Finally found out why the Old Kingdom fell to the Hykos - they had chariots and the Egyptians didn't. Lots of illustrations, but not of the things discussed in the text.

8. 1/24 The trick to slowing down - read more challenging books! Finished Quantum. Interesting history, I guess, of the road to today's quantum theory. Neils Bohr doesn't really come off as a shining example of a scientist, and Einstein becomes a tad more understandable. The book helped me pinpoint what bothers me about quantum theory - that "reality" only exists if it's observed at that level. Not that it matters, but I think Einstein's right - the theory isn't complete. Anyway, I feel I have a slightly better understanding of the theory, the life & times of the major players was very interesting, and I'm glad I read it.

9. 1/25 Haven't read a Roger Zelzany Amber novel for years, so when I saw the prequel The Dawn of Amber reviewed here, I got it from the library. Certainly a chaotic beginning! Enjoyed it, however, enough to buy the second book (since the library didn't have it) and request books #3 & 4.

10. 1/25 Back to the two-a-day habit? Read Relatively Dead. I like Shelia Connolly - this series seems to lean more towards romance than mystery, but it's full of Revolutionary War history and genealogical research, which is interesting. And a ghost or two adds some spice.

11. 1/26 Read the follow-up Seeing the Dead. Still interesting.

12. 1/28 Read Mary Thomas's Knitting Book, first published in 1938 and reprinted from the original. Lots of very cute sketches throughout, and some very good diagrams illustrating stitches and techniques. Glad I didn't knit my first socks from her directions, though - there never would have been another pair. Good reference work to have if knitting is interesting.

13. 1/30 Finished Chaos and Amber. It doesn't seem to have quite the same flavor I remember from Zelzany's series, but still a nice break.

14. 2/1 Finished Do We Not Bleed? P. F. Chisholm under her right name - excellent story. A woman in Elizabethan London masquerades as her brother, a lawyer, in order to survive. She's blackmailed into solving a series of murders, deals with plenty of unsavory characters, and the reader has a marvelous time!

15. 2/3 Can't do much until my finger heals a bit more, so read An Early Wake, Sheila Connolly's newest County Cork mystery. Not sure if these are mysteries or romances, but they're fun to read. And the descriptions of the music make me want to visit Ireland!

16. 2/7 Well, now that I can neither walk nor use my left hand, what's left to do but read? Finished An Expert in Murder, another LT recommendation, I think. Despite the bad review - which I thought was pretty nit-picky - I enjoyed it. Josephine Tey comes off as an understandable person, and since I had no idea Josephine Tey was anyone else, enjoyed a glimpse of London between wars and the theater!

17. 2/8 Feeling better than yesterday, but reading's still easier than anything else, so I read Angel with Two Faces. Convoluted story, but a good mystery. It's been quite a while since I read Josephine Tey, but I sort of have the feeling that Inspector Grant is back. :)

18. 2/9 So re-read The Man in the Queue Oddly, I didn't remember the ending, so was intrigued all the way through. Just as many twists and turns as the Upson books.

19. 2/10 Finished rereading A Shilling for Candles - didn't remember this one at all, so it was like a new story by an author who writes very well.

20. 2/12 Library finally got To Rule in Amber to me. Lots of blood & fighting - more than I remember, but it's been a long time since I read the original series. Still, a fun read while it's hard to do anything else while I heal.

21. 2/14 Sins of the Blood was an Amazon Prime loaner. Three short stories, all well done, and a very interesting "Guided tour of St. Frideswide" that explained a lot about how a nunnery is laid out and how it works. Ended up buying the ebook.

22. 2/17 Re-read Nine Princes in Amber, the original in the Zelazny series. Guess I'm too hold to old out any hope of magic anymore - wasn't nearly as compelling as I remember.

23. 2/20 Might not be as compelling, but I went on to re-read The Guns of Avalon, second in the series. Both are in my book The Chronicles of Amber volume 1 and I didn't want to put it back in it's box unread. :)

24. 2/22 Read Two for Sorrow, third book in the series. Far more graphic than I generally like, and I wonder if she isn't taking liberties with the truth.

25. 3/3 Finished A Fine Summer's Day a prequel to the Ian Rutledge series. A really diabolical mystery, a nice smattering of the Crawfords and a lot of Melinda -all very nicely wrapped up. Good book.

26. 3/7 Finished Fear in the Sunlight. More graphic than I really enjoy, but still a fairly decent story. I think I enjoy the tangled relationships more than the mystery - and certainly more than the murders!

27. 3/9 Finished Dark Cosmos. A little dated, but still a fairly good explanation of what dark matter and energy might be, how we're looking for them and why.

28. 3/11 Finished The Mysterium, the latest Hugh Corbett. Convoluted, as always, and places the reader back in time.

29. 3/13 Got What If? from the library, and since there's a long waiting list, sat right down and read it. Some of the questions were absurd, as the title says, but the answers were quite good, and also quite witty. First time I can remember laughing out loud at a book of this type!

30. 3/15 Read The Death of Lucy Kyte - I think this was the best one so far. Done mostly through a diary, murder past and present are solved.

31. 3/16 Re-read The Franchise Affair. Hardly any Inspector Grant in this one, but very good anyway.

32. 3/17 Also re-rad To Love and Be Wise. Ingenious plot, and it's all Inspector Grant. Really felt like I was there. :)

33. 3/18 On to Daughter of Time, Tey's vinidication of Richard III. I'd forgotten what a very good book this is.

34. 3/21 Miss Pym Disposes is certainly not as good as the Alan Grant books. Tiresome woman.

35. 3/23 Well, according to Women of Mystery: the lives and works of notable women crime novelists, Miss Pym is autobiographical and a very angry book. Didn't get that. However, there's a lot of interesting information in this book about many of my favorite authors, about the development of the murder mystery and the many facets of the modern genre. Worth reading, especially if you're fond of the "Golden Age" stories.

36. 4/2 Finally finished Blood on the Water. I don't think I ever finished reading the previous book, Blind Justice, since I wasn't aware of a lot of the Rathbone back story. However - this one was horrific in it's way, with her normal sleight-of-hand at the end to bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion. Too bad real life doesn't work that way. Monk is becoming much more human, and Hester too, though she was pretty much in the background in this one.

37. 4/7 Finished The Guilt of Innocents the one Candace Robb I was missing. Good story - I like Owen Archer, and I also like that the characters are aging. :)

38. 4/9 Read Anne Perry's A New York Christmas. Annoying when half-way through you not only know who did it, but also how the story will end. But it's nice to know how Jemima ends up. :)

39. 4/11 This Book is Overdue! is a fairly interesting look at what librarians do, how they do it, and how libraries are changing in the era of the internet. Somewhat dated - copyright is 2010, but I think I'll look for some of the blogs she mentioned.

40. 4/12 Another LT recommendation, Death at Wentwater Court. Interesting characters and a good story. Ingenious ending, too.

41. 4/12 So got the second in the series The Winter Garden Mystery Another great ending. Now to find out what a winter garden is. :)

42. 4/14 Finally read The Final Cut. A bit more action and mayhem than my general fiction reading, but a very good story just the same.

43. 4/16 Finished The Return of Captain John Emmett Not really a mystery, although there are plenty of murders - more a story of discovery, and the aftermath of war. Excellent book - well written, well plotted and characters you can care about.

44. 4/16 Requiem for a Mezzo was a nice little mystery, and another slice of the lives of some engaging characters.

45. 4/20 Read The Late Scholar, since I was in the mood for some Lord Peter. Realized I'd read it before, but didn't remember it all, so finished it! :)

46. 4/23 The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is another gentle mystery, ingeniously plotted. Good read.

47. 4/24 Since there's a long waiting list, read A Dangerous Place as soon as the library had it for me. An eventful four years have passed, and Masie's trying, selfishly, I thought, to put herself back together after losing both husband and child. I missed the regulars.

48. 4/25 Finished The Woman in Black Everything I expect from a ghost story and more!

49. 4/26 Read Damsel in Distress, a really contrived plot, and hardly believable, but fun, notheless.

50. 4/30 Finished The Lost Key. The characters are engaging, the stories are imaginative and well-written, but there's sure a lot of violence!

51. 5/3 Finished Her Royal Spyness Fairly silly, not much of a mystery, but fun to read. Also read Masked Ball at Broxley Manor, the prequel. Since it's only 4o pages or so, doesn't deserve a separate entry. :)

52. 5/4 Read Rest You Merry, the first Peter Shandy. I'd forgotten what a bunch of nitwits populate these books, and what fun they are to visit!

53. 5/4 So followed it up with The Luck Runs Out, since they're just the sort of nuttiness I'm in the mood for. This one starts with a kidnapped pig...

54. 5/6 And then read Wrack and Rune about a fake runestone and a plot to divest an old couple of their farm and their very valuable antiques.

55. 5/9 Read A is for Alibi, the first Kinsey Milhone. For a first mystery, very good. Here she solves an 8-year old murder, provokes a few more and then commits one herself - in self-defense, of course.

56. 5/10 Since I'm #10 on the waiting list for B, checked out Kinsey and Me for the short stories. I especially liked the one she wrote for the Land's End catalog! :) Read the Kinsey stories - all good, and one of the Me, which are supposed to be autobiographical.

57. 5/11 Finally read Seams Unlikely Since I've been watching "Sewing With Nancy" off and on for probably 30 years, seemed about time to read this. Excellent! I've admired her teaching ability for years - after reading her story, admiration only grows for what she's overcome in her life.

58. 5/16 In the mood for some light reading, so checked out Something the Cat Dragged In. For such a wholesome-sounding place, Balaclava is certainly a hotbed of nefariousness. An octogenarian cabal to take over the government? :)

59. 5/17 Still not ready for any heavy reading, so got The Curse of the Giant Hogweed from the library. In Wales, Shandy, Stott and Tim get transported back in time, solve a murder, unmask a witch, learn the spell to fell the hogweed and all ends happily. Odd story, but moderately enjoyable.

60. 5/17 Still don't feel much like doing anything productive, so read The Corpse in Oozak's Pond. Another collection of odd characters with an unlikely plot, but entertaining.

61. 5/18 Vane Pursuit deals with a murderous bunch stealing weather vanes, gets Helen & friends shipwrecked by the same bunch, Peter and Cronkite locating a missing heiress, and, of course, ends happily.

62. 5/19 Followed up with An Owl Too Many. The heiress is now a faculty member, and among other things, gets kidnapped in a nefarious plot involving organic apples. The sillier the plots get, the more I enjoy them.

63. 5/19 Then Something in the Water puts Shandy back in Maine, getting involved with outlandish lupines, an undiscovered artistic genius, putting a marriage back together and, of course, solving the murders of two very unlikable people, while exonerating all the likable ones. One to go, then the series ends. The books are really enchanting nonsense - just what I want right now.

64. 5/20 Well, I guess it's farewell to Balaclava College, sadly. Exit the Milkman is the last in the series, in which the dairy expert turns into the heir of a dairy empire, having survived a murderous attack plotted by his wife; she didn't survive the murderous attack by the electrician she'd pursueded to carry it out, and the doctor was unmasked as an old fool who killed himself. And, as usual, everything else ended up just fine. I think she must have been getting tired of the Shandy's, the last two books ended so abruptly. Still, good fun, and a nice distraction.

65. 5/20 Finished Lives in Ruins. Didn't realize that this is the same author that wrote This Book is Overdue!. This one is organized a bit better, and a very enjoyable read. Deals with the dedication archaeologists must have to follow such a career, some of the more obscure specialties, and the obstacles they overcome - as well as the satisfaction they seem to get from doing something they love.

66. 5/20 So much for slowing down. Picked up Last Wool and Testament at the library. Very good! Interesting mix of big city and small town characters, a ghost thrown in for good measure and a slightly surprising villian. Glad I read it.

67. 5/22 For a change of pace, read American Ghost, the story of a woman's quest to understand her great-great-grandmother, reputed to now be a ghost haunting the family home. Not sure why I found it so interesting, but I did. Probably because Julia Staab was one of the first settlers in New Mexico, brought there as a young bride from a well-to-do German family, and I can imagine the difficulties she faced in trying to adapt.

68. 5/24 Read Plainly Murder, the prequel, I guess, in this series. The idea of a Dallas socialite solving a murder in an Amish village is amusing, but didn't care all that much for the characters.

69. 5/25 Read Dead in the Water - not sure why I find the period between the wars in England so interesting, but I do. Nobles behaving badly, with a bit of rowing thrown in.

70. 5/25 Finished Dyeing Wishes Not sure if I like this series or not - starts with finding two victims, goes it's usual convoluted route and ends as well as possible.

71. 5/27 Finished Spinning in Her Grave. Still not sure I really like the series, but now I'm curious to see how the romantic triangle works out. :)

72. 5/29 Finished Plagued by Quilt. Still no resolution to the triangle, really, but solved the mystery of Geneva, and Ardis can see her, too. :)

73. 5/31 At least it's a book every two days, instead of two a day. Finished The Family Vault, first in the series. I liked Peter Shandy, and these are a bit better on the mystery part, anyway.

74 - 75 - 76 5/31 Oops. Weather's a day for curling up with a book, so finished The Withdrawing Room - odd story about Sarah's problems with turning the house into a boarding house, and almost at once losing two roomers to murder. Couldn't get #3 as an ebook, so read #4, The Bilbao Looking Glass. Nice to know Sarah & Max are a team, and there's certainly a lot of anti-Semitism displayed among the yachting set. As well as a lot of drinking, but the main characters are as nuttily likable as in the other books. Finished up the day with The Convivial Codfish, this one about a party on a train that turns deadly. I think I get more interested in the main character's lives than the mysteries, which seem to involve some sleight-of-hand with the clues at the end.

77. 6/3 Finished A Deadly Grind. Queensville reminds me a bit of Louise Penney's Three Pines, and the bits about vintage kitchenware - which I also like - was interesting. Convoluted mystery, on the whole, though, pretty good. Started the second book, and realized I'm very tired of single women behaving idiotically, which is how most of these seem to me.

78. 6/4 Finished How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog. A non-mathematical explanation of why Einstein's theory works, and an understandable - sort of - explanation of both theories.

79. 6/6 Read The Palace Guard while working on finishing a tome about Greece. A larcenous head of museum has been scamming people for 30 years, until Max & Sarah figure it out. Also found out how everyone got together, and how the boarding house exits the picture. Fun read.

80. 6/6 Went on to read The Plain Old Man since my other projects aren't jelling. Sarah solves this one herself and marries off another cousin, while taking on an unexpected part in her Aunt Emma's last performance. Another fun read.

81. 6/9 Finally finished Portrait of a Priestess. The was lauded in Lives in Ruins, so got it from the library. More scholarly than I'm used to, or really like, but lots of pictures. Her argument is that women played a very active role in Greek life from the beginning - something I hadn't realized was in doubt. Anyway, she uses archaeological evidence as well as literature to support her arguement, and it seemed to me to be not only well-researched, but conclusive. Worth the effort.

82. 6/10 Finished Breaking the Maya Code. Interesting story about how the Mayan glyphs are being understood - a very complicated project, as far as I could understand. And apparently being able to read about the culture they're digging up is an affront to many archaeologists. How odd...

83. Read A Royal Pain Fairly engaging story about an attempt to assasinate Queen Mary and King George(?). Georgiana sort of solves it - turns out Darcy may be in the British equivalent of the Secret Service.

84, 6/12 Turns out reading something fairly heavy is more enjoyable if I intersperse with something light. So read The Recycled Citizen, in which the Kellings Senior Center is invaded not only by a muckraker, but a nefarious long-time employee of Uncle Fredrick, who turns out to be using the seniors as drug-runners. Still fun, though.

85. 6/13 Read Styx and Stones, the next Daisy Dalyrumple story - set at her brother's manor, Daisy finds a poison pen author and a murderer - with a little help from the police - breaks off with Alec and his daughter brings them back together. Still a quick, fun read.

86. 6/14 Could no longer resist Privy to the Dead the next Museum Mystery. Nell and her staff solve an old murder, which has lead to one right outside their door. Martha has very odd feelings about family honor - which she does acknowledge and stalls the whole thing, while Nell & James are getting used to their new house. I do like the way Connelly writes, and the characters she creates.

87. 6/15 Finally read The Library: Where Life Checks Out. The ebook also has the first story, The Depot: When Life and Death Cross Tracks, which I enjoyed. Anyway - a detective who solves old murders because he can see the ghosts of the victims. Interesting premise, and pretty well written.

88. 6/16 Finished The Theory of Almost Everything. Very readable and most of it's understandable, although it was written before the Higgs bosun was found. Does a good job of connecting all the parts of the Standard Model, as well as pointing out the gaps. Still no accounting for gravity, though.

89. 6/19 So much for slowing down. Read The Silver Ghost as a nice bit of froth. This one involved a medieval revelry, spiriting away a couple of Rolls and, of course, a couple of really ingenious murders. The culprit, of course, isn't anyone of the Kelling clan, but an old mystery is solved in the solution to the new ones.

90. 6/20 Finished The Gladstone Bag. Emma agrees to play hostess at an elderly friends annual gathering on their island - to a group of unknows, who turn out to be planning to hunt for pirate treasure!! This one is almost all Thelonia and Emma - two of the best members of the Kelling Clan.

91. 6/21 Finished The Second Sister. Not sure what genre this belongs in - "finding yourself"?. Anyway, the author was featured in a Nancy's Corner segment, so I got it from the library - glad I read it. I guess it's mainly about forgiving yourself, with some politics, quilting, and a tour of Door County thrown in.

92. 6/22 Gloomy day today, so I read Silent in the Grave. Odd story, and long, but quite well written and plotted.

93. 6/23 Finished Royal Flush. This one's about someone stalking the royal family while in Scotland. Georgie & Darcie solve the mystery and save the day, naturally.

94. 6/23 Couldn't get Silent in the Sanctuary from the library as either a book or a Kindle ebook, so got it in Overdrive, which works OK - as long as I don't mind reading on a tablet. Set around Christmas, all the Marches are home for the holiday, along with an Italian wife, a jewel thief and two murderers. Odd relationship, but interesting characters.

95. 6/24 Followed up with Silent on the Moor Settle an old feud, discover some horrors from the past and everything ends nicely - finally married. I'm enjoying these books - well written.

96. 6/26 On to Dark Road to Darjeeling. They finish their honeymoon - 8 months!! - in India, at the request of Portia where they encounter the oddest murder with the wildest solution yet, and also resolve their first serious quarrel. Lady Julia is somewhat foolish, but all the characters so far are engaging, and it's easy to put myself into their milieu.

97. 6/26 Read Rattle His Bones More interested in the characters than the mysteries, I admit. Set in the British Museum though, this one was fairly interesting.

98. 6/27 Followed up with To Davy Jones Below. This one's really a shipboard farce, but at least they're married now. And, of course, happy endings all around. :)

99-101. 6/27 Read The Resurrection Man - an art restorer, not a body snatcher, who's been followed by bad luck all through his career. Love how these all end with the villian neatly dispatching himself when caught, and happy endings all around here, too. Didn't want to do anything but read, so followed up with The Odd Job - another murder at the museum, and this time Sarah's on her own. Then finished The Balloon Man - Max's niece gets married, he gets kidnapped (and rescued) and all sorts of ends get tied up. Sorry to leave the Kellings - it's a fun group.

102. 7/2 Finished Anatomy of Evil, the latest Barker & Llewellyn. Not only are they looking for Jack the Ripper, they join Scotland Yard to do it. And, of course, they track him down - Llewellyn subdues him, and gets stabbed in the process, gets his own nameplate on the agency door, and there seems to be a budding romance between him and Rebecca. Good series.

103. 7/2 Read B is for Burglar. Not quite Ross MacDonald, but fairly close. Kinsey starts out searching for a missing person, ends up not only discovering the murderers, but how they disposed of the body in a fire by switching the dental records, meets a new client in Florida, and just about gets killed herself. The endings seem to be fairly violent, but otherwise the stories are interesting.

104. 7/7 Finally finished The Market Revolution. Not nearly as readable as others in this series, but in my opinion anyway, a pretty honest look at America in the 1800s. I've read that this one was not accepted because of the Marxist viewpoint: I'm not all that familiar with Marx, but I suspect his pointing out of not only the flaws in Capitalism but the upheavals caused by industrialization offended lots of people who prefer their history through rose-colored glasses. Best chapters are the ones dealing with Jackson's presidency, and the first explaination of the so-called "Bank War" that I've read so far that made sense.

105. 7/12 So then I re-read What Hath God Wrought to see the differences. This one is broader based and much more general. The upheavels caused by changes in transportation, communication and availability of education are more implied than stated, at least until the later chapters. Little to no limning of their effects on individuals, and what I felt was a glossing over of the societal effects of these massive changes. Easy to read, though, and better on the politics than the first one.

106. 7/12 For a little lighter reading, read Trail of Thread. Excellent book detailing the woman's view of homesteading. This one covers the trek from Kentucky to Kansas, where they settled 4 miles from Lawrence, poor souls. Told as a series of letters home, it really makes what these settlers did come alive. Since they're such short books, Thimble of Soil and Stitch of Courage probably make one normal book. :) Thimble of Soil talks about the impact on families of the Kansas/Missouri troubles and the last book about the impact of the Civil War in the West. Excellent books! Although they're fiction, I believe they were well-researched, and the characters are members of the authors family. I've read enough Civil War history to feel this was a pretty realistic picture of what life was like for settlers in the new territories.

107. 7/14 If I'd realized this was for "young readers", I probably wouldn't have checked out When the Earth Shakes. But it's a good introduction to the geologic forces that move the planet and a very quick read.

108. 7/15 A long waiting list for Uprooted, so I read it right away. There are echos of Tad Williams Green Tower, and glimpses of the Wheel of Time, but altogether a very, very good story.

109. 7/16 Read Evans Above about a village policeman in Wales. I think I like this one better than her Royal Spyness series - not quite as inane, and the descriptions of the scenery are wonderful. This first one involves murders stemming from a train robbery years ago, and Evans pretty much solves it on his own.

110. 7/17 Read The Dark Inquiry, the next Lady Julia. This one involves spies, seances and, of course, delightful characters and a marriage that just keeps getting more interesting. I think they're finally beginning to understand each other. Also read Bonfire Night out of order - Brisbane's father set up a ridiculous plot to gain access to their house to recover some jewels Brisbane was searching for. Somehow, they've acquired a son who actually seems to be Brisbane's half-brother, probably from The Dark Road to Darjaleeng.

111. 7/21 Read The Body in the Transept as a nice relief from reading about Andrew Jackson and later, Reconstruction. An American widow, comfortably elderly, has moved to England after her husband's death, stumbles over a body, connects with the Chief Constable, and all in all, a delightful story.

112. 7/22 Not sure an older woman acting in a less than sensible manner is any better than a young one acting that way, but Trouble in the Town Hall has it's share. Still, it's an engaging description of an English cathedral town, and I do like the characterization.

113. 8/3 Read Evanly Choirs in between trying to read about Reconstruction. A famous opera singer comes to Llanfair to rest, gets involved with an old friend and a singing competition, gets himself murdered, and, of course, Evans eventually solves to case. And wins the girl. :)

114. 8/3 Finished C is for Corpse so I could get it back to the library. In this one, her client, a young man badly injured in a car accident is afraid of being murdered, and is. Ends violently, of course, but Kinsey identifies the murderer.

115. 8/7 Finished Our Man in Charleston. Excellent book! The South prior to the outbreak of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of the British Consul in South Carolina. His reports on the true nature of the Confederacy, the desire to re-open the slave trade and the people involved apparently did a great deal to keep both England & France from recognizing the Confederacy. The William Seward in this book isn't the same man that appeared in either his highly flattering biography or even in Goodwin's Team of Rivals. Through British eyes, he's almost unstable. Anyway -for anyone with an interest in Civil War history, this is a very enlightening book.

116. 8/12 Finished The Angel Court Affair - I've been remiss in keeping up with the Pitts. Good story, but I miss having Charlotte and Emily involved. This one's about an evangalist who's kidnapped, and works it's way up to a potential bank scandal. And it all started way back in school - what on earth do the English teach in those supposedly prestigious schools?

117. 8/17 Took a while, but I finished American Lion, probably the most balanced book I've read about Andrew Jackson. It seems honest in pointing out both virtues and flaws in the man, and gives him a great deal of credit for being not only a very shrewd politician, but also a man steadfast in his determination to preserve the Union, but also determined to make the Presidency the heart of government, as the only office elected by all citizens.

118. 8/20 Read Mary Russell's War A good introduction to the series, and a bit of explaination about how she came to be in England.

119. 8/25 Read Rock with Wings Strange titles, but these are as good as the original series. Glad it's carried on to the next generation, too. This one has Chee working with a movie production crew, while Bernadette is back home, dealing with her sister, a mystery traffic stop and a crazed solar panal company - although that last isn't apparent at first. :)

120. 8/28 Read Veil of Lies. Billed as "Medieval Noir". Not certain about that, but it's an interesting premise. I had a hard time getting into it, though. Nicely written.

121. Quilt or Innocence is a rather charming story about an art curator who moves to a small town to be near her daughter, learns to quilt and almost accidentally solves a murder.

122. 9/3 Knot What It Seams The retired lady finds another murderous quilter in her small southern town. Fun read.

123. 9/5 And Quilt Trip has a mixed group of quilters and a lawyer trapped by an ice storm in a decaying southern mansion with, of course, a couple of murders. Beatrice figures it out, they all get rescued eventually, and she suffers another murderous attack. At least the murders aren't particularly violent in these books. Still, nice light reading, interesting factoids about quilting scattered around and characters that are odd enough to be believable.

124. 9/6 Shear Trouble - another murder in the quilt shop, and another murderous quilter. Goodness! Entertaining story on a hot and humid day, though.

125. 9/8 Read American Homer, since PBS is rebroadcasting Burns' "Civil War". I'd read the trilogy years ago and liked it - I'm a little surprised to see it criticized here as "not being history" - of course it is, it's a military history, not an examination of causes. Whatever, it's very readable, and it's pretty obvious it's written with a Southern POV. Which has nothing to do with this little book of essays about Shelby Foote and the actual writing of his series, and the effect TV had on him.

126. 9/10 Since there's a long waiting list, read A Pattern of Lies, the latest Bess Crawford. She certainly does get herself into scrapes, helping people she doesn't know. I wonder if that was supposed to be characteristic of the time or the class - I doubt today anyone would give up their personal life to help strangers - or maybe they would. Anyway, this one has a gunpowder factory exploding and then a vicious account of the damage unchecked gossip and untrained police can do. So good for Bess! She, of course, figures it all out. Rather weak motive to my ears - a desire to fight in a war? How odd.

127. 9/18 Read P.F. Chisholm's latest Sir Robert Carey - A Chorus of Innocents. Excellent writing, as always, but this one's more about Elizabeth Widdrington, still married to the odious Sir Henry who at the end, turns out to be a homosexual, just like, apparently, most of the Scottish court and English court too, I think. Anyway, starts out with the murder of a nice minister and the rape of his very pregnant wife. Elizabeth goes to the scene, tracks the man who paid for the murder back to the Scottish Court, falls afoul of a nefarious plot by her husband to have her killed and solve all his problems (he thinks) and rescues herself just before Sir Robert comes roaring to the rescue. Then she saves a young lord's life and convinces the King to change his ways. Since this, I think, is the last of Sir Robert's memoirs, I sure hope it's not the last of the series!

128. 9/20 Forced myself to finish Gone But Knot Forgotten. I think I've been reading too many cozies lately - I'm a little tired of women, old or young, acting foolishly. This one had a better ending than I thought it would be though. Margaret is appointed executor of an old friend's estate. The friend was murdered many months previously - turns out her husband had been murdered even earlier. Anyway, Margaret solves both murders, along with a theft and an embezellment, finds out Yossi is more than she thought, dumps him, and then her quilting circle talks her into nursing him back to health.

129. 9/20 Same for Tying the Knot. At least this time the murderer wasn't a crazed quilter - but the same pattern. I think this series is more about romance among the retired than mystery.

130. 9/22 Got Undeniable from the library because I like Bill Nye and I've always been curious how supposedly intelligent beings could deny evolution. If this was an accurate representation, the arguements are even weaker than I thought. The book is, however, not only an excellent arguement for evolution, it's a really interesting study of the ramifications, and it's effects on our society.

131. 9/24 Read The Merchant's House, based on recommendations here. Interesting premise, characters were mostly interesting, although I thought one or two very tiresome, but I liked the way the past and present were tied together. It'll be interesting to see how the series progresses.

132. 9/25 Read Knot the Usual Suspects, the haunted yarn shop series. This one doesn't have quite as much romance involved, which is nice. Here they do a yarn bombing and solve a couple of murders along the way. Fun characters.

133. 9/27 Read The Nature of the Beast Wow. I couldn't finish it last night - actually afraid to read the ending in the dark! :) Three Pines is still peaceful, until a small boy discovers a huge gun in the woods. Then the murders and the intrigues start - Isabelle LaCoste is marvelous as the Chief Inspector, Jean-Guy is much more likable, and Gamache and Reine-Marie are trying to decide which path to take next. Great book.

134. 9/28 Read The Raging Sea. I knew about the Alaska earthquake because a friend's sister lived in Anchorage, but didn't realize it generated a powerful tsunami. Very detailed account of the geology that caused it to be so destructive in Crescent City, the event itself and the aftermath. The Kindle book would benefit from some proof reading and some editing, but an interesting book.

135. 10/4 It's been a while since I read Memory of Light, the last in the Wheel of Time, so I don't remember a lot of it, but By Grace and Banners Fallen seems to be a fleshing out of parts of the last battle.

136. 10/5 Since I thoroughly enjoy historical mysteries, decided to read The Plantagenets. A little bit more than I really wanted to know about English history, but it puts Caedfel and Sir Baldwin into a context. Now I suppose I'd better move on to the Tudors.

137. 10/6 Finished Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language a rather brief account of how words have changed their meaning over time.

138. 10/7 After a segment of Nancy's Corner, got Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement from the library. I think more pictures and less words would have made a better book, but still interesting to read.

139. 10/10 Finished Only the Animals a collection of short stories told by the animal after their death. Some were very touching, some not so much, but they all had me believing the animal wrote it, which says something either about me or about the author. :)

140. 10/11 Read A Gala Event, the new Orchard series. Sort of sad- while planning their wedding, a stranger shows up at the History Museum. In her normal convoluted way, Meg gets drawn into finding out if he was really guilty of the arson he'd been committed for 25 years earlier. Nice, fairly gentle story that includes a birth and a wedding.

141. 10/18 Finished The Book of Universes Very well written and mostly understandable story of how we went from Earth being the center of everything to the entire universe being one of an infinite number. Maybe.

142. 10/27 Finished The Armada Boy another one twining the past and the present. Likable people, mostly, and an interesting premise. This one starts with the murder of an American GI, revisiting his past and ends with somethingof a surprise.

143. 10/28 Rotten weather today, so read A Shadowed Evil Best of the series, I think. Josse & Helewise visit Josse's childhood home finding it being torn apart by a new arrival. Add in a little human feeling and some supernatural effects and it's quite a good story.

144. 10/31 Not sure why it took me so long to finish Corridors of the Night. Hester fills in nursing nights for a friend, is kidnapped to treat a very nasty man with "white blood disease" - leukeimia? - by a mostly mad chemist, Monk find her & rescues everyone, then it goes to trial and Rathbone is back in court - and in love with the wife of the man who set him up... The ususal convoluted story and immensely enjoyable as well as a bit though-provoking about how we make discoveries.

145. 11/3 Finished An Unhallowed Grave I really enjoy how past and present are tied together in this series. This one involves the death of babies - 600 years or so apart - followed by the deaths of the nursemaids, a spectacular archaeological discovery and of course, the villian is a highly respected member of the community. Good read.

146. 11/9 Borrowed the Butter in the Well series through Amazon. Three short books in the series, this one's about settling in Kansas. I recognized many of the later activities from my grandparents farm. Interesting, but I liked her Trail of Thread better.

147. 11/17 - I really have slowed down! Busy with raking & the Sewing Expo helped. Finished Seeking the Dead finally. An interesting story, but I like the other series better, I think.

148. 11/19 Finished The Funeral Boat - again, the past reaches out to taint the present, and the long past solves the mystery. This one's replete with Vikings, past and present.

149. 11/21 With the long waiting lists for the books I got from the library today, decided to get them read ASAP :) So read Home by Nightfall, the latest Charles Lenox. Gentle story - Lennox's sister-in-law died unexpectedly, and Lenox is trying to help his brother, while his agency is in trouble and a missing muscian is captivating London. At home, Charles & Edmund solve a break-in and a murder in a very interesting fashion, in London, the agency heads back to solvency by finding the missing man. Very good story.

150 11/20 Another one with a waiting list, so read The Adventuress. Srt in India and Egypt, Jeremy's brother Jack introduces him to a wealthy American heiress. The book doesn't think much of American's trying to infiltrate the British aristocracy, but it's still a very good story, with a somewhat surprising ending.

151. 11/23 Read The Bone Garden - restoring an old garden leads to the discovery of three skeletons, a lost love for Neil and the papers that solve the old mystery lead Wesley to solving the new one - and saves Rachel in the meantime. :) I do like this series, and I see the Library has ordered the missing ones! Yay!

152. 11/26 Read A Likely Story, the latest Library Lovers. Reclusive brothers living on an island, hoarders, a seeming murder and disappearance - Leslie's still trying to choose between Robin and Scully, which is getting a bit tiresome.

153. 12/2 For a little light reading, got Evan and Elle from the library. Evan's still having girl trouble, but it doesn't stop him from figuring out all the crimes involving the French woman who just opened a restaurant - in Wales! And a string of arsons and setting a young boy on the straight path. Engaging series.

154. 12/17 Finished reading Tambora, a very sobering look at the aftermath of the eruption of 1815. She traces the effects world-wide - famine, epidemics, political chaos - not a pretty picture, especially since there were no organized relief efforts anywhere. Gives a glimpse of our future, I'm afraid. Too bad some of the deniers of the present day won't read it.

155. 12/19 Finally finished King John. War, taxes, greed, cruelty and capriciousness on the part of John lead to rebellion and the Magna Carta. Fairly boring book, unless you're extremely interested in English history.

156. 12/20 Read Storm of the Century Al Roker's book about the Galveston hurricane in 1900. Really interesting account of the development of meteorology around that time, how the storm developed and gripping accounts of the hurricane and the aftermath. Very interesting book - could have used a bit of editing but very well written.

157. 12/29 Read A Painted Doom, fifth in the Wesley Peterson series. This one covers rape and incest separated by 500 years or so, and of course, the past solves the modern crimes. I do like this series - glad the library got this book!

158. 12/31 Finished Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs about 11 pm, so it's the last book of the year. :) Really interesting sort-of history of the universe, how we figure things out, and an intriguing proposal for what dark matter is, and some of it's properites. Worth re-reading.

jan 7, 2015, 12:28am

You're off to a great start already! I was just thinking of Remarkable Creatures last night, but couldn't remember the title. Thanks for the memory jog!

jan 7, 2015, 5:01am

Welcome Judi, happy reading !

jan 7, 2015, 8:13pm

Remarkable Creatures sounds like one to add to my list! Thanks!