Thursday, April 28, 2016

What I've been reading: April 2016

I am still reading! I will say that it's tough to work toward a certain number of titles read in a calendar year if you're reading 800-page behemoths on the regular, though. I'm way behind on my annual challenge of 100 titles read in a calendar year, and I'm blaming Brandon Sanderson. I may take a bit of a break from his excellent Mistborn series just to make up a little ground on my challenge. Here's how I've been doing this month.

What We Find, by Robyn Carr. This came recommended to me by one of my favorite patrons, who has been singing Carr's praises to me for months. When I needed some easy reading, I tried this latest title from the very prolific Carr and was pleasantly surprised. Denver neurosurgeon Maggie Sullivan retreats from her hectic city life after personal tragedy and a wrongful death suit make staying intolerable. For solace, she returns to the home that is her father's family legacy, intending to clear her head and reconnect with her estranged parent. She never bargained for what she would find there, but it may just change everything forever. A gentle read, pretty well-paced, with some great characters. This is very likely the first in a new series, and is full of promise.

The Well of Ascension, by Brandon Sanderson. Follow-up novel to Mistborn: The Final Empire, this picks up a year after book one to find Vin and her crew trapped in the fallen empire's capitol city of Luthadel, with the hungry armies of their enemies camped outside the gates. Only through ingenuity, teamwork, and sheer stubborn will can Kelsier's heir lead her band of rebels to a new future--one that will require defeating or outsmarting their foes, one way or another. I'm definitely a fan, and look forward to returning to this series soon.

The Obsession, by Nora Roberts. This is a little dark by Roberts's usual standards. Naomi has had several surnames over the years, having had to change it (and move repeatedly) over the years to stay ahead of the media. The daughter of the country's most notorious serial killer, and the one who as a child rescued her father's last victim and brought his reign of terror to an end, she has been hounded across the country over the years. Now, on the Pacific coast, she has finally decided to stop running, having found a place she means to call home, a place where she can set down some roots. If, that is, her past doesn't catch up with her again. Definitely gripping and a fast read.

A New Hope, by Robyn Carr. Well, I liked her well enough to try another title. This happens to be one from the middle of her Thunder Point series, book 8 to be precise (if you prefer to start at the beginning, book one is The Wanderer--I have plans to go back and read this when I'm on vacation next month, because I'll never learn to do these things in their proper order!). Ginger Dysart is starting over from scratch. Newly single after a short and painful marriage. A new job. New friends. All part of trying to move on after she lost everything. What she didn't count on was Matt Lacoumette, the brother of a friend, coming into the midst of her new structure and turning it all on its head. The very last thing she was looking for was love, but it seems to have found her anyway. I haven't read a lot of contemporary romance in a good long while, and this was quite lovely--definitely recommend starting at the beginning--there is a large cast of secondary characters and while they're fairly easy to sort out, I'd bet it's still easier if you've met them before in earlier novels.

The Buddha In The Attic, by Julie Otsuka. I'm in the middle of this short read right now--it's my book club's pick for our May meeting. For a small book, it is incredibly powerful, and easy to see why it won the PEN/Faulkner award and was a National Book Award finalist. In eight sections, this is the story of a group of Japanese mail-order brides or "picture brides" from the turn of the last century, from their homes in Japan to their new lives in San Francisco, their adjustment to their new culture and raising families, the rejection of their own cultures by their children. Very deeply moving, the writing is spare and luminous.

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