Well, I think this might have been my most accomplished month of reading since I started tracking these (I've been doing this for five years and 475 posts, if you want to know. Yikes!). At 12 books, I'm actually a little impressed with myself. Yup, I double checked and it's a record. My previous record was 11 books in a month, back in June of 2013. What is it about June? Must be those nice long days and the first heat waves to make me just want to read like crazy! As to what I've been reading? Here we go!
The Secret Lives of Wives, by Iris Krasnow. A rare non-fiction title! It was recommended by a friend, and I snagged the library's audiobook edition (yes, I do count audiobooks--that's a week's worth of commuting right there!). Journalist Krasnow recounts the stories of women who have been married anywhere from fifteen to seventy years, and what their different relationships and experiences have been like. Very insightful and interesting.
The Passage, by Justin Cronin. This is a re-read for me, as I'm planning on re-reading this and the second book in the trilogy, The Twelve, given the recent release of the trilogy's conclusion, The City of Mirrors. In this first installment, the military's decision to weaponize a virus in humans leads to an inevitable security breach, the result of which is devastating to the human population around the globe. Only an extraordinary six-year-old orphan, Amy Bellafonte, can possibly turn the tide. Cronin is truly a gifted writer, and if you're looking for something to really sink your teeth into this summer (sorry, couldn't help myself), I highly recommend these for folks who are fans of shows like The Walking Dead or The Last Ship.
The Homecoming, One Wish, and Wildest Dreams, by Robyn Carr. And with that, I've finished all of the current Thunder Point series novels from Carr. Each is about 350 pages, so they're not tiny, but they are such lovely, easy-reading novels that I've been whipping right through them. If anything, I'd liken her to Nora Roberts--I read both authors because I really enjoy their characters. And in this case, I highly suggest reading the series in order.
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club and Needles & Pearls, both by Gil McNeil. I know, look at me, all over series all over the place. The first book introduces us to Jo Mackenzie, newly widowed, leaving London with her two boys to try and build a new life in a seaside town where she'll take over her Gran's old knitting shop. It's when she institutes a new "Stich n Bitch" group that she begins to settle in and find her stride in her new life. The second book picks up right where the first leaves off, finding Jo managing single parenthood and business ownership...only to have two very different men complicate her life in very different, wonderful ways. These are warm and witty and delightful, and they make for great summer reading, especially for knitters!
Cemetery Dance, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Don't think for a second that I've forgotten about Agent Pendergast! Ninth in the Pendergast series, we're back in New York City among familiar faces when tragedy strikes the core group of characters when Bill Smithback and his wife, Nora Kelly are brutally attacked in their apartment. Pendergast, assisted by NYPD detective Vincent D'Agosta, must discover the secrets hidden for more than a century within a cult that seems to thrive right in the very heart of the city, whom they are sure are responsible for the attack, which turns out to be only the first in a series. I never get tired of these!
Virgin River, Shelter Mountain, Whispering Rock, A Virgin River Christmas, all by Robyn Carr. I know, I know. I have a fever and the only cure is more Robyn Carr novels. Hell, I'm reading a Christmas novel in June, for pity's sake! These are the first four novels in Carr's Virgin River series, which takes place in a small rural town in northern California. The series begins with a nurse from L.A. who needs to get away from the city and the sorrow of her life and leaps at the chance to be a midwife and nurse practitioner in the small town of Virgin River. After a rocky start in her new position (a nightmare of a living situation, a crotchety old town doctor who doesn't want anything to do with her), Mel soon finds her groove and settles in, finding love with the retired Marine who runs the local bar and grill. The next two books find two of Jack's fellow former Marines falling in love with strong women. The Christmas novel finds a former Marine who has gone native, living in a rustic mountain cabin outside of Virgin River and becoming a hermit, dragged back into a more social life by the widow of one of his former squadmates. These have been great, easy entertainment at the end of a long day, especially when there is NOTHING on television!