Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Reading List

Books Read in August

123 - 01 The Real Macaw, by Donna Andrews (8/5)
124 - 02 Death on Tour, by Janice Hamrick (8/6)
125 - 03 The Trouble with J.J., by Tami Hoag (8/7) 
126 - 04 Just Murdered, by Elaine Viets (8/9)
127 - 05 Murder with Reservations, by Elaine Viets  (8/10)
128 - 06 The Secret Mistress, by Mary Balogh (8/13)
129 - 07 Clubbed to Death, by Elaine Viets (8/14)
130 - 08 The Baby Planner, by Josie Brown (8/15)
131 - 09 Human Communication, by Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth,  Harter (8/16) textbook 
132 - 10 Sixteen Brides, by Stephanie Grace Whitson (8/16)
133 - 11 How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, by Sabrina Jeffries (8/19)
134 - 12 Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris (8/24) 
135 - 13 And Thereby Hangs a Tale, by Jeffrey Archer (8/25) 
136 - 14 April in Bloom, by Annie Jones (8/26) 
137 - 15 Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, by Joyce Magnin (8/28) 
138 - 16 Griselda Takes Flight, by Joyce Magnin (8/30)

Death on Tour, by Janice Hamrick, was a very easy-to-read mystery. Even though I had figured out who the murderers were by page 37, it was interesting enough to keep reading. I'd put it in my "junk-food books" category, with mystery instead of steamy romance. (There was a romance, but very g-rated.) I did find one quick kniterary reference: "In the evening, board a felucca and sail across the sapphire waters of the Nile to the lush botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island." I suppose only a die-hard, obsessive sock knitter such as myself would immediately add Egypt to the list of places she absolutely has to visit, based only on the botanical gardens of Kitchener's Island. (For the non-knitting readers, "Kitchener" is a way of seaming two pieces of knitting often used to close the toes of a sock.) On the negative side, and almost making me abandon the book, was a far-too casual, " 'No, I'm not retarded,' I snorted." This is an expression that I truly hate, and I don't understand how it managed to work it's way into a newly-published book. Seriously. Publishers would hesitate to write "nigger" or "kite" (there would have to be a legitimate literary need for those words), so why is a casually-used "retard" okay? It was the one bad note in an otherwise pleasant book.

The dreaded "retard" appears in another book this month. In fact, it made several appearances in Just Murdered, by Elaine Viets. Normally I let it something offensive in a book get past me one time. The second occurrence is when I will put the book down and move on. But in this case, I stuck with the story since it the character using the term was supposed to be a horrible b*tch that wouldn't mind offending anyone. The book, while still being easy 'junk-food' reading, actually had a well-written mystery. 

One of my favorite books this month was And Thereby Hangs a Tale, by Jeffrey Archer. It's a collection of short stories that are wonderfully engrossing. Out of the 15 tales, 10 are actually based on real events. I will definitely be looking for other books by this author.

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