Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keeping Track

I've been keeping track of the books I read each year on  Goodreads.  I try to write at least a short review of each, and I sort them various ways for my own amusement.  It started when I "guesstimated" how many books I read in a year in a conversation with another readaholic.  In 2008 I read 106 books, in 2009 I read 105, and so far this year I've read 57.  Now I suppose I'd feel very virtuous if I could tell you that these books were deeply edifying, educational, and enlightening, but for the most part, they are pure entertainment.  I have definitely read some very challenging books, most recently Parallel Journeys, but mostly they are mysteries, mostly they are parts of series with familiar characters and plotlines, and mostly they do not challenge my brain or my beliefs.  And I'm mostly okay with that.  I am constantly challenged by my work with adolescents so I definitely need the escapist reading.

Here's Book #56

A Grave Denied (Kate Shugak, Book 13) A Grave Denied by Dana Stabenow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Grave Denied is another terrific installment in the Kate Shugak series. Kate's "ward" Johnnie Morgan and his classmates discover the frozen body of a long-time Park resident in a glacial cave.  Jim Chopin asks Kate to help with the investigation, much to the jealous dismay of Dandy Mike, who's hoping to become Jim's assistant trooper.  As in all the other books, a few more murders/attempted murders occur before Kate gets it all sorted out.  What made this book standout for me was the inclusion of Johnny's journals.  I really liked his point of view about the events, and about Kate. Perhaps too, there's some foreshadowing for future novels as it's clear he has a major crush on Kate.  I also like the way Kate was honored by her community, and especially her reaction to their love!

View all my reviews >>

And here's #57:

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've always enjoyed Agatha Christie, but somehow had never read this one which introduce Tommy and Tuppence and the Young Adventurers partnership.  This was quite entertaining with very likable characters and a sensational plot ripped out of 1920's headlines.  I'm guessing it was written early in her career because while there were several plot twists, I actually figured out two of them on my own.  In other words, my own "little grey cells" were up this challenge.  I also think that she captured the flavor of the time quite well - or at least the stereotype of the era.  I haven't read other Tommy and Tuppence novels, yet, but will be putting them on my list.

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