Monday, May 30, 2011

spring reading list

I refer to the winter list several times this quarter, so here's a link if you want to refresh your memory or, if you are a new reader, see what I'm talking about.

Short list of authors, long list of books this time around.

The Devil's Eye by Jack McDevitt – this was the fourth Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath novel. The first three were reviewed in the winter list. This one also is from Chase's (his female pilot and business employee) point of view. After receiving a plea for help and a deposit of two million dollars from a woman who subsequently undergoes a mind wipe, Alex and Chase set off to discover why she wanted to hire them. Their quest takes them to a planet outside the solar system in deep space. I don't really want to say much more in case someone likes science fiction as much as I do and might be interested in reading these books but it was really good. A great culmination to the previous three (though I have found out there is new one out). If you can battle your way through the first 3/4ths of the first book, A Talent For War (at least I had to), it's definitely worth it and the next three. One of the reasons I like these books is that the character of the moment is just as likely to be female as male no matter what the part they play.

Rip Tide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – (the folks who brought us Brimstone and Dance Of Death also from the previous list.) This is one of their early collaborations, a tale about a search for pirate treasure. I had a hard time getting into it but I'm not sure if it was because of the writing or because I was distracted, which I was at the time. A pretty good story though.

Thunderhead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – (my sister has a lot of their books) A much better tale about an archeological expedition searching for the Anasazi Lost City Of Gold (of the spaniard Coronado fame). There's a harrowing passage about their ascent up the side of the 'Devil's Backbone' with horses that made me put it down for a while. A good story though. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Fatal Error by F. Paul Wilson – the second to last installment in the Repairman Jack series. (see my post 'fall reads' for a synopsis of the Repairman Jack novels)

Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson – the first of three young adult novels about Jack as a teenager as he makes his first 'repairs' and his first introductions to the 'mystery'. (Library books are being circulated so my reading is a little narrow of focus.)

Jack: Secret Circles by F. Paul Wilson – the further adventures of the young Jack.

Jack: Secret Vengeance by F. Paul Wilson – Jack is discovering his life's work and he meets characters he will encounter again in his future.

Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell – historical fiction, mostly fiction since the history part is very far back. Nice little tale about how Stonehenge came to be built and how they (could have done) it, back when people lived in tribal groups led by a headman and the shaman and everything revolved around the gods.

The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – another really good story by this writing team. A most unusual meteorite, the largest ever found, is discovered on a desolate Chilean island at the tip of South America and one of the richest men in the world decides he wants it for a museum he is building. It's acquisition must be made quickly and secretly so he hires a scientist and an extraordinary engineering company to remove and move this 25,000 ton object, the heaviest object ever moved by humankind, which ultimately proves to be only partly successful. Good characterizations of an interesting group of people, two strong female characters are essentially the only women in the book. Has a bit of a surprise ending.

Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search For Love And Art by Gene Wilder – I usually just read fiction but Marc got this from the library and I had nothing else to read. I like Gene Wilder. He's always been one of my favorites but after I read this book it made me wonder why he thought it would be all that interesting. I mean, It was interesting to see how he got into acting and how his career progressed but I don't think his personal experience was anything more than average.

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child – Scientists in the Arctic find a creature encased in ice. The company that underwrote their expedition produces nature documentaries and they send a film crew to tape the melting and revealing of the creature. Only it's not dead, just in a state of suspended animation. Chaos ensues, people die.

The Book Of The Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – the third in the 'Diogenes' trilogy that began with Brimstone, followed by Dance Of Death. In the third book, the true nature of Diogenes' intended crime becomes apparent and it's a race against time to foil the plot and catch the perpetrator. An interesting little twist at the end.


  1. We must be living on different planets, I have not heard and certainly not read anything by any of these authors.
    Too many books, too little time, how am I going to blog as well as read?

    I have just started 'A Gate At The Stairs' by Lorrie Moore. I think I am going to enjoy it. She too was a completely unknown author to me until I was give this book.

    Thanks for your list, whom should I try first?

  2. I read less during the summer. I will have to look up Lincoln Child, I am not sure what I have seen of his.I tend to fish all summer if I get the time.

  3. I'm so excited - I just found out that the second Pendergast book is available from my library (audio version - LOVE the southern accent the reader uses for Pendergast). I'm pretty sure I heard about him on your winter list. Yes, I could go look it up. But I'm not :)

  4. This is quite interesting, books I never heard of, and books that sound intriguing enough to try.

    I just finished Home, by Marylinne Robinson. I cried through the last one hundred pages!

  5. I think I read more than I blog... but then I go in cycles. My reading list is quite different, ie no science fiction. I get into mystery novels, but they are many times quite predictable. My latest have been the Kathy Reichs series about a forensic anthropologist who is the character in the "Bones" TV series. This is Reichs field.

    Two really good books I've read are "Water for Elephants: A Novel" by Sara Gruen and "Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel" by Jeannette Walls.

  6. Wow, that's a decent sized list. Enoy! I have a ton of books I'd like to get to. Right now I'm finishing up a book about hoarding. No reason. I just find it interesting.

  7. I love your book posts, Ellen.

    I have recently discivered a novelist named Kristen Hannah, who I LOVE. She's got about 18 novels and is a NYT best-selling author, so I may have been the only one who never heard of her. But I read "Winter Garden" and it became an instant all-time fave. Now I'm almost done with "Magic Hour" with "Firefly Lane" in reserve! :-)

  8. I'm snatching "Stonehenge." I probably shouldn't because I'm way behind on my nonfiction/witchy history reading, but it feels right. So I'm doing it ;-)

  9. I don't read much fiction, but I'm thinking I might have to give Stonehenge a try. Sounds like my kind of story.


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