Thursday, September 6, 2018

summer reading list

Only six books this time but in my defense the last three were all 800 – 1,000 pages.

The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child – another novel featuring Jeremy Logan, the enigmalogist. Logan is called back to his previous place of employment, a prestigious 'think tank' and research facility to try and solve the mysterious circumstances that caused one of the scientists, Dr. Strachey, to commit suicide. He interviews everyone who worked with Strachey documenting his increasing erratic behavior and then begins to explore the vacant west wing of the facility that was undergoing renovation under Strachey's command where days before committing suicide Strachey had dismissed the contractor and workers. Logan stumbles on a hidden room full of strange equipment and enlists Strachey's lab assistant to try and determine what the mysterious machine did while Logan examined the archives and architectural plans for clues but the archives for that time period are missing and the plans don't show the room. Meanwhile, Logan starts hearing weird music and voices. He finally forces the director to release some crucial information and the names of the scientists involved in the original research after another scientist goes mad and the granddaughter of the original architect is murdered. As he gets closer to the truth his own life becomes endangered and it's a race to see if he can stop the weaponization of the device before he himself is eliminated.

Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich – the further escapades of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, and her sidekick Lula with Morelli, Ranger, and now Diesel (Diesel is from a separate series involving Stephanie) thrown into the mix and zombies. I'm kinda over the whole zombie phenomenon but she can still make me laugh.

The Party by Robyn Harding – Kim, the 'perfect' mother with the 'perfect' child, whose marriage to Jeff is on the rocks because he indulged in a micro-dose of LSD has decided to let their daughter have a slumber party to celebrate her 16th birthday but Hannah has recently been accepted by the 'cool' kids by way of popular Noah dating her. Dad slips them a bottle of pink champagne after Kim recites the drinking, no drugs, no boys (no fun)...and then after several glasses of wine and half a sleeping pill goes to bed without ever checking on the girls. But teenagers will drink and do drugs and sneak boys in and so they do and cool girl Ronnie, totally wasted, falls into a glass topped table and becomes seriously injured (cut and damaged eye) and a little disfigured. Ronni's mom, Lisa, sues the wealthy Kim and Jeff for $3 million when Kim shows little sympathy for her daughter's injuries and ruined life and instead insists to anyone who will listen that it wasn't her fault, that the police cleared them, to a less and less sympathetic audience and shrinking circle of friends. Meantime, the other fucked up cruel cool girl, Lauren starts manipulating Hannah's dad while she and the two boyfriends start to bully damaged Ronnie. I don't know who the target audience for this book is, being full of teenage angst and stuck up wealth. The resolution comes so fast that it seems unrealistic. Anyway, it was a quick grab right before the library closed and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – (one or two passages hinted at the Romance genre and so the book kind of skirted along the edges) I had heard about the book and the TV series and I thought it was a man who traveled through time but to my surprise it was a woman. In 1945, Claire and her historian husband Frank, reunited after being separated for 4 years during WWII, she a Royal Army nurse and he in Intelligence, are vacationing in Scotland before going to the university where Frank will teach. After watching a group of village women from hiding during one of their ceremonies at a small stone henge one sunrise, Claire returns later to collect some plant specimens she saw and as she leaves she passes through the space between one of the stones that has split in two and steps 200 years into the past. She thinks at first that she has stumbled on a movie location but as she falls into the hands of one of Frank's many great grandfathers, the sadistic English commander Jack Randall, she is rescued from rape by a member of the Highland Clan MacKensie and is pressed into service to care for wounded Jaime and taken to the MacKensie stronghold. Forced into marriage to Jaime, a Scot with an English price on his head, to save her from being turned over to Randall, Claire eventually reveals her truth to her new husband who returns her to the henge so that she may return to her time and Claire must choose between her life in the future or her life in the past. I pretty much read this one straight through even though it was 627 pages of small type and closely spaced and went and got the next (of 7 total) from my sister.

Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon – book 2 in the Outlander series (if the first one skirted the boundary of Romance, this one has dipped a toe in the water). Claire and Jaime, now that Jaime knows Claire comes from the future, go to Paris to escape the English authorities since there is still a price on his head and to attempt to prevent Bonnie Prince Charlie from trying to regain the throne of Scotland but fail. Before the deciding battle starts, which ultimately results in the decimation of the Clans, Jaime sends pregnant Claire back while he joins the battle intending to die.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldo - book 3 in the Outlander series (if the author dipped a toe in Romance in the last book, she dove in head first in this one). It's been 20 years since Claire walked through the stones back into her own time and she, thinking all this time that Jaime was dead, only now, after Frank's death, tries to find out through the historical record what exactly happened to him and the people she knew so that she can finally tell her and Jaime's daughter Brianna the truth. As it happens, Jaime did not die but spent those years in hiding, in prison, and as an indentured servant before being pardoned and freed. Claire returns to the past to find him and their adventures take them to the West Indies chasing after the pirates that kidnapped their nephew eventually ending up in the colony of Georgia.


  1. The first one sounds interesting and I loved all the Outlander series, though I hate romance books. It starts up again this month or next month. Of course the series on Starz glosses over the books, but they are true to the books.

  2. may need to look up the outlander series

  3. Those Outlander books are addictive.

  4. I think I only read the first Outlander book. I need to get them back into my rotation. And the Jeremy Logan ones - I read one, but wanted to go back & start at the beginning. I'll bet the first book isn't available in audio & that's what stumped me. Ha!

  5. That "Party" book sounds a bit strange. As you said, just from your description, it's hard to tell who's supposed to be interested in it!


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