Friday, May 31, 2019

winter and spring reading list

This is two quarters of book reviews since I missed the winter edition still plugging away on the Outlander series.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon - Book 5 of the Outlander series. The further adventures of Clair and Jaimie and Brianna and Roger. It's the autumn of 1771 in North Carolina and the drums of war are starting to beat with certain factions of the colonists rising up and protesting. After the Gathering of the Scots that have emigrated to America, Jaimie, the recipient of a large grant of land from the governor, is called upon to form a militia from among the settlers that Jaime is responsible for and to help put down the rebellion. Jaimie treads a thin line between seeming to support the Crown and not doing any real damage since he knows who will win this particular war. Other things happen, life on Fraser's Ridge, a wedding at River Run, an apparent murder that all the pieces don't fall into place until the end, a tragic incident that has a life changing effect on Roger, the continued hunt for the pirate that raped Brianna and the actual unexpected confrontation, the return of Ian and when the author is advancing the story or character development it's a good read though I find myself skipping over overly descriptive passages and pages because she seems determined for every one of these books to be 1,000 pages.

A Breath Of Snow And Ashes by Diana Gabaldon – book 6 of the Outlander series. A gang of thugs is robbing, killing, and burning the cabins of settlers in the back country, Claire gets kidnapped by said gang of thugs wanting the stash of whisky and has to be rescued (again), Claire makes ether and performs an appendectomy, the rebellion that was fomenting is breaking out in violence between the Whigs and Tories with the Highland Scots being pressured to fight for the King, an epidemic sweeps through the Ridge and Claire almost dies, Roger decides he's a minister, Jaimie is sent as Indian Agent to get the local tribes to fight on the side of the Crown, Brianna sets out to bring running water to the house and makes matches, Jaime declares for the revolution, Fergus and family move away from the Ridge, a murder in the garden of which Claire and Jaime are accused, Claire once again needs to be rescued, Brianna is kidnapped by the pirate, an early battle of the Revolution, Brianna and Roger and the kids return to their time, and the big house burns to the ground.

Had to stop and read something else.

News Of The World by Paulette Jiles - Captain Jefferson Kidd, a man turning 72, veteran of three wars and ex-printer with a full life, family behind him drifts through Texas in the years after the Civil War making his living by giving readings from various newspapers in the small towns and settlements, entrance fee a dime. In Wichita Falls he agrees to return 10 year old Johanna, a recently recovered captive of the Kiowa who was adopted into the tribe for four years and has completely forgotten her previous life with her parents and younger sister who were killed in the raid in which she was taken, to family near San Antonio, a 400 mile journey through lawless territory. Kidd takes her under his wing, protecting her and teaching her English and how to be white as these children that are taken by the Indians always return irrevocably changed. The story is their developing relationship as they begin to depend on each other while he tries to prepare her for her new life as they travel across the state for Johanna's fate is ultimately in Kidd's hands. This is a wonderful little read, short at 210 pages, small size, thick paper, and I totally recommend it.

Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles - tomboy Jeanine, her father's favorite, tags along helping him, getting him home, covering for him. Jack Stoddard, itinerant oil field worker, dragged his family, his wife and three daughters, all over Texas chasing after oil strike after oil strike looking for work during the depression years. An oilfield exposure to bad gas ends his life and leaves his family to continue without him. Jeanine and her older sister Mayme, her younger sister Bea, and their mother Elizabeth return to Elizabeth's abandoned family farm, their only assets some cash and their father's racehorse. Elizabeth gambles their money on a wildcat oil well, Mayme gets a job and Bea goes to school, while Jeanine keeps the farm, brings it back to life only to face having to leave it as would, inevitably, her older sister and her mother. When Bea suffers a terrible accident, Janine sells the race horse, Smoky Joe, and enters into a partnership of sorts with the man in order to pay for her sister's medical care hoping that Smokey Joe be the answer to their dreams and problems.

Back to Outlander.

An Echo In The Bone by Diana Gabaldon – book 7 of the Outlander series and more of the same outrageous stuff...kidnappings, leaping off boats onto other boats, getting conscripted into the Continental Army, etc.

Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon – book 8 (and last) of the Outlander series and more of the same outrageous stuff but they all end up back on Fraser's Ridge and live happily ever after. So glad to be done.

Cut And Run by Mary Burton – Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden drives out to the Hill Country to meet with an informant, Jack Crow, only to find he had been tortured and killed. A few days later his FBI agent daughter Macy shows up and finds a burner phone in her father's hiding place and begins to check out the three addresses listed in the maps app, the first a secluded ranch house that appears to have three graves in the back yard. After visiting the second address, a bar named Second Chances, she is brutally run down in a hit and run. When Medical Examiner for Austin, Faith McIntyre, visits Macy in the intensive care unit she discovers that Macy is her unknown identical twin. Thus starts the investigation into Jack Crow's death and the ones that follow as they uncover the past abduction of young women, raped and impregnated for the babies perpetrated by people close to Faith. It's a race against time to find the truth before Faith herself is targeted and to rescue the fourth and last young woman before she gives birth.

Make Me by Lee Child – a Jack Reacher novel, Jack has stepped off the train at a dot on the map of a town in the middle of 10,000 acres of nothing but wheat fields named Mother's Rest. Thinking it was an interesting name for a town which must mark an event that happened on the wagon train trail west he sets out to explore the town and find the marker that explained the name of the town. He didn't find anything and no one in the town seemed to know why it was named thus but what he did find was ex FBI private investigator Michelle Chang looking for her missing partner after receiving a call from him for back-up. Unaware that every move he has made has been watched and reported on, Reacher with nothing to do and nowhere to go decides to stay and help Chang either find her partner or find out what happened to him. So begins their investigation which leads them to Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco barely ahead of the effort to make sure they don't succeed before returning to Mother's Rest for the showdown with an organization that operates through the Deep Web.


  1. I'm having a hell of a time finding books I want to read either with my eyes or my ears. I don't know if my standards have changed or what but I find myself wondering why I'm reading whatever it is I'm reading and I often just quit.
    I hope it's just a drought.

  2. You are certainly sticking to The Outlander series. I tried and failed. Currently stuck in Australian crime fiction and have no idea how I got there, but there's a lot of.

  3. I am reading The Weight of Ink which moves slowly but with lovely wordsmithing.

  4. Mother's Rest! What a great name for a town. I keep meaning to try a Lee Child book but I haven't done so yet. Maybe I'll try that one. I'm not going near that Outlander series, LOL!

  5. I only read one Outlander book & I think I'll just leave it at that - ha! I'm currently knee deep in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and the Andy Carpenter series (he's a hilarious defense attorney - lots of fun). I'm also reading the Nevermoor series - a kind of Harry Potter with a girl sort of series. Sadly, there are just two books published with the third not expected until November 2020 - yikes!

  6. I just finished the series A Discovery of Witches. It was pretty good especially the second book of the series. The last one was about tying up loose ends in the story. I'm currently looking for something of a historical nature. I did pick up a rather thick book about Catherine the Great but it's proving to be rather boring. I have another about the life of a geisha in Japan during the 1960's. It is pretty good but the author tends to repeat areas in the book over and over again. So it's back to the library on Tuesday to look for something to capture my time.

    1. I really like Diana Gabaldon. Lots of intelligent stuff mixed in with the witches etc. Haven't found anything like her so would love to know if you do... She has written another book, Time's Convert. It's an expansion of some of the "minor" characters from DOW.

  7. I liked The Dry - didn't know who dun it until the end. Also, The Son by Phillip Meyer. Not a lot of time for reading anything other than law these days - these are from a couple years back.


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