Saturday, June 11, 2022

Spring reading list

Only 6 this spring quarter since we've gotten into streaming in the hot afternoons and evenings so sometimes I go a couple of days before getting even a few pages read.

Becoming: Book 2 of The Dragon Heart Legacy by Nora Roberts – Breen returns to Ireland/Talamh with her best friend Marco to continue her training in the magical arts and physical combat for the coming battle with the outcast evil god Odran as he tries to break through into Talamh through one of the sealed gates.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica – Heidi can't get the young homeless girl with the baby that she sees on the commuter train platform out of her mind and one day she approaches the girl, offers to buy her a meal and the girl reluctantly agrees, skittish and fearful. Eventually Heidi brings Willow and baby Ruby home on a rainy day much to the dismay of her husband Chris' and daughter Zoe's dismay in an attempt to give the girl a bath and clean clothes and see to the baby who is suffering from a fever and horrendous diaper rash among other things. Chris knows this about his wife, that she's a bleeding heart but he doesn't trust this strange girl and engages the services of a PI while he is gone on a business trip. Heidi quickly descends into a break with reality confusing baby Ruby with the daughter Juliet she had to abort in order to be treated for cancer which included a complete hysterectomy. The story is told from Heidi's, Chris', and Willow's viewpoint. We get Willow's story of abuse and how she came to be wandering the streets of Chicago with an infant.

The Bees by Laline Paull – Flora 717, like all Flora kin, is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest cast in the hive, but there is something different about her, a deviation, that allows her to move and work beyond her caste. She is allowed to feed the babies, attend the Queen, read all the lessons in the library, even forage but she has a terrible secret, the worst sin a bee can commit for Flora has laid an egg when that is the sole prerogative of the Queen. She manages to keep her secret from the priestesses and the fertility police even after the egg is discovered and destroyed. But there are other threats to the hive...wasps, an ailing Queen, and the priestesses of Sage kin determined to hold onto their power at all costs and when Flora lays her third and last egg it is up to her and a disgraced drone to save their sisters and drones not only from the Myriad but from the sickening and dying hive.

Bloodless by Preston and Child – the newest Pendergast novel. After solving their last case and expecting to head home, Pendergast and Constance, or to a new a post in Denver, his partner Coldmoon, their flight is detoured to Savannah to help the local authorities solve a mysterious murder in which the victim had been completely drained of blood. Soon there is another victim, bloodless. And then all hell breaks loose. I'm a Pendergast fan so I loved it.

The following two books are on a kindle that our son sent to Marc loaded with books he thought his father would like.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North – Harry August is one of those rare human beings, a kalachakra, and, more rarely, a mnemonic as well, meaning he remembers everything he has ever seen, read, experienced, heard, etc. The kalachakra are people born and when they die, their death is their birth and they start over albeit with all the memories of their previous lives intact though after centuries of lives their oldest memories get fuzzy. Harry was born in 1918, the illegitimate son of the man of the manor house in an outlying village of Edinburgh and given to the estate's gardner and wife to raise as their own. Harry's first life is ordinary. In his second life he is committed to an asylum from which he manages to commit suicide at the age of 7. In his third life he begins to understand that he is anything but ordinary and seeks to understand and learn why. In his fourth life he confesses what he is to his wife with disastrous results, he is once again committed to an asylum and eventually rescued by a member of the Cronus Club, if given the means of suicide is considered rescue. The Cronus Club is the organization that tracks kalachakras and helps them as children to understand what they are. Now connected to other kalachakras, Harry learns, as messages are passed from the future to the past, that technological discoveries are occurring much too soon, that the world is ending and it is accelerating, kalachakras are being killed or made to forget who and what they are, and it becomes up to Harry to discover who and how this is occurring. As Harry tracks down the culprit and lays his trap through succeeding lives, he discovers a secret...mnemonics cannot be made to forget and this fact, known only to Harry, is what helps him to succeed. I really enjoyed this book.

Bloom by Wil McCarthy – A sci-fi book, heavy emphasis on the 'sci' part of which most went over my head. Earth and the other inner planets have been consumed by an organism, the Mycosystem that converts any and all organic material into energy and growth causing those humans who could do so to escape the planet to colonize the Asteroid Belt and two of the moons of Jupiter. The Moonies developed science to fight the Mycosystem and call their society the Immunity. On Ganymeade, the Immunity built a ship with an overt/secret mission to the inner planets but an attempted sabotage by a religious cult that believes the Mycosystem is in fact an intelligent being caused the crew to lift off before being fully supplied and told not to return, to make it to the Asteroid Belt and ask for food and fuel there and to continue the mission which ostensibly is to send detectors to the poles of both Mars and Earth for information gathering. Soon after leaving the Asteroid Belt for Mars the ship discovers they are being followed and attacked in an effort to stop the mission and the crew discovers that despite being assured there were no bombs aboard, the payloads can easily be converted. Just as the crew realizes that they have a chance to destroy the Mycosphere, a 'bloom' invades the ship, coalesces into a human face and begins to communicate with the crew. Turns out the Mycosphere is more like the Borg and everything it consumes is added to the whole, consciousnesses intact and they'd rather not be 'unpacked' back into their physical forms. The crew doesn't destroy it but sort of makes a treaty. Big long lead up to the conclusion which is quick and a matter of a few pages. It was OK but I don't like these quick wrap ups.


  1. I'm adding all these books to my summer reading list. I love when you share these.

  2. I think I might enjoy "The First Fifteen Lives..."

  3. I love thrillers and mysteries, but also historical sagas. Oh, I just love to read!

  4. Whenever I see great reading lists like this it always makes me wish I still had an attention span to read a novel. I haven't for many, many years. I once was a grad student in Literature and read all the time. Then one day, I couldn't stand all the words. And that was that.

  5. Ooo - a new Pendergast! I'll be adding that one to my (extremely long) to-be-read list. I was reading the summary of the Harry August book & thinking it sounded kind of familiar. Fortunately I use Goodreads to track my books so I know that I read it in 2017 (I gave it 4 stars). Unfortunately I have no idea how it ended.


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