What I Read: April & May

Friends, for whatever reason May was a tough month. Maybe it was the weather maybe it’s just how life is but new month tomorrow so fresh starts again. 

I’ve actually read quite a few books in the last two months. April saw me finally finishing Team of Rivals, rewarding myself with 4:50 From Paddington (possibly my favorite Agatha Christie) and reading my first Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) Cuckoo’s Calling. Oh my word how much did I love Cuckoo’s Calling? I love the characters and I want a zillion Cormoran Strike novels. 

In May I sped read the other two Cormoran Strike novels: The Silkworm and Career of Evil. How much did I enjoy more adventures with Cormoran and his girl Friday Robin? I sucked the words off the pages and bathed in them. I’ve now got three friends and my dad reading the books. Spread the word! 

I had such a Cormoran & Robin hangover it has taken me most of May to read The Mirror Cracked From Side To Side by Agatha Christie. I did not enjoy this Miss Marple. 

On the audiobook front I tried to finish Clear and Present Danager (worst narrator ever) but I had to abandon it mid-May to listen to Cuckoo’s Calling (great narrator) because I was jonesing for more Strike (and I’m trying to find the clues). 

Not sure what I’ll be reading in June. 


What I read: March 

As Alex is putting the Pingus to bed I shall catch up with some blog-post-keeping. March wasn’t too bad a month for reading given that we were getting over travel, Zoey got sick and I’m trying to read ‘Team of Rivals’.


‘A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Mystery’ by Jacqueline Winspear 

Not bad. It’s the umpteenth book in the series and Winspear has shaken things up and dropped some of the supporting characters.  No spoilers but if you’ve stuck with this series thus far you will feel rewarded. 

‘A Pocketful of Rye’ by Agatha Christie

She’s getting better. Each Miss Marple mystery is better than the last. When you read her sequentially you realize she has a habit of taking a stock character from one book and developing them a bit more in the next one. She had a lot of books to churn out so we can forgive her. 

‘Team of Rivals’ by Doria Kearne Goodwin

I’m still reading this. I got half way through in March and then took a break for Agatha. I’m back now reading with a vengeance because whilst the second half of the book picks up steam I’d like to get back to short and easy mysteries. 


‘The Saturday Big Tent Wedding’ by Alexander McCall Smith

Standard McCall Smith fare. A fun, cosy mystery and the characters are still holding up. 

‘A Year of Living Dannishly’ by Helen Russell 

This is essentially Bridge Jones goes to Denmark and got a book deal. It’s a skin deep look at what makes Danish society gel together so well. 

And now I’ve finished all the Outlander books it’s back to Jack Ryan in ‘Clear and Present Danger’ read by the worst narrator ever. 

What I read: January & February 

My reading goals for 2016 are: mysteries and histories. 
I love mysteries so much, stand alone and those in a series. I want to catch-up with my favorite detectives and if that means a year of not-so guilty pleasures then so be it! Thanks to Hamilton the Musical I’m interested in learning more about American history, so those are on the list too. I think biographies and histories will be a bit more hit and miss. 
I kicked off January with “The Impossible Dead” by Ian Rankin. I’ve fallen big time for Rebus again, and I can tolerate Malcolm Fox. Actually, Fox is growing on me and I love what Rankin has done with Rebus-Clarke-Fox dynamic. It’s all good. 
The rest of January was spend on Ron Chernow’s 800 page tome on Alexander Hamilton. Dear god I love Alexander Hamilton. This is such a good book. It’s a cliche but history is ALIVE on those pages and I learnt so much. I was sad when I finished it. Sad not to be reading about Hamilton at my 5am “me” time slot. (Fresh from reading Hamilton I went to the UK to ready to proselytize and you know what Brits aren’t as interested in our founding fathers as I am. What gives?)
On the audiobook front I finally finished Diana Gabaldon ‘Written in my Own Hearts Blood’. Roller coaster of emotion and tied in nicely with Hamilton, and I need another Jamie and Claire hit. I squeezed in a quickie mystery with Jacqueline Winspear ‘Leaving Everything Most Loved’ – Maise Dobbs I have missed you! This was a transitional story for Dobbs and I was glad that some of the characters/storylines were finally being wound up and new things are on the horizon. 
Come February I was in the UK with Zoey and Nomi, and I had high hopes to read all of ‘Team of Rivals’ BUT as gripping as Doris Kearns Goodwin book is I needed something lighter to get me through 5 weeks of solo parenting. So I threw myself into Agatha Christie’s ‘They Do It With Mirrors’, ‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ by Rankin and started another Maisie Dobbs mystery. I barely listened to my audiobook in February, when I had a chance to listen to something I blasted out Hamilton because Brits you need to embrace Alexander. When I’m back next year I expect EVERYONE to be word perfect. 
Hoping March will be the month I dig in to Lincoln, and perhaps go back to Washington and Jefferson. 

What I read: November & December 

  • ‘The Moving Finger’ and ‘A Murder is Announced’ by Agatha Christie 
  • ‘The Map That Changed The World’ by Simon Winchester (counting this as the micro history for Read Harder challenge)
  • ‘You’re Never Weird on the Internet’ by Felicia Day (marking this one as book published in 2015 for RHC and loved it!)
  • ‘1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving’ by C O’Neill Grace & M M Bruchac with the Plimoth Plantation, ‘Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage’ by Plimoth Plantation et al, and ‘Squanto’s Journey’ by J Bruchac (RHC a book about or by someone from an aboriginal culture) 
  • ‘Standing in Another Man’s Grave’ and ‘The Complaints’ by Ian Rankin (a joy to return to Rebus’ Edinburgh)

Audiobook wise I’ve almost finished ‘Written in my Own Heart’s Blood’ by Diana Gabaldon – had I not fallen down the Hamilton the Musical rabbit hole it would have been finished weeks ago! 

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