31 December 2010

What I am reading: December 2010

  1. Poison Pen
  2. Written in Blood by Sheila Lowe: I hate to start the month off on a downer, but I just couldn't get through these books. I tried several times, I skimmed through them, I re-started and re-started and I just don't like them. I'm not certain if it's the protagonist (Claudia Rose, handwriting expert)or the victims (abused child turned blackmailer and child abuser/sex trafficker)(more likely both), but I give up: life's too short and these go back to mom unread. (DTM)
  3. Death by Sudoku
  4. Murder by Numbers (Jan 2008): I started these books a while ago, and wound up putting the first one down. I found myself unable to get into these mysteries because I couldn't work up any real enthusiasm about the focal issue of sudoku puzzles (the protagonist is a PR executive who has moved to her hometown in Oregon to destress, recover from a broken marriage, and start a new career creating sudoku puzzles for the local paper). I picked them up again recently (after the Lowe disasters above) to give them ne last chance and this time I read them through and enjoyed them. I liked the tight character progression from the first to the second and I enjoyed the quick visit to the West Coast, which I haven't visited in years. I did have a disconnect in Murder by Numbers: Liza saves her work to floppy and takes it in to the office. I actually checked the publication date at this line, because I can't remember using (or having the ability to use) a floppy from any time after, say, 2001 or so. It was jarring. I am glad I revisited these before returning them. (DTM)
  5. Trouble in Spades by Heather Webber (2005):Landscaper Nina Quinn has an annoying younger sister whom she indulges. I like gardening motifs so, although I found the sister (Maria) annoying, I generally enjoyed the book. (Maria's fiance disappear and bodies keep turning up.) (DTM)
  6. Real Murders
  7. A Bone to Pick
  8. Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
  9. The Julius House: by Charlaine Harris— These are all in The First Aurora Teagarden Omnibus— I was wandering about the (beautiful, exciting) new English-lnguage section (it's like its own little book store) at Dussman's (after leaving the Deutsches Historische Museum). I've been missing Aurora (and had pulled a few out and been able to read them recently) so I thought it made great sense to get this omnibus (and the second one will be out in February) rather than continue to order them in from the UK singly to reread them.It's a great cozy mystery series, a good protagonist (Roe starts as a librarian and her mom is a real estate broker: careers I enjoy reading about) and good character development, and I look forward to being able to read them all in order.(DT)
  10. Grave Apparel(2007) by Ellen Byerrum: As I read this, I realize that I am actually re-reading it. The protagonist is a culture/fashion columnist for a DC paper and the background of this cozy mystery is a conflict over seasonal dressing which seems to lead to a violent attack on another writer. The mystery takes second place to the relationship between Lacey Smithsonian and her co-workers and boyfriend, but I enjoyed it.(DTM)
This has been a light and fluffy reading month, although at least I have caught up with (during plane trips and long drives, almost all of my Businessweek, Newsweek and Economist backlog.)

The (M) stands for Mobipocket (the generic form of the file that Kindle Reads) as well as AZW and PRC, the other forms readable by Kindle. Let's leave DT as Dead Tree books. (And perhaps I should add M for books borrowed from my mother:).)I think it's clear what percentage of my reading is becoming e-format. The vast majority are also free, either as public domain or as promotional offers through Amazon and the other online sources I frequent. B stands for Baen, the best of the on-line stores by so many orders of magnitude there is no comparison.

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