What I’m reading

I haven’t updated my book goal on the year for a while. I’m getting through some books! I am on schedule to hit 30 this year (my goal).

When I last left off, I was just getting into To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

mock

Is there anyone who hasn’t read this? I actually hadn’t. Not sure why it wasn’t on a required reading list. Anyway, for those that haven’t, this is the story of young Scout and her older brother Jem and basically how they learn about the harsh realities of the world after a a black man is put on trial (wrongly) for sexually assaulting a white woman. Their father is the defendant’s attorney and it divides a town. It was made into a movie starring Gregory Peck, and while I have seen snippets of that on TCM from time to time, I have never seen the whole thing. I need to do that.


After that book and the previous couple of books, I needed something that wasn’t so depressing.  Enter The Anatomist’s Apprentice by Tessa Harris.

apprentice

Okay, that doesn’t sound so uplifting and it was a bit grisly at times. This is the first in a series of detective novels. The apprentice is American Dr. Thomas Silkstone, who really is not much of an apprentice as the next great anatomist in 18th century England. In this book, he gets involved trying to solve the murder of Lady Lydia Farrell’s brother, which is blamed on her husband. Is he or isn’t he the real killer? Dr. Silkstone is a pioneer in forensics and uses what he knows of anatomy and the study of death to try to solve the murder, along with falling for Lady Lydia. This was a good book, breezy reading and I will probably read some of the other books in the series.


Then I decided to read something everyone else has read. Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon.

outland

This is the story of Claire Randall, a nurse from 1954 who accidentally finds a portal in Scotland that whisks her back in time 200 years. There she meets Jamie and they fall in love and traipse through Scotland going through battles and the like. The premise sounded really interesting and it was at first.  However, I will just say that I didn’t like this book. It was tooooo long and the constant English/Scottish skirmishes were getting boring. Then don’t get me started on the love story. It was fine at first, but when it went down the road of spousal abuse and the heroine being okay with that – game over. I don’t care if people defend it as ‘that’s how it was back then’ – I feel like Claire really wouldn’t be okay with it. She is a fairly strong character and it just didn’t make sense.  Anyway, I slogged my way through the book and I will not be reading any of the others in the series.   Sorry to those that loved this — I don’t get it.


The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett

bookman

In the same vein as The Club Dumas (only without the devil), this is an antiquarian book mystery. It’s the story of Peter Byerly, a new widower, who finds  a watercolor drawing of a Victorian woman who is the spitting image of his dead wife while perusing old books. He then goes on a search to find out more about the artist and gets mixed up in an old family feud about the origins of a newly discovered Shakespeare work after being hired to confirm its authenticity.  The story of current day is intertwined with the story of how he met and married Amanda – then how these stories intersect.  It was a good book, although a bit simplistic in the characters at times. It certainly was a fast read and you can tell the author has a love of old books.


Just finished was The Templeton Monsters by Lauren Groff.

templton

This is the story of Willie, the descendent of the founders of the town of Templeton (pretty much Cooperstown, NY renamed). She comes home pregnant and disgraced after an affair with her archeology professor. At the same time, the monster of Lake Glimmerglass dies and comes floating to the surface confirming rumors. Willie is informed by her mother that her father (previously unknown to her) was actually a man in Templeton, but won’t say who. Willie uses her research skills to dig through her family history to find any ties as to who her father is, all the while trying to come to terms with her friend’s illness, her pregnancy, and reconnecting with high school friends.  The story wanders into a strange area of ghosts and paranormal activity, which I didn’t really like. The monster was fine and an interesting side story, but the ghost stuff? I don’t believe in ghosts and the one in this story was a little too deus ex machina. I also didn’t care for Willie that much. It’s hard to read if you don’t like the main character when I think we are supposed to.  She was spoiled and had rage issues. The other thing was that the main plot was Willie discovering who her father was and by the end of the book, I didn’t even care. I do like how the author created little charts and put in doctored photos to make it seem like a real historical novel.  I sort of waffle between liking the book or not, but it would be worth a summer read.

Now to find the next book!

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11 thoughts on “What I’m reading

  1. debby

    Well, now I know what NOT to read this summer 🙂 I hadn’t even heard of the book Outlander, I heard good things about the TV series, but something in the description made me not want to watch it. I am the other person in America who hasn’t read To Kill A Mockingbird, and I would like to read that. I’ll have to wait til I’m in the mood to be depressed.
    debby´s last blog post ..This ‘n’ That

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  2. Fran

    I raise my hand, haven’t read To kill a mockingbird.

    I like the first 3 books of Outlander but left the 4th aside for now, I couldn’t get through it. I do like the story though and will go on reading later this year. I do love the TV series, you might want to try that because the first season is filmed in Scotland and has beautiful shots.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Wednesday, June 1, 2016: Mishmash

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  3. deb

    Well count me in on the people who have not read To Kill a Mockingbird…. I’d like to… I’ve also never seen the movie.. just bits and pieces…

    On the other hand i DO love Outlander as you probably already know..lol As i’ve been reading it for several months…I have now read all of the books.. I feel like the first two and a half books were the best in the series…. somewhere in the third book the writing style changed and it took me a bit to get on board but i did and enjoyed the rest in the series…I have seen the first season of the tv show as it was a gift this past Christmas…. It is pretty good but i liked the books better..

    I have not read the other books you’ve mentioned… Right now i have just finished a James Rollins book… Bloodline and enjoyed it very much… and am just starting another of his books …. Eye of God….

    I do like ghost stories and stories of the paranormal …and monsters….. Nope i’d say our book tastes are not alike at all…lol Happy reading Lori!! Hugs! deb

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  4. LC

    Number me among the small group who also didn’t enjoy Outlander enough for the pop culture mania! I thought it was a slightly more interesting bodice ripper. Oh well!

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  5. Carol

    I absolutely hated Outlander and don’t think I was even able to finish it. I’m reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson right now. It not about time travel, but how different circumstances in a life lead to very different outcomes. The main character relives many parts of her life and it’s really interesting to see the changes each time. Highly recommend if you haven’t read it yet.

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  6. Susan

    YES! Thank you – I didn’t even finish Outlander after the abuse. Done. Read Jack Finney’s books for good time travel romance.

    Life After Life is a great book! I love all of Kate Atkinson’s books.

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  7. Helen

    I also have not read To Kill A Mockingbird and Debby’s comment made me laugh out loud because that’s sort of how I feel about it.

    I’ve gotten so picky about books: no fantasy, no paranormal, no science fiction, no bodice rippers, and probably more. I think it’s because (unless on vacation), I never have the time to read that I would like so I want to make sure I’m going to like the book.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Stutter Step

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  8. Shelley B

    Well, I was pretty sure I’d read To Kill a Mockingbird, but now that everyone is saying they haven’t, I don’t know…maybe I haven’t either? I know the story though – gah, C.R.S. is a bitch! 😉
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..Wednesday Workout Update

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  9. Lisa

    I know what you mean about Outlander. I read the first few books of the series and really liked it but the graphic rape was hard to take. There were a few times I almost gave up on the book. As the series went further I had a hard time staying interested in the writing/story etc and eventually gave up though.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..My Favorite Baby Items

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