July was a good reading month for me but I am somehow still three books behind in my Goodreads reading challenge. Oh, well. Here is what I read in July
- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
A friend mentioned this book so I ordered it from the library. When I picked it up and saw it was about four senior citizens in a retirement community solving a crime I expected to hate it. I was wrong. It was very good. The four members of the Thursday Murder Club meet to try to solve old cases. When a local developer is found dead they find themselves with a fresh case to investigate. I liked those four, but I also really liked the two cops who they work with to solve the mystery. It is a good cast of characters. I guessed wrong on who did it and why for all the murders.
2. Taproot by Keezy Young
A graphic novel about a guy who works in a flower shop and can also see and talk to ghosts. One of the ghosts, who is in love with Hamal, discovers that Hamal’s ability to see ghosts may be putting him in danger. Part love story, part ghost story. It was a pleasant story. The art was good. I enjoyed it.
3. The Last 8 by Laura Pohl
Aliens attack Earth. Clover survives and eventually makes her way to Area 51 after hearing a radio broadcast from another survivor. She finds seven other teens living there. She is annoyed that they seem content to live there in hiding than fighting the aliens and works to convince them to fight back. It was fine. It wasn’t terrible, but I don’t think I will read more in the series. I thought the characters were a little flat and a lot of it was too far-fetched, even for a YA alien book. I also thought it was ridiculous that Clover thought 8 teens should fight the aliens that had wiped out all of humanity and that they eventually agreed.
4. The OC by DP Lyle
The OC is the fifth book in the Jake Longly series. I usually don’t like to read a series out of order, but this book piqued my interest so I picked it to read. The author fills in the backstory enough that the book can stand on its own. Jake’s major league baseball career was cut short by injury and he now owns a restaurant on the Gulf shore of Alabama. In the OC, Jake and his girlfriend Nicole head to California for the filming of Nicole’s screenplay. When they arrive in the OC they discover that Nicole’s friend Megan, a local TV reporter, has an anonymous stalker. Megan doesn’t seem too concerned, but her intern and now Jake and Nicole decide she needs to take it more seriously. They call their friend Pancake who works with Jake’s dad as a private investigator to help track down the stalker.
Lyle has a nice, breezy writing style that is perfect for a vacation/beach read. The characters are fun with plenty of witty repartees. The light breezy feel does not take away from the seriousness of being stalked. The stakes are high and the crime is taken seriously. The answers are found through actual investigative work which is always nice. I did anticipate who the culprit was but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book. My only quibble with the book is that I felt it was unnecessary to constantly mention how much Pancake eats. Otherwise, I enjoyed it and finished it in two days.
I think it would be a good read for fans of Janet Evanovich and Stuart Woods.
5. Becoming Unbecoming by Una
a graphic account of the author growing up at the time of the Yorkshire Ripper in the 70’s. While everyone is consumed with the story of the Ripper, Una is sexually assaulted multiple times and blames herself. It is not an easy book. It is a tough topic, but an important one. I did think some of the text was hard to read and I didn’t really enjoy the art. I wish it had been better.
6. Ghetto Klown by John Leguizamo
A graphic novel account of his life in show business. I like Leguizamo and enjoyed reading about his early life as an actor and his writing and performing one man shows based on his life. The art is very good. I would recommend it to people who like memoirs.
7. Bath Haus by PJ Vernon
Oliver is a recovering addict from Indiana. He finally has what he has always wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner. That all starts to fall apart when Oliver makes the decision to visit Haus, a gay bathhouse in DC< while Nathan is away. Oliver follows a stranger into a private room where he barely escapes with his life. In an effort to hide the truth from Nathan, he lies about how he got the bruises on his neck. Things escalate and are soon out of Oliver’s control. It took me way too long to finish this book. Once I made myself start reading again I got through it pretty quick. It is the type of book I would usually like. It’s possible my mood had something to do with my reading slump, but I also hated every person in the book. None of them had any redeeming qualities. I need to like someone in the story. I didn’t here.
8. Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
Andie Stern was once a budding FBI profiler who helped take down a serial killer while she was in college. She gave it up to raise her four kids. Now pregnant with her fifth, Andie stumbles on a crime scene and sees the local cops are n over their heads. She becomes obsessed with the case and is soon tracking another killer. Kenneth Lee is a disgraced journalist who is trying to rebuild his reputation and sees this case as a way to do it. Andie and Kenneth both grew up n West Windsor and knew each other when they were kids. They end up working together to solve the crime. I enjoyed this one. I liked the odd duo working together to solve the crime. I liked that the author did not show any hint of a romantic connection between the two characters. It was a decent mystery even though you kind of knew early on the whys and some of the whos. I hope there will be more adventures for Andie and Kenneth.
9. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
In horror movies, the final girl is the one left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back and defeated the killer. Lynette Tarkington is a real life final girl who survived a massacre 22 years ago. For more than a decade, she has been attending a support group with five other final girls and their therapist. One meeting, a member is missing and they later discover she has been murdered. Soon after, another’s halfway house is burned down and someone attempts to kill Lynne. Lynnette is sure these are all connected and someone is targeting the support group. Others think Lynnette might have lost her mind. While the book did drag at times, I enjoyed reading it. I like the idea of real life final girls forming a support group. It was action packed and threw a few surprises at the reader. It had a satisfying ending, but could also leave room for a sequel. I feel like there were a few things left open. I would recommend it even if you didn’t like his vampire book.