Another good month of reading for me. Vacation at a place meant for relaxing helped a lot. Hopefully, I won’t have too many typos doing a long post on the Ipad. Here is my month in books.
1. The Hollow Lands by Michael Moorcock
This is the second book in the Dancers at the End of time series. Jherek is back in his own time and still obsessively in love with Mrs. Amelia Underwood, who is back in her own time, Victorian England. While avoiding being captured by aliens who want to abduct him ,Jharek stumbles on a way to get back to Mrs. Underwood, but all of this time travel could be dangerous and could propel him through time randomly. This is a very odd series, but very enjoyable. Nice, short books with action, humor, and romance. I need to track down the next book in the series.
2. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig
This is a hard one to do a synopsis for wthout giving too much away. Nate, Maddie, and Oliver move back to Nate’s hometown and childhood home. There is a nearby park that is believed to be haunted and where a serial killer killed several girls. Oliver makes a new friend who is strange and delves in dark magic. Strange things start to happen and they are caught in a battle between good and evil. This was a very good book. I’ve always liked Wendig, but his last two are the best he’s written. It’s not a quick book. It is over 500 pages long, but it is worth the time investment. One of the few recent books I’ve given 5 stars.
3. Wonder Rush by Dan McKeon
4. A Load of Hooey by Bob Odenkirk
I listened to this one while walking the dog. It is a collection of weird, humorous, short fiction. It is read by Odenkirk, David Cross, and others. It was OK. Had I not been listening I’m not sure I would have finished.
5. Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
I gave it over 100 pages and nothing much happened. A lot of atmosphere and a feel for the oddness of the house. Not much else. Characters seemed flat. Story was slow. I couldn’t do it.
6. A Matter of Life and Death by Phillip Margolin
After struggling with the previous book it was nice to have a legal thriller to go to. This is the fourth of his books featuring Robin Lockwood, a former MMA fighter turned attorney. In this one, she takes the case of Joe Lattimore, a homeless former boxer who agrees to an illegal fight. The fight leads him to circumstances that end with him being accused of the murder of a judge’s wife. I’ve always liked Margolin’s work and I enjoyed this one, I think I missed some of the Lockwood books. I will go back and read them. I love a good legal thriller.
7. In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner
Zentner is one of my favorite YA authors. I was happy to have this one as my first vacation book. Cash and Delaney are best friends in a small Appalachian town in Tennessee. Both are from homes broken by opioid addiction. When Delaney discovers a mold in a cave that can tell fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria she is offered a scholarship to a boarding school, in Connecticut. She secured one for Cash as well since he was with her at the discovery. Can Cash leave his ailing grandfather? Can he accept an offer he doesn’t think he deserves? I loved this one almost as much as I loved Serpent King. One of the best books I’ve read this year.
8. The Unwilling by John Hart
Set at the height of the Vietnam War. The French family has sent two of their three sons to war. One didn’t return. The other returned a hardened, decorated killer. After he is released from a three-year prison sentence, Jason wants to reconnect with his younger brother Gibby. A day out for the brothers leads to the murder of a young woman and Jason being accused of the crime. When another woman disappears, Gibby is also a suspect. The dad, a cop, has to deal with balancing his job and his family. I enjoyed this one despite the weird super-rich serial killer who is obsessed with Jason and is the one manipulating the case behind the scenes.
9. The Guncle by Steven Rowley
Patrick is a once-famous, gay sitcom star who lives a reclusive life in Palm Springs. When his best friend/sister-in-law dies and his brother goes to rehab, Patrick is left in charge of his niece and nephew. I loved this book. It is funny. It is heartwarming. It makes you think. I might do a blog post about one of the questions that comes up in the book, if you need a feel good book, this is a good one to choose.