Sunday, February 3, 2013

What I've been reading

Usually, I only list my half-dozen or so favorite recent reads in each Book Nook post. However, as I am a very picky reader, and knowing that a book I didn't love you just might, I decided to list all of the books I have read since my last Book Nook post, in the order I read them.

Also, instead of providing a summary and a link to Amazon, I put a single * by those books I recommend, two ** in front of those books I highly recommend, and a # by those books I intensely disliked or felt greatly let down by.

As for the books I disliked or did not recommend, it was typically because the author was a) too self-indulgent -- in love with his or her own prose -- and/or his or her tone or style turned me off; b) too many holes in the plot or the story or characters were too hard (at least for me) to believe; c) the ending sucked; or d) some combination of the aforementioned. (I am thinking of doing a blog post titled "Where did all the editors go?" or "Does anyone here know how to edit a book?")

If you would like more information about a book, Google it or go to -- or send me an email. And if you have a book you would like to recommend to readers, please leave the title and author in a comment. (Two of my favorite books below were recommended by members of my Book Buzz group -- and I greatly value personal recommendations.)

Note: A good many of the books below fall into the category of "Historical Fiction," i.e., books based on true stories and/or historical figures or events that are mostly factual but with fictional characters or events thrown in to spice things up. Some of these works of historical fiction are mysteries. There are also a couple of contemporary mysteries. And, yes, there are a couple of romance novels. But as is the case more and more, my favorite books tend to be nonfiction, and are more often than not written by journalists. (One day I hope to be in that crowd.)


The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Mozart’s Ghost by Julia Cameron

Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark

* The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart

# Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Then Comes Seduction by Mary Balogh

The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle

# A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry

* White Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann

* Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

* Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple


# Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ‘60s and Beyond by Jane Maas

** The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell by Rachel Herz

** Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

* The Great Pearl Heist: London’s Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard’s Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Necklace by Molly Caldwell Crosby

For more (past) book recommendations, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hate when I am reading and ask "Did the Editor not see this?" or when the author preaches/teaches-just gets in the way of the story.


Wolf Hall right now but sooo many loved it so I will take another go.