Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Book Reviews – the February Edition

 


Five more books this month – I’m on fire! I’m sure things will settle down as the year progresses.   
 
1. The Queen's Gambit, by Walter Tevis. ★★★★★ When eight-year-old Beth Harmon’s parents are killed in an automobile accident, she’s placed in an orphanage in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Plain and shy, Beth learns to play chess from the janitor in the basement and discovers she is a prodigy. Though penniless, she is desperate to learn more—and steals a chess magazine and enough money to enter a tournament. Beth also steals some of her foster mother’s tranquilizers to which she is becoming addicted. At thirteen, Beth wins the chess tournament. By the age of sixteen she is competing in the US Open Championship and, like Fast Eddie in The Hustler, she hates to lose. By eighteen she is the US champion—and Russia awaits . . .
 
The Bug Says: I haven’t seen the show, and am unlikely to, so I decided to read the book. Did you know that this author also wrote The Hustler? The book wasn’t what I expected (not that I knew anything other than that it was about chess). It was excellent! I did skim some of the chess move sections.
 
2. Triptych (Will Trent #1), by . ★★★★ In the city of Atlanta, women are dying—at the hands of a killer who signs his work with a single, chilling act of mutilation. Leaving behind enough evidence to fuel a frenzied police hunt, this cunning madman is bringing together dozens of lives, crossing the boundaries of wealth and race. And the people who are chasing him must cross those boundaries too. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective whose marriage is hanging by a thread—and whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael's lover before she became his enemy. But another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer's trail in the most coincidental of ways—someone who may be the key to breaking the case wide open.
 
The Bug Says: That description up there is almost entirely incorrect – it makes me laugh so I’m leaving it. There is a serial killer and the latest victim is in Atlanta (the mutilation part is correct). The book is written from three perspectives and you slowly realize that at least one of them is not what you think. It was very well done. I’m reading book two in the series now.
 
3. Faithless in Death (In Death #52), by . ★★★★★ The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wine glasses by the bed, music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don't add up. Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiancé as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the body--but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things?

As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within--and soon they're getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy.

As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within--and soon they're getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy.
 
The Bug Says: Another fabulous Eve Dallas book. They are always very satisfactory – especially when Eve gets to show some overbearing man that she’s better than he is.
 
4. Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death (Agatha Raisin #7), by  (Alias), Marion Chesney. ★★★ Agatha Raisin's neighbouring village of Ancombe is usually the epitome of quiet rural charm, but the arrival of a new mineral-water company - which intends to tap into the village spring - sends tempers flaring and divides the parish council into two stubborn camps. When Agatha, who just happens to be handling the PR for the water company, finds the council chairman murdered at the basin of the spring, tongues start wagging. Could one of the council members have polished off the chairman before he could cast the deciding vote?
 
The Bug Says: Yes, I read another one. The thing is that these books are almost always available when I’m waiting on another book that’s on hold at the library. This one was slightly less annoying than the last one. Is that a ringing endorsement or what?
 
5. I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. ★★★★★ Comedian, activist, and hugely popular culture blogger at AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi, serves up necessary advice for the common senseless in this hilarious book of essays. With over 500,000 readers a month at her enormously popular blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi has become a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture. I'm Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives—from the importance of the newest Shonda Rhimes television drama to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma's wake on Facebook. With a lighthearted, razor-sharp wit and a unique perspective, I'm Judging You is the audiobook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some "act right" into our lives, social media, and popular culture. 
 
The Bug Says: I started following Luvvie on Instagram. I think she’s hilarious, and this book is definitely full of her pithy commentary. But there are also some hard truths (especially about racism) that made me sit up & take notice. Her second book was just published this last week & it’s on my list to get soon!
 
What are you reading these days?

11 comments:

  1. I'm currently reading The Gods of Jade and Shadow. I don't recall the author's name and I too lazy to get up and look.

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    1. I'll wait to see what you think about it before I add it to my list.

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  2. I'm reading lots of Newbery books!

    I haven't read "The Queen's Gambit" but we LOVED the TV show. For what that's worth.

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    1. Yeah, I should probably check it out sometime.

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  3. OK... if you liked the book, you GOTTA watch the The Queen's Gambit. You make me want to read the book now!

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    1. Since I haven't seen the show I have no idea if the book is similar. I'd be curious to know!

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  4. I'm going to have to get a couple of these. I hope they're on audible. As always, thanks for the reviews. I'm reading the Paradise trilogy by Elin Hilderbrand: light/escape reading/beach books.

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    1. I think I listened to most of these so they should be available.

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  5. Triptych sounds like my kind of book! I still haven't reduced the stack of unread novels on my nightstand but I'm buying new books again anyway.

    The funny thing is that there will come a time when I finish all of them and can't find anything new and interesting.

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    1. I'll bet you'd like Triptych - my brother recommended the series to me.

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  6. Well - I've put a couple of these on my "to read" list. Thanks!

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!

2022 Project 365 – Week Twenty

This has been an absolutely lovely weekend! My cousin’s daughter got married and the wedding was gorgeous – stay tuned for lots of pictures....