Books I Have Read

In 2015 I am participated in the Year in Books where I pledged to read a book a month.  I was curious to know how many books I read in a year. As it turns out, about 91, but I know I didn't list everything so let's just call it 100. This appealed to me so much I am continuing.

✱ Loved it! Fabulous
⬇︎ Sorry I read it
meh Books I skimmed or didn't finish
✈︎ Good airplane book


Adult Fiction

1. The Third Nero - Lindsey Davis
Most recent Flavia Albia book. I like this series and her Falco series but I find them hard going sometimes. The descriptions of place and history are so dense that it is hard to stay in the story. And the names! Not only do the characters have multiple Latin names, she calls them by different ones alternately. I usually don't know who she is talking about.

2. A Crimson Warning - Tasha Alexander
Another Lady Emily mystery. So many characters.

3. The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star - Vaseem Khan
The baby elephant detective is back.

4. "B" Is for Burglar - Sue Grafton
Kinsey Milhone, second in series.

4. Song of the Lion - Anne Hillman

5. The Essence of Malice - Ashley Weaver

6. The Rabbi's Cat - Joann Sfar
Graphic novel about the difficulty of faith and also a cat. Interesting
read and illustrations.

7. The Little Prince - Joann Sfar
The subtitle is: adapted from the book by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince is one of those perfect books. Sfar has abbreviated and dumbed-down the prose  It lacks the poetic, wondrous feel of the original. De Saint-Exupéry's illustration are delicate and deceptively simple. Sfar's style is heavy and veers towards the grotesque. I am glad that my first exposure to this book was the original rather than this interpretation.

8. Lady Cop Makes Trouble - Amy Stewart
Book 2 in the Constance Kopp series. I only just read the liner notes and discovered that these books are based on real people and events. Constance Kopp was the first lady sheriff of Hackensack. AND Amy Stewart is the author of my favorite non-fiction book of 2017 The Earth Moved. This woman has entirely too much talent.

9. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions-Amy Stewart
Book 3 in the series. Now that I know thesere books are based in fact, I undertand why the main characters seem stilted. Ms. Stewrt has to make the characters follow a precise script and real life doesn't have the flow of fiction. The historical detail is compelling but I feel more life and depth from the characters the author was able to find little information about.

10. The Traitor's Daughter - Paula Brandon
Rich spoiled young woman is kidnapped on the way to meet her bridegroom. Who has kidnapped her? They say they are the rightful heirs of her father's title and he stole it from them. Now they say she must marry their psychopath of an oldest son. She escapes. Blah blah blah, to be continued. I was drawn to the book because the author uses big words, always a plus. But I didn't care about any of the characters and the plot was not compelling.

11. Crocodile on a Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters
I am re-reading the series before opening the new book .


1. The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes - Gabriel Campanario

2. Small Space Workshops - Larry Okrend

3. Ungrateful Mammals - Dave Eggers

4. No Time to Spare - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Grand Dame of fantasy/sci fi starts a blog. Only her blog entries are perfect little essays. The rest of us should just quit.

5. Fire and Light - Julie H. Hanson

6. Artist's Drawing Techniques 

Children Fiction

Children Non-Fiction


Total 106

Adult Fiction

1. ✱ Gold of Our Fathers - Kwei Quartey
Police procedural set in Ghana. Chief Inspector Darko Dawson solves murders in the gold mining region of Ghana. Love the sense of place and the different cultures. 

2. ✱ A Green and Ancient Light - Frederic S. Durbin
Fantasy set in WWII English countryside. A little boy is sent to his grandmother's during the Blitz. Mythology and humanity intersect in this lovely tale. My only complaint is there are no chapters, just one narrative making it hard to find that stopping place when reading in bed.

3. meh The Girl in the Spider's Web - David Lagercrantz
This author takes over from Steig Larsson.  It jumps from character to character. I bailed before the first horrific scene. I enjoyed the Larsson series even though that was violent but I just don't want to go back there.

4. meh The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
Written in present tense, so put it down.

5. A Murder of Magpies - Judith Flanders
Samantha Clair, British book editor, gets involved in murder. I love this book. I actually read the second in the series first and ran right out to the library to get this one. Sam has that funny self-deprecating English voice and the characters are distinctive. And you get to see inside book publishing.

6. ✱ A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders
More murder and a love interest!

7. The Murder of Mary Russell - Laurie R. King
I have a problem with people taking other people's creation and making something new. I especially dislike when the characters are reimagined in ways that don't seem to me to fit their original story. You can guess how I feel about this book. Laurie R. King tells an excellent story but I didn't finish.

8. The Zig Zag Girl - Elly Griffiths
New series with Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens. I don't find it as compelling as her Ruth Galloway series.

9. Shadow of the Night - Deborah Harkness
Second in the All Souls trilogy and it is better than the first. I can't say I find vampires interesting but the author's explanation of supernatural creatures is one I haven't seen before.

10. The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness
Really, how do vampires live with themselves? But I enjoyed the trilogy.

11. ✱ One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor

12. ✱ A Symphony of Echoes - Jodi Taylor

13. The Haunted Season - G. M. Malliet
Ex M15 operative turned Episcopal priest, Father Max Tudor solves mysteries in a small English village. Quirky names and too precious.

14. Murder at Cape Three Points - Kwei Quartey.
Darko Dawson heads for the coast to love a grisly murder or three. It was hard to keep all the oil executives straight but I still like the glimpse of another country and culture.

15. Hunting Ground - Patricia Briggs

16. Steel's Edge - Ilona Andrews

17. Beignets, Brides and Bodies - J. R. Ripley
Wise-cracking beignet baker Maggie Miller in an unrealistic portrayal of how one might react to a dead body buried under cake.

18. City of the Lost - Kelly Armstrong
What if there was a town where you could go to disappear? Intriguing concept as a setting for a murder mystery/romance.

19.  Graveyard of the Hesperides - Lindsay Davis
Flavia in ancient Rome finds love, finally.

20. The Laws of Murder - Charles Finch
Charles Lenox leaves Parliament and returns to his first love - detection.

21. ✱ A Second Chance - Jodi Taylor
It really is one thing after another in this series. I was not happy with the plot turn.

22. The Woman in Blue - Elly Griffiths
Latest Ruth Galloway mystery. I wish she'd get over the policeman.

23. Noontime Follies - Elizabeth Gunn

24. Red Man Down - Elizabeth Gunn

25. ✱ A Trail Through Time - Jodi Taylor

26. The Murder Book  - Jane A. Adams

27. A Cast of Vultures - Judith Flanders

28. ✱ Vinegar Girl - Anne Tyler
I read her first book If Morning Ever Comes when I was a teenager. She has a distinctive voice that makes me feel slightly disconnected from the characters. She writes cool. Nevertheless, I find her  compulsively readable. This is her take on The Taming of the Shrew. I read it in one sitting.

29. This Night's Foul Work - Fred Vargas
Commissaire Adamsberg has moved into a new house which maybe haunted. His Paris crime squad chases down ghosts and murderers. Interesting characters and sufficiently creepy plot. There is something about the writing, maybe because it is a translation, that is dense. I found there to be a lag in my understanding, much like watching English drama and having to wait for my brain to translate the accent.

30. Veil of Lies - Jeri Westerson
Disgraced former knight must swallow his pride and work as the Tracker in 14th C London. His angst get repetitive (poor me, I used to be a knight and now I'm down among the dregs of humanity) but the plot and setting are worth another visit.

31. ✱ The Wee Free Men - Terry Prachett
I have never read this, though I've heard about it and how great Terry Prachett is. I tried one of the Disc world books and just couldn't get into it. But this book is terrific. Little blue men in kilts!

32. The House at Sea's End - Elly Griffiths
Third book in the Ruth Galloway series.

33. Dry Bones - Craig Johnson
Part of the Longmire series

34. Midnight Curse - Melissa F. Olson
Vampire massacres co-eds at USC. Her former roommate races to save her.

35. Hell Bay - Will Thomas
A Cyrus Barker inquiry agent book with a fairly ridiculous plot of the And Then There Were None variety. I enjoyed the first few in the series but now the repetitions of the character's thoughts make me wonder where the editors are to gently point out "Ok you've already said twice that the character doesn't want to die because he has finally found true love. Move on"

36. Charcoal Joe - Walter Mosely
Easy Rawlins is getting older but not slowing down. Violence as usual and a confusing cast of villains but still entertaining.

37. Under the Midnight Sun - Keigo Higashino
Big book mystery spanning years, starting with  an unsolved murder, auto fatality and possible suicide. How are they related? I don't know. Too many characters, so I skimmed but couldn't even sustain that as the story went in unpleasant places and I couldn't form a relationship to any of the characters.

38. Death Descends on Saturn Villa - M.R.C. Kasasian
Oddly written with diary entries, asides, changing characters speaking. March Middleton has a series of odd occurrences with people dying supposedly murdered by her but not really being murdered until they are. Could there be a plot of some kind? I believe so.

39. ✱ No Time Like the Past - Jodi Taylor
Chronicles of St. Mary's Book 5.

40. The Bookshop on the Corner - Jenny Colgan
Charming story about a librarian made redundant in Birmingham.

41. Roman Holiday - Jodi Taylor
Short story about St. Mary's

42. Christmas Present - Jody Taylor
St. Mary's short story

43. When a Child Is Born - Jodi Taylor
Ditto. Remember what I said about Chronicles of St. Mary's.

44. meh The Pillars of the World - Anne Bishop
At first I was going to say I don't read books with graphic violence but then I started thinking about the Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels series and even the Chronicles of St. Mary's. All have some intense scenes. I think the characters didn't grab me in this one.

45. Rampart Street - David Fulmer
Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr return to 19th C New Orleans and is sucked into a case. Reminiscent of Easy Rawlins books.

46. Anarchy and Old Dogs - Colin Cotterill
Dr. Siri Paiboun  heads to southern Laos, swims with river dolphins and meets an old friend. Also, solves a murder.

46. She Stopped for Death - Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
Little Library mystery involving a reclusive poet.

47. Starting Over on Blackberry Lane - Sheila Roberts
Set in Icicle Falls, a fictionalized Leavenworth, three women agonize, confront and settle love problems. Pleasant repetitive writing.

48. Blind Savage - Shannon Mayer
Paranormal tracker of lost children, just no.

49. Midnight Soul - Kristen Ashley
Nocturne Hawthorne moves between parallel  universes with people taking their other selves' places. Nocturne's dialect is maddening. Little description, almost all dialogue, couldn't finish.

50. The Secrets of Wishtide - Kate Saunders.
Laetitia Rodd middle-aged widow solves murders. I guess I read this and it was pleasant but I can't remember the details.

51. ✱ The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr a novel - Frances Maynard
Young woman who has never lived on her own learns how to cope after her mother falls and goes into care. Excellent book. Builds slowly, revealing the process of learning to remake childhood assumptions with adult eyes. And the terrible things we do in the name of protecting those we love.

52. meh Cold Reign - Faith Hunter.
Jane Yellowrock, shape-shifter, vampire hunter in NOLO. Sound familiar? Yes, this bears a resemblance to Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson. It falls far short of the mark in my opinion. And I didn't finish this, didn't even care enough to scan for story.

53. Parrot and Olivier in America - Peter Carey
I found it hard to get into and keep going with this book. Pluses - it gives a flavor of England, France and America at the turn of the 19th C. Eventually I cared about the characters. The language  is vivid. Minuses- the story switches between the two main characters which is jarring.

54. A Strange Scottish Shore - Juliana Gray
Don't you love finding a new author? Emmeline Truelove travels through time to Orkney to save her true love (see what I did there?) Lord Silverton. Second in the series.

55. Within the Sanctuary of Wings - Marie Brennan
First is the series of 19thC dragon hunter Lady Trent. Set in a world like ours but with different place and flora and fauna names. Somewhat reminiscent of Amelia Peabody books in tone but this heroine really is only interested in her passion, dragons, and gets others hurt in her pursuit. I don't find her likable.

56. Shifter's Wolf - Patricia Briggs.
A very early book by this author. You can see the threads that she'll use in the Mercy Thompsen series.

57. Girl with Gun - Amy Stewart
Three sisters, 1914 trying to make on their own on the family homestead run afoul of a bully.

58. All the Birds in the Sky - Jane Anders
You know how some books are suddenly  recommended everywhere? This is one of them. Two unhappy children, one tuned to nature and magical, one turned to science. They intersect off and on in a collision course that has consequences for the fate of the world. The whole book has a feeling of sadness and defeat and I never warmed to the characters.

59. ✱ Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs
Book 10 in the Mercy Thompson series. I actually read all the first nine before I allowed myself to read this one. Chaos! Scary monsters! Violence! All things I hate but I love these books. The characters are compelling and there is so much folklore and history sprinkled throughout.

60.😿 Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley
I have been waiting for this book to be published. Then I've had it on the shelf saving it for a treat. And I reread Rook, the first book in the series, which is still terrific. But this was a disappointment. It follows new characters and the storyline was not as interesting. I am sad.

61. A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander
Latest in the Lady Emily Ashton series. Hard to believe some of the heroine's reactions. Historically based, but the history gets in the way of the story.

62. Dreamer's Pool - Juliet Marlier
Blackthorn and Grim series. Two people imprisoned by an evil lord escapewith the help of the fey. The fey puts conditions on his help. Point of view rotates between characters which loosens the thread.

63. Tower of Thorns - Juliet Marlier
Book 2 of Blackthorn and Grim series. Again, compelling story but beginning to be repetitious.

64. Den of Wolves - Juliet Marlier
Book 3 - The characters are starting to talk like each other.

65. Ghost Talkers - Mary Robinette Kowal
Work War I and mediums can talk to the dead soldiers gaining intel before they pass on but someone wants to pass this on to the enemy.

65. Cat Among the Pumpkins - Mandy Morton
On the first page we are introduced to Betty and Beryl Butter, so no, just no.

66. Garden of Lies - Amanda Quick

67. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
Rosemary Harper sign on to an intergalactic mining ship crewed by various intelligent life. Interspecies sex! Danger! Strange things to eat!

68. Garden of Lies - Amanda Quick
Reliable if predictable entertainment.

69. Hounding the Moon - P.R. Frost
Fantasy, can't tell you more than that. I didn't warm to it.

70. The Wolves of London - Mark Morris

71. A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan

72. Dead Cold Brew - Cleo Coyle
A Coffee House mystery. The recipes in the back!

73. The Chalk Pit -Elly Griffiths
Ruth Galloway mystery. No, she is still not over that policeman.

74. Crosstalk - Connie Willis
I usually like Connie Willis but found this to be a disappointment. Repetitive.

75. White Silence - Jodi Taylor
Elizabeth Cage has some strange ability. Her parents told her to keep it quiet and she has. But now her husband is dead and things are happening.

76. The Long and Short of It - Jodi Taylor
Chronicle of St. Mary's short stories.

77. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Jodi Taylor
Book 6

77.✱ Lies, Damned Lies, and History - Jodi Taylor
Chronicles of St. Mary's Book 7. Can't. Stop. Reading.

Adult Non-Fiction

1. Beloved Dog - Maira Kalman
Artist Maira Kalman's excerpts of dogs from her various books.

2. The Year of Yes - Shonda Rhimes
Interesting concept-say yes to everything for a year as a means of un-sticking your life. I found some of it funny and interesting but it wasn't enough for me to finish it, much like I felt about Grey's Anatomy. 

3. The Diary of Frida Kahlo-Alas Rotas
Her diary is so much more colorful than mine.

4. The Very Best of Punch - Helen Walasek
Punch cartoons from 1920-1992.

5. El Deafo- Cece Bell
At four years old, Cece Bell lost her hearing after an illness. This graphic novel chronicles her childhood after.

6. You Might Be an Artist If - Lauren Purje
These comics are spot on about the pleasures and foibles of being an artist.

7. Hitler's Forgotten Children - Ingrid Von Oelhafen and Tim Tate
What Hitler children? He didn't have children did he? No, he didn't. This is about someone who was part of the Lebensborn Program where German-looking children were both procreated from good SS officers and stolen from people in occupied countries to be raised to be fodder for the Reich. Ms. Von Oelhafen was one of the stolen children, something her foster family never told her. The book gives her personal discovery as well as examining the program in general. The writing style is florid but it is a fascinating story.

8. Rubber Stamping - Stephen Fowler
Not quite what I am looking for.

9. Calligraphy Techniques - Mary Noble

10. The Earth Moved - Amy Stewart
I have had two worm bins. I loved my worms. Now we have curbside food waste pick-up. Who knew earthworms were so fascinating? Charle Darwin for one.  And who knew all our earthworms are invaders from Europe? And that they cause problems in native forest?  An absolutely wonderful read.

11. Masters of Sketching 

12. How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life - Susan Piver
Meditation book.

13. Dogs As I See Them - Lucy Dawson

14. Making an Impression - Gennine Zlatkis
I follow her on Instagram. I love her work and her pictures of life in New Mexico. It's a lovely antidote to the scenery here in the Pacific Northwest.

15. Daily Painting - Carol Marine
Voices and tips from Daily Painters.

16. Creative Time and Space - Ricë Freeman-Zachery
Perhaps you don't know, and think I only read while eating delightful foods with a nice cuppa but I am an artist. And I struggle with making time to make art. This is a good book for that.

17. Landscape Painting Inside and Out - Kevin Macpherson.

18. Grandma Gatewood's Walk - Ben Montgomery
Inspirational story of the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian trail alone. Reviewed on blog.

19. Birders Still Don't Wear White - Edited by White and Gordon
Essays about birding. Didn't hold my interest, but I am not a true birder.

20. Women Who Tri - Alicia DiFabio
I tried 😉 to like it, couldn't finish.

21. Drawing the Clothed Figure - Michael Massen

22. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah
I heard Trevor Noah tell one of the stories from this memoir. It was hilarious and tragic. It loses a great deal when translated to paper rather than delivered as a monologue. It's still interesting as a way to see what South Africa was like under and just after apartheid.

23. Merchant & Mills Sewing Book - Carolyn N.K. Denham

24. The Perfect Handmade Bag - Clare Young

25. No Patterns Needed - Rosie Martin

Children Fiction

1. God got a dog - Words: Cynthia Rylant, Pictures: Marla Frazee
One of my favorite picture book author/illustrators, Rosemary Wells (who is awesome) loves Cynthia Rylant.

2. The Otter - Cynthia Rylant author, Preston McDaniels illustrator

Children Non-Fiction

1. Dorothea Lange - Words: Carole Boston Weatherford, Pictures: Sarah Green
Lovely illustrations but I did wonder about her showing school girls in the 20s in pants. Also she is competing against the memory of Lange's photographs and that is a hard comparison.

2. Alexander Hamilton - Jean Fritz
I've been listening to Hamilton and realized this is a part of American history I am hazy on. But I haven't been able to get to the end of the soundtrack or this book because I know it ends badly. Yes, I finally finished listening and it's even sadder than I thought!

2016 - 103

Adult Fiction

1. The Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
Amanda Quick or Jayne Ann Krentz always a good read or re-read in this case. Mystery in the Arcane Society series.

2. Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
Unhappy man with unhappy wife goes to mail a letter to a dying, long-lost friend at the opposite end of  Britain. And he keeps walking meeting unlikely people on the way. Some lovely scenes and interesting characters. While it runs on too long and the ultimate storyline is obvious, there are twists in the road along the way. 

3. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra -  Vaseem Khan
Reviewed on blog.

4. The Turning Season - Sharon Shinn
I love Sharon Shinn but haven't enjoyed her shape-shifter series until now. The two I had read seemed so doomed. This one is more hopeful

5. ⬇︎mehThe Grave Gourmet - Alexander Campion
Couldn't get into this one due to the author's liberal sprinkling of obscure words. I love words and learning new ones but too much pops you out of the story. Mimetism and lubricious and alexandrines, oh my! But mostly it was the way he describes his protagonist, a female police officer. 

 "She preened, straightening, drawing in her tummy, rounding out her buttocks, lifting her breasts against her designer silk blouse." 

Later she is glad she left off her bra so she could use her wiles to bend men to her will. Ick. Actually, I'm surprised I made it past the first page. What can I say? It was bedtime and I had nothing else to read that was the right kind of book.

6. The Stitching Hour - Amanda Lee
Mystery, set on Oregon coast. Halloween House moves in next door to needlework shop. Murder ensues.

7. Come Hell or Highball - Maia Chance
Mystery. Former society matron in Prohibition Era New York is forced to takeg up sleuthing with her Swedish cook. Enjoyable.

8. Dr. Death - Lene Kaaberol
Young woman assists her doctor/medical examiner father in late 19th C Germany.

9. Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley
Latest Flavia de Luce book. Amusing, but I've never quite bought the voice as being that of a precocious pre-teen.

10. Suspicion at Seven - Ann Purser
Lois Meade series. I really liked this series at the beginning but the character elements are repeated each time and there seem to be abbreviations in the plot line.

11. Trust No One - Jayne Ann Krentz
Another writer who churns out  a lot of books so I wonder is she really writing them all or does she have a template. But she is still able to carry it off.

12. Maybe This Time - Jennifer Crusie.
Romantic mystery. Quite funny at times, farcical.

13.  Sand Sharks - Margaret Maron
I love all of her Deborah Knott series. I don't feel the same about the Sigrid Harald series.

14. The Bell Tower - Sarah Rayne
Ghost story moving from 1500s to 1800s to present day. Monks and forbidden love. I liked the present-day characters but not the older stories.

15. The Liar - Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts: Is she a real person? OR a fleet of ghost writers like those penning Nancy Drews?

16. Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna - Maia Chance
Re-telling of Beauty and Beast, sort of.

17. Lemon Pies and Little White Lies -Ellery Adams
Magic pie baking-didn't finish.

18. Mystery in Prior's Ford- Evelyn Hood
Lots of characters and points of view. Lost interest half way through.

19. Harbour Street - Ann Cleeves
Vera Stanhope mystery.

20. Rock with Wings - Anne Hillerman
Anne Hillerman takes the characters her father created and writes new stories for them. Not sure how I feel about this. The book moves along briskly, so it is entertaining. My sense is that her father was a more descriptive writer. I think I'll read one of his and compare.

21. The Fallen Man - Tony Hillerman
Yes, his writing is way more descriptive. A difference between showing and telling. As a result, I fully inhabit the settings he creates.

22. meh Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach - Colin Cotterill
Loved the Dr. Siri book, I just couldn't get into this one. A male author writing things for his female protagonist that just make me pause.

23. The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum - Kirsten Weiss

24. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
Japanese watchmaker in Victorian London forsees the future, or does he make it? Good read.

25. ✈︎Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews
Urban, post-apocalyptic fantasy. Former mercenary Kate Daniels leads the Atlanta shapeshifter pack as consort to the Beast Lord. Funny, self-aware, bloody action book. This was a great read on the plane ride from Guam to Tokyo. Made me forget the discomfort of steerage.

26. Magic Shifts - Ilona Andrews
And as soon as I got home, I checked out another in the series. Basically, exactly the same. Threats of various icky supernaturals, murder, mayhem, dismemberment. I may try the series again on my next plane trip. And I did. I went back and read them in order. I really like this series, although I do skip through the blow-by-blow fighting accounts. This series is written by a husband and wife team. I wonder who writes which part?

27. meh Hysteria - Kate Collins
Abbey Knight and husband Marco move into new house and are welcomed with a body.

28. No Place to Die - Clare Donoghue
British police procedural. Jane Bennett has to pull the weight after her boss loses it on a former case.

29. meh One Foot in the Grove - Kelly Lane
Eva Knox, runaway bride, returns home to Georgia and her family's olive farm. I assume a murder occurs. Didn't finish.

30. Time's Up - Janey Mack
Maisie McGrane wants to follow the family profession and become a cop. Except she flunked out of cop school. So she becomes a meter maid. Funny voice, crazy, but believable characters and an insight into the workings of Chicago's bureaucracy. Maybe you'll develop some sympathy for those low-lifes people who write tickets. Fans of Stephanie Plum will like this.

31. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine - Alexander McCall Smith
Another freakishly prolific writer. I am somewhat uncomfortable with writers appropriating another culture. Although I enjoy this series, I fear it is very close to caricature.

32. Mistletoe something- hah! obviously got interrupted before finishing.

33. The Coroner's Lunch - Colin Cotterill
Here's a book I considered for an airplane book but couldn't get into. I tried it again and loved it.

34. Thirty-Three Teeth - Colin Cotterill
After reading and enjoying the first book, I picked up the seventh book and found so much had changed in the character's life that I had to stop and pick up #2. Revolution and communism don't seem to bring out the best in people. It makes me think that systems are not the problem; people are.

35. Once Upon a Grind - Cleo Coyle
Coffee shop manager in Greenwich Village has visions after ingesting magic coffee beans obtained by her ex-husband. Very readable. Has recipes that are tempting.

36. The Adventuress - Tasha Alexander
Lady Emily and husband Colin Hargreaves visit Cannes to celebrate the long-time engagement of her childhood friend Jeremy. Readable enough to want to start at the beginning of the series.

37. And Only to Deceive - Tasha Alexander
And I realized I had read this already. Lady Emily is in morning for her husband but something is not quite right. Colin Hargreaves is introduced but there is no mention of Jeremy who is supposedly such a good friend who was half in love with her. You'd think he'd be there to support her in her time of woe. However will the author explain this discrepancy in later books?

38. Jeweled Fire - Sharon Shinn
Book three in the Welce series. Good world building.

39. The Buzzard Table - Margaret Maron
Whole series of Deborah Knott is great.

40.  Three Day Town - Margaret Maron
Deborah Knott

41. A Rather Lovely Inheritance - C.A. Belmont
Series reviewed on blog.

42. A Rather Curious Engagement

43. A Rather Charming Invitation

44. A Rather Remarkable Homecoming

45. Martin Marten - Brian Doyle
Unusual book about a marten and a 15 year-old boy in Eastern Washington. Hard to categorize.

46. A Poisoned Season - Tasha Alexander

47. Royal Airs - Sharon Shinn

48. Decaffeinated Corpse - Cleo Coules

49. Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea - Nancy Atherton

50. On the Road - Art Taylor
Del and Louise, small time criminals, find true love and go straight (or do they?)

51. Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin - Nancy Atherton

52. Tears of Pearl - Tasha Alexander

53.  Death of a Red Heroine - Qui Xiaolong
Life of a policeman poet in late 20th C China.

54. Hounding the Moon - P. R. Frost
Couldn't get into it.

55. Magic Bleeds - Ilona Andrews
Series reviewed on blog

56. Bayou Moon - Ilona Andrews
Hard to get into. Not as appealing as the Kate Daniels series.

57. Illusion Town - Jayne Castle
Seems like she is phoning them in now. paranormal romance set on another world.

58. Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews

59. Paradise Lodge - Nina Stibbe
By author of Love, Nina which I didn't finish. If you liked that you'll probably like this. I skimmed.

60.Frost Burned - Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson series, reviewed on blog.

61. River Marked - Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson series.

62.Night Broken - Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson series.

63. Gunmetal Magic - Ilona Andrews

64. Fate's Edge - Ilona Andrews

65. Magic Shifts - Ilona Andrews

66. The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith
J.K. Rowling's detective series

67. Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith

68. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

69. Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews
Not up to the Kate Daniels series

70. Christmas Mourning - Margaret Maron

71. Sand Sharks - Margaret Maron

72. meh High Flyer - Elizabeth Darrell

73. The Sinister Pig - Tony Hillerman

74. Why Kings Confess - C. S. Harris

75. Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
I have devoured this series. It is gruesome.

76. Spells of Blood and Kin - Claire Humphrey

77. 'Til Death Do Us Part - Amanda Quick

78. Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill
Blah! Trying some recommendations for what to read like Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs.

79. Sun, Sand, Murder - John Keyse-Walker
Mystery set on a British Virgin Island. Points for evoking a specific place and culture but I didn't find the characters appealing.

80. meh Tricked - Kevin Hearne
Druids, Norse gods, Navaho supernatural beings? What is going on? I didn't stick around to find out.

81. meh Vengeance of the Demon - Diana Rowland

82. meh Dead to Rites - Ari Marmell
I wanted to read this book about a Fae who is a private eye but the 1930s Chicago street jargon was annoying and intrusive. All the characters talked like they came out of a Jimmy Cagney gangster movie.

83. A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
High tension in the Bodleian Library? You've got my attention. The writing at times calls attention to itself and the characters aren't that compelling but I enjoy the literary and science elements enough that I am reading book 2.

84. The Idol of Mombasa - Annamarie Alfieri
Vera Tolliver, newlywed to a police officer, fights the strictures of 1912 Zanzibar ex-pat community and solves two murders.

Adult Non-Fiction

1. Letters of Note - Shaun Usher
Book of correspondence of well-known people from Mary Stuart to Mick Jagger. You'll find Queen Elizabeth's recipe for scones that she sent to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Fascinating and fun. Several people got this for Christmas.

2. Book + Art - Dorothy Simpson Krause
Making artist books.

3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling
Funny book about growing up different on several levels but attaining success anyway. By the star of The Office and The Mindy Project.

4. Art Making & Studio Space - Lynne Perrella
I am a sucker for peeking inside artists studios.

5. Prints - Heather Ross
How to print on paper and cloth. Very good bibliography.

6. Reading Up a Storm - Eve Gates

7. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good - Kathleen Flinn

8. meh Books That Cook - Cognard-Black and Goldthwaite

9. The Art of English Murder - Lucy Worsley

10. Seeds - Thor Hanson

11. Wild - Cheryl Strayed
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail all by yourself with no experience? Sure! Reviewed on blog.

12. Animals Weapons - Douglas J. Emlen
Surprising things about how animals protect themselves and how it parallels human arsenals.

13. Forgotten Ways for Modern Days - Rachelle Blondel
Crafty DIY for the household. Some new-to-me items. I harbor homesteading fantasies.

14. The Art of Urban Sketching - Gabriel Campanario
Sketches by various people of cities around the world. Simply beautiful. Grab your sketchbook and pencil and go!

15. Good Mail Day - Jennie Hinchcliffe
Everything you need to know about creating mail art.

16. The Creative Habit - Twyla Tharp

17. Glitter and Glue - Kelly Corrigan
A memoir about nothing very memorable. Theses are hard to put down because I keep thinking surely something dramatic must happen.

18. What Not to Build -  Sandra Edelman
Ever wonder about all the ugly new buildings you see? This will tell you what is wrong with them.

19. Take a Ball of String - Jemima Schlee
Cute, cute things to knit and crochet from string.

20. Block Print - Andrea Lauren

21. Miller's Costume Jewelry - Judith Miller

22. Warman's Costume Jewelry - Pamela Wiggins

23. Water-based Screenprinting Today - Roni Henning

24. How to Be An Artist without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, or Your Creative Compass - JoAnneh Nagler

25. meh Think Big - Jennifer Arnold
By the stars of the reality series.,The Little Couple. I love the show but this book makes me like them less. Clichéd, positive-thinking  advice.

26. Natural Hair Coloring - Christine Shahin

27. Spells of Blood and Kin - Claire Humphrey

Children's Fiction

1. Amelia's Middle-School Graduation Yearbook - Marissa Moss
Diary format of a notebook by graduating 8th-grader Amelia. Cute book about enjoying the moment dealing with change. Makes me want to get out my blank books and start a 2016 diary with pictures.

2. Baby Mouse Our Hero - Jennifer L. Hom & Matthew Holm


91 approximate total, probably over 100

Adult Fiction

1.The Rook - Daniel O'Malley -
Urban fantasy mystery set in modern London. Like Ben Aaronvitch's Rivers of London series. Can't wait for the next one.

2.  Sleeping Dog -  Dick Lochte

3.  Blanch on the Lam - Barbara Neely

4.  Shadows in Bronze - Lindsey Davis.
Marcus Didius Falco mystery

5.  A Murder at Rosamund's Gate - Susanna Calkins.
Lucy Campion, 17thC maid, solves her friend's murder

6.  Venus in Copper - Lindsey Davis.
Marcus Didius Falco mystery

7.  The Dead Key - D.M. Pulley
A dead key is the master key that opens all the safe deposit boxes.

8.  The Dream Lover - Elizabeth Berg
Historical fiction about George Sand.

9.  Dreaming Spies - Laurie R. King
Holmes and Russell go to Japan.

10.  Meet Me in Scotland - Patience Griffin

11.Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch
PC Peter Grant is back! I didn't even know a new one was out 'til I saw it in the bookstore. Part of the Rivers of London series and better than ever. You must start at the beginning of the series or nothing will make sense.

12.  Murder by Gravity - Barbara Graham
Set in Tennessee near the North Carolina border. A sheriff and his quilting wife. Good characters and setting, if a bit disjointed in jumping between character points of view much like the Jan Karon books. I find this technique keeps me from fully engaging in the story. This book needs some serious editing. The author has repeated descriptions, almost word for word in some spots.

13.  By Its Cover - Dona Leon
Latest in the Commisario Brunetti series. Excellent as always. Start anywhere in the series and find yourself transported to Venice.

14. ⬇︎ A Tightly Raveled Mind -  Diane Lawson
The good- descriptions of traditional pyschoanalysis. The bad-everything else. An unreliable narrator, several scenes I am trying to forget.

15.  Silent Voices - Anne Cleeves
A Vera Stanhope mystery. I saw some of this series on PBS. Pretty good, I would probably read another. The Brits seem better at having characters who are not all pretty and in their 20s.

16.  The Mouth of the Crocodile -  Michael Pearce
Egypt 1913 and the British rule Eygpt. Main characters are British. Part of a series about the Mamur Zapt. Another author who needs a new editor, again repetitions of the same descriptions.

17.  The Low Road - A. D. Scott
Scottish mystery series about newspaper workers and editors. Good descriptions of Scottish life ca. 1950s.

18.  ⬇︎ Forgers - Brad Morrow
Famous authors and murder mystery, unreliable narrator, predictable.

19.  Rose Gold - Walter Mosely
Latest Easy Rawlins mystery. He is so good I am going to go back and read them in order as I've missed some along the way.

20.  Blood of the South - Alys Clare
Mystery set in 1093 England. Young woman learning to be a healer and has powers. Enjoyable, I'll read more in the series.

21.  Music of the Distant Stars - Alys Clare
This is the third one I've read. I had to stop reading one of them because the heroine did something so unbelievable and she iterated suspects and clues over and over. ;)

22.  The Way Between the Worlds - Alys Clare.
I like these somewhat-they cover history in Britain, but I am also skimming a lot.

23.  Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well - Nancy Atherton
Latest in a cozy series set in a small English village. I enjoyed the first books but this author feels it necessary to catch new readers up on details from previous books.

24.  The Winter King - Alys Clare

25. meh Murder in the Pigalle - Cara Black
Mystery series set in Paris with P.I. Aimee Leduc. I want to like these but often end up skimming. Good invocation of place but the fool-hardy actions of Aimee are just unbelievable, particular when she is pregnant.
26. meh Bittersweet - Susan Wittig Albert
Latest China Bales mystery. It was a good series in the beginning but now pages in the front bring you up-to-date on all the characters. I skimmed most of it.

27. Mariana - Monica Dickens
Coming-of age story set in England in the 1930s. Lovely book, compulsively readable. Mary grows up loving her cousin Denys and her grandparents' idyllic country house.

28. The Rhetoric of Death
29. The Eloquence of Blood
30. A Plague of Lies
31. The Whispering of Bones - all by Judith Rock
Charles du Luc, former soldier and current apprentice Jesuit priest, solves mysteries in 17th C Paris. Engaging characters and descriptions of France during the reign of the Sun King.

32. A Little Love - Amanda Prowse
Light fiction, heart-warming. Mostly enjoyed the read but the ending was too pat and the characters shallow.

33. Forgotten Voices - Jane A. Adams
English mystery, country town. Rina Martin keeper of the former performers' residence takes a back seat to MacGregor the local DI.

34. Devil in a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley
First in the Easy Rawlins series of L.A. noir. Great writer, great sense of time and place. Lots of killing and violence because it's... you know... noir.

35. Who Buries the Dead - C.S. Harris.
Entertaining Victorian England mystery series. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin solves crime with the help of his wife, the daughter of the power behind the throne and his enemy.

36. Echo in the Bone- Diana Gabaldon
Latest in the Outlander series which is now a TV show. I loved and hated the first in the series. Gabaldon lets really awful things happen to her characters and I often don't want to read it. So I missed the middle of the series but I enjoyed this one and am going back to catch up. Just have to not care about the characters too much.

37. meh  The Baklava Club - Jason Goodwin
The mystery series set in Istanbul features a eunuch in the royal court. As with many series, the first was intriguing because of the setting but I mostly skimmed this one.

38. The Care and Management of Lies - Jacqueline Winspear.
WWI story of a a brother, sister and her best friend who the brother grew up to marry. Good to read for a history of Britain at the time but didn't enjoy the story.

39. Laidlaw - William McIlvanney
Excellent book. I couldn't remember what it was about at first. ( I read a lot) but when I did, whew, it was like remembering a movie or a place I've really been. I read it on the plane from Washington, D.C. to Seattle.  The mean streets of Glasgow, the first tartan noir book.

40. N or M - Agatha Christa
Yes, Dame Agatha herself, this is part of the Tommy and Tuppence series and I love them.

41. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin
 Quirky book seller on an island. Tale that was enjoyable for awhile and then just went weird.

42. The Hollow Land - Jane Gardam
Reviewed on blog.

43. Angel Seeker - Sharon Shinn
Anything by this author is good, focuses on what has been a maligned group in previous books.

44. Crooked Herring - L.C. Tyler
Arch and annoying. Ethelred the mystery writer is incredibly gullible as someone tries to pin a murder on him.

45. The Ghost Fields - Elly Griffiths
Forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway's latest murder mystery in Norfolk. I like this series with its atmospheric rendering of the fens and connection to the past. The druid Cathbad is quite the character. But I found myself hesitating over the series and now I've realized why. Yet another writer enamored with present tense. It sets up a distance as if you are reading a film script. I wonder if that is what the writers who use this have in mind.

46. Daddy-Long-Legs - Jean Webster
Sweet, if a little dated, with some overtones disturbing to the modern sensibility. Orphan receives money for college from a mysterious benefactor.

47. meh Slated for Death - Elizabeth J. Duncan
"Glenda Roberts was having a good day., but that was about to change; things would soon take a definite for the worse. She had about six hours left to live. But right now, she had some errands to run." And then she had five hours left and I assume four, three, two, one, but I didn't get that far. An annoying plot device.

48. The Papers of Tony Veitch - William McIlvanney
First in the series, but I'll save it for an airplane book, too gritty and depressing for home.

49. meh  A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
A woman on west Canadian coast finds a diary by a Japanese teen. Switches between the two narrators and I just couldn't care about either character.

50. Virtue Falls - Christina Dodd
Romance/mystery set in fictional California town after an earthquake.

51. meh  Murder on the Eiffel Tower - Claude Inner
Just didn't grab me.

52. meh The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell
Some sort of sci fi but takes along time to get going- too long and then there is a character jump. Good writing and sense of place.

Adult Non-Fiction

1.  Threads Sew, Smarter, Better; Faster 
Tips on all things sewing.

2.DIY Pantry - Kresha Faber
Make your own staples. I bought this.

3.Wrap, Stitch Fold and Rivet - Mary Hettmansperger
Making jewelry using cold conections. I liked it so much I bought it.

4.  Drawn to Drawing - John Vernon Lord

5. 10% Happier - Dan Harris
The power of meditation with easy to follow instructions.

6.  Secrets to Collecting Jewelry - Leigh Leshner
I have some jewelry from my mother and mother-in-law that I know nothing about. A beginning book.

7.  Junk Genius - Goggin and Sirk
Interesting ideas for repurposing-A dish towel messenger bag! But the instructions are not clear and there are few illustrations detailing techniques.

8. meh Love, Nina - Nina Stibbe
Memoir about being a nanny in London. Skimmed, didn't finish.

9. Radioactive - Lauren Redding
Graphic novel about Mme Curie. Fascinating and terrifying.

10. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture - Toby Hemenway
Comprehensive tome on making your property self-sustaining. What I think I want to do with my yard but I actually don't enjoy gardening to this extent.

11. Orange Is the New Black - Piper Kerman
I saw the ads for the TV adaptation and thought: "Eh, women's prison story. Bad things happen" Oh, my goodness, no. This is a memoir of someone whose poor decisions as a young adult caught up with her and she was sentenced to 18 months in jail. Not sensationalized, but gives you a good understanding of what it is like to be in a minimum security lock-up.

12. A Vision of Eden, The Life and Work of Marianne North - 
Journals of Marianne North, botanical artist, who has a room at Kew Gardens with her paintings. She traveled the world in the mid-to-late 19th C painting plants.

13. Pin Loom Weaving - Margaret Stump
I found a pin loom at Goodwill after reading raves about them. I, of course, haven't used it yet and couldn't even say where it is at the moment. (ah ha! I have found it at the bottom of the knitting bag)

14. Book + Art; Handcrafting Artists' Books - Dorothy Simpson Krause

Children's Fiction

1.   Flora and Ulysses - Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by K.G. Campbell
Reviewed on blog.

2.   Freddy and Mr. Camphor - Walter R. Brooks

3.Half a World Away - Cynthia Kadohata
Romanian boy adopted by American parents feels alienated. Now they want to adopt a baby from Kazakhstan. I learned new things. Attachment disorder, unfamiliar country, foreign adoption process.

4.   Nightbird - Alice Hoffman

5. Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
YA steampunk set in a girls' finishing school.

6.  The Report Card - Andrew Clements
What do you do when you realize you are a genius? Hide it from everyone of course.

7. The Agency - Y.S. Lee
YA mystery Mary Quinn the orphan daughter of a Chinese sailor father and English mother is set to be hanged before being rescued by Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls in Victorian England.

Picture Books

1.  Madame Martine - Sarah S. Brannen

2.  Yoko Writes her Name - Rosemary Wells

3. Don't Want to Go! - Shirley Hughes.
My favorite PB author/illustrator

4.The Wall - Peter Sis
Peter Sis' autobiography of growing up behind the Berlin Wall

5.  The Pilot and the Little Prince - Peter Sis
Biography of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-excellent. I never knew how involved he was with the dawn of flight.

6.  enormous smallness - Matthew Burgess. Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo.
Bio of e.e. cummings.

7. On a Beam of Light - Words: Jennifer Berne; Pictures: Vladimir Radunsky
Very basic bio of Albert Einstein.

8.  Ball - Mary Sullivan
Dog wants to play ball all the time. Sweet and funny.

9.   Hermelin - Mini Grey
Detective mouse. Another  of my favorite author /illustrators. I buy her books.

Children's Non-Fiction 

1.  Wetlands - Lynn M. Stone

2.  Our World Lakes - Aaron Frisch

3.  Our World Rivers - Aaron Frisch

4.  Tundras - Laura Purdie Salas. Illustrated by Jeff Yesh

5.  About Habitats Forests - Cathryn Sill. Illustrated by John Sill

6. Under the Snow- Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum

7.  In the Trees, Honey Bees - Lori Mortensen. Illustrated by Cris Arbo

8.  Art from her Heart -Kathy Whitehead, Shane W. Evans

9.  Learn to Draw Structured Wonders

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