08 April 2019

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: Reading across the Genres

Recommended books for Spring 2019I'm fully aware that we could still have snow here in central Pennsylvania, and I know my heat will be on for another few weeks, but--dare I say it--I think the weather has finally broken. The forsythia is budded, the bulbs are pushing up greenery, and I've switched to spring coats.

With a little bit of luck from the weather gods, I'll be able to start getting the deck reading for summer this week. A woman can dream, can't she?

We started a new (for us) show on Netflix over the weekend called Hell on Wheels. You probably won't guess what it's about from the title, at least I didn't. It's a period piece about building the transcontinental railroad after the Civil War. We're three or four episodes in and fairly addicted.

Here are some very short takes on what I read last week. (All three were provided by the publisher.)

Reading across the genres
  • Abandoned by W. Michael Gear (DAW, Nov. 2018). This second entry in Gear's Donovan trilogy was every bit as action-packed and interesting as the first book (see my thoughts on Outpost). New characters are introduced and some familiar characters die. Life on the planet is bringing out both the worst and best in the people who are trying to colonize it. The native creatures of the planet may not be as clueless and easy to conquer as the Earthlings first imagine. The third book comes out in May, but I'm hoping for an early copy.
  • The Field Guild to Dumb Birds by Matt Kracht (Chronicle, April 2). I wrote about this book last Friday and read it over the weekend. Be warned: you will truly laugh out loud. Although the book contains real and useful information about birding, birds, and maintaining bird feeders, all information is given with an attitude. For example, the section on birds of prey is titled "Murder Birds," and each species is given a new common name, such as the Great Blue Moron, which is "usually standing shin-deep in the water like an idiot." The ink drawings (see the cover) are nicely done. Recommended for bird lovers with a sense of humor.
  • My Lovely Wife by Samanth Downing (Berkley, March 26). Truth: I was going skip this thriller because I thought I had it all figured out from the publisher's summary. I decided to give it a go when I had a chance to review the audio version for AudioFile magazine. Another truth: boy was this twisty and I totally did not guess how this book was going to play out. This is a domestic thriller about a happily married couple whose hobby just happens to be killing innocent women. Will they get caught? Will their children ever find out? This is well worth your while. Thoughts on the audio edition will appear in the magazine, but the short take is that narrator David Pittu does a really nice job building the tension and avoiding tipping off the twists.


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 4/8/19, 7:27 AM  

I think Susie at Novel Visits liked The Lovely Wife too! Nice when a psych thriller actually pans out for you!

shelleyrae @ book'd out 4/8/19, 7:43 AM  

My husband and I loved Hell on Wheels, I’m glad you are enjoying it.

Have a great reading week :)

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out-

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 4/8/19, 8:20 AM  

I bet the folks in my Master Naturalist group would love the new bird book. They have a great sense of humor.

bermudaonion 4/8/19, 8:24 AM  

I've got My Lovely Wife on my iPad and hope to get to it soon. It sounds like the kind of book I need right now.

Susie | Novel Visits 4/8/19, 8:49 AM  

It's so nice when spring finally arrives. Here it seemed like it had, but now we have nothing but rain predicted for the next 10 days! (At least I got lots of sunshine on my trip!)

I read and loved My Lovely Wife. At first I felt bad to be reading a book about such a twisted couple, but I got over it!

rhapsodyinbooks 4/8/19, 9:14 AM  

Wow what a bizarre hobby in My Lovely Wife!

crackercrumblife 4/8/19, 9:30 AM  

We loved Hell on Wheels! The cinematography was amazing I thought. There are some seriously gorgeous captures onscreen.

My Lovely Wife sounds crazy! And now I have to read it.

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds sounds good too!

Laurel-Rain Snow 4/8/19, 10:51 AM  

I am tempted by My Lovely Wife.

I thought Hell on Wheels sounded like a biker book. LOL.

Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Harvee 4/8/19, 11:01 AM  

the field guide to dumb birds is my fav among your books. Looks like one I'd enjoy as a birder!

Tina 4/8/19, 11:10 AM  

I can't wait to read My Lovely Wife! Hell on Wheels sounds interesting. I might just need to check it out :)

Kathy Martin 4/8/19, 1:28 PM  

I've seen My Lovely Wife around and even your glowing report isn't tempting me. It just sounds creepy. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Greg 4/8/19, 3:50 PM  

Oh my gosh I may have to get that Field Guide To Dumb Birds- sounds like a riot.

pussreboots 4/8/19, 8:13 PM  

I saw your tweet about the Field Guide to Dumb Birds and immediately ordered a copy for myself. My weekly updates

Aj @ Read All The Things! 4/8/19, 9:20 PM  

It’s starting to become spring here, too! I know it’ll probably snow a few more times, but I’m happy. That bird book sounds hilarious. Have a great week.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Tina 4/9/19, 9:51 AM  

I have all those books on my radar! Glad to hear the birding book was humorous.
Let's hope you get that deck time. We have been fortunate enough to eat outside a few times recently. Nothing like being out and hearing birdsong, seeing some greenery. And you have forsythias! they don't bloom as lushly down here. Beautiful flowers.

JoAnn 4/9/19, 10:20 AM  

Glad My Lovely Wife held a few surprises!

Vicki 4/11/19, 1:18 PM  

My Lovely Wife sounds really good.

Jackie McGuinness 4/13/19, 10:05 AM  

Thanks, added My Lovely Wife to my library wish list.

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/16/19, 8:15 PM  

I've heard good things about The Lovely Wife. I was going to skip it too, but now I will reconsider.

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