What I’ve Read (2018)

I have been keeping track of the books I read for years.  This year, I have decided to commit them to digital memory (but I will probably back this up on paper).

This is by no means a place to boast, but rather just to record because there will (hopefully) be some great books here, but there will also be some pretty standard books and probably a few stinkers.

January

A Death at the Yoga Café–Michelle Kelly

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

The premise of this book is not particularly new: A person who is dying wants to make the most of the last days of her life, and she wants to help a complete stranger make her life better.  However, I think Eva Woods handles it well.  She gives us characters that are human.  They are fallible, moody, and despite the positive optimism that envelops the book, the dread is not necessarily tucked away in the corner.

The idea that you can influence the life of someone is fantastic and I wish more of us would pay attention to that.  We go about our daily life, but we are not in the bubble we think we are.  Our words and actions have consequences both good and bad.

The book is both funny and moving, in unexpected ways. 

The Drop by Michael Connelly

The Hangman’s Sonnet by Reed Farrel Coleman (channeling Robert B. Parker)

Coleman has done a good job continuing the adventures of Jesse Stone.  He has managed to write some good mysteries as well as develop and challenge the characters.

Road To Valour by Aili and Andres McConnon

Books about cycling and stars of cycling mostly focus on doping and winning.  This book is so much better than that.  It is a book about a man who not only was a great cyclist, but was also a great human being.  War might have interrupted Gino Bartali’s career, but his accomplishments go beyond the bicycle.  This would make an excellent movie.

Crisis Four by Andy McNab

I’ve put myself in a series of books again.  There are lots of these to read and if I so choose, I ‘ve got a couple of years worth of catch-ups. (It is better than when you catch up and have to wait a year or more for the next book in the series) Of course, as usual, thanks to my library, I am not reading them in the correct order.

Typical of the genre, a very skilled operator fulfils missions.  There are wrinkles, life or death moments.  People die, things blow up.  Atypical of the genre, the hero is not a multi-lingual, brilliant thinker king of sexual conquest.  He is more of a meat and potatoes, sometimes rather thick man.  However, he will go to great lengths to get the job done.

I enjoyed it for the technical aspects of it.  The plot was quite fast paced and as believable as any in the genre.

February

bike book

It’s All About The Bike by Robert Penn

The premise is pretty simple:  A man who has cycled around the world decides the time has come to have his very own, custom made bicycle; from the frame to the all the minor and major components to the paint job.  Not only that, but he is going to personally visit the factories and shops where these components are built.   Oh, and he is going to recount the technological advances these parts represent as well as the history of the bicycle.

His dream read so cool for me.  I would love to have my own custom built frame and very high end (and durable) components.  Come to think of it, most cyclists probably feel the same way.

The book had a very clean and readable style, despite having to impart some rather technical information at times.  Anyone who has ever been on a bike and gone for a club ride or a solo ride of any length will appreciate this book.

Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben

I picked this up because it was described as a perfect antidote to the Trump era.  While it isn’t a direct critique of the administration, it is a beautiful idea of how one voice can sway people and disseminate ideas.  It is also a beautiful treatise on how small is better than big–big corporations, big farming, big taxation……you get the idea.

It is definitely worth reading, and I highly recommend it.

Legoland by Gerard Woodward

A book of short stories.

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5 Responses to What I’ve Read (2018)

  1. I see what you meant about being drawn to graphic covers. You certainly are! (And so am I.)

  2. I enjoyed reading your book reviews. I’ve never read a Lisa Jewell book, and now I’m intending to. Which one would you recommend the most? I also am rather judgmental about book covers: I don’t like those that show photographs of people – I think the reader should decide her/himself what the main character looks like. I prefer covers like The Winters in Bloom. In my own books, I use more of a background photo with the title getting more of the attention. But…I may try to change my covers at some point, like Jewell obviously does. :-0

    • Anthony says:

      Not being in the publishing business (yet), I really have no idea who chooses the covers, or whether this had to do with different editions. I do know that I liked the drawn covers more in this case.
      I also like photographs that just depict something (like School of Terminal Velocity).
      If you do change the covers, it will mean more that you can display (on your shelf or on your wall).

      As for which Lisa Jewell book to read…..I would say Roommates Wanted or the Making of Us. They were just different enough, but full of good insights without being too heavy handed.

    • Anthony says:

      Thanks also for your compliment about my reviews. Based on what I have read on WP, most people want long very detailed book reviews–at least that is what popular bloggers seem to write.
      I am not so inclined. Maybe this is the result of too many literary essays at university. Maybe this is because I don’t want to spoil the book for you. I am not sure.

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