A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn. Book two in the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series and, while I didn't enjoy it as much as the first in the series, A Curious Beginning, that doesn't really mean much because it was wickedly clever, and a thoroughly enjoyable reading pleasure. I continued to be blown away by Raybourn's exquisite prose, use of language, and breadth of vocabulary that challenges the mind, yet never felt overused, only perfectly placed. The clever banter, and unique partnership between Veronica and Stoker continued to be developed and are definitely the highlight of the entire book. I was so enamored by the roads traveled toward solving the mystery and the wringing out of every bit of clue, that the murder mystery seemed almost superfluous. In other words - getting to the mystery-solved was so much fun! Book 2/3 towards Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2020 Reading Challenge - read three books by the same author.
Golden in Death by J.D. Robb. Book 50 in the In Death series by J.D. Robb (I have all of them and I've enjoyed almost all of them) that highlights Eve Dallas a New York City police lieutenant in the year 2061 and her multibillionaire husband Roarke who often serves as her expert consultant, even though he once was a crook, albeit a crook who changed his ways when he met Eve. Thankfully, Golden In Death redeemed the series after a book or two of drab and so, so. It did lack-lustre with the pageant of characters virtually non-existent except for but a few. Not so much disappointed as, simply missed the characters, the banter that happens between the characters, and the quick-wit. This is part of my 2020 Reading Goal - read a book published in every year since I was born - published in 2020
Plainsong by Kent Haruf. The writer leaves out all quotation marks, and while this is staggering, I felt Haruf uses their absence to slow the reader down and, thus, immersing the reader fully into the dialogue, and into the story. As if I am a part of the story Haruf is telling, standing with each of the imperfect people and their plain stories. Yet, even without proper grammatical attention, somehow the dialogue rang out as truer; I'm not sure it would have presented the same atmosphere, the same stunning character study, the same haunting lyrical display. We don't understand why some of the characters do what they do we just see them in their now, dealing with their life in choices. This is part of my 2020 Reading Goal - read a book published in every year since I was born. Plainsong was first published in 1999.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Short of hiking the Appalachian Trail myself (which will never happen because I can barely walk a couple miles in one stretch), reading about hiking the AT is the very best next thing and if it is written by Bryson, who is hilariously engaging, then I'm doing it! You know, reading about hiking the AT by Bill Bryson. An exceptionally compulsive walk in the woods. When I was planning my 2020 Reading Goal - read a book published in every year since I was born, and researching what books I would potentially read, A Walk in the Woods was the solitary book on my list for a book published in 1998.
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan. Read strictly because someone, although I can't remember who, recommended it and I put it on hold at the library. I didn't even remember picking it up but it was in my very large stack at home of those needing to be read before the return date and I thought it might be an easy, fun read based on the title. That would be a big, fat, no! Sally Red Shoes was a struggle to plow through, especially at first because it seemed to take forever to reach the point of understanding where the book was going. A mix of good and not-so-good character development (I would have loved more development of Sally Red Shoes, herself) and the plausible and implausible plot to grapple with but, however, I hung in and actually enjoyed the writing. It is, if nothing else, a tremendous study on grief and loss, and the time and stages a human goes through both.
Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. "Are you a fan or a follower? Go ahead, think honestly about your relationship with God . . . but don't answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all." Jeff and I read a-loud Not A Fan each morning before work, the first of the books we are reading together; hopefully, of the 8 books we'll read together. We got serious about this book and answered the questions that Kyle broached in the book for ourselves. We didn't want to walk away without being sure we were followers of Jesus, and not just a fan. This is part of my 2020 Reading Goals - read 8 books a-loud with Jeff.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson. This is a story of the injustice and justice, and the lack of compassion and mercy in our justice system. It is a frustrating look at our bleeding justice system and the insanity it reeks, at times. And, thankfully, there are those who, with compassion, can transform the corrupt, can free those enchained in the deranged system, and empower the powerless. Thank you Bryan Stephenson for standing in the gap for mercy and offering hope. Engaging, blood-boiling, and necessary. 2020 Reading Goals - read a book published in every since I was born: Just Mercy was the lone book on my list for 2014 (and highly recommended to me by a trusted friend).