Jul 15, 2018

Sunday Salon: Mystery, History, Travel

I promised myself not to buy any more books, but this one was not available on NetGalley or at the library, so I bought the ebook!
The Girl from Oto (The Miramonde Series Book 1)
The Girl from Oto
I was interested in The Girl from Oto by Amy Maroney, not only because it's an art history mystery, but because it also takes place on the Camino de Compostela in Spain, a new interest of mine, and a place on my bucket visit to visit and do.

New paper books on my shelf include:
Don't Eat Me (Dr. Siri Paiboun #13)
Don't Eat Me 
Don't Eat Me by Colin Cotterill is the most unusual mystery series set in Laos and featuring the fictional Dr. Siri Paiboon, former national coroner of Laos, The books reflect the country's people, their beliefs, superstitions, and interesting cultural slants and is written tongue in cheek, with a great deal of irony and humor.
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding (Her Royal Spyness Mystery, # 12)
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding  by Rhys Bowen is the 12th in the Royal Spyness Mystery series, Georgie, who is the queen's personal spy, is planning her own wedding but a murder intervenes to take time away from her planning.

I am almost finished reading a memoir, To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of a Machine by Judith Newman, August 24, 2017, and am learning a lot about autism, how it manifests and how parents can cope. In this case, the boy Gus finds a "friend" in Apple's Siri, as she gives him all the information he asks for and responds to him in a somewhat personal way, as personal as as the AI can get.

What books are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday. Also, Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews.

Jul 8, 2018

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

What am I reading this week?
After the Monsoon
After the Monsoon by Robert Karjel, (Ernst Grip #2). I'm almost finished with this one, set in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, a novel dealing with Somali pirates, a kidnapped family of four from the open seas, a murder of a Swedish lieutenant on Djibouti, and the fight against terrorism. Quite eye-opening and suspenseful.

Next on the list is a library book: 
Murder on the Left Bank (An Aimée Leduc Investigation #18)
Murder on the Left Bank by Cara Black, the 18th in the Aimee Leduc Investigations series set in Paris. 

New on my desk is this cozy:
A Dark and Twisting Path (A Writer's Apprentice Mystery)
A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley, the 3rd in A Writer's Apprentice mystery, features an apprentice to a suspense novelist, set in a small town in Indiana.

Meme:  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date.

Jul 4, 2018

Trial at Mount Koya by Susan Spann: Book Review

Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann continues the travels of Hiro Hattori, a samurai and Shinobi assassin who is the bodyguard for Portuguese Jesuit priest, Fr. Mateo in Japan. The historical novel is set in 1565 in Japan,

Samurai spy and assassin, Hiro Hattori, accompanied by Fr. Mateo, travel to a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya, to warn another samurai spy from his clan of future danger and to send him to alert other samurai in their group.

Hiro and Fr. Mateo and the spy become trapped at the temple by horrendous snow storms. When sudden murder follows upon murder, Hiro fears for the life of Fr. Mateo and is determined to protect the priest from the unknown killer. The author says the murder situation, with an isolated setting, was inspired by one of Agatha Christie's well known novels.

The mystery gets the reader involved in the world of samurai codes of conduct and behavior, Buddhist principles and their similarities and differences with Christian beliefs, Buddhist temples and their priests and ceremonies of those days. One of the customs that stand out is the attitudes towards women, who were barred from entering the grounds of certain temples and holy places.

Follow Susan Spann on Facebook as she climbs Japan's mountains and tells about the mountain temples she is barred from entering, even today.

I was intrigued not only by Buddhist doctrine in Hiro's day, and the discussion of Fr. Mateo with Mount Koya priests, but also by the samurai codes and conduct that seem very real and plausible for those historical times.

The well planned plot of the book, the identity of the culprit is almost impossible to guess, plus well developed characters and good writing, come together for  a very enjoyable and enlightening mystery novel. I'm looking forward to the next of Hiro's adventures.

For more reviews on this tour, see the review schedule. Also see the author's guest post on visiting the temples for her book. 

Susan's Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for a review copy of this book. 

Book beginning:
"I question your judgement, Hiro." Father Mateo looked at the sky, which should have burned with the fiery colors of a mountain sunset.  
Instead, a menacing wall of greenish thunderclouds churned overhead. 
"We can beat the storm to the temple." Hiro Hattori increased his pace and tried to ignore the angry meow that arose from the basket in his arms. 
 "That's not what I meant and you know it."
Meme: visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader 

Jul 1, 2018

Sunday Salon: Hot Weather Reading

New books this week, and more....
Putney by Sofka Zinovieff, August 21, 2018, Harper
... a teenage girl’s intoxicating romance with a powerful older man and her discovery, decades later, that her happy memories are hiding a painful truth. 

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar, September 11, 2018, Harper
One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

A Knife in the Fog: A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle
A Knife in the Fog
A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper, October 7, 2018, Seventh Street Books
Physician Arthur Conan Doyle takes a break from his practice to assist London police in tracking down Jack the Ripper in this debut novel and series starter.

Scandal Above Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #2)
Scandal Above Stairs
Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley, July 3, 2018, Berkley
Priceless artwork has gone missing from the home of a wealthy baronet, and his wife stands to take the blame. When Kat's employer asks for help in clearing her friend's name, Kat trades her kitchen for the homes of Mayfair's wealthiest families. 

Library book currently reading:
A Strangeness in My Mind
A Strangeness in My Mind
A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, 2015, Knopf
   the unforgettable tale of an Istanbul street vendor and the love of his life. 
I love the way he writes. He makes simple people come alive and he easily pulls you into their lives, rural or otherwise. 

Enjoying also Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf. All readers will be enlightened about how our brain works, how the neurons light up when we read. The author also discusses how digital, fast reading, and skimming on the web, rather than deep reading, will change our brain circuits. Scary? 

I'm staying in and doing more reading during these very hot and humid days of 90 degrees. the heat index has gone up to over 100 on some days! Apart from watering the grass and flower beds, we have not gone out much.

What books are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday. Also, Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews.

Jun 23, 2018

Sunday Salon: Digital versus Paper

Reader, Come Home: The Fate of the Reading Brain in a Digital World

My most intriguing new book is this ARC from Harper Collins.
Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf addresses what parents and educators are probably concerned or curious about - the overtaking of the printed word by digital and online media, its unforeseen consequences on children learning to read, the positive and the possible negative.

It was easy to start reading this book, being an avid reader.
I resisted ebooks for a long time, but then found them easier at times, especially in low light situations at night, or lying in bed. Now, I'm mostly back to reading paper, at least for now.
Sweet Little Lies

Sweet Little Lies by Caz Freat is due to be published August 14, 2018.  It's a crime novel that seems to be a thriller and police procedural, with a detective constable delving into the past and crimes that may involve her father.
The Woman in the Window

I admit I went out and bought this book, The Woman in the Window, not wanting to be on the very long waiting list for a library copy. It was quite an intriguing read, especially with the agoraphobic main character who swears she witnessed a murder from the window of her house. No one believes her as she is considered unreliable and delusional, and even her doctor admits that her medications can bring on hallucinations and  loss of a sense of reality.

I was caught up in the plot although toward the end, I guessed the truth. For me, it was not a surprise ending, but this didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Trial on Mount Koya (Shinobi Mystery #6)
Add caption
Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann is the 6th Shinobi mystery set in medieval Japan and featuring a master ninja Hiro Hattori who solves crimes with his unusual sidekick, the Jesuit priest Fr. Mateo.  I enjoyed the first five and am eager to read this one for my book review on July 11, part of a book tour. Each of the books can be read as a stand alone novel.

Library book I'm currently reading:
The Red-Haired Woman

The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk was a lucky find at the library. I don't read enough books narrated by young men/teenagers and written by male authors. This is a literary novel about an adolescent falling in love and dealing, well or not so well, with an uncomfortable working situation, well-digging in the countryside under a demanding and obsessed well digger.  I've just now finished the book, a five star read definitely.

The writer is so good that his book made me begin to feel guilty too, as guilty as his young protagonist, although I had none of his experiences and did none of the things this young protagonist did.

What books are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date., and Mailbox Monday. Also, Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews.