I can’t believe no one commented on what an adorable baby Elliot was. Go ahead and scroll down, look at the previous post, ooh and aah, then come back. It’ll only take you a minute, unless your laptop is as old as mine and then you’ll have time to swear and raise your blood pressure. Don’t worry–that high blood pressure will be lowered by cute baby pictures!

So, it’s that time of the month again (giggle! That phrase takes me back to jr high). Time to discuss what I’ve been reading and what I’m about to read, and also what I read. These are exciting times.

I READ:

The Honey Thief: This is really good, a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Hazara people of Afghanistan. Author and local Najaf Mazari, working with journalist Robert Hillman, wrote down some of the stories of his people, who come from a tradition of oral storytelling. The stories are a blend, a little folklore, a lot of recent history. There are even recipes, the most detailed recipes I’ve ever seen!

Elizabeth the First Wife: This one is fun, perfect for summer, witty, light-hearted, light. Elizabeth comes from a family of extreme high-achievers but is content to teach at a community college. She gets offered a chance to spend the summer in Ashland, OR, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, helping her ex-husband, now a Hollywood A-list actor, perform in Midsummer Night’s Dream. As one would expect, lots of mayhem ensues. Really enjoyed this one.

Oh Dear Silvia: After a fall from a balcony, Silvia Shute is in a coma. She’s visited by her ex-husband, her daughter, her lover, her nurse, her house-cleaner, her whacky sister. Alternating between humorous (albeit a dark humour) and depressing, the truth of Silvia’s life and character is revealed piecemeal by those who knew her best.

Loyalty: Fina Ludlow is the only girl in the Ludlow family, an exremely tight-knit family of lawyers who are willing to go as far as it takes to win a case. Fina’s not a lawyer though–she’s a private investigator, and the family hires her when her sister-in-law is missing. As Fina delves deeper and deeper and turns up more and more, she has to choose where her loyalty will ultimately lie. Fina is of the hard-boiled school of P-I. She’s hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-loving, and not afraid of a knock-down drag-out fight.

Emma’s Secret: What if your daughter was kidnapped and then your prayers were answered and you got her back, but all was not as perfect as you’d expected? Megan is thrilled to have her 5-year-old Emma back after 2 long years, but she finds her heart breaking all over again as she sees how much Emma has changed, and how Emma seems to love and miss the elderly couple who kidnapped her. A good look at how trauma endures and consequences linger, but a hopeful, redemptive novel with a lot of chocolate in it.

If You Were Here: McKenna is working as a journalist when she gets sent a video of a woman lifting to safety a young man who’d fallen onto the train tracks. She recognizes the woman as a close friend who disappeared without a trace 10 years earlier. As McKenna digs deeper and deeper into the past, she comes across more than she bargained for. McKenna will have to choose who to trust, and that choice could take her life.

A Beautiful Heist: A fun read with a bit more depth than expected. Cat Montgomery is a jewel thief and she’s good at it. She takes job after job, searching for a way to expunge the guilt she feels from her sister’s death. But she has rules and conscience: she’ll only steal what’s insured, only what the job stipulates, and only from someone who won’t be hurting as a result. Then she hears of the ultimate job (in an Indiana Jones twist)–a Faberge egg hiding the Gifts of the Magi! (Yes, those ones–gold, frankincense, myrrh).

AM READING:

The Lion’s World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia: This is sort of literary and theological criticism on the Narnia books, and by extension Lewis’ other works of fiction (the Space Trilogy, Till We Have Faces, etc.) by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowen Williams. It’s really good and I’m hugely enjoying it.

Her Royal Spyness (A Royal Spyness Mystery): Got offered this free on my Kindle. (Did you know I have a Kindle now? I like it more than expected but, also as expected, am frustrated that I can’t easily look back in book). It looks light and fun.

4:50 from Paddington: Also on my Kindle. This is an Agatha Christie and a fun one. Elspeth McGillicuddy sees an actual murder happening on a train running parallel to hers in the night. She dutifully reports it but no one believes her as there is no body. Jane Marple to the rescue!

The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family: The subtitle says it all. Josh Hanagarne’s memoir on growing up Mormon, with Tourette’s, loving books, taking to body-building as a way to control his tics.

TO READ:

Sight Reading

Love and Other Subjects

The Illusion of Separateness

Apologies to My Censor: The High and Low Adventures of a Foreigner in China

There you have it! This month I also graduated a kid, hosted my husband’s entire family, went camping with a bad back, and generally had a little too much of a good time, or something like that.

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