This is my monthly blog devoted to the previous month's reading

According to GoodReads, I have read almost 14,000 pages this year – that is almost 10 days (and that is the 24 hour day, not the work day!). Is that too much? Possibly. I admit reading is a habit and I’m guilty of downloading free books on my Kindle just to pass the time with reading. So, I publicly declare – I will concentrate on reading NO MORE THAN ONE BOOK A WEEK, unless I am on vacation. I am going to be more thoughtful in my choices of books. I have to admit, in looking back at what I read in October on GoodReads, some of the books have already faded from my memory.  So – here goes.

THE GRASS HARP- by Truman Capote. This is a delightful novella. I am currently on a quest to read at least one book by an author from every state in the union. This book is my first selection for the state of Alabama – okay – I know Truman Capote was born in New Orleans, but he lived in Alabama for years and his best friend was Harper Lee. I will write more about this book when I blog about my quest. (You can read where I declared my quest HERE).

SYCAMORE ROW by John Grisham. This book takes place three years after his first novel A Time To Kill, with Jake Brigance back. This follows the trial after Seth Hubbard, dying of lung cancer, kills himself and leaves a handwritten will giving his fortune to his black maid of three years. Of course, his family contests the will. I think Grisham is in better form in a courtroom drama, so I’m very glad to see him back! He makes it fairly clear that he will return to this character in the future. The only drawback to the book, it is a little wordy.

A COLD DAY FOR MURDER by Dana Stabenow. This is the first in a series by Kate Shugak, who left the Anchorage D.A.’s office and returned to her home in North Alaska. I found this book while researchingAlaskan writers for my previously mentioned quest – so I will write more later. It was a fun and quick read, but it gets a little bogged down explaining Alaskan culture. (PS, it is free on Kindle right now)

A CRUISE TO DIE FOR by Aaron and Charlotte Elkins. This is the 2nd book in the Alix London series. Alix is trying to make her way in the artworld as an art restorer and consultant. Trouble is her father is a convicted forger himself. In this book, she gets a job as an art expert on a cruise in the Greek Islands by one of the richest men in the world. Her job is to give lectures and answer questions from prospective buyers of world class art. However, she is working for the FBI’s Art Bureau, trying to expose an art forgery scheme. This was a fun little read, not too heavy, but it does have a little art history thrown in!

WHAT THE DOG ATE by Jackie Bouchard. The first sentence is very promising:

“The vet handed Maggie Baxter a plastic specimen bag containing a pair of size tiny, lavender thong panties extracted from her dog, but they were not hers. Or rather, they were hers now since she’d just paid $734 to have Dr. Carter surgically remove them from Kona’s guts.”

This is a cute book about Maggie trying to get her life back on track after her husband leave her. Starting out as a workaholic, she is trying to balance her life and find her dream job. Along the way her brother moves in, he leaves, she hangs out with his best friend, she meets a new best friend in a yoga class, all the time trying to figure out what direction she should take her life in. As I said, it is cute, but it is also pretty predictable!

REUNION WITH DEATH by Sheila Connally. Laura joins a group of her college classmates from 40 years ago on a trip to Italy. When a professor from the school is killed by a fall down a hill everyone thinks it’s an accident. But, of course, Laura things there is more to it than an accident. I liked the fact that the women were older,  and while it is billed as a “mystery”, a large part of it is a travelogue of Northern Italy. While I enjoyed it, it was an extremely light read and I knew who the murderer was early on.

 PLAY DEAD by Leslie O’Kane. This is the first in a new series about Ally Babcock, an animal therapist in Boulder that, of course, solves crimes.  Cute but very predictable.

So – no more downloading books just to have something to read! I’m going to plan what I’m going to read and take it slowly.

Any recommendations for good winter reading?




  1. Elda

    HOW FUN!!! I will be living vicariously through your book reports here! I read about one book a week but none are fiction. But why cut back if it brings you joy?!? Do what makes you feel good, yes?

  2. Deborah Weber

    Always fun to see your reading list Vickie, and although I have no need to add to my reading pile you always manage to tempt me with a thing or two. 😉 Good luck with your intention and I hope you find a perfect tome to devote yourself to.

  3. Debbie Goode

    I love getting ‘lost’ in a good book! You have listed some great reads here. I’m especially drawn to ‘What the Dog Ate’….just may have to see for myself where that lead sentence goes….LOL!

  4. vickiemartin Post author

    i need to cut back because I will start a mediocre book on a Sat AM – and be so unproductive. I could be painting or a zillion things – I don’t mind doing it at night to relax

  5. Janet

    Vickie, It’s possible I read too much, too, but oh, what interesting things I’ve learned along the way! Good luck with your new adventure. It sounds win-win if it leads to more studio time.

  6. Kelly L McKenzie

    Oh these look great. I love to read and am finding I am reading more now that Fall is here. Just finished the second G Simsion book called
    Rosie Effects – very clever and funny. Before that it was Gone Girl. Latter reminded me that I am so out of the loop sometimes. Here they’ve gone and made a movie of a book I’ve only just discovered. Great mystery – the book- gripping in fact.

  7. Nancy Jambor

    Vickie, no such thing as reading too much. I love to read and have been reading since I was a girl.
    My motto is too many books and not enough time. I have to discipline myself not to read for pleasure during the work day though. If I am reading an engaging book, I can totally get lost in it and read far too late into the night. Thanks for sharing this post!

  8. Kama

    I can relate to this lol … I am always reading several books at once. Maybe I will also try reading one book a week. Thank you for the share 🙂

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