Catching up with recent books

I had great intentions of writing individual posts for each book I read this year, and planned to do so one day after each finish. Ha. To get back on track, I will recap the books I’ve read since Beach Music and give you my quick impressions of each…

First was Rose Garden (, my first foray into the time traveling worlds of Susanna Kearsley. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m glad I have two more of her books to read soon. I’d give this one four stars.

I believe this was also the first time I’d used Amazon’s much-touted WhisperSync which lets me flip back and forth from the version and the kindle one. Oh my,  how I loved it! After  buying Rose Garden on kindle, I was able to buy the Audible version for the discounted price of $3.95. I have worn my little iPod nano around my neck for years, listening to audiobooks any time I was on my feet doing laundry, cooking or even playing a game on my computer. I love both kinds of reading, but to be able to stay in the same book when I stand up as when I’m sitting down with my kindle was wonderful. I didn’t have to change the channel, so to speak. I will make a concerted effort to do much more of this in the future. Fortunately, as I’ve been a member of Audible for ten years, I already have a lot of my favorites.

Next I read Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow (, 948 pages about our first president. I wish I had enjoyed it more, because I know it was well done. I’ve long known that I enjoy history best in well-written novels, but I keep wishing that I would evolve into the kind of person who eats it up in nonfiction form. No such luck yet, but I did enjoy much of it and I certainly know more than I did before. It did feel very long, though. As I can only judge by my own taste, I’d give this three stars (though the writing easily deserves at least four.)

Next up was my latest re-read of Shogun, by James Clavell ( Despite not mentioning that it was WhisperSync enabled, I discovered when I was nearly finished that it was indeed able to synchronize. I do love this book! I love the whole Asian Saga series but this and Noble House are probably my favorites. Most of what I know about 16th century Japan comes from this book but although this book is 1,152 pages long, it never *feels* long to me. It could go on for hundreds of pages more and I’d never tire of it. Clavell is wonderful at developing characters and storylines. Absolutely five stars.

Then I read a kindle single — Guns, by Stephen King ( I figured at 25 pages I could get through it, even if it turned out to be a political rant. Somewhat to my surprise, it was not. Of course he takes a stand but I thought it very fairly presented different views. Not at all to my surprise, it was extremely well written. The man can write! He pulls no punches and puts together sentences that take my breath away. It’s a shame (from my perspective) that his usual genre is something I simply won’t read. Also five stars.

Next, I gave up on a book by one of my favorite authors. The Panther, by Nelson DeMille ( I read perhaps 40% before deciding there are simply too many good books waiting in my TBR pile. I have enjoyed some of his John Corey novels before, but this time i thought the wisecracks were simply too much. Every. Single. Time. He. Said (or thought). Anything. It was obnoxious so I moved on. I won’t rate it because I didn’t finish it.

And now we’re caught up.


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