Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sunday Summary: 5 April 2015

Happy Easter! All of March, I was participating in the Take Control of your TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Kimba at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I enjoyed the challenge, reading nearly 20 books from my TBR backlog, but I really was glad to see April show up. First thing I did was visit the library's online catalog and check out a couple of eBooks.

Where I've been reading

Although it was Holy Week, I had a short business trip to the Southeast. I flew to Jackson, MS; drove to Birmingham, AL; then flew back home to Texas. Spending three hours in the car gave me time to complete an audio book, and all that time waiting in airports and in flight was well spent reading.


What I've been reading: Completed this week

Book Cover: The Countertenor Wore Garlic by Mark Schweizer Format: eBook
Source: gift from Kiri, September 2014
Completed: 29 March


The Countertenor Wore Garlic is set ten months after the previous episode and it's Halloween. On the evening of the Halloween Carnival, a flashmob descends on St. Germaine. Hundreds of visitors are participating in the Zombie Walk. They're in addition to the regular tourists in town to take in the fall colors and those standing in line at a book signing for a famous author of a vampire series. Police Chief Hayden Konig has his hands full. There's been a murder—a woman found in the hay maze with a pumpkin on her head. St. Barnabas is again without a priest and the interim one is preaching fire and brimstone. And through it all, Konig is writing yet another dreadful noir mystery.

Book Cover: The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford Format: Audiobook
Source: purchased from Audible
Completed: 1 April


This past week I had plenty of time to listen to The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford. I listened while I ran errands on Monday afternoon and while driving to the airport on Tuesday. Then I listened as I drove from Jackson to Birmingham. I finished the book about 20 miles before arriving at my hotel, so wound up listening to some Mozart on the radio the rest of the way. Now I'm faced with the quandary of what to listen to next.

Jack Weatherford's first book on the Mongols was Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, which I read in the Fall of 2014. He tells the story that while researching Genghis Khan, he kept running into anecdotal stories about female rulers, but since there was no documentation to back up the stories, he discounted what he was hearing as folklore. But then as he was studying The Secret History of the Mongols, he noted that sometime near the end of the 13th century, censors cut a section from the archives, leaving a single tantalizing quote from Genghis Khan: “Let us reward our female offspring.” He was motivated to conduct more research and write this book, making sure that their contributions to history are not lost.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Because I had been enjoying the books about the Mongols, I borrowed Pamela Sargent's fictionalized biography of Genghis Khan from the library.

Book Cover: Claimed by Sarah Fine Format: eBook
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley
Completed: 2 April


Sarah Fine has delivered a fantastic series in Servants of Fate. Claimed is the second book of at least three, and having read the first two, I'd encourage her to continue writing in this world.

Things get violent when Galena Margolis' research subjects and lab assistants are all killed and Galena's lab is bombed. (Galena is a brilliant scientist whose research shows real promise to produce vaccines to deal with rapidly mutating plague-like diseases.) In order to protect her, the Ferry family devise a plan to Claim her—turning her into a Ferry through marriage. Declan was already falling for Galena and immediately steps up to be her husband.

Look for a full review next week.

Book Cover: Kris Longknife: Redoubtable by Mike Shepherd Format: eBook
Source: purchased from Amazon, March 2015
Completed: 4 April


Yep, I purchased Kris Longknife: Redoubtable on the last day of March and started reading it as soon as April arrived. (In March, I committed to read only books from my TBR stack.) It's the eighth book in Mike Shepherd's Kris Longknife series.

Recovering from her near-fatal injuries, Kris has received a promotion and been sent off to the rim of human space to look for pirates. When Kris's 12-year-old charge is kidnapped by slavers, she joins forces with Vicky Peterwald and Admiral Krätz to recover her.

What I've been reading: In progress

Book Cover: The Innocent by David Baldacci I'm now listening to The Innocent, first book in the Will Robie thriller series by David Baldacci. Will Robie is an assassin; employed by an agency of the U S Government. When a mission goes wrong, Robie finds himself on the run, hiding from others within his own agency. There's a damsel in distress, a conspiracy at high levels, and an honorable hitman—a recipe for an exciting adventure full of thrills and mystery.

Book Cover: The Fall by Annelie Wendeberg On my Kindle, I'm busy reading The Fall by Annelie Wendeberg. When she was a teen, Anna Kronberg began dressing as a man so that she could attend medical school. She became Dr. Anton Kronberg, eventually the most renown bacteriologist in England. However, her masquerade was discovered and she has fled London to live quietly again as Anna. Until James Moriarty tracks her down and kidnaps her. He sets her up in a laboratory with orders to develop weapons to spread deadly diseases. I'm about ½ way through the book and thoroughly enjoying it.

This Week on the Blog

The blog hasn't been neglected as much this week. I finally made time to get a couple of reviews written and posted. I don't think I can keep up the pace of writing four reviews a week—that might cut into the time available for reading!

  1. Review: The Park Service
  2. Review: Marked
  3. Review: Kris Longknife
  4. Stacking the Shelves (26)
  5. Review: Claimed


And, as usual, I'm linking up with The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on the blog, showcase books and things received. Share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead.


  1. I participated in the TBR challenge as well! Read well about my 5 book goal. it was my first time joining, but I cannot wait to do it again next year! Holy moly, so much traveling in one week. Though I love vacations I am a natural homebody and would miss the comforts on my house. You've gotten a lot of reading done this week. I am so envious as I was mostly concentrating on design work. Missed my books! Glad you seem to have mostly enjoyed your reads this past week. Good luck in your book adventures this week!

    1. I only wish the travel this past week were vacation. It's for work and I'm heading off to Pittsburgh later today. If you look back through my blog you'll see that it's what suffers when there's not enough time. I go through cycles in reading, but rarely set it aside.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I swear I am the last person on the planet to try an audio book! I love that you got so much reading done while driving. That's brilliant, and I need to get going with that! Hope you have a great week, thanks for visiting:-)

    1. I've only been listening to books in the past couple of years. I'm a very impatient person and would prefer to read a book myself because it's faster. But I've used audiobooks to solve a couple of problems: first is how to read when I'm the only person in the car. Also, I use audiobooks to explore books, genres, or authors which are not my usual. I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to non-fiction books on geology and history -- books I would never reach for in printed form.

      You might check out Sync Audiobook and their annual give-away of audiobooks each summer. It starts on 7 May, and the list of books for this year are now posted at their website.

  3. I was considering joining Kimba her challenge, but decided I already had a busy month with deadline reads, so maybe next year. That's good news you were able to read that many books for the challenge! I hope you have a great week!

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I loved the idea of focusing on books on hand. I did have one library book and one ARC in the set, but they both met the criteria for the TBR Challenge. I may do this again next year.

  4. Wow! It looks like you've had an incredibly busy week! I have no idea how you were able to accomplish so much AND read that many books! Haha! I haven't heard of any of these, but I'll definitely be checking a couple of them out :)

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. Most weeks are busy. I'm lucky to be an empty nester and not to have to worry about being away from the kids. I simply squeeze reading into every spare corner of time.