Readers' Favorite

June 25, 2018

Donna's June Reading Round Up #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber

This month has gone by really quickly. I had a 2-day conference at the beginning of the month and ending the month at a 3-day intensive science writing workshop. In between these work obligations, I've squeezed in a few books, including 2 audiobooks to celebrate Audio Book Month.
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In print...

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

This was the book for my post-apocalyptic book club. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the meeting. It met on the second day of my conference and I was exhausted. I'm disappointed that I didn't go because I think it would have been a really great discussion as the book has a lot of meat to it. I purchased this book.

In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel makes her living as a scavenger. She finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic despotic bear that once prowled the corridors of a biotech firm, the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly, and broke free. Made insane by the company’s torture of him, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers.

At first, Borne looks like nothing at all—just a green lump that might be a discard from the Company, which, although severely damaged, is rumored to still make creatures and send them to far-distant places that have not yet suffered collapse.

Borne reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment that she resents: attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick—a special kind of dealer—not to render down Borne as raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.

But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel—and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.

Buy Borne at Amazon

Micromium by David Gittlin

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It was some strong points, but there are some weaknesses too. It may be that the target audience is men, but I'm not totally sure if that is all of it. I wanted to review this book as a possible suggestion to my post-apocalyptic book club, but I don't think it would be a good match. Read my full review. I received this book from the publicist.

The year is 2038. Earth's biosphere is on the brink of destruction from the effects of global warming and pollution. The World Energy Council has awarded a lucrative contract to a major US corporation to mine a precious ore discovered by the first manned mission to land on Mars. One kilo of Micromium can power a large city for a year without environmental side effects. A few grains of the ore can fuel a car for a year or longer. Micromium promises to provide clean energy to a thirsty planet far into the future.

When two people die in a mining accident on Mars, the World Energy Council sends Commander Logan Marchant and a crack team of astronaut specialists to investigate.

Confronted with a lack of cooperation from the mining colonists, the investigation is further complicated by Logan's growing attraction to the team's beautiful and brainy geologist. While tensions and tempers rise, Logan and the audit team make one shocking discovery after another, until the investigation leads them into mortal danger, and ultimately, to a surprising conclusion.

Buy Micromium at Amazon

In audio...

Agent in Place by Mark Greaney

Agent in Place
I've listened to a few books in the Jack Ryan series written by Mark Greaney so when I saw Agent in Place on the list of books for review from Audible I decided to give it a try. I had a little trouble following the plot but it was a great espionage novel. Read my full review.

Court Gentry is back in action. This time he's working on behalf of a well-connected group of Syrian expats to secure the Syrian president's mistress so they can use her to bring down the president's regime. But the expats' plan goes awry when it's discovered the mistress has a baby--the Syrian president's only male heir--hidden away in a Damascus safe house.

Court goes after the baby, a decision that comes at the price of the mistress's life. The expat organization deems the boy now useless to their cause and refuses to protect him against the Syrian first lady and the notorious Swiss assassin in her employ. With no support on the way, Court realizes he'll have to take down the Syrian president himself if he and the boy are going to make it out alive.

Buy Agent in Place at Amazon

Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

SEeing Red
I really enjoyed the suspense plot of this story, but I could have done without the descriptive sex scenes. I listen to audiobooks at work and since I'm in an office by myself I don't wear earphones. It would have been super embarrassing had someone walked in during certain parts of the story. I wish there had been a warning. Otherwise, it was great. I got this from the library.

Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major--even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra's hints that there's more to the story rouse Trapper's interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry--with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra--Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he's going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy--and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

Buy Seeing Red at Amazon

In ebook...

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna
Lisa Scottoline is quickly becoming my go-to author for great suspense. I love her writing and the characters she creates. Read my full review of After Anna. I received an eARC from Netgalley.

Noah Alderman, a doctor and a widower, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie, and for the first time in a long time he and his son are happy. But their lives are turned upside down when Maggie’s daughter Anna moves in with them. Anna is a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble that is brewing. Events take a deadly turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused of the crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her only daughter, but the realization that her daughter's murder was at the hands of a husband she loves. New information sends Maggie searching for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Buy After Anna at Amazon

Brownies & Betrayal by Heather Justesen

Brownies & Betrayal
A really great culinary cozy mystery. I really liked Tess. She had enough quirkiness to be fun without being a total airhead. The ebook is free.

Pastry chef Tess Crawford thought moving from Chicago to quiet Silver Springs, Arizona would simplify her life. That was before she found the body of a woman with whom she had traded heated words the previous night, left her fingerprints on the murder weapon, and came under attack for trying to clear her name. When her cheating ex-fiance shows up, intent on convincing her to come back to work for him, Tess—armed with an extra batch of ├ęclairs—decides to take control and solve the mystery herself, with the help of friends and frenemies alike.

But will that be enough to save her when she gets too close and the killer decides it’s safer to get her out of the way?

Buy Brownies & Betrayal at Amazon

The Beedog by Addie Broussard

The Beedog
I don't read too many children's books, but the publisher sent it along with the tour information. I had a bit time stuck on the couch protecting my dog from the horrible thunderstorm so I pulled it up. It is adorable. If you have kids in the 4 - 8 years of age, you should pick up a copy. Read my full review and enter the giveaway.

While building a unique sandcastle, Cora and Manny spot a rather curious little insect.

Soon, the intrepid scientists keep a watchful eye on the insect’s movements, while learning about the natural environment along the way. A world of discovery awaits little adventurers in this delightful picture book for children aged 4-8.

Buy The Beedog at Amazon

Currently Reading:

In print...

Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives by Sarah Weinman (editor)

Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives
This book of short stories has been on my review shelf for a couple of years. I think it will make a good pool book.

Murderous wives, deranged husbands, deceitful children, and vengeful friends. Few know these characters—and their creators—better than Sarah Weinman. One of today’s preeminent authorities on crime fiction, Weinman asks: Where would bestselling authors like Gillian Flynn, Sue Grafton, or Tana French be without the women writers who came before them?

In Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, Weinman brings together fourteen hair-raising tales by women who—from the 1940s through the mid-1970s—took a scalpel to contemporary society and sliced away to reveal its dark essence. Lovers of crime fiction from any era will welcome this deliciously dark tribute to a largely forgotten generation of women writers.

Buy Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives at Amazon

In ebook...

An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

An Ocean of Minutes
I saw this a week or so ago on another blog and thought it might be a good choice for my post-apocalyptic book club (we meet in July to decide the schedule for the next 11 months). So I ran over to Netgalley to see if they had a galley and they did. And I got approved for it! My review will post on July 10.

America is in the grip of a deadly flu. When Frank gets sick, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him. She agrees to a radical plan—time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way trip into the future to work as a bonded labourer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years.

But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured.

Buy An Ocean of Minutes at Amazon

Since I have 2 books on the go right now, I'm not sure what I will pick up next. Typically it would be an audiobook, but I'll be away from the office at the end of the week so I probably won't start one until July.

What have you read, are reading, or will read?

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. 

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  1. I can see why it might be a little embarrassing to listen to spicy scenes at work. In print, I can just skim over them. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. I skim over those parts too when reading a book. A little harder to do with audio.

  2. The cozy looks good as does An Ocean of Minutes. Both are going onto my wishilst. My weekly updates

    1. The cozy was fun (and its free!) I'm not very far into An Ocean of Minutes, but I'm really liking it.

  3. Yeah spicy sex scenes on audio in an office with no headphones - not for me. I usually skip them anyway, I read for other reasons!

    1. Me too. I've listened to other book by this author and I don't remember their being such descriptive scenes.

  4. Lots of interesting books here...really need to try one of Lisa Scottoline's books.

    1. They really are good. This one reminded me a bit of a Chevy Stevens novel.

  5. I always wear earphones at work just in case!

    1. I don't like earphones. I feel cutoff from what is going on around me. And inevitably I move from my desk forgetting I'm connected.

  6. Great selection of books. I love suspense and mystery novels. Not so much into post-apocalyptic novels, but I read them upon occasion. I'm reading a book on PR for poets right now.

    Hope you have a great week. Thanks for visiting The Book Connection.

    1. I'm finding An Ocena of Minutes interesting because it starts in 80s and there's time travel involved. My book club as a broad definition of post-apocalyptic as we've read some alternate history novels as well.

  7. June really did go fast, didn't it? Nice list of books. I haven't read Sandra Brown in awhile. This sounds good.

  8. I listen to lots of audiobooks on my long commute to and from work but I've never had one that had a sex scene in it. That would be so awkward at work! I think it would be weird for the narrator too lol. I am excited to read An Ocean of Minutes - hope it's good!

    1. I usually listen to thrillers and mysteries, which Seeing Red is a suspense so I wasn't expecting such detailed sex. An Ocean of Minutes is really good.

  9. Several good looking books here! I am tempted by the synopsis of An Ocean Of Minutes

  10. These are books I haven't picked up yet, though adult books aren't usually what I choose to read. I tried to get a copy of Beedog for review, but never did.

    1. That's too bad you didn't get a review copy of Beedog. It is definitely cute.

  11. That science writing workshop sounds really interesting. Hope you enjoyed it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction