Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Last 10 Books I've Read

This week's topic is the last 10 books I've read:

1. I'm going to include The Bloodletter's Daughter here since I'm almost finished it.  Set in the early 1600s, this tale intertwines the lives of a local girl (who happens to be the local bloodletter's daughter) and the mad Prince Julio, the illegitamate heir to the Hapsburg throne).  I was interested in reading this because it seemed like an interesting story line and it's also set in Bohemia, which is where some of my DH's ancestors came from.  I've been enjoying this one - it does drag a little bit in places, but the story is interesting enough I'll finish it up. I very much like the opportunity to be exposed to some historical fiction that's NOT US or UK-related.
2. Beautiful Wreck.  I can't say enough good things about this book.  I didn't think it was going to be something I would enjoy, but I have to admit that I rationed out pages so I wouldn't finish it too fast because I didn't want it to end!  The author is a knitter, so in the sections set in circa 900 in the Viking village, there's some spinning and wool preparation going on.  The book has a bit of time-travel, a bit romance, and a kick-butt heroine (although really... read it to the final few chapters and our heroine really comes into her own - I loved that!).  It also has some nods to horse-y things, which made it just that much better a book for me.
3, 4, 5, 6. Raven Black,  White Nights, Red Bones,  Blue Lightning.  Books 1-4 of the Shetland mystery series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez.   I loved this series.  Each one of them can be a stand-alone, but really.... read them in order - I think they are best that way.  I do read a lot of mysteries, but I'll state emphatically I did NOT see the final scene coming in book #4.  I love it when the ending can still surprise me.  These are well thought-out plots, interesting characters, and a bit of Shetland birding, archeaology and crafting (as well as crofting) thrown in for some local color development.  The local islands shape and influence the mysteries for the books in these series - well worth a read if you like British mysteries.
7. Lady of Devices. A fun, lighthearted steampunk romp.  Nothing too cerebral here, but a quick read perfect for vacaation mind candy.
8.  The Opening Night Murder. A historical murder mystery, set during the Restoration period.  I was prepared to really like this one, but found it somewhat slow and a bit formulaic for my tastes.
9. City of Dark Magic. This book doesn't really fit easily into any one genre.  It's got some intrigue and mystery, and some fantasy and fantastical, and some historic fiction all rolled into one.  I had a hard time getting into this one.  It took me about 75 or 80 pages to finally pull things together in my head so I could follow along a little more easily.  Once past that tho, it's a fun story and interesting one to wrap your brain around with all kinds of red herrings and mystical sorts of concepts.
10. The Stationmaster's Farewell.     Set in the mid-19th century in the UK, another historical mystery.  This is #9 in the series and it held up pretty well despite the fact I hadn't read books 1 thru 8.  (Although I do think having had a bit of the back story for some of the supporting characters probably would have been helpful to flesh out things a bit for me.)  Entertaining, a quick read, another good long weekend/vacation read when you need some mind candy.

Tour de Fleece - Week 2

I'm pretty happy with my progress for the Tour so far this year!  I've been trying to have a goal of 15 minutes of spinning a day, o...