Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - January 2022 edition

Peers around the doorframe
Is it safe to hope for 2022 yet? I mean 2021 wasn’t the worst year I’ve ever had, but it was … yeah.

Anyway, at the moment I am reading:

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. It’s the last of the Christmas books I picked up this year (I’m sure there’s a few lurking in my Kindle from previous years.)

On audio, I’m nearly done with Murder Aforethought the second Cabrini Law book by Parker St. John. It’s my favorite of the 3 I have read and I needed something to keep my attention on late nite drives home from the airport. (I’m doing Uber these days)

Khadaji was one of the earlier members of SDMB, and he was well-known as a kindly person who always had something encouraging to say, particularly in the self-improvement threads. He was also a voracious, omnivorous reader, who started these threads 'way back in the Stone Age of 2005. Consequently, when he suddenly and quite unexpectedly passed away in January 2013, we decided to rename this thread in his honor and to keep his memory, if not his ghost, alive.

For all you completists: Last month

Just started Nancy Tucker’s The First Day of Spring. In the voice of 8 year old Chrissie, it begins:

I killed a little boy today.

Dude. Okay. You got me. :fishing_pole_and_fish:
I may be sorry, but you got me.

Thanks for starting the new thread, DZNC!

Just had several relaxing days away from home, warming my feet by the fire on a rustic family trip, and got a lot of reading done.

Finished Pat Conroy’s The Lords of Discipline, a coming-of-age novel about four friends, cadets at a Southern military academy obviously inspired by The Citadel, during the Vietnam War. I think this is the third time I’ve read the book. I always enjoy it, but this time it hit me that the bad guys mostly get away with it, and will almost certainly keep doing the bad things the hero wanted to punish them for.

Now reading Churchill: An Illustrated Life by Brenda Ralph Lewis, which is well-illustrated but not breaking any new historical ground on my favorite British statesman.

I zipped through a manga, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories by Gou Tanabe, which was just ok.

I enjoyed Washington National Cathedral, ed. by Anne-Catherine Fallen, a fine guide to the big church.

This might also be of interest: Your Top Ten books of 2021

I was just thinking it was time for that thread!

I treated myself to The Last Gift, a Nobel prize winner written by Abdulrazak Gurnah. Imma crack it open tomorrow. Well, maybe yet tonight.

I’ve got Shari Lapena’s latest thriller release Not A Happy Family ready to go. I’ve read her previous thrillers all within a few days or even in one sitting for the very first book I read of hers. That’s the sign of a great author in this field for me and I find her to be the best thriller writer right now.

I also have the first-hand account by Howard Carter on his discovery of Tutankhamun aptly titled The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Was published in 1923 which was just a year after his discovery. Ancient Egypt is a subject that has always interested me whenever there is a documentary on TV or a new discovery reported in the media but I have to admit to being a little lazy in the sense my knowledge of it is only surface-level stuff because I’ve never gone out of my way to study it properly.

The state of my current book pile:

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel - almost done with this. It’s the rare Booker Prize winner that I don’t hate.

The Dutch Shoe Mystery, Ellery Queen - one last re-read before it’s off my shelf for good (I need to make room for new books)

In Calabria, Peter S. Beagle - a farmer in Italy discovers a pregnant unicorn in his field. Just started this, haven’t gotten to any mayhem ensuing yet.

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, T.J. Stiles - in spite of all the financial talk, I’m really getting into this. It’s interesting to see the origins of the Vanderbilt money.

Among Others, Jo Walton - Welsh fairy tale set in the late 1970s/early 1980s. I haven’t decided what I think of it yet but it’s certainly blowing up Mt. ToBeRead. (The main character’s an avid sci-fi reader and I’m jotting down lots of titles.)

Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals - I’m fond of Byron’s poetry because of his sense of humor and the fact we share a birthday. His private letters are just as good as his public works.

Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey - I just pulled this off the to-read shelf so I haven’t started it yet. I read it once before in grad school and remembered liking it so I’m giving it a chance to earn a permanent place on the bookshelf.

Maybe a third of the way through Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West, by Cormac McCarthy.

Finished Metropolitan Diary: The Best Selections from The New York Times Column , edited by Ron Alexander, which I enjoyed.

Now I’m reading The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H. G. Wells.

Finished The Island of Doctor Moreau , by H. G. Wells. It was much better than I’d expected it to be.

Now I’m reading How to Stop Worrying and Start Living: Time-Tested Methods for Conquering Worry, by Dale Carnegie. (I enjoyed reading my father’s copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People by the same author years ago.)

I’m starting Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen. It’s a teen lgtbtq+ about a gay teen who starts a love advice column… and gets a stalker.

Starting the year off with a re-read, Gwendy’s Button Box, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. It took me maybe forty minutes. Next up, Gwendy’s Magic Feather, by Chizmar, in preparation for the final book of the trilogy coming out in February. The story’s fine and all that, but may I just say, I’m disgruntled at having to shelve this book in my dedicated King bookcase. Disgruntled!

Over the weekend I reread some of Elmore Leonard’s novels. When he stopped writing westerns and began writing crime fiction, his first novel was The Big Bounce with the character Jack Ryan (no relation to the Tom Clancy character). It’s a great book, one I enjoyed rereading. There were two attempts at movies based on the book, but they both sucked.

I followed Jack Ryan’s exploits by rereading Unknown Man #89 which is even better. A great book.

I think I’ll reread Swag next. Some people mistakenly refer to this as the third book in a three book series, however the main character is Frank Ryan, who shares no history whatsoever with Jack Ryan.

I read it when it was first released. Should I reread it before reading Magic Feather?

Actually, you can skim through a summary here if you need a refresher:

Magic Feather will no doubt do a recap anyway.

Heh. 2017. I was going to say I read it ten years ago. Who am I trying to fool, I’ll reread it. :open_book:

I have two audiobooks going right now: True Believer by Kati Marton, nonfiction about a Soviet mole in the U.S. State Department in the Thirties (a little dry), and Stanley Tucci’s Taste, about his lifelong love of food and the culinary arts (a lot of fun, in part because it’s read by the multitalented author).