Monday, April 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week. 
You might also like to check out my  Friday Finds highlighting new reads I discovered during last week that got added to my TBR (to be read) list over at Goodreads. 

Synopsis here.
This is Mo Hayder's  debut novel, and she introduces Jack Caffery, a detective who will feature in some of her subsequent novels. "Birdman" is the nickname given by the police to a serial killer who has buried five of his victims - five butchered women - in an empty field in London's Greenwich area. 
It's a little creepy and not for the weak of stomach. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of her books.
Jack was not a favourite of mine though, he has really bad taste in women!! Especially the whiny one we meet at the beginning, I mean who could put up with a woman like that?

Clara Callan
From the book jacket:
A finely detailed depiction of the Depression era, Clara Callan is told entirely in the letters and journal entries of two adult sisters, Clara and Nora Callan, and their older lesbian friend, Evelyn. The novel, Wright's ninth, made a surprising sweep of Canada's major awards for best novel--the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award--in 2001. Wright has the gift of making the reader care deeply about these characters and their worlds, which include small town Ontario, where Clara is a sensitive schoolteacher, and New York City, where the younger Nora has moved to become a radio soap opera star. Since both sisters are still "on the shelf," their roller-coaster love lives--Nora's in worldly Manhattan and Clara's in the more restrictive atmosphere of small-town spinsterhood--are a primary subject of their letters and Clara's journal.

This was one of the books I find in my bookcase while looking for a good read. It is not my usual style as I do not really enjoy books in this time period. 
That said, this is a quiet book, studied and well researched, but thoroughly engaging and readable. It is the first book in a while that I have actually had to look up the meanings of some Numerous references to Toronto in the 30s, the pending war gave me a real feeling for that period. Add to that the daily life of two unmarried sisters, one living as a teacher in a small town outside Toronto the other living and working in Manhattan.  It was interesting how confined the small town sister is and how nosy her neighbours are. These women were fiercely independent, and strong. I found them resilient and brave as they faced a range of challenges and disappointments. This is an intimate story -- just three real characters writing to each other and you feel that you know them and would like to sit and have coffee especially with Clara.

The Paris Vendetta (Cotton Malone, #5)
I had a hard time finding a book I wanted to read this week. I went through my bookcase of unread books left from my previous purge, and picked up several to put them down again. A few went to a friend who's workplace is running a book sale. Several went to another friend as I think she will enjoy them.
I've read Steve Berry's series featuring Cotton Malone before and I am enjoying this as it is set in Copenhagen which we will be visiting in May prior to our Danube River cruise.

From the book jacket:
When Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile in 1821, he took to the grave a powerful secret. As general and emperor, he had stolen immeasurable riches from palaces, national treasuries, and even the Knights of Malta and the Vatican. In his final days, his British captors hoped to learn where the loot lay hidden. But he told them nothing, and in his will he made no mention of the treasure. Or did he?

Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone isn't looking for trouble when it comes knocking at his Copenhagen bookshop. Actually, it breaks and enters in the form of an American Secret Service agent with a pair of assassins on his heels. Malone has his doubts about the anxious young man, but narrowly surviving a ferocious firefight convinces him to follow his unexpected new ally.

Their first stop is the secluded estate of Malone's good friend, Henrik Thorvaldsen. The wily Danish tycoon has uncovered the insidious plans of the Paris Club, a cabal of multimillionaires bent on manipulating the global economy. Only by matching wits with a terrorist-for-hire, foiling a catastrophic attack, and plunging into a desperate hunt for Napoleon's legendary lost treasure can Malone hope to avert international financial anarchy.

But Thorvaldsen's real objective is much more personal: to avenge the murder of his son by the larcenous aristocrat at the heart of the conspiracy. Thorvaldsen's vendetta places Malone in an impossible quandary—one that forces him to choose between friend and country, past and present. Starting in Denmark, moving to England, and ending up in the storied streets and cathedrals of Paris, Malone plays a breathless game of duplicity and death, all to claim a prize of untold value. But at what cost?

2012 books read (33 to date):
The Coast Road - John Brady
Still Midnight - Denise Mina
The Bulgari Connection - Fay Weldon
Good Bait - John Harvey
The Heretic's Treasure - Scott Mariani
Dead I Well May Be - Adrian McKinty
The Devil's Elixir - Raymond Khoury
A Darker Domain - Val McDermid
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
GB84 - David Peace
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
Stonehenge Legacy - Sam Christer
Inquisition - Alfredo Colitto ABANDONED!
The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell
Nineteen Seventy-Four - David Peace
Faithful Place - Tana French
Dead Like You - Peter James
Brother and Sister - Joanna Trollope
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton ABANDONED!
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English -Shappi Khorsandi
The Snowman - Jo Nesbo
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo
The Stone Cutter - Camilla Lackberg
Miramar - Naguib Mahfouz
The Gallow's Bird - Camilla Lackberg
Nineteen Seventy- Seven - David Peace
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Millennium People - JG Ballard
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Birdman - Mo Hayder
Clara Callan - Richard B. Wright


  1. Sounds like you find it hard to decide what to read. I don't seem to have that problem - I often HAVE to read books for review, book club, or books that need to go back to the library. When all those are cleared, I usually read that one book that has been starting at me all the time...

    Have a great week!

  2. Birdman appeals to me. The Paris Vendetta also appeals because it is narrated by Scott Brick. Have a great reading week.

  3. Looks like you are doing great so far in 2012! I dont have trouble picking books either.. too many I want to get to :)

  4. The cover for Clara Callan is so striking. I haven't heard of the author before. Isn't it interesting what books and authors cross borders and which don't?

  5. I understand about having trouble picking certain personal books - it usually boils down to "What kind of reading mood am I in?" - but then, I may start one, only to put it down and pick up another!

    I like creepy, so Birdman definitely sounds up my alley!

    Have a wonderful reading week!


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