Sunday, August 01, 2021

July 2021 Additions to My Digital Security Blanket


July seems to be a month in which I let temptation take me wherever it wanted to go. There seemed to be lots of special pricing, and my newfound (but not yet out of control) fondness for audiobooks had me on the lookout for deals. You would think that this means I've let physical books fall by the wayside, but I've been ploughing through them, too. Summer has always been my time to gorge on books. I don't know why, but I'm not about to fight it.

I've grouped all my acquisitions from last month by their genres/subgenres, and if you click on the title of a book, you'll be taken to Amazon US where you can learn more about it.
It's time to see what I couldn't resist!
=== Historical Mysteries ===
AUDIO: Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen, set in the 1930s French Riviera. This is the fifth book in the Lady Georgie series, which I've been enjoying, and I thought I'd give the audiobook version a try.
Time & Tide by Shirley McKay is set in Scotland, Belgium, and the Netherlands in the sixteenth century, and the synopsis intrigued me.

=== Science Fiction ===

AUDIO: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is set in outer space. I had a so-so reaction to The Martian when I read it, but I noticed that most of the readers who raved about it listened to the audiobook version. I'm listening to this right now, and the audiobook version does make all the difference. Unless something unforeseen happens, this will be on my Best Reads of 2021 list.

=== Historical Fiction ===

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin is set in England during World War II. I have a weakness for World War II and bookshops.

=== Memoirs ===

AUDIO: The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek. When I learned that the audiobook version was read, not just by Ken Jennings but also by Alex himself, I had to get it. I've loved Trebek's voice for decades. And I miss him. Read my review.
=== Private Investigator ===
AUDIO: A Quiet Death in Italy by Tom Benjamin is set in Bologna, Italy and is the first in a new-to-me series that intrigued me. This audiobook represents a real mystery. It hasn't been released here yet, and audiobook isn't listed as an option at either the Amazon US or Amazon UK websites, but I bought it from Chirp, and I've listened to part of it, so it is a real audiobook. Hmm...

=== Police Procedurals ===

The Barrakee Mystery by Arthur W. Upfield, written in 1929 and set in Australia, this is the first Inspector "Bony" Bonaparte mystery. This is a series that frequently appears on "Best of" lists, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Nail's Crossing by Kris Lackey is the first Maytubby & Bond mystery set in Oklahoma. I have a weakness for mysteries that have strong Native American themes and characters, so when I saw this one, I couldn't resist.

Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard is the first Inspector Beeslaar mystery set in South Africa. If I'm not mistaken, this series was recommended by someone after reading one of my Celebrating Mysteries posts. Thank you!

The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri is an Inspector Montalbano mystery set in Sicily. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this on sale. It's true: there's a first time for everything!

AUDIO: Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly is a Harry Bosch mystery set in Los Angeles. I had such a fantastic reaction listening to The Wrong Side of Goodbye that you knew I'd have to get the audiobook version of the next book in the series.

Overkill by Vanda Symon is the first Sam Shephard mystery set in New Zealand. This was another recommendation from my Celebrating Mysteries post. Thank you!

=== Thrillers ===

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore is set in Texas, and its synopsis is what won me over.

AUDIO: The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day is set in Indiana and Illinois. I keep hearing about how good this author is, and the synopsis persuaded me that I needed to listen to this book to find out if I agreed.

=== Fiction ===

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is a contemporary novella set in Japan. Sam Sattler of Book Chase convinced me that I needed to read it, and I posted my review last week. (He was right.)

=== Serial Fiction ===

Dead Woman Driving: Episode 7: The Last Death by Sue Ann Jaffarian is set in Missouri. I rated this one three stars on Goodreads. I've been enjoying Kate's adventures in her RV. Jaffarian retired and is now traveling the country in her own RV and writing as she goes.

=== Non-Fiction ===

The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us by Alison Lurie. I've walked into houses that have spoken to me, so I wanted to find out what Lurie has to say about the subject.

=== Short Story Anthologies ===

These three additions because I have acquired a taste for Akashic's excellent series of mystery anthologies set in places all over the world.

Belfast Noir edited by Adrian McKinty & Stuart Neville.
Prague Noir edited by Pavel Mandys.
Tel Aviv Noir edited by Etgar Keret & Assaf Gavron.
Since I've already dived right in, I know I have some very good reading here, and I can't wait to savor more from this list. Did I tempt you with any of these books? Which ones? Have you already read any of them? Which ones? You know that inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. You have some great additions, Cathy! I've heard from a few people that Alex Trebek's memoir is great; I really hope you'll enjoy that (I had a lot of respect for him!). And delighted to see you have the first of Vanda Symon's series. I think she's a really talented author, and there's a strong sense of New Zealand in her work. Hope you'll love it!

    1. I'm really looking forward to reading Symon's book, Margot. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. The Last Bookshop in London is one I really want to read. :)

    1. You have the same fondness for bookshops and WWII? :-)

  3. I loved the Last Bookshop in London. I have also read Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day and really liked it, although I have not read any others by her. I have heard so many good things about Hail Mary that I may have to give a try one of these days. You really picked up some good things in July!

    1. I haven't heard anyone say a bad word about The Last Bookshop in London. If you do give Project Hail Mary a try, I would strongly suggest the audiobook version.

  4. I really enjoyed Project Hail Mary, but it is the only one I've read and there are so many here to choose from!

    1. It's easy for readers like us to be spoiled for choice, isn't it? ;-)

  5. Wow, that's quite a haul for one month, Cathy. I've read a couple of those myself, but most of them are new titles to me.

    I've never tried one of the Akashic noir collections via audiobook and I wonder how that would compare to the reading experience...and if they use multiple readers or not. Of the ones you mention here, I've read Belfast noir only.

    1. I've wondered the same thing about Akashic Noir audiobooks. I may have to give one a try. If nothing else, it should help me with pronunciation of various words!

  6. I loved reading The Martian, so I'm delighted to see your positive reaction to Project Hail Mary, which is a far future read for me right now. As a trade of sorts, I'll say that Valentine sparked plenty of good discussion when my book group read it last year, with all of us favorably inclined toward more from the same author.

    Now you'll have to excuse me so I can go check out the first three titles you listed under Procedurals :)

    1. You can't beat a good police procedural. ;-)

  7. Omigod. I'm so far behind. You put up a recent list of new releases and you're putting up book reviewes at the pace of a race horse. And I can't keep up. (sigh)

    I did read Valentine and highly recommend it. I liked the characters and the feel for the period of the 1970s and sense of place in West Texas during the oil boom.

    I keep waiting for Elizabeth Wetmore to write more books.

    Two Kinds of Truth is a good one.

    I want to read Convenience Store Woman.

    And the book set in Bologna is interesting. Bologna was a site of tremendous resistance in WWII and any book set there intrigues me.

    1. One of the things that appealed to me about A Quiet Death in Italy was its setting. I didn't remember seeing another mystery set in Bologna.

      I'm liking the feedback I'm getting about Valentine.

  8. Everyone has said good things about Project Hail Mary so I should request that one. I just got an email last night that my hold came in for King's new book, Billy Summers so I jumped on that today.

  9. WE are spoilt for choice. True. I can't even keep up with my lists. But this blog is always up for consultation.

  10. You should do a post on where you purchase lower cost audiobooks. I have used Chirp and have gotten some good deals there. Also Amazon and Any others you can recommend?

    1. You and I seem to visit the same places for our audiobooks. I've mentioned Chirp in a previous post, and I've also mentioned where I find cheap eBooks, but I've never done one post on the subject. Thanks for the suggestion!


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