Wednesday, November 16, 2016

October Reads in Review, 2016

I'm a bit late getting around to my October summary as I expected to write the last three remaining reviews before posting about the entire month. Since I still haven't gotten around to them and all three of the titles I haven't reviewed were from my personal shelves, I think a paragraph each will suffice. Links are provided (via title) for the three reviews I did get around to writing: A Most Extraordinary Pursuit, Carrying Albert Home, and Killfile.


87. A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray - When the man who has inherited a Duchy goes missing, the personal secretary to the former Duke of Olympia goes in search of him, with help from the dashing Lord Silverton. Ghosts, mythology, archeology, seasickness, and even a little paranormal aspect made A Most Extraordinary Pursuit engaging and adventurous but a little over-the-top. The ending was not particularly satisfying. First in a series.

88. Landfall by Nevil Shute - During WWII, a pilot is sent on a reconnaissance mission and bombs what he believes to be a German submarine. Upon his return to base, though, he finds that a British sub has gone missing and articles of British naval clothing have been recovered from the precise location of the sub that he bombed. Is he guilty of friendly fire or did Jerry correctly spot and destroy a German craft? Plenty of tension is interspersed with a sweet romance and a few scenes that drag a bit. Overall, I absolutely loved Landfall.

89. Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam - Not so much a tall tale as a series of tall tales based on a family legend, Hickam tells about a road trip his parents made to return a pet alligator named Albert to his Florida home. I thought the book was a bit too long and certain incidents, while humorous, pushed my ability to suspend disbelief a bit too far. So, I found Carrying Albert Home only an average read.

90. Little Bee by Chris Cleave - The gut-wrenching tale of an affair, a broken marriage, a suicide, and a young woman's escape from danger in Africa, only to end up living in a detention center for two years and then . . . well, that's a spoiler. Little Bee was an F2F discussion book and the conversation was excellent; it's definitely great for discussion. But, I found the book too heartbreaking to love.

91. Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth - A former military man and telepath sells his services to the wealthy. But, when he's asked to retrieve information and wipe it from an entrepreneur's brain, things go horribly wrong. He and sidekick Kelsey find themselves being pursued by a man who can track their every move. A thriller that's nicely balanced, cinematically written (easy to visualize on-screen), with a touch of romance.

92. Spring Torrents by Ivan Turgenev - My classic choice of the month, the bittersweet story of a young Russian man who falls in love while on a European tour. But, when he's caught under the spell of a siren-like married woman, will he escape from her in time to return to his beloved? Well, you can guess from the use of the word "bittersweet". I liked Spring Torrents but it's probably not a book I'll reread.

Favorites of the month were Landfall and Killfile. I also enjoyed (but didn't fall in love with) Spring Torrents and A Most Extraordinary Pursuit. Little Bee and Carrying Albert Home were my least favorites, although it seems a bit harsh to pair Carrying Albert Home - a book crammed with humor and adventure, if a bit overlong and hard to buy into - with Little Bee, a book so depressing I had to force myself to finish.

Not a great month, either for quantity or quality, but my two favorites were both excellent and the only book I kind of wish I could have avoided is Little Bee, which turned out to be one of those rare books I can't wait to get rid of.

©2016 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I am glad I got rid of Little Bee in a purge!

    1. Yep. I held onto mine just long enough to take a picture of this month's stack. Out the door it goes. And, I'll be happy about it.

  2. Now I'm terrified to read Little Bee. Should I just skip it?

    1. I would advise skipping it. I thought it was very upsetting - and, a friend noted a few weaknesses of the plotting, which I missed. I think they didn't bother me because I was too busy being depressed by the story.

  3. I thought it was an outstanding novel, but yes, it is depressing. I gave it a 4.5/5 rating. My review is here.

    1. I don't remember how I rated Little Bee but I agree, I thought it was nicely written.


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