In the November 2022 newsletter, I asked readers what was the last book they read, and how was it?

Here were the responses:

Barb: I am reading A Land Remembered by Patrick D Smith and enjoying it a great deal. He has also written many other books which I plan to read!

Benicia: I am always reading/listening to several books at once. The one I finished recently that I want to mention is Murder by Deception by D. R. Meredith. I read the whole John Lloyd Branson series years ago, but I decided to listen to them on audio. I had forgotten how witty they are. I remembered certain scenes, but I had forgotten so much. I am enjoying them tremendously.

Linda: In a small town in Upstate NY….I loved the Dick and Jane books and still have them.Today I am very much into the incredible research in Peter May’s books…I one, I felt like I finished with a PhD in wine culture, then an authority on the MonaLisa and now am inChina. Super books when you are into interesting cultures.

Chris: Hi Graeme-it sounds like you’ve had a very eventful month! I hope both you and your cat are doing much better. The book I just finished is “The madness of crowds” by Louise Penny. I really liked it and was especially drawn in by the well-developed characters and their interactions with each other. While the hunt is on for a killer in the small village of Three Pines, the inspector also has to deal with departmental politics, family dynamics and the effects of the pandemic. A wonderful book.

Rob: I’m in the middle of Patriot Games and just finished the andromeda strain. Great authors but both books suffer from the same malady, taking too long to build the story, end up skipping chapters at a time. Despite enjoying the books. Considering reading The Hunt for Red October but not sure I want to wade through hours of listening while he slowly builds the story.

It’s fun listening to books written 20-30 years ago to see how much technology has transformed our lives.

Now retired have a lot more time to listen to books (audible is a great value for the money) but the challenge is finding authors that keep you engaged.

Martina: I am reading the Hercule Poirot mysteries in order, and I just finished the ABC Murders. What a fantastic mystery! Hercule Poirot is tested like never before, and only by using his “little grey cells” does he solve the murders!! There are a few suspects, but the killer turns out to be someone you least expect! Kept me guessing until the end!
I had only ever read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie previously, and I’m very glad I decided to read through all of her works! I’ll be sad when I’m finished

Laura: The Last Roman Book one Exile by B K. Greenwood
What a great read,absolutely hooked. Circa 37 AS Imperial officer leads men into battle as part of the 9th Roman Legion,he knows he won’t survive.,however waking up 3days latet..He does time again and again. over the course of2000 years.Warning it book one of a trilogy. Don’t want to spoil anything ,but there is chased and people trying to bring the world crashing to its end.

Christine: I just finished the Audiobook, Fairy Tale by Stephen King last night — perfect read for around Halloween and then hours before the Lunear Eclipse (which was beautiful and otherwordly)! I picked up two books at the library a few weeks ago and the librarian comments, okay, I know you read these books (Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks), but this Stephen King one? I said I know, it’s not my typical read, but I have watched some of his movies and read one other of his books years ago, but this one sounded pretty neat, and it was! I really enjoyed it, and the guy that read it was perfect for the read! It was your good versus evil with this young hero literally going down the rabbit hole so to speak and encountering a twisted Fairy Tale(s). It was great listening to it while putting together a Halloween themed puzzle and then at nights around this spooky time of year. Highly recommend it.

P.S. I definitely want to read that David Ellis book, Look Closer, that you recommend — actually I have read a couple by him because I recognize the name of the co-author with James Patterson — speaking of which, I listened to his audiobook, James Patterson by James Patterson, last month & read by James Patterson and it was really interesting and good. Patterson seems like such a nice guy, and funny, but he has yet to become buddy, buddy with Stephen King – HA! Also looking forward to this latest Michael Connelly book.

Regina: The last book I read was EMP by Wilson Harp. I enjoyed it! Just for clarification the initials stand for Electromagnetic Pulse. In this book it’s caused by a large solar flare that knocks out all the power and everything electrical whether it was turned on at the time or not. Only really old electronics made back in the 50’s or earlier still work.
Any way, this story focuses on a man visiting his elderly parents in a small town in the mid-west when the EMP strikes. His wife & daughter are back in Chicago and he can’t communicate with them.
This is a two book series. I haven’t read the second book yet but it deals with him finally trying to get back to Chicago after several months spent at his parents.
What I liked about the book compared to a lot of post apocalyptic stories is that it conveys some hope that the whole human race aren’t savages. There are scary things that happen but this particular little town is managing to hold it together despite what seems like a hopeless situation. The main character learns and grows a lot during the crisis until he feels like he is ready and able to face trying to get back to Chicago. That is what the second book is about and I definitely plan on reading it!

Walt: “The Color of Lightning” by Paulette Jiles, author of “News of the World” made into a movie by Tom Hanks. Lightning is even better than News, although it is a contemporary piece. It’s about a Black freeman and his family who leave Kentucky during the Civil War and relocate to Northern Texas, along with others, to establish their own property and businesses. It’s at the peak of the raids by Comanche and other tribes, and the historical writing by Jiles is incredible. Tribal life and customs, captives held by the tribes, Quaker attempts to operate Reservations, relationships between the Black settlers and their neighbors all make for terrific reading. The main character even runs across Capt. Kidd from “News”.

Jon: The last book I read (just finished last night) was Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz. It is the 7th book in the Orphan
X series. A good book that I really enjoyed. I have enjoyed all of the Orphan books, with one exception and, sorry, but I cannot remember which one. It was the third or fourth. Overall, a good series.

Donna: My last book that I read is The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths. I love this series as it has Ruth Galloway, an archeologist and university of Norfolk lecturer who finds bodies, some ancient, some more recent. Her circle of friends and her on again/off again relationship with Harry Nelson, the Detective in the case keeps your interest. She has a child with himbut he is married. This line of story is almost as compelling as the mystery of the murders that show up. Griffiths is a very good writer and I enjoy her books and this series very much.

Judy: Last book read was The Forest of Vanishing Stars, about WW2 and Jewish citizens and partisans escaping Hitler’s army by living ( and constantly moving) in the forests for 2 years!
Reading this prompted me to watch the movie Defiance and borrow that book as well. Amazing courage and fortitude!

Donna: Last book I read is actually two books. I have books all over my house from different authors and genres. The bathroom book was Doll Bones by Holly Black. Bedroom book was The Very Best Of The Best: 35 Years Of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois.

Cathi: The last book that I read was “Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw” by D.A. Mucci. It’s the first in the Ignatius series and was given to me by a friend who said that it was akin to Harry Potter. I really had no expectations as it is a YA fantasy….but, I found myself immersed in the World of Skye, its twists and turns, good and evil, and an unlikely hero! It’s an action adventure with intriguing characters and a unique frightening fantasy world. I’m actually looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

David: The last book i read was Brothers O’Brien Books 1-6 by JA Johnstone.
It was violent, cruel, bloody, finatical, maniacal, ruthless.
JA has the knack for Westerns.

Sven: Last book I read was John Sandford’s Righteous Prey. Good to see Lucas teamed up with Virgil again. Currently Reading an old Stephen Hunter, Tapestry of Spies!

Raley: Latest book, Baldacci’s “620 Man”. So so. Baldacci should stick to established char.

Louise: Although I’m not a fan of memoir style books, I recently chose to listen to the audio version of Dinners with Ruth, by Nina Totenberg. I was pleasantly surprised by a beautifully told story of major life events of the author mixed with stories of her friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsberg. One thing that increased my enjoyment of the book greatly was that the author read her own story which made it easy to know just what kind of emotions she meant us to hear.

Stuart: Latest book read: Hatchet Island by Paul Doiron. Latest in the Mike Bowditch (Maine Game Warden) series. Love the series….VERY disappointed in this latest book….

Phoenix: The last book I read was The Birdcage Murders by Karen Baugh Menuhin. The time period is the 1920s and the protagonist is an upper-crust ex-flying ace, complete with a butler, a delightful dog, and a cat. He’s not really a detective, but he gets sucked into detecting anyway. Her books are always great fun for those of us who enjoy cozy mysteries.

I’m currently reading The House on the Hill by Irina Shapiro. Sort of a ghost story which I’m enjoying very much. Perfect for this time of year. I keep a list of the books I’ve read, and The House on the Hill is my 46th book so far this year.

I tend to devour entire series all in one chunk, and this year was no exception. I’ve read all of the Alison Weir accounts of King Henry VIII wives, for example. Many of the Cadfael novels. Quite a few of the Irina Shapiro novels, and all of the Sister Joan novels by Veronica Black. I reread the Lord of the Rings series. And anytime a book by Joyce Lionares comes out I snag it immediately. Somewhere along the line I stumbled across “Glimpses of Life in Africa” by Mrs. Anna M. Scott, an Episcopal missionary, published in 1862.

I think I have an Agatha Christie novel waiting in my Kindle when I’m finished with The House on the Hill, so I’d better get to reading!

Pat: I just finished Murder At An Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor it’s a bit different than my usual mysteries but I needed something a bit lighter while my husband was in the hospital. It’s a cozy mystery vs. a thriller and for it’s genre it was good. At least I enjoyed it.

Ly: Satellite Love by Genki Ferguson
A lonely, bullied Japanese teenager seeks friendship with an orbiting satellite and the new boy in school. Awkward and without any support at home, she devises a wild scheme to improve her life. As she struggles to put her plan into motion, her connection with reality begins to spin out of control. I would say this book is a “trepidatious page-turner”; you really want to know what happens next, but at the same time, you really don’t want to know what happens next.
This book was recommended by a friend. The friend was in a book store in Vancouver, and asked for the salesperson’s recommendation. She replied, “Why don’t you buy the book that was written by the man who works here?” She did.

Linda: Great newsletter again.. The last book that I read was “The Whisper Man” by Alex North. What a great book. Thrilling mystery. It had a surprising ending. I loved it . 5 stars for sure. I loved it so much, that I quickly went to “The Shadows” by Alex North. Still reading, so can’t give a review yet, but looks like it will be good, too. Easy question this month. Happy November.

Kathryn: Though I usually have a book in both hands this time of year, I just finished reading Debbie Macomber’s Dear Santa. I look forward to her Christmas book each year, and even though you know there’ll be a happy ending, it’s the getting there that’s the fun part of reading her books. Plus anything with Santa in it has to be good!

Kat: this isnt a series but i just finished
One Mistake by Rona Halsall

Author of Love You Gone, One Mistake, and The Honeymoon
it was really good, i didnt want to go to bed without finishing it! i got it as a free ebook . too bad my library doesnt have any by this author , i would read another one and i usually dont read books that dont take place in USA, its in england

Katy: Fascinating book I’m reading:
Fly Girl: A Memoir, by Ann Hood
All about what it was like to become a stewardess in the 70s – all they had to learn, and all they had to put up with! Then what it is like to be a ‘flight attendant’ now and the changes that have been made to the industry.

Jessica: The last book I read was a novella called The Gravity Engine by Kylie Chan. It is a novella that is part of a martial arts fantasy book series written by her. I liked it a little bit. I would have changed the ending a little bit so that they would get inside Michael’s memories to get the blueprints of the gravity machine. The last actual novel I read was Black Jade by Kylie Chan. It was the last book of the martial arts fantasy book series. I really liked it. I didn’t like that a lot of people died in it though. I originally thought my boyfriend would like the book series since he loves martial arts. I decided to read the books first, but when I mentioned them to him, he said he wouldn’t like them. I ended up loving the series anyway. I even started learning Chinese.

Right now I’m reading her space dragon book series and I’m not really liking it so far. I doubt I will read the other two books. By the way, I get my ebooks and my audiobooks from my library through overdrive. They all are free. I download the midi files so I can keep the files longer than the library allows me to have them. If this book ends really badly then I will get the latest Steve Berry audiobook and the first ebook of The Game of Thrones.

Janice: I just read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, a novel by Gabrielle Zevin-and it is outstanding. It’s set in the world of online game developers, and I’ve never ever played one, but it opened my eyes to the creativity, knowledge and hard work that goes into crafting them, and the depth of purpose, the life philosophy, that a game can communicate as well as literature does. This novel is also an unusual love story, unfolding across decades-and along the way, a reliving of the cultural and technological changes we’ve seen. This is one of those rare books that is dead serious, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, relevant, hopeful and also FUN!

AJ: The last book I read was Long Shadows, the latest Amos Decker novel by David Baldacci. It was fantastic, the character development has been slow but steady and this one really pulls Amos out of his comfort zone and he really starts to open up more and rejoins the world a little more. It also introduces a new partner that I already like. The mystery was fantastic also – never could have guessed until the end and then very satisfying. Loved everything about this book.

Debbi: Currently reading two books, An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson during lunch. One of the ladies in my book club has been kind enough to loan me the series, I’m quite enjoying it, although it’s amazing how many times Craig comes close to death and yet survives. I’m also reading Under One Roof by Samantha Tonge in the evenings. Story of a mother/daughter troubled relationship aided by granddaughter and discovering the past that makes them who they are. I know this was supposed to be the last book I read, but I’m just about finished with both, so felt that was close enough.

Deborah: I just finished the book “Brilliance” by Maurice Sakey. I’ve had it on my bookshelf for a while and finally decided to read it. Oh my gosh, am I glad I did! This book is so fast paced and exciting I couldn’t put it down. The premise is back in the 80’s there were people who started being born that had special gifts; to name a few, they were over-the-top intelligent, they could read people like a book and anticipate their every move, or they were so brilliant at math and finance that they became billionaires to the extent that the stock market had to be changed because it was too easy for them. They became known as “Brilliants.” Because of this, a special organization was formed to keep the Brilliants in check, for fear they would take over the Country. One of the Brilliants was a multi-billionaire; he purchased a large area in the middle of the U.S. that was for only for Brilliants to live, so that they could live in relative peace and not be constantly watched and investigated. The leader of the Brilliants, who has become known to the normal world as a terrorist lives in this community. The story is about a man who is a Brilliant, but works for a special government organization which is similar to the CIA. He infiltrates the Briliants, planning to kill the leader, but things drastically change. It is clever and well written and the action never stops. There are two more books in this series and I have already ordered both of them!

Jan: I loved “lessons in chemistry “
By Bonnie garmus
My sister will get it for her birthday
And I’m hoping she’ll give it back to me
It is laugh out loud book for people who
Don’t laugh out loud.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Last Book You Read

2 Responses to “Reader Mailbag: Last Book You Read”

  1. Ramesh: 1 year ago

    I am reading “thief” by Mark sullivan. The first 70 pages were so engrossing, that I immediately downloaded all his other books.His style of writing ,the amount of research he puts into his writing, and the easy felicity of words,reminds you of Tom Clancy,30 years ago.
    I try to read 700 to 800 books a year.As the year draws to a close,there a few books that stand out amidst the deluge…..let me not be listless,and instead list them.
    1.undermoney-Jay Newman
    2.never-Ken Follet
    3.hunting ⌚ Jeffery Deaver


    • Graeme: 1 year ago

      Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

      All responses will be listed in the January 2023 newsletter or on the website. Five random contributors will win a $25 gift certificate for Amazon as well – good luck! They’ll be e-mailed just before the newsletter is released and mentioned in the newsletter.

      Love what you wrote about Mark Sullivan. I know that feeling of buying the rest of an authors books before you are even finished the first one ha.



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