Today is Memorial Day. One of my fellow foxes reminded us that the holiday is meant to honor our veterans who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. I’m fortunate in that the two veterans in my immediate family lived through the horror of war. They didn’t lose their lives, but they sacrificed in other ways, physically and emotionally. Both were avid readers, and I’d like to think I inherited my love of books from them.
I remember going to the second hand bookstore with my dad (he’s the one seated in the picture), where he’d fill grocery sacks full of paperbacks. He’d consume them all in short order and return them (for a small credit) and get another bag full. He loved suspense, adventure, and mystery. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Isaac Asimov, and Ian Fleming were among his favorite authors.
Dad’s brother, my Uncle Jim (standing), was also an avid reader. According to his daughter Diana, he loved spy novels, especially those by Ian Fleming. He always ordered the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and read them through. He also read magazines, and kept up on current events and issues.
Both men made time in their busy lives to read. So in memory of Dad and Uncle Jim, I’m listing the five books I read since last month. Click on the book covers to view them on Amazon:
The Case of the Meddling Mama by Diane Burton.
This is the third in Diane Burton’s Alex O’Hara mystery series. Alexandra is a PI who works on seemingly boring cases, but unwittingly uncovers bigger and more dangerous mysteries in the process. She lives in a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan, so it was like reading about places I know well. I loved the first two books in this series and knew I was in for a treat with this one, too. Diane was my guest here at 4F1H back in September of 2015 when she told us about the first book in this series. She is a fellow member of the Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America.
Unrequited by Elle Clouse.
I was never a fan of steampunk romance until I started reading Elle’s books. Kaliope James is an opera singer and Axel the Black is a notorious pirate. This is the first in a series, and is very short, but there was enough that I came to care about the characters, and when I finished this story I immediately downloaded the next one. Elle is a fellow member of the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group, and she was my guest here last August when she released the third book in this series. You can read that interview HERE.
Requited by Elle Clouse.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the same two main characters, Kaliope and Axel, from Unrequited. In fact, it’s the same story, this time told from the hero’s point of view! All the same events, but described with a different frame of reference. The best part for me was finding out how and why the seemingly impossible ending took place. Again, this is a very nice short story, though I noted more editing errors in this one.
Game of Love by Ara Grigorian.
Ara was my guest here a few weeks ago. Game of Love is his first novel, and it’s a fascinating look at the world of professional tennis. Gemma and Alex are both trapped in lives where every move is watched, every decision questioned, and there is no time for romance. But their relationship gives each of them the courage to deal with these restrictions. There’s a lot of action and suspense as well as the romance. It’s a great read, well deserving of its many awards!
Fate’s Fortune by Laurie Carroll.
Laurie is another fellow member of my RWA chapter. I remember her reading an excerpt of this story long ago, when the chapter held a critique session. Set in 18th Century England, this book contains lots of action and adventure. Both Meghan and Hugh have suffered greatly and are out for revenge. They’re both after the same man, but neither is willing to trust the other enough to work together. This is a great story, set in a time I don’t often read about. If you’re a history fan like me, you’ll love the attention to historical detail.
Goodreads says that I’m about four books behind if I’m going to finish reading fifty books by the end of the year. I’m not worried – yet. I’ll just have to sleep a little less.
As I was growing up, the men in my family were also drawn to Fleming’s James Bond novels. As soon as they appeared (in the U.S.) in paperback, my dad bought them. [At that time, many paperbacks were still about 35 cents each, BTW].
Dad read them, my big brother read them, and I — in 8th & 9th grades — read them avidly.
In fact, as a going away present (we relocated to Iowa for my dad’s new job), my friends in Louisiana gave me a complete set of the Bond paperbacks.
Another very nice selection of reads for this past month. Of the ones listed, I believe my favorite (to read first) would be Fate’s Fortune by Laurie Carroll.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I guess we both inherited our love or reading from our dads! I remember the 35 cent price tag on the paperbacks. I’m sure you would enjoy Fate’s Fortune – and Laurie would be honored if you read it!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Not only reading. My brother and I — both published authors — believe we got much of our interest in writing from our father. He wrote novels, plays, poems, short stories and many other things.
My father was an electrical engineer who, I was told, was extremely good at anything electronic.He fixed many ‘unfixable’ things, and he was often clamored -over when it came to jobs.He was no nerd, though. He was interested in many things but he wasn’t much of a reader. Certainly not novels. (He liked movies and when he retired, he truly enjoyed detective shows on TV.) He could not serve in the military, but was instrumental in “the war effort” of WWII. Maybe for Vertan’s Day I’ll roll out the story again.
My mother was the reader in the family who read ‘serious’ novels and knew all the best poems of the most popular Romantics. (Legend had it that had I been a boy, I may have been named “Keat”).
I’ll say it again, Patty: your dad and uncle were some fine-looking men!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Your father was probably great at deciphering charts and diagrams, and that’s something I find challenging. It’s just a different way of getting information.
Keat would have been an interesting name! I would have been Patrick.