As much as I love my Kindle, I still love wandering through used bookstores.
Mom and I found Jill Churchill’s Jane Jeffry mystery series at one of my favorite used book stores; Books Galore in Festus, MO. If you live in our area, be sure to stop in and check out their great collection of books.
After being snowed in last winter (before we got our Kindles), Mom and I made a trip to the book store and stocked up. I flipped through a couple pages of these books and they sounded pretty good…. so we bought every one in the series.
I like fluffy mystery books. Nothing too serious. If I open a mystery and it stars a retired detective or journalist it goes right back on the shelf. I like the kind of mystery that the murder wasn’t a huge tragedy, you don’t really miss the victim and the murderer wasn’t very likable either. Fluff.
The Jane Jeffry series is a pretty good, fluffy set of mysteries. The characters aren’t as enjoyable as Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow mysteries, but the main characters, Jane & Shelly are fun. They are also reasonably bright… I hate when the killer is so obvious and the main character is too dumb to figure it out. I can’t quite figure out how old Jane and Shelly are supposed to be…. Given the age of their kids, I’d put them in their mid to late 30’s… but they talk like old ladies.
If you are looking for a pleasant read that doesn’t tax your brain or emotions, this is a good series. These are not available on the Kindle, so you will have to find them in print somewhere. Don’t pay full price… they’re not that good, but if you find them at a bookstore or yard-sale grab ’em up!
The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir
I LOVED this book. This is probably one of the best books that I have read in a long time. I’m a pretty voracious reader (see? I know words like voracious!)… I’ll read most anything…. and lately it seems like I have read most everything. I know the plot, I’ve read this idea before…. I know where the author is going….. It really takes something different to appeal to me lately.
I heard about this book while listening to a Tech podcast (This Week in Tech)… and it just sounded good. This is why I love having a Kindle…here I am listening to this podcast, putting on my makeup to go to work and they start talking about a book that sounds good. I grab my phone, tap the Amazon app and WOOSH!… I have a new book! I don’t have to write it down or remember to look for it next week when I go to the store… Its on my Kindle… NOW!
The first line in the book: “I’m pretty much F***ed.” How’s that for a start, right? So.. these astronauts go to Mars to Explore Strange New Worlds and all that and on the sixth day of their mission this huge storm comes up and NASA tells them to come home (I’d be so ticked if I flew all the way to Mars and had to come home because of a storm!). On the way from their astronaut house (HAB) back to the rocket-ship (I forgot the name..) one astronaut (our main character) gets struck by something and his suit malfunctions…. and the other astronauts think he’s dead…. and they leave… without him. Good news: he wasn’t dead! Bad news: he’s alone on Mars. Worse news: the thing that hit him and knocked him out…. that was the radio antenna…. he can’t call to NASA. So he is alone… On Mars…. For six years until the next mission is scheduled to arrive.
I have to tell you, I was dying to get home and read this book. I sat up late… took longer lunch breaks… I couldn’t put it down. I loved the character. I love the story… I love the writing. I got totally sucked into this book. It is funny and scary (Not space-monsters-scary. All-alone-on-Mars-scary.) and chew-on-your-nails suspenseful.
The “science” and “believability” are pretty good… I hate when books ask you to overlook huge flaws in believability. I’m not an astronaut, but I never found myself saying “oh, bulls**t, that couldn’t happen” about anything… so for us non-astronaut/reasonably intelligent readers the whole thing is pretty well grounded.
Find this book and read it right now. Then tell me what you thought!