As fall is in full swing, it is time for a long overdue reading roundup. By Labor Day I reached my summer reading goal – 12 books. Between work travel on planes & a book filled September, I’ve now surpassed my reading challenge for 2016 – of course that doesn’t mean that my reading comes to a halt. Here, some brief reviews of the pages that filled my July and August and September reading moments.

Reading in Transit

July Reads
  • Before the Fall by Noah Hawley – A summer read that has generated a lot of buzz and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. While I’ve seen a lot of comments about not reading this while flying, most of this was read on a plane for me.
  • The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr – A good narrative non-fiction that focuses on the journey to discover a long lost Caravaggio – The Taking of Christ. From dusty archives in a family compound in Italy to an art restorer in Ireland, a fascinating tale is told as clues come together to reveal the painting.
  • Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough – From under the Christmas tree. A fantastic look into the family life that shaped a young Teddy Roosevelt.
  • The 14th Colony by Steve Berry – The latest from a favorite action/thriller series. The premise this time involves a flaw in the Constitution and presidential succession act, an upcoming Inauguration Day, a Cold War era weapon and ex-KGB agents.
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – One that had been on my to read list for a while – I finally snapped it up – a fast & quirky read.
  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume – Just meh.
August Reads
  • Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan – The second in a sweet series that chronicles a remote beach town in Wales through the life of a young baker.
  • Still Life by Louise Penny – Finally starting into this mystery series that seems to be mentioned a lot. I enjoyed the story and the characters being developed – I’m next in line for book 2 on my library Overdrive – I look forward to working through this series as they are available for checkout.
  • The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – Just meh. Another in the genre of stories that use a litany of books to help the cast of characters navigate through life.
September Reads
  • When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – Wow! From the first I read of this in The NY Times I was looking forward to reading this one. I waited through a long library overdrive list for this. It was a quick read for me – it grabbed me from the beginning and by the time I read his widows afterward the Kleenex were at hand.
  • I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh – I’m wary of the “for fans of Gone Girl or Girl on a Train” tag for books – but the synopsis of this overrode the tag for me. And from the beginning this story drew me in. On a rainy street, a young boy is hit and killed by a speeding car that flees the scene. The story of who did it unfolds through the stories of several involved in the incident and the police who won’t let the case go.
  • The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton – a children’s Kindle freebie on 9/11, this is a short & clever story with a cast of animal characters to help children navigate through when bad things happen to see that there are plenty of people who care.
  • Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart – A fun tale (based on history) of a women in New Jersey that doesn’t fit the expected mold for who and how she should be in the early 1900s – a horse & buggy vs. car mashup in town leads her on an adventure as she seeks restitution for the damage to the family buggy. Before long she is roped into unofficial detective work by the local sheriff. This is turning into a series and I look forward to continuing the read.
  • Books 1 & 2 in the Sigma Force series by James Rollins: Sandstorm and Map of Bones -A new to me series in the action thriller genre that I enjoy. This time, the main characters are members of a covert team within the U.S. Defense Department – former special forces with advances studies and knowledge across a breadth of scientific topics. The stories involve international locals, history and science blended with myth to deliver the fast paced “can the world be saved” stories that remind me of the adventures found in the Cotton Malone, Dirk Pitt and Robert Langdon series.
  • Books 1 & 2 of the Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen: Her Royal Spyness and A Royal Pain – Pure fluff wrapped in an amateur detective who is the 34th in line to the crown (a penniless cousin of King George V) who stumbles into mysteries as she tries to make it on her own in 1930s London. I think I’ll work my way through this series via Overdrive when I need a quick and non-taxing read.

What are you reading these days?

Linking up with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy for the monthly QuickLit roundup.