April Reading Recap

My normal book rating is 3 out of 5. I seldom grant a book a rating of 4 or 5. All of my April reads were just above that—so a good reading month for me.

Book #13: Gambit
Author: Rex Stout
Genre: mystery
Rate: 3.75/5

Comments: Better than average Wolfe mystery. Complicated, with broken habits, a female living in the house and more.

Quotes of note:

…your mental processes are stultified

[Regarding Voltaire]: To call him a great man was absurd; strictly speaking, he wasn’t a man at all, since he had no palate and a dried-up stomach. He was a remarkable word-assembly plant, but he wasn’t a man, let alone a great one.

I wonder if the author of Princess Bride read this book?

…he [Wolfe] raised his shoulders an eighth of an inch and said, “As you please.”

Book #14: The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian
Author: Lawrence Block
Genre: mystery
Rate: 3.5/5 – Liked & Recommend

Comments: Another good offering from Block. The characters remained true to form, and the mystery was interesting with a slight twist.

Quotes of note:

“You know what the trouble is, Bern? There’s too many Mondrians. It sounds like a Nero Wolfe novel, doesn’t it? Too Many Cooks, Too Many Clients, Too Many Detectives, Too Many Women. And Too Many Mondrians.”

Book #15: Lake In The Clouds
Author: Sara Donati
Pages: 680 (qualifies as a chunkster)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Rate: 3.75/5

Comments: Third book in the “Wilderness Saga”. This book was everything the second book wasn’t and more. Wonderful story. Good character interaction, written in 3rd person, good commentary and storyline based on the issues and events of that particular time in American history. I enjoyed meeting grownup Hannah, and look forward to the twins growing up and developing more in the next few books (at least I hope that is what the author does). It’s a bit sad to have Elizabeth and Nathaniel more in the background, and it was hard to lose some folks, but it’s very much a story about life. Not glossed over, nothing swept under the rug, everyone’s warts and goodness revealed. If I were to pick, it would be over 2 items: 1) I hated chapter 11, and quickly skipped to chapter 12. I really didn’t want that much description of it all, and don’t see the point of the author going that far. 2) What was in the letter that Isaiah give to Hannah for safekeeping??? It seemed important considering what he went through to make sure the letter is safe, but the contents are never revealed. Frustrating! Still, the book was a wonderful read, I hated to see it end and it earns 3.75 stars from me and I’m eager to read the next book in the series.

Quotes of note:

A brash people, the Irish. I wonder if they will ever learn that discretion is sometimes the greater part of valor.

The more that is taken away, the more clearly will thou see what is left behind.

Book #16: Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space
Author: Homer Hickam
Genre: non-fiction
Rate: 3.5/5

Comments: A short little story, a bit geeky in spots, but a pleasant read—especially for cat and/or NASA fans. He’s a good writer, and I’m looking for his other books.

Quotes of note:

In fact, it has been scientifically proved that having a cat lowers blood pressure, decreases anxiety, wards off depression, and causes smiles.

Book #17: The Mother Hunt
Author: Rex Stout
Genre: mystery
Rate: 3.75/5

Comments: Another better than average Wolfe mystery. Complicated, Wolfe skedaddles, his client is a woman, and a nice twist in the solution.

Quotes of note:

“…just as Wolfe held it against Jane Austen for forcing him to concede that a woman could write a good novel.”

“No man with any sense assumes that a woman’s words mean to her exactly what they mean to him.”

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