- Domald Tromp Pounded In The Butt By The Handsome Russian T-Rex Who Also Peed On His Butt And Then Blackmailed Him With The Videos Of His Butt Getting Peed On by Chuck Tingle – (B) I think the title says it all.
- Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg – (B+) Rafe is tired of being the “openly gay” kid at school so he transfers and goes back in the closet – sort of. That is until he falls in love. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking.
- Prey by Michael Crichton – (C-) This might be my least favorite Crichton book. It reads like a lazy Jurassic retread. The science it muddy and confusing and the nanobot swarms get ridiculous towards the end.
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume – (B+) Toddlers, amirite?
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – (B+) Cecilia finds a letter addressed to her “in the event of her husband’s death.” The problem is that her husband is still alive and now he is acting strangely.
- Wild: From Lost to Founds on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed (B) – This is one of those travel memories where the under-employed, nearly homeless, divorced, orphaned, drug abuser decides to go on some crazy adventure and barely lives to tell the tale.
- You’re Not Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – (B) – Felicia seems…troubled. Not sure I would want to hang with her but the book was interesting to see how someone with anxiety manages to make good in Hollywood.
- Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery – (B) A plot-point in the Netflix series “Russian Doll” prompted me to read this tale of a spunky, witty orphan. A darker Anne of Green Gables.
- Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris – (C) A how-to on mediation for busy people. It was fine but I felt like I learned everything in the first chapter. Apparently the audiobook is really good because it’s more off-the-cuff banter.
- Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin – (B+) This is told in first-person from the view of a 50-something Michael reflecting on his halcyon days and his aging family.
- State of Fear by Michael Crichton – (C) A few good ideas and intense action sequences are drowned out by sermonizing about the (non)existence of climate change. Also the most disturbing character death in any of his books.
- Verses for the Dead by Preston and Child – (B-) While this is an decent FBI/serial killer mystery it lacked the usual depth and supernatural aspects of the Pendergast series. A good jumping on point for new readers but a bit of a let down for fans.
- Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk – (A) A truly gripping and suspenseful book about a young girl’s kindness and compassion in dealing with a bully and a tragedy in her post WWII farming community. I loved it.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama (B+) Interesting story of her life before and during her time as FLOTUS. A compelling and inspirational read.
- Maryann In Autumn by Armistead Maupin – (B) Back to the intersecting story line device book #8 finds Maryann in her golden years returning to San Francisco and facing her mortality and her past sins.
- Next by Michael Crichton – (D) His last book prior to his death is a disjointed collection of small gene-therapy stories and “warnings” of which a few coincide at the end. Too many ideas none of which are truly fleshed out.
- The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede – (A-) A truly inspiring account of how one small town came together to help the thousands of passengers stranded on September 11th.
- Unto Us a Son is Given by Donna Leon- (B) Brunetti mystery #28 centers around two stories about two sons, one wanted the other maybe not. And then…death.
- Column of Fire by Ken Follett- (B) The third in the Kingsbridge series this time about the Spanish Inquisition among other ridiculous religious hatred and torment.
- Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton- (A-) His first book published posthumously tells the story of pirates in 1680s Jamaica planning a daring heist. An entertaining page turner even if he clearly was not finished with it.
- Here is Real Magic by Nate Staniforth – (B) This autobiography had me from the preface. His stories of how he became a magician are really interesting. I got a little bored with the second half when he travels to India but it was still engaging.
- Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston – (B) You can tell that Preston had a heavy hand in this found Crichton manuscript because the gore is amped up in this ‘Jurassic Park meets Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ action adventure.
- The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin- (B) The last in the Tales of the City series focuses on Anna and her past, present, and future legacy.
- Force of Nature by Jane Harper – (B) A group of women return from a work retreat minus one. Did she wander off or did something more sinister happen? A decent mystery.
- Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton – (B+) This found completed manuscript from 1974 was his last posthumously published book. A historical non-fiction about two real-life paleontologists in a race to discover new dinosaurs in 1865. The young protagonist weaves together the action, adventure, and suspense.
- Howard Stern Comes Again by Howard Stern – (C+) A collection of his interviews over the past 20 years. They may be interesting to hear but they aren’t as interesting to read.