WWW Wednesday March 24

It’s Wednesday, which is normally my day off, but not this week. So I’ll check in with all my book blogging friends later on to see what they’re up to. Now, what am I up to?

What am I reading/listening to, What did I just finish, and What do I plan on reading/listening to next?

What am I currently reading/listening to?

Remember last week how I was saying I was reading some books about politics but they were both left-leaning and wanted to balance it out? Well, I’ve got a few right-leaning books to even the score, but I’m still unsure if I even want to review them because of how divisive politics has gotten in recent years. Aw, heck, it’s been as decisive since the election of 1800, which saw Thomas Jefferson beat incumbent John Adams; Adams didn’t stick around for the inauguration and he and Jefferson were bitter enemies for years until a mutual friend got them talking again many years later.

The first book is a library book I’ve been waiting for since the fall: The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III (Amazon) “In the latter half of the twentieth century, no Republican won the presidency without his help, and the men he counseled in the Oval Office–Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush–defined more than one generation of American life. Campaign manager, chief of staff, treasury secretary, and ultimately secretary of state, James A. Baker III understood better than anyone how to make Washington work and how to pull the levers of power at home and abroad.”

I’m also listening to 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush ($5.99 on Kindle right now). I read this book when it first came out and really enjoyed this lovely story about a well-respected man by both sides of the political aisle, George H.W. Bush. I remember the 1988 and 1992 elections very well when the elder Bush was running for President; ’92 was the first time I could vote. I had developed an interest in politics and watched the elections closely, unlike many young adults. “Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career, including his service in the Pacific during World War II, his pioneering work in the Texas oil business, and his political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President.  The book shines new light on both the accomplished statesman and the warm, decent man known best by his family. In addition, George W. Bush discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his own life, from his childhood in West Texas to his early campaign trips with his father, and from his decision to go into politics to his own two-term Presidency.”

I’m currently reading my #NetGalley ARC Castle Shade, the 17th Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novel by Laurie R. King (Amazon), which comes out in June. They’re headed to Roumania to help out the queen with a mystery involving it’s newly acquired territory Transylvania, and it may or may not have something to do with vampires. I’m only one chapter in, but it’s already promising.

I’m also behind on my Nancy Drew reading and am trying to hurry through the Original and Revised Texts of The Ghost of Blackwood Hall (Amazon). I mentioned in my last review of one of the books that I’ve got a little Nancy Drew fatigue. I’ve been reading the original and revised texts since lockdown started last March, and adding in the Diaries series to break things up a little. I should have them finished in time to review on Friday. If not, then next Friday. I’m not going to sweat over missing a deadline, even though I’ve never missed one before in my professional life. But this is my personal life, so I’m allowed to give myself a break once in a while. 🙂

Lastly, I’m also listening to The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon (Amazon). It’s a new book, just released on the 16th, with a Kindle price of $5.99 and to add the Audible version was only a couple bucks more.

“New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.

Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.”

What did I finish reading/listening to?

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh

Anxious People by Fredrick Backman (Translated by Neil Smith)

The Professor and the Puzzle (Nancy Drew Diaries #15) by Carolyn Keene

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

#NetGalley ARC Review of Mirrorland (review on Thursday)

Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult (review on Monday)

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (review on Tuesday)

What do I plan on reading/listening to next?

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Amazon) is a NetGalley ARC that I think I’ll tackle next. I don’t like having so many ARCs out there on NetGalley, pulling my percentage down. I haven’t reviewed enough books on the site yet even though I’ve been a member longer than I’ve been blogging, so I’m currently at 80% with 6 ARCs to review. My plan is to continue to work on those and the next Nancy Drew books in the series’.

“Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.”

On Audio, I just picked up Murder at the Mena House: Jane Wunderly Mystery, Book 1 (Amazon), which is supposed to be a book series that fans of Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters might like. We shall see. The blurb sounds promising:

“Egypt, 1926. Fiercely independent American Jane Wunderly has made up her mind: she won’t be swept off her feet on a trip abroad. Despite her Aunt Millie’s best efforts at meddling with her love life, the young widow would rather gaze at the Great Pyramids of Giza than into the eyes of a dashing stranger. Yet Jane’s plans to remain cool and indifferent become ancient history in the company of Mr. Redvers, a roguish banker she can’t quite figure out….

While the Mena House has its share of charming guests, Anna Stainton isn’t one of them. The beautiful socialite makes it clear that she won’t share the spotlight with anyone – especially Jane. But Jane soon becomes the center of attention when she’s the one standing over her unintentional rival’s dead body. 

Now, with her innocence at stake in a foreign country, Jane must determine who can be trusted, and who had motive to commit a brutal murder. Between Aunt Millie’s unusual new acquaintances, a smarmy playboy with an off-putting smile, and the enigmatic Mr. Redvers, someone has too many secrets. Can Jane excavate the horrible truth before her future falls to ruin in Cairo…and the body count rises like the desert heat?”

That’s it for this week. Whew! That’s a lot of reading/listening! What are you up to this week? Drop a line in the comments.

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