Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Reader Roundup: January

I like how January ushers in a new year and kicks off the countdown to spring. The snow is slowly starting to melt, but days are still short and the skies mostly gray. Books are still the main diversion to get through gloomy afternoons and dark evenings. Lately I start more books than finish them, but I did manage to find a couple of five star reads:

image: Amazon

Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A refreshing entry into the Christian fiction category in how the author presents church and faith. By placing a self-admitted redneck construction worker into the sudden situation of being the prime caretaker of their three children, readers see how faith takes on different meanings.

The story has no single great conflict. Instead, like life, there are many little fires that need to be put out: Mick learning to have one eye at all times on their sensory-sensitive son, managing the animals, learning how to be with his children instead of just taking care of them, and not washing his wife’s laundry.

If there is one main issue it’s Mick realizing that while he may not be a stay-at-home mother he does pretty well as a father. The smaller issues of importance are his acceptance that he has talent as an amateur photographer.

The author’s viewpoint of church is a thoughtful point of reference as he shows the importance of the family attending together, yet shows how service to others is also an aspect of consideration.

image: Barnes and Noble

Secrets of the Realm by Bev Stout ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Annie, an orphan girl mistreated by her aunt, runs off to London and disguises herself as a boy. She is taken on as a cabin boy upon the merchant ship The Realm. As Andre she has more than a few adventures as a young sailor, but when her secret is discovered by her shipmates she must make the hard decision of going to live on land once again.

Though recently written, the author has captured the essence of an old-fashioned tale similar to Stevenson or Dickens.

image: Amazon

The Bodies in the Library by Marty Wingate ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

It’s difficult to resist the cheery cover, especially with the title being a nod to Agatha Christie’s well-known mystery story. And there is a cat of distinction.

The set up is fun. Hayley is hired to be a curator of Mrs. Fowling’s collection of first edition mystery writer books and she is having difficulty finding her way, especially since she is lacking in mystery book knowledge. Then there is the kerfuffle with the Wednesday night writing group being deemed as interlopers by the ever faithful Mrs. Woolgar, secretary and keeper of Mrs. Fowling’s reputation.

The dead body that is found in the library one morning does not help matters at all, but the murder does help Hayley prove she can become a curator of note and channel her developing Miss Marple skills to solve the crime.

A fairly engaging story that sometimes focuses more on Hayley’s personal life than on solving the murder; however, Wingate has a knack for keeping the plot interesting.

For readers who like amateur sleuthing stories enfolded in light human drama such as The Thursday Murder Club series.

Looking for more fives and more blue skies in February. Any fives from your January reads?

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “Reader Roundup: January

  1. I haven’t time to read a book but am trying to listen to them as I drive or work. I’m glad you enjoyed your fives.

Comments, anyone?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: