I’m Almost Through My Bookshelf, and I’m Here: Ten Recent Reads

Don’t let the title of this post fool you: I’m nowhere near close to running out of reading material … No, in fact, I’m more stocked than ever thanks to a local book sale over the weekend. However, this week’s First Line Friday isn’t focused on all the books I’ll get around to (eventually). Instead, I’m writing about the last ten books I actually read. All of these come from the past couple of weeks, where apparently I was on a mission to tackle as many genres as possible.

It Must’ve Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything
by Jeffrey Steingarten

Steingarten has long appeared as a judge on culinary cooking shows, where quick soundbites often paint him as a hardened, pompous gourmand. However, in this collection of essays, while his love of food can sometimes veer into snobby territory, he showcases immeasurable charm. This is a guy who knows his food, knows he knows his food, and can’t wait to let everyone else know.

Goodreads


Gil’s All Fright Diner
by A. Lee Martinez

Although it’s not something I write a lot about, I really love horror novels. After years of having this book recommended to me, my only complaint is that it took me so long to get around to it. Part nightmare, part comedy—I was often left laughing and wincing all in the same sentence.

Goodreads


The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain
by Alisa Craig

I really enjoy cozies written in the 1980s and prior, mostly because the genre wasn’t as defined as it is now. For instance, here the main sleuth, Dittany Henbit, barely investigates the death of a man shot by an arrow practically in front of her. Still, it’s a genuinely fun book.

Goodreads


Last Chapter and Worse
by Gary Larson

A recent question on Twitter prompted hundreds of responses about the best Far Side comics. Since I couldn’t settle on an answer myself, I thought I’d revisit one of Gary Larson’s collections for inspiration. Really, he’s created a bad one, though this might be my favorite … or this … or …

Goodreads


Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
by Lyla Lee
illustrated by Dung Ho

Childhood is hard enough, but toss in a new school and a small business run out of your lunchbox, and that’s another level of stress. This is a surprisingly touching chapter book that hits on a lot of big ideas while still being laugh-out-loud funny.

Goodreads


The President is Missing
by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

The president spends several pages justifying the killing of seven children in a drone strike.

Goodreads


Second Chance on Cypress Lane
by Reese Ryan

While Dakota’s struggle returning home in the middle of a scandal after years away is compelling—as is her meeting up with Dexter, her first love—it’s really the entire cast of characters in this beautiful island community that captured my attention. All around, a perfect read.

Goodreads


Thornhill
by Pam Smy

I’ve been trying to read more graphic novels this year, and Thornhill reminded me why that was such a great idea. Dark and atmospheric, I had goosebumps as everything was drawn together at the end.

Goodreads


Tiara’s Hat Parade
by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Nicole Tadgell

One of the sweetest picture books I’ve read in a long time. From gorgeous illustrations to a genuinely heartfelt story, I cannot recommend this one enough.

Goodreads


The Whole Cat and Caboodle
by Sofie Ryan

Well, it’s not a list of my recent reads unless there’s more than one cozy mystery. This is a great start to a series with such a compelling investigation. Plus, it prominently features a cat, which is never a negative.

Goodreads


Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

45 Comments

  1. Anne Bennett says:

    Gil’s All Fright Diner sounds fun though I rarely read horror. My TTT last ten books

    Like

  2. brookelorren says:

    The Mindy Kim book has such a cute cover! It always looked interesting to me. You have a wide variety here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a great series! Lots of fun.

      Like

  3. I’m not at all familiar with the books on your list but they seem good books.

    Here’s my link for this week’s T10T: https://lilisblissfulpages.wordpress.com/2021/05/04/10-arcs-i-recently-acquired-top-ten-tuesday/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list! Thornhill looks right up my street.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you check it out, I hope you end up enjoying it! I thought it was very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lydiaschoch says:

    Now I want to reread old Far Side comics, too. They were so great.

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-my-ten-most-recent-reads/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re so much fun! I’ve read so many of them over this past week.

      Like

  6. Mischenko says:

    Excellent list! Thornhill was a favorite, but I remember having issues with the end. Happy reading! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the ending since finishing it, and I have a lot of feelings. But at the time, dang, it packed a punch.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lexlingua says:

    As usual, some brilliant books with brilliant commentary. This one in particular was a gem: “This is a guy who knows his food, knows he knows his food, and can’t wait to let everyone else know”. 🙂 And this one made me want to wring my hands: “The president spends several pages justifying the killing of seven children in a drone strike.”

    Gil’s All Fright Diner has been liked by so many people, but I couldn’t manage even a smile till Chapter 3. Have no idea what happened. Perhaps I should revisit that book in a lighter frame of mind. In the meantime, I have The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain to move my funny bone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The President is Missing started off rough, but that section just sucked. Still, days later, that’s the scene that has stuck with me.

      I’m so looking forward to the other Grub-and-Stakers books! The first one is so much fun. Gil’s All Fright Diner came at the right time for me. I was looking for something light and weird and it managed both. But that’s always the trouble with humorous books: what’s the funniest book in the world to one person might be awful to another. So much subjectivity!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rabeeah says:

    This truly is a variety of genres! It can be fun to read such a range sometimes. Also, your thoughts on The President is Missing shockingly did not make me want to read it at all. No change there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I only read it because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, and it was awful. Just really, really awful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rabeeah says:

        Well, thanks for the warning!!

        Like

  9. Bibliosini says:

    Gil’s All Fright Diner sounds veeery intriguing to me!

    My TTT: https://bibliosini.com/top-ten-tuesday-4-may-2021/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lol your one-liner on The President is Missing made me chuckle. I haven’t read that book in a while but I definitely felt reminded about my thoughts from that line alone. Did you end up liking it? I thought the plot was interesting and it made me want to read more political thrillers in the not so near future… so far I think I only read one more.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, I didn’t walk into it expecting anything great—or even good—but that entire section really set up how bad the rest of the book was going to be. I really like political thrillers, but this was rough.

      Like

  11. Aymee says:

    I have a copy of Gil’s All Fright Diner at home, need to read it soon!

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a lot of fun! Really glad I finally got around to it.

      Like

  12. Patrick Prescott says:

    I’m interested in the President is Missing. On my TBR list

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was definitely a reading experience.

      Like

  13. stefani says:

    Well, I haven’t read any of these but cheers on getting through some of your TBR! Happy reading, my TTT https://readwithstefani.com/my-ten-most-recent-reads/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels good actually cutting back on some of my backlog … even if it was immediately replaced by other books.

      Like

  14. Holliehocks says:

    These really did cover a lot of genres! Thornhill seems an interesting one. I’m also trying to read more graphic novels so I’ll have to check it out. As a cat-person, The Whole Cat and Caboodle is definitely going on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re looking for a nice, quick graphic novel, then I really can’t recommend Thornhill highly enough!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. speedyreader says:

    I used to love Alisa Craig. I was so sad when she died. Thornhill looks really good. I only did a book review this week, but here it is: https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com/2021/05/04/book-review-a-sharpened-axe/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That book was so much fun, I’m only sad that I was just introduced to Craig’s work. I’m really looking forward to checking out some of her other books—especially in this series.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. speedyreader says:

        Alisa Craig was just a pen name too. She also wrote under her real name, which was Charlotte MacLeod. So check out those books as well.

        Like

  16. Carla says:

    This is quite and eclectic mix of books. I will have to check out some of the kids/middle grades one. Nice list, Christopher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’d really, really enjoy Tiara’s Hat Parade in particular. Such a great book!

      Like

      1. Carla says:

        I just looked up the author and she has written so many picture books, I will be seeing what my library has to read with my granddaughter.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. You really do read all over the place. What a fun list. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Marianne Maurer says:

    I haven’t read any of these though the Bill Clinton/James Patterson is on my wishlist. It Must’ve Been Something I Ate also sounds interesting. And you can’t go wrong with Gary Larson. So, thanks for your list, Christopher.

    My TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You really can’t go wrong with Gary Larson! It’s been great revisiting his work.

      Like

      1. Marianne Maurer says:

        That is definitely true. Must look at my old books by him and then get some new ones.

        Like

  19. I love that you’re tackling so many genres. I need to do better at branching out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve really been trying to spread out my reading this year. Last year was full of cozies, which was fun, but … I needed to check out some other stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Liz Dexter says:

    I’m sure I’ve read one of the Grub-And-Stakers ones, I did used to love a cosy mystery series … and yes, I did, Quilt a Bee in 2007! https://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/alisa-craig-the-grub-and-stakers-quilt-a-bee/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t heard of this series before finding this one a few weeks ago. Such a fun book, and I’m really looking forward to checking out her other work!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz Dexter says:

        I really like the Southern Sisters Mysteries, set in Birmingham, AL (I think partly because I’ve actually visited the “Other” Birmingham as well as living in the original one), they’re great fun.

        Like

  21. I just recently read Gil’s All Fright Diner as well and loved it. I need to read more from that author.

    Like

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