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.


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.


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.


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 …


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. 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

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


      1. 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.


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