A Good Book is Hard to Find

book-691407_1280There’s nothing I like better on a cold winter’s night than to curl up with a good book in front of the fire. This winter, finding said good book proved to be a challenge.

My crazy travel schedule left little time for reading, let alone browsing in a library or online store. But with all the free books out there via BookBub, I thought I’d have no trouble finding books I’d love to immerse myself in.

I haven’t done the math, but if I had to guess, the proportion of books I downloaded to the ones I actually finished is probably less than 50%. And most of the ones I finished, I probably won’t want to read again.

A big reason is many of the books lose me early on. A major reason this month was authors putting people into another time period who have 21st century attitudes. Doesn’t work for me.

Other books just didn’t grab my interest, and I’m not exactly sure why.

But I did find a few that I enjoyed.

Blanche on the Lam

Blanche White is struggling to make ends meet by working as a housecleaner. When some of her employers don’t pay on time and a few of Blanche’s checks bounce, she ends up on the wrong side of the law. She skips town and hides out, working as a maid in the summer home of a wealthy family. After a murder is committed and Blanche becomes the prime suspect, she puts her mind and street smarts to solving the crime. All throughout she gives her unique commentary on life, from her perspective of a middle-aged African-American woman. This was a fun, refreshing read that kept me fascinated to the very end.

Air Awakens

Vhalla works as a library apprentice, and like everyone else, fears the sorcerers who also inhabit the palace. When she suddenly saves the life of the crown prince—a powerful sorcerer—she finds herself pulled into the world of sorcery, discovering powers she didn’t want to possess. Then she learns that she might be the pivotal force that changes the course of the war that engulfs the continent. I liked this book because it was a fresh fantasy that seized my imagination.

The Well of Ascension

The second in the Mistborn series, this installment did not disappoint. Vin learns to step up and lead as she and Elend Venture try to build a new society, following the destruction of the old empire. Unfortunately, others want to rule. Soon Vin and Elend are besieged by three separate armies and need to find something to help them overcome the far greater forces against them.

Black Plumes

Set in Britain between the wars, this period mystery revolves around the Ivory family. A series of pranks against the family business turn sinister when one of the family is found dead. From 90-year-old Gabrielle, the failing but still powerful matriarch, to her granddaughter Frances and neurotic granddaughter in law, the book if filled with complex and interesting characters. A fake engagement and the return of a man long presumed dead add to the confusion in sorting out who was the killer. The author did a great job pointing suspicion at one, then another, dropping subtle clues along the way.

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