April 2021 Reads

I was one book ahead at the end of March. Reading was a bit slow despite all the time I had. I’m finding it hard to concentrate at the moment.

Fiction

The Sleeping Doll (Kathryn Dance, #1) (Jeffery Deaver)
I really went back and forth on this book. I enjoyed Kathryn Dance’s character when she was introduced in the Lincoln Rhyme book The Cold Moon. I found there to be too many characters, especially law enforcement, and too much life outside of the case. But some of the secondary characters (the cult victims) I really enjoyed their interactions and stories.

Smokescreen (Eve Duncan, #25) (Iris Johansen)
I keep reading this series even though it annoys and frustrates me. At least this time the bad guy was a woman, which is at least a change. But, as always, the baddie is a sex crazed loon. I’m really tired of that trope. The baddie is always controlling and sex crazed abusive. Always. And every character is egotistical, bullish, uber-independent to the point of stupidity and controlling beyond belief. I can’t think of anyone who’d want to actually spend time with people like this. I have one more in this series that I got as a gift, and after that I think I’m out.

The Persuasion (Eve Duncan, #26) (Iris Johansen)
Yep, I’m out. It’s another sex-crazed lunatic. It’s more characters being total hypocrites (I can look after and do everything myself!/How dare you think you can do this alone?). Ugh. I found myself skimming so much of it because they grate on me so badly. I almost want to go back and read the first few in the series to see if they were always like this and it took me time to get annoyed with it, or if it actually developed into this.

Non Fiction

Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season (Nick Heil)
During the initial pandemic, I read a lot of books about the 1996 Everest season, so it’s only fitting that a year later, during more pandemic, that I dip into the 2006 season. Heil’s book is a great overview of the different groups and the deaths that took place during the 2006 season on the North side of Everest. I was really unfamiliar with the North side, so it was nice to learn more about the climbing from that side.

Dead Lucky (Lincoln Hall)
Part of the 2006 North side Everest season, Hall was declared dead after summiting Everest, when he developed cerebral edema and could not be helped down the mountain. A day later, climbers going for the summit came across a relatively lucid Lincoln Hall and a huge rescue operation was undertaken. In Hall’s own words, this book covers the climbing season and his extraordinary tale of survival. I really enjoyed this one. Hall is a great writer, and reconstructing his delirious moments on Everest could not have been easy.

The Other Side of Everest (Matt Dickinson)
Still on the North side, but now we go back to 1996. The storm that killed so many on the South side (covered in many other books, see May 2020 for some reviews) is told from the point of view of climbers on the North side in this book. Dickinson didn’t climb during the storm, and this book is more about actually climbing Everest than the events of 1996. I think this book does the best job of illustrating how awful being at altitude is physically and how horrible climbing Everest is.

Legs on Everest: The Full Story of His Most Remarkable Adventure Yet (Mark Inglis)
Back to 2006 North side of Everest and here we follow climber and double leg amputee Mark Inglis. He first recounts his time climbing Cho Oyu, and then climbing the North route of Everest in the 2006 year that Nick Heil also wrote about. This book is written in a diary/conversational style. There’s not a lot of analysis on what the climb is, but more personal experience with a focus on him climbing as an amputee. Inglis’s climb took place during Lincoln Hall’s Everest experience and Nick Heil’s climb, so they are all intertwined – very different experiences of the same time period.

Current Progress:

20/52 – I’m way behind last year, but I’m also not reading Shakespeare which is why I had such a huge number of reads last year. I’m still ahead of schedule.

Published by Jennifer

Author of the YA Streetwise series, the YA Brookline University series, crime saga Sin City series and comedy/suspense horror Billie and Diana series.

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