What I'm reading... CoffeeTalking.com this morning with a list of books I've recently read and one I'm currently reading that I love! (Dan Simmons, Cardinal Sarah, Colleen Hoover)

If I have a moment of free time during the day, I'm probably reading.

When I went to sports practices and games for my kids; I always had a book with me for down time.

Every night without fail I read.

Waiting in the carpool line?  Reading.  Flying?  Reading.  

I taught myself to read by the time I was four and I've never, ever looked back.   

Normally I skip over 'what I'm reading' posts others write.  Honestly, I don't really care what others read and it's hard to find women who like reading what I do.  Females tend to like romance novels or books that add romance in some form to the story even when it's actually supposed to be Sci-Fi or Horror.  

I tend to read more like a guy.  I love books on monsters, horror, sci-fi, bio-terrorism, medical thrillers, apocalyptic, dystopian themed, end of world, military themed, etc.  Mixed in there is a heavy dose of historical books, psychological reads, and classics.  Then of course I get on my 'research' kicks; I'll be reading a book that will mention... something interesting... be it a word, phrase, historical fact, person, place or event that I feel compelled to scribble down to study/research and read about later.  I fall down rabbit holes this way!  Ha.

BUT it just so happens I've stepped out and read a couple 'other' styles books recently, including "Verity" (which yeah, is a chick-read... meh) and read the two books that became the basis for the tv series "The Handmaid's Tale"  (because remember, I don't watch tv so I've never seen them).

I read a lot of cookbooks and a lot of historical books published in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  LOVE LOVE LOVE those.  Books that have more truth and facts in them than the white-washed, politically correct, propaganda based and very butchered versions 're' written today.  Anything written about history and published since 2000-ish is probably not historically accurate and will have a slant to it or often, all out made-up 'facts' that are not even remotely true but history is being re-written.


Sorry.  I've gone on a ramble again.  It's just the coffee talking....  so let's take one more sip and get to the current list.

*I needed a break from horror, apocalypse, Sci-fi and such which led me to reading these books*

This first book is not one I would ever normally choose.  It's a girly book with stupid, predictable romance (sigh) but there is a reason I 'found it' and decided to read it.  Regular readers of coffeetalking.com might recall a post in January where I chatted about coming across the word 'verity' no less than THREE TIMES from random sources in a matter of a few hours.  Twice in 25 minutes even. (https://www.coffeetalking.com/2021/01/so-this-morning-over-coffee-im.html).

Later, I found the book that had been listed at the top of my app (see the post for explanation if you wish) and although a 'girly girl' book, I thought the story-line was interesting enough to give it a try.  And it was ok. A lot of stupid moves the main female character makes that are kind of like when you are watching a cheesy horror film and you know the blonde girl is going to take her top off, and run off all alone and be chased by a bad guy.  This character does a lot of stupid things that also made me roll my eyes, or think "why the heck would she say/do that?"  "Seriously?"  BUT I suspect most people won't be as critical of the stupid things the female (and male) characters say and do.  



This is a book I just finished before starting on my current read.  Overall I liked it.  I love history and this book is full of it!  But it's history with a twist.  I really love how Dan Simmons researches his subjects and adds all sorts of details and facts in his books.  (Maybe not the ones he wrote back when I first started to read him in the late 1980's and early 1990's... he was kind of following in the Saul/Koontz/King style back then) but I love his more recent reads.  

Black Hills takes historical facts, twists them into a story with interesting characters, a tiny bit of supernatural, and some romance.  I got irritated at the parts of Custer's sex scenes with his wife.  I kind of felt like Mr. Simmons was living out his 'dirty old man' moments writing those parts.  You know how a lot of old guys get to a certain age and like to sprinkle conversations with inappropriate comments, jokes, stories... and then do that creepy grin and wink?  Blech.  This got to that point.  I actually just started to skip the parts where Custer was 'talking' because it went from adding to the story to just being creepy.  (That dirty old man thing again.)   

I also just did a camping/road trip across the state of South Dakota a couple years ago so all the places taking place in the book were fresh in my mind and memory, which was cool.  Add to that my connection and interest in researching and studying history through the various Indian tribes and BINGO.  My kind of book!  I enjoyed this one a lot. 


Black Hills: A Novel


This one... sigh.  A great story that is something King might tackle but... this author manages to ruin it.  Have you ever been around a kid aged 6-9 who has behavior issues?  Wants attention SO BADLY that they will do anything to get it?  Will try to 'out-do' all the other kids by being louder, aggressive, yelling over them to get your attention.  Also tries to 'gross you out' to get your attention because they find it works so they keep doing it more and more and trying to outdo themselves and giggling and doing an irritating psychotic laugh when you tell them what they are doing is not funny, it's gross and they need a time out?

That in adult form.   The storyline is awesome.  The story starts out great and interesting.  Someone so hungry that they will eat and eat and eat ... yet get skinnier and skinnier, wasting away.  But this author then tends to just try to repulse his readers and see how far he can take it.  You get to the point where you just start skipping over those parts because this guy is... an ass.  Seriously.  Again, he just comes off as trying to be as gross and disgusting as he can to try to get your attention when he HAD your attention in the first place in a GOOD way.  The animals and people cut up and killed go into details that normal people just don't find interesting or appropriate.  It's that little attention starved brat of a child doing all he can to gross you out to get negative attention.  Meh.


The Troop: A Novel


The Terror.  Did I post about this one already?  I loved it.

Again... history!

But also again... apparently it's a series made for television that I never saw because I don't watch tv but the book was that good and that interesting that they made it into a series.  Take history, add a few twists, turns and characters.  It's good.  Really good. 

I found myself so interested in the 'side stories' I was jotting down to look up later that I had to stop myself.  But one thing interesting was if you start to research some of it online you'll find the website of a guy who on his own, just because he enjoys this sort of thing, built his own replica of the ship The Terror.  When the people involved in wanting to make the TV series needed to build the ship, they stumbled upon his personal website and ended up hiring him as the expert on the show to oversee the building and historical accuracy of it.   

Yes, the storyline included a few 'stupid' things...  a couple of them came off like an idea Dan Simmons had and planned to build on in the story but then either lost interest or had to/wanted to make the book shorter for publishing so it really wasn't built upon like it could have/should have been or he quickly rushed the through the end of that subject/idea or just made it disappear when he started off the book building on it, getting your interest in it... only to be left thinking "why did you even include that when you decided to take the book in another direction?"  But I really really liked this book a lot.  Again, history and facts win me over no matter what.  I love them. 


 The Terror



I started to pay close attention to Cardinal Sarah last year after seeing some of his comments, quotes and thoughts online in social media, in news stories, etc.  This man has wisdom, experience, and is just... wonderful.  Brilliant, caring, empathetic, and kind yet so incredibly strong, outspoken and matter-of-fact - he reminds me of my beloved grandmother who would tell it like it is if it needed to be said.

He submitted his resignation to the Pope last month - which they've been very, very close-mouthed about.  You see, although Cardinals 'retire' at age 75, they often stay in position much longer.  However, Cardinal Sarah is intelligent, conservative and outspoken and he doesn't seem to fit the current Pope's... umm... vision for the Church?   That's a whole OTHER post about the crazy loon currently called Pope and the strange and anti-biblical things he's doing and saying.  But anyway...

THIS GUY.  Born and raised in West Africa.  Poor.  Living under Communism.  Youngest Bishop appointed.  Appointed by Pope John Paul II.  Had an assassination planned on him by the communist dictator leading his country. Just so many interesting things in his life.

He will speak the truth if it needs to be said but oh, the hardships he's faced!  He's been there, done that, seen that. Such a hard worker willing to do whatever it takes (including giving his life, literally, if need be) to bring the truth of God and the Bible to people.   

Even if you don't care to read things about the church, religion or the Catholic religion, reading this just for the fact that he's an interesting man with a captivating story to tell is worth the read.


God or Nothing



I've rambled long enough for now... time to refresh my coffee one more time and get started on my day.  Thanks for hanging out with me and enjoying some coffee talk.