Sunday, July 10, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday for July 5!!

As many of you already know, The Broke and the Bookish 
host a weekly meme entitled Top Ten Tuesday!
There is a different theme each week. 
(I thought I had posted this on Tuesday, July 5th, but hadn't!
I have just finished and posted on July 10!) :(
This week it is  
The Top Ten Books I Enjoyed 
That Have Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

I was very curious to see what listing would result from sorting my "Read" bookshelf by the number of ratings on Goodreads. It was quite revealing. 
I was not the least bit surprised to learn that independently/self-published books were the majority, as well as local/regional authors. 
So I am thrilled to have an opportunity to "hawk" these books to you-all,
'cause there are some 'masterpieces' amongst this group, 
in my humble opinion!

So, as I pulled titles from this grouping, I ended up with 
a listing of 10 different series and 30+ books!
(Yeah...I know...) 
I will work with the 10 series today and save the other listing 
of stand-alones for a "Freebie week" in the future! 
Sounds like a plan! 

First a disclaimer: 
Not every single book in each of these series was in the 
less-than-2000-Goodreads-rating group. 
Even if only one book in the series was in this group, 
then that series is listed here.

This first series is written by a man who lives and works in my general region of the U.S. I have met John Riggs and he has personally inscribed several of the books I own in this Garth Ryland series. Thus far, I have read halfway through this series. All of these have been good solid reads for me. The only reason they don't qualify as absolute favorites is the fact that the characterization (at least to me) is not very detailed. There is more action than anything, and I do realize that for most readers, that works very very well. It works for me, but is not my favorite, as I typically prefer strong well-drawn characters. (If that makes sense!) However, there are a few recurring characters, and they do develop during the series, so that is a plus. Beyond that, each book is a quick read and always has a solid mystery that I typically cannot solve, though I have suspected virtually every character of being the perpetrator by the end of the book! (I enjoy that!) Interestingly, TV rights were purchased in the past, though nothing was ever developed, and I can easily see that this series might make for a good TV series. (Anyone? Anyone? lol) This is one large body of work and I don't believe John gets nearly the recognition or readership Garth deserves!

The Last Laugh
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
The Glory Hound
Hunting Ground
Haunt of Nightingale
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
One Man's Poison
Dead Letter 
A Dragon Lives Forever 
Cold Hearts and Gentle People
Killing Frost
Snow on the Roses
He Who Waits
The Lost Scout
Nothin' Short of Dyin'
After the Petals Go
Home Grown
Cold Rain

Oh, my gosh! I get so excited just thinking of this series! It is so very unique! Anthony Eglin is very knowledgeable of botany and uses that knowledge in these mysteries. I can't adequately describe them, except to say if you appreciate botanical information, this series is for you. Each mystery somehow involves exotic flowers or something along that line. this series is known as the English Garden mysteries or the Lawrence Kingston mysteries. (I still need to read the last two installments.) I own each of these books except for the most recent installment and intend to own them all! Keep writing, Mr. Eglin! Please! :)

The Blue Rose
The Lost Gardens
The Water Lily Cross
The Trail of the Wild Rose
Garden of Secrets Past
The Alcatraz Rose: A Lawrence Kingston Mystery

That brings me to one of the silliest (in some ways) and yet most adorable mystery series I have ever read, Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie mystery series. I need to read several of these to catch up! (Spencer Quinn is a pseudonym for Peter Abrahams who also writes stand-alone mysteries.)
Dog on It
Thereby Hangs a Tail
To Fetch a Thief
The Dog Who Knew Too Much
A Fistful of Collars
The Sound and the Furry
Paw and Order
Scents and Sensibility
EShort Stories:
A Cat Was Involved (Chet and Bernie Mystery 0.1)
The Iggy Chronicles (Chet and Bernie Mystery 0.2)
Tail of Vengeance (Chet and Bernie Mystery 0.3)
Santa 365

In addition, he has 
a juvenile mystery series 
just started last year, 
Bowser & Birdie:

Now to an author both my husband an I enjoy immensely, Alafair Burke. (I LOVE that name, Alafair!) She is the daughter of James Lee Burke, one of my husband's very favorite authors. She is currently writing two different series: 

Series #1: Samantha Kincaid
Judgement Calls
Missing Justice
Close Case

Series #2: Ellie Hatcher
Dead Connection
Angel's Tip
Never Tell 
All Day and a Night

Ayelet Waldman's Mommy Track Mysteries. Probably a good one for parents of young ones, especially if you also enjoy mysteries! One of my other favorite authors said it best...
Juliet Applebaum is smart, fearless, and completely candid about life
as a full-time mom with a penchant for part-time detective work.
Kinsey Millhone would approve.
-Sue Grafton, author of The New York Times-bestselling Kinsey Millhone series
Juliet Applebaum is a full-time public defender turned stay-at-home mom who seems to get herself involved with the local mysterious happenings. These would be good short entertaining reads that do make you think a bit. Perfect for parents of young ones!

Nursery Crimes
The Big Nap
A Playdate with Death Death Gets a Time-Out
Murder Plays House
The Cradle Robbers
Bye-Bye, Black Sheep

I loved Waldman's Red Hook Road 
and really should read and review 
more of hers!

Having read and loved Lost & Found 
and Picture This, I wondered what I 
would think of Now & Then
but I loved it just as much, 
if not more than the other two!
And there is a dog in each one!
(I know...totally unexpected, huh?) 
 Marie Bostwick's Cobbled Quilt series
The Borders Book Club I facilitate read the first book in this series, A Single Thread, and everyone loved it, though a few of us felt it was a bit "preachy," insisting that you must be a 'Christian' and attend church every Sunday to be truly happy in life... Fortunately, I persevered by reading the second book in the series and ended up reading all of them and loving them! 

A Single Thread
A Thread of Truth
A Thread So Thin
Threading the Needle
Ties That Bind
Apart at the Seams

Between Heaven and Texas (prequel)

This book follows the characters from 
Between Heaven and Texas
into the future!
My good friend read and loved it!
The Borders Book Club loved her writing 
so much we also read one 
of her stand-alone novels, 
The Second Sister 
and also really enjoyed it!

Bostwick definitely provides a reader with 
much 'food for thought'! 
And she doesn't shy away from issues...

Terri Dulong's Cedar Key series

Spinning Forward
Casting About
Sunrise on Cedar Key
Postcards from Cedar Key
Secrets on Cedar Key
Farewell to Cedar Key 

I am woefully behind in reading this series,
and she has started a new series!
I own all these, so need to read them!
I love the characters and writing!

And last, but by no means least...
The Borders Book Club decided to read the first book in this series, 
It was so enjoyable and provided much fodder for discussion!
I admit I was rather hesitant initially, since I typically do not read romance, 
and Ms. Brown is a romance-writing queen! :)
However, I needn't have feared, for this series was not typical romance, 
and I read all three books and loved them all!
The other two books in this series:
And here is the interview with Carolyn Brown!

 I sure do wish I had realized earlier that I hadn't actually posted 
this last Tuesday, July 5! 
But at least I got it out there now! 

Do you have a favorite book that hasn't had many (< 2000) Goodreads ratings?

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