For several reasons, my reading started slow in 2024, but I’m pleased that it picked up to a more normal

pace in March. And there have been in that mix a couple of clunkers, several very enjoyable “pleasure reads,” and a few really outstanding books of which I pass along my highest recommendations. Here is a quick breakdown…

First the “clunkers,” those books that rate 2 stars or less. Those would be: Piercing the Reich by Joseph Persico (Can you believe that a history of late WWII espionage could actually be boring? This one was.)  Nightmare in Pink by John D. MacDonald proved to be one of the least plausible, least captivating in the whole series of Travis McGee novels, a series that I usually like quite a bit. The same kind of disappointment came when I finished San Andreas by Alistair MacLean for, generally speaking, I love MacLean’s well-paced adventure thrillers. And finally, this time around, I found Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea rather flat. I even had to prod myself into finishing it.

I had much better fare when reading these 3 star books: Fear Is the Key (Alistair MacLean), Eavesdropping on Lucifer (Don Stenberg), The African Queen (C.S. Forester), From Prison Ministry to Prison (ChristyAnne Collins), The Romantic Prince (Rafael Sabatini), Silver Dollar: The Story of the Tabors (David Karsner), It’s Your Turn, Mr. Moto (John P. Marquand), A Man Lay Dead (Ngaio Marsh), Hickory Hickory Dock (Agatha Christie), Seawitch (Alistair MacLean), The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes (Adrain Conan Doyle, John Dickson Carr), and A Purple Place for Dying (John D. MacDonald).

And finally, the best reads of the quarter — all fully deserving of the 4 stars: David Copperfield (Charles Dickens), Redeemed: My Journey After Abortion (Toni McFadden), Decades of Decadence: How Our Spoiled Elites Blew America’s Inheritance of Liberty, Security, and Prosperity (Marco Rubio), No Little People: Sixteen Sermons for the 20th Century (Francis Schaeffer), and A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens).

But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.