Ok, I'm relatively sure that everyone who reads this blog even occasionally knows that I've been sick. I skipped my annual flu shot and that turned out to be a really bad decision. I spent nearly ten days lying on the couch, feeling absolutely miserable and wishing I could have a do-over. Thankfully, that stage has passed. I still have a persistent cough, but mostly I'm fine. I've learned my lesson and I will be first in line to get my shot next fall.
Having the flu isn't fun, but there was a silver lining to all that time on the couch--I finally caught up on my reading! Normally I read a lot during the winter. I get cold easily and would rather stay home with a book than spend a day shivering on the ski slopes. This year, however, we've barely had a winter. In fact, yesterday's snow storm was the first real snow we've had since mid-December. It's been so unseasonably warm and dry that I haven't felt the need to hibernate. I've been out and about all winter, and as a result, I managed to accumulate quite a nice pile of books that needed reading. I had no idea what a good thing that would turn out to be. Those books were a godsend during my recovery!
I read my first Laura Crum book more than a decade ago, and over the years I have developed a real affection for her crime-solving veterinarian protagonist. Moonblind and Chasing Cans are the two newest entries in the Gail McCarthy series and they don't disappoint. If you like mysteries, these are worth looking into. Need further convincing? Check out the link to the Equestrian Ink Blog on the right side of your screen. Laura posts there regularly, and I always enjoy reading about her real horses and horse life.I saw this copy of Burn Out on the New Books shelf at the library and was immediately drawn to its beautiful cover. Although I was not personally familiar with the author, she has published a long list of mysteries featuring this protagonist. I like mysteries and the blurb on the jacket indicated this one took place on a ranch. That was reason enough to take a chance on it, and the book turned out to be a pretty decent read. That said, don't be fooled into thinking this is a horse book! There is a horse, but the parts of the book involving him are somewhat cringe-worthy. Perhaps I'm too picky, but I strongly suspect this author knows nothing about horses.Collective Marks is a coming of age story about a juvenile delinquent who takes an unpaid working student position at a dressage barn in the 1960's. This is a very horsey and well written book, and it's obvious that the author knows her subject matter inside and out. Definitely recommended!I borrowed this book from the library when it was first released, and I was so impressed that I had to buy a copy for my personal collection. I recently read it again, and it was just as good the second time around. The Perfect Distance is a coming of age story that follows a group of kids competing in the big year end huntseat equitation finals. This book captures the essence of the A show hunter circuit perfectly. Every detail is just right, and the characters are well drawn and totally believable. This one ranks right up there with classics like The Monday Horses and Last Junior Year.I bought the last book at the Portland Airport and read it on my way home from the Hearts N Horses live show. Technically, it wasn't part of my flu reading list, but it's still worth including here. The Hearts of Horses takes place in rural Oregon during the first World War. This is a very well written book with lots of well drawn characters and a nicely understated romance. It's horsey but not overwhelmingly so. In fact, I recommended it to my non-horsey mother and she liked it as much as I did. So, that's this month's book list. Has anyone else read a good, new horse book lately?