Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today, the topic is Made You Laugh.

We talked about memorable books at the end of last year, but what about books that have made you laugh? What are some of your favorite stories that have either made you chuckle or belly laugh?

1, Terry Pratchett: Witches Abroad

I love Pratchett’s books even though I didn’t read any last year. Any of them are good for a laugh or two, but I particularly love the Witches books.

2, Steven Brust: Jhereg

Vlad Taltos is a witch with an intelligent familiar, Loiosh. Their snarky conversations make everything better. Jhereg isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it’s the first.

3, T. Kingfisher: Swordheart

This is a fantasy romance book with lots of humor.

4, Jasper Fforde: The Eyre Affair

Thursday Next is a literature detective and she gets to go inside books!

5, Elizabeth Peters: The Last Camel Died at Noon

Peters’ series is historical mystery, but it has lots of humor, too. It’s set in Victorian times. Amelia Peabody and her husband are amateur Egyptologists.

The seventh Dirk Pitt book.

Publishing year: 1984

Format: Print

Finnish translator: Maria Sivonen

Page count: 418

Finnish publisher: WSOY

This adventure book starts with two plotlines that merge. In one, Dirk Pitt and his friend Al Giordano look for a sunken ship that is carrying a stolen shipment of nerve gas. The gas is escaping and killing people. The second plot involves the kidnapping of the four most important politicians in the US.

The story starts with Arta Casilighio, a bank teller who finds the passport of another woman. Arta gathers the courage to steal a lot of money and head to Europe aboard a ship. Unfortunately for her, a group of Korean men highjacks the ship and kills everyone on it.

Twenty years later, something is mysteriously killing people on ships. The US government sends Dr. Julia Mendoza from the Environmental Protection Agency to order Pitt and Giordano to look for a sunken ship that is spreading the poison. Pitt does so but Dr. Mendoza is exposed to the poison and dies. Pitt swears revenge.

Meanwhile, the four top men in the US government go missing, and the men closest to them try very hard to cover it up while both the FBI and the CIA are looking for the president and the other men.

This was my first Cussler book, but I know the series is very popular. Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me. It has lots and lots of point-of-view characters. I didn’t have trouble telling them apart from each other, but none of them were very compelling. Also, the plot centers on politics which I didn’t find compelling. The book has also some racism toward Asians.

The plot has some incongruous elements. Perhaps most fantastical of them is not just mind control, but the notion that you can inject memories from one man’s brain to another’s. For a thriller book, the plot felt slow to me, because of the politicking.

Action Heroine Fans is a GoodReads group for people who like reading about action heroines. They have a reading challenge for this year, too, and I’ve joined it. However, since this year they only allow books, I have a more modest goal of six books.

WMG Publishing has another very interesting Kickstarter: Crimes collide.

For over four decades, New York Times and USA Today bestselling writers Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith have been writing professional mystery short stories that have won awards and sold millions of copies, plus they have been acclaimed and enjoyed by fans over the entire world.

Now, for the first time, Kris and Dean are collecting 100 of their mystery short stories together into a five-volume set called CRIMES COLLIDE. 50 stories from each author, ten stories from each author in every volume.

It’s already funded and hit the second stretch goal! 14 days to go.

I’ll gather again all the books and comics I’ll read this year into this post

Challenges:

Mount TBR (24)

Action heroine (6)

January

1, Clive Cussler: Deep Six

2,

Comics

I’m again joining this challenge in an attempt to lower my TBR mountain. I’ve succeeded a couple years in a row so hopefully this year, too.

My goal is again Mount Blanc, 24 books.

Mount TBR challenge and rules.

Books read

Books I plan to read

1, Cynthia Vespia: Karma

2, Dangerous Women 2

3, T. Kingfisher: Paladin’s Strenght

4, Fiction River: Doorways to Enchantment

5, Fiction River: hard choices

6, Fiction River: Justice

7, Derelict

I completed all my challenges!

Mount TBR

My goal was Mount Blanc: 24 book. I read 26.

1, Kim Newman: Anno Dracula

2, Kristine Kathryn Rusch ed.: Fiction River Special Edition: Spies

3, Hannu Rajaniemi: Summerland

4, Seeley James: Element 42

5, Duane Lindsay: The Grifter’s Daughter

6, Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Moon Maid

7, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Escaping Amnthra

8, Shawn McGuire: Original Secrets

9, K. C. Hunter: Kana Cold and the Case of the Shinigami

10, Genevieve Cogman: The Secret Chapter

11, Jefferson Smith: The Brotherhood of Delinquents

12, Steven Saylor: Roman Blood

13, William Goldman: The Princess Bride

14, Michael White: The Equinox

15, Indrek Hargia: Apothecary Melchior and the Mystery of St Olaf’s Church

16, Sylvain Neuvel: Sleeping Giants

17, Sylvain Neuvel: Waking Gods

18, Alex Archer: Rogue Angel 1: Destiny

19, Max Brooks: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

20, Jeffrey Lang: Immortal Coil

21, Robert J. Sawyer: Time: Complete Short Fiction volume 3

22, Gwyneth Gibby ed.: Fiction River Presents: Time Travelers

23, Timothy Zahn: Conquerors’ Pride

24, Stefon Mears: Twisted Timelines

25, Leonard Goldberg: The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes

26, Melanie Karsak: Wolves and Daggers

Action/Adventure Bingo card

My goal was one bingo. I read 16 books and got two bingos.

Pick&Mix challenge

My goal was 10 books. I read that easily, most of them audio books.

Action heroine reading challenge

My goal was originally 30 reads and I upgraded it to 50. I read that, too. Most of my reads for this challenge were comics.

I read 54 books in 2021. I reviewed 46 comics but read much more of them.

Out of those 54 books, 22 were fantasy, 19 were science fiction, four were thrillers, five mystery, two historical fiction, and three were multigenre short story collections.

Twenty were new to me authors.

I hope 2022 will be a much better and happier year for everyone.

The first book in the historical mystery series about Holmes’ daughter.

31450953

Finnish publisher: Bazar

Publishing year: 2017

Format: Print

Finnish translator: Marja Helonen

Page count: 329

London 1914. John Watson Jr. is the first-person narrator. He’s the son of John Watson and also a doctor, although a pathologist. His dad helps investigate the murder. The elder Watson still lives at 221 B Baker Street and that’s where the story starts. Mary Harrelston comes to see him, looking for help because her brother has just died, and everyone thinks it’s a suicide. But Mary doesn’t think so. Watson and his son agree to look into it. Apparently, two people witnessed Mr. Harrelston’s plunge to death and their statements disagree. One is a gardner and one is a ten-year-old boy. The boy is the son of Joanna Blalock, a young widow.

Watson knows that Joanne is the daughter of Holmes and Irene Adler. He tells about her to his son but swears him to secrecy. They meet with Joanna, and the younger Watson is immediately smitten with her. She has incredible deductive powers and insists on helping with the case. The case turns out to be, as usual, far more than what you see at the first glance.

This book felt like fan fiction. The trio meets Scotland Yard’s Inspector Lestrade who is the son of the original Lestrade. He needs a little persuasion in letting Joanne join the investigation. They also need the help of Toby Two, descended from Holmes’ Toby and young Ms. Hudson is Dr. Watson’s housekeeper.

The plot is nicely twisted, but not too complicated. The mystery isn’t who murdered the man, but how and why and how can our heroes prove it. Joanne explains her deductions thoroughly, partly to convince the men around her. She reads a lot and has a very good memory. As a woman, she has a very limited choice of professions so she’s a nurse. Her ten-year-old son is the spitting image of young Holmes and is also very perceptive and makes excellent deductions. The younger Watson also praises Joanne’s looks all the time, in his thoughts, which can be a bit tiresome. There’s a romance between them.

It’s a light and easy mystery read if you don’t mind (or especially if you like) the many connections to the Holmes stories.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Ten Best Books I read in 2021

Goodreads makes lists like these quite a bit easier. 🙂

This year I gave only four reads five stars, three of them books and one comic book:

1, Mary Robinette Kowal: The Relentless Moon

The third book in the Lady Astronaut of Mars series. Even though it had a different (first-person) narrator, I enjoyed this alternate reality very much.

2, T. Kingfisher: Swordheart

A funny fantasy romance between a widow in her thirties and a man bound to a magic sword. It was just what I needed this year.

3, Becky Chambers: To be Taught if Fortunate

What could space exploration be like if people could change physically to adjust to the alien planets?

I had a lot more four star reads and it was more difficult to choose among them, but here goes:

4, Dan Koboldt: Domesticating Dragons

Dragons built on computer models and the eggs done with 3D printers, so that (wealthy) people can have their own pet dragons. A really fun read.

5, Genevieve Cogman: The Secret Chapter

The sixth book in the delightful Invisible Library series was just as much fun as the previous books. This time spy and librarian Irene and her partner Kai are roped into a heist.

6, Mur Lafferty: Six Wakes

Six clones are the crew of a starship that is carrying thousands of people to colonize a new planet. But something has gone terribly wrong. The clones awake in new bodies. Someone has murdered them all.

7, Lois McMaster Bujold: Masquerade in Lodi

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Bujold’s Pen and Desdemona fantasy novellas and this one was no exception. This time our heroes search for a man who is possessed by a demon.

8, Jeffrey Lang: Immortal Coil

I planned to reread more Star Trek: TNG books this year but only managed one. It focused on Data and his life after he installed his emotion chip.

9, Gwyneth Gibby ed.: Fiction River Presents: Time Travelers

This is an excellent collection of eight time travel stories even though not all of them are told from the point of view of the traveler. The stories have quite a lot of variety including a couple of race against the clock -stories, mysteries through times, people wrestling with their emotions, and a sweet Christmas love story.

10, T.L. Heinrich: Fire&Ice

The second book in the superhero series set in the year 1963 in the fictional Metro City. Colleen has fire powers and at night she stalks the streets as a vigilante. She is also the daughter of a mob boss and another mob boss has targeted her mother.

Comics this year had a lot of rereads which I enjoyed a lot.

Modesty Blaise is always an enjoyable action/adventure read.

Exiles reread was great and I will continue it next year.

She-Hulk reread was also very enjoyable.

But the best were the two volumes of Black Cat.