December + January in books.
The Tiger's Wife - A young doctor in a war torn country investigates her grandfather's mysterious death through the stories he told while alive. Almost like a fairytale with stories taking place on two planes. I really enjoyed this one.
All That Is - A picture of post WWII life in America, heavy on the male experience. I found the main character pretty tiring and the females seemed very one dimensional (maybe because they were only seen from the male point of view?) but the writing is strong and it was oddly compelling, given my lack of connection to the male lead. I guess I would give it a hesitant recommendation. Other people seemed to loooove this book, so I might be way off base here.
Telegraph Avenue - Hijinks, hot air balloons (okay, fine, just one zeppelin) and the death of the local record store, set in Oakland. Not my favorite Chabon novel (Mysteries of Pittsburgh wins). It was funny, as expected, but it felt like it was over the top in a way that didn't work for me and I just couldn't quite fall into it.
The Burgess Boys - A family torn apart by tragedy reunites over a troubled teenager, set in a tiny town in Maine and NYC. I enjoyed Amy and Isabelle and Olive Kitteridge and this didn't grab me the same way. It felt a little - bloodless at times? Not sure if that's a product of the characters and my deep unfamiliarity with the east coast mindset or just where I was mentally when I read it, but it just didn't sing for me.
The Newlyweds - A Bangladeshi woman meets an American man on the internet, they marry and she moves to the US. Culture clashes ensue, along with some self awakening. This is a very easy, light read. I'm a sucker for culture clash stories, so I enjoyed it. The focus is mainly on the female character and the American husband just sort of exists. Fair enough, I guess.
Unseen - Another in the Will Trent series of thrillers. Solid, if you're into that kind of thing.
Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood - Re-reading the first two in Atwood's dystopian trilogy, since I'd just read the third one. I can never read a single book in a series like this without wanting to re-read the others. This just reminded me of how much I love the series as a whole and also that I will always, always skip over song lyrics in a novel, even if I love the author to death. I hate reading song lyrics.
The Complete Miss Marple Collection - Agatha Christie was my very first introduction to mysteries and I have read everything she has ever written. I gave up my Agatha Christie mysteries when we moved because they were taking up an entire bookshelf and I hadn't re-read them in a while. For Christmas, D surprised me with the complete Miss Marple collection for my Kindle and I binge read them (and then felt slightly sad that I'd given up my others, so I might save up to replace a few more).
W is for Wasted and V is for Vengeance - Sue Grafton writes the only mystery series that has stayed good the whole way through. I love, love, love her voice (I appreciate humor in a mystery) and the plots are pretty consistently good so I treated myself to these as a purchase over the holidays. Also considering purchasing the entire series for my Kindle at some point, because I enjoy re-reading these.
Just One Evil Act - The latest Inspector Lynley novel. It goes a little off the rails and I'm sad to think this series is going downhill, but that seems to be the case. I'll probably keep reading them anyways, because apparently that's what I do.