A brief list of things I have read in the last couple months, along with some very sketchy reviews of each. I normally only show you the good stuff, or at least only the new stuff, but this time I'm doing an unedited list. Heads up - it will be random. I have no book selection system.
The Family Fang +
Comedic story about a family that is really, really into performance art. It is quick, engaging, silly.
The Road +
Do I need to describe this one? Pretty sure I'm the last person in the world to get around to reading it. Short apocalypse novel, beautifully written.
Friends Like Us -
Novel about quirky twenty-somethings in New York, friendships, relationships, cheating. Not my thing. I just couldn't deal with the characters and it depressed me.
The Sisters Brothers ++
My favorite book from this round. A highly stylized totally ridiculous Western satire about two hired killers. There isn't a great way to describe it but let me just say that the cover wasn't the best part and the cover is pretty excellent.
A Visit from the Goon Squad ++
Almost everyone loved this and few people were meh (were they tired of hearing about how awesome it is?). I ended up loving it despite all the hype. Lots of interlocking stories, a literary device that I'm almost always on board with, even when I think I should be over it. I enjoyed the controversial chapter that was a PowerPoint presentation, but then, I spend a lot of time with PowerPoint.
The Red House +
I like Mark Haddon in general, and this didn't disappoint. Quick read, dry humor, exploration of family relationships (set in the pressure cooker of a family vacation) that I always find interesting.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving +/-
Not sure whether to plus or minus this one. I fell for the story even though I felt a little suckered doing so. The main event that the narrator keeps referencing is depressing and pretty obvious, despite how long it takes for it to come out in full. The narrator can be difficult to like, which in theory isn't an issue for a story but I couldn't decide whether I was okay with it or not here. I can't decide whether to recommend it. Bonus points for the somewhat madcap road trip. I think I'm convincing myself that I like it more as I write this.
The Age of Miracles +
Semi-science-fiction-y novel about the world slowly ending. I'm sucker for good stories about adolescence and I enjoyed the backdrop here. Thompson Walker does a great job of making the (terribly implausible) premise seem completely normal.
Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail) +/-
Not the most literary memoir I've ever read (note - also not the least) but the story is great. Hiking solo! Survival skills! Pain! I really want to go on a backpacking trip this summer but I'm not sure it's in the cards (vacation days, you wily beasts!). Reading this at least helped make me feel like I was being outdoorsy.
And the murder mysteries ... Ones with asterisks are re-reads. I'm a chronic re-reader, especially if I start feeling stressed out. I know it seems odd to re-read mysteries, of all things, but I've always done it. It's the curse of growing up a fast reader with a limited book budget, I guess.
In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner *
The Inspector Lynley series is one of my favorites. British, serial killers, loooong books, perfect for vacations when you want an involved story. Read them in order! The individual books can be hit or miss. I guess that could be a deal breaker given the length of the books, but I tear through them so it doesn't bother me to have the occasional miss.
Not my favorite. But if you loved Gone Girl (I was only lukewarm on it), you might want to give this a try. It's a twisty page turner, for sure.
And When She Was Good
Laura Lippman is sometimes compared to Tara French (who I really enjoy) and she's generally a good read but not one of my favorites. This one is about a suburban soccer mom who just happens to be running a secret high level prostitution business and has some trouble with a former crime boss. A bit twisty, entertaining.
For the Sake of Elena *
Inspector Lynley again. Not the best in this series, but you kind of have to read it if you're already invested.
The Falcon at the Portal *
The Amelia Peabody series is one of my all time favorites. I've read them all a million times. They hit several sweet spots. Humorous murder mysteries set in Egypt in the early 1900s with a British protagonist. Again, read them in order.
He Shall Thunder in the Sky *
Amelia Peabody again. I was feeling nostalgic that week.
To Fear a Painted Devil
I haven't read much Ruth Rendell but I think I might pick up a few more. If you like Agatha Christie (I read every Christie ever published the year I was 13) you'll like this one.
I'm not a huge fan of Norwegian crime novels (don't hate me!) but I do like the few Inspector Sejer series books I've read. They are mildly creepy and bleak, but tempered by the warmth of the main protagonist.
I'm currently on the waitlist for a couple of library books and I need to find a few more to add to the queue or I'll end up re-reading Harry Potter again.
Note - I do use affiliate links when I link to Amazon on the blog, because it's convenient and I was already linking to them before the affiliate program was offered. If you end up purchasing I get a (tiny) commission that I usually put towards my photo hosting but sometimes towards happy hour. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of affiliate links, you can open a new tab and search for the book/item by name. And don't worry, I can't see who is purchasing stuff.