The Next Time You See Me - Murder mystery in a small town, and one of the central figures is an adolescent outcast. I liked this, and thought the characters were interesting, but I didn't love it.
In Bitter Chill - Set in England, the story revolves around a cold case. Two girls are kidnapped, only one escapes. Thirty years later, the case is reopened and wreaks havoc on the survivor's life. I think I really liked the idea of this one, but the main character is a genealogist, which ties into the plot, and as a result the cast of characters started getting a bit unwieldy. Am I bad at remembering names? Yes. Do I think this mystery could have been a bit more compact? Yes.
All Other Nights - I really loved Horn's novel The World to Come and I was hoping that I'd love this one just as much. It's set during the revolutionary war and follows Jacob, a Jewish soldier in the Union army who becomes a spy. I liked this but not nearly as much as The World to Come.
The Story of a New Name - The second in the Ferrante series. I waited a while before checking it out. I enjoyed the first one quite a bit but didn't feel like diving back in there right away. The storytelling is deep and beautiful, of course, but I feel like I'm the only one who gets extremely annoyed with Lila. I could never read this series straight through because I always need a break from her character by the end of the book.
The Argonauts - I had seen this recommended but had no idea what to expect and it was lovely and moving. It's a combination of memoir and musing on gender identity and love and parenthood that I tore through in almost one sitting. Bonus (for me) - it's set in LA and I always catching glimpses of the city through other people's eyes.
The Flamethrowers - The prose in this book is beautiful. And who can resist a female motorcycle racer who wants to set a speed record on the desert salt flats? However, the book is fairly long and I got irritated with the narrator's naivete part way through (specifically, all the parts set in Italy - it isn't a tiny section of the book). It ended up pulling back together for me, but there was a bit of a rough patch I had to struggle through.
Money: A Love Story - Oh. my. god. I can't believe I read this and I can't believe I'm admitting it publicly. I heard someone mention it and I'm always up for a personal finance book. This is .... not good. First of all, the intro is written by the author's mother, which I'm willing to accept (barely) because the mother is also a published author. But when the mother started including multiple sentences with multiple exclamation points (not kidding - there are at least three sentences in the intro that each have three exclamation points each. I can't see any situation, barring a hyperbolic email to a good friend, where a triple exclamation is warranted) and also happens to be a doctor who believes that menstrual cramps are caused by financial issues (not kidding - it's all about your second chakra, apparently) I knew I should back out gracefully. But none of my other waitlisted books had come in, so I barged ahead. The author is a big believer in manifesting abundance, which as far as my pessimistic brain has always understood it, means believing that money will come to you if you let it. I know, I know, it's more nuanced than that, and I am deeply cynical and could probably learn a thing or two about optimism. So I will just leave this by saying that I don't want to take financial advice from someone who has made most of her money in a pyramid scheme (sorry - network marketing business) and also managed to get herself into debt while living rent-free in Manhattan. Because I am trying to be fair I will tell you thought the section about passive income was good, other than the MLM stuff. But really, there are so many wonderful finance books out there with much more practical advice. The first one I read was Smart Women Finish Rich and it convinced me to set up an IRA right out of college, for which I'm very grateful.
I'm always impressed with the amount of reading you get done! I can't seem to finish more than two books a month but I love reading your recommendations. I'm pining over a copy of the Argonauts from the library but it's currently on hold, and I agree with you on the Flamethrowers - I personally had to put it down. As for financial planning books, I recently read "The Index Card" which gave basic and easy to understand financial advice and recommend it to anyone starting out. A super quick and informative read!ReplyDelete
I had to wait for so long for The Argonauts! It's deservedly popular. I always just keep a ton of stuff on my waitlist, but that can backfire, like this week when I suddenly got four books all at once on Monday. Whoops.Delete
I'm going to recommend the book I read last week that I utterly and completely loved but it is NOT for everyone. The name of the book is "You" by Caroline Kepnes. It is disturbing, hilarious, provocative and creepy. But I couldn't get enough of it. It contains graphic sexual content and language. Read immediately if any or all of this intrigues you.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Megan! I'll have to take a look.Delete
oh my god THIS BOOK. i devoured the thing in two days after reading this comment.. crazy and awesome. thanks megan!Delete
The last bit cracked me up. :) Have you read The Bone Clocks? Oh my goodness -- I don't even know what genre to call it. It's sweeping and is a bold mix of scifi/romance/drama/mystery/dystopia, and so beautiful and so sad... one of the best books I've ever read.ReplyDelete
Oh, I haven't! I think someone has recommended it to me in the past and somehow I didn't get to it. I'll add it to my list. Thanks!Delete
I love Dara Horn, but All Other Nights wasn't a favorite. You should check out Guide for the Perplexed - SO good and draws you in quickly.ReplyDelete
Good to know! Sadly, I put both All Other Nights and Guide for the Perplexed on hold at the same time, and GftP came in just as I was finished AON. I felt tapped out by AON, so I passed on GftP. I'll have to put it on hold again!Delete
right there with you on lila, though i wasn't able to exert much self control when it came to spacing the books out. i forget who it was so this is going to be a terrible anecdote, but i was talking to someone recently (my mother, maybe?) who said they had a really hard time with my brilliant friend because they didn't like lina, which i found interesting. she reminds me just a bit of...cathy from never let me go? is that weird? lina, i mean, not my mother.ReplyDelete
i am about 2 mm away from finishing graham greene's travels with my aunt, which i have adored; i have yet to figure out whether it's of a piece with his other stuff (i suspect it's not), but either way i found a sexy old mass-market paperback edition of the third man at my bookstore today and decided fate wanted me to keep going. i also purchased action: a book about sex, by amy rose spiegel, for reasons i don't even begin to understand. i will probably end up either dropping it from my balcony or making everyone i know read it, so, you know, i'm sorry ahead of time.
Ha! I'm definitely one of those people who was more annoyed with Lina than Lila. I read the whole series, but I wasn't a big fan.Delete
Wait, aren't Lina/Lila the same person? And Lenu is the narrator? I might need to go back and read the character lists. It's tricky when everyone seems to have two or three different names. For clarity, I am irritated by the shoe designing best friend of the narrator!Delete
LMO, I haven't read any Graham Greene but now I'm going to add that one to my list!
agh, yes! i mean elena/lenu. son of sarratore, those names get confusing.Delete
Oh wow does that Money book sound awful! I struggle with nonfiction but that sounds beyond the pale! I've finally read two five star books this month but I don't think either of them would be your thing. I do think you'd like I Let You Go if you haven't read it yet!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Eva! I'll check it out.Delete
Just dropping in to say I finished the latest by Rufi Thorpe (author of The Girls from Coronoa Del Mar, which I read after seeing you post about it) and it was incredible! It's called Dear Fang, With LoveDelete
I highly recommend the Martin Beck mysteries by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. They were written in the 60's and 70's and it's great to read a mystery series that doesn't rely on the internet/modern technology but isn't dated.ReplyDelete