Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reading, lately

I figured I better get a small round up done before the holidays hit and things get busy. I'll try to get one in before the end of the year as well, since I usually manage to get a decent amount of reading done in December. 

heart of light - reading, lately

All the Missing Girls - This thriller has a bit of a gimmicky structure, with the narration starting two weeks after the disappearance of a girl in a small town and then working backwards. I was a little annoyed at first because I kept getting confused by who knew what and when, but it started to make sense as the book progressed. I ended up enjoying it.

Now You See Me - The first in a series about a female detective in London. The premise is a bit gory, but the twists were good and towards the end I didn't want to put it down. If you like the Maeve Kerrigan series, or the Inspector Lynley series (before it went a bit off the rails), then I think you'll like this. I have to see if I can get on the waitlist for the rest.

Extreme Prey - I've never read John Sanford, so I dove right into the middle of the Lucas Davenport series, on the advice of a reader. I didn't feel lost, so I think each book probably stands alone just fine. This really reminded me of the Jack Reacher series (large, testosterone filled protagonist, strange conspiracies, detailed descriptions of weapons). Of course, I love that series, so this totally worked for me. If you're a Lee Child fan, check it out.

The Girls - My well read friend recommended this book ages ago, and I finally got it from the library. It's fiction, based on the Manson family murders. Loosely, I assume, but I know basically nothing about the Manson family other than the bits and pieces I've somehow picked up just from existing. The book was good, really evocative of the time and place. Story is creepy and draws you right in. I felt like it had some gaps in it because the entire story takes place in a really short period of time and the relationship the protagonist develops with the cult, and then the eventual breakdown, felt a little too rapid to be believable (but maybe that's accurate?).  But I can think of at least three friends that I could confidently recommend this book to, so that's a good sign.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things - For the first third of this book I just wasn't getting the hype because it felt very, very slow. But then it gradually starts getting creepier and creepier and ends up feeling incredibly tense and stressful. Full disclosure - I guessed the twist a little early so I didn't love the book as much as others have.

Loner - I was disturbed by this book, as I assume you're meant to be. A nerdy kid gets into Harvard and becomes fixated on a girl who lives in his dorm. I wasn't sure who I was supposed to empathize with in this book, but it is certainly not the narrator, who gets weirder as the story progresses. I didn't really love this overall, although it's pretty absorbing.


  1. I read Girls recently and was a little disappointed...it felt...childish? Not sure how to describe it, but it's a little hard to believe. I think my opinion is colored by the fact that I read Helter Skelter in the past, and that book is so well done (and accurate to the Manson story) that a loosely based fiction book was never going to top it. Helter Skelter really gets into the political and social climate at the time, as well as the legal process, which makes the Manson murders "accessible" to those who didn't live through that era as adults. Highly recommend! The Girls, not so much...

    1. Totally agree that it felt childish, but I was willing to give her a pass on that because it was from the POV of a pretty young girl, so I thought maybe the tone was intentional? Am I giving too much credit?

      Maybe I'll finally read Helter Skelter. I've never been curious enough about the Manson family to get into it (creeped out, but not super curious), but you make it sound interesting!

    2. That's totally fair, you definitely have to get in the mindset of a child to read the book. Helter Skelter is amazing, I am a baby when it comes to scary books and movies and I still liked it. I tend to dream about whatever I was reading before I went to sleep so I always kept a lighter book or magazine on hand to "detox" before bed!! It's so well written though, highly recommend.

      Curious if you've tried "Book of the Month Club" or any other novel subscription services? I tend to get my books via library on my kindle but I'm toying with this idea because I'm itching for hard copies and books I wouldn't find otherwise.

  2. Thanks for the reviews. More titles to add to the TBR list! I've read all three of Sharon Bolton's Lacey Flint books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Just finished my first Peter James, The House On Cold Hill, which was creepy-ish if a tad predictable. Might give his Roy Grace detective series a try, though.

  3. I couldn't get into the Girls - the prose felt so... precious, and totally a first novel.

    I *LOVED* Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, and highly recommend it.


  4. As I stated earlier on insta, I really liked both I'm Thinking of Ending Things and All the Missing Girls so glad you read those! I loved some of the atmosphere and language of The Girls, too. And did you know she is of the Cline (wine) family? I didn't until we were in Napa/Sonoma this summer and they had her book for sell at some vineyards! Now You See Me sounds good, definitely will look into that!

    I (sadly) have no new recs for you right now because I have just been re-reading and re-reading for comfort

  5. I just finished up The Wild Girl, a historically-based imagining about one of the girls who told Wilhelm Grimm his stories. It's so easy to forget that the Grimms were collecting these stories in the early 1800s, and this book grounds the story in history--Napolean isn't a character that ever speaks, but his wars certainly are.

  6. Rachel, I get so many great recs from you that I wanted to pass a couple along likewise: two quick and engrossing books I've recently read were Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris and Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens. Both kind of disturbing but make for fun reads. :) Speaking of disturbing, You by Caroline Kepnes is SO great too (a suggestion I got from one of your commenters on a previous book post, I think!).

    Also, I think I've recommended it to you before but The Bone Clocks is the best book I've read in the last five years, hands down. Super strange and defies genre classification but so, so, so good.


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