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Weekly Reads: February 1-7

Weekly Reads: February 1-7

The first week of February has come to a close, (is it just me or is time flying by faster than usual?) and I enjoyed four books and finished one audiobook. This week was a blend of new reads and a those from the way back list and thankfully they were all great.

Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough
January 26 2017

4 stars for the first 98% of the book and then a whopping solid gold 5 stars for that ending.

I'm always wary of books that are hyped up, when people everywhere all crow over a twist or an ending, worried that the actuality won't live up to the hype.

And initially, I was worried that would be the case with this book. As I read on and was introduced to the points of view from various characters and their histories, and as an aspect of the fantastical was introduced I became pretty certain I had this story buttoned up about 2/3 of the way through.

And wouldn't you know it, I was right. Most of my guesses were spot on.

But the story wasn't done.

The final twist was SO much more than I could have ever expected. I felt like running around screaming, tearing at my hair. I had been fooled! And what a hideous trick it was! There is glee in being fooled, it's such a thrilling and all too rare experience in reading thrillers and mysteries, and I was gutted by this terrifying "reality".

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
February 21, 2012
4 Stars

I know I’m so very late in reading this book that has been a tremendous experience for so many readers, but I don’t know what else to say other than I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to my TBR books and even those account for maybe half of my TBR list.

At first this book is deceptively simplistic, full of straight forward writing that captures the mundanities of live in equal measure with the pains of growing up.

But like watching a bud unfurl into a flower the story grows, navigating richer and more complicated paths of what it means to be alive, to grow into one's life.

It's about love, love in families, love between friends, the uncomplicated love that comes only from a dog, and the kind of love that requires more bravery than it should.

Like tons of people on Goodreads I’m looking forward to the follow up book.

 

The Other Typist,  Suzanne Rindell
May 7 2013
Audiobook
4 Stars

I first listened to the audiobook the week it came out, while I was still living in New York City. I loved listening as I ran errands around Manhattan, imagining the old buildings hovering just below the modern setting I traveled through.

I wanted to re-listen, wishing once again to be transported to the era of speakeasies, likely because of my renewed interest in that era thanks to watching Fantastic Beasts. I had forgotten just how complex the story was, how difficult it was to tease out truth from lies and who was really responsible for what.

I generally hope to avoid spoilers when I share about what I’ve read, but I have my own opinions that seem to differ from some who have shared their theories about the ending on Goodreads, so I’m always open to chat about that ending if you’re curious.

 

The Dry, Jane Harper
January 10 2017
3.75 Stars

The last quarter of the book was amazing, so many pieces snapping together to finally complete the pictures we'd been puzzling out for hundreds of pages.

My complaints with the rest of the book stems from mostly the fact that I prefer plot-driven stories over character-driven ones. I'm fully aware that this is simply a personal preference. The other issue is how much I hated the setting and the people who populated it, not how the writer wrote it, which I  have to imagine is spot on, but rather I can't imagine what it would be like to live in such a small rural town with people who prefer scapegoating and blind finger-pointing.

I had a hard time sinking into this one, but the ending paid off.

I’m curious about the intent of another book in the “Aaron Falk” series, and where that will bring our pale detective.

 

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
May 12 2015
4.5 Stars

I generally prefer to pretend that nothing moves beneath glimmering bodies of water. And while a few water dwelling creatures have charmed me, prior to reading this book, the octopus was not one of them.

I had respect for octopuses, I knew they were smart, and when standing eye to eye with one in the Seattle Aquarium I had a sensation of being measured that I wouldn't receive from any of the other occupants.

But this book made them so much more. I found myself unexpectedly crying and laughing in equal measure, some greater part of of humanity cultivated by exploring what it means to be alive, to be curious, to have wants, inspired by these creatures from another world.

...

As I sail into the next week I’m currently halfway through the audiobook edition of “Right Behind You” by Lisa Gardner and I will be starting one of my Book of the Month Club picks today!

 

Weekly Reads: February 8-14

Weekly Reads: February 8-14

January Reads Wrap Up

January Reads Wrap Up