Reading Weekly Roundup: July 19 & 26 2019
My reading slowed down a bit the last two weeks, mostly because I decided to binge the last five episodes of the newest season of Stranger Things, and then I enjoyed a long weekend in Seattle during which I went for three full days without reading. And on the plane rides I happily binged the new season of Queer Eye. So I combined two weeks of reading into one post this week, where it’s quite the mix of disappointments and thrills.
The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
Magpie Murders was a 5 star read for me, and I enjoyed the first book in this new series, The Word is Murder, but this one fell a little flat for me. Unlikeable characters abound, and enough threads are left loose that one supposes that they’re for the next book in the series. Horowitz mentions the three book deal in the story enough times to know it surely must be the real deal. And everyone has their thing, the thing that’s a trigger or a bias, and for me it’s Fatphobia, which I wasn’t pleased to see the character/author of Anthony Horowitz employing. The mystery was engaging and I certainly didn’t solve it in advance of our main character, which is always fun.
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
This was a gift from Random House last year and as I have to be in the right mood for something I believe will be sweet and cutesy, it languished on my TBR shelf for some time. This is one of those books were the jacket copy and adorable cover doesn't really accurately capture the story. Much more of the story was about family strife than a rom-com style look at marriage that the cover seems to imply. It did have a happy ending though. For a slightly longer take, check out my Goodreads review.
The Swallows by Lisa Lutz
A big thank you to Random House for gifting me an ARC of this upcoming August title. I loved the tone of the book and the badass, if still very flawed, female characters. I felt like a bit of an idiot for not getting the title of book until it was all but spelled out for me, but it is what it is. There’s a bit of revenge fantasy here, so if you’re cool with the murky grey areas of fighting violence with violence, you’ll likely enjoy this one. I have a lot more spoiler-free thoughts on this interesting read on Goodreads.
The Chain by Adrian McKinty, read by January LaVoy
Some audiobooks elevate the story beyond what’s written on the page, and some audiobooks make me dislike the story more than I might have if I didn’t have to hear the characters voices. It’s not spoiler to say that there are children in peril in this story, and children in peril are understandably upset- which in an audiobook translates to a lot of whining and crying that’s hard to listen to. Most of the book is really tense and occasionally so stress-inducing I happily switched over to a peppy podcast just to change the mood. But the ending borders on being too neat and tidy.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
Having just written my review for this one on Goodreads, I’m just going to copy and paste my relatively concise thoughts and personal anecdotes:
The biggest draw about this book for me was a fun piece of sideways nostalgia. The book takes place long before I spent any time in Niagara Falls, but it still hit upon a lot of familiar locations. As a nineteen-year-old college student on the American side of the falls at Niagara University, crossing the border and drinking on Clifton Hill held a huge amount of appeal. Devouring french fries from a Frankenstein themed Burger King in a effort to sober up a bit was a special bonus. I'd never known anyone who actually grew up in this tourist area so it was interesting to spend time with Jake and his friends and to see the city through his eyes.
This book wasn't what I was expecting. With a title like this one I think I expected more things that go bump in the night than an exploration of human memory, but ultimately I enjoyed it. I liked thinking about the tactile facts of a human brain in conjunction with all the indefinable things that it produces. It's a short book, and a little slice of life- I sometimes heard the narrator from The Sandlot in my mind while reading the mix of past and the would-be-future. Well-written and interesting if you're willing to just go where the story takes you.
And that’s it for these past two weeks! It feels a bit strange to have read so little, but such is the ebb and flow of life and the kinds of entertainment we seek out. It’s been a few weeks since I last picked up Come As You Are, and I think it’s about time I wrap up that nonfiction adventure. In the meantime I have no idea what to pick next for my fiction read and listen, so hit me up with suggestions if you have them!