HI I’m here again!
So I thought I’d do a book post because I love when other bloggers do those and Cthulhu knows I don’t have anything else noteworthy going on.
I go through phases where I devour a couple books a week and then I go through dry spells where I spend all my free time staring at my phone and reading virtually nothing of substance. Currently I’m in a reading phase. As far as I know, my last book post was this one from back in March, so I’ll continue where I left off. This time, I tried to put them in some kind of order. (Note: I’m reading House of Leaves in the “remastered” paperback edition but the rest of these are on Kindle.)
THE BEST BOOK EVER
The Pulitzer prizing winning Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. One of the most achingly beautiful books I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to end. It’s 539 pages and I burned through it in a few days. It’s about a boy.
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski. I’ve only just started this one but I wanted to mention it because it is already SO, SO GOOD. A family moves into a new home where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Isn’t that brilliant?? The text was apparently passed around on the internet before making it to print. There are multiple narrators and a fuckload of very elaborate footnotes but so far I haven’t found it difficult to follow, although it’s definitely disorienting, which I believe is the intent. Every moment I’m awake I long to be engulfed in this book. It’s so sharp. I’d actually like to be reading it right now instead of writing this stupid blog post.
Bird Box – Josh Malerman. Apocalyptic horror thriller! Everybody starts killing everybody! This was recommended to me by several people, and I was not disappointed. Some scenes were so tense that I was actually clenching my whole body in bed while reading. I stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish it and then my kids woke me up at the crack of dawn and I hated myself, but it was worth it.
Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe – Thomas Ligotti. Two fantastic collections of contemporary horror stories. I found the recommendation in a comment thread on a friend’s Facebook page and felt like I won the lottery! If you’re into horror, especially that of Poe and Lovecraft, you will adore these stories.
Finders Keepers – Stephen King. This is the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy. It was good. Stephen King’s got that shit nailed down. But I didn’t like it as much as the first one. I’d like to read the final book in the trilogy but I’m honestly waiting on the price to go down. The KINDLE edition is $14.99! Fuck that.
Run – Blake Crouch. Horror/thriller. This is another apocalyptic thriller where everyone turns into homicidal maniacs. It’s fast-paced and gripping and just really brilliantly written.
Wayward Pines Trilogy – More Blake Crouch. As soon as I finished Run, I immediately went looking for another Crouch. I don’t want to give too much away because I feel like it’s better to go into these books knowing nothing about them. I’ll just say they were fucking brilliant. Exquisite and vivid and terrifying, and just…astonishing. More adjectives. All the adjectives! And the tv series directed by M. Night Shyamalan happened to premier shortly after I finished the novels so that was fun too.
Good Behavior – Blaaaaake Crouch. This was a collection of three novellas with a common character, and apparently is also being adapted for tv. Crouch writes very rich, very well-developed characters and his stories are riveting.
The Confessor – Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon #3. Silva’s written like a literal fuck-ton of spy novels, and I’ve read a bunch of them, not in the correct order. They are pretty formulaic, but suspenseful and fast and fun to read.
Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris. This was a $2.99 cyber Monday deal. It’s a NYT bestseller so I had high hopes but I thought it was just okay. It goes in a past-present format building up to a big reveal about halfway through that is pretty much just what it portends, without any major plot twist. Also, I find it frustrating when there’s a character who is trying desperately to convince other people of something and the premise is really weak for why no one will believe them. So there’s that. I did actually really like the ending, but I was frustrated through much of the book.
Flotsam – Troy Blackford. This was a $2.99 Kindle STEAL! A collection of short stories the author published through Kindle after multiple rejections from magazines and literary journals. He notes the number of rejections each story got. They were all pretty clever and fun and easy to read.
The Girl With No Past – Kathryn Croft. Psychological thriller along the lines of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, both of which it has been compared to ad nauseam. The first review on Amazon really nails it– the story moves along at a nice pace and the characters are well-developed, but the plot just kind of falls apart. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really get all the praise, either. (I also didn’t love The Girl on the Train as much as other people did.)
The Least of My Scars – Another $2.99 kindle deal. Horror novel written in the first-person perspective of a serial killer. It was a good read for the most part but there were a couple of really fucked up parts (involving a child) that I honestly just wish I hadn’t read…and that’s saying a lot for me. If you’re not reeeeally into horror (specifically serial killer gore), you should probably skip it.
So, just a note about all of these. I’ve been searching for a cheaper alternative to Michael Connelly’s cop thrillers because while I love them, they ain’t cheap. Most of these were $2.99-4.99 and some of them were pretty good, but none of the were like, incredible.
Silent Girls – Erik Rickstad. Murders in a small town! This was a fun crime thriller and I didn’t guess the plot twist so I was pleased that it wasn’t predictable.
Lie In Wait – Another Eric Rickstad, another small town murder mystery. I liked it, but I thought Silent Girls was better.
Silent Scream – Angela Marsons. Detective Kim Stone #1. Main character is a brilliant detective who has a lot of baggage and gives zero fucks. I read three more of her novels before I got a little tired of the formula and moved onto something else. I’d give all of these about 3.5/5 stars. A good beach/airplane read.
Evil Games – Detective Kim Stone #2. See above.
Lost Girls – Detective Kim Stone #3 ^
Play Dead – Detective Kim Stone #4 ^
The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza. Detective Erika Foster #1. Same here. It was a pretty good police procedural/crime novel but it didn’t, like, MOVE me.
Abducted – Lizzy Gardner #1. Just okay. I finished it, but I wasn’t enthralled.
Mouth Sewn Shut – I put this one down about 20 pages in. Just couldn’t get into it.
Did I mention Middlesex?