I've finished the Death on the Nile reread, which I loved, as I knew that I would, so all of my holdover reading has been completed.
Unfortunately, I have a very busy couple of weeks ahead, with two significant trials, so I'm spending most of my weekend with my work computer, building my trial books and prepping. I worked for 6 hours yesterday, and probably will work for the same or more today & tomorrow.
There is a little bit of time available for reading, though, and I've settled on my extra Memorial Day reads:
28: Read a book that is identified as romance or chick-lit, or that has a cover that is more than 50% pink.
I was on the fence about this one, but then I checked out my small collection of Black Dog & Levanthal Agatha Christie hardbacks and realized that The Body in the Library is more than 50% pink. This is one that I haven't reread in a long time, and it's a good one!
6. Read a book set in your home town, state, or country or that you checked out of your local library or that has been on your (physical) bookshelves since last summer.
I dithered on this one quite a bit, but settled on the Barnes and Noble Classics edition of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, which fills one of my few remaining Detection Club bingo spaces. I'd really like to finish up with that project in June.
16. Read a book that is a mystery or suspense, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
I am planning on reading The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson, which I checked out of the library. Tigus liked it, so I have high hopes! This will leave me with just 3 open squares on my Detection Club bingo card!
It's a long weekend in the US, and those of you who played the last round of Booklikes-opoly might remember what that means!
As the game master, I am using my game master privileges to grant everyone two extra rolls for the long weekend, so if today is a roll day for you, you may roll three times, otherwise you get two rolls.
What does this mean, exactly?
When you are playing extra rolls, you do not have to finish the book before you move on. Take your rolls and note your spaces. You can read the books for those spaces in any order, you can skip some or all of the spaces.
This is a completely optional enhancement!
If you want to see how it works in play, my update post will, hopefully, help you to understand!
Both Char and Leah's Bookish Obsession really liked this audiobook, which is what compelled me to use one of my audible credits on it. I'm not sure if I would've liked it so well if I'd read it instead of experiencing the audiobook - some books are really MADE for one format or another, and this book is made for full-cast audio.
It was. overall, just a really well-done series of audio performances. The narrators who performed each character were terrific, each of them adopting, not just a voice, but truly developing a character through the course of the book. One of the difficulties of a book like this one would be in creating fully-drawn characters that are distinguishable from one another, and TJR really accomplished this.
The book is structured like an oral history, with each character giving us a narrative of events that are sometimes contradictory. There were times - and this felt very real - that two different characters explained an event in a way that were not reconcilable. Sometimes it was possible, as it is in life, to make a credibility determination about who was telling the truth, based on the characters, and sometimes it just felt likely that each character was being truthful, but that they had experienced the event differently.
Daisy, Billy and Camila are well drawn. I enjoyed all of the side characters - Graham, Billy's brother who lives in his shadow, Eddie, with his relentless complaining, Pete, quiet and somewhat enigmatic, and Warren, who was endlessly douchey but still entertaining, and ultimately, one of the most well-adjusted of the bunch (which I honestly did not see coming). But, if I had to choose a favorite, it was Karen, the keyboardist, ambitious, clear-sighted, who knew what she wanted, and was really the only one who didn't ultimately agree to a compromise.
Things did break down a little bit at the end, and the "Aurora" section went on a bit too long, so I can't call this book "perfect," but I really enjoyed it. And I hear that it has been picked up for television, which seems like a fantastic idea, as long as they don't fuck it up.
“I am not a middle man. I am a top man,” declared Hercule Poirot with a slight arrogance.
“What are you?”
“I am a detective,” said Hercule Poirot with the modest air of one who says “I am a king.”
Slight arrogance, Agatha? Really?
My distraction has reached a fever point, and I have 4 books on the go right now, so some streamlining needs to happen!
I will probably finish Death on the Nile today. I should've waited to start it, because I could've read it for my first booklikesopoly book, but such is not to be.
Daisy Jones and The Six is my current audiobook, and I am about half finished with it. I'm really enjoying it all of the performances, even if Warren is a flaming douchebag.
I have gotten basically nowhere (I've read about 5 pages) on An Unsuitable Attachment, which was this month's Pymalong book. At this point, I am going to wait for it to fit into a square and just restart it for the game.
I've gone back and forth a few times on what I will read for The Silk Road square and I have finally settled on Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews. I read the first in this trilogy, Red Sparrow, for Summer of Spies 2018, so it makes sense to read this one for Summer of Spies Redux. It's set at least partially in Russia, so it fits the prompt.
“It seems all wrong to me—her looking like that. Money and looks—it’s too much! If a girl’s as rich as that she’s no right to be a good-looker as well. And she is a good-looker…Got everything, that girl has. Doesn’t seem fair….”
Chapter 1 is quite a whirlwind of introductions!
I am still reading Empire Grill, although I finished The Invisible Library, which is 328 pages and is therefore worth $6.00! I will be rolling from Main Street #10.
I rolled an 8:
Which puts me on Carsland 18: Read a book that was published in 2006, 2011, 2013 & 2014 or which has a car on the cover.
Since I enjoyed The Eyre Affair so much, and since the next Thursday Next book also has a car on the cover:
I'm about 90% sure that will be my choice!
I stumbled on a sort of a cool thing for people who use GR/amazon & who also use their local public libraries.
I think it only works with the Chrome browser.
It's called the Library Extension, and when you download it onto your browser and identify your library, it adds whether or not the book is available at my library when I view it on GR. It looks like this:
It's live linked to the book in my library, so if I click on the borrow button, it takes me over to the website and asks me to log in to place hold.
It shows up on the amazon book page, as well:
Pretty cool, huh?
This was the second stand-alone by Slaughter that I've read in the last couple of days (actually, I read this one first, but already wrote the other review).
From this experience, I think it's clear that I have a marked preference for her Will Trent series.
This one had a bit of Patty Hearst, Symbionese Liberation Army vibe going out that, again, didn't really work for me. There wasn't really a single likeable character in this book, with the possible exception of one of the male characters whom I can't really further identify without spoiling the book.
It's told with a series of flashbacks between the 1970's and the present, which is intended to build to a sort of a climactic confrontation. It was less violent than Pretty Girls, and didn't include sexual violence, which is less disturbing to me, although there was still a lot of murder and mayhem.
I really do think that Slaughter knows how to tell a really tight and well-plotted mystery, but her books would be stronger if she would dial down the graphic violence and concentrate a little bit more on believability and a little bit less on shocking the reader.
I'm a bit of an outlier with this one here on BL - most of the ratings are quite a bit higher than this one.
I really like Slaughter's Will Trent series, which features a GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigations) detective who is dyslexic and functionally illiterate. This is actually fairly implausible as well - if there is one thing that is absolutely required for detectives, it's competent reading skills. Nonetheless, that bothers me very little in that series because the characters are so engaging.
Pretty Girls is a Slaughter stand-alone - the third that I've read. It is very engaging. In fact, you can use any of those silly review words to describe it: compulsively readable; propulsive action; blah blah blah.
Unfortunately, it is so violent that it is almost unreadable. If you think back to the sexual violence in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, that's what we're talking about here. This is a deal breaker for a lot of people, and I'm not kidding when I say it is violent. Violence really isn't a deal breaker for me, but this book was at the leading edge of what I can even read. On a scale of 1 to 10, the level of sexual violence is this book is 1,532,710. It's that violent.
In addition, though, the real problem that I had with the book was that it is utterly implausible. I have no problem with conspiracies that verge on preposterous, but this one, nope. It strained credulity beyond the breaking point.
I read it in about 3 hours - and it's an over 500 page book - so that tells you that it is gripping. But I didn't really enjoy the process of being gripped.
In addition to playing BL-opoly, I am going to indulge in another espionage summer! I had such a great time last year reading spy fic, and I still have a number of books that I bought for the Summer of Spies that I didn't get around to reading.
Booklikes-opoly is very genre forgiving, as well, as will be clear once the game is officially unveiled. Most of the spaces have a way to fulfill the space that doesn't require a specific genre of book to be read.
London Match by Len Deighton
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John LeCarre
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
Dead Lions by Mick Herron
Dark Star by Alan Furst
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews
I actually did finish this several days ago. This was my second Maigret, and wasn't as good as The Yellow Dog, IMO.
I liked it, but I didn't love it. Maigret's behavior felt somewhat inexplicable to me throughout most of the book, and I felt like the solution to the mystery was fairly pedestrian. The ending of the book was surprising, though, and I'm still not sure what to make of it.
It was interesting - and I do plan to keep reading, but I hope that there are more like The Yellow Dog than there are like The Flemish House!