Archive | March, 2017

A Canadian Detective, Eh?

27 Mar

mydarlingdetective

Such a mish-mash mystery, this one. The premise is definitely an attention grabber for all book lovers – a young man (Jake) sits in an auction house, waiting to bid on a WWII photograph when an elderly woman runs up and throws a small bucket of ink on it. Turns out, the elderly woman is Jake’s mother! Nora! She’s an elderly ex-librarian who has been in a rest home for three years after a series of breakdowns at the library. Jake’s fiancee is the lead detective on Nora’s ink-blot case, a case which eerily ties to an old unsolved murder from the 1940s. This was, initially, a really quirky and fun read. Lots of interesting tangents, tons of seemingly (and eventually actually) unrelated side anecdotes and musings. I was interested all the way up to the end. Everyone knows I like a good “BANG” ending, and this was more of a whimper. 3 stars

 

Year of the Refugee?

21 Mar

I feel like at the end of every year, there is a pretty strong general trend to the fiction I’ve read. Last year it was African-American (lots of slavery stories). Previous years WWII stands out. This year, I’m already calling it. It’s the year of the refugee novel. Fitting, huh?

exitwest

Exit West has been getting a TON of hype. I requested it from my library and was surprised to see that it had a “Romance” sticker on its spine. Strange to think of it alongside your friendly bodice-ripper. It’s a romance, sure, in the way that any story involving a man and a woman who date is a romance. Really though it’s the story of a coming war, then devastation, followed by a way OUT. Saeed and Nadia fall in love as their nameless city gets closer and closer to civil war. When the war finally reaches their doors, they decide to escape. To leave everything they have and everyone they love and search for a future as refugees. It’s a love story in that you follow their relationship, as it adjust and bends in its new form. But really it’s more about leaving, arriving, struggling to find where you fit in a different land. 4.5 stars

Stranger-in-the-Woods

Watch out, people, I read a non-fiction book. And I read it all! I didn’t skip or skim or just look at the pictures (there are none). This was an excellent story that pretty much seems like something you’d find in the middle of the fiction shelves. True story of Christopher Knight who, at the ripe old age of 20, drove as far as he could into the woods of Maine, abandoned his car and stayed for the next 27 years. His campsite, by description, was elaborate in its function and sparseness and pure functionality. Completely hidden although only 3 or so miles from civilization. In all of those 27 years, he did not have a single human interaction (except maybe 2, where he spotted another person and hid, spotted another person and waved but uttered no words). In all of those 27 years, he guesses he committed over 1000 burglaries. He only stole what he needed – batteries, food, propane, clothing, books (a necessity, duh) – and always left each residence clean and put together (he robbed and – the same 150ish houses). Finally apprehended and arrested for theft, he found himself in jail and also in an awkward friendship with a journalist, Michael Finkel. Really interesting story, plus really interesting information about how other cultures do “hermits” and what it means to really live alone. 4.5 stars

Roadblocks & Palate Cleansers

10 Mar

I hit a wall. A wall with a beautiful cover and a lot of great buzz. That wall is named Lincoln in the Bardo. Thank you, George Saunders, for killing my streak.

lincoln

I will *probably* get back to this one, because people I love are saying it’s important. And great. But I stopped about halfway because I was just not enjoying it. I didn’t want to pick it up. And then I couldn’t pick anything up.

the dry

In an attempt to sort of cleanse my palate, I picked up this Australian thriller. I’m not much of a thriller girl, they are fun and fast but in the end leave me feeling…I don’t know…maybe like I just spent too much time watching bad TV. This was good. If you love thrillers, read this! I didn’t figure it out until the end, right when Aaron Falk (the detective) figures it out. Story: Aaron Falk, detective, returns to his small Australian town in the midst of a terrible drought because his childhood friend was found murdered, along with his wife and their school-aged son. Turns out, Aaron and his friend were suspects in a death that occurred while they were in high school, so there are lots of layers to the investigation now, lots of lingering suspicion and ill will. 3.5 stars.