What I’m Reading this Week

Okay, I have my crime-fiction reading mojo back since I started Until Thy Wrath is Past by Åsa Larsson. The opening section told from the perspective of a woman dying under a frozen river? lake? was so well done and gripping. I can’t wait to finish this book, and it’s been a few weeks since I said that. Unfortunately it looks like this is the last Rebecka Martinsson book for me, and in my research I don’t see any crime novels on the horizon for her. I did, however, discover this:

  • ÅSA LARSSON, INGELA KORSELL, AND HENRIK JONSSON are the creators behind the bestselling middle grade series PAX, an exhilarating urban fantasy epos in ten parts, set in a fresh new world of magical creatures drawn from Nordic mythology.

Next, I read my first Kristan Higgins novel, If You Only Knew, which I think is the best book in the women’s fiction category I’ve read this year. It’s the story of two sisters dealing with relationship drama and their childhoods, but the switching between sisters’s viewpoints and shifts in time weren’t jarring. It didn’t feel too short or too long, she rounded out her characters very well, and the plot, while not incredibly twisty definitely kept moving.

Finally, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone out loud this weekend, and what struck me most is that there is not much plot in such a long book. It was about 200 pages of setting the scene for the rest of the series followed by 100 pages of a bit of an adventure. I think I read the first two or three books at once so I didn’t remember the details too much, but I’m not sure I would have been so into the books if I had had to wait so long as they were published.

It’s our second snowy day this fall here in Michigan, and I think I’ll have some hot cocoa while I read a bit more. I have to get a little chill time before work and Thanksgiving prep for the rest of the week.


Monthly Update

I’ve been reading lots and blogging less in the last month: I’ve been sucked into election coverage instead of sitting down to write. To balance out the talking heads on TV and the think-pieces online, I’ve been diving into a lot Julie James books, which I heard about on some old episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She writes contemporary romances with lots of banter and smart heroines, and I think I’ve read 4 in the last month.  I also finished Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers after seeing Elena’s glowing review. It reminded me too of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, and I ended up liking the Wolitzer more than the Straub because I felt more involved with the characters in the Wolitzer. Modern Lovers‘s plot veered into the absurd for me a little too much when one character gets sucked into a sort of yoga commune/cult in Brooklyn, a plot that I thought was much funnier in Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good. Finally, I’m well into reading aloud the first Harry Potter, which is great fun. I came to the books as an adult and liked them, but reading them to a 7 year old who’s a super-fan immediately is even better.

Crime-novel wise, I’m looking for something as good as the best Harry Hole books, and so far I’m coming up short. Deon Meyer maybe fits the bill. Any thriller suggestions would be welcome. Happy reading to you.

The Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid

wire in the bloodI’m in the middle of The Wire in the Blood, which was published in 1997, and a few things come to mind:

  1. I keep squawking about the technology: dial-up modems! no mobile phones! Crime-solving has changed in such a short amount of time. The plot of the book would be entirely different in the era of smartphones with GPS and tracking.
  2. This must be in the first wave of profiler books, after, of course, The Silence of the Lambs. It’s amazing how many other profiler books/movies/tv shows have come out since this book was published. And I somehow never watched the adaptation of this book.
  3. The cover art for this book is a little on the nose. I mean, I expected a creepy book without the vise on the cover.

So far, this book is more disturbing than what I usually read, but I can’t stop reading. McDermid knows how to pace this book.