Sunday, August 10, 2014

50 Book Challenge - June & July

16. The Book of Joe - Jonathan Tropper
Highly readable but ultimately forgettable story of a guy who left his small town, wrote a snarky book about it, then has to return there when his father dies. If you've read any Jonathan Tropper before you're familiar with where this goes - dysfunctional family, thirtysomething unsettled Jewish guy learns things about himself, blah blah blah.

17. And When She Was Good - Laura Lippman
Suburban mom lives a double life as a high class hooker, then it all starts to come apart when people from her past begin to get killed off. Enjoyable enough crime novel.

18. Say You're Sorry - Michael Robotham
Every year I say I'm going to read 'quality' books for my 50 Book Challenge and every year I fall back on page-turning mysteries and crime stories. A present day murder ties in to the disappearance of two teenage girls several years earlier. It's a pretty gripping story but the reveal of the villain is kind of eh.

19. Mohawk - Richard Russo
I was mildly obsessed with Richard Russo in the 1990s and I remember reading this and loving it. Second time around - ehhhh, not so much. It's about several different people in a small town and it is mildly interesting, but very much a clunky first novel.

20. The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters
Now this I liked. Set in a world where an asteroid is about to hit the earth in 6 months and destroy everything, most people have given up bothering about much. However, one policeman still does his job and sets out to prove that an apparent suicide was in fact murder. The crime and resolution is a bit hokey, but the premise is awesome and I really enjoyed it. Apparently it's the first of a trilogy so I'll be hunting down the next two.

21. Snowblind - Christopher Golden
Oogedy boogedy horror novel about creepy creatures who come out in two extreme blizzards years apart in a small town. It started off well but got really bogged down with all the different characters. Christopher Golden seems to have been going for a Stephen King everyone-has-a-POV kind of thing, but it doesn't really work.

22. All Fall Down - Jennifer Weiner
Incredibly tedious novel about a suburban mommy blogger with a secret (she thinks) pill addiction. It drags on and on forever with so much repetitive detail that I almost chucked it. Somehow I ploughed through to the end and then immediately wished I hadn't bothered. Avoid.

23. Cop Town - Karin Slaughter
Set in the 1970s in Atlanta, this is a novel about the attitudes of white male cops to their changing environment - a lot about women on the force, homosexuality, a half-arsed nod to racism, and a mildly interesting crime story of a serial cop killer. I found this book riveting while I was reading it, but after I felt a bit uncomfortable and I'm still not sure why.

Well over halfway through the year and I'm not even halfway through my 50 books yet. Must get cracking!


  1. I'm over trying to read 'quality' books. If I read it and enjoy then that's enough for me.

    1. I think I feel the same now. There are too many books to read to slog through something just because it's 'worthy'.

  2. I feel exactly the same way whenever I've read ANYTHING by Karin Slaughter. There's something about her books that just leave a nasty sensation in ones brain. Sort of dirty or something. Weird, hey?

    1. I hadn't really noticed when I've read others, though they are pretty gory and graphic.