November 2020–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.)  I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (Length: 320 pages).   This is a well-written thriller set on a fictional Caribbean island called Saint X. The plot is very remiscent of the Natalie Hollway case but where the body is found ASAP. The rest of the novel recounts how the victim’s family members, fellow tourists and a few islanders deal with the aftermath of the death. The focus is mainly on the victim’s sister, with a plot twist at the end that is a bit unusual but makes sense in retrospect. The writing here is VERY good, but there was a bit too much navel-gazing for me when it comes to the sister, and the novel drags a bit too much in the middle, for my liking. You will not like all of the characters, but you aren’t supposed to like them. Race and privilege are a bit part of this novel, which would make it a great book club choice.

Book #2:

Eat to Beat Disease by Dr William W. Li (Length: 414 pages).  This is another very specific book choice which (hopefully) doesn’t apply to you.  However, unlike the last book on colon cancer that I reviewed last month, this book should apply to anyone who is looking to stay healthy, and wants information on how to heal their body through diet. The author is very well-qualified to educate on which foods help to heal which diseases, specifically via antigenesis (blood vessel growth). His writing is straightforward, scientifically-based and he provides all of the resources for you to verify the information provided, if you wish. He has a Ted Talk that is worth Googling as well. This is worth a purchase to keep in your personal library as it’s a fantastic reference.

Book #3:

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (Length: 352 pages).  I have tried to read this twice before, and gave up. This time I couldn’t put it down! The writing is lyrical, and the author conveys a gorgeous sense of place (Manhattan in the late 1930s), snappy dialogue and I adored the protagonist (Kate Kontent). This is a polarizing novel with reviewers (some call it pretentious, others call it amazing), and I’m decidedly in the second camp. The resolution of the “love story’ is excellent here, with a twist that I just didn’t see coming. I’m looking forward to reading this author’s novel, A Gentleman in Moscow next.

Book #4:

The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (Length: 315 pages).   This was a freebie Amazon Prime read that I downloaded this summer, and I was pleasantly surprised with this well-written thriller! The format is interesting here–a la the movie Sliding Doors, where the protagonist (criminal defense attorney) comes to a fork in the road and the alternating chapters reveal each of the two paths. I thought the plot here is excellent–very fast-paced and believable. The character development is sufficiently deep to understand the mindset of the protagonist, so the reader is able to at least understand why she makes the choices she does. I didn’t figure out the underlying mystery until the end, which is always makes for a satisfying read. I highly recommend this fun thriller, and I plan to check out the authors’ other novels (namely, Girls’ Night Out and The Good Widow).

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