September 2022–Part Two

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

The Hike by Susi Holliday (Length: 266 pages).  This was a free Kindle book that I heard about on a book podcast, I believe. As an avid hiker and a lover of mysteries and thrillers, I was hopeful this would be right up my alley. I’m still not sure how I feel about this one, a few weeks after finishing it. A group of 4 people (2 couples) goes on a hike in the Swiss Alps and only 2 people return. The plot is definitely propulsive (my favorite!) but the writing quality just is not great. I did finish because I wanted to see how it ended, but I guessed the plot twist fairly early on, at about the halfway point of the book, which is entirely too early. Bottom line, it’s okay for being free (or even a library checkout if you’d like a quick read while travelling) but definitely not recommended as a purchase.

Book #2:

American Predator by Maureen Callahan (Length: 299 pages).  This true crime non-fiction book is a MUST READ for any lovers of true crime. The quality of the writing and research is truly right up there with my all-time favorite true crime book (I’ll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara) and the subject matter is just as creepy here. This account is about the most prolific and terrifying serial killers of the 21st century, and the scariest part? We never even knew about him–thanks to horrible prosecutorial misconduct (ie, insisting on conducting the interrogations of the suspect himself–grounds for automatic disbarment in many jurisdictions), as well as bumbling police work (but with some phenomenally talented FBI agents in the mix). This writer reminds of me of the old-style Ann Rule books, but with better writing. The details of the crimes are chilling, and the writer truly brings them to life . . . for better or worse you can picture Israel Keyes’ methodical tracking and killing of his victims. Definitely pick this one up, if you dare. 😉

Book #3:

The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz (Length: 408 pages).  This book was a popular read during the first summer of the pandemic but I just picked it up. It’s a novel about Big Law, from the point of view of a female first year associate in the mergers & acquisitions division. Touching on the Me Too movement, drug culture in law firms (surprisingly common!), insane billable hours and neglecting mental health–while these all make for interesting and drama-filled reading, they also make me grateful I chose a career in public law. This is well-written but moves a bit slow . . . a good 50 pages should have been cut from the beginning but the last third the plot picks up and made me want to finish the book. (I will say I wasn’t excited to pick this book up each day so that does tell me it’s not one of my favorites of the year). A solid 3.5 stars, and absolutely worth reading if you’re a law student or considering going to work for a big law firm someday.

Book #4:

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Length: 418 pages).  This novel has been hyped up on Bookstagram and several book podcasts that I follow and I found that it lives up to the hype! As a child of the 80s I loved the references to video game culture, especially in the early days (Leisure Suit Larry, anyone?!) and I do agree that it helps to have some understanding of the video game culture to truly enjoy this book. I loved it! The story of Sadie and Sam starts in 1983 when they met as children in a hospital when Sam was a patient thanks to a foot shattered from a car accident and Sadie was waiting for her sister who was undergoing chemo treatments. The pair eventually meet up again later in life and design and create video games together, becoming very successful. The writing is excellent, the depth of character development is right up my alley, and I enjoyed the decades-long, wandering plot. This nostalgic novel is one that I will remember, and that’s the best compliment this voracious reader can bestow on a book.

Book #5:

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (Length: 315 pages).  I listened to this one and holy heck is it propulsive! I typically only listen to audiobooks during my commute, and I found myself taking the long way home sometimes, just to find out what happened next. Now, the premise is not for the faint of heart, specifically for moms to be, or parents of newborns as it involves a woman whose twin infant boys are abducted and when they are recovered, the mother is convinced they are changelings (ie, of fairy tale folklore). The character development here is decent; my favorite character by far is DS Joan Harper, the case detective, but the real draw here is the plot. This is being made into a movie and it will definitely be one that I will watch. This is a must LISTEN–the narration is excellent. (I rarely listen to fiction audiobooks because my mind tends to wander but this book kept my attention at every turn.) Let me know what you think if you check this one out!

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