Monday, August 5, 2013

Books? I got lots of books...

What are you reading now? What do you read that you recommend?

by Meredith Cole

This is a great question for me to answer right now because I've just returned from a week at the beach where I tried to plow through a stack of books on my TBR pile. I didn't read everything, but I made some great progress. This was helped by an almost total Internet black out for me and lots of grey days.

Here's the funny thing. You might remember that I complained a lot a couple of years ago about how I was reading for an award and didn't have time to read books that I wanted to read? Well, I signed up again and now my office is covered in books that I must read. By November. Or else. A little stressful. But luckily they are all books I want to try to read, so I'm practicing deep breathing and just trying to read one book at a time.

So what have I read lately that I enjoyed?

Marian Keyes, whose Irish "Chick Lit" novels I've enjoyed in the past, has written a mystery. THE MYSTERY OF MERCY CLOSE features one of the sisters from the Walsh family who happens to be a private eye. I'm not surprised that she wanted to write a mystery (I mean, hey, who wouldn't?) but I don't think that the mystery really dominated this book. I would say it was much more a book about what it's like to suffer from depression, just like RACHEL'S HOLIDAY was about what it was like to be an alcoholic.

Since I was at the beach, reading the new Carl Hiaasen BAD MONKEY seemed like a natural fit. But I forgot how much his books about Florida make it sound like such an unattractive place to visit... Luckily I was in North Carolina that week. Anyway, if you've ever read Hiaasen you'll know exactly what to expect. And if you haven't--and like funny, raunchy mysteries with a dash of politics--give him a try. I always enjoy his books.

I don't read a lot of thrillers, so I was interested to give Jeff Abbott's book DOWNFALL a try. Sam Capra, his protagonist, is one of those Reacher types who can do everything well (especially fight) and he definitely had a tendency to get shot at and beat up and then shrug it off in the next scene. There were quite a few mysterious organizations operating all at once in the beginning, and I had a hard time keeping them straight. But then I got sucked into the book and could not put it down. He kept the action moving and he kept the number of characters quite small (despite all the organizations) and he kept the stakes personal and high. In the end, the book is very much about parents wanting the best for their kids--and doing anything (including kill) to get it.

Vacation is sadly over, but I've got lots of books left to read. And I'm always looking for recommendations! So--what are you reading?


Reece said...

I agree that Hiassen makes great vacation reading. Right now I'm thoroughly enjoying The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover. The protagonist is an investigator for the Vatican's Office of the Devil's Advocate, which investigates possible miracles. It would also be a good one to take to the beach.

Meredith Cole said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Reece! I read and enjoyed Sean's "Trigger City". So many books, so little time!