Three Down

I’ve been doing quite well with my arbitrary goal of reading *more* than last year.

I am not the fastest reader on the planet, but I have been able to finish three books this month and am well into a 4th. If I am able to maintain this pace, that should triple my number from 2016.

It is all so very exciting.

I made a bold pick for book #1, choosing a novel from Catherine O’Flynn. Her first book, What was Lost, was sensational (and a little bit spooky). Her second effort, The News Where You Are, was not as groovy. I struggled to finish it, almost quitting on two or three occasions. I was betting on the hit or miss being a cycle in her writing, and I was correct.

Mr. Lynch’s Holiday was a great work of literary fiction about a recently widowed Irishman who lives in England deciding to take a vacation to reconnect with his son, who has found himself in Spain, residing in a sea-side community gone bust with a bunch of other ex-pats. Secrets are shared and revealed. Lives are altered. An all around good read.

The second book I attacked was The Secret Speech, by Tom Rob Smith. Number 2 in the Child 44 trilogy, this story unfolds around events surrounding a speech given by Nikita Khrushchev just after the death of Stalin through the Hungarian uprising of 1956. The crimes of the Stalinist regime are exposed and the members of the secret police become targets of vengeful criminals. Caught up in this chaos is Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, his wife and recently adopted daughters. As the secrets of Leo’s past are exposed, he will fight to preserve the lives of his family at any cost. I love the historical elements in this series, and the political intrigue, betrayal the tangible fear of Soviet era Russia drive the stories. A fun, fast read.

Third, I finished a mystery novel called Woman with Birthmark, By Hakan Nesser. Inspector Van Veeteren is back on the case, trying to solve a series of confusing and brutal murders. Each victim is shot twice in the chest and twice below the belt. The connections-each of these men served in a military training course together decades ago and each victim received phone calls where the caller would play an obscure pop song from the 1960’s. With several chapters written from the killer’s perspective, the real reason for the crimes is pretty easy to figure out, but the book is a fun read. I enjoy these sorts of crime novels, because the killer is rarely some monstrous uncontrollable evil, but someone realistic and understandable. Not every murderer is Jack the Ripper and not every mystery novel needs to be about the crime of the decade.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been reading. What are you reading this month? Anything exciting that I should check out?

 

 

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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

2 responses to “Three Down”

  1. Liesbet says :

    Congrats on doing so well with your reading “resolution”. I’m a bit confused, though. You said you finished three books, but you mention four. Are you still reading one of the ones you mentioned? How about Mr. Lynch’s Holiday you talk about? Anyway… I want to read more as well and have just picked up my first one this year, “The Road” by Cormac Mc Carthy. When I saw it in the inspiring library of the house we are currently sitting, I remembered Holli mentioning it was a good one on Facebook, so I took her word for it. 🙂

    • fenster says :

      The Road is heartbreaking and amazing! I highly recommend it and would love to know what you think after reading it. I mention five books by title, but only three were read this year. Mr Lynch’s Holiday. The Secret Speech. Woman with Birthmark. I’d read the other two by Catherine O’Flynn, but mention them because one was so good and the other complete crap.

      I didn’t mention the title of the book I’m currently reading. It is a collection of stories and a novella by William H. Gass called Eyes.

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