Thursday, February 25, 2016

What I've Been Reading: February 2016

It's hard to believe the end of the month is upon us--I feel like I missed a week in there somewhere! It has not felt like the most accomplished month for me, reading-wise. Some easy reading, a collection of short-stories, a couple of audiobooks--not bad, but you can see why I thought maybe I'd lost a week.

Day Four, by Sarah Lotz. I couldn't keep this one to myself. You can read my review here. I actually did this as an audiobook and thought the reader, Penelope Rawlins, did  an admirable job.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, by Stephen King. I don't often take a chance on a collection of short stories, but when it comes to Stephen King, if I'm in for a penny, I'm in for a pound. I like that in recent collections, he talks a bit about how each story comes to be written--it's less like a magician explaining how the trick is done and more like an alchemist describing the effects of a catalyst, if that makes any sense? In any case, some of these are plain scary (Mile 81), others are creepy as all get out and reminded me of IT (Bad Little Kid), some are metaphysical (Ur), and still others are not immediately horrifying, but creep into your head and stick around, rearing up to be mulled over again and again, reminding me of Dolan's Cadillac from Nightmares & Dreamscapes, which had the same effect on me (Morality, Premium harmony). I'm still most partial to Nightmares & Dreamscapes, of all of King's collections, but this one ranks right up there.

Dance of Death, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Yes, I am still sticking with this duo's Agent Pendergast series, of which this is book 6. Really, every time I think they can't get better (although Still Life with Crows remains my favorite to date), I am captivated all over again. Really, it's the old Twin Peaks/X-Files/Indiana Jones fan in me that finds these so deeply involving--things you can't explain, secret societies, ancient civilizations? Yes please! Here, Pendergast's most dangerous adversary is hard at work, determined to take away everything Pendergast has ever loved, including those he has worked with closely in recent years. And who would know best how to push his buttons than his own flesh and blood? The ultimate challenge has been given: Catch me if you can. I cannot recommend this series enough, it really is one of my favorite things to read right now.

Brotherhood in Death, by J.D. Robb. The extremely prolific Robb (aka Nora Roberts) is at it again. Here, a politician winds up kidnapped, later discovered dead in his grandparents' old home. He also happened to be related to Dr. Charlotte Mira's husband, who was injured during his cousin's kidnapping. So Eve Dallas, homicide detective, is determined to get to the bottom of the case for reasons beyond just the politician's death. When an old friend of Senator Mira is found dead in a similar manner just days later, Dallas has to race against time to uncover the culprits, prevent them from murdering more prominent men, and in the process unearths a decades-old brotherhood that has brought this all to a head. I have to say that I found this one to be particularly unsettling in its subject matter--this one may not be for everyone.

The Vacationers, by Emma Straub. This is a re-read--my book club is reading this for our March meeting. You can read my original review here.

Find Her, by Lisa Gardner. Eighth in Gardner's D.D. Warren series, Find Her is the story of Flora Dane, who was abducted and held captive for 472 days. She survived, but has spent the last decade trying to learn how to live in the world again. But Detective D.D. Warren has to wonder if Flora has gone from victim to vigilante when she finds that Flora has confronted three suspected abductors recently. When Flora herself disappears again, Warren must find her, because there is a predator who wants to make sure that Flora never returns.

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