Friday, September 11, 2009

Books by Quarter

So, I just realized that I never posted the books I read in the second quarter. I'll be remedying that right now.

1. What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George - SO SO GOOD. This falls into a subset of books that I love. The ones that warn you, from the title or the basic setup or whatever, that they WILL NOT have a happy ending, but are so beautifully written and make you care so deeply for the characters that you hope and pray for a happy ending anyway. I mean, the title of this book is What Came Before He Shot Her, so you know there's going to be a murder. But the book details a year in the life of a young boy before he commits a very serious crime. The murder in the title doesn't take place until page six hundred and something, so there is a LOT of "What Came Before". (Other great books in this subset - Bel Canto and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)

2. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons - Dark, gritty and not very good.

3. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman - Do you read Laura Lippman? Because you totally should. Her books are fantastic. Life Sentences is about a writer, mining her past for a story to tell. She remembers that a girl she was friends with in middle school went to prison for killing her baby, so she decides to investigate that.

4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - Recommended by Janssen. Completely chilling story of two girls with eating disorders. One is bulimic, one is anorexic. One lives, one dies. The book is excellent.

5. Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman - This is the first in her series about detective Tess Monaghan and it's great. I plan to pick up the rest of the series and read them as soon as I can.

6. City of Thieves by David Benioff - I saw the movie of 25th Hour, based on his novel, and was very impressed. City of Thieves is good, but has a disappointing ending.

7. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski - I think the simplest thing to say here is that on Goodreads, there are 142 posts about this book in the Books You Loathed thread. It's not that the novel is bad, because it's not. It's very well written. It's that the author makes some major choices that really anger readers. Including me.

8. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud - YAWN. Bor-ing.

9. The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner - Nowhere near as interesting as it could have been. Good premise, bad delivery.

10. The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee - Fluffy, fun chick lit. Entertaining.

11. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - OMG, SO GOOD. I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. Claire and Henry are one of my all-time favorite couples.

12. The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee - Again, fluffy fun chick lit. Very cute, good characters.

13. The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag (audio) - This was the first audio book I listened to. It was a good mystery, although the conclusion is really far-fetched and unbelievable.

22 comments:

Gina said...

We have such similar taste in books - every time you review them, I always seem to have the same opinions. Great minds and all...

Fiona Picklebottom said...

OK, so let's see... I'm PRETTY SURE I've read SOMETHING by Laura Lippman, since both her name and Tess Monaghan seem familiar, but I can't recall WHAT it was, if anything. Damn it, now that will bug the shit out of me for the foreseeable future.

I also LOVED The Time Traveler's Wife, and I think that The Alibi Man is in my TBR pile, which I MUST photograph and post, since really it must be seen to be believed.

nicole said...

I checked out Edgar Sawtelle from the library, but never got past the first 50 or so pages I think. Just didn't grab my interest so I took it back.

Life Sentences sounds interesting.

Shelly Overlook said...

I've read Laura Lippman but can't remember what.

Thanks for this list. I've added several titles to my "to read" list.

Janssen said...

I just LOVE seeing what other people have read. Very fun!

Shelly said...

Gina - how awesome! I LOVE talking about books, so feel free to email me and let me know which of these you've read and what you thought!

Shelly said...

Fiona - Have you read What the Dead Know? It's probably the most famous by her. It's not in the Tess Monaghan series, but it's amazing! That's what got me hooked on her writing.

HAHAHA!! I dare you to post a picture of your TBR pile. If you do, I'll post a picture of my bookcase (overflowing) and TBR piles.

Shelly said...

Nicole - Edgar Sawtelle is basically a modern re-telling of Hamlet, with dogs and a crappy ending. There, now you don't need to feel bad about not reading it.

Cool!

Shelly said...

Shelly - You may have read What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. It's awesome.

Cool! I hope you enjoy them.

Shelly said...

Janssen - I do, too. I love your lists and Elizabeth from Princess Nebraska's lists. I can't keep up with you guys on number of books, but it's fun to try.

Pickles and Dimes said...

I love reading what other people read! So fun. Edgar Sawtelle pissed me off - argh, stupid ending!

I'll have to check out Laura Lippman - thanks!

Shelly said...

Shauna - BIG YES on Edgar Sawtelle. HATED the ending. HATED.

I think you will love Laura Lippman.

nicole said...

Glad to know I don't need to feel obligated to go read the book. Thanks.

Shelly said...

Nicole - LOL! You're welcome.

Alice said...

i just bookmooched what came before he shot her immediately after reading this post :-)

Shelly said...

Alice - I hope you love it. It's REALLY long, but fantastic.

Leah Rubin said...

Ditto on 7 and 11 (and no, we are not shooting craps.) Gotta check out the others. Thanks for the cool post.

Shelly said...

Leah - hi and welcome! Hope you enjoy the other books.

Liz said...

Oooh, good. I need some more book suggestions, and I'm going to go on faith that since we feel the same way about Edgar Sawtelle, these books will be safe. Off to the library!

Shelly said...

Hi Liz and welcome! Yep, if we agree on Sawtelle, we'd probably agree on the rest of those.

Lisa said...

Hi, I just stopped over from Metalia and had to comment that it seems that Janssen informs your reading as well. Did you see The Time Traveler's Wife the movie? It made me want to read the book all over again.

Shelly said...

Hi Lisa! I haven't seen The Time Traveler's Wife yet, but I really want to. I so loved the book.