Lots of good reading this month. Long weekends, long summer evenings, not as many lazy days as one might wish, but I'm not complaining!
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness - Perfect for those, like me, who wanted to love Outlander, but thought it just wasn't a fabulous read. I really enjoyed this novel with its witch protagonist and vampire love interest.
Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin - I just saw that this novel has 3.5 stars our of 5 on GoodReads. Excellent that GoodReads ratings are not necessarily a good indicator of my opinions. I'd give it 4.5 for sure.
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore - I've always had a soft spot for Drew Barrymore because it seemed like there was only a blink of time between when she was the adorable little girl in ET and when she became a tabloid wild child. This collection of her own remembrances looks back from the time before ET all the way to her present life as a businesswoman and mom. She glosses over many of the hard times, yet she doesn't pretend she is doing otherwise. This book is a lovely representation of her voice and how she chooses to understand her life.
Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay - This man knows how to write a page turner! I always enjoy Barclay's novels, and this one was no exception. I had read the first book of the "Promise Falls" trilogy, which follows the same main character after this book takes place, so I did have a good sense of what was going to happen. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The Endless Knot by Gail Bowen – Another Canadian writer who never lets me down. Her protagonist, Joanne Kilbourn, is a Saskatchewan-based prof and political analyst who is also a widow, mom, and romantically active lady in her mid-50s. I appreciate that she has a rich life, and the mysteries she encounters always feel somehow organic in that they are connected to her naturally through the wide circle of friends and acquaintances established throughout the novels.
Blood on a Saint by Anne Emery – While this is the first novel I've read by Anne Emery, it will not be the last. In fact, I have a couple on my Kobo from the library as I type. This mystery is based in Halifax, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.
Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? by Stephen Dobyns – It was the title that drew me to this book, but the story pulled me in. Bikers, families of con artists, and other societal misfits abound. Dobyns has such fun with language, this novel was a delight to read – I read some sentences aloud for the enjoyment of them –and a great story to boot.
End in Tears by Ruth Rendell – I admit I had to look up a summary of the novel to remind myself what it was about to write this blurb. That's a sign of how many books I read this month, it was one of the earlier ones, and it didn't stand out as particularly distinctive. That's okay. I enjoyed it just fine.
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – David Sedaris is a gem, especially when he reads his own work or you can hear his voice in your head reading it to you. That said, this was probably my least favourite of his books. He often comes off as a bit of a self-involved jerk - it's part of his shtick - but in this series of stories, it's rarely counterbalanced with warmth or adequate self-awareness.
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad – This novel has an interesting structure and is really well written. The woman referred to in the title is the "hero", sort of, of the novel, but she is not a hero, or a victim, or a brave-but-misunderstood blah blah blah... She's an authentic, dimensional, dark, ordinary person. The title creates a pigeonhole that the thirteen vignettes – some told through the main character's perspective, others through those of secondary characters - work to break out of. It's not a light-hearted feel-good read, but it's worthwhile.
Guardians of Guilt by Michael Connelly - A Lincoln Lawyer story. If you liked the others, you'll enjoy this one. I did. 'Nuff said?