Defending Jacob by William Landay

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A teenager is found stabbed to death next to a New England wooded bike trail. Andy Barber, Assistant District Attorney, gets the call and rushes to the scene of the crime. He’s all the more eager to catch the killer when he discovers that the victim is his son’s classmate. However, when Jacob is implicated as a possible suspect, Andy is taken off the case and he must consider the worse while trying to keep his family from imploding.

Defending Jacob is an interesting blend of thriller, mystery, courtroom drama, and family drama. I love it when stories defy genre. It often makes for more complex and interesting stories.

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Defending Jacob by William Landay

Are You Checking Me Out?

Despite the Holiday Book Haul and recently purchased books and another (unseen below) pile of library books, I couldn’t resist returning to the library.

Possible New Year’s Resolution? Read the books I have.

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List from top-down:

  1. Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
  2. Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
  3. Crooked by Austin Grossman
  4. Father of the Rain by Lily King
  5. The Visitors by Sally Beaumon
  6. Kitchens of the Great Midwest  by J. Ryan Stradal [In my defense, I recently finished this one]
  7. Browsings by Michael Dirda
  8. Passionate Minds by David Bodanis
Are You Checking Me Out?

A Year in Reading

This year, Goodreads did a wonderful infographic for each subscriber that summarizes their year in reading. The infographic is visually appealing, displaying the book covers for all of the books you have read that year, but it also shows you:

  • Longest Book If asked, I would not have guessed that the longest book I read this year was Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, just over 500 pages. I tore through this book quickly. This year, I consumed a lot of shorter fiction and genre fiction than in previous years. The book-stops that frequented book media did not attract my attention. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara was recommended by all of my trusted book news outlets, but its premise of a group of friends growing up in New York City and its promise of abuse and tragedy did not interest me.
  • Shortest Book Lumberjanes was the shortest book, not a surprise because it is a graphic novel.
  • Most Popular and Least Popular categories were the most interesting—breaking down the number of readers for the year of 2015. Vampire Academy a young adult vampire novel had more than 600,000 readers this year, while Alaya Dawn Johnson’s prohibition-era vampire novel Wicked City only had 141 readers. Novels have surprisingly short shelf lives before they become out of print and hard to find. Johnson has recently written popular young adult fiction, but her past forays into paranormal adult fiction are not remembered. This is a shame because she is a creative writer tackling popular subjects with fresh takes. More people should read her.
  • Highest Rated Saga Vol. 2 was the highest rated with 4.5 average stars. The Saga series by Brian Vaughn is so good. It’s hard to believe that the most powerful and groundbreaking graphic novels are by the same person. Vaughn is also the author of Y: The Last Man. It’s encouraging to see graphic novels reach this level of complexity, popularity, and sophistication.

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A Year in Reading

Culinary Reading

The interplay of taste and memory is fascinating. For some of the books from my childhood, I can remember what I snacked on while reading, but very few details about the book. Inkspell was enjoyed with a flaky scone and the Harry Potter books were accompanied by many a chocolate bar.

Reading writing about food when done well is like enjoying a spectral meal that is simultaneously satisfying and frustrating. Food writing can be inspirational because it focuses on the enjoyment of a necessary aspect of living. We all need to eat to survive, but do we savor our food? Do we get any meaning out of the experience?

Good food writing makes you slow down and consider that while not all meals are life-changing, some can have a profound effect.

Here are a few books that will make you crave a good meal:

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Culinary Reading

Holiday Book Haul!

Hope you had a holiday filled with books and chocolate. I was so fortunate to be gifted with many books this Christmas.

Usually, the curse of being a bookworm is that people are afraid to give you books. This is a shame; don’t be afraid! Gift the books! Even if already read, they can still be enjoyed either through a re-read or by sharing the gift with someone else who would appreciate it. There are tons of lists out there and sources to help people decide what to buy for their bookish friends and family.

This year, I cheated and created a holiday book list on Goodreads in order to leave non-subtle hints to my family and friends.

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Holiday Book Haul!

Books with Books!

A quick Holiday post featuring a list of books with books in them. These are stories where authors have created fictional worlds within worlds. What’s cozier than reading a book? Reading a book within a book! Enjoy!

  1. & Sons  by David Gilbert
  2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  3. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  4. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  5. Fangirl and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  6. Treasure Island!! by Sara Levine
  7. The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
  8. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

What are the books? Some are fictional, some are real, all play important roles in these novels.

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Books with Books!

Are You Checking Me Out? 12/20/2015

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A nice little book haul from the library this week! I was bad and took out more books after only reading two. There’s a lot of vampire young adult fiction because I was seeking comfort reads.

  1. Marked  by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  2. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
  3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  4. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
  5. Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  6. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
  7. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

 

Are You Checking Me Out? 12/20/2015

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

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Valente’s novels are hard to describe because they are so crazy and random and ambitious. This is about a documentarian Severin who investigates the disappearance of a town and becomes a mystery herself. This is about what would happen if during the 1920s we colonized the planets in our solar system. This is about space whales!

See?

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Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

Where are my lady detectives at? (Part 1)

Mysteries that feature strong heroine characters are my catnip. Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy novels were enjoyed with milk and cookies after school. When I was in college, Veronica Mars scratched the itch (if you’re not familiar it’s a television series that features a girl detective from a town called Neptune).

After college, I’ve been turning back to books. They’ve been hard to find because they exist in a weird genre fiction ghetto that is a cross between chick lit and mystery. I’ve been digging into backlists and seeking out clues to where I can find some of these hard-boiled dames.

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Where are my lady detectives at? (Part 1)

Are You Checking Me Out?

The first in a weekly or bi-weekly series of posts library book hauls. I live within walking distance of a library and visit it often.

This week is a mix of literary fiction, mysteries, sic-fi, and young adult.

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List of books from top-down:

  1. The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
  2. The Pirate King by Laurie R. King
  3. Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn
  4. Styx and Stones by Carola Dunn
  5. Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald
  6. Tracked by Jenny Martin
  7. The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
  8. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
  9. Defending Jacob by William Landay
  10. Burial Rites  by Hannah Kent
  11. Under Majordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
  12. What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
  13. Lumberjanes Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson
  14. Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente [Not pictured]
Are You Checking Me Out?