I tried to make this a top 10 list but either my memory is too dreadful to remember that many books in a row, or I’ve been slouching in my fiction reading this summer. I have read a couple dozen nonfiction so I suppose the second is true. Anyway, I added books from winter time.
Adam Nevill’s Last Days and Apartment 16 and The Ritual. This author was a fun find. My library had a display of horror books for Halloween last year and I pretty much grabbed every book that was set out. Then kept them for six months. I’m an awesome library patron! I won’t paraphrase or cut and paste here. Go check out Amazon for more info. Anyway, I read Last Days and really liked it. It’s touted as being much like the Blair Witch project but since I’ve never seen that movie–gasp! true–I can’t speak to that. I did learn a lot about film making, the author is quite detailed on that subject and makes it interesting and relevant. I liked it well enough to request more of his books and so far I have read Apartment 16 and The Ritual as well. I felt like Apt 16 ended abruptly though which was a turn off. The Ritual seemed to struggle with an antagonist but not enough to turn me away. I am a fan and I’ll come back for more at a later date. Check him out if you are unfamiliar. I would give this author a solid 3.5/5.
Christopher Ransom’s The Birthing House and Killing Ghost. Same situation here, found this author on the Halloween display. I really liked The Birthing House and got Killing Ghost as a follow up. In the Birthing House the characters “attempt to save their marriage by leaving the pressures of the city to start anew in a quiet, rural setting. They buy a Victorian mansion that once served as a haven for unwed mothers, called a birthing house. One day when Joanna is away, the previous owner visits Conrad to bequeath a vital piece of the house’s historic heritage, a photo album that he claims “belongs to the house.” Thumbing through the old, sepia-colored photographs of midwives and fearful, unhappily pregnant girls in their starched, nineteenth-century dresses, Conrad is suddenly chilled to the bone: staring back at him with a countenance of hatred and rage is the image of his own wife.” I wish that the photo album had had more of a role in the story. I wanted to know more! It was removed from the story as if he didn’t quite know what he wanted to do with it, and getting rid of it was the only viable solution. The novel Killing Ghost was…okay. It was a bit disjointed like maybe it needed one more edit after a long break away from the novel so that the author could better see its problems and fix them. With that said, it had some nice twists and turns. I kept reading because the character was obviously inspired by Eminem and I kind of have a thing for him. (The author confirms this in the afterword, by the way.) I give this author a 2.5/5. I’ll come back for more.
David Morrell’s Creepers. I bought this novel totally on accident. I thought that it was a horror novel based on the title. Turns out it is a thriller and it grabs you and shoves you through doorway after doorway both literally in the story and figuratively as a reader. I couldn’t hardly put it down. Loved it! Will be back for more for sure, sooner rather than later. It’s about urban creepers–people who explore boarded up time capsule real estate for its historic value. In this novel, the antagonist is the key to the whole thing and you don’t know that piece of information until the very end. 4.5/5
Bee Ridgeway’s River of No Return. A Mom and Me book club selection. A historical romance it turns out. I liked it, even though much of the dialogue had a modern rhythm to it. I was frustrated that book two–there must be one, right? was not available. 3.5/5
Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event. This is an author who needs no introduction but maybe you didn’t know that she writes adult novels, too. This is one of them. I read Summer Sisters an age ago and positively loved it. I didn’t like this novel as much but it was still wonderful in its own way. It’s a multi-POV story so be prepared to keep track of a lot of characters. Once you adjust to that, you will enjoy. It’s based around the true facts of several plane crashes that occurred in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the 1950’s. The coming of age scenes are just as titillating as you might expect from the author of Deenie and Are you There, God, Its Me Margaret… 4.5/5
Gillian Flynn‘s Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects. I could go on and on for a long time about this author. She is one of my favorites and I am impatiently awaiting her next book. Like really, really, impatiently waiting. Gone Girls gets 5/5, Dark Places gets 5/5 and Sharp Objects gets 3.5/5 Her kind of sick wacko is my kind of sick wacko, too.
Emma Donoghue’s Room. They made a movie out of this one but the book is not to be missed. It is a flawless portrayal of the life of a kidnap victim told through the eyes of her five year old boy and it is SUPERB. I came across this novel walking the stacks at my library. They had three copies on the shelf so I figured that meant it was good and I wasn’t wrong. This is one of best novels that I have ever read. 5/5.