This year, I’m making a concerted effort to read more physical books, instead of always listening to an audiobook – which there’s nothing wrong with – I just want to switch it up. So here’s what I’ve been laying hands on lately.
Recently Finished Reading
I just finished reading Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty, which was on our list of 4 Books from the Best of The Year Lists That We Want to Read. I actually started by listening to the audiobook, but for some reason, it really wasn’t holding my attention – not the fault of the narrator, Caroline Lee, who did a splendid job – but it was more that it takes time to introduce 9 characters, and to make the reader care about them, which made the audiobook seem to drag on. So I switched to reading a physical copy of the Nine Perfect Strangers, and it finally started to pick up the pace. The characters were well developed … but I have to say most of them were pretty shallow, and I just really didn’t care about them enough to really feel invested. The plot was enough to keep me reading, and I liked the feel good ending of the book, but it turned out to be just an OK read for me. I’ve read quite a few of Moriarty’s books – The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies and Truly, Madly, Guilty – and this is my least favorite.
Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?
I’m trying to finish up The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang. This is a fantasy read, nominated for a Nebula Award and it’s started out pretty good …
When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good.
I’m also reading Here and Now and Then, Mike Chen. This is a time travel tale about a man that got stuck when he went back in time, starts a family complete with wife and daughter – but then is found and dragged back to the future … where he has a fiance. The conflicts make for interesting reading and it’s well written – I’m about halfway through.
Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in I.T., trying to keep the spark in his marriage, and struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142. Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.
Their mission: return Kin to 2142 where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.
Have your read any of these books? What are you currently reading?