Total Books Read: 10
Fiction — 2
- City of the Sun (Frank Behr #1) by David Levien (audio): It’s not really a secret that I have a rather, um, oversized love for Myron Bolitar, the sports-agent-turned-frequent-detective star of Harlan Coben’s mystery series. I’ve read all the Bolitar novels (maybe I’ve even read them twice), and I am on a mission for a new mystery series to love. City of the Sun was my first attempt to fill the Bolitar-sized gap in my reading list, and I’m sad to report it didn’t quite cut it. Frank Behr, ex-cop turned private detective, is as big as a (you guessed it) bear. His largeness seems to be his best quality; sadly, it wasn’t enough for me and I think one Frank Behr novel is enough for me.
- Undone (Georgia #1) by Karin Slaughter (audio): I was a bit more impressed with Undone, the first in a series that brings Slaughter’s two heroes, Will Trent from the, uh, Will Trent story and Dr. Sara Linton from the Grant County series together. The only problem is that there are six books in the Grant County series and two books in the Will Trent series, all of which take place long before the events in Undone. So I’ll be reading those series in the near future, or at least before (Hi, my name is Cass and I have a medium to severe addiction to mystery series.)
- This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War by James M. McPherson (audio): Is there anything better than a long audio book about the Civil War? Don’t answer that. I was so into this collection of essays about the Civil War that I purchased an even longer book by James M. McPherson so I could read MORE about it.
- The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (audio): Is there anything better than a long audio book about POISON? I think not (unless we count the previously mentioned Civil War book, because yeah that was a bit more enjoyable for me.) I waited over a year to read The Poisoner’s Handbook, but I am incredibly glad it was on super sale on Audible.com because I learned a lot (about, well, poison of course).
- Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz (audio): Horwitz’s masterwork, Confederates In the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War is one of my all time favorite books, so I was disappointed that Midnight Rising lacked Confederates’ spark and narrative voice. Better luck next time?
- Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell (audio): I would never have thought to read a history of Hawaii if Vowell hadn’t written it, so I’m happy she did. While Unfamiliar Fishes was informative, it was missing Vowell’s trademark sarcasm. Not my favorite Vowell book, but worth a read.
- What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes (audio): I tried to overlook some of Marlantes’ views of gender differences (like how women are ruled by their historical need to have babies and men are ruled by their historical need to be warriors, although he didn’t put it quite like that), so I was able to enjoy What It Is Like to Go to War more than I might have if I focused on these ideas. It would be the perfect gift book for the soldier–former, current, or future–in your life, or if you’d just like to understand their experience better.
- A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by Nassir Ghaemi (audio): I wish I was part of a book club so we could read and discuss this book. I didn’t agree with some of it, but it made me think.
- Land’s End: A Walk In Provincetown by Michael Cunningham (audio): I used to live in Provincetown, so Cunningham’s appreciation of the little town on the Cape made me really nostalgic in the best way possible. Our experiences of Provincetown couldn’t be more different, but I did recognize my own experience in his story.
- A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein: This book doesn’t come out until MAY, so I don’t want to say too much about it just yet, but it’s going to be a Big Deal book when it is released and I’m happy about that.
Notes on 2012
I am so incredibly happy that 2011 is over. It was a very challenging year for me in so many ways. Here’s to 2012 and the possibilities of a new year and a new beginning.