The Corrections (audiobook): I liked this book. It’s basically about a somewhat dysfunctional family and it follows each family member individually, delving into their past, and then bringing it to the present and exploring their relationships with each other. It kept me engaged, (though some parts were more compelling than others), because of the great writing and the unique dive into the characters’ lives and minds. There were definitely some funny parts as well, which is always appreciated. It reminded me a little of Tom Wolfe so if you like his stuff you would probably enjoy this. Try to push through the first section, about one of the sons – it got weird and I almost wanted to give up on the book, but it got a lot better after that.
Wild (audiobook): I’m late to the party on this one – I’m sure everyone already knows that this is a great book. The author loses her mother at a relatively young age and hits rock bottom, emotionally, physically, in every way. She decides to undertake a months-long hike across the Pacific Crest Trail, and this is the story of her journey. There are lots of nuggets of wisdom and inspiration here, but not in an obnoxious way. There were times during listening to it where I was like, why is she doing this? And HOW is she doing this? Part of it was that by putting herself through physical hell, some of the emotional hell she was going through was driven out of her mind, and I think she also discovered how strong she was. That if she could survive this incredible, harrowing journey, she could survive anything – we can get through things we think we can’t, and we can learn to live with conditions and circumstances that we would have thought would ruin us.
The Kind Worth Killing (audiobook): Oh my GOD I cannot recommend this book highly enough. You will devour it in two seconds. I’m not even going to describe the plot because I don’t want to give anything away, but all you need to know is that it’s the definition of a page turner – plus it was well-written and just overall awesome. I raced through it and so did my sister. I keep saying this about various books, but if you like Girl on the Train type thriller-mysteries, this is a way better version of that.
The Gates of Evangeline (audiobook): I liked this book a lot as well! Really good Southern mystery, kind of atmospheric, well-written, with a likable main character that you actually care about (a New York City journalist who finds herself in Louisiana investigating a the disappearance of a child within a grand old Southern family). It twisted and turned and I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on (in a good way). There was a slight supernatural element to it, but it wasn’t overdone and it worked within the plot. I just read that this is actually going to be the first of a trilogy too, so that’s kind of cool – looking forward to the next one!
The Silkworm: You might recall that my review of the first Cormoran Strike novel was a bit lukewarm. I’d decided not to move forward with the series but changed my mind after listening to this NPR podcast interview with JK Rowling, where she discussed her latest, Career of Evil. It made me remember that I actually had been kind of fond of the characters and also made me wonder what was going on with them, so I decided to read the rest of the series – and I’m glad I did! The Silkworm was great, if a little convoluted (a lot of characters and I’m still slightly confused as to how one of them fit in). It was a good mystery but besides that, I liked that she delved more into Strike and his sidekick Robin, developing and focusing on them a bit more.
Career of Evil: That brings us to the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, Career of Evil, which was probably my favorite so far (always a good sign when a series gets better and better). The mystery was super compelling and creepy, and I raced through to find out who the culprit was. Yet again, the best thing about this book was Robin and Strike. We get more of a look into their lives and the dynamic between them, which is what really keeps the pages turning and gets you invested. Now I can’t WAIT for the next one! Consider me an official Cormoran Strike fan.