Klewless title 78/50 - Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The next installment of the Pendergast series. While these are entertaining, and quite well written, I feel that the series has run its course. We the reader are at the point where there is nothing left to discover regarding FBI Special Agent Pendergast’s shady past, as the last chapters of his life are laid bare in this novel. Entertaining, but not worth going out of your way to find.
Klewless title 79/50 - Havana Storm by Clive Cussler
Another in the long line of declining Dirk Pitt stories. It is really rather sad that Cussler has all but divorced himself from writing these books. I really want to stop reading, but have already invested in the whole series. Perhaps as a function of Pitt growing older, he has finally slowed down a bit…at least it seems that way in this almost painful to read quasi-action novel. Maybe my grumpiness is just finally coming out.
Klewless title 80/50 by Lonely Hearts by John Harvey
This is the first title in an older series that I wanted to look into. Harvey is mentioned in comparison with a few newer British noir writers that I have enjoyed, so I thought I would look into his work. I found myself holding him up to Rankin’s Rebus for whatever reason (UK basis?) and this one didn’t quite make it up to that standard. As this is only the first in the series, and they are wildly popular, I will probably give the series another few books to find out how things shake out.
Klewless title 81/50 byThe Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
This one was pure candy. Reilly really should be classified as sci-fi, as the action/adventure tales he pens are just this side of realism. In this book, he builds on the Jurassic Park theme, but expanding the framework to envision science bringing back dragons instead of dinosaurs. In fact, things in the park go awry, and our heroes struggle with nature to survive. This would make for an excellent beach/travel read, it goes very fast and not much attention is required.
Klewless title82 /50 - What Strange Creatures by Emily Arsenault
I really enjoyed this book. Arsenault’s story unfolds around a murder mystery, and the lengths that a family will go protect their own. Instead of spending the book delving into the mechanics of the crime, (the majority of that occurs through character development), Arsenault allows the procedural portion of the tale to take a backseat, secondary in importance. The actual “whodunit” was no surprise whatsoever, but that did not detract from the book at all. Recommended.
Klewless title 83/50 - The Martian by Andy Weir
This is one of the only science fiction books I read this year, and only because it seems to be everywhere. The tale centers on an astronaut who is left behind on a manned mission to Mars, and his struggle to survive. Most of the book is written in journal form, and Weir does a fantastic job with the “dialog”. There is a heavy emphasis on the science involved in how the character gets out of some sticky situations, but not enough to detract for non-tech folks like myself. Recommend.
Klewless title 84/50 - Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This one has been on my to read pile for a while, not sure why/how I finally got around to picking it up. The book creates a mysterious world centering on a bookstore that acts more like an underground library, catering to fringe members of a secret society. The members of the club dedicate their lives to solving a great puzzle spanning centuries and continents. All of their efforts seem to be banished when our hero simply decides to look to Google to solve the puzzle. This was very light, and mildly entertaining. Very shallow on character development, but this didn’t detract from the overall story to the point of disappointment. All in all, a fun read.
Klewless title 85/50 - The Good Father by Noah Hawley
Another book that I have had in my pile for a long time. This story tells the tale of a young man’s assassination of a presidential candidate, and the devastation his actions have on his father. While jumping back and forth between these two men, the book truly is about a father’s quest for what makes for a successful parent. The author spends too much time delving into historical overviews of presidential assassinations, for the sake of drawing comparisons to his main character, and the book would have been stronger dedicating this space elsewhere. Not a tightly written book, but one that asks some important questions regarding the relationships between parents and their children.