Monday, January 18, 2010


1. What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George - SO SO GOOD. This falls into a subset of books that I love. The ones that warn you, from the title or the basic setup or whatever, that they WILL NOT have a happy ending, but are so beautifully written and make you care so deeply for the characters that you hope and pray for a happy ending anyway. I mean, the title of this book is What Came Before He Shot Her, so you know there's going to be a murder. But the book details a year in the life of a young boy before he commits a very serious crime. The murder in the title doesn't take place until page six hundred and something, so there is a LOT of "What Came Before". (Other great books in this subset - Bel Canto and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
2. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons - Dark, gritty and not very good.
3. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman - Do you read Laura Lippman? Because you totally should. Her books are fantastic. Life Sentences is about a writer, mining her past for a story to tell. She remembers that a girl she was friends with in middle school went to prison for killing her baby, so she decides to investigate that.
4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - Recommended by Janssen. Completely chilling story of two girls with eating disorders. One is bulimic, one is anorexic. One lives, one dies. The book is excellent.
5. Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman - This is the first in her series about detective Tess Monaghan and it's great. I plan to pick up the rest of the series and read them as soon as I can.
6. City of Thieves by David Benioff - I saw the movie of 25th Hour, based on his novel, and was very impressed. City of Thieves is good, but has a disappointing ending.
7. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski - I think the simplest thing to say here is that on Goodreads, there are 142 posts about this book in the Books You Loathed thread. It's not that the novel is bad, because it's not. It's very well written. It's that the author makes some major choices that really anger readers. Including me.
8. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud - YAWN. Bor-ing.
9. The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner - Nowhere near as interesting as it could have been. Good premise, bad delivery.
10. The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee - Fluffy, fun chick lit. Entertaining.
11. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - OMG, SO GOOD. I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. Claire and Henry are one of my all-time favorite couples.
12. The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee - Again, fluffy fun chick lit. Very cute, good characters.
13. The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag (audio) - This was the first audio book I listened to. It was a good mystery, although the conclusion is really far-fetched and unbelievable.

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