• Ryanne Harper

Reading Challenge Update: May


The challenge is fifty-two books in fifty-two weeks.

Here's what I've read since my April edition.

I'll be Gone in the Dark: one woman's obsessive search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara: 5 very enthusiastic stars

There has been a recent development in this case. And that development is, the creep has been arrested. Hooray! This book was so good it deserved its own blog. Here it is.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: 5 stars

NotW is high fantasy, very long, and a series. Normally, those are deterrents for me so this should have been the trifecta of deterrents. I'm so glad I ignored my instincts on this one. It's well written, it's a lot of fun, and it doesn't feel like it's seven hundred pages long.

Our main character, Kvothe, is an interesting guy. Presently, he pretty unsuccessfully operates an inn. He comes across a chronicler, basically a journalist, who is like, "You're not who you're pretending to be." Kvothe is like, "Yep. You're right. Let me tell you the story of my amazing life."

Turns out, Kvothe and his family traveled around with an acting troupe. His entire troupe is murdered while he's off in the woods. He's homeless, he's traumatized, he's eleven. I told you it was fun! Kvothe eventually enrolls in a school for arcanist in an attempt to learn about the demons that murdered his troupe. Unlike Harry Potter, he's a naturally good student. Much like Harry Potter, he can't stay out of trouble and he makes an enemy almost immediately.

Just go read the book. It's really good and it includes awesome quotes like this:

"It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break the strongest man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself."

Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next #2) by Jasper Fforde: 3 stars

LBG is zany. If you've read Jasper Fforde, you know what I mean. As with the first Thursday Next book, LGB is full of clever references and word play. For me, it's almost too clever. I have to be in the mood for Fforde and maybe this just wasn't the right time for me. I almost gave up on this one, but Miss Havisham showed up and saved the day. I love Miss Havisham. Miss H is about as extra as you can get and I'm here for it. Speaking of Miss Havisham, a podcast is in the works. We have a name, we have a topic, we have a Havisham scale. So, stay tuned for that.

The way LGB ended means I'll have to read the next one. Which is fine, but I need a Fforde break.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult: 2 stars

I'm not really sure what to even say about this one. It's the story of a woman named Sage. She's a baker, she has a severe scar on her face, she assumes everyone either hates or is frightened of her, and she blames herself for the death of her mother. Sage has a lot going on. She meets a man at her grief group and they become friends. He's in his mid-nineties. Eventually, he reveals to her that he is a Nazi war criminal in hiding. I'm all about this story line.

Then the story line switches to Sage's grandmother. This is when it loses me a little. Her grandmother's story is tragic, she and her family are being held in a concentration camp - you probably see where this is going. My issue with the grandmother's story is that the grandmother is a writer. She's writing a story about a girl who becomes friends with a boy who ends up being a monster. So, everything the Nazis are doing is relayed to us via the grandmother. It is then relayed to us again through the grandmother's fictional story about the monster. The Nazis are the monsters. Duh. We get it, Jodi. No need to tell us twice. Also, the narrator who does the grandmother's voice says Canada pretty often and the way she says it is similar to how the Terminator would say it.

Then the book shifts perspectives again and it's told from the point of view of an attorney for the Department of Justice. So, it's just too much.

Vermeer to Eternity by Anthony Horowitz: 1 star

I really like Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders; this is just a short so it's not nearly as good. I mostly read it to stay on track for my goal. I wouldn't even bother reading this one. I would, however, recommend Horowitz, just not this Horowitz.

Current Reads:

The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

So, I've completed seventeen books and I'm on track to hit my goal of fifty-two. Shout out to Audible; without you, none of this would be possible.

In case you're interested, here's what I've read so far:

April

March

February

January


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