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amonstercalledme

Let's Talk About Books

An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading. 

Currently reading

It
Stephen King
Progress: 39/1090 pages
Evil Under The Sun
Agatha Christie
Progress: 30/213 pages
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places
Colin Dickey
Progress: 94/336 pages

Bingo Update

If we're just going by called squares I'm close to having a Bingo. XD Petsitting this weekend and I have Saturday off so hopefully I can get myself to do a lot of reading then. 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

The Snowman - Jo Nesbø

Okay, home and cozy so time for a review!

 

The Snowman follows detective Harry Hole as he tries to figure out who is killing women and building snowmen. A weird connection but one that exists and becomes more and more sinister as the story goes on. Harry must decide who he can trust, figure out who is lying, and maintain his sobriety before the Snowman claims the one victim Harry cares about most. 

 

As a mystery, I liked this one quite a bit. I predicted who the Snowman was fairly easily and wouldn't say I was surprised by any of the big revelations, but the smaller details really impressed me. For example, the significance of the third beheaded chicken. Seeing how all the little details came together to form the big picture was really fun and the climax of the story was very satisfying. I had a hard time putting the book down and in fact only did so to pick up Sean Bean and make her cuddle. So from a mystery perspective it was awesome. 

 

As a book, though, I wasn't a big fan. I find Nesbo's style overstuffed. As we say in my family, you ask him the time and he tells you how to build a clock. There were so many parts of the book that were just so dull to me since they were just description or overstuffed story telling. There were also many parts that were like, why is this important? Which, to Nesbo's credit, almost everything in the book was used at some point later in the story and so it was important. It was just a pain in the ass to read, which is obviously not something I care for. There was also a lot going on and it became difficult to keep track of characters sometimes. 

 

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Nesbo can craft an awesome mystery, he just needs some work on the storytelling aspect. 

 

Final thought: Reading the book does make me very excited for the movie coming out next week. Michael Fassbender is a perfect choice for Harry and I think this is one of the cases where it will make a better movie than book. JK Simmons is an odd choice for Støp though. So we'll see. 

 

 

The Snowman - Jo Nesbø

I'll review this fully but I wasn't too thrilled with it. I'd say it's a great story but with less than fun execution. Does make me very excited for the movie though.

Attention!

 

This is Sean Bean. She is the runt of the litter of fosters my mom just got, four in all. I love her. 

 

That is all. 

Reading progress update: I've read 236 out of 550 pages.

The Snowman - Jo Nesbø

I'm hoping to finish this by the end of the week. It's not bad but it's dragging. I'm ready to be done.

Reading progress update: I've read 17 out of 1090 pages.

It - Stephen King

This book is something of a whale to me. I'm ready to conquer it.

Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 336 pages.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

I'm debating not finishing this one. It's not bad, but with Halloween Bingo I'm not sure if it's where I want to put my reading energy, especially since it's not as interesting as expected. I have time so I guess I'll just wait and see.

Cozy Mystery Suggestion

If anyone is looking for a cozy mystery for Halloween Bingo or just because and you want to support a fellow Booklikes member, check out Demon Spirit, Devil Sea. Its the second in Charlene D'Avanzo's Mara Tusconi clifi mystery series. I haven't read it myself, but as many of you know I do social media for Charlene and am always happy to recommend it. 

 

Also if you read it, please review it on Amazon. Either of her books really. Pretty please. :D 

 

It's available for Kindle here: http://amzn.to/2xYKkGI

 

If nothing else, it's a bingo square! Just saying! 

Bingo Update

Only 2 'staches on the board so far. Have some ideas for strategizing though. 

 

 

 

Read + Called

Cozy Mystery: Murder Past Due

In The Dark, Dark Woods: The Ritual

 

Currently Reading

Murder Most Foul: The Snowman

Haunted Houses: Ghostland - Technically nonfiction but it's haunted houses so hey!

Classic Horror: In the Mountains of Madness 

Murder Past Due

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

From the comments I've been getting, quite a few of you have read this book so I'll keep it brief. 

 

Murder Past Due follows library archivist/amateur sleuth Charlie Harris and his trusty sidekick Diesel as they try to solve the mystery of the murdered mystery writer. Trouble is, Godfrey Priest is disliked by the majority of people in town and the suspect list just seems to keep growing. Can he solve the crime before his young boarder, Justin, is wrongfully arrested? Will Diesel ever get the head pats he so desperately wants?!!!

 

Silliness aside, I really liked this one. It's probably the most solid cozy mystery I've read. The plot was focused and there were a lot of clues leading throughout the story. It was a lot of fun to read and see what surprising twist lay ahead. The who-done-it made sense and didn't feel cheap at all. Overall this is just a really nice, really solid mystery. 

 

Diesel is, of course, my favorite character. In my opinion he's the best character in the book. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, should a cat really be outshining all the other characters? On the other hand, is it possible for a cat NOT to outshine everyone else?

 

My biggest critique is sometimes the dialogue, specifically the character's speech patterns, drove me nuts sometimes. For example, the way Justin called his mom "Mama" every time. Just felt weird for an eighteen year old to do. I speed read through Peter's scenes because I just couldn't stand the way he talked. I give James credit for really giving her characters unique voices, I just wish she made it more realistic because it did get very obnoxious. 

 

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, amended from the 4 stars earlier. It's a great book, little cheesy, but it has a cat and is just really cute. 

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

At work so the review will have to wait. Overall though a very fun and enjoyable cozy mystery.

Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 550 pages.

The Snowman - Jo Nesbø

Let's do this. 

Bingo Update

So, 'staches = read, aviators=called. I'm counting The Ritual as a square even though I started reading it in late August because at the rate I read it's not going to help me get a bingo anyway. More for pride than anything else. 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Into the Woods

The Ritual - Adam Nevill

FYI this is really fun to read while sitting outside and hearing a deer stomp around in the bushes by my apartment. 

 

The Ritual follows a group of four friends as they holiday in the Swedish wilderness. They brake the first rule of all horror movies and decide to take a short cut, leaving the path and going deeper in to the forest. As you might expect, things get all Blair Witch as they stumble across a spooky cabin used for ancient, pagan rituals and it leads to something unnatural following them through the woods. 

 

I really loved this book. It sucked me in from the beginning and kept me going with very few breaks in between. It was exactly what I wanted in a creepy forest story, what with them being lost and hunted by Moder. And once Moder and her family got to them...Well it was amazingly horrifying. 

 

The way Neville built up the tensions was incredible. It was so hard to stop reading because you knew something incredible was waiting on the next page. I think part of that has to do with him ending most chapters on cliffhangers. He was really terrific at this and it made the book a super compelling read.

 

One drawback of the book is I felt the two halves didn't mesh very well together. In one half you had lost in the woods, Blair Witch chasing after them, and in the next part it was Deliverance. The two did mesh together in the end, and did so fantastically, but there was a really awkward, disjointed period for a while. I definitely enjoyed the first part of the book better 'cause Deliverance just wasn't quite what I expected. 

 

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Everything I love in creepy forest stories wrapped into a fun package. 

The Good Nurse

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder - Charles Graeber

This was a good true crime read. Solid narrative, interesting investigation, and a really interesting case. I had never heard of him before so it was fascinating to learn about him. The writing style was a little too fiction-like for my tastes. Like, it read more like a mystery than an actual true crime book at points. Overall though it was a really good read for those interested in serial killers, especially of the killer nurse variety.

 

I might expand on this review more tomorrow but I'm beat and my head is killing me. So that's all for now.

Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 294 pages.

Murder Past Due - Miranda James

This one's been on my shelf for a while now. Thank god staff get longer checkout dates. It's a perk. I saw the cat on the cover, knew a character was a Maine Coon and couldn't resist. So far it's a lot of fun. Nobody is dead yet but yet is just the key word. Planning on using this for my cozy mystery square.