November Reads

         Another successful month of reading! Even though I didn’t finish my final craft book just yet, I still read four books and reached my goal. I’m also really proud of the fact that two were physical books, one was an e-book, and only one was on audio. And probably the best part of all is that three of the books were on my reading list and they tipped me over the top of my 50-book goal for the year. Now I only have three books left on the list and those will be done for sure before the year is over.

Captivity by Nadine Little

         This book took me awhile to get through. It wasn’t boring or bad, it just didn’t really pull me in to where I couldn’t stop. There was plenty of action, but it got a little repetitive. Anita gets caught, gets tortured or injured, she escapes. Poor Anita. Also, she was written like she was supposed to be an amazing soldier, but she always got caught. She always got beat up. But then she always shot her foe right between the eyes. She was supposed to be a badass, but simultaneously super clumsy and had the worst luck. I don’t know, it got old really fast though. And then the romance was just plain useless and dumb. I didn’t buy it. Especially after her rants about men and not having sex for years or whatever. Then oh, this guy’s nice to her and she jumps into his bed? Nah. I don’t think so.

         The bones of the story kept me reading, though. I liked the conflict and the evil characters. If it wasn’t for the main character, it would have been a great book. She was just so unlikeable and unrelatable. I barely felt bad for her in the torture scenes. I wish I’d like it more, because it had potential, but I struggled to the end. I won’t be picking up the next one, sorry.        

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

         This was another not so great read and a DNF for me this time around. I’ve been trying to read it for a few months. I tried to blame my lack of progress on the fact that it was a physical book and I just haven’t had time to sit and read it. But I had to come to terms with the truth – it just wasn’t that interesting. I was skimming even during an ‘intense’ moment. I was barely halfway through and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

         Guy was boring. He was such a bland, blah, character that I had zero emotional attachment. Anne was just as bad. The only one that had a bit of flair was Bruno, but he was a maniac, so I didn’t necessarily connect to him either. I didn’t care about them and only wanted to get to the end of the book so it would be over, not so I could know what happened. And when I admitted that to myself, I put it down.

         Too slow, not intriguing, no emotional connection. Sorry, couldn’t do it.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

         This short book was a delight to read. I powered through it in two sittings, and even when I was sure of how it would end, I kept turning the pages in a hurry to get there.

         The descriptions were amazing. I read this on a clear, sunny day, but I felt certain I’d walk outside to find a fog too thick to navigate. The people were almost tangible, and the wasting woman was truly scary to imagine. She did a great job building the world around the story.

         And even though the story itself was a little predictable (which might just be because I’ve read and watched a lot of horror) it was still amazing. I do have to say that Kipps was an idiot for staying in the house. I would never. I’m also not one to investigate weird noises at night or chase down a creepy, half-dead looking woman in an ancient graveyard. But he survived and learned his lesson, so I’m sure he never did anything like that again.

         But I loved it and I’m glad I can mark it off my list.

The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull

         I loved this book. I got through the audio in only two shifts at work and gushed about it to anyone who would listen. I need this to be a movie, stat.

         The multiple storylines were woven together to give you enough backstory and current information to keep you rolling along at a perfect pace. The human relationships were strong and real. I felt their emotions along with them. The fear, the early pangs of love or lust, the anger and the sadness. It was palpable.

         The beginning made me want Patrice to end up with Derrick, but then I saw how they didn’t actually fit together. But they still cared deeply for each other, and it was a beautiful friendship. Derrick’s fascination with the Ynaa turned into infatuation and put a wedge between them. But growing up together would always secure their bond, and Derrick’s last decisions reflected this idea.

         And let’s talk about the aliens. “They didn’t invade, they arrived.” Wow. They were brilliant and oh so terrifying. I would have run for the mainland if I’d lived there. Let me just rip your arm off because you made me mad. No big deal, right? You offended me, that’s just how we do things on our planet. Ha. But I loved it. Go read it. Right now. Do it.

         As the year draws to a close, I’m so pleased with my reading accomplishments. I’ve already read my fifty books, and everything now is just bonus points. Last year I fell a few short, but I unbelievably blew it out of the water this time around. I’m drafting my reading list for next year and am open to suggestions. What are your favorite suspense, thriller, or horror books? I need more of those in my life. Also, any writing craft books would be great too. I feel like there’s not enough of those in my life. How about you? Did you meet your goals?