Not too many books read for fun this month. I started back up at work and got buried a bit. Some of these titles were ARCs from Netgalley and I’ve indicated that below. But here are the things I managed to get through.
All Come to Dust Bryony Rheam (ARC)
This was a deeply character driven murder mystery with some intriguing insights into life in post-colonial Zimbabwe. There were some twists and turns that were exciting, but this is a slow-paced novel to be certain. Worth the read in the end if only for Rheam’s prose.
The Damage Done Micheal Landweber (ARC)
A premise that will have you stood at attention, Damage Done’s central premise is that one moment, all violence in the world ceases, and no one can harm another person again. There were so many interesting concepts that could have been explored; we were given a dictator without power, a pope considering the Ten Commandments, a white supremacist planning an attack, a domestic violence victim. But we also had around ten other POV characters; too many for me. The breadth of POVs became a hindrance as no one story was explored in any detail. The book will make you think, but it didn’t really deliver on the premise.
Knocked Scentsless Langley Gray (ARC)
A quirky and fun little cozy murder mystery with a healthy splash of romance. The main character is a perfumer and has a nose for details and a personal stake in solving this particular crime, especially after all signs seem to point to her as the culprit. I enjoyed every minute of this kitschy romp, would recommend.
Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami
I have so many thoughts about this book. Having not read any Murakami before, I was curious as to what I would think, given how highly friends speak about his work. I found myself delighted and disappointed in equal measure. There was music in his words and his descriptions of Tokyo and life here are so familiar to me that I’m disappointed I didn’t read him before moving to Japan. I want to compare reading Murakami before living in Tokyo to after living in Tokyo. But the protagonist was flat and irritating and, though I am aware it is a choice, it is a choice I hate. The female characters are… troubling and annoying to read as a woman. But his writing style draws me back.
Red Queen Vivian Aveyard
I grabbed this book from the school library to read after I saw one of my students reading it. She’s a shy kid so I wanted to see what she was interested in so that I could talk to her about it. It’s typical YA fare with characters that feel very familiar from my youth spent devouring books of the same caliber. There are many moments that I could see coming a mile off, but I do not begrudge anyone that. I am rather genre savvy. Overall a fantastical romp with some interesting elements.