End of November Review
As always, when something new jumps into my schedule, other items are sacrificed for the time and attention. So it is this month as well.
Books Read and/or Reviewed
First, I jumped into Jay Asher’s ‘13 Reasons Why.’ It’s another YA book about suicide, coming right on the heels of me reading All the Bright Places. I’d have to say this one felt much less trying. The situations felt more teenage-like, and not grandiose like the former. On top of that, it had a compelling way of being told with thirteen sides of tapes where Hannah tells her story and why she killed herself. Some have said it was quite vindictive—Hannah’s motives—but sometimes, suicidal people are. Revenge in death is not too hard to fathom.
Then I read ‘The Devotion of Suspect X.’ This is by the hugely popular Japanese author Keigo Higashino. He’s like the Japanese version of Tom Clancy, and I’d have to say it was fun and impressive. Many of his books are murder mysteries, and they always have a twist at the end, much like this one, that is unexpected. Add to this, you get to see a little bit of Japanese culture—like the fact that most criminals confess—they say around 90%, shockingly. All in all, it was fun, but nothing gripping like Murakami used to be.
Following that, I read ‘Boxers,’ supposedly the first part in the series, having read the second part last month. I wasn’t sure what order to read it in, but with my mistake, I feel it was better to read part two, first. It filled in the gaps you find in the main book. With that, I enjoyed the history lesson masked as a graphic novel. It was creative and fun, but did lack the unique story-telling that was created in American Born Chinese.
From there, I dove into ‘People Who Eat Darkness.’ Many have told me to read this for quite some time now, and I do enjoy a good ‘real-crime’ story. However, despite the intriguing lead-in, the book quickly got bogged down in the details that really didn’t feel as relevant as the main tale should have been. I understood the delving in Japanese culture to explain the jobs available there to western women and the way Japanese men live with this social pressure, but a lot of it dealt with Blackman’s father and the struggles between him and the mother, which felt drawn out. In the end, it was terrifying, but too long.
Strangely, I then read ‘Joy Luck Club.’ This was a reread, as I had first read it in High School. Despite that, I have to admit I remembered very little, unlike the book I recall reading right before it in school, Bradbury’s Illustrated Man. This time around, I did enjoy it more and found the strange connections Tan made between daughter and mother unique and interesting. The hardest part is distinguishing whose story was what as the narrative would indiscriminately jump from one daughter to another mother and so on. Beyond that, it was wonderful, especially being her first novel.
I ended the month with a Kindle single by the author of ‘Yoga Store Murder,’ called ‘Killer in the Family.’ It follows the horrific, true-story of Bradford Bishop who one night decided to slaughter his wife, mother, and three sons. Then he drove miles away to bury them and after that disappear for over 38 years. Still to this day, he has not been found. He is now on America’s Most Wanted list and is considered the longest on-the-run killer in history. The fact that he is still out there, at the age of 80, is chilling, but this little read was nowhere near as good as the author’s prior book, stated above.
Book Reviews Received
I have a feeling after this year this section of my monthly reports will be non-existent. Oh well!
Progress on 2016 goals
- Finish Chewy 5: Done!—75,000 words
- Read ‘The Recognitions’: Done!
- Compiling my Editing book: Done!—30,000 words
- Finish ‘All the Things in the Unknown World’: Done!—85,000 words
- Send ATTITUW out to publishers: Sent out to 10 publishers
- Start ‘Crasher’: With this month being NaNoWriMo, I began my next book with the hopes of getting a large chunk done. Happily I did so, finishing 25,000 words, essentially the first part of three.
Next Month’s Agenda
One month left. The year’s gone by fast. I hope to add another 25,000 to ‘Crasher,’ so as to make it easily finished in the new year. Unlike last month, where I sent ATTITUW out to few publishers and agents, I’d like to up that number before the new year starts. As for my reading schedule, I’ve read my 75 promised books for Goodreads, but wouldn’t mind putting a few more on the score board before everything wraps up. I expect, at the end, to have around 80. We’ll see.