I’m a little behind on things here…but that might be a running theme this year when it comes to posting.
First read this month was Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Clearly, middle grade fodder, but it is pure fun and I loved how many classic books are scattered throughout. The only problem I had with it was that it tries very hard to be some kind of modern Willy Wonka, when really it’s just a lazy version for the new generation.
The next book was the award-winning One Came Home, whose premise seemed exciting, but really didn’t live up to its hype. Don’t get me wrong, it had its moments, but overall, it tried to hard with its sometimes flowery, repetitive language and rehashing of plot points. I did like the historical context and the basic story, but it was weak considering its flaws.
That was followed by Mosquitoland. I’d have to say here’s another example of why YA sucks. I don’t understand why this book got all the hype that it did. The teen in it feels so fake and played-out. If this is the type of character teens nowadays relate to, I’m happy to no longer be one. Besides that, the story was so slipshod in its structure. Though there were some great scenes, the underlying momentum that tied the scenes together were hard to believe.
So to level things off, I dove into a classic 1984. This was re-read with my students, but with Trump in office, it felt just as pertinent as ever. A thousand lines from it remind me of the lies and the misleading rhetoric we hear nowadays. I can see why it has suddenly rocketed into the top ten on Amazon. The strange thing is, I didn’t read this because of Trump, but it is all too eerily similar.
Then came And Then There Were One. I’ve been meaning to read Agatha Christie for years and finally got around to it. For this reason, it was fast and enjoyable, but seeing she’s been a part of our culture for a while, I can see why it didn’t feel very new. I mean, she made murder mysteries what they are, so when it was written I can see it blowing people’s hair back. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it.
Lastly, I took on a modern day murder mystery with Salvation of a Saint. It’s written by Keiko Higashino. Thought it’s no Murakami, it is light, tricky, and fun. I love the main detective and the inside-look at how things work in Japan when it comes to crime. Sadly, having read one from him before, I’ve somewhat figured out his style; however, in no way does that detract from the mystery which is superbly done.
Progress on 2017 goals
- Finish Crasher: I’m at 50,000 words, so the home stretch. I hope to finish it next month.
- Read ‘Life: A Manual,’ ‘The Fountainhead,’ and ‘Here I Am.’: Nothing here yet.
- Send ‘All the Things in the Unknown World’ to agents: 41 so far. Awesome.
Next Month’s Agenda
I hope to start one of the large books on my TBR, and get more queries sent to agents. I’ve update my query letter so I hope that leads to something, and if luck holds out, I should complete Crasher.