This week I finished All the Light We Cannot See. It was AMAZING!!
I won't give any spoilers but will say that the characters that I thought would suffer a tragic demise did not. And that made me happy. There were quite a few times when my eyes got a little wet, and I had to stop reading and catch my breath. Excellent story telling.
And then in a 2 day period I read and finished The Book of Speculation.
This debut novel by Erika Swyler was breathtaking!! After my first day of reading, that night when I went to bed, I actually had a dream about Simon Watson. I have NEVER had a dream about a fictional book character before. I could not shake the story from my mind. The next day I pretty much binge read. I just had to know more about these characters and the ties that bound them all together. Simon is a librarian who in the beginning of the book gets downsized.
The Book of Speculation is a log from a traveling carnival dating back to the 1700's. Simon gets sent the book from a bookseller who somehow figures out that a name in the book was Simon's grandmother and through some research tracks down Simon and send him the book. Simon discovers that the book does in fact contain information about his ancestors, which calls his attention to a freaky coincidence: generations of circus mermaids (related along the female line) all died by drowning on July 24th, which is the date his mother, a former circus mermaid, also drowned when he was a child.
Side note: Not mermaids like this:
But are "mermaids" in the sense that they can hold their breath for a really long time and swim around sexily underwater in clingy white dresses. Oh and apparently can't drown until a seemingly random July 24th.
Okay, for lack of spoilers, I'll stop there. But I loved this book.
Once I was finished with The Book of Speculation I decided to try out some Zombie lit. I chose Zone One by Colson Whitehead.
From the publisher:
In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead.
Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuilding civilization under orders from the provisional government based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain. While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a more innocuous variety—the “malfunctioning” stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives.
Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams working in lower Manhattan. Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz’s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world.
And then things start to go wrong.
Both spine chilling and playfully cerebral, Zone One brilliantly subverts the genre’s conventions and deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty-first century.
Blah blah blah. Sounds great, right? I think I made it 3 chapters before I had enough. Done. Enough. Maybe I need to give it a little bit longer, but I honestly don't have time to read bad books.
So today I started a book that had been on my TBR (to be read) shelf for a few months, and it finally became available.
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica started off reminding me of The Girl on the Train, which I did not love. But its switched gears and seems to be picking up steam and I think it holds a lot of promise. I'm sure I will have it finished by next Wednesday.
What have you been reading??