December, as the holidays and the end of the year come ever closer, my
reading life changes. I rely even more heavily on audiobooks and turn to
escape reading and favorite genres instead of literary fiction and
This year is turning out to be no different. I plan to spend the last three weeks of 2015 lost in fantasy worlds and puzzling out mysteries. I may turn to women's fiction and will throw in a few middle grade books for good measure. I'm also thinking about light nonfiction. In any case, I plan to go where my mood takes me.
I have a number of fantasies and cozy mysteries queued up for December listening, but wanted to mention some audiobooks that I haven't reviewed on my blog.
- I listened to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Penguin Audio; 10 hr, 59 min) read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher, last month. While I enjoyed the story and thought the audiobook production to be fine, I was not wowed. I like quirky characters and trying to figure out who is telling the truth, but ultimately the book didn't live up to the hype for me.
- I downloaded The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson (Recorded Books; 13 hr, 18 min) read by George Guidall on the off chance that my husband and I would listen to it on a recent road trip. I ended up listening on my own and really loved the production. Guidall nailed the characters, pacing, and emotions.
- Orhan Pamuk's A Strangeness in My Mind (Random House Audio; 21 hr, 56 min) is a beautiful book that's part family saga and part tribute to Istanbul. John Lee's performance was brilliant. (My full review will appear in AudioFile magazine.)
- I'm currently listening to Visions, the second Cainsville book by Kelley Armstrong (Penguin Audio; 15 hr, 2 min) read by Carine Montbertrand and Mozhan Marno. If you like urban fantasy, myths, and omens mixed with great characters, good humor, and plenty of action, then this series will be a good match. Montbertrand and Marno make a good team and are keeping me well entertained.
Here are some books at the top of my holiday reading pile.
- I can't believe I've had Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Knopf Books for Young Readers) on my bookshelves since BEA (June). I know people have been talking about this book, but I still don't know much about it. I'm going to keep it that way and go into this one blind.
- What better way to escape the holiday stress than to sit down with Michael Connelly? The Crossing (Little, Brown) is the newest Bosch book, and I'm happy to see it features Mickey Haller too! I'll pour myself a shot of whiskey and settle in for a great read.
- I missed Jamie Kain's The Good Sister (St. Martin's Griffin) in hardcover, but it was released in paperback just this week. The story is about three sisters and touches on some tough subjects. Not exactly fluff reading, but this emotional novel will be a good foil to my other picks.
- I'm fascinated with the premise of J. C. Carleson's Placebo Junkies (Knopf Books for Young Readers). It's about a seventeen-year-old girl who has become a professional pharmaceutical trial volunteer. What happens when the side effects of the drugs start to manifest themselves? According to reviews, there is enough humor to offset any sadness.
I really should join Kerry's Clean Your Reader Challenge for next year. In the meantime, here's what I have loaded on my reading devices.
- I'm almost done with Kate Morton's The Lake House (Atria), which has been taking me way too long to read. The story and the pacing are great, but I keep getting distracted by work and other activities. I should finish this in a couple of days. Loving it!
- The Box Wine Sailors by Amy McCullough (Chicago Review Press) looks like it could be a good match for me . . . or not (ask me about my reaction to Wild). Here's the basis for this true-life story: A twenty-something couple with minimal sailing experience buy a boat unsuited for ocean travel, quit their jobs, and attempt to sail south along the Pacific coast. I'm going to give it a try.
- Ticket to India by N. H. Senzai (Paula Wiseman Books) is a contemporary adventure set in India. Two sisters board a train, heading north to their grandmother's village. After they become separated, twelve-year-old Maya continues the trip alone. This coming-of-age story explores themes surrounding the Great Partition.
- Christopher Buckley's The Relic Master (Simon & Schuster) promises to be a rollicking adventure set in 1517 and involving Catholic relics, the rise of Protestantism, and quirky characters. Although the themes sound serious, reviewers assure us that the humor wins out.