I tried to embrace the Halloween spirit this month, though some of my books fit the mood a little more than others. Aside from my Fright Fest re-reads – I’m not going to go into those again here – this is what I read last month:
The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
As with most older books, it took me a while to get into this one. Once I did, though, I really enjoyed it. I think it’s pretty much impossible not to be at least somewhat familiar with Sherlock Holmes, just from popular culture, and it was interesting to see some of his literary origins. This definitely won’t be the last Sherlock Holmes story I read.
White Fire, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(originally read November 2013)
After reading my first Sherlock Holmes, I had to return to this novel. Pendergast is so like Holmes anyway, and this book focuses on a (fictional) lost Holmes story. Plus, the newest book in the series is being released next month, so it was a perfect time for a re-read.
(read my full review here: White Fire)
‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King
It took me four days to get through the first third of this book, because I just didn’t have any motivation to pick it up. Once I hit that point, though, I flew through the rest of it in a day and a half. I really like King best when he’s not casting an entire town in his novels, but, slow start aside, this one was much better than, say, Under the Dome.
The 13th Juror, by John Lescroart
This book could have been a lot better. As is, it seemed to drag on forever. To be fair, courtroom dramas aren’t anything I get excited about, but I’ve definitely read others that held my attention better than this one did. The underlying story was a good one, and had this been tightened up a bit it could easily have been a 3-star read.
Season of the Witch, by Natasha Mostert
I found this book fascinating, more for the ideas it contains than the plot itself or any of the characters. The story is interesting, but not overly so; I was never filled with a sense of “I have to keep reading this.” But still, it was a pleasure to read, to become enchanted by the two sisters, to immerse myself in the mystical otherworldliness of their world.
Party Games, by R.L. Stine
This felt very much like a classic Fear Street thriller (some of which I’ve been sampling over the last few weeks in anticipation of reading this one). It’s really hard to judge it fairly as an adult, and I think even some teens would find it lacking compared to what they’re used to in YA today. But then, I never read Fear Street as a teen. I read them back in middle school… and middle school me loved them. And I’m sure she would have loved this one too.
(read my full review here: Party Games)
How to Be a Good Wife, by Emma Chapman
I didn’t like this one as much as I was hoping to. It took a long time to start getting invested, and then once I was, there was a lot of frustration. I did enjoy reading it, for the most part, but unfortunately it kept reminding me of other books I liked better. After reading a lot of very favorable reviews, I guess I was just expecting something else. Not sure if I’d go out of my way to read this author again.
Blue Labyrinth, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
I always enjoy Pendergast most when we get to learn about his family history. There’s just so much fertile ground there. Blue Labyrinth not only centers on an old family secret, but it also calls back to the Helen trilogy, the Diogenes trilogy, The Cabinet of Curiosities… as well as dropping references to other books in the series. This isn’t one for new readers to start with, but it’s a great addition for fans of the series.
The Alexandria Link, by Steve Berry
(originally read March 2010)
This is another one of those question-everything-you-know-about-religion thrillers, but there’s a lot more to the story than that. Some of the sub-plots are more engaging than others, and the whole thing ends up being one of those books where I like the idea behind it more than the book itself. But there’s some interesting stuff in here.
What was your favorite book last month?