OK, so things started out well. I read The Man That Got Away by Lynne Truss and thought it was great. A darkly comedic crime caper is the only way I can really describe it. Damn…I should have put that in the review! If you haven’t read the first book in the series A Shot in the Dark, it’s ok. While I highly recommend it, it’s in no way necessary before reading this one. But really…read it…it’s good.
Then the disappointment set in. I was still waiting for the books I bought to arrive, so I started on another NetGalley ARC, which will remain nameless here but if you’ve read any of my recent reviews you’ll know the one I refer to. Hmmm, what to say. Not much really, other than if an author is going to write in first person, and present tense, they need to learn that it’s important to connect with the reader. Constantly using “I” isn’t the way to do it. Nor are mysterious references to previous books in the same series. It doesn’t make me want to read those other books, it just makes me want to put down the one I’m currently reading.
Because the premise of the story was good, and I wanted to know what happened, I did finish it (even though I really didn’t want to), and so felt obligated to write a review. It’s hard to write reviews for books that I don’t hate, but then there’s something about them that keeps me from enjoying it. Trying to be constructive in a review of that kind is tricky, and I have a hard time with it because I feel the need to be truthful about my thoughts. So far I’ve been pretty lucky with the ARCs that I’ve chosen. I only request what I believe I will read and enjoy. But sometimes I get pulled in by those damn blurbs!
Moving on! Having no physical books to read, I again turned to ARCs and read and reviewed two in one day. Granted, they were both short non-fiction. The first, The Bathysphere Boys written by Ted Enik, and illustrated by G.F. Newland, is a children’s book. I fell in love with the cover art and the premise of rhyming the story behind the invention of the bathysphere (hence the title). I was not disappointed. Great little book with beautiful illustrations. The second, The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities by Paul Anthony Jones is a book of obscure words which combines historical fact with humor to make what could be a dry book very entertaining.
Then I see that there is a Nicholas Blake available, The Sad Variety, I’d only ever read one book in the Strangeway series, and being a serious GAD fan I had to read it. Okay, I caught myself staying up to finish this one, but not because it was so fabulous that I couldn’t put it down. I just didn’t dislike it…and there was one character that drew me in (and it wasn’t Nigel Strangeway). A book that left me ambivalent. What a way to end the week.
Finally, yesterday The Fabulous Wink and Portrait of a Murderer arrived so I’ll be digging into them to begin my week. I have one ARC on my NetGalley shelf The Missing Diamond Murder by Diane Janes. I’ve also ordered Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville and Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert. Very much looking forward to those. But I’ll be starting with something I pulled off my Book Stack this morning…Off the Record by Dolores Gordon-Smith.
Here’s hoping for a good week of reading.