Tag Archives: Reading Journal

Reading journal: a novel I can’t put down

It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel I just couldn’t put down (although, life being what it is, I did eventually have to put it down). I love when this happens, though, because it usually means I’ve got a seriously good read going.

 

The Fifth Gospel

I’d picked up Ian Caldwell’s The Fifth Gospel because Caldwell had co-authored The Rule of Four with Dustin Thomason and I remembered quite enjoying The Rule of Four.

Going into it, I hadn’t realized The Fifth Gospel would be one of those books that are tough to put down. I mean, it sounded like it would be good, but lots of good books aren’t necessarily ones you can’t put down.

Here’s the summary:

In 2004, as Pope John Paul II’s reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. That same night, a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator’s research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex, desperate to keep his family safe, undertakes his own investigation. To find the killer he must reconstruct the dead curator’s secret: what the four Christian gospels—and a little-known, true-to-life fifth gospel known as the Diatessaron—reveal about the Church’s most controversial holy relic. But just as he begins to understand the truth about his friend’s death and its consequences for the future of the world’s two largest Christian Churches, Father Alex finds himself hunted down by someone with a vested stake in the exhibit—someone he must outwit to survive.

I’m halfway through, and while I have a busy week coming up, I’m hoping I’ll be able to grab some time to finish it.

And while the title and the synopsis might make you think, “oh, another Da Vinci Code kind of read”, I’m here to say, no, it’s actually not a Da Vinci Code kind of book at all.

I’ll be writing a review of this one, so stay tuned! I just have to finish it first—and even with all my upcoming deadlines, I’m definitely going to find the time to sit down with this one and finish it.

Reading Journal: Audiobooks

This has been such a hectic and tiring week, and the only reading I’ve been doing is with audiobooks. I find I turn to stories in audio when I’m feeling tired—not tired enough to sleep, but too tired to focus on a print book or ebook. Mind you, since I often decide to lie in bed when I do this, I sometimes (okay, often) fall asleep while listening. Which leads to a lot of rewinding back to the point in the story that I actually remember.

motive

Ever since about book 15 (Motive is book 30), I’ve always chosen to listen to Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series. This series is like a comfort listen for me, and I’m always happy when a new Alex Delaware mystery is released.

Unfortunately, Motive doesn’t make it anywhere near my list of top Kellerman reads (most of those would be books from earlier in the series). And I found one thing about the book particularly disappointing. If you haven’t read the series before, Alex Delaware is a child psychologist who consults on murders with his buddy, homicide detective Milo Sturgis. Part of the reason I’ve enjoyed this series so much is because of Milo. A gruff bear of a man, he’s a gay cop whose fortunes within the LA police department have been like a roller coaster ride.

For some reason, in Motive Alex has suddenly become the expert detective of the duo. There are way too many scenes where it’s Alex who suggests to Milo how to proceed with a particular lead or talk to a recalcitrant witness. It all makes Milo seem like a rather dim-witted cop, which he most certainly isn’t. It’s not like Alex’s suggestions are brilliant insights fueled by his expertise in psychology. They’re suggestions I’d have expected Milo to make. And to make matters worse, all Milo does is nod his head and then implement Alex’s suggestions.

So yes, I wasn’t too impressed with this one.

 rosenfelt

I’m also listening to two Andy Carpenter mysteries. This series by David Rosenfelt are fun reads, often with some nice twists at the end.

This will give you an idea how tired I’ve been—I was in the middle of Leader of the Pack when I got sidetracked by Motive, but when I finished Motive, I forgot I was still in the middle of Leader of the Pack and started on Unleashed instead.

And the really funny thing is, I’d been wondering why I couldn’t remember how things ended for Joey Desimone, the guy Andy Carpenter was trying to get out of jail in Leader of the Pack. Turns out, I couldn’t remember it because I hadn’t finished it!

Have you listened to any good audiobooks lately? I’m always looking for audiobook recommendations!

Reading Journal: Working Stiff, The Damned

Since I don’t write a whole lot of reviews (although I’m hoping to change that—but the idea is still a speck in my mind’s eye, so to speak), I thought I’d start a weekly “Reading Journal” post. More for myself, really, to help me keep track of my thoughts about my reading.

Because, you know, Bad Book Memory. Oh, so bad. I’m surprised sometimes I remember what I read last week.

Anyway …

Working Stiff

I just finished Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell and it was so good. I listened to it in audio, which was a great choice; narrator Tanya Eby was a good fit to the material. As you might expect, there were some (well, okay, lots of) gory bits but I was so enthralled with this behind-the-scenes look at a medical examiner’s life, I winced but easily moved on.

Near the end, Melinek recounts her time working in the aftermath of September 11, and these scenes stole my heart. She was right there—cataloguing the bones and fragments of bones, because for the most part that was all there was to catalogue. If you’ve been thinking about reading this one, you should definitely take the plunge.

What’s next? I have three books that I need to get to. Three scary novels by Canadian authors! I missed the Dark Side Tour—partly because I had a heck of a time finding the website for the tour and then when I did, I could have sworn I added it to Todoist but I can’t find the link now and Google’s no help. My memory tells me my last chance to meet Andrew Pyper, Rob Pobi and Nick Cutter here in Toronto was this past weekend, and I wasn’t able to make it (and I really really wanted to “do” an author event! *wails*). But it’s okay, because I have their books to read still. That’s what really counts, right?

I’m probably most excited about Andrew Pyper’s The Damned, because I had quite enjoyed his previous book, The Demonologist (my review here– yes, I actually wrote a review of it!). The synopsis for The Damned:

Most people who have a near-death experience come back alone…

After he survived a fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ashleigh, Danny Orchard wrote a bestselling memoir about going to Heaven and back. But despite the resulting fame and fortune, he’s never been able to enjoy his second chance at life.

Ash won’t let him.

In life, Danny’s charming and magnetic twin had been a budding psychopath who privately terrorized her family—and death hasn’t changed her wicked ways. Ash has haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he’s met the love of his life and has a chance at real happiness, she wants more than ever to punish him for being alive—so she sets her sights on Danny’s new wife and stepson.

Danny knows what Ash really wants is him, and he’s prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save the ones he loves. But to do this, he’ll have to meet his sister where she now resides—and hope that this time, he can keep her there forever.

Sounds good, right? And I’ve read a few reviews that say it’s a good read. So The Damned is definitely up next. Along with Good Omens and A Dark and Twisted Tide, both of which I’ve started.

What have you been reading recently?