This week, I am reading two books.
On my Kindle (so I can read at night in the dark) I am reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.
“Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.
I am a few chapters in and I’m hooked.
My other book is News Of the World by Paulette Jiles.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.
This too has me hooked.
Although, I do find the writing style a tad distracting…no quotation marks, sometime punctuation is questionable-I find myself needing to re-read things when I realize it was not said by the character I thought was saying it.
I finished listening to The Book of Speculation.
An odd story, but the narrator was so good that I enjoyed it.
In fact, I am listening to my current book simply because the same narrator is used.
That book is Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory, narrated by Ari Fliakos.
A generations-spanning family of psychics–both blessed and burdened by their abilities–must use their powers to save themselves from the CIA, the local mafia, and a skeptic hell-bent on discrediting them in this hilarious, tender, magical novel about the invisible forces that bind us.
The Telemachus family is known for performing inexplicable feats on talk shows and late-night television. Teddy, a master conman, heads up a clan who possess gifts he only fakes: there’s Maureen, who can astral project; Irene, the human lie detector; Frankie, gifted with telekinesis; and Buddy, the clairvoyant. But when, one night, the magic fails to materialize, the family withdraws to Chicago where they live in shame for years. Until: As they find themselves facing a troika of threats (CIA, mafia, unrelenting skeptic), Matty, grandson of the family patriarch, discovers a bit of the old Telemachus magic in himself. Now, they must put past obstacles behind them and unite like never before. But will it be enough to bring The Amazing Telemachus Family back to its amazing life?
I also finished listening to the fifth book in the Sleuth Sisters Series-Eat, Drink, and be Wary.
What do a kayak, a wine barrel, and a tractor have in common? They’re all weapons in the hands of women with Sister Power!
When the FBI asks the Sleuth Sisters to attend a retreat for “Love-Able Ladies,” Barb opts out, unwilling to spend a weekend celebrating the joys of being some man’s “little wife.” Retta is eager to go, since the venue is a swanky vineyard/inn on the Leelanau Peninsula, north of Traverse City, Michigan. Never a fan of large groups of strangers, Faye would just as soon stay home, but since Retta needs a “wing-woman,” she doesn’t get a choice.
Their assignment is to assess the possibility a retreat attendee might cooperate in an FBI investigation. Dina Engel is launching a line of high-fashion clothing, and the feds hope that means she’s separating herself from her drug king-pin father. The sisters are supposed to get to know Dina, hint the Bureau is interested in a meeting, and provide her with a safe way to contact them.
Though the setting is lovely and the inn is all that Retta imagined, things quickly go bad. Murder, kidnapping, and a mysterious plot involving Dina’s fashion show plunge Faye and Retta into danger. The sisters are separated from each other and threatened with death if they don’t cooperate. Retta finds it hard being isolated and alone. Faye has to decide which people around her are enemies and which are innocent retreat attendees. Sensing trouble, Barb shows up, but she soon faces a choice between being shot and drowning in Grand Traverse Bay.
It seems impossible all three sisters can survive the dream weekend-turned-nightmare. Still, this is the fifth Sleuth Sisters adventure, so readers know these women don’t give up easily. Sit back, have a glass of wine, and learn a little more about Sister Power!
I never got past being irritated by Barb, however these were fun books to listen too and I hope there will be a sixth book at some point.
However, this audio version was terrible.
It sounded as if it was hastily spliced together and the production quality was terrible.
I found it distracting.
Shame on the production team.
Thats it for this week!