It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.
This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.
Finished in Print
The Blackhouse by Peter May
So many of my friends have recommended this trilogy. Now I know why. It was a little slow to start but once it got going I really liked it.
Started in Print
The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
It was time for another Miss Marple book.
Finished on Audio
Mudbound by Hilary Jordan narrated by multiple artists
I read the print edition of this when it was first released. Now that Netflix has a movie version I wanted to reread it before watching. I decided to reread the audio edition this time and I’m glad I did. It’s excellent.
Started on Audio
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith narrated by Robert Glenister
This is one of those books I hesitated to read when it was first released because everyone was talking about it. I’m glad I finally started it and I’m enjoying the audio format for it.
I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.
I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.
Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”
Some of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.
2004: Hornet Flight by Ken Follet – audio edition narrated by John Lee
A good World War Two spy thriller.
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan narrated by Ezra Knight, Kate Forbes, Joseph Collins, Tom Stechschulte, Peter Jay Fernandez, and Brenda Pressley
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2008
Length: 9 hours, 16 nminutes
Read by: Ezra Knight, Kate Forbes, Joseph Collins, Tom Stechschulte, Peter Jay Fernandez, and Brenda PressleySource: Purchased
From the publisher:
In Jordan’s prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family’s struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura’s brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not—charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.
The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.
I read the print edition of this when it was new in 2008. I loved it. When I saw the trailer for the Netflix film version I decided I wanted to reread the book before watching it. I chose to reread by listening to the audio version. I think I loved it even more the second time around.
The book is formatted with alternating chapters told by six of the characters. Sometimes their chapters overlap. The six narrators representing those six characters do a marvelous job. I think the story was more impactful in the audio format than the print. The writing was beautiful to begin with but the narrators made it even better.
If you haven’t read this book or even if you have the audio edition is excellent.
Format: Trade Paperback and ebook
Series: #1 in the Lewis Trilogy
Publication Date: 2009
From the publisher:
From acclaimed author and dramatist Peter May comes the Barry award-winning The Blackhouse, the first book in the Lewis Trilogy — a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.
When a grisly murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis that bears similarities to a brutal killing on the mainland, Edinburgh detective and native islander Fin Macleod is dispatched to the Outer Hebrides to investigate, embarking at the same time on a voyage into his own troubled past.
As Fin reconnects with the people and places of his tortured childhood, the desolate but beautiful island and its ancient customs once again begin to assert their grip on his psyche. Every step toward solving the case brings Fin closer to a dangerous confrontation with the dark events of the past that shaped — and nearly destroyed — his life.
This book has been on my TBR list for a long time. Many of my friends have recommended it. I was hoping to get the audio edition but I wasn’t able to get my hands on it. I managed my way through the Gaelic names with the help of a pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book.
The story is part murder mystery and part psychological thriller. It’s told in alternating chapters with the present-day story told in third person but the story of Fin’s childhood is told by Fin in the first person. It worked well and I liked the format.
The murder investigation doesn’t play out like a typical police procedural. Fin’s connection to the people and the place keep the investigation from being typical. Both the present-day story and Fin’s remembering his past play out in a slow build that brings them spiraling to a conclusion.
The setting on Lewis Island added additional elements to the story. The isolation and insular community are part of Fin’s life but also one that he escaped. His return brings him back to people and places that he hasn’t seen in 18 years.
I do plan to read the next book in the trilogy but I think I’m going to get the audio edition so I don’t have to wonder about the name pronunciations.
It's not a word, but it should be, because it's the best description of both my reading habits and my blog posting habits. This blog is primarily about the books I'm reading, with occasional other stuff thrown in.