Man, why do I even bother with challenges when I can’t seem to keep from constantly cheating and finding loopholes to make them easier?!
This week’s cheat: if I can’t find a book readily through the interlibrary loan system, and it’s been on my to-read list for years, I’m not going to bother. If I was that interested in a title I’d have bought, borrowed, or begged it by now.
Here’s my second TBR Challenge Update!
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. A poor girl makes a rich friend, and they spend the summer together at the rich family’s summer estate. It turns out this rich family is pretty twisted and has lots of secrets, but that doesn’t stop the poor girl (with secrets of her own) for wanting to be one of them. A good summertime read–I thought the best writing was the depiction of this lavish estate.
This House is Haunted by John Boyne. Old-fashioned creepiness which I’ll elaborate on this Horror Month! Loved this one!
The Keep by Jennifer Egan. Smart, spooky, and really well-constructed (one narrative is about two cousins renovating an old castle in Europe, the other about the prisoner in a writing class telling their story). I got to my page 100 benchmark, though, and then just skimmed. Something about this just didn’t gel for me, but it might for you!
The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland. Another one I could not get into. Just the wrong time for me, I think. The set-up is interesting: the main character, Lena, is a transcriptionist at a city newspaper, a lonely, kind of faceless job. There’s a stark quality to the writing that suits the character and setting. But just not for me at this moment in time. After I set this down I had a hankering to read Patricia Highsmith. Unsure why.
Dark Echo by F.G. Cottam. It’s about a haunted boat. A haunted boat named the Dark Echo, built by a WWI vet and imbued with some nasty history. I was not immediately sold, but I gave it a chance because I really loved House of Lost Souls. The book is a nice mix of atmospheric horror and a mystery, but I just didn’t respond to this the way I did to Cottam’s other book. Classic case of the problem being me, not the book.
So there’s where she stands. At least I’m still knocking them off the list at a steady clip.
As I look at the to-read list I put together on Goodreads over the years, I can chart my reading interests over time–historical mysteries giving way to the domestic suspense of the 1950’s and 1960’s, my period of obsession with American culinary history, the coming of age stories set in rural America, and on into horror stories and natural history. It’s fun to see how reading changes and evolves over time.
Perhaps I’ve just outgrown a lot of the ones from further down the list. Which of course doesn’t indicate any problems with the books themselves. I’ve simply moved on.
Next will be She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth and The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland.
For the numerically inclined: we’re at 832 books to-be-read.