The last few books I read left me cold at the beginning of my reading. These included two of Liane Moriarity’s suspense novels and now again with Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (2012). I finished Moriarity’s Apples Never Fall and Big Little Lies (2014) once I got into them. But, it took several nights of complaining to my husband that I didn’t think I would be able to finish the novels until I settled into the stories. I don’t care for the name-dropping in Moriarity’s books. She places us right in the time we are living with names of popular actors, brands, and events — including the pandemic at the end of Apples Never Fall (2021). I don’t necessarily like that as I read for escape, not to be reminded of someone I know, catty-social circles (there always seems to be one in her books), and global health issues. I will admit that she writes extremely well and always has a twist at the end of her novels that leaves me guessing until the very end. But, while they are not really “my type of book” they do serve well as a break from heavier material.
I also read the second in the mystery new mystery by Ann Cleeves called The Heron’s Cry (2021). This is a new detective series featuring a male detective, Matthew Venn, who is married to a man to runs a non-profit artist group. The characters are richly developed and I enjoy the author’s style of writing in these novels. I tried one of Cleeve’s earlier series, starring Vera Stanhope, that became the PBS series Vera but could not get into the characters or writing as easily as with the series featuring Matthew Venn. I know I’ll look forward to the next one with that character.
And, most recently, I started Code Name Verity. I just cannot get into this story, despite the rave reviews it’s had. It is boring me. I went on Goodreads to see what other readers were saying and there are comments (although not many) similar to my thoughts. Not EVERYONE loves this book. It is written in an odd mixture of first and third-person and I cannot seem to get the sense of danger the captured female pilots are in. Truly, I cannot get a sense of anything, really. The plot is minimal or so convoluted that at best it loosely holds my attention for just a few pages until I exclaim, “UGH — I don’t think I can read this book!” The cover is closed and I go to sleep, somewhat frustrated.
Since I’m not sure I can finish the Wein book, I downloaded a book that sounded good to me, The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries Kindle Edition. I like to think my past garden club students were exposed to solutionary thinking. After all part of environmental education is taking action after you discover there’s a problem. I’m anxious to read what this book has to say and started it last night. I’m already intrigued as it includes vignettes of students and their paths after they were inspired at a young age by a subject and how it was taught. In other words, they were engaged. I’m sure I’ll finish this book over the next couple of days.
For the last two years, I’ve kept track of the books I’ve read, increasing the number by five books this year. You can use the search bar on my blog to read more about the books I’ve read by typing book reviews.
Next on my list? It’s a big one: East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
Originally published at http://theapplesinmyorchard.com on March 31, 2022.