The goal is to read three books a month, but I only made it through two (and a half). Consider it a stretch goal.
You by Caroline Kepnes – It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a book that I literally couldn’t put down, and I would like to openly thank Caroline Kepnes for entertaining me during my long flights to and from Europe. Written from the point-of-view of a stalker, this book is as if American Psycho, Misery, and The Catcher in the Rye had a baby. At first, I was disgusted by Joe (our narrator) and terrified for Beck (his obsession), but Kepnes is so skilled at weaving the plot that Joe subtly became my protagonist, and I feared for the moment he would get caught. It’s pretty slick writing that can get you to like (and even feel sorry for) a sometimes violent, sexually depraved sociopath. It does get a little graphic at times, but if you liked American Psycho then you could definitely handle this one.
Even more exciting, once I had finished the book, I discovered that a sequel comes out this month! I can’t even imagine where or how that story will play out.
The Painter by Peter Heller – Having read Heller’s The Dog Stars a couple years ago, I was excited to pick up his next book. The blurb on the back described an artist (cleaned up after trouble with the law) who finds himself accidentally pitted against a band of dangerous hunters and ends up on the run. True, but this book was deeeeeep. Like possibly too deep and heavy for me (that part about the pet pig was just too close to home). The moments of action were really engaging (and the narrator is tongue-in-cheek funny), but the book slows down considerably to dig into identity, self and grief (and there’s some class and gender and man vs nature stuff in there, too). Basically what I’m saying is, this is a heavy text. There’s a surface story, but there’s also a lot going on along the way and if you’re just looking for a quick read – this isn’t the book you are looking for. I liked it but I didn’t love it.
On a side note, for February I have several biographies that have been stacked up on my nightstand so I officially declare February Biography Month. I’ll let you know how it goes.