I started this year brand new in terms of books I was reading. I didn’t want to hold anything over from last year, so I fully expected to have read less books this month than in past months. I figured some months it might look like I read more than I did because I finished a bunch of books that carried over from the month before. That didn’t turn out to be the case. I fully read 11 books this month. Today I am sharing three of those books, plus one that I read in December.
Books I’ve read recently
Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown
I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon character. The books are usually fast-paced, full of action, and have a small element of romance. Yes, they are formulaic, but I enjoy them anyway. I thought this book broke his mold a little bit, and I loved it even more because of that. (Well, more than some of the others. Not more than The DaVinci Code.)
The content of this book was spot on with my interested – atheism, technology/artificial intelligence, and some good old Catholic church bashing (as always). It has much less art history and code breaking than his other books, so it didn’t make me feel as uncultured as some of his other novels.
In this story, Robert Langdon gets swept into the action rather accidentally. He goes to an event to hear a former student make an announcement about a new scientific discovery, and then that person ends up being murdered. Instead of the usual female side-kick (although there is also a woman), this book has Winston, an AI computer designer by the deceased scientist. It made the book seem more modern and unique.
This book was a delight to listen to. I wasn’t quite sure how it would all turn out, other than knowing Robert would be fine. If you’re a fan of this series or enjoy a good suspense novel, read this book.
The Amateurs (The Amateurs #1) by Sara Shepard
This book involved 4 teenagers trying to solve a cold case. It was slightly reminiscent of The Naturals, one of my favorite series, only without the seriously-honed skills. The characters in this book were fun. They developed great friendships, and there was the perfect amount of drama. It sets the series up nicely, and I’ll definitely be reading more.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
We read this book for my YA Book Club at my recommendation. I am trying to read more diverse stories, and I wanted to love this book. But…it had some problems. Let’s start with the good stuff. I enjoyed the cultural aspects. I feel like I got better insight into being the daughter of Mexican immigrants. And I really liked Julia. She is not perfect, but she is real. I was rooting for her throughout the book, but…
This story was SO all over the place. I couldn’t figure out what this book was trying to be. Seriously. Was it a story about grief? Was it a story about mental illness? Was it a mystery? Julia is trying to learn more about her sister after she dies unexpectedly. And a whole bunch of other stuff.
Overall, I didn’t find myself disliking reading this book, but I was very ready for it to be over by the time it ended. I really struggled with this rating, but in the end the diverse voice gave it a little boost.
La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust #1) by Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials is another series I love, so when I learned about Pullman’s new trilogy, I was super excited. I loved reading about this world again. And because this book is a prequel (I think all of the new books will be), I feel like a learned some things that gave good backstory for the original trilogy.
But, the story wasn’t really necessary. (I kind of feel that way about all prequels.) I enjoyed reading (well, listening) about Malcolm and Alice. I loved how much Malcolm loved Lyra. Their adventure is pretty crazy, and I thought it was clever how Malcolm and Alice’s relationship kind of mirrors Lyra and Will’s relationship.
I look forward to the next book, but I don’t think this trilogy will replace the original in terms of ranking on my list of favorite series.
Have you read anything good lately?
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