Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#2: 2nd Chance (James Patterson)

I’m continuing to work my way through the Women’s Murder Club series and thoroughly enjoying the easy reading. The central characters return, facing personal danger as they search for a serial killer. This time, events spiral as the murders begin with the death of an 11-year-old black girl exiting a church choir rehearsal. What first appears to be a series of hate crimes quickly turn much darker.

This installment also features the return of Lindsey’s long lost father. At times touching, this personal narrative becomes painful to watch. I’m not sure if I want to see Dad return in future episodes or not. I suppose I’ll just have to see what Mr. Patterson has in mind for his readers.

My only complaint about the book involves the ending. I’ll be careful not to include spoilers. When the suspect is finally apprehended, Lindsey dramatically realizes he is the wrong guy. In a head-spinning series of events, the hunt leads back to a minor character briefly appearing earlier in the story. Personally, I felt a little cheated, as though the author was simply looking for a way to stretch things out for another 50 pages.

Leave a comment »

#4: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)

The February selection for the “Reading with Jacqs” project was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The book is basically a mystery narrated by a young English boy, Christopher, who is a highly functioning autistic. The mystery begins with the death of a dog, Wellington, that our narrator finds with a lawn fork stuck in him. His search for the cause of the dog’s death leads to the instruction by his aggressive father to “stop sticking your nose in other people’s business.” Christopher decides to write a book detailing his search for answers. When his father trashes the manuscript as a punishment for Christopher’s persistent search for the dog’s murderer, the search for his prized notebook leads to an unexpected discovery that shapes the course of the rest of Christopher’s adventures.

Mark Haddon eloquently expresses the quirkiness of an autistic boy and takes the reader deep into the inner-workings of the mind. Every detail of the book — including the numbering system used for the book’s chapters — are designed to paint a clearer portrait of our main character. At times difficult to process because of the tangents Haddon’s writing includes, it quickly becomes clear that we are seeing the world through the eyes of the disorder. What I found most intriguing is that the novel is not about the disorder; autism is simply a fact of Christopher’s life that partially defines him. Although I don’t normally read mysteries, I found myself immersed in the tale of Christopher, his family relationships, and the curious incident that links them all together.

What’s next on my reading list? I’ve just begun Trevanian’s The Crazyladies of Pearl Street. I’m hoping to make a nice dent in it during tomorrow’s snow day from school.

Leave a comment »