What I’m Reading: Bel Canto, Sharp Objects, and others.

By Carolyn Quimby | @CarolynQuimby, @WornBookSmell

Well, I  meant to write a “What I’m Reading” about two books ago, but I actually could not pull myself away from any of the books I was reading.

I suppose a run down of the books I’ve been reading is in order, but I’ll keep them short because I plan on reviewing them in the upcoming  weeks.

The Cuckoo's CallingFirst, I finished The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling. I didn’t just read the book, I devoured it–on lunch breaks, before bed, on the train. When the book first came out I heard really great things about it, and it surprisingly lived up to the hype. Not only was it well-plotted and suspenseful, but the characters were likable enough for me to want more books. Honestly, the best part of this book (besides the awesome twist) was knowing that The Silkworm (the second novel in the Cormoran Strike series) would be out just after I finished it.

Veronica Mars 1Next, I finally got my hands on the Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line audiobook. For those of you who don’t know (which is most of you), I am a huge, huge, HUGE Veronica Mars fan. I was not expecting much from the book, but it ended up being amazing. It was as smart, snappy, and wonderful as the television series and recent movie. Like my friend Molly said, it was like getting a few more episodes, which I am always down for. Another plus? The audiobook is narrated by Kristen Bell which makes it the most delightful reading experience ever.

Gone GirlAnd, finally, I was reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but I finished it just prior to writing this post. Let me just say: I killed that book–finished it in less than 5 days because I physically couldn’t put it down. I fell asleep reading it and spent every free second gasping in horror at the awful, unlikable characters and their actions. The twists in this book, especially the first one, are unbelievable. Flynn’s a methodical writer–each word chosen carefully to successfully create an atmosphere of tension and suspense. Overall, I loved the book. It was gripping and horrifying, though the ending was a serious, serious letdown.

If you couldn’t tell, I have been on a really big mystery/thriller kick. (Honestly, I still am–I’m about to start Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects). In a completely opposite genre and writing style, I’m also reading Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto. I’m not very far into the novel, but it is extremely beautiful so far.

Bel CantoBel Canto won the Pen Faulkner in 2002 (it’s easy to see why), and is based on the Lima Crisis that occured in 1996. Unlike other writers, like Jodi Picoult, who split their multiple narrators by chapters, Patchett shifts perspectives within the same chapter, which is unexpected and surprisingly lovely. It’s an ensemble cast of characters–most of them are nameless faces that flint in and out, but others have real resonance. What I love most about the book though is Patchett’s writing style. It’s delicate and ethereal and musical, which is writing that I am a total sucker for.

Mr. Penumbra'sI also started listening to Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore this morning. I’m barely two chapters in, but the novel is so wonderful so far. The writing is simple and curious, and the story is already brimming with magic. I’m also a sucker for books about books. For some reason, I have a feeling this novel is going to appeal to the bibliophile in me in all the right ways. I’ll be traveling to visit my boyfriend this weekend, so that gives me some uninterrupted listening time, which I honestly can’t wait for.
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What books are you reading? Have you been stuck on a certain genre or writer? Have you read any of the books above? Leave me a comment (or two) !

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