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Read over the past few weeks:

The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine - suspenseful in a not very violent or gory sort of way, very well-written, probably easier to read if you know a thing or two about the British House of Lords
Zorro by Isabelle Allende - a beautiful novel with lots of sword fights
Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer - not quite as good as the ones she writes on her own
Tricky Business by Dave Barry - very funny, with a surprising twist at the end
Lake Wobegon 1956 by Garrison Keillor - it took me a while to get into this, but then I really liked it
Predator by Patricia Cornwell - I swear she must have someone ghostwriting her novels lately, because they're crap but she used to write good ones. This was the worst so far.
Towelhead by Alicia Erian - Difficult to read, but a good novel. Lebanese-American girl winds up living with her father in Texas. Disturbing plot about childhood sexual abuse narrated by a 13-year-old protagonist who isn't entirely clear on what's happening to her.
Field of Blood by Denise Mina - wonderful Scottish mystery writer, this one is far more about the development of the main character than about the crime she winds up solving. She has a new one out in the same series, I need to get it from the library.

In the queue: Minette Walters, Willa Cather, and some trashy novels that K picked up at Brookline Booksmith yesterday.
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Read over the past week or two:
The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. Laugh-out-loud funny in a juvenile way.
The Death of Achilles by Boris Akunin (in translation). Awesome subway reading, but I think I may have missed one in the series despite my best efforts to read them in order.
The Devil in Nanking by Mo Hayder. Normally, I love dark, creepy mystery novels set in Japan, but this one tried too hard.
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. Maybe this one is better if you did your undergrad at Princeton (where the story is set), but otherwise it's kind of like a very watered-down The Name of the Rose.

Not sure what to read next, but I have a bunch of ideas. Kelly asked me to make some space on our bookshelves over the weekend. In the process, I found a short stack of books I had never gotten around to reading, so maybe I'll try one of those.

Since I started keeping track about two months ago, I have read 18 books. I just got around to joining the 50bookchallenge community, not so much because I need to keep count as because it seems like a good source for recommendations.
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Read recently and slightly less recently:

Intoxicated by John Barlow - very fun and colorful

The Murder Room by P.D. James - growing up, James was squarely in the category of "writers my mother likes that I can't really get into", but this one was very good so I'll probably read a few more

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - interesting stories about the Chicago Worlds Fair and a serial killer who was active in Chicago at the time. Unfortunately, the story of the serial killer was oversensationalized. If you don't know exactly what happened, you can either make something up or call it a history book but not both. To be fair, he did indicate exactly what he'd made up in the footnotes.

Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian - quick, but regrettable read. Whatever he was trying to do, I really thought it didn't work. All the characters' voices blended together and the trans character wasn't very believable.

The Nimrod Flipout by Etgar Keret - short stories, translated from Hebrew. I read the whole thing on my flight to San Francisco. I don't usually like short stories that are this short, but these were excellent, quirky stories and some of them were really funny.

I'm currently most of the way through Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It's really good, I'm not sure why it took me five years to get around to reading it.
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The only thing I read this week was Patrick Neate's The City of Tiny Lights, which I mostly read on the subway. It's a mystery set in London with a Ugandan/Indian PI as the protagonist. Mostly a fun book, but with a little too much bathroom humor and cricket references. I need a "Cricket for Readers of British Novels" cheat sheet, because I really have no idea how the game is played. I tried to look it up once, but it was confusing. Mostly it's only a problem when reading Wodehouse, but it was a minor issue in this novel also.

I am also about halfway through Intoxicated by John Barlow, which is turning out to be pretty good. It reminds me a bit of The Road to Wellville. I really liked The Road to Wellville, but it's often the case that when I try to recall the book's name my head comes up with The Well of Loneliness (which I didn't like at all) instead and I have to ask Kelly what it's really called.
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Two books this week, both impulse pick-ups at the library.
Read more... )
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I've decided to keep track of what I read, because I sometimes see a book in the library and can't remember if I've read it or not. Any of you who have up until now thought of me as somewhat of an intellectual can look behind the cut to see what kind of crap I read. On a related note, the "My Reading History" feature of the Minuteman Library Network's web site mysteriously chooses to display one's reading history in an order that is neither alphabetical (by author or title) nor chronological.

Last few weeks' books... )

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