Here are a few of the books I enjoyed over the year.
2016 was a surreal year (in more ways than one), so I dove right in at the source and refreshed my sensibility with THE SURREALISM READER: An Anthology of Ideas, edited by the goddess of surrealist studies, Dawn Ades (also
While swimming in experimental waters, I’m glad I found a sandbar and Anne Garréta’s novel SPHINX. It’s not surprising that one of the few female members of Oulipo penned one of the most engaging Oulipian novels to date. It’s a remarkable genderless love story— complex and mesmerizing.
I couldn’t wait to curl up with RAZOR GIRL and—sure enough—Hiaasen had my number again. As expected, the book had enough black humor to float the boat and a finely drawn character— (how could he miss with a detective demoted to a food inspector in Key West)— Andrew Yancy . The guy surely deserves a sequel (Ya listening Carl?) But I won’t call this novel a “page-turner” because I refuse to resort to cliches. (Oops, too late.)
What? Another book with “girl” in the title, there must be some mistake. Well, instead of GIRL ON THE TRAIN which derailed midway through for me, I’m recommending THE CROW GIRL If you’re hungry for a hefty helping—784 pages—of Swedish noir., it doesn’t get any better (or darker) than this. A superb translation, too.
Got twists? This novel is a corkscrew, and, yes, there are moments when you say “couldn’t happen,” but then you have those nagging second thoughts after watching the local news and it doesn’t matter anyway because THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR is just plain creepy fun. A clever first novel by author Shari Lapena.
French PI Aimée Leduc needs no introduction, of course, nor does her creator, Cara Black. I was a bit worried Cara. Black had run out of Paris neighborhoods, but then along came MURDER ON THE QUAI and I gladly donned my beret. The book is a “prequel” that will satisfy fans of the series—especially since Aimée’s backstory has often been alluded to and was begging to be told.
For those who’ve yet to meet Ms. Leduc, there’s no better place to start than at the beginning.
Enjoy these wintry reads and have a great 2017!