"" The Relentless Reader

July 10, 2014

Tiny Reviews of Twisted Reads

Every now and then I enter the creepy zone. I'll find myself in the mood for darkness and I'll read a number of twisty tales in close succession. Maybe it's because these sorts of books remind me that all is not peachy in the world? Maybe it's because they make my own life feel so sweet? Maybe it's because I'm a psychopath. I don't know!

Here are my most recent disturbing reads and my quick thoughts about each:

Goat Mountain by David Vann

WARNING. This book is not for the faint of heart. The story takes off right at the start. There's no waiting around for the big happening. It happens and you spend the rest of the book wondering why. WHY? Goat Mountain is painful, beautiful, and shocking.

Closed Doors by Lisa O'Donnell

Seeing a tragedy through the eyes of a child might be depressing to some readers. I found it refreshing. O'Donnell lets us experience a traumatic event in an original way by showing us what Michael sees and hears. Children are both smarter and more innocent than we give them credit for. Closed Doors is a fantastic coming of age story with a tragic bent that shows just how clever children can be.

This is another winner from Herman Koch, who also wrote the deliciously tense The Dinner. He writes characters that you want to hate but can't help feel a niggling bit of empathy for. He writes characters that do things the rest of us only fantasize about doing on our darkest days. This wasn't an easy read but it was an absolutely worthy one.   

Do you enjoy the darker side of literature? Is there a spine-chilling book you consider a must-read? Tell me about it in the comments!

July 2, 2014

Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2014

So, June ended when I wasn't looking. That means that 2014 is half over?! When did time decide to start moving so damn fast? Probably when I turned 40. 

Things aren't looking so good for me in the challenge area:

2014 Reading Challenge
You have read 63 of 150 books
11 books behind schedule
View Challenge

I'm happy to report that what I'm lacking in quantity I'm making up for in quality. That's really the most important thing isn't it? (But let me admit right now that I'll be padding these numbers with a graphic novel marathon someday soon. Ha!)

I thoroughly enjoyed each of the books that I read this month. Will I review more than one of them? Time will tell. (I'm not very much into writing reviews anymore as you may have noticed.)

Goat Mountain by David Vann

The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

California by Edan Lepucki

My review of The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

The Conditions of Love by Dale M. Kushner

Closed Doors by Lisa O'Donnell

How was June for you? Did you read anything amazing? Did you read something I should avoid like the plague? Let me know in the comments.