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Lethal White
Robert Galbraith
Progress: 500/656 pages
I See You
Gregg Hurwitz
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 54/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages

September Reading Wrap up

Total of 14 books read. A lot of them are not my usual genre as it is Halloween Bingo month. 


5 stars read 


Zero Day - David Baldacci 


John Puller was sent on a mission alone, to investigate a death. It turns out to me more complex and complicated. Reinforcement is not coming as the case is of a sensitive nature.  They got whole family killed and then more body was found. 


Good detective story with a conspiracy involving government secret. 


Robert is still in jail but manged to help John to solve this case. 


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Harry Potter) - J.K. Rowling,Newt Scamander 


Second time to read this. A bit not surprising as it is more like a textbook for beasts instead of story. Still fun reading it. 


4.5 stars read 


The Woods - Harlan Coben 



Paul is the prosecutor in a rape trail. Some rich kid has raped a teenager who is in the sex trade. 


The father of the rich kid is being really forceful and asked Paul to back off. He didn't. And now more threat comes his way. More body turned up. 


It is more like to his current case than his sister. Really good setup for a mystery. 


Magpie Murders - Anthony Horowitz 


An editor reading a book. So this is a book within a book kind of book. 


The book stopped in the middle. The writer is dead. The last chapter might be linked to his murder. 


Good one. Although I don't care for the insider book story, it is pretty good after the editor story start going again. 


South By Southeast - Anthony Horowitz 


Same writer. Different audience. Pretty awesome to show the range of the writer. 


Diamond brothers are detective that has no clue. Their client seems to be walk-in mostly and by mistake as well. It is fun read for kid who like adventure but not too much danger or darkness in a story. 


Saving Faith - David Baldacci 


Faith is a lobbyist sidekick who is going to the FBI and try to do the right thing. Lee Adams is hired to tail Faith and only run into chance to save her life. 


Good one. Especially on trying to guess who want to kill Faith. 




Day of Doom - David Baldacci 


Day of Doom. Same writer, different audience again. A group of teenagers trying to save the world. More like a afternoon Nickelodeon show. 


Two families at war with each other. One good, one bad. The bad family wants to destroy the world and the good one want to save it. 


Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill 


Joe Hill is getting really good in setting up creepy scene. An aging rock star like to spend money on morbid stuff. He bought a suit that comes with a ghost. The ghost haunted him. It turned out that lead to him seeing more ghosts. 


Then it takes a turn for him to find the original story of the suit. And found out how a woman was killed. Then the story really picks up. 


The Pinhoe Egg - Diana Wynne Jones   


Cat found an egg. And it hatched. Griffin baby now being taken care of by Cat. 


Aunt owe the house and she was nuts. When the aunt was taken away, the house was abandoned. 


This reveal how magic was first found, then concealed. Then found again. 


Goodnight World - Debi Gliori,Debi Gliori 


Totally out of the blue. Just because Chris Evans is reading it. 


3.5 Read 


Meg - Steve Alten 



Read it just because the moving is coming out and it fits a square. As a sucker for shark movie, this read like one. 


A big shark was found in the deep, and now coming to surface and caused some damage. 


The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith 


One of the popular writer in Japan. As a detective story, not so good as the killer is too smart for his own good. Also, beside the key players, the rest of the world is like chess pieces that could be moved or discarded. 


3 stars read 



MaddAddam (MaddAddam Trilogy #3) - Margaret Atwood 



What is the point of this book? Few humans survived after the extinction event and they just hang around like the morning after a party. Dizzied and confused. 


2.5 read 


Thirteen Days to Midnight - Patrick Carman 


I bought this to fit a square. Wrong move. I got other books that fit this square too. 


It sucks so bad. The book is about teenager finding power of invulnerability. The premise is fine but with added logic from Catholic, that there is a balance of life and death, this is so wrong-headed. 


If this is the case, then paramedic or doctors need to pair up with serial killers because they have saved so much lives that there should be a balance. 


Wrong. It sucks to have this set at a Catholic school with teenagers being brainwashed illogical and wrong values from the catechism. 



Overall, is it good. 12 books over 3.5 stars out of 14 books is not a bad month. Really enjoyable and reading really fast as the squares  I read at first didn't get call at all. 



CIA and Turing code secret

Simple Genius - David Baldacci

Michelle is a bit suicidal. 


Sean is trying to help so he get her into a psy ward. 


Monk Turing died and it was at first ruled as suicide. 


Viggie is the daughter of Monk and is smart but also a person need help.


Sean go at it alone and go to a Baggage Town where Viggie lives to investigate the killing. 


Another person got killed while he was there and someone shot at him.


Things got interesting. 


Michelle has some suppressed memories when she was 6. 


The third of the book is all about relationship between Sean and Michelle and how they recovered from where they were mentally before. 


There are really good moments that is between Michelle and Veggie, the bonding thing. 


Sean is just trying to do his best under not so ideal circumstances. He does not work well when Michelle is not there watching his back. 


And there are some other key players Champ, and Whitefield and Valarie. 


And it is about a secret long ago. 


The revealing part goes pretty fast once Sean got the clues. 


The CIA camp is doing something secretive and not so good. Sean suspected that and readers going to find out with him.


Nice read. A bit slow starts. The characters building is so well done and it almost make up for the non action part of the book. 


4.5 stars 


Reading this for Murder most Foul


Reading progress update: I've read 412 out of 577 pages.

Simple Genius - David Baldacci

As a mystery, not going really well as it is still unknown why two persons were killed. 


On the characters building side, it is so good. 


Viggie is the daughter of Monk was her father and he was dead. 


The scene is about Michelle having previously told Viggie she has problem cleaning out her car, and Viggie had done it for her. Michelle got upset that Viggie mess with her stuff. This set the scene that Michelle apologized to Viggie and Viggie understood her that they both have experienced this out of control moments. 


It is hard to sort out emotional stuff sometimes. Lot of people are pretending they are under control. And this is a good moments to strengthen the characters to make it more real. 

Reading progress update: I've read 222 out of 577 pages.

Simple Genius - David Baldacci

Michelle has lost some of her marbles, and was persuaded to check herself in to a psychiatric ward for being a bit suicidal. 


Sean, being a good friend and partner, paid for the damage to keep Michelle out of a law suit. He took up a new case without Michelle. 


Michelle, being who she is, found trouble while trying to get better. 


Sean, have someone shot at him and found a dead body. 


Not as good as other crime novel the writer wrote. The story drag on a bit. 


Reading for Murder Most Foul square. 


Make sense. 

Want to watch from another perspective. 

It is hard to watch. And the comments are just horrible. 

A smart guy made stupid mistake

The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel - Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith

In the beginning of the story, a man who have been harassing his ex-wife was first injured by his own daughter. He fought back and the girl's mother kill this man in self-defense. 


The story go really weird real fast. 


The next door neighbor knew that they are in trouble and offered to dispose the body for them.


They should have gone to the police. 


The rest is how the neighbor, who is a math teacher and a friend of a person nickname detective Galileo got involved in this case. 


I found it strange that the first killing is unintentional. Yet the cover up is so stupid. Just dispose of the body and cover up any evidence would do. Why be so elaborate in trying to outsmart the police when the police is a bit clueless in what's going on.


The last bit is even worst. I like it as it does reflect on the Japanese culture of accepting responsibilities and the duty to confess one's wrong. 


The bad thing is, who care? If it is self defense, trust the system to prove that it is intentional manslaughter. 




Reading this for Diverse Voices. 


Reading progress update: I've read 108 out of 466 pages.

The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel - Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith

Detective Galileo is the main character, a supposing genius who also freelance detective work because he had a classmate who is a police detective. 


The wrongful killing in this case could so easily be seen as self-defense if not for the interference of a smart person. 


It was good if it is put in a Japan context while there is very little violent crimes and police rely on confession to solve crime. 


For an international audience, it got a very foreign feel to it as one would find too many plot hole to the story. But it is quite enjoyable to read if one could ignore the obvious plot hole for the moment and let the writer tell the story. 

As I watched this in Japanese, it takes me a while to know this is the very same book that the TV drama is based on. So, too bad. I know the ending. 


Image result for detective galileo suspect x 

Magic should not be hidden

The Pinhoe Egg - Diana Wynne Jones

Aunt Gammar was mad and was removed from her house. 


Marianne Pinhoe lives near by and went back to the castle. Cat has magic in him and he found an egg.


Turned out the egg is a griffin egg and it hatched. The story go much faster from then on. 


I like what Millie said about the new bully religion, sound real familiar. 


"A new religion came in this country," Miller said, "full of zeal and righteousness -- the kind of religion where, if other people didn't believe in it, the righteous ones killed and tortured them until they did. This religion hated witches and hated the hidden folk even more. They saw all witches and invisible folks as demons, monsters, and devils, and their priests devised ways of killing them and destroying their magic that really worked." 

"They came with fire and swords and powerful magics, and they killed everyone they could." 

So the story goes with magic and finding magical beings that were hidden. Pretty good read. 


4.5 stars. 


Reading this for Relics and Curiosities square




Goodnight World - Debi Gliori, Debi Gliori

Chris Evans read Goodnight World by Debi Gliori

Reading progress update: I've read 133 out of 528 pages.

The Pinhoe Egg - Diana Wynne Jones

So... there is a family of Pinhoe .

Marianne is the girl of the family. And when her aunt Gammer going a bit weird, weirder than usual, she was forced out of her house. 


Now only Cat is living there. For a hundred page, expecting a lot of use of magic. Not so much. Gammer was growing roots and attached to her bed. The house itself got a lot of spell on it. 


It is more light, not heavy, not dark. Not much happen yet. 

Cat befriended a horse. 




Jude adventure with ghost haunting

Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill

Jude or Judas is old rock star. He has a lot of income to be disposed off in weird way. One is to buy weird items from the net. He bought a suit that comes with a ghost.


Now he got a ghost appeared to be an old man. And this old man is out to get him. So he wanted a return or refund. The call to the seller met with hostility as it was a deliberate thing. The ghost was the father of a woman he dumped before. She was dead by suicide according to the seller, who claimed to be her sister. 


Other weird thing is going on. The current girlfriend Georgina is trying to help him. He seems to be trying to commit suicide but with no memory or even that intention in his mind. 


More seeing of ghost. 


At the start of the book is pretty creepy. I dislike creepy as it does not take a lot to scare me. That's why I have so much fun at theme parks. 


And it got really good really fast. 


He found out more about the ghost and the woman that he dumped. Anne wrote him letters wanting him to take her back. She also revealed some secrets in her past. She was abused and she was going to come out with the truth. 


Now the ghost blamed Jude for corrupting his girl. She used to take the abuse as a child without complaint. The creepy factor take a turn and it is Anne's sister Jessica who is creepy. 


The father, now dead, was a hypnotist. He used to hypnotize Anne and let her forget that she was abused so that she wouldn't be unhappy. But because Anne was wired differently. the father couldn't fully erase the memory and it comes back. 


Now it became a road trip, detective, ghost story. With quite a lot going on. Jude was not what one would expected on a spoiled rock star. This is really good.


4.5 stars. 


Reading this for Modern Master of Horror. 





Lee Adams and Faith on the run

Saving Faith - David Baldacci

Faith is a side-kick for a powerful lobbyist Danny that was in some serious deals. 


Faith tried to make a deal with the FBI only to have the FBI threaten jail time and wants her to give up Danny.


When all this is going on, the bad guy is trying to kill Faith and framed Danny. 


All this is going well for the bad guy until the private investigator Lee Adams stepped in. Lee was paid by Danny to tail Faith. Lee thought it was a case of catching some unfaithful spouse only to find a sniper fired and klled the FBI Ken when he and Faith walked toward the safe house. 


Now Faith and Lee were on the run. Faith didn't trust Lee and she wanted to get away from him. While doing that, alerted the bad guys and almost got them killed. 


This is when the story starting to pick up. The first part is a bit standard. How these two person being thrown together going to interact with each other always make pretty good story. Now, this is not the typical romance stuff. There is something more, an almost sexual assault. And called it as that. I like character who was that wrong knew about it without much sugar coating it. 


The story moved fast and it is pretty good from then on. 


Reading this for Amateur Sleuth square 




Reading progress update: I've read 209 out of 449 pages.

Saving Faith - David Baldacci

Faith is the side-kick of a real powerful lobbyist David. 


Now David is going down and someone who wanted to silence David trying to take out Faith to frame him. 



All well, until Faith was saved by Lee Adams, a private investigator who was hired to tail Faith.


Faith is not really likable. Probably why this is not going as well as it should be. 


while I was thinking what going on and why Faith is not acting more human and reacting normally when she and Lee is on the run, something else happened. 


Lee got drunk and almost sexual assaulted Faith. It is a delicate matter and seems it is handled well. Lee has an internal dialogue and he knew he wanted to be stopped by Faith. When Faith didn't stop him from getting into her bed. He stopped himself and ran out. He knew he couldn't do it.  


I have read some real horrible women written romance that handled similar scene without correctly labeling it as sexual assault. That's why I stayed away from romance as a rule as this forcefulness was misinterpreted by women writers no less.


Things are not that interesting even when they are on the run because they were almost caught when Faith made a mistake in trying to ditch Lee. 



The Man Booker Prize announces 2018 shortlist

The Mars Room - Rachel Kushner The Overstory - Richard Powers Milkman - Anna Burns Washington Black: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018: Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 - Esi Edugyan Everything Under - Daisy Johnson The Long Take - Robin Robertson

The List is out. Booked added. 

Author (country/territory)    Title (imprint)

Anna Burns (UK)                Milkman (Faber & Faber)

Esi Edugyan (Canada)       Washington Black (Serpent’s Tail)

Daisy Johnson (UK)           Everything Under (Jonathan Cape)

Rachel Kushner (USA)      The Mars Room (Jonathan Cape)

Richard Powers (USA)      The Overstory (William Heinemann)

Robin Robertson (UK)       The Long Take (Picador)