And we’re back to book reviews this time. I was considering dumping the Quickies because they don’t get many likes or comments compared to my other posts, but then I remembered idgaf about stats. I do care about writing stuff that people enjoy though, even if it’s only a few views at a time. So that’s all right. Besides, as you may remember, I have a goal of reading 100 books this year. I’m sort of on target at 60 right now, but that doesn’t give me much wiggle room ~ eight books per month for the rest of the year. Writing these mini reviews keeps me in reading mode. Oh, I almost forgot. I will include one movie! These three are all mysteries, of one kind or another…
1. The Influencer by Miranda Rijks. This 2021 novel has such a crazy mix of reviews on Amazon. But the most important review is right here, natch. I loved it. The story was jumpy and wacky, and I had no idea what was going to happen. Once again, we have to deal with the multiple first-person POV style, but I suppose I’m getting resigned to it. Loved the super-fast pace and unpredictable, fairly unlikeable characters, so I gave this novel 5 stars for holding my attention in a unique way. Every book doesn’t have to be bursting with lyrical prose and philosophical insights. This is simply a fun mystery. Well done.
2. The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner, 2021. This novel takes place around the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It’s told in first person by “Sophie,” an Irish immigrant who is living in squalor in NYC and answers an ad for a mail order bride in California. Sophie is a quick learner, both in managing a household and also in mothering her new stepdaughter. She cuts her new husband a lot of slack, both because she is so grateful to have a decent place to live, enough to eat, etc., and also because he is a recent widower. There’s something extra-strange about the guy though and it’s interesting to discover along with Sophie exactly what that is. Funny thing (to me) is while this book doesn’t seem at first glance anything like the previous one, they have one huge element in common. Of course, I’m not saying what it is, for that will spoil the mystery of both! I recommend this one too. Reading about old San Francisco was as interesting as following Sophie’s story.
3. Pig, the 2021 film starring Nicolas Cage. Absolutely incredible movie. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Cage is fabulous as the strange recluse in the woods whose only companion ~ a truffle pig ~ is violently stolen. He revisits his past in Portland in order to investigate gourmet restaurants (they’re the ones serving frou-frou truffle dishes), and this journey brings him to terms with a tragedy that occurred there. We’re never sure exactly what it is, though we get a few clues. This is a hard movie to watch at times, with the main character always in a disheveled and beaten state, but it’s worth the discomfort. And it was great to return to the theater and view a movie on the big screen (I wore a mask). Looking forward to more!
Image from Pexels.
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