2018 Reads

Yes, I realize this has nothing to do with job search coaching, but part of my goal as a coach is to help clients find jobs that allow for a good work/life balance. Leisure is an important part of that equation and one of my favorite leisure activities is reading. 

Prophecy by S.J.Parris: This historical thriller pitting the supporters of Mary of Scots and those Queen Elizabeth against each other had just enough occultist dash to make it a really enjoyable read. It is the second book in what I hope is an ongoing series centered around the former monk and current scholar/detective Giordano Bruno. Need to seek out the first book now.

Havana Storm by Clive Cussler: I’ve been an on again off again fan of Clive Cussler since high school. Nowadays his son Dirk is his co-writer. While the quality of the writing is not quite the same and the characterizations are a bit thin, I still enjoy the fast-paced adventure. Equivalent of a decent made for cable action movie.

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz: I am a huge fan of Koontz’s Odd Thomas series and this new character had shades of Odd to her. Really enjoyed the build up, and the big reveal towards the end was…well….you just have to read it.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman. I am not usually a fan of YA fiction, but on the recommendation of my 11 year old I decided to give this a shot. Really glad I did. It is the tale of a world with no hunger, disease, war, or misery. Humanity has  even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life in order to keep the size of the population under control. Surprisingly mature story about what makes us human and what happens when we lose it. Looking forward to the next in the series.

Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable-And Couldn’t by Steve Volk. He writes about the stranger side on life but from the perspective of neither a true believer or a skeptic. What struck me most was realizing how much we *don’t* know, and the fact that scientists can be just as dogmatic and close minded as the fundamentalists of the world.

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi . Near future of a drought ridden southwest where water knifes are the black ops soldier of the water barons. Bleak narrative and bleaker characters. I liked it but found it hard to root for anyone.

The Night Cyclist by Stephen Graham Jones.  Great novelette about the crushing weight of coming to terms with middle age wrapped in a vampire story. Light on the horror, heavy on the self analysis.

Horror Guide to Northern New England  by David and Scott Goudsward. More reference guide than narrative, this book list every northern New England city or town that has any kind of connection to a horror novel or film. Fun book to flip through, and gave me some good day trip ideas.

Life Expectancy  by Dean Koontz. I love Koontz but this one sort felt like an Odd Thomas light. The protagonist is very similar and even the cast of characters around him have shades of Odd’s world to them. Quick, fun read, but felt a bit of a retread. One thing I will say, the older Koontz gets the more “Christiany” his books become, and I don’t mind that.

The Lesser Dead  by Christopher Buehlman. This is a vampire novel, so I know you’re thinking “been there, done that.” But you haven’t. Trust me. Between the narrative voice and the WTF ending this is a fun and original take on the mythology.

Red Moon by Benjamin Percy. Werewolves, but as metaphorical stand-ins for immigrants and Muslims in modern Amercia. There is even a Trump like president. The crazy part? It was written 6 years ago. Presceint.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. DNF. I am halfway through, nd I am sure I’ll go back to it. But for now it is just moving a little too slowly for my current reading mood.