1. The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova - Yes, I know. This book first appeared on the October spooky book list. However, I only read a chapter or so and then had to put it off because of all of the library books last month. It's now one of my all-time favorite books, and may be a candidate for my top 5 list that I will put up tomorrow. As I shared before, it's a reworking of the Dracula myth....and it is bloody brilliant. (ha) One of the things I truly appreciated was the fact that on one level the book is a travelogue, with many of the locations being unfamiliar to me. In fact, I had a lot of fun doing online searches for pictures and information about the various settings....discovering along the way some amazingly lovely buildings, such as the Rila Monastery. Bravo!
2. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn - I've had soooooo many people tell me to read this book! It first came to my attention via Books on The Nightstand, and since then it has been recommended to me every single time I ask for book recommendations on FB. When a friend specifically messaged me to ask if I had read Flynn's books I knew I had to finally sit down and read it. It's hard to sum up exactly what I thought. I think Flynn is a very smart writer in her mastery of the minutia. I think her characters are definitely unique and unforgettable, but I also think that none of them were in any way sympathetic. I've read that you either love or hate the ending. I feel neither extreme, but I do appreciate it, and have enjoyed contemplating it.
3. Flame of Sevenwaters, Juliete Marillier - Marillier remains one of my favorite writers, even though her most recent Sevenwaters books don't quite reach the brilliance of her first. The Sevenwaters books are romantic fantasies built around traditional Irish myth and many of the fairy tales we were all raised on. They are centered around the family of Sevenwaters, with each book being the story of one of the daughters. I think that perhaps what I love most about Marillier's books is that her female characters are always the ones that save the day, and they always get the happy ending they deserve because of that.
4. Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel - I wanted to like it, truly I did. Ahem. I truly dislike Mantel's writing style, which for a long while confused me so much that I found myself having to reread passages multiple times in order to figure out what was going on or who exactly we were reading about. (I consider myself a smart reader, so this is a bit irritating.) Ultimately, I found that I read it best when I was too tired to think about it....which isn't a great sign. I wonder if so many people love Mantel's books because they are supposed to....because of the hype and the accolades, and all else. It certainly wouldn't be the first time a wildly popular book had disappointed me. Having found enough friends who honestly loved it, though, I"m just not sure. At any rate, it's done and I can move on.
5. Bring Up The Bodies, Hilary Mantel - I bought it when I bought Wolf Hall. I have to read it.
I've found myself being drawn to books which share a common denominator over the last month or so. I've not completed any of them at this point, and because I have intentions to branch out and read more along the same lines I've decided to keep them for a special themed reading post in January. It should be fun!