Book Thirtyeight: The Big Clock

The Big Clock, Kenneth Fearing

Ok, new plan. Read 40 books in one year. Sadly, at this point I'm not even sure I can reach that goal.

But, before I get ahead of myself... The Big Clock! This noir-ish novel totally reads like a movie, and while reading it I couldn't believe it was never made into a movie, and then imagined that I could write a screenplay to make it into the best movie ever. And like most of my grand ideas, it was shattered when I discovered that it not only was made into a movie, but two movies! And even worse, the second one stars Kevin Costner. But erase that icky thought from your mind while you imagine an awesome story about a murder and a man put in charge of finding out who committed the murder, knowing full well that he's the one the clues will lead everyone to (though he didn't actually commit the murder but probably knows who did). Yay, what fun!

Book Thirtyseven: All She Was Worth

All She Was Worth, Miyuki Miyabe

Huzzah for the Year of Mysteries! Double huzzah for Japanese mysteries! Triple huzzah for All She Was Worth! Nutshell plot: the distant nephew of a detective on disability leave comes to him asking for help in locating his fiancee, who has mysteriously disappeared. As the detective is looking into the disappearance, he discovers that she might not be who she claims to be. He also uncovers a complicated web of personal finance gone horribly awry, bankruptcy, debt, and possible yakuza involvement. At times there's a bit too much preachiness about the perils of credit cards and loans in today's consumer-driven world, but otherwise this was wonderful to read. It's also nice in that while it's a mystery, as you get further into the book you realize there's not a huge mystery in who committed the crime and how, but it's more about the why. The pacing of the novel is terrific, especially in how the bits and pieces you learn about the two women involved slowly come together to give you a picture of their lives and motivations. A+, gold star, thumbs up.

Book Thirtysix:The Worst Intentions

The Worst Intentions, Alessandro Piperno

Ooph. I did not like this book. Which is a shame because the cover is so cool. So I am going to blame this book for my being so horribly--probably irrevocably--behind. Every time I wanted to sit down and read I would look at this book, sigh, and decide to do something else. It's not that the story was bad, in fact, the characters were quite interesting and silly in a way that I usually enjoy. It just was written in a way that felt like any moment now the story was going to kick in and any minute now something relevant was going to happen. And, really, nothing ever did. It just had this strange feeling of neverending sidestory after sidestory with no feeling of the here and now.

Now, is reading 16 books in three and a half weeks impossible?