What I Read December-January

I’m back! I’ve been super swamped at work so I haven’t been taking lunch breaks–aka the time when I draft blogs, but I’m back with a ton of updates! So, here’s what I’ve been reading.

Think of a Number by John Verdon

When Dave Gurney, a retired NYPD homicide detective, invites his old classmate into his home to elaborate on the, “confusing puzzle,” he mailed Dave about, he has no idea what he is getting himself into (namely, the seemingly psychic serial killer with an obsessive attention to detail). When the, “puzzle,” ( a letter requesting the receiver to think of a number, which the sender then guesses correctly) turns into a series of murders, lots of questions are raised. How does he do it? And what in the world do his victims have in common–one, a wealthy spiritual wellness coach inspiring all of and another, an alcoholic who is hated by everyone in his life?

It’s been about two months since I read this book but to this day, whenever I hear someone ask for a book recommendation, this pops in my head (right after No One Knows). I figured out the twist a little earlier than it was actually revealed (maybe 10 pages prior) but I’m still obsessed. This book gets a lot of criticism for its wordiness, as the author is a big fan of painting a picture for the audience, but if you can get over ranting physical descriptions, this book is a must-read. I truly don’t think I’ve ever read a book as fast as I read this one.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Twenty-five years after Libby Day testifies against her brother in the murders of her entire family, The Kill Club, a club obsessed with famous murders, reaches out to Libby for a paid appearance. All of the sympathy money that Libby has received over the years has run out, so Libby accepts the invitation without realizing what she’s actually walking into. Libby’s audience is made up exclusively of people who think she lied in her testimony,  and believe her brother, Ben, is innocent. The more they talk, the more she second guesses her decision to participate in the club–and considers that she may have remembered the events of that evening incorrectly. She was, after all, only 7 years old at the time.

This book didn’t totally hook me, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I didn’t feel especially invested in any of the characters, but I saw Gone Girl so I was excited to see what happened at the end. It certainly isn’t a predictable ending and I am glad that I stuck it out but it wasn’t a particularly satisfying ending, either, which I suppose is to be expected, given her style of writing. It’s pretty graphic and violent but, overall, I’d recommend it.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Jenna Metcalf was 3 years old when her mother disappeared without a trace. Since then, Jenna has been obsessively tracking any and all missing person updates that could possibly relate to her case with close to nothing to show for it. Jenna is now 13 years old and begins receiving help from two very unlikely resources– a former celebrity psychic and a former detective who was initially assigned to her mom’s case.

I couldn’t even finish this book I had so little interest in it. A missing person case is usually super easy to draw me into but I just couldn’t get into it! After 2 months of trying to finish this book, I finally gave up and Wikipedia’d the ending. I truly would have been so angry if I had spent more time on this book just to read what happened at the end! This is the second Picoult book that I’ve read and, while the first one didn’t impress me either, this one confirmed that she’s not my type of author. Super sad because I know so many people who love her and I was really looking forward to being able chat about her books with them.

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