My Twisted Writer Brain…

My November Reads… What Did you Read? And How–Audio, E-Book, or Paperback?

I’ve found recently, that I’ve been “listening” to about 75% of the books I ‘read’. Audio gives me the freedom to listen while relaxing, moving about, or in bed.

One thing about a paperback, which I also love, love, love, is that my eyes get heavy very quickly and an afternoon nap follows. A wonderful feeling but it doesn’t get the book read!

This of course is an absolute disaster because it’s not a reflection on the book or the author, it’s just a hazard of snuggling in with a book. lol.

Somehow, audio doesn’t have the same affect on me. I do read a lot online though and am also constantly writing, so I guess I’m always “reading” too.

Let me know which you prefer and why…Do you ‘audio’? Do you E-book, or do you ‘read’?

Here are my November reads. Happy reading.

Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez. (HarperAvenue 2020) Dystopian

I listened this book with a lot of anticipation and an open heart in hopes of learning and growing–not as a writer, but as a person.

In the opening credits it was said –and here I’m going from memory– that if you’re sitting in your white privilege then you’ll just have to be uncomfortable as the story is told.

Hmm…okay. I’m white. I’m privileged. The problem I had with this was it could turn a lot of people off who should hear the book.

I’d have to go back and listen again, but when I remember thinking is that it sounded angry (which I understand), judgmental, and dismissive.

Perhaps this was the intent. Idk.

Either way, and in whatever spirit with which it was intended, it didn’t scare me off or put me off. It was issued in a challenging manner and I think is part of the frustration and marginalization that is dealt with daily by those represented in the book. (If anyone has read this I’d appreciate your take on this issue.)

So the premise of this book is that Canada (Ontario to be specific; Toronto to be even more specific), is in economic peril and social upheaval.

The government has begun a “renovation” (aka a cleansing of ‘undesirable’ people) of it’s population and in doing so separates anyone who is “different”–people of color, immigrants, refugee, LGBTQ+, trans, etc.–into slums and eventually into labor camps to produce textiles and product for the “white” community.

The story is told from the POV of those being “renovated”. Their fears, their loathing, their degradation, and forced poverty leave them with nothing to live for and everything to die for. An underground of rebellion begins and it is this that leads the story through to warfare like training, smuggling, and finding a voice.

The movement of “renovation” made me think of the nazi death camps and ethnic cleansing.

I did finish the book on audio and it definitely sparked some thoughts and reminds me how little I really know about BIPOC, prejudice, and unfairness woven into a system built for others.

IMHO the author did a good job but missed the mark on the storyline. The revenge was too perfect and orchestrated. I wanted to see more from the individual characters and the struggles they face and the lives they live. A teaching moment missed.

Overall, the story is interesting, the theme and idea of Crosshairs are fantastic, but fell way short in its need to go a different direction. It became washed out with little to no depth. Sorry….I really wanted to like it.

Rules of Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel by John Sandford (Putnam 1990)

Yes, another audio book in November. This one I read because it was in the free section.

I like a good whodunnit as much as the next person, but this was ridiculous. Well, I need to qualify that because it was just NOW that I see it was written and published in 1990.

Ahhhh….I get it. Phew.

The misogyny, systemic racism, and inappropriate language/slang/slurs that took place in this book reminded me of an old gumshoe type book.

This book is out-dated. It’s also predictable and not unique in any way. Don’t bother. Even if it’s free.

Lesson learned. I’ll pay more attention on dates and such so I don’t waste my time.

The Almost Wife by Gail Anderson-Dargatz (HarperAvenue 2021)

An easy and fast read.

Premise: Kira, a young mother in Toronto, lives with her baby Evie, almost husband Aaron, and Aaron’s daughter Olive.

Kira prides herself on her family unit but is pursued relentlessly by Aaron’s ex, who he has yet to divorce. There is tension there as the ex-wife, Madison, wants to visit and be with Olive, the 13 year old daughter. Aaron forbids it.

The title is apt in that Kira accepts an engagement ring and agrees to marry Aaron though he’s still married. So at that point she’s no longer the girlfriend and not yet the wife…she The Almost Wife.

The back and forth between Kira and Madison causes the greatest strife as everything else appears perfect… Until, a trip to the summer cabin… Guess who follows?

Overall, the story clipped along at a good pace. Sometimes things happened too easily and got fixed too predictably, but I’m sure that was to move the story forward. I enjoyed it. Recommend as a suspense.

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2 thoughts on “My November Reads… What Did you Read? And How–Audio, E-Book, or Paperback?”

  1. I read “Bloodmark” by J.P. McLean and several of her short stories – and one that touched me deeply, “Push Me Off The Cliff” by Marina Ossipova.

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