For some reason, when time is tight and I’m stressed out, I think I actually read more than I would otherwise. Devouring books is apparently a coping mechanism, who knew?
I side with Neil Gaiman (as usual), and his blurb, when I second that this is indeed a very important book. You will be on the look out for your freedom, and perhaps unwilling to enter an airport, after reading this gutsy novel about terrorism. Although the language is rather teenage-boy, it grew on me, and by the end of the novel I felt that nothing else would have worked. Also, an excellent source of understandable information about cryptology, programing, and certain aspects of math.
I absolutely fell in love with the elegant simplicity of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, and couldn’t quite see the same qualities in this book. It was fanatically imaginative and unique, but here she encompassed an epic war, which is definitely not conducive to simplicity. Definitely worth reading for Cashore fans, but I do hope that her future books stick to her strengths: answering a question by a simple plot line with even pacing. Looking forward to Bitterblue, coming out this spring.
Without a doubt worth reading for the fascinating facts about Chicago’s World Fair, but don’t come to this book expecting a satisfying mystery or Dexter-like insight into the mind of a serial killer. Erik Larson does a good job of weaving together multiple stories, but he stops short of making a true investigation of Dr. Holmes and his motivations. Perhaps it makes the book more accessible to a wider audience, but his lack of courage when confronting the inexplicable was slightly disappointing to me.
The Blood Confession by Alisa Libby
The Blood Confession makes a very interesting counterpoint to the above Erik Larson book. Also investigating the mind of a serial killer, Alisa Libby does not stop short of anything. She most definitely crosses the line into pure horror at some points, and is to be assiduously avoided by anyone who has a weak stomach, difficulty sleeping, or is capable of fainting at the thought of blood. Yet, I could almost have liked the book if it were merely graphic, but Alisa Libby uses a somewhat ineffective writing device at the end by integrating her historical fiction with the fairy tale of Snow White. I know many people who love re-written fairy tales, but I am simply not one of them.