Mind’s Eye by Hakan Nesser. I had this mystery sitting on my kindle for a long time – I think I found it on a list of the best Swedish mysteries, when I was sad for having finished the wonderful Asa Larsson books (so far! I think there is another one in the works). Anyway, this one is the first of the “Inspector Van Vetteren” mysteries, and it was a good, if not phenomenal, read. Van Vetteren is a rather grumpy, curmudgeonly sort, who the whole time he is working on this mystery is dreaming of his upcoming vacation in warm Australia. The book opens from the viewpoint of one of the victims of the killer, a schoolteacher who wakes up after a night of carousing to discover that he has no memory of what happened the previous night and that his wife is dead in the bathtub. He is charged with the murder, although Van Vetteren himself doesn’t think the teacher is guilty. We also get chapters from the unidentified killer’s point of view. It was entertaining, although I’m not immediately running out to read more in the series.
The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw. Being in Maine on vacation made me want to re-read this book by Linda Greenlaw about her life as a swordfish captain based in Gloucester, so when I returned home I dug it out of my shelves. For some reason I was thinking of it as being about the perfect storm events, but it is not about that – but about a swordfishing trip she took many years later. So once I had readjusted my expectations of the book, I quite enjoyed it. Because of my tendency to get seasick 3 out of 5 times at sea, the seafaring life is something I enjoy from afar, and on land. I do find the life fascinating, and Greenlaw is a good story teller. She’s good at interspersing stories with the details and mechanics of being a sea captain on such an expedition.
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham. This was a wonderful read! I couldn’t put it down. The chapters go back and forth between two women who are pregnant, Meg and Agatha. Meg seems like she has the perfect life and perfect marriage, but all is of course not what it seems. Meanwhile Agatha, who admires Meg, is trying to get the father of her child on board with her life choices. Both women are due around the same time, and when Meg’s son is a few hours old, he gets abducted from the hospital. It’s a very suspenseful read, and very skillfully written – Robotham does a great job of making each woman well-rounded and real and sympathetic. I highly recommend!
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This is more or less a self-help book about an anti-diet, anti-eating-program eating program. Tribole and Resch, both nutritionists and counselors, started writing about their way of helping their clients, which was to get rid of all dieting and all eating restrictions, and get people to re-learn their hunger cues. Their method is basically to eat whatever you want and when you want to do so, while paying attention to why you are eating. Ideally one should eat when hungry and not for emotional reasons, and their method tries to get people back to that point. There are no “bad” or forbidden foods. It was an interesting read with a lot of common sense ideas that are no longer so common.
Dot Journaling—A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller. This is a book about bullet journaling – I’m not sure why Miller calls it dot journaling, whether for copyright issues or to take away the gun association – but it’s a how-to to start and keep a bullet journal. I came across the concept a year ago from a few articles Miller wrote about the subject and was intrigued. I’ve been using a bullet journal since January with mixed results; basically it has taken me six or so months to figure out how to get it to work for me. But if you are interested in the concept of bullet journaling – which is a way of using a daily planner to get organized – then this is an excellent book to use to get started. Miller is a funny and smart writer, and the book is a simple how-to book with good picture examples. She has a nice, wry and straightforward writing voice.
All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. I was a little suspicious of this book when I started it, because it begins on day one, skips to day fourteen, and then starts going backwards day by day. I tend to be a bit pet peevey about nonlinear story-telling, if there isn’t a reason for it. (TV shows now use it as a crutch: not all stories have to be jumbled up timewise, people!). Anyway, it turns out there is an excellent reason for telling this story backwards, and by the end of it I was very impressed. The main character, Nicolette, leaves Philadelphia to temporarily go back home to a small town in North Carolina to get her father’s house ready to sell. Her father has dementia and is now in a nursing home, and her brother, Daniel, wants to sell the house. Nicolette’s real reason for returning home, however, is that her father sent her a letter saying that he had seen “that girl,” Nic’s best friend from high school, Corinne, who went missing when they were both 18. So Nicolette leaves her fiancé in Philadelphia and returns home to help her brother and to figure out what is happening. Immediately after she returns, however, another young woman goes missing. It is well written and suspenseful, and Miranda is very good at the relationships between the characters.