50 books 2013 challenge: March update

I’m well into the book challenge now, having read 20 with a couple on the go at the moment.  I have to admit this month I’ve struggled to get enough slots of time which allow me to get into the books I’m reading, so I’m taking a while to get through them.  It’s been tiring getting back into work as well so lots of early nights, plus lots of evenings spent on the phone to BT trying to sort out my broadband when I could have been reading.

So here’s my pick of the bunch from this month:

Blood Loss – Alex Barclay.  One of the more recent female authors on my psychological thriller/mystery list.  This plot involves 2 children going missing, as well as other undercurrents of stories involving teens, so quite disturbing for people who might worry about what dangers could lurk out there for their children.  It’s interspersed with the therapy and commentary of goings on in the mind of the FBI agent Ren who’s a character in several of Barclay’s books.  I wasn’t so keen on this as I found it didn’t really add to the story, in fact I found it distracted me.  I don’t think I really take to this lead character compared to those in other novels; she annoys me and I’m not sure she’s meant to be a likeable character.  Still a well written book, but if you aren’t a fan of crime fighters with obvious (to everyone else but the character) mental instabilities, then avoid it.

In a New York Minute – Eleanor Moran.  Bit of a cheat one here, as I was surprised to find it was a short story (should check these things before reading, and I guess the title should have been a giveaway!).  I didn’t really see the point of this one – too abrupt and no real flow for me.  Girl goes to New York to get away from things, and that doesn’t quite happen.

A family Affair – Mary Campisi.  Family secrets abound, and discoveries end up with happy endings for most involved.  Always good to have a well rounded story, with obligatory boy hates girl (at first) and fairly obvious ending.  Can be described as a ‘nice’ book with a ‘nice’ heroine who wants to please everyone, but does she manage to please herself?  I enjoyed this as an easy to read book with closure at the end and the right people coming off well in the end.

Are we nearly there yet? – Ben Hatch. If you’ve got kids, and have ever experienced or are dreading a road trip with them, then this is for you.  If only to reassure yourself that it could never be as bad as this trip.  Some emotional parts with family illness to contend with, a true story, and many laugh out loud occasions.  Brilliant read.

Life Without – Ben Wharton. Another new author to me, but another book I enjoyed.  Guy with everything, gambles with an artist, potentially loses everything, a flirting with depression and women.  It’s like a cocktail, mixing everything up in and around the main character’s life, and then tossing them out the other side.  It moves quite quickly, and it’s pretty unusual to have the man at the end of the life crisis.

Their Newborn Gift – Nikki Logan. Bit of a break from serious with some Mills & Boon, although for that genre, a serious story with medical problems leading to the man & woman getting together.  Ok, but a bit of a way out story for my liking, and in a way pushing ethical boundaries in the middle of a love story.

Palaces & Calluses – Rebecca Woodhead.  Love life goes tits up, girl moves home, then has to ‘slum it’.  The heroine tries to find herself, with some amusing moments along the way.  First in the Cotswold Chronicles, I usually enjoy frivolrous fluffy easy reads for a relaxing read after crime novels.  This would be fine for holidays, but if you’re looking for anything deeper you’re unlikely to find it here.

Past Imperfect – John Matthews (reading now)

How Eskimos keep their babies warm – Mei-Ling Hopgood (reading now)

I’m joining in the 50 books challenge for 2013 over with Mama Owl so if you’re after lots of book ideas, check out the other challenge partakers listed there.

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