Reading challenge fail

I signed up for a reading challenge on Goodreads last year- 100 books.  That should have been easy- i read so much, or so i thought. I ended the year at 75 books or so.  Some of this is the fact that i don’t instinctively track on good reads, but maybe i am not reading as much.

So this year, i will try again, but i will also try to track my reading here.  Maybe that will help? I have already read a number of books- vacation plus train travel does that. Maybe a post for tomorrow.


Book 9: Dead Center

I have actually been reading quite a bit, but the books are all on my Kindle, so I need to sit down and work through the various folders.  Until then, hard copy books I have read.

Dead Center, by Shiya Ribowsky is a non-fiction account of the New York City medical office, and the process of identifying bodies after 9/11.  It is interesting, starting with an account of how the author ended up in the office.

He started off as a medical practitioner between a nurse and a doctor- more medical school training than a nurse, less than a doctor.  Able to do some physician duties, but under supervision.  Apparently most of the medical examiners in NYC fit into this slot- physician assistant.  They have the medical background, but not the pay scale of the doctor.

He writes about the gradual professionalism of the medical examiners office through the 1980s and 1990s and what it means to be a examining bodies at potential crime scenes.  The book actually is at its most boring when he is talking about identifying of the 9/11 victims.  He talks about the processes they went through, and the various support groups. I think he is still to close to the action- the bigger picture is not apparent.

Interesting read, but once it’s written up, on the sale pile.

Book 5: Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is an author I have been reading off and on for the last 15 years or so.  His books usually center around the fictional Canadian town of Newford.  Muse and Reverie is a book of short stories set in and around Newford, including many of the minor and incidental characters from his books, as well as some of the major ones.

It is nice to get a glimpse of the stories that belong to characters that might only get a brief mention in one of the other books.  He blends old Celtic fairy tale figures with North American legends and mixes his own ideas in, so there is familiar and unfamiliar elements in these.  It’s hard to describe any other stories, they are better read than experienced through a summary.  A whole world in these stories, and enjoyable whether or not you have read any of his other books.

Book 1:Skinny Dip

So the first book I have started and finished once I had embarked on the 100 books in 2011 challenge was Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen.

I have read this before, but it was fun reread.  The book opens with Joey Perrone falling off the side of a cruise ship.  She has just been pushed off by her so charming husband, for reasons unknown.  She survives and washes up on an island currently occupied by Mick Stranahan ( a previous character in an earlier Hiaasen novel, Skin Tight, I think), somewhere near the Florida coast.

Meanwhile her husband Chaz  prepares to play the part of a grieving spouse who cannot understand his wife’s suicide.  The investigating detective is suspicious, but cannot prove anything.  Once the search for her body is called off, he heads home (Boca Raton).  Life is not as simple as he thinks.  First his girlfriend shows up, which threatens to derail the grieving spouse acting, and strange things start happening around his house.  The strange things are his wife taking revenge and trying to understand why he tried to kill her.  As becomes increasing unhinged, he ends up with a  large, hairy, painkiller addicted nutcase bodyguard/minder.

This is due to his employment situation.  He is currently employed to assist in monitoring pollution in the Everglades, but is in fact covering up the ongoing pollution by his sponsor, who assigns him the bodyguard.

Things go crazy in the usual Carl Hiaasen style, always entertaining.  Definitely worth a read.