Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Monday, November 22, 2021

Book: The Maidens

Book: The Maidens

Author: Alex Michaelides

Pages: 352

This is my 92nd read for the year

This is the story of recently widowed Mariana.  She gets a call from her niece stating that one of her friends is missing and presumed dead.  Mariana drives to the college to comfort her niece and gets tangled in the search for the murderer.  She pinpoints a beloved professor who has formed a group called "The Maidens" as the most likely suspect.  Thus starts a whirlwind mystery to find out who is murdering girls on campus and why.

I wanted to like this book. I had started to read it, and couldn't get into it, so decided to listen to it instead.  I liked The Silent Patient, so was hopeful. But this story just wasn't good.  I rolled my eyes quite a bit through this one, quickly figured out who the murderer was, and was annoyed with just about every character in the book.  It didn't have a solid plot.  I found myself saying "why" quite often.  The story is disjointed and just a slog.  Listening to it while I did yard work was the only reason I actually finished this one.

Stars: 2

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Book: Code Breaker

 Book: Code Breaker

Author: Walter Isaacson

Pages: 560

This is my 91st read for the year

This is the story of Jennifer Doudna and her invention of CRISPR.  She and her team were leaders in this gene editing technology that has changed the future of the human race.  It tells the story from when she was a young girl and how she decided to become a scientist and the work she has been doing since.  It also shows the work that is being done to develope RNA based Covid vaccines since the pandemic.

This is a good book.  It is long and it is science heavy, but if you are interested in gene editing and the future of curing so many diseases, then pick this one up.  It explores Doudna's career but the career of many other top scientist in the field.  The infighting, the race to be "first" ever present in this profession shows how much competition there really is. 

The world and the world of science has changed.  It is growing by leaps and bounds and more and more people are living longer and better lives because of this.  This novel takes a deep dive into how some of the diseases are being cured by innovative scientist like Doudna and her team.

Stars: 4 1/2

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Behind Her Eyes

 Book: Behind Her Eyes

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Pages: 320

This is my 90th read for the year

This is the story of Louise.  A kind, divorced woman with a young son goes out for a night at the bar and meets a nice man. What she didn't know is this man is married.  And her new boss.  And when she discovers this the next day, she is mortified.  She and her boss decide that this will not come inbetween them and want to forget it ever happened.  However - enter his wife.  A chance meeting spirals she and Louise into an unlikely friendship.  Soon Lousie is mixed into their secrets that are crippling their marriage.  Louise doesn't know who to believe - Adele- the woman who seems to have to bend to her husband's every whim to keep him happy, or David - the husband who seems to be unraveling due to a large secret in their marriage.  In the end, Louise must make a choice that might cost her everything.

This was a strange book.  I did listen to it, and I have to admit it kept me entertained.....until the end.  The end was so out there that I quickly lost interest.  It had already started going in a weird direction about 3/4 of the way into the book, but that ending?  Ugh.  It went from being a thriller to magical disguised as psychology.  Just ridiculous.

Skip it.

Stars: 2

Thursday, November 4, 2021


 Book: Nightbooks

Author: JA White

Pages: 320

This is my 89th read for the year

This is the story of Alex.  One day he is leaving his apartment to throw away his nightbooks - scary stories that he has been writing - and he is lured in to an apartment.  He is trapped there by a witch named Natacha who demands a scary story read to her every night.  This is the only thing that will keep Alex alive.  Inside he discovers that he is not the first child to be trapped there, and he starts to work on how he will escape.  

This is a cute book.  I had seen the Netflix movie and thought I would check the book out.  The movie and the book stick very close to each other.  The little stoies that Alex writes inside this story in general are very entertaining.  It is a middle grade book, but I didn't find any of the stories overly scary even for late elementary students.  It is well written, and the characters are well developed.  Glad I found this one.

Stars: 4

Thursday, October 28, 2021

This Thing Between Us

 Book: This Thing Between Us

Author: Gus Moreno

Pages: 272

This is my 88th read for the year

This is the story of Thiago.  His wife is killed an Thiago's world become unbearable.  His wife's death has made the news and turned his world upside down.  Strange things were happenings to Vera - his wife -and him before she died and things continued to happen after she was gone. Thiago decides to take the money his wife left him and move to a remote cabin away from everything and everyone.   Soon he realizes he can never truly escape any of it.  Especially some sort of evil that seems to be following him.

This book was strange.  Most of the book was okay - trying to figure out what was plaguing Thiago and Vera, the story of how she died - all fine.  But the ending got very bizaare.   It was hard to follow and drawn out and I quickly lost interest in the story.  A lot of rambling.

I listened to this one while doing some yard work, so not all was lost.  But I don't recommend it.

Stars: 3

Friday, October 22, 2021

Book: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

 Book: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

Author: Grady Hendrix

Pages: 424

This is my 87th read for the year

This book is about a group of women who are in a bookclub in a well to do neighborhood in Charleston.  They form a club that reads horror novels.  One night one of the members, Patricia is attacked by a neighbor and a man named James Harris enters her life because of it.  The group is immediately charmed by him and his business prospects, but when children start disappearing in a poor section of town, Patricia starts to become suspicious of James.  No one else in her group of friends or neighbors believe that James has anything to do with the missing children.  Patricia sets out to prove she is right and it leads her down a path she never expected.

This book was dumb.  I doln't have another word for it.  I will say this - it started out interesting.  It was written as satire, but it quickly turned into just a blah novel.  It takes place in the 1990s, but the husbands treating the wives like second class citizens got old quick.  None of the characters are likable.  The book jumps half way through 3 years into the future and I thought this might be the chance for redemption, but it was not.  It is sexist and racist and just plain boring.

Skip it

Stars: 2

Monday, October 18, 2021

Book: The Smell Of Other People's Houses

 Book: The Smell Of Other People's Houses

Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Pages: 240

This is my 86th read for the year

Set in Alaska in the 1970s, the story covers Ruth (who has a growing secret), Dora (who is desperately trying to escape a bad situation), Alyce (who is struggling with the choice whether to dance or help her famliy), and Hank (who has run away with his brothers).  Their lives, friends, and families all become intertwined over the course of this story,  On some level each helps the other either indirectely or directly and changes the course of their lives.

This was a pretty good YA book.  It is short, but it is full of chracters.  The writing is excellent.  The chapters are told from different points of view of the main characters and they flow nicely together.  It wasn't a big page turner, but I looked forward to picking it up this well told story.  

Stars: 4