12 Novels, 12 Months

One of my goals this year, found on my 27 before 27 list, is to read 12 novels. I figure if I get through one a month, I should be able to make my goal. I might branch out to a memoir or two, but it's rare for me to sit down with a book that isn't about a diet or decorating part of my house. I love being able to get lost in a story that isn't my own and be totally alright with that. 

I read this book while traveling in September. In the past, I haven't read a ton of westerns. But, being stuck in an airplane for a good chunk of time, allowed me to become completely sucked in to this story. Spending the time playing some shows out in the desert didn't hurt either. 
"A darkly humorous Western satire about contract killers in the time of the gold rush may not be the first book you'd peg me to read, but I've been enjoying it ever since picking it up at the airport bookstore and feverishly ripping through its first half on one plane ride. Cinematic and easy to read, this Coen brother's True Grit-meets-Cormack McCarthy narrative is not just for the guys, trust me."
—Annie Georgia Greenberg, New York editor

I just finished this book the other evening. I actually bought this book a year ago before a trip to Mexico and it sat on my bookshelf for a year. It was a recommendation from some of the ladies at the bookstore/coffeehouse I used to work at. I should have read it sooner. I don't know why it took me so long to pick it up again. It's dark, but in a way that it pulls you in and you don't want to put it down. 

This well-written first novel attempts to be several things: a psychological suspense thriller, a satire of collegiate mores and popular culture, and a philosophical bildungsroman. Supposedly brilliant students at a posh Vermont school (Bennington in thin disguise) are involved in two murders, one supposedly accidental and one deliberate. The book's many allusions, both literary and classical (the students are all classics majors studying with a professor described as both a genius and a deity) fail to provide the deeper resonance of such works as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose . Ultimately, it works best as a psychological thriller. Expect prepublication hype to generate interest in this book and buy accordingly. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/92.
- Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Now I must choose one for November....Any other suggestions? 

1. Wild: By Cheryl Strayed
2. Gone Girl: By Gillian Flynn
3. The Newlyweds: By Nell Freudenberger
4. Late Nights On Air: By Elizabeth Hay
5. The Dead of Winter: By Lee Collins 
(who actually is a friend of ours and just released his first novel!) 
6. Beautiful Ruins: By Jess Walter

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