So here's what I've been reading.
The Running Man -- Stephen King
I read this for my over-the-phone book club. It is a distopia, end of the world, very dark story. It takes place in America, sometime in the future, when the major source of entertainment is a bunch of reality shows that basically lead to the deaths of the poor citizens. The biggest show, with the biggest prize is called The Running Man. The story follows a poor sap who becomes the "star" of the running man.
It is an interesting story. As always Stephen King has great details and a lot to think about. But it is very dark and not a happy story in any way. So while it was an interesting read, it wasn't particularly enjoyable.
Naked Heat -- Richard Castle
Ha ha ha. I love Castle. This is not anything serious, just a very formula murder mystery. But my favorite part of these books is that they act like Castle is a read writer and I can just picture the tv show writers sitting around cracking themselves up as they are writing.
No Time Left -- David Baldacci
Amazon has developed a new thing called "Kindle Singles" which are short stories that you can buy for about a dollar. I read this one and the next one for my short stories class. It was fun, and actually a great idea. It is great to spend one dollar and pass an hour or so reading a little short story.
No Time Left is about a professional hit man and his latest target. It is sort of a mystery, but very predictable. It was still enjoyable because of the good details.
Leaving Home -- Jodi Picoult
This one is actually two short stories and a letter by Jodi Picoult. The stories were good, and fairly typical Picoult-style. Meaning she writes about families dealing with issues. But it was entertaining.
The Hangman's Daughter -- Oliver Potzsch
Back to a real book.
This story takes place in Germany and centers around the village hangman and his family. The town is plagued by the mysterious deaths of several young orphans and the hangman works to figure out what happened.
I found this to be a pretty inconsistent story. It started off as a story about a conflicted young man who didn't want to follow his father's profession as a hangman. Then suddenly it shifted to a story about witchcraft and a witch hunt, and a mystery that the hangman was able to solve. Despite being called the Hangman's Daughter, she didn't feature in the story much at all.
Overall, it wound up being an interesting story, but not great. It just kept trying to go in so many different directions.
The Forgotten Garden -- Kate Morton
This is a story of a family mystery. At different points it reminded me of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and at other points of The Thirteenth Tale.
Although it did remind me a little of those stories (both of which I loved by the way), it was a very original story about a woman trying to find out about her past. It was told in three and four different time periods, which was an interesting approach.
This was the best book out of this bunch. I highly recommend it. It was enjoyable and entertaining and made me care about the characters.