Vienna and Missouri and Husbands Charged With Murder

ATWIB 2013

I’m racing to the end of the year, now, hoping I can get some actual “book books” read now that I’m done with commuting to Beaumont daily til the new year. I don’t think there is any way I can finish all my challenges, but I think I’ll continue them into the new year and then set new goals whenever I’m done. Since my last post, I have spent time with two husbands accused of murdering wives, but in VERY different novels. One is set in Victorian England and Vienna with heroic characters, and one is set in contemporary New York and Missouri with people who are anything but heroic. Both were fun in their own ways. They both helped with the alphabet challenge, but I’ve been neglecting the 1001 list a bit.

Funeral in Blue (William Monk, #12)Funeral in Blue by Anne Perry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anne Perry writes strong Victorian murder mysteries with complex characters, including spunky, smart women, and plots that center on important social issues. In Funeral in Blue she takes on women’s property rights obliquely, and gambling and Anti-Semitism directly. This is part of the Monk series, and takes place in both London and post-Revolutionary Vienna. The basic premise is the murder of Dr. Kristian Beck’s previously mostly-invisible wife, along with an artist’s model, at a studio to which she had gone for a sitting. I won’t tell you more about the novel, since in writing about these sort of novels, I’d be bound to tread on spoiler ground pretty quickly. It’s a solidly crafted part of the series, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Part of what I always enjoy in this series is the development of Monk himself, and in this case, some new nuance in his relationship with his former boss Runcorn.

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, can you say mind-f*%#*@? This book is full of them. The disappearance of Amy Dunn on the day of her 5th anniversary plays out in chapters alternating between those written by Amy and by her husband Nick. There is really nothing I can tell you about this book without giving away important details you should learn by following the trail Gillian Flynn lays out for you. I will say that Gone Girl will not leave you warmly attached to characters. These are complicated and not terribly nice people, but they ARE interesting. I did this on audio, which I usually do in the car during my ridiculously lengthy commute, but on this one, I kept cheating and listening at home, whenever my 6 year old daughter, for whom this would definitely NOT be an appropriate listen, was not in earshot. It kept bumping the non-audio book that was sitting nearby out of the rotation. Read it, and then be glad you have healthier people around you in your world.

Progress report:

Around the World (goal: 52 total including at least 6 in each of 6 different regions) 31
Asia/Mideast: 6 (Israel, China, Afghanistan, Japan, Iran, Pakistan)
Africa: 3 (Madagascar, Libya, Ethiopia)
Europe: 6 (England/UK, Ireland, Monaco, Poland, Spain, Italy)
Caribbean/Central America/North America: 5 (US, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica)
Oceania: 3 (Fiji, Marshall Islands, Australia)
South America: 1 (Brazil)
Extra: 7 (Scotland, Greece, Holland, India, Serbia, France, Austria)

Around the US (goal: 50 states, DC, and PR): 23 (AZ, CA, CO, DC, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NM, NJ, NY, PA, RI, WV)

1001 Books (goal 52): 23

A to Z challenge (must be completed in order–26 author last names A to Z then 26 titles A to Z–strategy is all!): 33
Authors: Auster, Beinart, Chandler, Donovan, Eugenides, Faulkner, Grau, Hosseini, Ishiguro, Joyce, King, Lewis, Murakami, Nasar, Ondaatje, Preston and Childs, Quinn, Rushdie, Scott, Trevor, Updike, Vonnegut, Wouk, Xingjian, Young, Zola YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Books: All Aunt Hagar’s Children, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Cutting for Stone, Divergent, Elizabeth Costello, Funeral in Blue, Gone Girl

About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Director of the Lamar University Psychology Clinic and run the clinical track of the Applied Psychology Masters Program. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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