November 2021 Wrap-up Part 2
The Night Swim, The Silent Patient, Save the Cat!, and more.
Hello Book Buddy!
We hit a major milestone yesterday. 100 subscribers!!! You’re in good company. Thank you so much for joining me on my reading journey. I wouldn’t want to do this alone.
Now, back to the books. This is part two of my November wrap-up. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, please do. So, without further ado.
The Night Swim
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin is about Rachel, a true-crime podcaster who travels to the small town of Neapolis to cover a rape trial. A mysterious person leaves a letter in Rachel’s car. The writer solicits Rachel’s help to find her sister’s killer. The murder occurred decades earlier. Can Rachel cover the current rape trial and solve a cold case?
Goldin does a great job of putting this together in a suspenseful way. I was left wanting to turn each page. I never wanted to put the book down. We learn how everything is connected by going back and forth in the timeline.
I solved the riddle long before the end of the book. But that didn’t matter. I was still excited to read and discover everything.
This does deal with rape and sexual assault, so please take caution if that is a trigger for you.
Write Better Right Now
Write Better, Right Now is a general writing book. It aims to help anyone write better. So this book isn’t a book for writers per se, but instead of business people, students, or anyone who needs to write anything.
Since the book is so general, it doesn’t focus on one writing style. It jumps all over the place. It does have some valuable insights. So if you’re not a writer, you might enjoy this book. If you are a writer, you could probably skip it.
The Silent Patient
In The Silent Patient, we follow Theo, a psychotherapist in a mental hospital. His primary focus is treating Alicia, who will not speak after murdering her husband. Theo is convinced he can cure her, but his colleagues think it’s a waste of time.
I wasn’t impressed with The Silent Patient. The characters fell flat for me. It was written dully. I figured out all the mysteries reasonably quickly, and the suspense just wasn’t there to keep me interested.
Tattoos on My Heart
I DNF’d this book. This memoir contains a bunch of super-short stories from the life of Father Gregory Boyle. He covers his life as a priest in the gang capital of the world, East Los Angeles, California.
None of the stories were exciting. They were all pretty mundane. The stories are so short, they didn’t build any intrigue or suspense. Anne Lamont wrote the cover blurb, so I expected a lot; in the end, it was a boring book that I never wanted to pick up.
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody is a craft book for writing fiction. One of the best I have read. It breaks down a story into beats. Each beat covers a portion of a story. Essentially the beats create the outline for every good story.
Brody breaks down many popular books into each of her beats. She shows how plots ought to be structured.
I haven’t put her beats into practice yet. I will know if it works after outlining my book with the beat sheet.
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster won’t appeal to everyone, but it did to me. I found it to be very insightful into the world of literary fiction. It made me appreciate the importance that stories have on our lives.
This book made me look at story craft in a totally different light. It contains many examples from various classical texts. If you’re a literature nerd, this book is for you.