It’s a little hard to be involved in any way in the book world and to not have heard of Madeline Miller. She really came into my radar as an author when I started to hear about the release of her second novel Circe earlier this year. Shortly afterwards I found out that she was being featured in a talk at the LA Times Book Festival. I hadn’t yet read her books but I knew she was a popular author with a rabid fan following, so I jumped at the chance to see her speak.
She opened the segment by reading a passage from Circe that absolutely blew me away for the power and strength of the writing (I’ve included the whole passage in my review below). It literally gave me goosebumps, and right away I knew I needed to read both her books. I’ve been recommending them (especially The Song Of Achilles) ever since and I’m officially a life long fan of her work. Read my full reviews of both of her novels below.
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When I first watched the movie version of The Martian, I had no idea that it was based on a novel. I also didn’t know that the author of that novel, Andy Weir, had first published The Martian in chapters on his blog, then self-published it on kindle, before seeing it rise into a successful work of fiction and adapted into a movie a few years later.
That’s definitely a crazy ride for any aspiring author, and I think The Martian is such a beautifully crafted work combining science, adventure and sentiment that Weir deserves all the strong praise he has received for it.
When I received an ARC of Artemis on Net Galley, I decided to read both books by Weir back-to-back and I think that may have been a mistake. Unfortunately, for all of the strength of The Martian, Artemis felt like a definite sophomore slump to me. Read my full reviews below to find out why.
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I actually hadn’t heard about Liane Moriarty‘s novels until I started blogging last summer, but once I started to follow book blogs and keep up with popular titles, I started to hear her name everywhere. Her novels typically follow the same formula, with one major secret or twist at the heart of the novel’s plot, a cast of colorful characters whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways, and a pace which takes the reader from one small revelation to the next, until you get to the big reveal that brings all the previous smaller pieces of evidence together. Despite this formulaic basis, I’ve found the novels to be actually pretty different from each other thanks to the wide range of characters and central plot themes.
I’ve read 5 out of the 7 novels Moriarty has published to date, so I thought it was time to share my reviews of them with you. The novels are listed in order of preference. My definite favorite is Big Little Lies, and I’m really excited for the premiere of the series version starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in February on HBO. I put The Husband’s Secret last, which may surprise some people, as it’s definitely received many a rave review. I really didn’t like it however, I think also not helped by the very whiny sounding audiobook narrator that was picked for the novel.
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