I previously reviewed Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, so I had to finish the trilogy with End of Watch (which is fulfilling the 12 x 12 list for "a book published this year.") End of Watch picks up five years after the Mr. Mercedes murders, when Brady Hartsfield killed eight people and subsequently ended up in the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, supposedly in a catatonic state. But looks can be deceiving, and there's a LOT more going on in that evil Brady head than meets the eye. Bill Hodges and his partner Holly Gibney start investigating suspicious suicides which have connections to the Mercedes Massacre, and it becomes more and more apparent that Brady is still very much involved in the lives of those who were part of the collateral damage. Of the three books, this one delves into the supernatural much more than the first two, which makes it more traditionally a King novel than the first two might have been (at least in my humble opinion). It's hard for me to be objective because I have such a Stephen King obsession, but definitely if you read the first two novels, you should finish this trilogy. I found this a satisfying, poignant ending with characters that I truly enjoyed spending time with.
What serendipity that I started my 12 x 12 list this year with Amanda Palmer, and I'm including a text by her husband Neil Gaiman (and yes, I ACTUALLY read the book this time--no Audible!) I really picked this up so I could pass it along to son Ben when I was finished, and I am counting this as "a book you can finish in a day" because I JUST about did. The plot is told as a flashback by the unnamed narrator of a fantastical childhood event which he recalls when he revisits his old neighborhood. While the reading level is probably elementary, there are archetypal elements to the book (the characters of the innocent, the mother figure, and the crone, for example) which could lead to some fascinating conversations in comparison with other texts of the hero's journey. More importantly, I just LOVE Gaiman's prose--he is able to transport the reader through words. It's like a spa visit for your brain. I look forward to passing this along and having a follow-up conversation about it!
It's been ages since I read a book which made me cry, but this one definitely did. What a gem! Ove (pronounced "oova") is a curmudgeon, pure and simple. He just wants to be left alone to die. Period. Unfortunately for Ove's plans, the Universe interferes in the guise of a pregnant next door neighbor, her ungainly and uncoordinated husband, their two adorable children, the large neighborhood computer geek, and a host of other characters who keep thwarting Ove's best laid plans for suicide. And thank God. Because otherwise this book would be over far too soon. I found myself smiling, giggling, laughing out loud, and actually CHORTLING as I listened to this book. But the ending found me crying in my car on the way to work. I can't tell you how happy I am I picked this one. You will be, too. (And for those of you playing along, I'm checking this off my 12 x 12 list as "a book you've been meaning to read.")