Book Review, Reading Log

Reading Log: July 2019

It’s getting embarrassing having to admit yet again that I haven’t done much reading in the past month. But I’m just going to have to accept that, every once in a while, there will be moments in life where concentrating on a book will just not be possible. I defended my PhD thesis in July, and am currently trying to get final revisions done, but I’m looking forward to being able to shift my reading/writing focus to something less academic by the end of August.

In today’s post, I’m going to summarize two books that I’ve been reading this month, even though I haven’t yet finished one of them. Both were selected because they fulfill one of the categories in the Toronto Public Library’s reading challenge for 2019: “two books with the same or very similar titles”. In this case, both books were titled The Heist.

The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

I’ve moved my thoughts on “The Heist” to my new Janet Evanovich fan site: https://evanovichfan.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/fox-ohare-the-heist/

The Heist: A Novel by Daniel Silva

I have never read anything by Daniel Silva before, and while he’s not a bad writer and clearly very popular, I’m coming to the realization that maybe I just don’t like male authors. There’s something to be said about men wanting a more action-packed narrative, but I feel like in this case it’s done to the detriment of character development.

The story revolves around art restorer and former spy, Gabriel Allon, who is recruited to help solve the murder of a man who appears to have been involved in the stolen art trade. However, many of the characters (including Gabriel Allon) seem a bit too two-dimensional, and it’s consequently hard for me to care about how the story plays out.

Moreover, there are long sections of exposition about art history and the business of art restoration that I could really do without. (Authors: I appreciate that you have to do a lot of research to ensure your books are accurate and realistic, but I’m really not looking for an academic lecture when I pick up a novel.)

I’m about one quarter into the book and am seriously debating whether to finish it or not. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was reading this as part of a reading challenge, I probably wouldn’t have given it that much thought. For the sake of the reading challenge, I’ll try to persevere. But I’ll definitely think twice next time I consider picking up a thick book by a male author.

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