November Reads

Friday, November 30, 2018

Book 34:
"Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder"
by Ann Rule
"Small Sacrifices" is the true story of Diane Downs, mother of three. One night, Diane arrives at a hospital with her three kids in the car – one dead and two in critical condition – claiming she was stopped on the road by a man who then shot all four of them. However, as investigators delve into the case, they begin to get suspicious, wondering if it was Diane herself who shot her kids.

I was familiar with the Diane Downs story through the "My Favorite Murder" podcast but learned even more through this book. Ann Rule provides a comprehensive take on Diane's life, from childhood all the way through to the trial. It's such an insane story told very, very well. I felt that some parts could have been more condensed to move the story along quicker, but I do appreciate the suspense.

This one is a great read for lovers of true crime. I definitely want to read more from Ann Rule, especially a story that I'm not familiar with at all to truly experience her writing.

Rating: 4/5

Book 35:
"Surprise Me" by Sophie Kinsella
After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan know each other so well that they can basically read each other's minds. Their commitment to spending forever with each other was easy. However, after their doctor casually mentions that they have about 68 more years together to look forward to, "forever" suddenly feels... long. Determined to prevent their marriage from getting stale, Sylvie and Dan decide they should start surprising each other more regularly. It's not long until Project Surprise Me takes a turn for the worse and the two realize maybe they don't know as much about each other as they thought.

Kinsella is one of my favorite authors when I'm in the mood for a more lighthearted read. When I started this book, I was immediately struck with how realistic it felt. I've been with my partner for eight years and have known him for ten, so I can definitely relate to parts. ("He has no interest in presents, and his birthday becomes an actual tussle. (Me: 'You must want something. Think.' Dan [hunted]: 'Get me... er... I think we're out of pesto. Get me a jar of that.' Me: 'A jar of pesto? For your birthday?')"  It's a cute read with a plot that goes beyond what you're expecting.
Fifty-nine years, loving a person. It's something. It's an achievement."
"Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating. And so... not an achievement, my dear. Rather, a privilege." 
Rating: 3/5

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