I like to read fiction with plots that drive forward with cinematic pacing. Not sure why. Well, yes I am. I studied filmmaking back in school and worked for Warner Bros. for a few years. That's probably why. However, I've delved into some historic non-fiction and biography a tad. But none of the boring ones! It's got to fit in with my healthy diet of spy thrillers.
Tim's Staff Picks:
Title: When Ghosts Come Home
Comments: This leisurely-paced crime procedural is not out to shock or thrill you, but boy, is it good. The small town setting, in 1984, is such a well-written place filled with true humans. Sheriff Winston is a Walt Longmire/Atticus Finch-type, and someone you can (quietly) root for in this mildly-dark story that packs more heart than your average mystery novel.
Title: Egg Marks the Spot (Skunk and Badger 2)
Comments: The first "Skunk and Badger" was a fun and quirky introduction to this odd couple series for younger readers (ages 7 to 10). In this adventure they go on a camping trip and even visit a local indie bookstore, all characteristically illustrated by one of my favorites, Jon Klassen!
Comments: I can NOT STOP looking at Hawker's intricate, perfect line art!
Title: Subpar Parks
Comments: This is hilarious, beautiful, and full of helpful Park Ranger insights and stories. But best of all are the beautifully rendered travel posters quoting real reviews from these places' most surly visitors.
(Check out author/artist Amber Share's Instagram feed @SubparParks: she posts a new beautiful poster of a different dismal review each week!)
Title: The Disappearing Act
Comments: Natalie Wood...Marilyn Monroe...Sometimes Hollywood's glittery facade is lifted for a moment and we glimpse a darkness beneath. Mia Eliot is a great British actress. But what if she could be an even bigger star in Los Angeles? Countless up-and-comers have been drawn to that sign and what it symbolizes - those 9 white letters on a California hillside - since the beginning Hollywood. But sometimes there's a price to pay that's higher than the reward could ever be.
Title: The Maidens
Comments: It's another Hitchcockian suspense story with which Michaelides blesses us for his thrilling 2nd novel. While not exactly a sequel to The Silent Patient, this one's definitely more of the same in the best way possible: a contemporary Greek tragedy, a mysterious killer whose true identity is unknown, and a psychotherapist at the middle of it all. (There are even some fun crossover moments between the two books that fans of the first one will notice.) It's a perfect read for your summer psychological thriller needs.
Title: Permanent Record
Comments: Wow. I stayed up late reading this like I do with a good novel. I loved Snowden's easy way of writing, so transparent and honest. Almost exactly the same age as Snowden, I completely identified with him as someone who grew up while the Internet also grew up.
His crisis is immensely relatable, and it's easy to get into his very principled whistleblower mindset: what do you do when it would be a crime to report a worse crime? There's no justification here, only conviction. Already knowing the real world outcome, the thrilling final pages raced at me like the seconds counting down on a bomb's digital clock. (Bonus: the spy community insider tidbits were delicious!)
Title: The Rock from the Sky