Once again, I am posting a book list of what I read this year, with mini-summaries and ratings. The system is 1 to 5 stars, with no star meaning don’t bother and 5 is a don’t miss.
1. “Death of the Party” by Carolyn Hart, 2005. *** Annie Darling and her husband Max travel to a luxurious private island to solve an old mystery. Their task is made easier by a fresh murder. Red herrings and “logical impossibilities” did not keep me from figuring out who the murderer was almost from page 1. Even so, I enjoyed the story.
2. “Internal Affairs” by Jane Heller, 1996. Okay, I read this whole book. It was fun. And I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time because it only took a few hours to whip through it. It was also so totally improbable that the only reason I kept reading it was it was funny, and well written. So what if the story was ridiculous?
How can you not like a book with a passage like this: “I cried for about an hour after Mitchell left. Not because I was sorry to see him go, but because I was out of red wine. There’s nothing worse than running out of poison when you’re trying to kill yourself. I decided to switch to vodka. . .”
3. “Edible Landscaping” by Rosalind Creasy, 2010 ***** I did a short, rather snarky review of this here. This book is inspirational in many ways. The concept presented, that of beautifully landscaping your property with edibles, is an idea whose time has definitely come. With water becoming more precious, and awareness of needing to stop polluting it and the soil rising, the broad sweep of chemical and petroleum intensive lawn that has become the norm for most home-owners is starting to look and feel all wrong. Creasy presents an alternative in a logical form. She makes it attractive, and illustrates the whole thing beautifully. The book contains lots of good information. My only caveat is that the author makes it all sound so darned easy when I know from personal experience that it is not. And she also tends to use as illustrations professionally developed landscapes that absolutely required many thousands of dollars to accomplish, which could make the casual reader to discard the whole idea out of hand because they simply cannot afford beautifully worked artisan crafted rock walls, for example.
4. “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T. E. Lawrence. ***** When I was 10 years old I was taken to see the movie “Lawrence of Arabia”when it first came out because my father was an admirer of Lawrence. Why it has taken me 47 years to read this excellent book is beyond me. If you do read it, make sure you have a dictionary handy, for T. E. Lawrence may have been a military leader of the Arabs in WWI, but he was an Oxford scholar and historian first. Despite that, he does not brag about that much, only mentions it in passing:
“Poor Sherif Aid’s uselessness, even as nominal leader, forced me to assume the direction myself, against both principle and judgement; since the special arts of tribal raiding and the details of food-halts and pasturage, road-direction, pay, disputes, division of spoils, feuds and march order were much outside the syllabus of the Oxford School of Modern History.”
The book is long, over 650 pages. And it contains much detail about the campaigns to take Damascus from the Turks. But it is not boring. In fact, I had no sooner finished the last page than I began at the beginning again. There is so much information about the early history of the Middle East, the development of the religions in the area, the arabic mind and ethos. No wonder people have been riveted by this book for almost a century.
5. “Dialogues of the Dead” by Reginald Hill. **** Another book in the police procedural series starring Pasco and Dalziel. This time a serial murderer surface In Yorkshire, sending “dialogues” to a short story competition describing acts of murder which at first blush seemed to be accidents. As the book continues, the “dialogues” get more and more psycho. I loved this book, partly because the protagonists are librarians in love with books and words. There were several instances where I had to resort to my dictionary, which I just really liked because I enjoy being challenged. I did figure out who the murderer was. The ending has a nasty twist I didn’t really like; I like my murderers to be caught. But that didn’t ruin the book for me.
6. “The First Patient” by Michael Palmer. ** Fairly well written, there were just too many places where I had to suspend my disbelief in this suspense novel. The tautness of the ending was ruined by my questions as to how the “saviors” managed to get to the place of the big denouement in time when the hero and the POTUS had to have a detailed map of the maze of roads in order to find their way there. It was a fine book to read to while away the hours of my nasty cold. But not very challenging.
7. “In a Dry Season” by Peter Robinson **** This is called “A Novel Of Suspense” but I honestly didn’t find a lot of suspense in this. Don’t get me wrong, it was fascinating and well written, but I wouldn’t have called it suspenseful. A drought has emptied a reservoir that inundated a small village in the Yorkshire Dales, and by a happenstance the skeleton of a body is discovered buried in an outbuilding. Forensic analysis determines that the skeleton is that of a murdered woman, probably buried there sometime shortly after the end of WWII. I really liked the way the characters of the two police officers involved in the investigation are drawn, and I also really like the way the story of the village in the past is woven together with the modern investigation. It has romance, it has pathos, it has compassion. I enjoyed it.
But I’m starting to wonder just why it is that authors feel the need to put so much sadness and tragedy into their protagonists lives. Chief Inspector Lytton has his wife murdered, this guy Banks is dealing with the wreck of his 20 year marriage, etc etc. Do these authors think it is more interesting or realistic for us to see these people dealing with horror and grief and anger? Why can’t we just get to read about them solving crimes? Just wondering.
8. “Housekeeping” by Marilynne Robinson, 1980 **** A great little book, well written. The lake is the star, and water permeates the whole book.
9. “Bones and Silence,” by Reginald Hill, 1990 **** Another Dalziel and Pascoe mystery. They figure out the murder and even prove it, Dalziel does not get suspended, they do not prevent a suicide. An okay read.
10. “Sizzling Sixteen,” by Janet Evanovich, 2010 *** This is great if you like Stephanie Plum. Personally, I’m getting sick of her dilly dallying and shilly shallying around. She needs to dump Morelli and get it on with Ranger, who is a lot more useful to her, saves her ass over and over and never gets a reward, only teased. Anyone who gives you fine wine rather than cheap beer is the better bargain in my book. Plus he loans her Mercedes and Porches to drive even though she bats 1000 in wrecking any car she drives. Still, there are laughs in the book, especially when you start criticizing the proofreading: They diffuse a bomb, and Lucille’s house has white shears hanging in the windows. I’ll probably read another one of these books. They don’t take a lot of time and they are amusing.
11. “Ghostwritten” by David Mitchell. ***** I went looking for “Cloud Atlas” by this same author because several of my blog buddies had waxed ecstatic about it. Our library only had this book, so I took it home and read it. Avidly. With great appreciation. The way the lives depicted tangentially affect each other is beautifully depicted. I really started to “get it” when I read the section about the physicist trying to create artificial intelligence. When she is thinking deep thoughts about the way electrons interact I suddenly had a vision of all the lives in the book acting like the electrons she is trying to describe mathematically. The author’s craftsmanship in finding different voices for his different characters is really impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and as soon as I finished reading it I started at the beginning again, just to experience the wonderfully crafted circularity of the story. A must read.
12. “Birds of Prey” by J. J. Vance *** Not a waste of time. I had a hard time suspending my disbelief on this one, I have a better opinion of the cruise industry. But an okay mystery. I figured out who the murderer was fairly early on. It seemed obvious. The motives were appropriately fanatical. I was looking for a new series of mysteries since my favorite authors seem to be drying up.
13. “French Silk” by Sandra Browne 1992 *** Another book I picked up looking for an author I could indulge in. I don’t know. Not a bad book, but I had the mystery figured out pretty early on. Lots of heavy breathing and hot erotic descriptions of sex, which of course is all just hunky dory because the protagonists are “helplessly in love.” I get tired of the formulaic love/hate fight/sex thing, although I have to say some of the sex scenes were very well written. However, I prefer my mysteries without the seasoning of bodice ripping romance.
14. ” Green River Running Red” by Ann Rule, 2004 ** True Crime book about the Green River Killer written by one of the premiere true crime writers in America. Well done. Not my usual reading material, but I’m in Costa Rica and this managed to keep my interest all the way through. I appreciated the fact that the emphasis was on the victims and the investigation and there was little information on the actual killings, in other words not a lot of gory detail. Also, it did not feel like the author was aggrandizing the murderer. Not a bad book, really.
15. “Digital Fortress” by Dan Brown, 1998 * I swear I am not going to read any more of this guy’s books. I only raced through it because I am in the tropics with lots of time on my hands. Okay, I admit to skimming a lot and skipping some of the middle. I found myself extremely annoyed at the end of the book. These people are supposedly genius level code breakers and it took them over five minutes and 13 pages of complete drivel to figure out the prime number difference between the elements in the two atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Excuuuuuse me…. these are people who work for the NSA in their top secret crypotology lab and it took them over five minutes to figure out the difference between U235 and U238???? I found myself reading along and yelling “Three! The answer is Three!” Well, thank goodness they figuredd it all out in the nick of time and the world was saved. Or at least their computer was. This was supposed to reap maximum suspense out of a situation and all it did was piss me off.
16. “The Bone Garden” by Tess Gerritsen, 2007. ** Hey. I’m in the tropics. I have to read something. This was an okay book, fairly well written and I found it engaging enough. A two layer mystery — a newly divorced woman discovers an old skeleton buried in her garden. It is clear that the person in the grave was murdered. She begins to investigate the history of the house and grounds and gets in contact with the family historian, who has numerous documents squirreled away. The narrative of her discovery of letters that elucidate the events of the past is interwoven with the account of the events of the past. The descriptions of life in medical school at the time were well done. The motive of the murderer was not all that convincing for me. The rather pat ending for the romantic element was a little hinky too. But all in all, an enjoyable read for the time and place.
17. “Protect and Defend” by Vince Flynn, 2007. *** Pretty good suspense novel, written well and kept my interest to the end. Of course, the hero is larger than life and bullet proof, but hey. It’s a novel.
18. “The Professional” by Robert B. Parker, 2009 *** What can I say. I like Spenser and his girl Susan, they get their guy and do it with wit and panache and it never seems too pat.
19. “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley, 2009 **** A new sleuth for me, Flavia is an 11 year old genius with a penchant for chemistry. Well written, fun to read, lots of information presented in av ery enjoyable and readable manner. I hope to continue my acquaintance with Miss Flavia in the future.
20. “Murder Melts in your Mouth” by Nancy Martin ** Another new sleuth for me, and Nora is not one who will call me back any time soon. Frankly, I have a very hard time relating to a person who has a job as a society editor for the local paper simply because going to parties is the only thing she knows how to do. Sorry. You are in your twenties and that is all you are good for? I do not enjoy reading stories that revolve around what the main character is wearing and what she thinks about what the other characters are wearing. Not only that, but the similarities between Janet Evanovich’s Stepanie Plum and Martin’s Nora are glaringly obvious. The difference is that Plum makes me laugh and is not obsessed with couture and makeup. Oh, and she has a backbone. Nora lets her insane family walk all over her. And apparently she has no moral backbone either, because she is madly in love with a New Jersey mobster and doesn’t seem to care about his amorality — after all, he’s great in bed and cute. Ick.
21. “Tonia Todman’s Paper-Making Book”, by Tonia Todman 1992. **** I recommend this book highly if what you want to do is learn how to make hand made paper, which I do.
22. “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why”, by Bart D. Ehrman 2005 ***** An excellent book about the Bible. I know, why study this book, or care about it at all if you aren’t a Christian or don’t believe in God? I would say that the Bible is probably one of the most influential books in the world, millions of people believe it and try to follow the rules laid out in it, use it as their Source and Inspiration in all things, use it as their authority for their positions and beliefs, for why they think certain laws should be passed, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. In the interests of “knowing thine enemy”, it seems prudent to know a little bit about the “other guy’s” rationalizations. Besides that, Ehrman is an excellent writer.
23. “Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene” by Bart D. Ehrman **** An expose of the legendary nature of all three of these characters. Ehrman tends to get a little repetitious.
24. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot 2010 ***** The story of the HeLa cell culture, an amazingly vital line of human cell cultured from the cervical cancer that killed Henrietta Lacks in 1951. These cells became the basis of the multimillion dollar cell culture industry, and are still used in research today, all over the world. They were instrumental in testing the polio vaccine, among numerous other things. The story of how these cells were harvested, what was done with them, and how her children found out about the existence of these cultures more than 20 years after they were harvested is riveting reading. Well researched, sensitively written.
25. “Requiem: New and Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein” edited by Yoji Kondo 1992 **** If you are a Heinlein fan, you will enjoy reading these works, none of which have been collected in book form. The final section is a series of recollections and vignettes written by Heinlein’s peers. If you don’t like Heinlein or are not a science fiction fan, don’t bother with this book. You’ll be bored to tears. I wasn’t.
26. “I’ll Walk Alone” by Mary Higgins Clark, 2011 *** A quick suspenseful read. Fairly well written. Unfortunately, I suppose I have read too many of Clark’s books, because I hadn’t made it past about page 5 when I said to myself, “X did it”. I was right. The rest of the book was simply an exercise in seeing just how evil and sick a person Clark can make the bad guy, and how close a call it would be at the end to make it all right.
27-about 35. Several rather unmemorable romances and mysteries. I got so darned busy I forgot to write down what I have been reading.
36. “Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe” by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp 2004 630 p. **** Love this biography of an artist that I have always loved and admired. It made me an addict of the internet, however, since the author chose to discuss almost every single one of the works O’Keeffe did during her very long life, but only had a few of them reproduced in the work. All this book did was make me love O’Keeffe even more, and wish to go and view her works in person. I found it fascinating to discover how much she loved rocks and shells; she picked up a stone in Malaysia that she carried in her purse all the way through the rest of her trip and back home and it just made me feel a true kinship with her. Very inspirational.
37. “Now You See Her” by James Patterson 2011 383 p. * Nice if you like that sort of thing, really. I am wondering why I bother to read this guy’s stuff. It’s written okay, but it is definitely aimed at the modern, short attention span, second grade vocabulary youngish adult that exists nowadays. Simplistic, formulaic, predictable to the point where the suspense that is supposed to be there simply is not for me. A nice pool side read if you don’t have anything better to do.
38. “Betrayal” by John Lescroart. * Make sure that there are a bunch of amoral people doing evil things and your hero gets away with murder. But it was really self defence…. Blech
39. “Full Scoop” by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes 347 p. 2006 *** Pretty fun “suspense” novel with romantic overtones. Entertaining, funny, pretty well written, and no egregious proofreading errors.
40. “A Perfect Spy” by John LeCarre 475 p. 1986 **** LIke most of LeCarre’s works, this one is dark in tone, and draws you into a world peopled by shadowy figures so mutable that they barely even know who they are themselves. If you are a complete chameleon, and you change your story with every telling of it, is it possible to remember what the truth is? And then, what is the truth? Do your lies wind up becoming part of it? I loved this book, although I have begun to notice that LeCarre has a distressing tendency to put his characters to death at the end of their stories. Not that I ever believed that there could be a happy ending for this person after the story began to be clear, and his character to come into focus as details are revealed. Wonderfully written.
41. “Nobody Lives Forever” by Edna Buchanan 1990 241 p. Ah, a psychological thriller. The murderer is one of several personalities residing in the wife of a police officer. I am not spoiling this book for you by telling you that, as you as the reader always know this to be the case. The suspense is in how the tale plays out and how long it takes for people to realize what is going on and whodunnit. Well written and enjoyable. I intend to read other books by this author.
42/43. “Fool’s Puzzle”, “Saddlemaker’s Wife” by Earlene Fowler *** Not bad little mysteries, very easy to read and enjoyable except for the sermonizing and Christian testifying in the “Saddlemaker’s Wife” I did get the feeling that Ms. Fowler was writing about what she knew as she made a point of telling a budding author in her book. Both books feature new widows who are dealing with their bereavement while looking into a little mystery.
44/45/46. “The Search for Karla” containing “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, “The Honorable Schoolboy”, “Smiley’s People” all by John LeCarre **** Once again, excellent characterization, atmospheric description of the places in the novels. Very dark, rather depressing actually. Interesting viewpoint on the world during the Cold War.
47. “Second Wind” by Dick Francis **** If you are used to Francis and his focus on the racing scene, you might be disappointed in this book. In this work, his protagonist is a famous BBC meteorolgist who is caught up in an international intrigue. The bad guys are not dyed in the wool evil like some of his bad guys are, and there is no grand summing up at the end where all is explained. The denouement is satisfying, the romance is believable and I, for one, appreciate the fact that all the nitty gritty of the bedroom is left out. I liked this book, but I usually enjoy Francis.
48. “The Skull Beneath the Skin” by P. D. James ***** I just love James’ work. It is so well written, the descriptions are wonderful. In one scene the heroine is trapped in an undersea cavern and has to swim to safety as the tide is coming in in order to avoid being drowned. Such powerful writing, you can almost believe that James’ suffered a near drowning. I appreciate the fact that the author allows us to know everything our detective knows, so that we can solve the crime too. Despite all that, there is a bit of a surprise at the end! Anyway, a satisfying mystery and of course, another feather in the cap of the author often referred to as the Queen of Crime.
49. “Natural Enemy” by Jane Langton. ***** I LOVED this book! Of course, you know I would, since spiders and other natural history play a large role in the solution of the mystery. I really want to read more books by this woman.
50. “The Mephisto Club” by Tess Gerritsen **** I recently read “The Bone Garden” (#16 on this list) and oddly enough, I’m in the tropics again! Hey, you know what? Evil is alive and well and living on the East Coast in the form of half human half fallen angel (demon) and there is a group of really rich people who are accepted by the FBI and Interpol …. have I lost you yet? If you can suspend your disbelief, this is actually a pretty good story but …. I may not be looking out a lot more books by this author.
51. “Ordinary Heroes” by Scott Turow, 2005 ***** See a full review here.
52. “Birdman” by Mo Hayder, 1999 * Another serial murder story. Perhaps a little too well written. The author knows how to make you keep turning pages. The descriptions are well done. I’m going to stop reading this kind of stuff. I feel like my eyes are polluted along with my mind after I’m done. The author’s portrait on the back jacket: A stunningly beautiful blond with clear eyes, lovely mouth. How can the sort of evil depicted int his book come out of such a lovely package?
53. “Here on Earth” by Alice Hoffman, 1997. ***** There’s a reason why this book is one of those on the list of Oprah’s book club. That’s because it is a truly beautifully written depiction of the dynamics of love and family. The characterizations are deep and true, the physical descriptions of the places luminous. Here’s a sample, lines that captivated me and held me instantly, made me want to read on and on.
“All this time she has lived in California, where the light is so lemon-colored and clear it is almost possible to forget there are other places in the world; these woods for instance, where one could easily mistake day for night on an October afternoon, where the rain falls in such drenching sheets no birds can take flight.”
The path of lives intertwining, the call of love so deep it completely consumes the lovers, the understanding of all the nuances of relationships; all these are explored in a gripping novel. If you have ever been in an abusive relationship, or know someone who has been or is, this book will help you to understand how these things can develop and control the participants.
The ending has truths so deep that we should all engrave them in our hearts and minds, to live with and by.
“Hank is indebted to Hollis, and he always will be, but he knows what happens to a man who won’t give up those things it’s impossible to hold on to. He knows what can happen to any man who won’t let go of his pain.”
I couldn’t put the book down until I had read every last word. It might be the same for you.
53. “Our House In the Last World” by Oscar Hijuelos, 1983. **** This is the first book written by a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. Another wonderfully written book with a voice that is very different from the last book I wrote and yet a story that explores the same themes. This one delves into the lives of the Cuban immigrants to America in the 50s before Castro came to power. The main protagonists are the Santinios: Alejo and Mercedes, who immigrate and while living in New York City have two sons, Horacio and Hector. I do not pretend to have completely understood this story, and yet I had to read the whole novel. A review on the back cover says “Hijuelos has appropriated the vitality of two cultures to produce, in magical synthesis, a splendid, bitter, and loving work of the imagination.” I sort of see that is true, and yet what I read was a vivid account of how two people can become entangled in their own dementias and barely survive. Mercedes is a dreamer, the poet daughter of a poet who sees visions and has no guidance in sorting out reality from fantasy. She should have been educated and become a poetess, instead her life is derailed by the early death of her father. Alejo was generous man, full of vibrant life; women found him immediately attractive even though he was enormously obese. He is a hotel cook who dreams of success but only dreams, never acts. There is some deep fear within him that keeps him from acting, and he lives in a fantasy that his gambling will bring him the money that he sees as synonymous with success. And he basically drinks and eats himself to death. To see how his son Hector finally recovers from a childhood of abuse and witnessing abuse of his mother, being taught to drink at the age of 10 — I don’t know. The book held a horrible fascination for me. Language was beautifully used to craft this book.
54. “Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World”, by Rita Golden Gelman, 2001 ***** Every once in a while I read a book that resonates so deeply with me that I hate to see the end of it come in sight. This was one of those books. This is an autobiographical account written by a woman who found herself living a life of ease and riches that was empty of meaning. Not only that, but it wasn’t really “her” living the life, it was an empty automaton going through the gestures expected of her. She wound up divorced, selling everything she owns except what she can fit into a backpack, and goes off on a years’ long odyssey through the Third World (well mostly Third World). Since she was a fairly successful successful writer of children’s books, she has enough money to accomplish her goal of living and participating in the cultures she visits; places as varied as a Zapotec village in Mexico and a regal palace in Bali. Her message is one of unconditional love of other humans, acceptance of the mores and customs of the culture you are visiting. It is a lovely, lovely book, very inspiring, and I think it speaks deeply to the nomad that lives within all of us.
55. “Lady” by Thomas Tryon, 1974. ***** A finely written book about the evolving relationship between the title character, Lady Adelaide Hartleigh, and a boy, Ignace “Woody” Woodhouse, who lives across the Pequot Landing town green from her. Their relationship grows from the adoration of a young boy for the town beauty and philanthropist to the deep and abiding love and friendship between and older woman and a young man, who has grown to manhood and understanding and compassion under her guidance and tutelage. One of the most satisfying books I have read in a very long time.
56. “Pigs in Heaven” by Barbara Kingsolver, 1993 ***** Excellent book by one of my favorite authors. What happens when an abused Cherokee Indian baby is given to a casual passerby at an Oklahoma truck stop, and the woman falls in love with her and adopts her? A riveting story delving into the nature of family and relationships with a satisfying ending and lots of fun along the way. Love this book.
57. “While I Was Gone” by Sue Miller **** The story of a young woman who runs away from a bad marriage and lives a life in cognito for the following year, what happens to her during that summer and how it affects her life later on. Very well drawn characters, great descriptions.
58. “The Glass Castle” by Jennette Walls ***** A memoir. How four children stood together and managed to survive a childhood marked by their brilliant but flawed by alcoholism father and their equally brilliant and flawed by schizophrenia or some psychological disaster mother. Excellently told, and makes one hopeful for the sanity of any child raised in a dysfunctional home.
58. “Irish Chain” by Earlene Fowlder, 1995. **** Another enjoyable mystery featuring Benni and her police chief friend. Interesting how haplessly the heroines of these sorts of books fall into finding corpses! The widow is healing apace, not held in her widow’s weeds but embracing life to the fullest.
59. “The World Below” by Sue Miller, 2001 **** I enjoyed this one, I expected to after reading the first book of Ms. Miller’s. This book explores the similarities (and differences) in experiences of a grandmother and granddaughter. Wonderfully realistic exploration of the depth of emotions, the complexities of relationships and the disappointments and triumphs we can find in love.
60. “Kansas Troubles” by Earlene Fowler, 1996 **** I am actually reading this series in order, and the longer it goes on, the better I like it. I ended up staying up until midnight to finish this one, which is a measure of how much I was enjoying it. I am also enjoying the development of the relationship between the two main characters as well as the mysteries they solve together.
61. “Gone for Good” by Harlan Coben *** Airplane reading. Well done, with good guys who aren’t all good and bad guys who aren’t all bad, a satisfying ending.
62-7 “Goose in the Pond”, “Dove in the Window”, “Mariner’s Compass”, “Sunshine and Shadows”, “Steps to the Altar”, “Arkansas Traveller” by Earlene Fowler. Can you tell? I am totally enjoying this series starring Benni Harper as the unwitting detective married to Gabe the chief of police. I will be sad when I have finished this set of books.
68. “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen. What a wonderful story. I love the way Gruen tells the story with flashbacks. You really don’t quite see how it all ends even though the main character is narrating. Quite wonderful.
69. “Winter Solstice” by Rosamund Pilcher. Romance; but well written romance with engrossing characters.
70. some other novel I read on the ship which I enjoyed immensely but for the life of me cannot remember the name or author. A love triangle between a doctor and his wife and the mother of one of his patients. Very well done.
71. “Snuff” by Terry Pratchett. Sam Vimes changes the whole social structure of Discworld. Sam Jr. discovers poo. Loved it. always love Pratchett’s books.