So, I went away for the weekend (will post about that later...) and took a few books with me. I did something I have *never* done before - I actually left Death Du Jour at home, with about 60 pages to go.
Didn't care. Lost track of the characters. I grabbed a handful of books off the "to read" shelf instead.
On the way to Alberta, I read The English Assassinby Daniel Silva, another Paperback Swap book. I liked it - not as exciting as the first, but not bad for a spy novel. I like the main character and his cover as an art restorer, I like the travel and adventures. The title is a bit of a misnomer - there IS an English assassin in the book, but he's kind of a Boba Fett guy. You get a great build up, and then he sort of falls into a pit without a word. Weird.
On the way home (not having time or energy to read while I was actually on the ground) I read Kiss the Girlsby James Patterson. This one, I also enjoyed. I can tell I will be collecting a few more of the Alex Cross books. The back-and-forth between detecting and the POV of the killers is usually a good hook for me, and Patterson gets it just the way I like it. Also, he's got a deliciously sadistic imagination so far. I had to actually google a sex practice described in this book. That's kind of impressive.
I also read Kindredby Octavia Butler. I have long been urged to read more by her; I had tried two other titles before and they left me with a shrug. This one got me. Short, and a very fast read, it's simply the story of a modern black woman who finds herself magically drawn back in time to rescue her white, slave-owning ancestor. No time at all is spent on figuring out why or how, which adds to the magical realism and subtracts nothing from the actual tale.
In such a deceptively brief series of interludes, Butler really hammers home some excellent views of slavery and how it changes things on an individual and on a cultural level. This one is a keeper - now to see what else I might try from her collection.