Reader Mailbag: Last Book You Couldn’t Put Down
Last month we asked what the last book you couldn’t put down was in the newsletter.
Here’s the answers:
April: Daniel Silva’s newest, “Black Widow” and Lisa Unger’s “Beautiful Lies” read both in the last couple of weeks and couldn’t even drive home from the restaurant because I didn’t want to put it down long enough to drive home.
Barbara M: Hi Graeme,
The last book I read in almost one sitting was Orphan X by Greg Hurwitz.
I have looked at reviews of his earlier works and have not been impressed. What has been your reaction, since you have recently concentrated your reading efforts on his writings?
When I read reviews, I tend to start with the least favorable ones as I doubt they are ‘paid for’ entries. I then move up to the more favorable. I also try to go to sites where there is a preview chapter available to either read or listen to. I am always interested in listening if possible, because the reader can either make the story come alive, or it can be a real dud. I have some favorite readers, and like certain authors, I will search out and listen to those readers.
Thanks again for a very informative newsletter.
Marie-Claude: For me, the last book I could not put down was Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole. It had been on my reading list for a while and had not gotten my hands on it. But I saw it at my sister-in-law’s house recently and she said it was due back at the library soon. So I had a good reason to read it quickly, but as it turns out, I had no trouble at all making that date since once I had started reading it, I simply could not put it down.
Becky: If I Stay by Gayle Forman. So touching and gripping.
Benjamin: The last book I simply HAD to finish before I did anything else was A.J. Stewart’s: Stiff Arm. Great story line and fun dialogue. In the vein of Robt. B. Parkers, Spenser. I noticed you do not have AJ Stewarts books listed on your site. Look into them, it’s a good series.
Betty: book i could not put down I let you go by claire McI tosh Betty
bookllover: I read this book by Michael robotham called SAY YOURE SORRY wow amazing book. I was sick on new years eve and it helped me get through that illness!!!and also a little book called WHAT SHE KNEW by gilly macmillan! Talk about great writing!!! Wow.
Brenda S: Hi Graeme
The book I couldn’t put down this summer so far was Jo Nesbo’s “The Snowman”. He is such an suspenseful writer, you keep thinking they have solved a case & Harry is positive it is not solved. Want to go out this weekend, sorry no I am busy.
Brian: Liberty’s Last Stand by Stephen Coonts
Carolyn: I got Ruth Rendell’s “Dark Corners” from the library last Saturday and started reading it while eating lunch. I finished it around 10 PM. I got caught up in the story of the main character slowly going mad. Since it was her last book I was particularly interested in reading it.
I’ve read most of her books and will miss her. My favorite is “A Sight for Sore Eyes”. I was surprised that she wrote a sequel to it as I thought the ending was perfect. However, it was fun to read “The Vault” to see how Wexford was able to solve the crime.
Cate: There are many books that I find difficult to put down but usually still do. I promise myself that as soon as I get whatever it is done, I will go back to reading as quickly as I can. Most notable are Nicci French’s novels, Jo Nesbo books, Harry Bingham and Jacqueline Winspear.
However I remember in my early 20’s prior to having children, one weekend when my husband was out of town I picked up Aynn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged. I read all day and through the night to finish this book. I couldn’t set it down to either eat or sleep. I’ve always wanted to go back to read it again to see if I am still as enthralled with the book as I was more than 40 years ago.
Chris: Good read–DanielSilva’s The Black Widow!
Clark: I also have been hooked on Joseph Finder’s books recently …. and ….. some by James Lee Burke.
Claudia: I am currently reading all the Sharon Bolton books. I started with the “Lacy Flint ” series and continued
with the stand alone series. I am reading “Blood Harvest now. I can not put these books down. I only
have one left, “Little Black Lies”. I am waiting for the new book! I love reading, but sometimes I hate to
finish a book.
Corinne: was a book called “Crazy Free” by Melissa Wyld. I bought it because I was under the impression it was a book about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington states. But only a very small part of the book is about the trail. The rest of it is her account of this….. spiritual journey, I guess you’d call it. That’s not normally my cup of tea to be sure. But this lady had such crazy ideas and such crazy things happened to her that I just could not stop reading! If anyone out there likes personal memoirs of really fascinating people, they should give this a try. I can’t even say I really even like the lady herself, or her ideas, but I sure could not put her book down!
Deb: The last book I read that I couldn’t put down was The Girl With a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson. WOW! It is to be made into a major motion picture. I cannot wait.
Eileen: I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Literally couldn’t care less about housework, preparing supper etc ! One could match what happened in the book to current world events as well as past history
Everyone in my book club really loved this book and can’t wait to read his next one !
Elizabethe: Treasure the ability to read!
I have always loved to read, especially fantasy and science fiction. I have read over 100,000 books in my lifetime, probably more. I am (was) a speed reader and could get so engrossed in a book that I could not hear or see the world around me. My children learned to tap my shoulder instead of saying, “Mom, Mom, Mom…” I had to stop reading while they were awake for fear I would unintentionally neglect them!
I tell you all this so you will realize what a blow it is to me to have been diagnosed with Wet Macular Degeneration. I am told that eventually, I will be unable to read at all. If I am very good with vitamins and shots in my eyes, (and believe me, I am!) I may be able to postpone that day until 8 or 10 years hence, but already I can no longer speed read. My brain refuses to “sink in” because it is convinced that I just need to go clean my glasses or rub my eyes or something. Maybe it will adapt, but maybe not. It has been six months so far and while my one good eye has taken over pretty much everything else, so that the gray blur is mostly hidden now, I still cannot “sink in.”
Your question about books that grab you and insist on being finished, reminded me how much I am losing. “Ender’s Game” was like that for me, and the “Harry Potter” books and many more. Recently I really enjoyed “The Parasol Protectorate” series by Gail Carriger, but it just wasn’t the same as when I could sink in.
Please tell all your readers out there to cherish the ability to read and never take it for granted. And don’t postpone reading a really good book!
And Thank Heavens for the Books for the Blind audio books! I have a personal library of over 4000 books, and I am trying to replace them by copying the audio books off that website onto thumb drives. It isn’t the same but it is better than losing track of my beloved books. They don’t have them all, but they have a lot and I am very grateful for them.
Barbara: My latest “can’t put down” books are the Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin. I read the first two a while back and anxiously awaited City of Mirrors, which came out this year. I reread the first two then immediately read the third. Thatis the ony way to read a trilogy – all at once. I didn’t read in the shower though.
Love your website and newsletter.
floy: I love Margaret Maron’s books — especially if they are read in order. She’s my favorite mystery writer, overtaking Elizabeth George, whose
most recent books, though still readable, are disappointing.
Frances: The last book I read for which life stopped while I was reading it, could not put it down, was Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. Amazing.
Frank: I just recently read Fallen Angels by Rick Mofina. It is the 1st in a series Reed and Skowinski. Excellent plot construction and I loved the main characters. Could not put it down. Mofina is my new Best Author.
Fred: I recently read PHILIP NOLAN THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY by Chuck Pfarrer.
In this one, Pfarrer, a former SEAL, has taken the short story that seems to be on every high school’s required reading list, and fleshed it out. He has added characters and his own knowledge and research as it pertains to 19th century naval combat, particularly as it had to do with the pirates who operated out of Tripoli.
It’s a great book, and I’d bet just about anyone would love it.
Jackie E: I love Robert Galbraith’s ‘Cormoran Strike’ novels. Already ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ and ‘Silkworm’. Just finished reading ‘Career of Evil’ and can’t wait until her next novel comes out.
I look forward to your updates and recommendations. Your suggestions for the authors Hurwitz, Finder, Penny and Duvall are recommendations I will definitely follow-up on.
Jackie W: The last book I couldn’t put down was The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer. I love his stories.
Jan: Hi Graeme! Wow, I have a few. The “Longmire” series by Craig Johnson, I take EVERYWHERE. Tried walking my dog while reading but disastrous results! Just got hooked on the “Private” series by James Patterson. Nothing like a good murder to pass the time!!!! And with all this rain in the northeast, I’m going through 2 books a week! Dinner? Laundry? Housework! What’s that?!
(Until football season, then my time is divided).
Janet: The James Patterson book “Burn” one of the Michael Bennett series. I started it one morning and could not put it down. The only housework I did the whole day were those that only needed one hand or someplace to prop it so I could read while doing things. I managed to vacuum the house, cook dinner, feed the cats and scoop their box, and get the mail when it came. All the other stuff just had to wait.
Jason: The last book I could not put down was WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer
This book was first published in the thirties, and took a few chapters to really get into the style of writing. But once I did I was hooked. I read the book twice in a row. The best part was that the sequel was also published within the 1999 edition, and I didn’t know it. I was searching all over for the sequel, even before I had finished the first book. So, man, was I surprised when I finished the book and on the next page started the sequel.
Just talking about this book makes me want to read it again. I don’t think I have ever been transported to another place like I was while reading this book.
Thanks for the chance to write about my experience. I guess I’m off to read When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide once again.
Jeanne: “The Professor” by Robert Bailey. My husband, who reads very little and I spent one whole afternoon and morning moving from our chairs only to eat in order to read the entire book. Every one we have recommended “The Professor” to have thanked us profusely. One friend even had the local library to order the sequel and have it shipped to him direct so he could go ahead and read it and then he took it to the library!!
Jean: A “friend” introduced me to the Phryne Fisher series, set in Australia/after WW I. I put “friend” in quotes because my NOOK allowance was eaten up in one fell swoop as I HAD to download all 20 books at once AND have been reading them at about a book every couple of days…a woman has to work ya’ know, to afford all these new books.
I found at least three new authors I MUST at least sample during a quick jaunt thru your author lists. Another blow to my book allowance!
So glad to see Quinton Jardine listed; very few people people I know and/or talk books with have heard his name. I bought all the Skinner books I could find in one grab at a local used-book store and then started ordeting/waiting for the next on the to cone along. Dkn’t much care for his other series’ but the Skinner books were delightful — and not gory at all; one has to expect blood at a murder scene and Jardine delivered, without going overboard. I recommend him to even my squeamish friends!
Thank you for delivering the Web site every reader/book lover has been waiting for; wish I had found it a long time ago. I will be sharing it with all my friends, who are sure to fall in love with it, just as I did.
John: Thanks again for a very informative newsletter. I look forward to receiving it every month. I want to add my two cents worth as far as reading a book that I just HAD to finish. I just read Executive Privilege by Phillip Margolin. I plan now to read the next three in this series. Phillip Margolin really knows how to tell a story and keep you spellbound. Great author and I highly recommend his books for people who love Grisham, Patterson, Coben and the like.
Joy: The exciting book I could not put down once I started reading it was by C J Box THE HIGHWAY
Judy: The books I could not put down and had to read in order were the Louise Penney books. A friends of mine introduced me to the series and luckily I had about 8 to read to catch up. I ordered them from Amazon and read them in order without another book in between. I am so in love with Three Pines and want to live there.
Julia: “Room” by Emma Donaghue
Laurie: My most recent book that I couldn’t put down until I finished it was “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. I opened the book and started reading the preface and was thinking “Oh, my god, this is me!! I can’t believe it.”. I have developed an extroverted persona to show the world but my nature is to be introverted. It talks about that for one thing. Another subject is the effects of following a predominately extroverted social course, positive and negative and explains that there is need to slow down and hear the introverts.
Belinda: I would have to say the last book that I couldn’t put down was Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale. I am very interested in World War II stories, especially fiction that could be non-fiction, and this one did not disappoint. In fact, I still find myself wondering about the two sisters, their extreme bravery, and am mourning the loss of Isabelle. To me, this wonderful book is right up there with Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, which was a favorite as well.
Loretta: A couple of years ago when I was at Myrtle Beach and stopped at BAM, I picked up Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, and could not put this book down. Of course, I then went back to BAM and picked up more of his books. When the Bone Tree was released, I immediately purchased, and started to read. I read so long that my eyes were closing and I was still holding the book. Then I would get up and continue reading. I was so immersed in this story that I don’t remember what I ate. I read from cover to cover! I can’t wait for the third book in this trilogy.
Lynne: The last book I could not put down was SIMPLE TRUTH by David Baldacci. I Could not tear myself away from it. Also,Black House, book one of a trilogy by Peter May. Excellent book, have order the other two books.
MaryKay: I would say “The Likeness” by Tana French. She has become one of my top ten favs.
I also need to add “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd.
Stephen: The last book I couldn’t put down was Steph King’s “11/22/63”. Stephen King writes in a fashion where every single sentence is relevant and leads to the next plot twist/cliff hanger/scary moment. This book has many great plot lines and is almost like 3 or 4 stories in one. Now, I am a very, very slow reader. Biblically slow. So, it didn’t help that this book is like 850-ish pages (hardcover) long….. So, when I say I couldn’t put it down & my life revolved around it, I mean I only put it down to sleep a bit and it took me a few days to read it cover-to-cover. I haven’t seen the Hulu series yet, with James Franco, but I’ll binge watch that when the weather turns this fall.
Before “11/22/63”, the previous book I couldn’t put down was going back to Dan Brown’s “DaVinci Code”. Unbelievable book!!!!!
Mike: Discovered Before the Fall by Noah Hawley Just cannot put the book
down Always nice when you discover a different author
Mishawn: I picked up a book by Karen Robards at a junk sale and read it immediately. I had to find more of her books to read. So long story short, I am now on the 6th book by her in 2 weeks. Can’t believe I hadn’t read anything by her before, but now I’m reading them all!!
Nancy: The last book I read and couldn’t put down was Nora Roberts “Obsession”. Part thriller, part mystery, part romance, I had to read it to the end.
Raewyn: I just read the new DC Fiona Griffiths mystery (police procedural) by Harry Bingham
— The Dead House, released last week in the US and UK.
Utterly compulsive! I read it in two sessions which took me into the wee small hours
rather than stop… This is no 5 in the series, set in Wales (UK), and I heartily recommend
reading all 5 of them in order so you come to understand the reality of Fiona’s life, and the way her character is developing. I can’t wait to read the next one!
Rhea: The last book I couldn’t put down was appropriately titled “Compulsion” by Allison Brennan. But then I have trouble putting down any of her books. Once I start one of her books, I get conflicted between wanting to finish it quickly and not wanting it to end.
By the way, I loved Gone Girl but hated Sharp Objects.
Sally: My summer has been taken up with reading Maisie Dobbs or rather Jacqueline Winspear. I just finished Journey to Munich, the last book she has written and finally went to her web site and now I have at least a few essays to read. I couldn’t put most of the books down once I started reading them. I am frustrated now that I have to wait for the next book because I am sure she will write another book. Please write another one, Jacqueline W.
Sandy: Steven Coontz. Liberty’s Last Stand
Wow finished it in one day and it has been passed around to the 4th person in one week. It’s incredible! You have to read it . I don’t want to give any clues….. Read it.
Steven: The most recent book I read and could not stop reading was Daniel Silva’s The black Widow.
Susi: I read Don’t Try to Find Me, by Holly Brown.
I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it, because I couldn’t find a place to stop! I HAD to keep going … thank goodness for instant coffee!!
Now I’m working my way through Jefferson Bass books, and I see many sleepless nights in my immediate future.
When I think of books that I could not put down, the immediate choice is “Devil in the White City”.
I love books about history, especially those that focus on a particular event or moment(s) that influenced history. For instance, I would rather read a book about Gettysburg than a full-blown history of the Civil War (that would have been “Killer Angels”, also a mesmerizing book).
When I read DIWC, I was fascinated by both of the parallel narratives. The number of inventions and discoveries and innovations which occurred during that part of our country’s history and helped influence the creation of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago was amazing. This story thread skillfully wove the two narratives together, with the inclusion of the mysterious and haunting tale of the serial killer, making them both irresistible.
I still work full time despite the fact that I qualify for Social Security. I only have time to read at night, and each night I had to struggle to put the book down. Toward the end of the book, I was up reading while my husband was sound asleep in bed. I had to be up the next morning at 5:30, but I could not stop until I had finished the book. It was 1:45 a.m. when I finally finished. Needless to say, I was not a fully functional employee the next day.
That is one of my favorite books of all time and I have recommended it to many people, who all found it interesting too.
Theresa: The last book I read that I couldn’t or wouldn’t put down was STYXX by Sherillyn Kenyon. I read it about 6 months ago. But the book is over 800 pages and I read it in 3 nights. I am the type of reader that I can place myself in the story if the author is good enough. But this story was so enthralling and made you feel so sorry for the man and then you would wish things would get better and they do. This author is so, I can’t explain it. I have now read every story she has written including the books just published last month. She has over 30 books and they are very long and so good, even the space ones. I can’t say enough about this author.
Virginia: My lasted favorite author is Greg Iles. I bought Natchez Burning for $1 and could not put it down. Headed to the library and read 6 or 7 more…..can’t wait for something new from him. fantastic.