156 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

dragontattooby Stieg Larsson, 2005
narrated by Simon Vance

Years ago when it first became popular, I tried to read the first book in the Millennium Trilogy. I ambitiously attempted to read it in Spanish, figuring that if I were going to read a translated work, I might as well sharpen my Spanish skills while I was at it. It wasn’t long before I gave up, and I assumed that my Spanish simply wasn’t up to snuff. Then I borrowed it from the library in English and, well, quickly gave up, too. I was bored. Not only did I not understand the financial stuff, I didn’t care. It was only when I was searching for my next audiobook to accompany me on my commute, and found every book I wanted to read had a waitlist, that I decided to give this another shot. Surprisingly, I’m glad I did.

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119 Dark Matter

darkmatterby Blake Crouch, 2016

Sliding Doors, meet quantum mechanics! 

If there’s one trope I find tiresome, it’s science-fiction that serves as a masquerade for the heteronormative love story. I’m looking at you Interstellar and Arrival and, now, Dark Matter. Now, I’m not entirely dead inside. I like a good love story on occasion – Jane Eyre is one of my most favorite books – but when I come to sci-fi, I expect it to be more than just a ruse for a man and a woman to find their happily ever after. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t like reading this book or that I didn’t find the story creative or engrossing, because I did, but if I had wanted to watch Sliding Doors, I would have watched Sliding Doors. I don’t drink my whiskey with water and I don’t need my sci-fi made palatable with romance, thank you very much.

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86 The Couple Next Door

couplenextdoorby Shari Lapena, 2016

If someone handed me the manuscript for this book, I would have said, “This is a great first draft. Here are some criticisms to tighten it up and get rid of loose ends.” But, this isn’t a first draft. This is a fully published book, complete with loose ends, flimsy plot, and thoroughly ridiculous finale.

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