Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Thanks to a library book sale, I recently became the proud new owner of a $1 hardcover edition of Gone Girl. I'd read it a few years ago when it first came out and was absolutely everywhere. I loved it then, so I decided to give it another go. I'm so glad I did. The first time around, I was so enraptured by the story (what happens next!?) that I think I bypassed just how good the writing is. Gillian Flynn is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
The Martian by Andy Weir - I hate space. Like, it freaks me the eff out so I never want to talk about it. Yet I somehow ended up reading this book about an astronaut who is left for dead during a mission to Mars, but in fact survived and finds himself all alone there. This is the stuff of my nightmares. That said, the book is great. The protagonist is smart, funny, and managed to keep me interested in all the boring science stuff he was doing to stay alive. The story really comes together as more and more people get involved, from the entire NASA operation working to get Mark home to the crew that abandoned him. Two thumbs up.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami - Murakami is usually a homerun for me. This book was not. Tsukuru is in his late 30s when he starts dating a woman who tells him that although she is attracted to him, she feels that he has some unresolved emotional issues. He tells her that when he first went to college, his friends from home abandoned him with no explanation. That incident altered the course of his entire life. At her urging, Tsukuru decides to confront his childhood friends to learn why they cut him out of the group so mercilessly. The novel was interesting, but not enough that I looked forward to picking it up again. Murakami soars when he delves into magical realism and vaguely supernatural territory. I'd skip this one.
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman - Short stories are something I only recently started seeking out, but when I heard that Neil Gaiman was releasing a book of short stories, I was all over it. As with any short story collection, some pieces are stronger than others. The concept of the book is based on the idea of the "trigger warning" - a warning that tells you that what you are about to read may upset you in some way. Gaiman wants to upset us with his writing, but not always in the way you'd expect. There is a Sherlock Holmes story in here, a Doctor Who story, a fantastic reworking of Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, and dark poetry. There were a few stories that didn't resonate with me, but overall, this is a wonderful collection.