75. I Am American (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert
Absolutely hilarious. I am so impressed with people who can write to ostensibly portray one message while clearly portraying another. This book also included the transcript of Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondents' dinner last year, which was absolutely brilliant.
76. A Taste for Death by P.D. James
Excellent book. The end was shocking, I actually found myself responding to it out loud, without meaning to--good thing I was alone in my car. The mystery was clever, and even when you found out who did it, it was suspenseful. I liked the new character of Inspector Kate Miskin, and I thought he development of both her and Chief Inspector Massingham was very well done. There were several places when I thought James was headed for something trite and stereotypical, but she did not.
77. Devices and Desires by P.D. James
James gets better with every book. I would have liked this a little better if Rickards had been able to keep up with Dalgleish a little bit more, but the story overall was very satisfying. I really like the way that James doesn't feel the need to explain every little thing in total detail, and the way none of her characters has the full picture of what happened. I do like the traditional mysteries where the whole group gathers in the drawing room and the whole thing is explained for a fun read, but this is much more realistic, nuanced and interesting.
I can't wait to read more James' books, although I am thinking I should read some of the 100+ books I already own first. I think I am going to update my TBR list soon so I can see exactly how many books I already have. Maybe that will actually deter me from going to the bookstore and spending all that money. Probably not for more than a month or so, but maybe longer. Hope springs eternal and all that.
In order to match my pace from last year, I only need to read 6 books between now and the end of the year. I was only at 73 books this time last year, and I hardly read anything in December, so I am feeling pretty sanguine about passing up my goal. Especially since hardly reading anything in December means I finished 4 books last December. I am starting to get more interested in finishing unpacking my apartment (a seemingly never-ending task, but the piles of boxes do seem to be diminishing, as long as you don't look in too many closets), and maybe doing some crafts for Christmas and general decorating, but I still have been keeping up a good pace lately, so I am thinking 83 is an easily reachable goal. I think that my stretch goal will be 90, but I have no real pressure on myself to reach that goal. I am just having fun with it.