Tag Archives: lisa gardner

The Dark Between the Covers

Song Lyric of the Day:

Midnight where we used to dance / Underneath the ugly halogen lamps / Oh, it all went away so fast / In a black out

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam / “In a Black Out“*

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. I lived for the Scholastic school book fairs. I always had a book handy in high school for when I’d finish a test or assignment early. I managed to read a lot for fun in college, which is easy to do when you’re not a partier and you happen to work every weekend in a bookstore. Then I became an adult.

At the end of a workday, my priorities are figuring out dinner for the family, hanging out with the kids, getting them to bed, then doing housework that I can’t do during the workday. That’s not always how my evening goes, but more often than not, that’s it. By the time I finally manage to sit down to unwind a bit before going to bed, it’s usually pretty late and I’m fairly brain-dead. Which means I end up watching TV with my cat, Buster, in my lap; when your cat makes it to 20 years old, you sit and hang out when that cat wants to sit and hang out. I don’t last long before I doze off on the couch and then drag myself to bed.

This year I’ve made a point to read more. It’s something I love, so why not make it a priority? My most productive uninterrupted reading time is during a solo workday lunch: just me, my book, and some food. Occasionally I’ll even meet up with the spouse and our respective books for a reading lunch. I also take short reading breaks in the afternoon at work. Not every day, but some days. It’s good to not be looking at a computer screen during those little breaks.

While I enjoy reading a variety of genres, I tend to gravitate toward thrillers, the darker the better. I can’t tell you why exactly, just that twisty, scary stories are the ones that suck me in. I just finished reading The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter and am now reading Look for Me by Lisa Gardner. Next up in my to-read pile are The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn; The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen; and Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna.

Slaughter and Gardner are among my favorite authors. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the darkest, Slaughter goes to 11 (see: Pretty Girls) and Gardner can hit 10.5 (see: The Neighbor). My bookcases in my home office are full of their books and other favorites: Tami Hoag, whose Kovac and Liska books are always great; Tess Gerritsen, best known for her Rizzoli and Isles series; Julie Garwood and Linda Howard, who both specialize in romantic thrillers; and Kate White, whose Bailey Weggins series I love.


Organized alphabetically and chronologically for each author because I couldn’t live any other way.

I recently started reading Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware; I like their books so much I lent a dear friend the authors’ latest respective works. As for new authors, I enjoyed Riley Sager‘s debut, Final Girls, a lot as it appealed to my horror-movie-loving self: a woman survives a massacre, but all is not as it seems. I also really liked Kathleen Barber‘s Are You Sleeping, which centered on a decades-old murder being reinvestigated on a podcast and its repercussions.

I just realized I listed only female authors above. Nice. I do enjoy books by male authors, as well, including Daniel Silva, Dean Koontz (pretty much a lifelong favorite), David Morrell (his Thomas De Quincey series is phenomenal), Carl Hiaasen, and, of course, Stephen King.

Now you all know what most of my money is spent on: books. Bona-fide printed books. I love the feel of an actual printed book in my hands, and I still get a geeky rush when checking books out of the library. I’m trying to dip my toe into reading ebooks (I’m up to three). Printed books are one of the few ways I can truly unplug since I work on a computer all day; reading an ebook isn’t that appealing to me since it’s another screen.

In the interest of discovering yet more new authors to read, I recently requested some advance reader copies via Penguin Random House‘s First to Read. We’ll see what, if anything, comes of my requests; I think it’s a first-ask, first-serve setup. In the meantime, though, there’s always the library.


I first heard today’s Song of the Day in an episode of Lucifer. The music and scene together made for small-screen perfection.

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Where’s My Elephant?

Song Lyric of the Day:

Life goes by so fast / You only want to do what you think is right / Close your eyes and then it’s past / (It’s the) story of my life

Social Distortion / “Story of My Life

Life’s not kicking my ass as much these days as it did the last few weeks. Which is a very good thing. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, and it was doubly fun for me since it was hosted at Vanessa and Ken’s house this year. They do a good Thanksgiving. Also, the turkey? Divine.

If you follow my Twitter stream at all, you’ll know that Ken wins brother-in-law of the year for rounding up a chainsaw posse to take care of that pesky tree that fell and blocked our driveway. I think I’ll finally have time this weekend to bake four cakes to thank his four coworkers for coming out to help. We can now have the mother of all bonfires with all the wood we’ve got.

Now that things are leveling out again (no more working from home at night!), I’m trying to re-learn how to — what’s the word? — oh, yeah, relax. To that end, I’ve been playing a lot of Robotron 2084 on the Xbox 360, which offends Rich to no end, since it’s a fairly primitive, 25-year-old game. But it makes me happy. I also hooked our PS2 up again, which had been disconnected since we got the Wii last year, so I could get back to Silent Hill: The Room. After quickly remembering why I stopped playing SH (it scares the shit out of me), I switched to Namco Museum to play Pac-Man and Galaga instead. More fun, and far less traumatic to play.

I’ve also been trying to catch up on some TiVod shows; I’m totally loving Dirty Sexy Money. Although Rich has me conditioned to call it “Dirty Sexy Monkey” in a demented accent so it sounds like “zee dirtee sexxee mun-KEE.” He just thinks it’s more fun to call it that. Which it kind of is.
I had acting class tonight (rescheduled from the other day), as well as another audition at my agency. So we’ll see if this is the one where I get a callback. Extra money’s always nice, and TV work is fun. Fingers crossed! Speaking of acting class, this Saturday is my last class. Each of us will be performing a scene from Waiting for Godot with our acting partner. Fortunately, I’ve got a great partner, so our final interpretation of our scene should be a lot of fun.

I’m also — gasp! — really enjoying a book. After struggling with Eat, Pray, Love, I set it aside for a bit and am now totally immersed in Lisa Gardner‘s The Third Victim. Oh, how I love Rainie Conner and Pierce Quincy (how kick-ass of a name is that?). And great thrillers.

Before I jump off tonight, let me say hi back to Josh Ballard for stopping by. Be sure to visit his band, Until June’s, official site and MySpace page. See — it pays to have a different Song Lyric of the Day every day. (Hmmm…maybe I should add their CD to my Christmas wish list. Hint, hint.)

*Today’s blog post title comes from the “Bart Gets An Elephant” episode of The Simpsons. Just because I watched it last night.

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