Friday, January 30, 2015

Favorite Things Friday: The Best Book I Read in January

It's that time again! Time for The Cephalopod Coffeehouse and the best book I read in January!

Everyone knows I am the slowest reader in the world! I love to read, but between trying to write every day and a stressful full-time job, I'm lucky if I get 30 minutes of reading time a day! It usually takes me around a month to finish one book. Add to that the fact that I tend to start 4 or 5 books at a time! Therefore, imagine my surprise when last Friday (on a whim) I downloaded on my Kindle the Paula Hawkins novel, The Girl on the Train...and it took me less than a week to finish it!

The concept tag for this book is Gone Girl meets Rear Window, and I think that's an accurate description. This novel has all the page-turning suspense of Gone Girl combined with the voyeuristic delight of Rear Window. This novel resonated with me right away since I used to live in London and took the train often into English suburbia and beyond. I spent hours looking out train windows and wondering who lived in the passing row houses and what their lives were like. That's kind of the premise with which this novel begins.  Rachel, the main narrator, travels on the same train at the same time every day. The train stops daily at the same signal light where she is able to glimpse the backside of a Victorian row house and the couple that lives therein. She's constructed a whole life for this unknown couple, given them names, talents, careers. The narrator soon reveals that this house is only four down from where she used to live in her old life that included a husband and a job. Her life is very different now, and as the novel unfolds, Rachel recalls life then and now. Because of her struggles with alcoholism and blackouts, she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery, sure that something she's forgotten is a key clue in solving the mystery.

Told through the point-of-view of three narrators, this novel is a fast-paced and riveting dark mystery with well-developed, likeable, and believable characters. Rachel is a sympathetic character who is terribly flawed but recognizes her shortcomings. This is one of those novels I would term brilliantly crafted, as the writing is as good as the story, and the plot twists are well-paced and placed. The Girl on a Train is suspenseful and not predictable, and although I did figure out "whodunnit" before the end of the book, it took nothing away from the story.

Not only is this the best book I've read this month, it's the best book I've read in several months!  I dare you to put the book down!

There are only a couple of days left to enter the free giveaway of Song From the Ashes on Goodreads! Enter here to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Song from the Ashes by Megan Whitson Lee

Song from the Ashes

by Megan Whitson Lee

Giveaway ends February 02, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


  1. You've sold me. Gonna get this one. There's tons of people promoting it, but I hadn't read a review on it until now. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This does sound good! I like a book that is hard to put down! I'm going to definitely check this one out!! Have a great weekend!


    1. You too, Betty! I hope you'll enjoy the book as much as I did!

  3. Wow, that's might high praise, lady! You've sold me. I'm heading over to Amazon to check it out as soon as I finish here.

    Oh, I just tried to enter the goodreads giveaway for your book, and oops! I was already entered. (I reckon I know a good thing when I see it, huh?)

    Happy weekend!

  4. I just read a review of this book last week. It does sound very intriguing! In addition to Rear Window, there is an Agatha Christie novel where the main character witnesses a murder on a passing train.

  5. This book sounds very good. I happen to love Rear Window.


  6. I've never seen or read Gone Girl but any book like Rear Window is fine by me.

    1. Megan, I've nominated you for an award over at my blog.

  7. I have this on my Kindle now and am trying to get to it--two books ahead of it. Hopefully I'll be able to read it this month, before everyone gives all the spoilers away!

  8. Now I want to read it. It's sounds great.