Happy New Year, Fellow Readers!
I had a wonderful reading year in 2016. I hope you did as well. I read 64 books last year so picking my favorite book out of them all was a little difficult. I came across several that were 5 star worthy reads. So after going back and forth through my reading log I settled on Inferno by Dan Brown. I have been a Dan Brown/Professor Langdon fan since the release of The Da Vinci Code.
Inferno, as you can probably guess is based on Dante Alghieri’s book of the same name. This book is Dante’s depiction of hell and the punishments awaiting the wicked. Brown must love Italy because several of his books are based there. I also believe that he does a lot of research in order to give all the details and geography found in his novels.
In this story Professor Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital after being shot in the head. He has no recollection of how he got there or what happened. He doesn’t even recall ever coming to Italy. As he is recovering from his injuries, his doctor is shot in front of him. He is next but his nurse helps him escape. Thus begins a dangerous chase through the streets and museums of Florence.
With the assistance of his brilliant nurse, he tries to put 2 and 2 together. What has this got to do with Dante? He ends up searching for clues in a museum that holds Dante’s death mask. The mask is stolen and Professor Langdon is the last one to have seen it. As the museum closes down because of the theft Professor Langdon has to find a way to escape.
In Inferno Dante describes the levels of sin and punishments in hell. Each level worsens the deeper one descends. The focus in the novel is on the 9th circle. In the 9th circle there is a depiction of the severe overcrowding of the souls condemned to eternity there. Langdon receives a copy of Dante’s drawing of hell, but he realizes that someone has drawn the order differently from the original. He needs to figure out the significance of this alteration and is running out of time.
Interwoven in the plot are a few other seemingly unrelated subplots. Mr. Brown is very good at weaving twists and turns into his novels, none of which are red herrings. All his deviations from the main plot end up coming together. Throw in a big double cross, a world renowned geneticist, a plague that Professor Langdon has to stop from being released, if he can figure out what it is and where to find it, the Swiss Guard hunting him down, and the return of vague memories all combine to make this a non-stop thrill ride through Italy and elsewhere. I couldn’t put this book down. Definitely 5 of 5 stars and 2 thumbs up, to borrow a phrase. One burning question – Where is Dante’s death mask, who stole it, and why?
I am offering a brand new paperback copy of Inferno by Dan Brown to someone to enjoy for the Best Book of 2016! Good luck and happy reading!
Seeing as I am not the only bibliophile residing in my little popstand, my daughter and general manager, Daphne is going to join the book giveaway too. Take it away Daphne …
Hey, all. Daphne here. I read less books than my mom did (I read 58 to her above-mentioned 64) last year but I enjoyed most everyone I picked up. However, when it came time to choose my favorite read it wasn’t hard at all. I have chosen Caught by Harlan Coben, a book that has turned me into a lifelong fan of his works. A friend of mine has ready many books of his and had been recommending them to me for quite some time. I finally broke down and picked one up and am so glad I did. Caught was a wonderful, suspenseful read about a man who was just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time trying to do a good deed and got into major trouble for it. I would go into a detailed description about it but I think the synopsis does a better job for me:
Reporter Wendy Tynes is making a name for herself, bringing down sexual offenders on nationally televised sting operations. But when social worker Dan Mercer walks into her trap, Wendy gets thrown into a story more complicated than she could ever imagine. Dan is tied to the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old New Jersey girl, and the shocking consequences will have Wendy doubting her instincts about the motives of the people around her, while confronting the true nature of guilt, grief, and her own capacity for forgiveness…
There were so many twists and turns in this novel so many rich, complex characters and no easy answers. I truly never saw the ending coming and usually I can guess endings in most mystery/thriller novels with a fair amount of ease (No, I am not tooting my horn lol).
This paperback copy of Caught is also brand new and I hope if you win it, you enjoy it as much as I did!