These two books, the gritty Swedish novel Box 21 and the offbeat British book Little Hands Clapping, have given me much food for thought, and I don't mean in terms of the plots. It's like I look at a lot of the books I've been picking up and collecting over the years and they seem so plain. It's like when you exercise your butt off but you stop losing weight -- when you reach a sort of plateau where you have to crank up your workout a notch or two to see some results. I think I've reached my reading plateau and it's time for something more challenging. I figured this out after having just finished No Birds Singing. I was sitting here wondering to myself if I'm even going to finish the series because I can pretty much predict how the books are all going to come out. This happened to me a few years ago when I used to be an avid fan of James Patterson's Alex Cross series, and then it got to the point where the books became so formulaic that I found I couldn't pick one up any more. Same happened with the Women's Murder Club series. I just couldn't do it any more. Many other authors went by the wayside as well. Life will not last as long as the books on tbr pile will. Now I'm discovering that some of my beloved British mysteries are heading that way, and it really bothers me, because for years and years they've been my favorites. Now it's time to be thinking of a new reading direction but it may take some time to figure it out.