Review books tend to arrive in my mailbox in clusters. I get two, three or even four a week. Some are long and some quick reads; some are kids chapter books and others dense non-fiction. Most are novels, though. I tried to read them all carefully and I am honest in my reviews. I am not a critic so try not to get too fancy. These days because I am writing almost exclusively for one place, I don’t even have to think about format or length—it comes easily. Suddenly, all the reviews are done. I have a week, maybe even two where I can read any old book I want with no pressure at all. I love both these kinds of reading: the thoughtful kind where my head gets full of synonyms and I know I will have to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the book to an audience and the kind of reading done for pure pleasure with no agenda or deadline.
Some recent non-review books I have read:
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Someone lent me this short, strange fantasy. I adored it. It was creepy and sad and great fun to read.
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. Having already read the whole series I started reading them all again because 1) I wanted to re-read each to watch the television series, 2) I was getting ready to play a special pub trivia game all about GoT, and 3) I am just that kind of nerd. The first go through, Game of Thrones was my favorite of the series but on re-reading, this one, the third book, is.
Saga by Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples. I don’t generally get into comic books or graphic novels though there are some that I really love. A friend lent me this, knowing I don’t generally read comics, thinking I would like this one. He was right—it is great fun with an interesting story and fantastic illustrations.
The other day I finished Nos4a2 by Joe Hill. I do like a good scary story and this one fit the bill. It was long enough to keep me occupied for a few days and was high on the creep-o-meter (more creepy than scary really though because enough of what happens was in the realm of reality and not fantasy, it was scary, too). I loved that the protagonist was a crazy mom and that another hero and all around great character was an obese comic book geek. Because everyone knows Hill is S. King’s son he has done the right thing and totally embraced that with a few cool references to his dad’s work (as well as some Lovecraft references and others—it is a very smart book in that way). It also plays with ideas about reality (are thoughts real, etc) and has just enough humor in it.
Now I am on to The Dog Stars by Peter Heller which is satisfying my post-apocalyptic story itch. The language is choppy and disjointed (for good reason) and though it works, it is challenging to read.
Next time you come by I’ll share some recent reviews with you.