Books

Book 537: The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) – Stephen King

I’m starting to see why people really like this series. I’m only two books in now (with pretty big gaps between the books), but I get it. And even with that crappy film adaptation—so far nothing in the first two books was in the film really—I’m being drawn in.

I’m struggling to write reviews of this as I’ve taken to heart what King writes in the forward that this is one long book/story broken across quite a few books. It’s some how barely moving forward but taking massive steps at the same time. This picks up not long after The Gunslinger and plows steadily forward. I’m still not sure I have any idea what’s going on, and I have no idea where it’s going, but so far I’m enjoying where King is taking me.

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Books

Book 534: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) – Stephen King

After seeing the atrocious adaptation that was the film, I decided I should visit the source material to see if I might actually enjoy the story. I have minimal Stephen King interaction (outside of Cujo and Misery—both read for a Books into Movies book group) so I don’t have too many pre-conceived notions about him as an author.

However, now I’ve processed the book I’m torn. There were parts of this I enjoyed but knowing what’s coming and knowing how many books there are left in the cycle I’m not sure I’ll be able to stick with it. A large part of this had to do with it starting in medias res (Wikipedia link), but not like a bit, but like what felt near the end. Maybe it’s not and I’ll be surprised, but it really feels pretty late in the story.

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Books

Book 533: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

This is one of those books that has been on my metal list to look into since it came out. For some reason though, I had lumped it into the same sort of release period as Ender’s Game and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and boy was I surprised when I realized it was written and released in 2011. I knew I would get to the book some day, but the movie release in the next few months, preview embedded at the end of the post, my desire to read the book increased dramatically.

I didn’t read it quite as fast as I read some of the recent Jane Austen fan-fiction, but I did get through this one pretty quickly. I found the writing simple enough to breeze through and my vague familiarity with a lot of the 1980s pop culture helped (even if I did have to google quite a few). The strengths, for me at least, were the realistic vision of where we could easily end up as a society within the next few decades if something similar to OASIS actually becomes reality. The OASIS or, “The Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation was a big place.” (48), is in essence an internet/game type situation that could include full or partial body immersion. Cline isn’t the first, nor will he be the last to write something like this. It’s a dystopian vs. utopian, good vs. evil, privacy vs. corporate consumerism story for the ages.

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Books

Book 529: My Own Mr. Darcy – Karey White

What I liked about this is that it wasn’t just a spin-off from the original Jane Austen novels, it was a novel based off of the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The main character, Lizzie/Elizabeth (yes named after Elizabeth Bennet),  becomes obsessed with Matthew McFadyen and finding her own version of Mr. Darcy who mirrors him exactly. So is it fan-fiction of the novel or the movie? It’s hard to say, but what really did it for me was the character’s appreciation of the score of the film.

The appreciation of Marianelli’s composition and Thibaudet’s performance made me appreciate this book more than I probably would have. When I need something to play in the background that doesn’t have lyrics 99% of the time I go to this score. If I just need to de-stress I go to this score. I’m sure a lot of it is how much I enjoyed this version of the film, but it’s also just an incredibly beautiful score. I’ve pasted it in after the recommendation. I should’ve been listening to it the whole time I read this book.

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Books

Book 525: Origin (Robert Langdon #5) – Dan Brown

I’m not sure if this has pulled me out of my reading slump, but I did read it. When I got the notification from the library for this I was surprised. I had completely forgotten that I’d requested this.

I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to read this, but I figured why not? Brown might not be the most high brow of authors, but the man knows how to write a page turner (mostly). I still remember reading The Da Vinci Code it’s year of publication and quickly seeking out Angels and Demons and Deception Point. Ever since then I’ve made a habit of reading his books as they’re released. I enjoyed both The Lost Symbol and Inferno, and this one probably falls somewhere with those two. The wonder and awe as the action in Da Vinci Code unfolded just wasn’t there in the follow ups.

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Books

Book 522: Hot Head – Damon Suede

I decided to read this after attending the panel at the BPL way back in September and I’m just now getting around to writing this post at the end of November. It’s just been one of those stretches where I didn’t have the time (or desire) to blog. The break was a needed refresher and now I’m making my way through a backlog of posts.

Hot Head tells the story of Griff, a buff red-headed (probably Irish) NYC fireman, and his best friend Dante, a smaller but still buff Italian American fireman. They grew up together, survived 9/11 and are now facing the aftermath of everything that happened. Long story short Griff has realized he is gay and has started to fall for Dante.

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Books

Book 520: The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald

I did not realize this one was a Man Booker Award Short List nominee when I started it. I expected fluff and lightness but realized within a few chapters that this was a lot better written than I was mentally prepared for when I selected to read it because it was one of the shortest books left on my list.

I would say this book reminds me of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat, but I honestly think Chocolat (because it was published so much later) got a lot from this type of book. The idea of someone coming into a town (no matter how long you’ve been in the town you’re still not from there) and basically stirring up the locals is a tried-and-true trope. The difference between this and Chocolat is that Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop is written so subtly that the magic you see in this book isn’t actual magic. IT is emotions and growth and community.

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