Monday, February 27, 2006

I've been trying to slog my way through a book I'm just not feeling, so yesterday I took a break from it and read No Second Chance by Harlan Coben. I didn't like this one quite as much as the last one of his I read, but it was still an above average thriller, with a few twists I didn't expect. I guessed one of the major revelations pretty early on though, so that detracted from my enjoyment a little. But I liked the characters, especially the ex-soldier guy toward the end. And I liked it enough to go check out a couple more of his books for those days when I can't settle on anything else.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This weekend I finished Dancing Bear by James Crumley, the second of his Milo series. While entertaining enough to finish, I'm growing impatient with him. I'm not quite sure why that is when I enjoyed TLGK so much. Is it that the novelty has worn off? I do know that the drug use, for whatever reason, seems so much more prevalent in these other books and is bordering on redundant and boring. Oh, they're using cocaine. Flip the page. Oh, there they are again, snorting cocaine. Flip the page. Oh, now Milo is dead drunk. It just gets old after a while. I think I may take a break and finish up the rest of his books at a later date.

Sunday evening I read Garner by Kirstin Allio, which was a little frustrating. It was about a murder in a small New England town in the 1920s. Sort of. Mostly, it was about the town dealing with change, alternately resisting it or embracing it as an economic necessity and the tensions that arose when an insular community was forced to open itself up to outsiders. It took a bit to get into. While I liked the structure and the writing, the mystery never came into focus and the ending was extremely vague and unsatisfying.

While I was in that mood, I thought I'd read a chapter or two of Conversations With The Fat Girl by Liza Palmer, determine that it was as ridiculous as I thought it would be (I have yet to read a chick lit book by anyone other than Jennifer Weiner who can manage a well-rounded fat character), and move on to something better. Surprisingly, I found myself reading the whole thing. Unlike other authors whom I suspect have never met anyone who weighed over 120 pounds in his or her life (coughJaneGreencough), Palmer's Maggie was a very convincing fat girl, even if her actual size was never stated. Again, it was mostly wish fulfillment (Maggie totally gets the guy in the end), but there were parts that rang uncomfortably true for me, so it was not without depth.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I was out sick most of last week. The first book I read while working my way through an entire box of tissues was The Mexican Tree Duck by James Crumley. I skipped the second Milo book and went directly to this one, which features the same guy from The Last Good Kiss, but I think I'm going to have to backtrack because of a certain twist at the end. Anyway. This one takes place in the early '90s, but still has that breezy mania that made TLGK so fun. I saw more of the twists coming this time though, so I think I'm getting used to his plotting.

Next up was Puff by Bob Flaherty, which I've had on my list for a while. It's about two brothers caught in Boston during a blizzard in the 1970s. They set off in search of more weed, disguised as Red Cross aid workers, but get caught up actually helping people along the way. It was pretty funny mostly, only occasionally shading into annoying, but never enough to make me start hating the characters.

Keeping up the light, fun reading, next up was Thud by Terry Prachett, the latest in his Discworld series, which I enjoyed a lot. It's not one of the best in the series and I kinda wish he'd decide once and for all when and how he was going to use Carrot, but I don't think there's really ever been a truly bad Discworld book.

And finally, last night I finished The Girl In The Glass by Jeffrey Ford, which was excellent. It's about a young Mexican immigrant in the early 1930s who has joined up with a spiritualist con man who, during a seance, sees the spirit of a young girl in a window and decides to find out who she is and what happened to her. This takes them into the world of the super rich on Long Island and the shadowy dealings they have with the K K K. It was creepy and funny and populated with appealing and entertaining characters. Good stuff. I'm going downstairs right now to check out another one of his books.


Monday, February 06, 2006

After reading James Crumley's The Last Good Kiss, I immediately checked out all his other books and this weekend I finished the first of those. The Wrong Case features the other regular detective Crumley writes about, Milo Milodragovitch. Also set in the mid 1970s and also featuring a hard-drinking detective, it still feels different from TLGK primarily because of the lack of humor. The mood is bleak in this one and, while interesting and fast-moving, it lacked that extra wit that elevated TLGK.

Yesterday I read Wounded by Percival Everett and... well, I just don't know if I'm ready to talk about it. The ending hit me pretty hard, probably because I was pulling for a happy one, but somehow knew it wasn't going to happen. The book is short, but doesn't feel like it. Not that it reads slow or anything; it just feels totally complete. It's full of great one liners, but it's not a funny book. Man, this is all jumbled. Okay. It's about a black horse trainer named John in Wyoming. Early in the story a gay man at the local community college is found murdered and John finds himself caught up in the growing tension in the community and in the conflict between an old friend of his and the friend's gay son. I absolutely loved it and the ending totally had me in tears. I'm definitely checking out more of this guy's stuff because he's a fantastic writer.


Friday, February 03, 2006

I've been tagged. Let's see...

Four jobs I've had:
1. Library clerk (current)
2. Dishroom worker
3. Janitor
4. Lifeguard

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Fight Club
2. Slipper and the Rose
3. Center Stage
4. Office Space

Four movies I can't stand the sight of:
1. Batman and Robin
2. Armageddon
3. Pearl Harbor
4. Any movie starring Kevin Costner in which he does not play a sport

Four places I've lived:
1. Santa Clara, CA
2. Las Vegas, NV
3. Provo, UT
4. Twin Falls, ID

Four places I'm avoiding:
1. The foot of my bed
2. Under my bed
3. The floor on the left hand side of my closet
4. The bottom left hand drawer of the left hand media dresser
(The time for spring cleaning is fast approaching.)

Four TV shows I love (Current)
1. The Daily Show
2. Veronica Mars
3. The Office
4. Project Runway

Four TV shows I love (Classic)
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2. Firefly
3. Angel
4. Freaks and Geeks

Four places I've vacationed
1. Scotland
2. Ireland
3. England
4. Hawaii

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. The warm brussel sprout salad at Pizza Antica
2. Any pizza at Pizza Antica
3. Mansaaf
4. Beriani

Four sites I visit daily:
(Only four?)
1. Television Without Pity
2. My library's online catalog to place holds, etc.
3. Dinosaur Comics
4. Bookslut blog

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On my couch watching TV
2. In bed reading
3. Camera 12 cinemas
4. Pizza Antica eating lunch

I don't know four bloggers I can tag...


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Real quick before I head home... Yesterday I read Autobiography Of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers with art by Christopher Myers. It's the story of a teenager named Jesse living in New York whose friend Rize starts getting involved with a gang and with selling drugs. Partly as a way to try and understand all the changes and the violence happening around him, Jesse draws what he sees and even creates his own characters that comment on the uncertainties facing him and his friends. These drawings and cartoons are interspersed throughout the text. This really was an excellent book and just as strong as Myers' Monster, which I also loved.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?