Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Written Word Wed. - I Give Up

I know I've been a major slacker recently, so in order to maintain at least the illusion of substantive postings, I’ve decided to postpone the in-depth book reviews and just do a quick overview of what I've been reading recently, which should also serve to reassure that I don't spend all of my time watching TV and movies . . . just 95%.

The Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb: Sequel series to Hobb's Farseer and Liveship Traders trilogies, focusing primarily on the characters from the Farseer books. Let me just say that if you're a fan of Fantasy, you need to pick Hobb's stuff up ASAP. The Liveship books are still my favorites, but The Tawny Man is a marked improvement over Farseer, and I thought the Farseer stuff was pretty danged good.

The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan: The first two books of the award-winning YA Fantasy series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Think of it as Harry Potter meets Bulfinch's Mythology: a young boy discovers that the reason he's always felt different from everyone around him is that he is actually the son of a Greek god, and soon finds himself at Camp Halfblood with all of the other young Olympian offspring. Although these aren't quite as captivating as the Potter books and suffer from a bit of the "it's obvious to everyone but the characters who the bad guy is" syndrome, I think they still hold some value as a fun series for young readers. I was especially happy with how Riordan worked so many different Greek myths into the story, focusing not just on the big ones like Medusa and the Minotaur, but also featuring things like the Furies and Procrustes.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler: One of the prototypical hardboiled detective novels, which I read at the behest of Bubblegum Tate. An entertaining book that may strike some as clichéd, until they realize that it's really where the clichés all originated. I felt that it lost momentum towards the end, but that might have been a byproduct of my taking a break from reading it to finish up a book I got through Interlibrary Loan.

Mike Nelson’s Death Rat!: A Novel by Michael J. Nelson: Comedic novel written by Mystery Science Theater 3000 head writer and host Mike Nelson which follows the misadventures of Pontius Feeb, a nervous and recently laid off academic whose attempts to support himself wind up spawning a massive hoax surrounding a small Minnesota mining town and a mythical giant rat, which makes the increasingly paranoid Feeb the target of a jealous (and bloodthirsty) author and a crazy rock star. Although I thought the ending was a bit weak, the book as a whole was very funny, and I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times.

Mike Nelson's Movie Mega-cheese by Michael J. Nelson: Serious of humorous essays by Nelson about bad movies, a subject near and dear to both of our hearts. If you're a fan of MST3K, this is probably right up your alley.

I feel like I'm leaving something out, but can't think of what it could be. I'm currently about a quarter of the way through The Chosen, the first volume in Ricardo Pinto's Stone Dance of the Chameleon series which my dad recommended; enjoying the heck out of it.

Some of the other books in my reading queue include:

  • Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb (first book in new series)
  • The Ruins by Scott Smith (horror/suspense novel)
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (recommended to me by Flunky Lover)
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (been wanting to finish this for a while)
  • The Standing Dead by Ricardo Pinto (second book of Stone Dance of the Chameleon)
  • A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (I can't believe I haven't gotten around to reading this one yet)
  • Dzur by Steven Brust (only two weeks until a new Vlad Taltos novel! woo-hoo!)

Okay, enough padding; back to reading The Chosen


Flunky lover said...

Flunky read A Feast for Crows and didn't care for it too much. He said they introduced a lot of new characters and didn't talk about the characters from the previous books that he liked. There is supposed to be a fifth one coming out soon so maybe wait to read the two together.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

I had actually heard something about that from Clan G'ovich a while back, but had forgotten. Of course, it's been so long since I've read any of them, pretty much all the characters will feel like new ones to me.

Oh, I had someone else second your recommendation for The Kite Runner today, so I'm pretty sure when I read it it will seem like a letdown after all the hype ;)