Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Boozy Book Club No. 14

Don't be surprised, but I haven't been reading much in the last month (ahem). Since the last club meeting, two more books have crossed my eyes, but I haven't finished a book since the end of August. The good news is that I'm way ahead of my goal to read a book a month. I only need to read one more.

Most Recent Reads
The most recent books I've read were Stephen King's Joyland and Robert Galbraith's (aka J.K. Rowling) Cuckoo's Calling. When you think of mindless summer reads, these two fit the bill perfectly. Both were easy to read and at times engrossing. Neither really wowed me.

King provided a taut coming-of-age story with a sense of doom that never came to the kind of spooky climax I desired. Rowling/Galbraith displayed her talents for character and setting, but succumbed to private eye tropes in the end for a disappointing denouement.

A Look Back
I'm a slow reader, so every year I've made it a goal to read at least a book a month. So far, here are the ones I've finished:
  1. Train Dreams
  2. Baseball in Blue and Gray
  3. Night of the Hunter
  4. A Walk in the Woods
  5. Sunset Park
  6. Driving Mr. Albert
  7. Man in the High Castle
  8. Someone Could Get Hurt
  9. Tenth of December
  10. Joyland
  11. Cuckoo's Calling
I think my favorite of the year so far is Night of the Hunter, by Davis Grubb. The movie was also pretty decent, but it doesn't create the same tension as the book. Robert Mitchum is perfect as the menacing "preacher" Harry Powell, and you can see the seeds of his later portrayal of Max Cady in Cape Fear, but the movie gets a little cheesy. The book is a great thriller and an easy read. 

Coming Up Next
The library, as always seems to be the case anymore, has a couple books waiting for me. Hopefully, I'll find time to read them. Maybe not. We'll see.

First is Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and America's first serial killer. I've been kind of obsessed with this era of U.S. history, with industrialization and the inventors and tycoons who made it possible. This book has long been on my "to read" list, but was reminded of it after seeing an episode of Haunted History about Dr. H.H. Holmes' "Murder Castle."

The other book is Chuck Palahniuk's most recent novel, Doomed, which CRAP! I just realized is a sequal to a book I didn't read. I used to be a major fanboy of Palahniuk, but he got off into this raunchy stuff after a while, and I lost interest. I thought I'd give him another chance. I hope I didn't need to read that other book to enjoy this one.

Poor Comic Books
I feel terrible. I haven't picked up my comics in more than a month, and I don't have the time or money to do so now. I'm just leaving my local comic book shop out to dry, and I feel guilty. Should I be a good patron and call to say I'm sorry? Or should I just avoid the store forever? You choose!

What have you been reading, teammates? Anything you can't put down? Anything you've read that people should stay away from reading? Let us know in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Just purchased the latest John Sandford, and just finished "The Sports Gene" and the most recent effort by Lee Child. I am slowly getting through "Orange is the New Black" but I am one of those people who will pick something else up and read it if it is one of my favorite authors before finishing the book I am on.

KW said...

FINALLY Finished The Stand by Stephen King (the extended edition). It was crazy long and took me forever. It kind of ended in a way looped back to how humanity behaved in the beginning giving you the sense that this will happen again.

Only one thing peeved me about the ending, but can't spoil it. The book certainly had me on my toes and for the last 500 pages, I've been enthralled. He does have a way.

Nitmos said...

I normally eschew modern writers as I traipse through nineteenth century literature but, on a whim, I picked up The Corrections by Franzen. So far, pretty good!

B. Kramer said...

@Jamoosh - Lots of people have been recommending the TV show "Orange Is the New Black." How is the book?

@KW - Congrats on making it through The Stand. Still kinda want to read that, but kinda don't, as I'm iffy on King.

@Nitmos - Look at you getting almost contemporary! I haven't read anything of Franzen's. Let me know if he's worth a read.

Anybody read any Alice Munro? I've had a collection of hers I bought at a library sale for years, but never read it. Maybe I should try the newly minted Nobel laureate.

Jess said...

Funny story: When Norah was first born, Jerry cheerily proclaimed: "I've been getting so much reading done!" I almost punched him in the throat. That's one downside to nursing -- Mom does 99.9% of the infant work.

However, once I got the hang of it, I actually managed to read while nursing, and on my maternity leave, I too read a lot! That was back when The Hunger Games was first popular and I read the first 2 books in, like, 2 days.

B. Jarosz said...

I loved A Walk in the Woods... and I got Someone Could Get Hurt as a baby shower gift... Will be reading that one soon!

B. Kramer said...

@B. Jarosz - The unexpected benefit of reading the mostly hilarious Someone Could Get Hurt was the preparation I got for the nine days my son had to spend in the NICU.

Magary's experiences helped prepare me for my own, but also gave me a sense of relief because I knew it could be way worse. Cheers!