Mark Terry

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I've Been Reading

November 29, 2011
Here's the last 10 books I've read.

1. Bag of Bones by Stephen King. One of my favorite novels, I re-read it every couple years. Conveniently, I read it before the mini-series is aired on A&E in early December starring Pierce Brosnan. He wouldn't have been my first choice - certainly not an obvious choice - but he's got the acting chops. I'll be curious to see how faithful they are to the book. Hope they don't screw things up too much.

2. City of Ruins by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Science fiction. This is a sequel to Diving Into The Wreck. The main character, Boss, is an archaeologist/space diver/ship wreckage expert. It takes place way, way, way, way in the future. In the first book Boss discovers an ancient ship that seems to have somewhat active stealth technology. In City of Ruins, she's formed a company and team that actively looks for the technology, and they think there are indications of it on a planet whose major city periodically suffers geological disturbances. Oh boy, was she right, and although the pace is slow (to say the least), the story slowly unveils a fascinating look at the stealth technology and how little they actually understood the past. If there's a theme to these books - there are probably many - it's how history gets distorted over time.

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling. I'm re-reading the series this year and this second novel is still my least favorite of the seven. Still, an engrossing read.

4. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. Riordan continues his Percy Jackson series, or at least, his second series featuring the Olympians. Percy wasn't in the first book of the second series, but he is in this one, although he has amnesia through much of it. It may be one of the best books he's written, period. A hell of a lot of fun. Hilarious with tons of action and engaging characters. Probably one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year.

5. Shock Wave by John Sandford. A Virgil Flowers novel. In this case, someone attempts to kill the CEO of a retail chain store in Grand Rapids, Michigan using a bomb, then related bombings occur on a building site in Minnesota. Although people outside of the midwest will think WalMart, the headquarters of Meijer is in Grand Rapids. Anyway, I liked this one quite a bit. Lots of twists and turns and Virgil is a great character.

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling. The third in the series. One of my favorite movies as well, although I think the movie perhaps improves on the book. This, to me, is the book where the series really gets going, where you start to see the grand arc of the whole series.

7. Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step At A Time by Mark Adams. I already wrote about this, and had a nice email exchange with the author. A wonderful nonfiction book, highly recommended.

8. Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. I wrote about this as well, but I enjoyed it. I think I've enjoyed thinking about it after I read it more than I enjoyed actually reading it. Some memorable things in it, even if while I was reading it I was sometimes frustrated.

9. V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton. It will take me some time to make up my mind about this novel, I think. I still count I is for Innocent as being one of the best mystery novels written, and in general, I'm a fan of Grafton. That said, readers change, and I have since I started reading this series about twenty-some years ago. I prefer a bit more tension and action and pace in my novels now than Grafton puts in her books. Nonetheless, there's much that's memorable about this book and I certainly liked it better than U is for Undertow.

10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. What struck me repeatedly while reading this novel was how great a job the scriptwriter, Steve Kloves, did of rearranging events, summarizing things, and chopping and shifting dialogue. Although I think the story is wonderful, I think Rowling might have benefited from some editing, particularly toward the end when she starts doing some Morrie the Explainer things (she does this a lot) so it makes sense - Dumbledore's interrogation of Bartie Crouch under veritaserum goes on forever. It's so complicated I have no problem understanding why Kloves et al decided to simplify the plot.

But she does a great job of setting up the next book's political issues with Cornelius Fudge at the end. I think it's too bad, actually, that they didn't manage to fit in the scene on the train at the end somewhere. To refresh your memory, as they are riding the train home, Harry, Ron & Hermione are talking when Malfoy, Crabbe & Goyle come in and start taunting them. When they start in on Cedric, the three of them - and Fred and George who were out in the train car hallway - simultaneously hit the three of them with multiple jinxes. Fred or George looks at the unconscious three, asks who did one jinx, then notes that it apparently didn't mix with the one he threw, because Crabbe or Goyle appeared to be growing tentacles. A very enjoyable read.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home