with all the hullabaloo around hbo’s new series, game of thrones, i’ve given some serious thought to reading the book. never mind the only straight up fantasy books i’ve ever read were the first dragonlance novels, or that the book is over 700 pages long. it sounded fairly interesting, so i did what seemed like a good idea at the time: i asked my facebook friends for their comments.
i’ve forgotten that one of my good friends has a mile-wide puritanical streak. her comment was about the midget that engages in a threesome. and this is pretty typical of her. despite being the same age, she’s never really been able to comment on ANY book that has any sort of erotic or sexual element to it without it being immature (and yes, occasionally funny.) of course, she won’t read a novel that doesn’t involve monsters of some kind, the impending apocalypse, or archaic language (one of her most recent reads was tess of the d’urbervilles).
her comments aside, i may march out and buy game of thrones. in the meantime, i’ve been wading through stacks of library books for the last few months. some books i read and returned recently:
chinatown beat henry chang – it’s hard to know what to say about this book. detective jack yu has been recently reassigned to the chinatown precinct, just in time to catch the case of a pervert preying on very young girls. somehow, this tale gets mixed up with the murder of a mob boss and the disappearance of his mistress. what i liked about it is chang’s details about how insular the neighborhood could be, how they view the cops that regularly patrol their streets. what confused me is when jack hightails it across the country in pursuit of a suspect, and i really figure out how it was he knew to do that.
desires of the dead kimberly derting – poor violet. as if being able to find dead bodies wasn’t enough, now she has to navigate the increasingly complex pathways that come with dating your best friend. then the FBI finds out about her abilities, and she has to figure out whether or not to play along. it’s sort of a filler book, in what’s probably going to be a series, but it’s a necessary one. it sets up, quite nicely, the future story line, although the level of emotional maturity between violet and her boyfriend, jay, is quite surprising for two 16 year olds.
the master and margarita mikhail bulgakov – normally, if a book doesn’t have much of a plot, i won’t finish it. so it surprised me that i actually read this book all the way through. satan descends, with a couple of minions, on moscow one hot summer in the late 1920s. muscovites, apparently, don’t believe in god OR satan, so he has a field day, running about and causing all sorts of trouble. that is the sum total of the plot. oh, and one of the minions is a giant black cat named behemoth. AWESOME. i will note there are a wide variety of translations available, but the one i read was translated by burgin and o’connor (1996). yes, this doesn’t really sound like a rousing recommendation for this book, but i did enjoy every word and will entreat you to pick up a copy.
squirrel seeks chipmunk david sedaris – imagine if aesop’s fables
were written by a smart ass new yorker, and that’s what you get with chipmunk. sarcastic, witty, and often hilarious, it’s also quite addictive. the stories are short, only a few pages long, so you think to yourself, oh, i’ll just read one,
then i’ll move on to what i’m supposed to be doing. halfway through the book later, you actually put it down, only to want to pick it back up again. plus it’s illustrated!
the year of the hare arto paasilinna – the whole time i was reading this book this thought was running through my head: IT’S ABOUT A BUNNY! a photographer, out on assignment with his journalist friend, hits an animal. the journalist bounds out of the car in pursuit of the creature, which turns out to be a young hare. the photographer leaves him by the side of the road, and what ensues is a year long adventure around the country of finland, with the hare as his companion. the bunny doesn’t talk, he doesn’t magically become something else, he’s just a bunny. kind of like he’s travelling around with a dog. it’s short, mildly entertaining, and IT’S ABOUT A BUNNY!