[At the Amazon Kindle Community forum there is a monthly thread where participants list and comment on which books they’re reading at the moment on their Kindles. These aren’t usually full reviews, often just relatively brief impressions. I’m copying over some of my comments made there into Book Bits posts here.]
I got really lazy about putting my monthly Book Bits posts up here, but finally decided since I have them in a file on my computer I should stop procrastinating (one of my best skills!) and do it.
I’m still reading It by Stephen King. Good gravy this is a long book! It’s taking me forever. I’ve been reading it for a week and a half and I’m only about 60% through it.
I’m enjoying re-reading the story because I’d forgotten huge chunks of it in the intervening twenty or so years since the last time I read it and it really is a great story. But my inner editor has been wanting to get out the blue pencil and strike parts to get things to speed up!
I used to have a lot more patience with, and actually prefer, very long books. I’ve noticed that since getting my Kindle that’s not so true anymore. It has to do with getting antsy about having so many other unread books waiting on my Kindle that I want to read. The longer a book is the fewer books I get to read. (Life is finite!)
A large part of the reason I have so many unread books on my Kindle is because I buy a lot of books on sale for 99 cents to $2.99. Whereas in the old days of paper books a long book meant getting to put off having to rush out to the bookstore to buy another stack of full price paperbacks to replenish my TBR stack.
I finally finished It by Stephen King. I was down to the wire. I had it on loan from the library and the loan expired the same day I finished, which means it took me 21 days to read it! (I might have gotten done a bit sooner if not for NaNo being this month.)
For the most part the plot and characters are brilliant. I don’t read a lot of horror, but of what I have read It scared me more than any other novel the first time I read it. There’s plenty of really scary stuff, though thankfully, reading it a second time it was more in the creepy category than terrifying. Also thankfully, I’m not suffering sudden terrors around sink and bathtub drains like the first time.
I will say I think it could have been edited down into a much tighter novel. It was 21,000 locations and there were times when I was groaning just wanting things to move on at a better pace. A lot of the extra description just isn’t necessary. Also, since it’s an older book there are quite a few OCR errors in it, though not so many as to make for difficult reading, just mildly annoying reading at times.
I’m glad I read it again, but it’s going to be a while before I start another long book! Here’s a couple highlights of things I enjoyed:
It (Stephen King)
– Highlight Loc. 3471-72 |
He wandered off into the stacks, pulling a book here and there, looking at it, putting it back. Choosing books was serious business.
It (Stephen King)
– Highlight Loc. 18580-84 |
What would he assume if he found out that she had called him from a room where there was a dead man on the floor with a jagged bottleneck planted in his guts? That she and four other strangers had just come into town the day before for a little reunion and this guy just happened to drop by? Would she buy the tale if the shoe were on the other foot? Would anyone? Of course, they could buttress their tale by adding that they had come back to finish the monster that lived in the drains under the city. That would certainly add a convincing note of gritty realism.
Then I started The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff . I had pre-ordered it and it downloaded on November 1st, but I had to get through It before I could finally dig in! This is one of three expensive books that I’ve splurged on this year. I’m about half way through it and it’s been worth it to me so far.
The Wild Ways is a sequel to The Enchantment Emporium, which was originally intended to be a stand-alone novel when it was published two years ago. In The Wild Ways the main character is Charlie, who was a secondary character in The Enchantment Emporium. Huff has made me laugh out loud several times already with her trademark humor and I’m enjoying the plot, which involves an evil Cruella de Vil type villain who is trying to obtain a permit for oil drilling in the Atlantic by blackmailing a family of Selkies.
Here’s a couple of my highlights from The Wild Ways so far:
The Wild Ways (2) (Tanya Huff)
– Highlight Loc. 477-78 |
The aunties’ response to people stuffing their noses in where they didn’t belong was not subtle by several fairly terrifying degrees of not.
The Wild Ways (2) (Tanya Huff)
– Highlight Loc. 2595-97
“You know what the T-shirt says.”
Charlie glanced down. “If we’re attacked by zombies, I’m tripping you?”
“Not that T-shirt.”
I finished reading Blood Debt, the fifth and final novel in Tanya Huff’s Blood series. Great stuff! It’s my favorite of the five. Though when I think about it, for me it has the least interesting central plot (illegal organ transplants and murders, along with some vengeful ghosts), but I love the interactions between the characters.
It’s kinda funny. There’s one scene from that book that has stuck out in my mind since I read it the first time over ten years ago. I remembered it so vividly, I thought. Yet when I got to it this time there wasn’t hardly any detail. Somehow Huff managed to create a scene that I fully filled in with my imagination and it became memorable because of how I’d seen it all in my head.
I’m now half way through The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. I got it on sale for 99 cents. It’s the second Wyndham book I’ve read this year. The first one was The Day of the Triffids, which someone gave me as a random act of kindness gift. (Thanks again!)
I’m coming to the conclusion that Wyndham is a brilliant novelist. It’s a bit unusual that I would like his books so much because his characters don’t have a lot of depth. They’re merely tools to tell the story, and I tend to prefer character-driven fiction. But dang, he sure knows how to tell a story. His prose is fairly spare, yet like Atwood makes great use of the words he chooses to use. And his pacing is exactly right. In Midwich Cuckoos the Big Question is asked at almost exactly the halfway point. That can’t be accidental.
One other thing that struck me about Midwich Cuckoos is that I suspect it might have been a partial inspiration for Stephen King’s Under the Dome.