Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Moving right along!

Passover is done, the kitchen has been changed over (and reorganized), and I've been both avoiding writing and reading, a very odd combination for me. For some reason, visual entertainment has been more fun lately, and more interesting. I've indulged in Bones, House, M.D., The Office; (Thanks Kim!!) caught an annual viewing of some biblical epics, relaxed with Stewart and Colbert, some King of the Hill and Family Guy. Really wanted to like Kings on NBC, but wow, they missed the opportunity for some good storytelling there. (sigh) I have also enjoyed the HBO #1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which is funny because I never warmed to the books.

Not that I gave up reading, per se. I reread my collection of Boondocks, devoured some cooking magazines, skimmed Haggadot for the holiday, and packed in a few books while reading at bedtime.

James Patterson had one more chance to impress me as I got Pop Goes the Weasel in the mail after I had decided his work was far too repetitive for me to appreciate. As this one came "out of order" with the others, I decided to read it before popping it back on the PBS list. Bad idea. More 3-page chapters, yet another serial killer who e-mails other killers (and would-be-killers) and yet another way for Alex Cross to lose a girlfriend.

I also read another of Daniel Silva's spy novels, this one called The Secret Servant. They also tend to be much of a muchness? I mean there are just so many stories that can be told about spies trying to catch terrorists, stop terrorists, kill terrorists. But in this case, there is enough character development and minor character involvement kept my attention, as well as the interesting descriptions of European locales and complicated political twists.

After seeing it on Amazon's "other books you might like" list for years, I gave a chance to Jaran, by Kate Elliot. This one was delightful. A soft-SF adventure novel about a woman hiding from the responsibilities of being the heir to a galactic duke (her much older brother) slips away to a pre-industrial world half filled with a people who seem a cross between Cossacks, Mongols and just enough "newly made up" cultural differences to provide the element of "strangeness" required in something from another planet. It's primarily a travel and personal relationship story; actual conflicts are spaced far apart and brutal in their lethality. But the culture of the nomad bands and their rivalries and the various mysteries woven into the story are satisfying and fun. I ordered the next two books in the series and am annoyed to find that book 4 is out of print and apparently very rare.

I'm sure there was more mixed up in there, but we reshelved a lot of books in the Passover cleanup and recovery. However, I have a nice stack of "never read before" books on our new "to be read" shelf and I am sure I will find the right balance between staring at a screen and staring at words again.

1 comment:

Mad said...

I think it might be physically impossible not to be charmed by the Ladies Detective tv show.