December 29, 2014

Recent Reads

181. Light in August
My first Faulkner, and it will not be my last. Holy smokes can this guy write. This is not an easy read, nor is it a fast one, but it is well worth the time. The audiobook is wonderfully narrated by Scott Brick, and while at first the slow pacing was annoying, I came to realize that he is the perfect reader for this story. You need to move slowly. You need to feel the heat, and the dust, and take your time getting to know the characters in this story. You need to get sucked in, one breath at a time. 

What is this story about? Well, in one word: Life. Set in the 1920s American South, there are the expected racial tensions, but Faulkner is not happy with easy answers, and will not let you think you know all there is to know. The people in this novel are wonderfully (and sometimes horribly) fleshed out, and you are swept along, sometimes willingly, sometimes not, as you observe people in the fullness of their flaws, prejudices, demons, and humanity. 

You know that feeling after you eat a wonderful meal? That is how I feel. Absolutely wonderful. I docked a star, not through any fault of the author, but because my mind sometimes wandered. Would have probably been a 5 star rating for the print/ebook format. Rating: 4 stars.

182. The Girl and the Bicycle
I love wordless picture books because the words don't get in the way of a good story. Not only that, but each time you "read" it, you get a slightly different story. This picture book for young readers is pretty straight forward in terms of the story line and has lovely illustrations. Rating: 3 stars.

183. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons
This novella by King was the inspiration for the fantastic movie The Shawshank Redemption. If you have yet to see it you must rectify that asap. 

I've been distracted as I prepared for an upcoming trip, and found that nothing was holding my interest. Whenever that happens, I invariably end up on King's stoop. He hardly ever disappoints, and he does not this time either. A fast and engrossing read set in a prison in Maine. Rating: 4 stars.

184. Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
This is book #2 in the All Souls Trilogy, and it picks up exactly where book #1 ends. The witch Diana, and her paramour vampire Matthew, time travel back to London circa 1590. The plan is to find a witch to help Diana figure out how to use her magical powers, and to see if they can get their hands on that mysterious book. We are introduced to a fun cast of characters including Elizabeth 1 (yes, that one), Christopher Marlowe, etc. I liked how Diana comes more into herself in this volume, but as in in the first book, I think this would have been a much tighter story if entire sections has been edited out. Still, I liked it enough that I'll probably read the final book in the trilogy before too long. Rating: 3 stars.

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