Books Read So Far in 2009

American Tabloid by James Ellroy
The Cold Six Thousand by same

These two are a related story, but The Cold Six Thousand is not a necessary sequel to American Tabloid. I heartily recommend them both. If you enjoyed All the President’s Men, you would like these. The characters are fascinating and each has their own style, reflected in the writing. Historical fiction.

The Atrocity Archives (with The Concrete Jungle) by Charles Stross
Halting State by same

Both of these books were excellent, if light reading. A little too engrossing for the beach, but very entertaining. Atrocity Archives is a punched up modern Lovecraftian story, but a little light on the menace. Halting State is similar to Snow Crash.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

While reading this, I kept thinking that I was reading a book by Yan Martel. It felt like Life of Pi. The only difference being that I read it from start to finish, instead of jumping around the chapters like I did with Pi. After I was done, I had an odd sensation of having jumped into the deep end of the pool, but hitting the bottom anyway, as if I had somehow misunderstood the number on the lip.

Most of the Wheel of Time (as an editorial exercise)

These books have not aged well at all. They meander and spin off sub-plots whose only point seem to be the padding out of the page length. This series easily could have been a tight 5 books or maybe 6, with a spin-off series of the subplots if someone had reined in the author. Instead, we got a wandering series that hasn’t ended with the death of the author. I have heard that the final book had to be split into three because there were too many loose ends to tie up.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Freakin’ hilarious. I was surprised by how much dialogue was retained unchanged from the original text. The Reader’s Group questions on the last couple pages are a brilliant addition as well.

Drink Play Fuck by Andrew Gottlieb

Amusing, if less than enlightening. Good beach reading with light prose and light humor. Apparently, this book has been optioned for a movie and scheduled for a 2010 release. Ten bucks says that Gerard Butler stars and there is no nudity. Aside from Butler’s ass. Women will flock to this movie, and men will wonder what the big deal is.

Brazzaville Beach by Andrew William Boyd

I would not appreciate this book if I hadn’t studied anthropology in college. I would be wondering what the big deal is, instead of wondering why someone would expect anything different from certain characters. I am still in the middle of it, but am enjoying it so far. Even the parts that are solely about the main character’s inability to understand her ex-husband. Sometimes, I amaze even myself because this really isn’t the sort of topic that should interest me in the slightest. A man failing to understand his wife fascinates me, but I am less than enthused by reading from the woman’s perspective. Maybe that’s because I’m a prick, or maybe that’s because I have a harder time reading women written by men.