The early worm gets the book – Part 2

bookstackSo anyway, I’m flipping back through the blog titles and I realized that one particular post should have gotten a sequel but never did.  And I realized just how long ago that post was written.  So tonight, I’ll rectify that.

All Families Are Psychotic, by Douglas Coupland.  Because really, what could be more normal than a drifter with HIV, a younger brother who has attempted suicide, a mother–in her mid-60s, mind you–still trying to find herself, an alcoholic and volatile father, and a Thalidomide baby who has now grown into a young adult who is now about to embark on a mission as an astronaut…all in the same family and all converging in Disney World?  Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy…happens every day…

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton.  Even Small Town, USA kids in the ’70s got into deep shit every so often.  Having read That Was Then; This is Now first and feeling thoroughly annoyed by Ponyboy Curtis by the time that book was over, imagine my apprehension when I opened this book and who stepped out into the bright sun from that dark movie theater in that first sentence?  Yeah, but Ponyboy’s an all-right guy; he’s just misunderstood and this book is probably her best.

(And I thought–and still think–that it is SO BAD ASS that it took me forever to figure out that S.E. Hinton was a woman.  It restored my faith in my fellow females–see previous–couple of?–posts.)

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown.  Friends don’t let friends start Dan Brown books during the second half of the day; those books should come with a warning about the serious effects of prolonged sleep deprivation.  But your heart’s-a-pumpin’ and you’re page-a-turnin’ the whole.  Dang.  Time.  Sleep?  Who needs that?  Bonus: my practice of folding the bottom corners of pages as a reminder to research fascinating subjects latter was borne solely from this book.

Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris.  I’d already seen the movie, so natch, I thought I’d read the book.  It’s kind of like TMI on steroids.  No idea too profane, no subject too taboo.  Nothing is sacred.  And sometimes, that’s OK–refreshing, even.  The human psyche is a deep, dark place, especially if you are insane.  And using the genius of one insane criminal to catch another insane criminal is, well, insane–but brilliant nonetheless.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  When I was a kid, I read the book as part of a Grade 9 English class requirement and surprisingly, I liked it.  Wow, Mr. Drake had decent taste in novels!  I liked that it was set in the South, as few books (especially ones that become classics) are.

Then I liked it because it highlighted the civil rights struggles in post-Civil War America.

And then, I liked it because it dawned on me that a 10-year-old could be so sentient and eloquent–and a female at that!

I loved how, even growing up in the 1930s Deep South, she was still free to be who she wanted and say what she thought.  And think she did!  No Barbie dolls or Sea of Hot Pink for her anytime soon, TYVM.  She served as a powerful role model, despite the fact that at 15, I was already 5 years older than Scout was at the time and, well, that was old.

The Partner, by John Grisham.  Last year it was Robin Cook.  But after a few novels, despite the compelling plots and the fact that it’s, well, medical, I tired of the typical cat-and-mouse chases through the back stairwells of hospitals and strange facilities as Mafia goons tried to corner pretty, inquisitive young medical interns tightly enough to prevent escape…and yet escape they always did.

But that was Cook, and this is Grisham–talk about a fresh writing style.  It moves fast, saves words, and instead allows slight gaps in the train of thought to keep things interesting.  Each one of his novels, although by and large legal thrillers all, is vastly different from the others.

And this particular novel delivered as well; for the record, though, I wouldn’t try to fake my own death and then make off with $90 mil so soon afterward, ya know?  It makes the survivors all crazy-like.

Ten Little Indians, a.k.a. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie.  Ah, yes, another novel from my secondary school tenure, only this time, it was a carefully-crafted who-done-it.  If I were in their shoes, though, it might’ve struck me as a little odd that 10 complete strangers were meeting at this one cottage, and I might’ve been on-guard from the git-go, especially when the first couple started disappearing.

There are definitely more.  So, there will be another book post (sorry).  I promise not to wait so long this time.


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