Friday, November 21, 2014

TGIF: Time to Read Pt. II - The Wrath of Khan

Spoilers for Stephen King below.

Before I get down to the weekly survey of books, I wanted to acknowledge that Leslie Feinberg passed away this week. I became aware of Feinberg's work (and transgender issues in general) about twenty years ago when I picked up a copy of Stone Butch Blues as part of an online reading group devoted to feminist and gender studies. At the time I worked in a college library, having dropped out of grad school, and I was looking into a few certificate programs. After getting sucked into numerous feminist listservs I found the book club but missed the first discussion.

Like most online gatherings in which I participated, the group fizzled out mid-discussion, which is a shame because I loved the book. I've read so many books in my life, and most of them fade into ether with the passage of time, but Stone Butch Blues stayed with me. I couldn't give justice to the book, so I'll just say if you can find a copy read it. I understand it's out of print, but maybe it will see the light again as an eBook.


Okay, reading time.

Just Finished

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King - I'm giving this one 3 stars. It's not a horror in the paranormal sense, but a thriller with a rather horrific villain. One thing I've liked about King, regardless of what I thought of a specific book, is that he creates vivid characters. They aren't two-dimensional, and he has the ability to make us feel as though any ordinary person could be a homicidal maniac. Here, the maniac is a local geek with a fatal flaw - he has to take credit for work, and he's let his next target get under his skin.

In Mercedes, the maniac in question might remind you of a mega-disturbed Howard Wolowitz given his techno-savvy and odd relationship with his mother. Retired detective Bill Hodges is one click from ending it all, when "Mr. Mercedes" resurfaces after committing the crime Hodges hadn't solved on the clock. It's a fascinating cat and mouse game that builds toward the promise of a tense climax, but abruptly jerks in another direction. I see why now - King plans two more Hodges books. Whether this story will bleed into Book 2 I don't know, but at least I wasn't put off by this book. So the rest of the trilogy is on my radar, for now.


Now Reading

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann - Reeallly slow buildup to any murder action happening. There's more emphasis on Adolph Zukor and his problems than William Desmond Taylor, about whom I thought there'd be more focus.


Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno - Still plugging away at this one. Trying to get back to it ASAP.


The Immortals by Michael Korda - Finally, one for the Sideboob list. As far as Marilyn/JFK pr0n goes, it's more explicit than other stories I've read. Will go more into detail when I'm done.


On the Radar

Little bit of everything:
  • Play On by Mick Fleetwood
  • Unfaded Glory by Sara Arden
  • The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery
  • Normal by Graeme Cameron
  • Children of Dune by Frank Herbert
I finished a submission for an anthology call this week, starting a new one. Tomorrow is reading day, though, so more on that Monday.

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