Friday, July 31, 2015

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee

  • Title:  Go Set a Watchman
  • Author:  Harper Lee
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started: 7/26/2015
  • Finished:  7/31/2015

I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time just a month ago, and liked it a lot.  But having just recently read it I haven't had my entire life to idolize Atticus.  So this new book, while not great, didn't somehow ruin Atticus for me.  I think a lot of people who have idolized Atticus over the years were probably reading more into the book TKAM than was actually there.  

Either way, GSAW isn't a very good book.  It isn't bad, but it is desperately in need of a good editor.  Harper Lee obviously had one, and the book that came out of the edits & rewrite was TKAM.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I, Claudius, by Robert Graves

  • Title:  I, Claudius
  • Author:  Robert Graves
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 7/21/2015
  • Finished: 7/25/2015

I had hit a bit of a dry spell with books lately.  I enjoyed one of the recent books (The Voices, by FR Tallis) but otherwise haven't been enjoying much of what I've read since early June.

That all ended, triumphantly, with I, Claudius.  I have avoided this book since my youth.  Always seeing it in book stores when I perused fiction and literature, always listed on top 100 books ever written.  I thought it looked dense and sounded boring, the cover was always just a bust of Claudius and made it look impenetrable.

Well, I'm an idiot.  One of the best books I've ever read, struggled not to put it all away in one sitting.  Could not get enough of of this one, hated that it ended. 

Wonder what other books I've let go for decades out of sheer ignorance?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

All You Zombies, Five Classic Stories, by Robert Heinlein

Pretty good collection of Heinlein stories, a couple were great and the other three were at least decent.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Voices, by FR Tallis

  • Title:  The Voices
  • Author:  FR Tallis
  • Borrowed From DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started:  7/15/2015
  • Finished:  7/18/2015
When I first start this book I thought I wouldn't like it.  The set up seemed too much like other works (Burnt Offerings to name one).  But I found myself unable to stop listening and by the end I have to admit, I really liked it.

What I didn't love, was the myriad of questions left hanging at the end.  It isn't that I needed the whole book wrapped up nicely.  True haunting or not, there were just too many unresolved plot lines and/or red herrings.  In particular, the story of the friend Simon Ogilvy.  I find the lack of answers or resolution to Simon's story to be the most difficult to ignore.  The reader is led to believe his double-life is that he is a closet homosexual, but since that is not ever truly resolved there are other (possibly more far-fetched) more sinister interpretations.

Maybe I wouldn't feel so unresolved on this one if I had read it with a book club or something like that and could discuss it.  But as it, there are not many reviews or others commenting on this in any detail, and those that have done so mostly express these same frustrations.  Overall very happy I read this one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wastelands 2 - More Stories of the Apocalypse, by John Joseph Adams

I wanted to like this one more than I did.  I had to go back and read my post on the original Wastelands  anthology and it turns out I felt the same way about that one as well.
Some of the stories were good, some were terrible.  Most were only ok.  None were amazing.  Maybe The Postman, but I'd already read the full novel. 
Also, I shouldn't use this as a complaint about the content of the anthology but here goes -- the audiobook was terrible.  The readers were just not very good, and in some cases took away from the stories.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hickory Dickory Dock, by Agatha Christie

Title: Hickory Dickory Dock
Author:  Agatha Christie
Borrowed from "little library" in Northside Park, in Ocean City, MD
Started: 7/11/2015
Finished: 7/11/2015

Woke up early at the beach this morning and took the dog for a walk around Northside park in ocean city, md. Stopped to check out the free books at the little library box ( and found a Poirot book. Started reading it about 7 am and finished it in the early afternoon.  A very relaxing day...