Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wednesday morning book thoughts...

I've begun my "summer hours" this week, and so will only be posting once a week on Wednesdays, instead of Wednesdays and Sundays, for the next three months.  Once autumn arrives, I'll re-evaluate and determine if posting once/week is sufficient or whether to go back to twice/week postings.  But for now, I think I'll be busy doing other fun things on Sundays!

I finished Wake and it certainly didn't disappoint.  The main characters were well-described and three-dimensional, and it was interesting to see how Sawyer brought the storylines together.  While this is the first in a trilogy, I need a break from this type of novel and so will not read Watch right away, but I will eventually read all three.  I saw Sawyer present at the OLA SuperConference a number of years ago, and he talked about why so many sci fi and fantasy books are in trilogies.  He suggested that the publishers did not want to publish one volume that was 1200 pages long, as no one would buy it from a book store.  I think the concern was that it was too big to display well, and that people wouldn't want to purchase such a large single volume, and so there was no good way to market them.  Sci fi writers, then, are forced to break up their long novels into three shorter books.  I may not have the reasoning exactly right, but I think the gist of it is correct.  Anyways, I recommend Wake to anyone who is interested in looking "outside the box" and willing to consider "what would happen if...?" 
PS Waterloo plays a prominent role in the book, so it's an interesting book on another level, that is, how people see Canada and Canadians in general, and Waterloo in particular.

I'm currently reading two books simultaneously, and listening to a third.  I'm finally reading Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg.  Remember I mentioned that he has recently released his second book, Guilty Plea?  Well, Old City Hall is proving to be as good as I initially thought it would be the first time I started reading it but didn't finish.  The characters are described in such a way that the reader knows the details of their lives, where they grew up, how they ended up with the jobs they have, what kinds of family circumstances surround them.  How does Rotenberg manage to present all this information about so many characters, including Toronto, without the book being 1200 pages?  After all, it's not really a story about the characters, it's a murder mystery and a courtroom drama.  The hardcover is 366 pages, or about average length, and I'm only half-way into the book, yet I feel like he's presented enough information to fill a complete novel already.   I make it sound like it may be dense and detailed and difficult to read, but that's not so.  It's not difficult, but it's not "light" either.  It's just... amazing!  More details once I finish it.

I'm also reading The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket.  This children's novel is the first in a series, "A Series of Unfortunate Events", and while I don't often read children's books (except picture books, which I love!), I'm quite enjoying it.  I can imagine why a young person would want to read it.  The story is interesting, the writing style appeals to me, it's humourous yet also gloomy, and it's quite short (for me as an adult, not so maybe for a child) but also part of a series, so if I want to read more, I can read the second, and third, etc.  It is the story of three children who have lost their parents in a fire, and must now live with their evil Uncle Olaf.  From the excerpt, I suspect that there will be other "unfortunate events" that will befall them during this novel.  There are 13 books in the series - I doubt I'll want to read them all, but you never know...

I'm also listening to Caught by Harlan Coben.  I first started reading Coben's mysteries about 9 years ago, with his Myron Bolitar series, about a sports agent-turned-detective.  While I have only vague recollections of those novels, I seem to recall that they were written with humour and wit, but were also murder mysteries involving athletes.  He has also written a number of stand-alone mystery-thrillers, including The Woods, and Tell No One,  which was made into a french film in 2006.   I enjoy his thrillers, as they always contain plot twists that never fail to entice the reader.

Time to go and read for a bit before getting ready for work

Bye for now!
Julie

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