Friday, 31 August 2018

"Something a little different" post at the start of a long weekend...

I know it's early, but I have a busy weekend coming up so I thought I would write this post now, when I have some free time, to ensure that I get it done. I'm also super-excited to tell you about the book I finished a few days ago.
This past week I read a book that is totally not the kind of book I would normally pick up and read, a book about “gangstas” and gang wars and drug dealing, where the words “mothafucka” and “nigga” (sorry, it seems wrong to type these words out, even if I'm quoting directly from the book) occurred on just about every page, and the main character is a rapper who nearly died as a result of an attack by a gigantic pit bull.  But Joe Ide’s debut novel, IQ, was great!  It was a slick, stylish, fast-paced story that kept me turning pages and looking for extra reading opportunities whenever I could find them.  The main character, Isaiah Quintabe, is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes living in Los Angeles and solving crimes to pay his rent and care for Flaco, a young man about whom we learn through flashbacks.  Isaiah’s circumstances in life have been anything but easy, as we learn through these flashbacks, but the main action concerns Cal, a rapper who has gotten into a slump, doing too many drugs, eating way too many Krispy Kreme donuts and not generating the output of songs he is under contract to produce.  When a giant pit bull is sent through the window of his house and chases him outside, Isaiah is hired through the cousin of Cal’s agent to find out who would want to kill Cal and why. Is it Noelle, his ex-wife, whom he loathes? Or could it be one of his bodyguards, the interchangeable Bug and Charles? We are treated to the lyrics of some of Cal’s rap songs throughout the book, which is also something I would never be interested in but it worked with this novel.  Ide has a flare for language, and his character development for both Isaiah and his friend Dodson was darn near perfect. Add to that a complex plot that was nearly flawless, and you have one fabulous novel. I hope this is the beginning of a series featuring crime-solving sleuth IQ, as I would be thrilled to read The Further Adventures of IQ.
And I’m in the middle of my second Book Prize longlist nominee, The Mars Room, by American author Rachel Kushner, about a twenty-nine year old woman in a Northern California Women’s Correctional Institution serving two consecutive life sentences for some unknown crime, and the circumstances in her life that have brought her to this point.  Not overly uplifting, but very intriguing. But I must put it down and start reading the book we will be discussing at my next Volunteer Book Club meeting next Saturday, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.  I think it will be a quick read and hope to finish both books in time for next week’s post.
That’s all for today.  Have a wonderful long weekend, and remember to keep reading!
Bye for now…
Julie

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