Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Currently reading

Over there to the right, I have a list of what I'm currently reading. (I don't know how to put little icons of the book's cover. I have so much to learn about technology, and it'll probably never happen.) Anyway, that list is going to be out of date all the time, since I usually have three or four books going at the same time.

I just finished The Conversations of Dr. Johnson. It's an excerpt from Boswell's Life of Johnson. The part excerpted is, you got it, the conversations. I think that's enough said, don't you?

Amazingly, the Dr. Johnson book wasn't nearly as boring as the other one I have listed: The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. I read it because of all the rave reviews. I have since concluded that all the reviewers must have been smoking the same drug, because I hate this book. It's pretentious and over-OVERwritten and every single one of the characters make me want to hit them over the head with a mallet.

Not to put too fine a point on it. Anyway, my recommendation is: don't read it. I have only gotten halfway and I won't read the rest--it's a waste of time I won't get back. I rarely abandon books, either: they have to be REALLY bad.

I'd never abandon the book I read this weekend: George Pelecanos's The Night Gardener. I'd heard of this author but never read him (I'm new to the current mystery/crime novels) and boy, was I hooked. Fast pace, totally believable including an ending that doesn't neatly tie everything up in a perfect package yet still feels satisfying, great characterization, AWESOME dialogue (definitely rated R, which doesn't bother me, but just so you know.) I'll be looking for more from Pelecanos.


  1. Thanks for the warning about the Emperor's Children. I had read the good reviews, too, but of course have been too lazy, er, busy to actually go out and read it--but now I don't have to. What a time-saver your site is!

    I will have to read the Night Gardener, though.

  2. Messud - Tell us how you really feel! (Love the mallet comment.)