A good friend of mine, and fellow word snob, has been keeping a blog of all the books she reads this year. I love it. Brilliant. To encourage her I told her I’d let her know what I have read. Being exhausted pregnant and working on new-house projects, it didn’t seem like a bulky enough project to share with the world. My reading has been awfully limited lately. And then there’s the fact that my books are still packed away (SADFACE) so a lot of what I’ve been reading is Twilight repeats.
Anyway, Hubby and I read together (I read, he listens) before bed and during car trips. Thanks to that project, and a few roadtrips in recent history I have two, count’em TWO books to report on. And please don’t judge me based on these books, I swear my reading horizons are far broader… it simply comes down to finding a genre or two that Hubby and I both enjoy. Can you tell where the middle is for our tastes?
1- The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
A sequel to “The DaVinci” code… This time based in D.C., using Freemasonry as the symbol catalyst, and one creepy-ass bad guy to get the ball rolling. On the one hand, Brown can spin a tale. He is a great builder of intricate, weavy details of the sort that make you mind-boggled when you try to imagine planning it out as a writer.
On the other hand, his writing STYLE… still drives me bat-shit crazy. The number of times he repeats himself make me want to stab his eyeballs. The map leads to a spiral staircase descending hundreds of feet into the earth, ending at a location containing all the secret wisdom of the Masons? Really? I had no idea, because I wasn’t reading 2 pages ago, or 3. Or 6. Or 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, etc., etc…. I swear to you, if he cut all that out, the books would be half as long.
Also, his characters’ trait continuity seems to lack, simply so that he can write more fluff that actually makes no sense coming from any one of his otherwise “intelligent” characters. Someone who runs black operations for the CIA with an iron fist and a hole in her throat does not suddenly need reassurance from anyone on a professional level. Someone who is a brilliant professor and world-renown expert on something does not continuously deny something he has witnessed for himself… ugh. I wonder if he gets paid per word…
Okay so- good story, bad writing. Pretty much par for the course when it comes to Dan Brown.
2- The Silent Sea, by Clive Cussler
I love Cussler’s novels because he brings in so much historical and archaeological detail you feel like you’re learning something while you’re reading a novel. Who knows if any of it is true, who cares? This book was good fun, following the crew of the ship ‘Oregon’ battling some Argentine militia on increasingly involved levels of the military and political arena and into the realms of morality/patriotism/idealism/ethics. Sometimes the action scenes are crazy hard to follow. Sometimes the history gets a touch tedious. One particular chapter creeped me out into the realm of insomnia, but I will blame that on my oddly gore-averse pregnancy brain. There was a small loose-end or two, but nothing so drastic as to take away from the overall story. Which was good. Plus, he writes geeks well, gold star!