In the time since the last update with Towers Falling, I’ve finished four books. I’ve also made progress on three more, but they’re long (Women Who Run with the Wolves, Good Omens, Washington: A Life). So I’ve only finished four. And here’s the quick rundown on what they were.
#1: Walking the Americas by Levison Wood — I’m a little bit in love with this man. And by a little bit, I mean a lot. This is his third book based off of his third BBC series (of which I have only seen the first, Walking the Nile, thanks to iTunes making the three-episode show a whopping $3.99 to purchase), and it’s great fun. Walking the Nile was probably still my favorite of his, mainly because it’s intense and full of descriptions of places in Africa I would like to see but am frankly too afraid to visit in person. Walking the Himalayas was still fun, and offered more of a focus on the people Wood meets and the politics of the area than, say, the wildlife. Walking the Americas is a nice middle ground of Nile and Himalayas because there’s obviously lots of political background (walking Central America when Donald Trump has just been elected is pretty fascinating) but there’s also some critters along the way. Wood’s great strength with all of these books is his ability to infuse humor and history into tales of his walking adventures, and I only hope that at some point I get to see the show itself.
#2: Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente — A disappointment for me, I’m afraid. I was sold on the ARC we got in at work because it said this was “a darkly clever take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and other classics of the genre.” Now, say Agatha Christie and I’m interested, but say it’s somehow a take on ATTWN and I am in. It’s my favorite Christie mystery and I love the variations you can get out of it. But then… I guess I was just expecting more cleverness and more… just more. Saying it’s “an homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and a thoroughly contemporary show-business satire” gives me high hopes. What it felt like to me was someone who took ATTWN and put some comedians in the places of the same Christie characters and occasionally tucked in a “funny” monologue. (I found few of the monologues funny, and since many of the jokes revolved around crude sex humor, I wasn’t particularly impressed. Call me old-fashioned, but I love dry wit.) I also have to say that whoever ended the blurb with “It’s also an ingeniously plotted puzzler with a twist you’ll never see coming!” should reconsider the wording. Yeah, I was mildly surprised by the twist, but it wasn’t something I couldn’t see coming. It was something that I considered briefly, then thought, “Nah, he wouldn’t go this direction.” Maybe that’s the trouble with redoing ATTWN – if you’ve read the original, it’s tough to be surprised by anything because that’s the whole point of the mystery. Disappointed, but mostly by the fact that it’s going to come out as a $20-something hardcover. Worth considering if your local library gets a copy.
#3: Saga, Volume 7 by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan — I LOVE SAGA. This volume comes out Tuesday and it is still so good. Story, artwork, everything is on point in this series. The only trouble is I devour these books and then I have to wait ages for the next installment. Doesn’t matter, though, because I’ll keep waiting. It’s that good.
#4: The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss — Yes, that Mark Gatiss. This is the first book in a series he’s written about one Lucifer Box, “gentleman” (to use the term very loosely), artist, and secret agent. It’s fun and silly and is not meant to be taken seriously. At all
. At moments, the voice reminds me a lot of good old Bertie Wooster (except he’s actually capable) and the character names remind me often of James Bond (Miss Bella Pok, for instance, or his friend Christopher Miracle). Basically, if you’re in the mood for something fluffy and easy to digest (and if you like Mark Gatiss), give Lucifer a try. I don’t know if I’ll seek out the next one, but if it happened to find its way to my hands, I’d probably enjoy it just as much as this.
And there we are. According to Goodreads, I’m currently 62% through Women Who Run with the Wolves, 17% through Good Omens, and 13% through Washington, so we’ll see how long those take. Women is the Emma Watson Bookclub selection for March-April, so I’ll have to finish it by the end of the month, and Washington might just be hanging in there for a while. Good Omens, which I’m fairly certain I’ve read before but I can’t actually remember, is just a nice filler for whenever I find myself incapable of serious nonfiction thought.
As always, thanks for reading this and remember to support your local indie!