Monday, January 07, 2008

Books on Planes

Since I do a lot of reading on planes I decided to use my local library more this year. The selection is much wider than I can find at my local book store or can possibly browse at Amazon, I don't have to worry about getting rid of the book when I am done, and of course the price is right.

But I did discover a helpful airplane book hint: read the first chapter or so of a book BEFORE bringing it on the plane. That way you won't get stuck with a clunker. One of these was so bad I spent a trans-Pacific flight staring out the window instead of reading the damn book:


Requiem of an Assassin - The latest installment of the "John Rain" series, this quick-paced action thriller was a lot better than the third installment, which I thought was contrived. Four out of five stars. (This one was actually from Amazon)

Blaze - I stopped reading Steven King years ago. His writing was good but became more and more bloated as he became more popular and his editors lost control of him. I gave up on the "Gunslinger" novels about halfway through they became so boring. I picked up this "Richard Bachman" book in the library and thought maybe they still edited his nom de plume since it was less than 800 pages. The book was a quick read. King's writing talents shine through, and the story starts off interesting, but I thought went sideways about halfway through. Three stars.

The Archivist's Story - The synopsis sounded promising: early Soviet era archivist tries to save a work of newly created literature of Babel from Communist destruction. The problem was that it read like a Russian novel - slow, ponderous, and lots of characters coming in and out of the story. Thank goodness it wasn't as long as Tolstoy. Two stars.


King of Methlehem - This was a good short story that the author added a lot of filler to so it was novel length. The book is basically cop vs. meth dealer in Tacoma, one of the meth capitals of North America. The insight of the meth wars was quite fascinating, the story itself so-so. 2.5 stars.


Twilight - All the women in my neighborhood were swooning over the "Twilight Saga" and have spent the last two months passing the three books back and forth. The praise was unanimous, so I packed the first one in the series on a trip to Korea. I gave up 120 pages into it. Sorry, but I don't relate to teenagers, vampires, or teenagers who happen to be vampires. Must be a chick thing. Zero stars.

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