This week was fairly busy but I managed to get a good amount read I feel. A good variety of things for sure. One horror, one (very chunky) classic, a cozy mysery, and a literary fiction immigration story. Not too shaby!
As always if you want to listen as opposed to read the channel is linked in the sidebar!
First up was Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman. I read Josh Malerman’s Bird Box last year and enjoyed but didn’t love it. Then again around Halloween last year I read The House at the Bottom of the Lake and enjoyed it but didn’t love. This one follows that pattern. This is focused this time around a sound that seems to have a unique… power to harm those that hear it. A man, sent into the desert to find this sound is found with every bone in his body, still alive and it follows both his recovery now and what happened to get him there. I was really along for the ride in this one, I’m fairly sensitive to sounds so they can easily get to me, but then about 2/3rds of the way through it suddenly got caught up talking about war and mankind’s endless cycle of warfare and it kind of lost me. I do think if you don’t mind those sort of meta messages in your horror you’d really dig this though so try it if you enjoy that. I just like straight spook-tacular tales so this one was a little flat in the end.
Next up I finally finished The Brothers Karamasov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Oh boy. This chunker took me way to long to read. However I did enjoy it, simply not as much as Moby-Dick or War and Peace. This is following three brothers and the murder of their father. The brothers are all representing some sense of morality and personality and how that is challenged and copes with the world and it’s… well, it’s crap. I think this one might be a bit dense and challenging for first time readers of Russian lit honestly, it was a drag at times for me, so I don’t know if I’d recommend it for a starting place. I’ll be revisiting it though, it is definitely a book I think needs a few rereads to fully absorb. I would honestly start with War and Peace before this one, believe it or not. Especially if you want to start Russian Lit at any point.
I followed that up with a light and cozy audio book, Whose Body (The Lord Peter Mystery Series Book One) by Dorothy L. Sayers. This one was a lot of fun. It had some dated language but overall I really liked this. Lord Peter is investigating a body that seems to have magically shown up in a poor man’s bathroom all on it’s own. Completely nude, in nothing but a pair of glasses! There is a bit of a learning curve I think to this one, because Lord Peter is so energetic, so I do recommend the audio book here. I had a false start with it last year and didn’t quite get on till I tired the audio version. It’s much better on audio. I have also heard this is the weakest of the series, so I’ll be continuing on for sure here.
Finally I received and finished yesterday Drown by Junot Diaz. This is a super interesting short story collection, the stories told from the perspective of a boy/man and mostly focused around his family. It’s not told in chronological order, but it gives you different periods of his life. I liked this one for the layers it had to it. There were themes on themes here. One story had you thinking, it’s coming of age. The next made you think, perhaps it’s about his father or immigration, or the American dream. And it could have been all those things. I enjoyed it. The language is also very authentic and rich. I recommend this for sure if you enjoy those immigration narratives.
That’s it! I enjoyed most of what I read, nothing was a huge bust this week! How was everyone else’s reading? Fairy good, meh, or excellent? Let me know! Thanks for reading!