Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reading Notes

It seems I've been on the same books for months: Run by Ann Patchett on my iPod and The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann in paperback. Admittedly I did have a couple of diversions with other books and the necessities of life in the mean time, but still. It's been ages since I started these two and I'm beginning to feel like they'll never end. Having said that, though, I'm actually quite enjoying Thomas Mann; I've never read him before and I'm finding him (at least with this book) to be a wonderful mixture of deep thought and lighthearted wit all set in the most lovely 1930s Swiss Alps hotel/spa setting. The writing, although enjoyable, is quite dense and requires a fair bit of quiet concentration. But the delight factor is right up there with Tolstoy. It's the kind of book (author?) that grows on you unawares and then, boom, you're hooked. I love that. And I love it especially since I picked three other Thomas Mann books at a charity book sale last fall without knowing a thing about him except that he was, apparently, a famous name in literature. I have a weakness for notable authors which prompts me to hoard their books. I know. I KNOW! A terrible affliction, alas.

Anywhoo. Run, not so much. Normally I like Ann Patchett, but this book? This book is taking truly forever. I've been listening to it for...decades. It never advances and never ends. I just can't. It's an okay enough story for me to see it through, which for me -who abandons books at will- is saying something. But honestly, at barely 300 pages it feels like I'm listening to a 1,000 page obituary. The story takes place in a 24 hour period but goes off on countless tangents with a narrator that is all wrong. I'm not enjoying listening to this book at all. I keep thinking this will surely be the last disk and then, no, there's still another three to go. It was okay at first, but for the love of god, WRAP IT UP ALREADY. 

What else is in my sights? Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese. Coming out April 1st, this book looks awesome. Reading the synopsis puts me in mind of Joseph Boyden and Cormac McCarthy. Hold my calls and don't expect me to surface again until every last page is read. I'm that excited.

Okay, well. That's about it from my side of the desk. I hope everyone is well and finding some joy in their books. Read on.

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