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Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
Commended by mizal on 1/2/2024 8:09:44 AM
Another year, another list. This is 2023's for historical purposes. It might be a decade or two before these finally hit the Reading Corner's second page. I know, I know, you're all too busy reading and reviewing storygames to spend time here. Highly recommend grabbing anything rated 9 or higher (be like Malk at a New Year's party). --- The Shining, Stephen King: 9/10: Started the year in a funk. Couldn’t focus on reading, so picked up a classic to kickstart things. What else is there to say? Here’s Johnny! Elevation, Stephen King: 9/10: Little guy (130 pages, maybe) about a dude who loses weight until floating off into space, presumably dying of asphyxiation on the way up. It’s a, ha, light-hearted outlook on impending death. The Colorado Kid, Stephen King: 7/10: King is at his best with character narration. The entire story is told from two elderly reporters sharing a local mystery with a young reporter. I just wish I didn’t lend my copy to a coworker. She got fired, and I ain’t getting it back. The Stubborn Structure, Northrop Frye: 8/10: Something about literary criticism. I don’t know. These nonfiction books are too smart for me. Best to stay in your lane, Ninja. Full points for quality, zero points for entertainment, so, 8/10 I guess. Poor Folk and Other Stories, Fyodor Dostoevsky: 6/10: There was a time when Dostoevsky was my favorite author, believe it or not. Returning to stories like this collection makes me question previous life decisions (Notes is still great, though). Inferno, Dante Alighieri: 8/10: See comment on Northrop Frye. The Outsider, Stephen King: 8/10: Classic case of King rushing out the gates in spectacular fashion to hit a wall mid-late in. Like all his books, The Outsider is connected to the King universe. This one, however, seemed to lean on it rather than give a subtle nod. The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis: 7/10: See comment on Northrop Frye. Joyland, Stephen King: 10/10: Another Hard Case crime novel. King knows people and what grabs them. Take out the usual kids with powers, and you’re left with a solid little read that is underrated among the King collection. Fifty-to-One, Charles Ardai: 9/10: The final Hard Case for the year, and the only that wasn’t written by King. Man, to sum up this book: bad to worse. Out of the frying pan, into the seventh circle (or whatever, see comment on Northrop Frye). Plus, who doesn’t love pulpy bimbos. The Dark Run, Michael Brooks: 5/10: Sometimes those neighborhood book exchanges house gold, and sometimes they house…this. It took me midway through to realize the author was trying to be funny. Sad thing when your reader can’t tell the difference between serious and sarcasm. 11/22/63, Stephen King: 10/10: This might very well be my new King favorite. The main character discovers a portal to 1963 where he travels to prevent the Kennedy assassination, only he can return at anytime to the present to “reset” the timeline at no apparent consequence…or is there?? Fun side note, I discovered a new watering hole while working on this book. Frosty mugs and King, couldn’t complain (though stumbled home afterward). Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn: 10/10: Remember those neighborhood book exchanges? Sometimes you mine gold, like Gone Girl. Ya’ll know I’m a King freak. Gillian Flynn is the only author to come close. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn: 10/10: Second book on the Gillian Flynn tour, and man, this one is juicy. It’s another first person female POV, which I find strange as a self-insert reader. With a copy of Sharp Objects in hand, I think that means I’m allowed in the women’s locker room. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn: 9/10: Easily the worst of Gillian Flynn, yet 9/10. Yes, she’s really that great. Seriously, check her out. The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides: 10/10: This book got a lot of hype from the New York Times shit list (we’ll get to that next). Sometimes the hype is real. I started and finished this guy in 24 hours. Couldn’t put it down. High recommend. Dark Matter, Blake Crouch: 4/10: Also from the NYT shit list. Wow, it was painful. Not only is it written in single word paragraphs, the message is jammed down your throat. Like, don’t make it obvious at least. The Maidens, Alex Michaelides: 8/10: The long-awaited sequel to The Silent Patient. The author admits it’s a hard act to follow, and I appreciated the honesty. He was damn right. If It Bleeds, Stephen King: 9/10: A collection of King short stories, including one drawing from The Outsider. The opening story was downright creepy (and yes, it had a kid and dark powers involved). The Green Mile, Stephen King: 10/10: Remember that thing about the hype? This one lives up, and more. It follows a guard unit on death row as their prisoners await their date with Old Sparky. You know how it ends, and you have to see it through regardless. The Tommyknockers, Stephen King: 8/10: Strong start, midway drag, yep, Stephen King, ladies and gentlemen! And yes, there’s mind powers and aliens and Maine involved. The Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling: 9/10: Ok, ok, I’ve been dreading getting here. I picked up a copy at, you guessed it, a neighborhood book exchange, thinking I got what I paid for hehe. The plan was to finish the book, so I could shit on the Harry Potter series some more. Well, it was actually really good hehe. Prodigal Son, Gregg Hurwitz: 8/10: Another exchange pick up. Hurwitz’s best quality here is the pacing. It’s always go go go. You may not know this, but I read a lot of Stephen King, and his books are largely the same. I’d pick up another if time permitted. The Boys From Biloxi, John Grisham: 6/10: My first delve into the world of Grisham, and I regret the journey. In this case, it was about the destination (aka putting it down to read other books). Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins: 10/10: Navy Seal turned ultra athlete, Goggins leads an inspirational life. While reading this, I went from running 10 miles for the first time, to running 10 miles with 100 pushups/mile (1,000 total), to waking up one Saturday and running a marathon. All within 4 weeks. And yes, my knees still hurt. And no, I haven’t had a rest day since. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King: 7/10: This is a neat novel revolving around a girl lost in the woods using her obsession with the Red Sox to see her way through. The chapters are baseball themed, too. Unfortunately, the story does read as neat as the idea. Never Finished, David Goggins: 10/10: Goggins’ second book. The theme here is daily struggle to greatness. Doesn’t matter if you ran a marathon without training in December. This is January, bitch, what’d you do today? Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six, Lisa Unger: 7/10: A recommendation from a friend. It was a fun change-up, though I could have done without the “men are animals” theme. Like that horrible Blake Crouch book, the message wasn’t subtle about it. I hadn’t read any Lisa Unger before, nor do I plan on reading more. If there’s a template to mass book appeal, this is it. Still, it was fun for what it is. Billy Summers, Stephen King: 10/10: Similar to 11/22/63, our hero is an assassin who must spend large amounts of time around the city he’s plotting to kill in. It tugs at the heartstrings, while having some good old-fashioned shootin and killin. I remember Billy Summers receiving bad press for dumping on Trump. It happens, sure, but the light is never really shined there. Everything’s Eventual, Stephen King: 8/10: Another King collection. The first one is from the POV of a man paralyzed by a snake, declared dead as a result, while attempting to regain movement on the autopsy table before the docs slice into him. One part becomes un-paralyzed in a female doctor’s hand. I’ll let you guess which. The Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling: 9/10: Oh boy. Book 3 is still really good. I hate myself. Gerald’s Game, Stephen King: 7/10: Moral of the story: if you’re going to engage in BDSM, don’t accidentally kill your husband while chained to the bedpost. Don’t do this especially if you’ve been molested by your father, suppress memories, and now have no way of escaping them mentally or physically. The flashbacks was good reading, the small action detail attempting to escape the cuffs wasn’t as good. The Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling: 9/10: Ah shit, here we go again. Hey, at least these aren’t 10/10s. I’m reading the fifth, currently. See you next year. Empire, Orson Scott Card: 7/10: Decently ok short read from a neighborhood exchange (I really just wanted to finish the year with something other than Harry Potter). The most interesting part was reading on American political party divide from 2006. Apparently, it was a dumpster fire back then too, who woulda known. I’m not planning on reading any more in the series, but I’m pretty sure Card set up his secondary protag to bang the primary-now-dead protag’s wife-now-widow. Silly, Card. Shoulda stuck to kids in space exterminating alien races.

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
Grisham can be pretty hit or miss just like anybody with that amount of output, but he's cornered the "reasonably well put together Lawyer Fiction for normies" market. Nothing too crazy ever happens but they're pretty solid.

I'd suggest A Time to Kill, The Firm, and The Pelican Brief which were the original three that made him a guy who gets his name on covers in bigger fonts than the titles.

I enjoyed The Testament too.

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
I'll keep an eye out for those. At this point I can't imagine spending money on a Grisham novel, but the nice thing about those crazy output crazies is that a lot of copies are floating around. Currently sitting on 3 Clancys that I picked up from the neighborhood exchange. If some PTA mom wants to bitch about not putting anything back, I've got a whole collection of theology and spiritual growth baddies to contribute. Try me. I dare you, Donna. I'll put a damn Wild at Heart copy in your husband's hands. Checkmate.

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
Oh yeah, everything I've read of his I got for a buck fiddy at the annual library sale.

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
RIP Costco hot dog.

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
I'm guessing you like Stephen King

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
Still got about 30 more to get through. The jury's still out.

Reading list... POTTER STINKS!

5 months ago
I'll await next year's verdict with bated breath.