Thursday, February 3, 2011

Books: January reading

January has come and gone. It has been a rather odd month. On the editing front things have been going well, on a personal front however, I had a rather traumatic experience in discovering the body of a suicide victim on the way to work. It really shook me up. The poor man had jumped from a hotel window and without being to gory or disrespectful, it wasn’t a pleasant thing to stumble across. I have a number of feelings on the matter but I think I will post them at a later stage, just in case by some miracle one of the visitors to this blog happens to know the victim.

Anyway, I enjoyed summarizing the books I read last year and so I thought I would continue to do it throughout this year as well. Each month I will list the books I have read and give some very brief thoughts on the book and my rating out of 10. I hope you enjoy it.

First up was Warriors, a compilation of short stories by various authors and edited by George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois. A lot of people have raved about how strong this collection of stories is so who am I to disagree? I started the book over the Christmas period and so maybe I did not do justice to some of the stories by not giving them my full attention. However, I did enjoy the book overall. There were some excellent stories in there, most notably from: Joe R Lansdale, Steven Saylor, James Rollins and probably the best of the bunch David Ball. Most of the other stories were very good, with only one or two being slow. Overall I gave the book 8.5.

The next book was a guilty pleasure. MEG: Primal waters by Steve Alten is the 3rd in his series of books about the Megalodon shark (the massive prehistoric uncle of the great white). I stumbled upon this series when browsing through someone’s random list on Amazon. I thought it would be fun to read on holiday whilst lying in the sea. You get the idea, reading about a man eating shark whilst actually in the sea. What I didn’t expect was to enjoy the book so much, my wife is currently reading it and loving it to. Primal waters, is the best in the series so far. If you like James Rollins you will like these books. I rated it 8.9.

The 3rd book I read was a return to one of my stable authors. You know the ones you return to on a regular basis. The author I’m talking about is Tess Gerritsen and the book was Keeping the Dead. It is part of her Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli series, which has been pretty consistent so far. This book was one of my favourite in the series, where several sub-plots all came together nicely. It reminded me of Harlan Coben’s standalone novels. I rated it 9.2

The final book I read in January was Dolores Clairbourn by Stephen King. King is one of my favourite authors and I am slowly going through his back catalogue. At first I really struggled with the style of the book. It is told from Dolores’s perspective as she gives an interview to the police. The unique part of the novel is that this is all that happens. Other characters are in the room with Dolores but we never hear them speak (although we knew they do as Dolores answers them from time to time). King never describes anything in the room either, there is no description of Dolores’s actions such as, “Dolores sat back and took a sip of the water.” The whole book is one diatribe. After a while I got used to the style and ended up thoroughly immersed in the story Dolores had to tell. King is so under appreciated by many despite his hordes of fans. I rated it 8.9.

I don’t think I will manage to read 4 books every month but I should average 3 at least. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the titles above.