Here’s the true litmus test as to how hectic I perceive my life to be: how much reading have I gotten done? When things get really crazy, I retreat into the world of literature. Fiction, mostly. An avid reader, I get almost panicky when I’m finishing a book and don’t yet have the next one lined up.
Here’s what I’ve been through since mid-July, in order:
Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey (453 pages)
The premise of this book is that since 1980, approximately 1% of children born are in “brilliant” in some capacity. Think Rain Man without the associated autism. Some are low-level (tier 5), and some can do some amazingly, and often frightening, things (tier 1). It’s my vote for the next Hunger Games-style trilogy. Give it some time, and I’m certain it’ll be coming to a theater near you. A great read!
A Better World; #2 in Brilliance series, also Marcus Sakey (390 pages)
Not quite as good as the first, but then the sequels rarely are, but still worth it. The third book hasn’t yet been written. I will purchase it when it’s available; because I want to – not like Mockingjay, where I felt I HAD to.
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (12 hrs and 17 min through Audible)
A life-changing book. I put out on Facebook that I wanted to read either TKAM or The Stand, by Stephen King. My responses overwhelmingly lead me to TKAM. I’m so glad. I somehow missed this book in high school, and I’m not sure I’d have appreciated it like I do now. I think we could all stand to be a little more like Atticus. Plus, with narration by Sissy Spacek, it’s an experience to be savored.
Jet, by Russell Blake (229 pages)
I forgot my headphones at home when Beth and I went to Florida, so I didn’t have access to TKAM, and was finishing up A Better World. The lady next to me on the plane recommended Jet. It’s a James Bond-in-a-dress type book. I have to admit, it was perfect reading when pool-side; what I refer to as Pop Lit Junk Food.
Jet 2: Betrayal, by Russell Blake (239 pages)
Don’t judge me. Jet only took a couple of days and it was worth the $3.99 to see what happened next. Or so I thought. I will not be purchasing Jet 3; just sayin’.
Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (4 hrs and 9 minutes through Audible)
Listed as the #2 greatest offering to American literature as of 1960-something by I forget who, this little nugget, as narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal, was a nice distraction. FYI – Ulysses, by James Joyce was first. I hate to say this, but I didn’t get it. I mean yes, I get it. Not all that glitters is gold; be careful what you wish for (and why), etc. But I didn’t love it. Sorry F. Scott.
The Stand, by Stephen King (1213 pages, or 47 hrs and 52 min through Audible)
I finally broke down and got this bad boy when my new Audible credit dropped. I even gave $5 more bucks to have it on my Kindle as well. This way, when I was done listening, I could pick up my Kindle and the story would “sync” and be right where I left off. I could listen all the way home from Bangor, and then switch to reading once I got inside and hit the couch. Sweet. Beth hates it when I do this, so let’s keep it between us, shall we? I read this book in about the 8th grade, and I didn’t much care for it then. I enjoyed it this time around, but was mostly impressed that King was able to keep my attention for 1200+ pages. Not my favorite, but I’m glad I revisited it.
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (368 pages)
In all fairness, I’m only 73% through this one, but I’m planning on finishing it before the weekend. We had been discussing my cousin Shawn’s favorite books when I was debating between TKAM and The Stand. For the record, The Stand is his favorite King (check!), his favorite Capote is ICB (73% check!), and his favorite overall is Atlas Shrugged. Maybe that’s where I head next. I’ll reserve my opinion on ICB until I’m finished.
So, there they are – my 8 (almost) books in 6 weeks.
Some winners – some losers.
Those are my opinions, and I welcome yours.