Here’s the first post of 2015. I was traveling a bit and visiting a family, so don’t get too excited….
Black Coffee by Agatha Christie – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. This is Hercule Poirot #7. It is the novelization of a play that Agatha Christie wrote sometime after she wrote The Mousetrap. It reads like a play. All of the action takes place in 2 rooms. I’m not a huge fan. I’m giving it 2 stars.
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Norwood Public Library. This was really hard to get into. Basically, it’s a crazy and delusional stalker who gets his hand on the last poem written by the object of his obsession. The prologue establishes the obsession. The next part is a really bad poem. The final part is set up as notes that have nothing to do with the poem, but instead shows how delusional the stalker is. He seems to think that the poem is about him and that it describes interactions with the author as well as stories that the stalker has told about his homeland, which may either be made up by the stalker or Nabokov to symbolize something that I didn’t get (possibly Russia). This was really good and I’m glad that I stuck with it, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to others. I’m giving it 3 stars.
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This is A Series of Unfortunate Events #1. I downloaded this because I wanted something quick and attention getting to read while I was exercising. I saw the movie, so I sort of knew what this was all about before I started, but I wanted to start at the beginning. It is easy to picture Jim Carrey as the tall, thin, and evil Uncle Olaf. I thought this was very good. I enjoy really dark children’s stories. I’m giving it 3 stars.
The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty – I borrowed this as an actual book from the BPL. It was a book club pick. This wasn’t my favorite of her books, but it was still quite enjoyable. A hypnotist has a new boyfriend and he confesses that he has a stalker. The story is told both from the hypnotist’s point of view and from the stalker’s. I quite liked the stalker. Because of the other books I have read by this author, I kept thinking that someone was going to die, so that kept me interested. I’m giving it 3 stars.
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart – I borrowed this as an audiobook from the BPL. This was really fucking funny. I have no idea what the point was. I think the author may just be making fun of himself and just about everyone else. The narrator even pokes fun at a Russian expat/ author who happens to be named Gary Shteyngart. The narrator talks about his penis a lot, so maybe don’t read this if you don’t have at least a mild sense of humor. I’m giving it 3 stars.
Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You! by Yuri Rasovsky – I borrowed this as an audiobook from the BPL. It’s very short and quite good. Sandra Oh and Simon Helberg do a couple of the voices. This is a full cast audio play. I love these and this is no exception. This is Snow White mixed with Hansel and Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin. If you like fairy tales, especially dark, comedic versions of them, this is for you. Of course, this is also great if you enjoy full cast radio plays (I have no idea what they’re actually called). I’m giving it 4 stars.
Maybe I read more than I thought. I set my Goodreads goal abnormally high (300 books), so this may actually be a good start for the year.