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WIB Dec 29-Jan 4

February 5, 2014

Two books this week, if you don’t count Sizzle, which I don’t because I already wrote that up here.

I read Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King, a collection of short stories that reminds you that King is, indeed, a capital-w Writer, and that short stories can be really good.  King puts a little note before or after each story, and chose the order fairly randomly, so I was disappointed at first to find that the first two stories are his versions of other things.  I was like, “Ugh, lack of creativity,” but this is Stephen King we’re talking about.  Some stories are great, some are good, one is straight-up about The Dark Tower stuff and assumes we’ve read the books (King SAYS he doesn’t assume that, but he writes a story that does).  “1408” scared the crap out of me, but “The Road Virus Heads North” read like something out of Thirteen.  I don’t know if that says more about the nature of horror, the writers in the anthology, or King himself.

As often happens with King, there’s a sense of “dated” to his work, in his women, in his choice of names, in his slice-of-Americana characters.  I think he mostly overcame it in Dr. Sleep, but that’s for a later date.  I enjoyed most of this anthology (Roland-free forever, thanks) and was glad to have read it.

And then a reread for my book club, A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel.  Novella?  It’s pretty short.

From my book club post, because I’m lazy: I was surprised how much I was enjoying A Study in Scarlet until the middle. I remember the first time I read it I didn’t find it as interesting and vibrant and it took me a while to warm up to my collection, although ultimately I enjoyed it. Watson is great, Holmes is great, Gregson and Lastrade are great, the mystery is sufficiently interesting, and due to the nature of Holmes’s interests and abilities, the usual rule of the reader being able to figure out the mystery is suspended so you don’t even have to wrack your brain on it.

However. I did NOT enjoy the story-within-the-story. I felt like it padded the whole thing, and could’ve easily been explained through Holmes to Watson. And I was super uncomfortable with the unnecessary use of murderous Mormons. Would the mystery have been as strong without the Mormon aspect? I think so.

So that plus the first Jenny reread was my Week in Books.

Next up: I got really sick so I read a lot, but most of ’em were Jenny so it’s just two to write up.

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