I finished both Drood and Born to Run yesterday. I know I said that Drood was really good last time I wrote. That was before it started getting really boring. Drood is almost 800 pages long, and frankly, a good third of it could have been cut. Granted, this is not the fault of the writer, this is an editing problem, but a problem nonetheless. Drood wasn’t a total wash. I did learn a lot about London in the 1800s (it was disgusting) and about Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, and the premise was fun, but it really dragged at the end, for about 200 pages too long. The story is narrated by Collins, an actual historical figure and friend of Dickens who was addicted very heavily to laudanum and morphine. After a terrible train crash, of which Dickens’s car was the only first class car not to plunge into a ravine (also true) Dickens becomes obsessed with finding a spectral-like man that he saw at the crash, and enlists Wilkie to find him. They travel around London and down into the sewers to find this man. As I said before, it was pretty good in the beginning, but then it began to slow down and began to repeat itself, at times verbatim. Not only that, but I figured out how it would end around page 500. On the Kate rating scale, I’m going to give this one a solid Meh. Not quite a Poop Sandwich, but teetering on the brink.
I also finished up Born to Run on audio yesterday. Holy cow, what a good book. I highly recommend it. Audiobooks need to be judged on 2 characteristics (maybe more, but for right now I’m concentrating on two): the story, and the reader. When it comes to Audiobooks, failing either of these spells disaster. I remember a few years ago I was trying to listen to Under The Tuscan Sun on CD. It was horrible. I couldn’t stand to listen to the narrator for more than a few minutes. I took it back to the library and chalked the whole thing up as a loss. A few years later someone lent me a copy of the book, which I read, and loved. I almost missed out on a great book because of a lousy narrator. That said, Born to Run, had both a great story and great reader. I will note, that in a couple of sections, you could tell that they had to do a re-read or add something in – because the audio didn’t quite match up, which is always annoying, but it only happened twice and was no more than a sentence in either case, so I will forgive it. The story is two fold – 1. It highlights a race in the Copper Canyon of Mexico between some American ultra marathon runners and a tribe of Mexican Indians known for their running abilities: the Tarhumara and 2. Explaining how humans are engineered for running, specifically long distance running. I spent a lot of yesterday listening to this book. I did not want to turn it off, and finally finished it in the evening. This book totally motivated me to get off my butt do some running myself. Well, maybe just fast walking for now. But still, that’s serious motivation. Born to Run gets a Double Thumbs Up! Go read/listen to it. Right now.
Next up: I have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies queued up on the ipod. I wonder if I will like it. I do like Zombies, it’s true. Also true: I hate Jane Austen. Sorry. Don’t send me hate mail. Will my love for zombies triumph over my hatred of Austen? Lord, I hope so.
I just went to the local library for some additional books, and since it’s so small I only found one: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. Apparently this book came out in 1980. Why is it on SKs reading list for this year? I need to investigate. I also got the book Persuaded by Lee Child, which is not on the list but is the first in a series, the latest of which IS on the list. I have a weird thing about reading things in order. Some would say OCD, and they would probably be right. Anyway, this one entry will probably turn into about 7 books, because I’m not going to start at the end. It’s just not done. Oh, and I’m not trying to favor the SK list, it’s just that my library doesn’t have ANY of the books on the NYT list. Not a one. I’m going to have to order them, or go to a different library. Scary.
I’m knitting away on the February Lady Sweater, after ordering myself the wrong yarn twice. Poor people at Webs, they probably thing I’m insane. A cool thing is though, I ordered this cotton/silk blend called Goshen by mistake, I had wanted a Wool Marino blend ( I was on the phone and being harassed by a 4 year old when I typed the order. Cut me some slack) anyhow, I started knitting with the Goshen, and I lurve it. It’s going to be such a soft shiny silvery sweater. Now, if I can get it done in the next week and a half, it will be a miracle.