I’ve been doing a lot of light reading since the massively disappointing The Goldfinch. Here are the short assessments.
- The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman. I had heard of these graphic novels for years, but didn’t like Gaiman much so never sought them out. At our local public library I saw most of the series, so I checked it out. pretty forgettable, really. I appreciate the sentiment etc. but these really are like the comic books I read as a kid, very light reading for a Saturday afternoon.
- Salvage and Demolition, by Tim Powers, a very light noir-time travel. Did I say light? In the end after reading this book, which is clever, you find yourself thinking, really, someone printed that? The design also is just awful. Set in San Francisco, so that was fun.
- A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry, well I actually read this last fall. It is a long novel set in India in 1975. Brilliant in the sense of getting into characters very deeply. The plot keeps moving. Super, super depressing. My friend Barbara Grosh suggested it for my series “books about grinding poverty” and it definitely fits the bill. After Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, this may be one of the grimmest books I have read. Yet still has plenty of humor.
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan. Bay Area light to the max. Not only set in San Francisco, but set in Google too. Very light fun read. Don’t expect anything profound though. This is a beach book or an airplane book.
- Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen. Oh yes, I actually read this again after I picked up Jane Austen and Zombies Pride and Prejudice or whatever. The graphic novel is atrocious. People spent money on that? The novel still reads pretty well, though once you know the plot it is kind of hard to slog through the precocious diary-like prose.