Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What I am trying to read/Christmas Book

I decided at the beginning of December to give Robin Hobb another chance with her Tawny Man books, Fools Errand and Golden Fool (there might be more, but those were the two I found for sale at the library). I must say that it has been rough going, as for the first 200 pages, nothing much happens. All we know is that poor Tom Badgerlock has had it rough, and has become a hermit of sorts to keep himself away from court and the life he lead as an assassin and person of "Wit" or magical talent. He is roused from his topor by an old friend, the Fool, who summons him back to his life at court, and back to help his former master, Chade.
Now that I am on page 235, and Tom, aka FitzChivalry, a royal bastard, has finally come back incognito to court, things are starting to happen---action is taking place, there is a problem to solve and I can finally stop snoozing my way from page to page. I can only hope that Hobb won't stop the action again and leave me bored silly with flashbacks that don't make much sense to someone who hasn't read all her previous books.
The other book I've been trying to read is Thomas Mullens "The Last Town on Earth" which is about the influenza "Spanish Flu" outbreaks during and after WW1 in America. Like most of the "plague" books that have been written in the last 10 years, the author researched his subject to the ground, and feels compelled to include as many gruesome details of the horrors of the times as he can wedge into the narrative. Mullen focuses on a small town near Everett, Washington, at that time a primative, tiny logging town and its inevitably quirky denizens. The town has decided to close its borders to outsiders to protect the citizens against an outbreak. However, like the Mask of the Red Death, starving soldiers carrying the flu try to infiltrate the town for food and lodging, and when the first such luckless bastard is shot, there is the inevitable moral quibbling over whether closing the town and keeping people out was the right thing to do. This book hasn't been nearly as boring as Fools Errand, but it has been full of stereotypical characters and plot lines you can see a mile away. I already know what is going to happen at the end of the book, because the author has chosen a predictable path early on.
Fortunately, I was saved from having to slave away at either of the above today by the inclusion of the wonderful Christmas book my husband purchased for me, Linnea Sinclairs "The Down Home Zombie Blues." I've already earmarked this evening for my total reading pleasure, and I don't care if I don't get any more housework done, or if my son neglects his homework. I am going to read until my eyes blur.
I can't wait! A Merry Christmas and reading joy to you all!

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