Fire, Fire, Fire

Y’all. If you haven’t thought about what you’d take when escaping a fire, then what are you doing? 😂

But really, it almost happened last night. I’m watching TV on my couch after work and I hear that blaring fire alarm sound we all know. So I jump into action. I got some trash bags and started throwing my books in. Wasn’t thinking about which ones or which authors, I was just focused on any of them.

After making it through maybe 50 books, I started hearing people laugh outside and the alarm had stopped. So I stopped. There’s nothing else I own that I’d care to take. Nothing else. What about you?

I’ve Hit the Wall

I’ve been really open about my reading slumps. I always know one is lurking just around the corner. It doesn’t matter how much or how little I’m reading. There will always be periods during which I simply will not read. I’m in the midst of my first one of 2019 right now.

I’ve finished one book in the last month. Even knowing this I just haven’t had the desire to read recently. My current book is on my coffee table. A few nights ago I started it and only read about 30 pages before deciding to sleep. I haven’t picked it up since.

I don’t have a plan or something specific I do when this happens. And y’all know that sometimes one of my reading slumps can spread out over multiple years. I don’t think that’ll be the case this time around. Here’s to hoping it isn’t.

What do you do when you experience a reading slumps?

A Kinda Sorta (Most Definitely) Review of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep

Spoilers ahead (but who cares, it was published 80 years ago.)

It happened again. I may need to lay off books published before 1970 because clearly I have issues with just about every one I read.

I decided to read this after playing around online and looking up detectives I’d never read before. It didn’t hurt that Raymond Chandler is something of an icon in mystery circles. But, oh boy.

Philip Marlowe is a PI in LA. The book was published in the 1930s, so I guess the assumption is that it takes place during the same period. There are a number of mentions of prohibition. He’s hired by a rich guy who’s getting blackmailed.

I’m going to start with some of the positives:

NONE.

I’m not exaggerating or trying to be silly. There is nothing I can point to in this book that I really enjoyed. But don’t get me started on the negatives.

The writing style made me want to claw my eyes out. How many times can one person say “you’re cute” in a single work? My goodness. No creativity whatsoever.

There are two women who have prominent roles in the story and both of them (they’re sisters) separately are throwing themselves at Marlowe. Ugh. But he’s got the moral compass of Jesus and takes neither of them up on their offer.

Multiple times during the story he slaps women across the face.

There is absolutely no action throughout the story. I kept thinking at some point something would have to happen. Nope.

Twice he went into bad situations without a weapon of any kind against fully armed guys. And twice he got out just fine. Okay, fucking Zeus.

His wit and humor are awful. He’s not funny. Clearly he influenced later detectives, but they’re much better written.

Everyone was smoking the whole book. I have cancer now.

I rated it a 2 star read, and it was just above 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. Honestly, it was shaping up to be a 1 star rating from me until the last 5 pages or so.

Definitely do not recommend to any reader, ever. I can come up with several modern detectives much more intriguing than this bozo.

Another New To Me Author

I started my 10th book of the year last night and it’s by another new to me author. It’s the 4th one so far this year. There’s no way I can stay on that kind of pace of reading new authors. Can I?

I get in my head a bit because when I start a new book I’m excited, no matter what. But when it’s written by someone I’m not familiar with there’s an extra level of intrigue. But there’s also the thought of “what if I don’t like something everyone else seems to love”. I know it’s silly, but I’m not the only one thinking it. I mean, there are plenty of titles coming to mind as I write this I simply did not enjoy.

How often do you start reading a new author for the first time?

New Video! Why You Should Never Lend Out Your Books

I know I disappeared last week. I had something come up and it basically took over my thoughts for the week. I didn’t even read. But it’s okay. We’re all still here, right?

Even with other things consuming my thoughts I decided I would not let it stop me from uploading a new video. I know no one really watches, but I enjoy the process of creating something not entirely written. So, take a look and tell me what you think!

New Video! February 2019 Book Haul

I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I JUST post one of these videos recently? Well, yes. But everyone knows one can never have too many books! Right? RIGHT? Anyway, I picked up a few more books recently from my local HPB because they gave me a bed in back where I sleep now. Ha.

Also, special shoutout to Die a Stranger by Steve Hamilton, The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, and You by Caroline Kepnes. I bought all of these over the weekend and I already had the video edited and uploaded. Whoops.

Now watch and tell me which books you’ve picked up recently!

Tracking My Reading

Goodreads makes it extremely easy to track one’s reading. But it’s mostly just titles and ratings. Sure you can do a little more, but I go above and beyond on my own. I have a spreadsheet for my reading. I track all kinds of things:

  • Author
  • Series
  • Reading time
  • Page count
  • How long it was on my TBR pile
  • Rating
  • Ranking for the year
  • Ranking all-time

I guess it seems like way more in the document, but that’s still a lot! I didn’t even realize it until I opened an old document and saw everything.

What do you track for your reading!?

New Page For My All-Time Top Reads!

When I wrote recently about a book that somehow managed to become one of my personal top 5 reads ever, I came up with the idea to create a page here to keep an up-to-the-minute list of the best books I’ve ever read. It took me a bit longer to figure out exactly how I wanted to do it, but I ultimately settled on a list of the top 15 books I’ve started and finished. When I look at my list there are a couple of things that surprise me. 1) How far down Harper Lee’s masterpiece is (she’s barely hanging on for a spot!) and 2) Michael Connelly DOES NOT WRITE METIOCRE BOOKS.

I thought of just sharing the list in this post, but the page has links to everything I said about some of those books immediately after I read them. Now go and take a look for yourself and tell me what you think! Or, tell me some of the best books you’ve read? Maybe we have some in common!