Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's On Tap - March 2012

I suck.  No really, I do.  I only finished four books from my last What’s on Tap list, meaning that this week’s list has two carry-over titles.  I could blame it on work or all the projects around the house that keep mounting up.  I could blame it on the fact that a collection of scholarly essay is never going to be the most readable thing out there.  I could blame it on the fact that I’ve finally joined the twenty-first century and purchased a smart phone (i.e., the biggest time suck known to man).  But in the end I blame myself.  I have brought shame to my hobby, and for that I apologize.

Rather than committing seppuku, I’m instead carrying the two titles I didn’t read in February onto my March list.  Sorry for the redundancy.  Is what it is, I guess.  Like I said, I suck.  What’s a blogger to do but carry on?

Anyway, on to this month’s reading list.

Zombies Are Us edited by Christopher M. Moreman – I’m about halfway through this one.  It’s kind of a toss-up.  Some of the essays are readable and interesting, while others… aren’t.  Roughly half of the essays are well written, interesting, and easily accessible.  The other half are ponderous, overreaching, and filled to the brim with so many adjectives and heady terms I have to read it three times to figure out what’s being said.  As if that makes them sound any smarter.  Academics—go figure.

One True Sentence by Craig McDonald – It’s the fourth in the Hector Lassiter series of historical mysteries set in the 1920s.  Probably the most innovative thing about the series is that the author uses historical literary figures as supporting characters—Gertrude Stein, Alistair Crowley, William Carlos Williams.  Hell, Ernest Hemmingway is even cast as the sidekick. 

Harbor Nocturne by Joseph Wambaugh – Another one I’m carrying forward from February is Harbor Nocturne.  It’s an e-ARC from Netgalley, which means that it was free, sure, but it also means that the formatting of the damned thing is more screwed up than Congress.  I’ll muddle through, though, don’t you worry.

Bridge of Deaths by M. C. V. Egan – My friend Catalina penned this somewhat-fictional account of her search for answers about the 1939 plane crash that claimed the life of one of her direct ancestors.  The narrative takes the characters to England and then to Denmark as they search through historical records to find the truth about the crash and what happened to the people on board.

L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy – My wife and I saw the movie when we couldn’t sleep at about 4 a.m. one night (predictably, it was the kid’s fault).  Now I have to read the book.  I’ve read 4 or 5 Ellroy books in the past, but I admit I was intimidated by what I’d heard about this book’s narrative structure.  It’s supposed to be written like a 1950s tabloid in some places, which I hear takes some getting used to.  But then again, if I can read and enjoy Ellroy’s Blood Is a Rover, this one should be cake.

The Deadfall Project by Brett James – It’s a thriller.  Something about Iranian Terrorists and a CIA operative named Grey Stark… jeez, what a name.  Sounds like a Bond villain.  That, or a male porn star.  Anyway, I don’t know much about the book, but the publisher sent me a paperback copy (and I love me some dead tree books, y’all), so the least I can do is read it.  Plus, it might just be a damn good book.  Only time will tell!

?Audiobooks? – At the end of the month I’ll be traveling to Orlando for some IT training that I know will fry my brain cells and serve them up on a silver platter.  The trip down there, however, will be an eight hour drive each way.  That could be the part I’m excited for most, partially because it will give me time to listen to a couple of audio books from the library (yet to be selected), and partially because on the way down I’ll be able to stop at the Most Awesome Used Book Store Known to Mankind.  More on that later.

I know that’s a lot of books for one month, but I’ve got to play catch-up after the abysmal February I had.  Here’s hoping March makes for a better book count.


  1. Damn. I was so hoping Zombies Are Us was something I would have to run out and get. Now it sounds like I'll read it when I read it. I agree about academics. With all due respect, they can suck the fun out of anything.

    1. Well, some of the essays are pretty good. They're often something of a reach, but so far my favorites have been the one that tried to analyze zombies using feminist critical theory and the one that examined the ties between zombies and the Christian Bible (not so much that there are zombies in the Bible, but that the Bible is such a foundation for the Western literary mind that some of the themes in popular culture are distant echoes of aspects of the Bible).

      But yeah, they really can be a bunch of fun suckers.

  2. Good luck! I know the feeling- this week & next week are going to be major reading catch-up weeks. I'm excited for your review of Catalina's book. I haven't read it yet but it's on The List!

    1. Thanks, I'm going to need it.

      When you do get around to reading it, let me know how you liked it. I'm hoping it will be pretty good. At least, the premise sounds promising.

    2. Definitely. I'm reading "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" right now. It started off disturbingly tragic, but in a way that means I'm probably going to try to finish it tonight. I'll let you know how it goes!

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