Bitter Grounds Magazine

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Feb 24, 2021

Mildly disappointing reading list for Sept so far

Written by catpaw

September 13, 2018

I have this big, big bag of books beside my bed that I dip into when I need a new read.  It’s a mixed bag of 20 or so, history, mystery, sci fi and good old fashioned thrillers. We’re lucky, in this apartment building, tenants are loath to throw away books so a little library was setup. Quite often I can find new releases on one of the shelves, which I scoop because they’ll disappear quickly.  There’s always something to read. 

Anyhow, I pulled  a couple of Dan Brown books in the last week or two to give them a try. I read The Da Vinci Code years ago when it came out. Whoa, I just looked that up and that was more than a few years ago – 2003! A lot of books have wandered through my life since then, some amazing, many mediocre and a handful appallingly bad. It’s never a good sign when you start hoping the main character is polished off in a gruesome accident or the apocalypse occurs so the book finally comes to an end. I remember thinking the Code was a pretty good yarn, fun and a quick read. I don’t mind suspending my belief for awhile and just go along for the ride, and I did enjoy the book. That was the last Dan Brown I read until now. I was turned off the rabid, cult like behaviour of many  fans when I encountered them. Man, I couldn’t even offer a critique without being accused of rather stupid things like “you don’t know REAL history”, “it could be true” and “you don’t know how to read”. Yes, it could be true, in an alternate reality.  Define “real history” and I’ll debate you on it. And I couldn’t even be bothered discussing my ability to read a very easy to follow plot line. I found it all too tedious to deal with and opted out. It turned me off his books. That wasn’t Brown’s fault, but I was soured on the later books.  

Down in our little library sat all of Brown’s books so I thought what the hell, give them a try.  I was right. Fairly good fun, nice yarns, easy reads. Beyond that?  What can I say? I found Origin frustrating.   I muttered at the book if  the over-sized tablet descriptor was used one more time, I was going to chuck the book over the balcony.  The entire story was tired and forced. I truly enjoyed Da Vinci Code because it was memorable. The story stuck in my mind.  Angels and Demons was equally fun.  I’m making  my way through Inferno and it’s ok so far. Not exactly a rip roaring tale, but ok.  I can usually tear through a novel in a day or two but I’ve picked up Inferno and plopped it down again for 2 weeks now. It’s becoming a bit of a chore because  I feel we’ve been down this road already. It’s basically the same tale, similar settings, no real character development and lots of pretty scenery.  When I finish Inferno, I doubt I’ll bother with Symbols.  I’ll leave it in the bag and think about it for a few weeks.  But I can’t help feeling the series has worn out it’s welcome in my little abode. 

I want to change up my reading material and am searching for good sci fi or sci fantasy. There used to be a couple of sci fi / sci fantasy fans in the building, who kept me well supplied. They’ve either stopped dropping books off or they’ve moved. Too bad. I think a trip to the local library is in order to shake off the reading list doldrums. Maybe next week, after I plod through Inferno. Wish me luck.  

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