Those who have been following this blog for a while (i.e., my parents — hi Mom & Dad!) may remember how, a few years back, my wife and I spent about six months getting caught up on HBO’s Game of Thrones series. Because we didn’t have HBO, we did this by getting the discs from Netflix, and because, the seasons were spread across a lot of discs, we temporarily upped our plan to the “two discs at a time” level. (Otherwise it would have taken us like a year.) Around when we were finishing up Season 7, HBO announced that there would be no Game of Thrones in 2018, and so once the last disc went back to Netflix, we had to wait. And wait. And wait.
So late last month, my novel A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder (or, as we lazy folks refer to it, Crows) picked up a review over on Amazon.com. That makes two (count ’em!) Amazon reviews for this book since it was published in 2002. At this rate I’ll be hitting the magic number of, oh, say, 50 reviews, somewhere just shy of halfway through the millennium. Of course by then everyone will be reading their books under the sea on their waterproof devices, and Crows will be classified as science fiction because it takes place on dry land, but hey. Genres shift.
These days, I do nearly all my reading on an e-reader, currently an InkBook Obsidian, but I do on occasion return to the dead tree books of yore. Typically this will be because someone gave or loaned me said dead tree edition. Such was the case with Dune, which, being a door-stopper of a book, I eventually bought in e-form so I wouldn’t have to fight with it when reading at lunch; and such is the case with the Nero Wolfe books, which my father sent to me in a box a while back. I’ve read them all before, but now I’m reading them again, because who doesn’t like to spend some time visiting old friends? The one I’m currently into is Plot it Yourself, in which Wolfe goes up against a con artist with a fondness for pretending that popular novels are plagiarisms of his or her own work, and also for knives.
This week I’m still reading The Yellowstone Conundrum, by John D. Randall, which some 400-odd pages in has begun to morph from a natural disaster epic into an urban warfare epic: Another Battle of Seattle, if you will, only this time between marauding street gangs and various pockets of Our Heroes trapped in the city by the one-two punch of a 9.5 earthquake (which, in this book, is vastly the punier of the two big quakes) and subsequent tsunami (not puny at all). In fact, one group of characters even gives a shout-out to “Escape from New York” by assigning themselves characters from the film. Oh, and for those who were worried — spoiler alert! — the dog is still with us. (In case you were wondering, he’s designated as the Ernest Borgnine character in “EfNY”, Cabbie.)
So here I am still reading The Black Mountain, by Rex Stout, months after starting it — not because it’s a long book or because it’s a slog but because it’s made of paper, and if I attempt to read a paper book anywhere near Saya the Mighty she will try her best to steal it and shred it, and we can’t have that, now can we?