On my shelf at the moment

Amongst all the important papers and journals, there sits a few novels and hardcover books I read during my breaks. There’s the 24 TV series based books that I purchased, and read in less than two days, a novel one of my students recommended, a few Stephen King books that frightened the hell out of me and gave me nightmares for a few weeks, an autobiography of an idiot, and one book that I read and I have to admit, that changed my mind about several things in this great world we live in.

The 24 novels, based on the TV series starring Keifer Sutherland, were a quick read. Reading those books taught me that the TV series is nothing more than superheros ducking bullets and diving through car crashes in death defying heroism. Since reading the novels, the TV series has not interested me like it used to. I guess after six or more seasons of blowing a guy up, killing his family, assasinating various presidents, multiple torture scenes, and endless and senseless violence, a person gets bored. The books are more of the same.

One of my students recommended I read Dean Koontz’ Frankenstein. Biggest mistake ever. What a bomber that was. Hands without bodies crawling around the floor like kittens, mutilated victims sticking out of bushes, without hearts or other organs, zombies walking around looking for body parts, and a ‘hero’ who was an experiment gone wrong. Add this to an ongoing murder case and a mad scientist named…you guessed it..Dr. Frankenstein, and you have the novel in hand. This was supposed to be a screenplay for an upcoming TV series, but got tossed when it was read. For some ungodly reason, Mr. Koontz thought that if it wasn’t good enough for TV, it would be great for a novel series…Boy, was he mistaken. There are several books in this series…I did NOT buy the others.

I also have a few Clive Cussler books on the shelf. Cussler’s hero, Dirk Pitt, is the star of the better books he has written. Although he is an unkillable hero, the action is intense, and the books are filled with adventure.  The Treasure of Khan, a book I picked up at Chapters for $9.99, was the best. It dealt with everythign from Genghis Khan to Mongolian history, to a greedy oil baron. Great read, and my introduction to the world of Clive Cussler. The second book on the shelf by Cussler is Arctic Drift, which is also interesting, but since it is written by an American, and based in Canada, it includes several references to dog sleds and igloos. Why is it that we, as Canadians, know so much about the United States, but they know so little about us? I, for one, do not own a dog sled, and even if I did, my dog is far to small to pull one around the backyard, let alone across the barren nothingness that the Americans believe is Canada.

A friend of mine recommended I read The Kite Runner. At the time, I was planning a bus trip across the island, and was too lazy to carry a book with me. So, I downloaded the audiobook copy of the book on my trusty Ipod. The author, Khaled Hosseini actually read the book to me. I was amazed by the book. Life changing is the only term I can find to describe the book. I swore that no other book would ever change how I thought about the Middle East…That was, however, until I read Mr. Hosseini’s newest title, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Whatta book. Whatta Read! The story of two young women and the cruel idoit of a husband they shared. Thats right, they were both married to the same guy at the same time. Apparently, that’s ok in this country. Anyway, not only were they subjected to violence and cruelity at the hands of this madman, they were subjected to the lack of respect that came with living in a country under Talaban rule. Up until I read this book, I used to wonder why our soldiers were over there fighting, but now, I cheer them on. Please read this book, and let me know what you thought.

I am a sucker for punishment, and because of that, I read the bio of William Shatner. Again, I found the book at Chapters, on sale (I am so cheap when it comes to good deals). The book was interesting enough, but geez..the guy is an idiot. I have always been a trekkie, but cmon…Kirk and Shat are like chalk and cheese. The book was funny at times, and I have to admit, from time to time, you had to like the guy, but his attitude often got the best of him, and of me too. Hope they don’t make a movie.

I also read the thickest book on the shelf, and it only took me four months. This was definitely “Bang for the Buck”, as I picked up Under the Dome, by Stephen King for just 25 buck at Walmart, while Chapters was still selling it for $40. The book was very interesting, despite over a thousand pages, and while my arms grew tired from carrying it around the office, my mind never grew bored or tired once. The story of a small southern US town that is virtually cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible glass dome, and how people react when this happens. The book, which actually took King over 30 years to write (and I felt guilty taking four months to read it), shows how we are sometimes followers to corrupt leaders, and how there are always a few heroes to risk their lives to stop them. I hear that King and Speilberg are planning a TV series based on the book. I can only hope that the series is better than previous stinkers that have been based on brilliant books.

That leaves one more book…The Lost Symbol, written by Dan ‘Lul somewhere in the book’ Brown. I have managed to read all his other books, and I must admit, I have struggled with boredom in most of them, except maybe, for the Davini Code, which was sheer genius. I am not saying that his books are boring, it is just that somewhere near the middle, his books get a little withdrawn. The Lost Symbol is no different, although in this case, Ole Lul Dan ran out of steam in the final few chapters of the book. Read the book, and stop when you get the answers you are looking for. That is the only advice I can give you. When the movie comes out,  go to the bathroom somewhere near the end and you will thorougly enjoy the show.

I have a collection of short stories by Stephen King, entitled Nightmares and Dreamscapes that I am reading now, and I am enjoying SOME of the stories. More on that later. Feel free to comment on those books, or some that you are reading and you would like to recommend.

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