Time for that hallowed PPA tradition: apologizing to all three regular readers (thanks, guys) for my prolonged absence. This blog isn't dead, instead it's hopefully due for a rebirth -- I'm working on a multi-pronged project that will (once again, hopefully) be pretty interesting. But it's still in progress, and a ways off.
It's been a strange winter, the warmest I can recall in Atlanta -- after last year's ice storm, this year's been more shorts and t-shirts. We've flirted with 70 degrees the last few days. We've had the air conditioner on. I'm not saying the strange weather -- and the lack of conditions that would lead me to introspection -- is the reason for the idle blog. But I'd rather consider that than the alternative, which is that I'm lazy.
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Speaking of hallowed traditions: book diary catch-up!
#41 -- "Tintin and the Secret of Literature" by Tom McCarthy
#42 -- "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace
#1 -- "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson
#2 -- "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling
#3 -- "Roseanna" by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
#4 -- "The Darkest Room" by Johan Theorin
#5 -- "When the Lights Went Out" by Gare Joyce
For the end of 2011, both books were fantastic. The McCarthy book won't be much fun if you haven't read Tintin, but if you have, it's amazing. The DFW essays are fantastic and the book made me feel guilty for dismissing an earlier-owned copy as boring ten pages in.
I've been on a Scandinavian noir kick to start this year, obviously, prompted first by the surprisingly good film adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," and then my disappointment in finally reading the third book in that series and finding that it wholly lacked suspense -- after about 100 pages in, there's not a shred of doubt that everything's going to be okay. Unsatisfied, I've set out to find the great Scandinavian noir novel(s), and well, still looking. "Roseanna" is atmospheric and moody but nothing really happens. Theorin will eventually write something amazing, but his first two have been a mixed bag for me. Effective, creepy, and fascinating ... but the plot of "The Darkest Room" is an absolute mess, the pacing's way off, and it just reads strange. It frustrated me, but at the same time, left me anxious to see what he does next.
"When the Lights Went Out" is something that I've wanted to read for a long time, and I've got a lot to say about it -- and I will, sometime this weekend. Really!