2017 Reading List- May

I’m starting to wonder if the starting of this list has some how jinxed my reading progress for the year. It feels like month after month I come here and “complain” that I’m not reading fast enough or at the pace I usually am. Is it because I’ve got a lot of things going on and just don’t have the time I used to read? Is it because I’m getting older and my ability to read has slowed down? Is this some how still connected to my new glasses? Seriously. I was reading much faster with my older pair of specs. Or could it be the books I’ve chosen to read haven’t engaged me like books in the past? That this years crop of books are just duds?

I don’t have a real answer but the fact remains that I set my Good Reads goal at 42 (the meaning of life) and after five months I’m not half way there yet. June is going to have to be a pretty busy month for me. I think the challenge is still completely doable. I just need to have a month or two where I just go on a tear and rip through some books. I have three weeks of vacation left to use this year (which means I’ve used none thus far) and I can start to clean up then. I have hope. I have not hit the panic button yet…yet.

Let’s get to the books, shall we?

Image result for dark force rising14. Star Wars: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn– Some where throughout the year of Star Wars I got myself excited to read this book. My actual plan was to read the second and third books of this trilogy back to back, and then something happened. I read Dark Force Rising and kind of lost my momentum. Does this mean that the year of Star Wars is over? Doubtful. I still have a number of graphic novels that I want to read, but as far as novel novels… perhaps. There are still two out there that I wouldn’t mind squeezing into this year (Bloodline and Rebel Rising) and I think those readings will go a little more favorable.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading Dark Force Rising. It was a fun read and Timothy Zahn does such an excellent job of capturing the voices of these characters. He especially excels with Han, Lando, C-3PO, and to a healthy degree, Luke. Thrawn is fantastic and I can’t help but think seeing him in Star Wars Rebels helped enhance this experience. Lars Mikkelsen’s voice is perfect and insanely calm and even. Picture the character he plays in Sherlock just with less face licking. Exactly.

The story is engaging and moves at an alright pace, kind of drags in spots, but that wasn’t the hang up. My biggest hang up was the book is no longer canon. Had I read it when it was apart of the expanded universe (and not considered a part of the legends series or Star Wars myths as I like to think of it) chances are I would have really enjoyed this book. Yet the whole time I was reading I felt that it really wasn’t amounting to anything. This story doesn’t exist in the larger Star Wars narrative, hell half these characters don’t even exist, and now reads kind of like fan fiction. I know that’s what it kind of is to begin with, but the discounting of the expanded universe really impacted my enjoyment of this story. Now I’m wondering if I’ll read book three. Chances are I will for the closure but after that I think I’ll stick to the canon only stories. With the exception of Shadow of the Empire. I’ve been dying to read that.

Gwendy15. Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar- Geeklings, I’ll tell you, no reading list is complete without the addition of new Stephen King stories. Gwendy’s Button Box was a novella released mid month, I actually mistook the release date by a week (d’oh!) but was still able to read it within two days after it’s release. Take that interweb spoilers!

As for the book itself? It took me two days to read it and it honestly could have taken me one if I had the time to finish it the day I started it. Is there a lot of substance here? Perhaps not but I found the book to be super refreshing. It’s a classic coming of age story that has a really good pacing and displays it’s Dark Tower implications within the first four pages. Come on, I know who you are Richard Farris.

Like I said though, I really enjoyed the pacing of this story and in a lot of ways it reminded me of the Monkey’s Paw or that crappy Cameron Diaz movie, The Box. When temptation becomes too much how long can you last before you give in, and are you prepared to deal with the consequences? The ending was alright, perhaps a little anticlimactic, but I like the direction and questions it raises. With the Castle Rock television show coming out later this year (I think) it was nice to visit again. My only complaint was the story was a too short but also didn’t lend itself to be much longer.

Oh! Gwendy was instantly a loveable character who has a terrific source for her name.

Here’s hoping that I can get to twenty books by the end of this month. I could probably squeeze in two graphic novels to get my numbers up. Hmmmm…

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