Monday, March 01, 2004

Today's hype:

Elmore Leonard and J.K. Rowling

I just finished each of their latest books and man, they're good. After last night's Oscar hoopla —with a buncha movies I didn't see nor am particularly interested in – thank goodness there's still enjoyable books out there. (Yes, yes, Lord of the Rings was based on that beloved tome. But while at the Academy it made a sweep, at the theatre, it'd make me sleep. So maybe I'll read Tolkien someday, but I'm still steering clear of watching Viggo and Orlando prancing through precious New Zealand.)

"Mr. Paradise", Elmore's newest, isn't his best (I've read about 15 of his 40 novels), but it still was fun. The story features a cop investigating a double homicide, the murder of an old man and his escort who dresses up as a cheerleader while he watches tapes of University of Michigan football games. That's the selling point of the book, but I loved the dim police informant who thinks the two hit men looking to wrap up loose ends are cops working the beat. And the defense attorney who moonlights as an agent for hired killers. I've never been to Detroit, but based on EL's stuff, there must be a lot of humor to cull from gritty Motown.

And the Harry Potter books get better each time. OK, actually, I think the first, third and fifth are the best. So following that pattern, the seventh and last installment's gonna be amazing. And probably 2000 pages. I know the kids ate up "HP and the Order of the Phoenix" when it came out last summer, but it took me a while. Not only because it was so long, but I was reluctant to lug around this bowling-ball of a book. Now that I have, all I can say is wow. The world she's set up is so complex and yet completely relatable. There's a deepness to all the characters, and poor Harry, going through all the rage and hormonal confusion of being fifteen, plus the extra burden of Lord Voldemort out to destroy him and threaten the wizarding world.

Anyway, I was never any good at book reports – just thought I'd mention this. People everywhere strike up conversations when they see me w/my Leonard books ("Oh, he wrote 'Get Shorty'? I loved that!"), and especially Harry Potter. So if you wanna make some friends, or at least get in some good reading, pick up one of these.

Next is The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Everyone's read that one.


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