Booking Through Thursday‘s latest questions have been about recent worst, serious, and funny reads. I find it best to end on a good note so in that order…
I’m currently in the middle of being really disappointed by Orson Scott Card’s Treasure Box. It doesn’t help that it comes off preachier than some of his other books. I’m not one to throw in the towel, but last night I came close. I didn’t because it actually got to a point where I want to know what happens next. Its basic premise is that Quentin Fears, a 34-year old virgin and recluse, is obsessed with his sister who died when he was 11, marries a woman who reminds him of his sister, but appearances aren’t what they seem, and he eventually follows the trail to uncover the truth behind Madeleine and a wooden box she refers to as her inheritance. If by the end of this borderline horror-fantasy I’m not completely turned off from Card’s writing, I’ll stick to his science-fiction.
My recent serious read is the Compass Rose by Ursula Le Guin, which I still need to review. The collection of short stories spans from light speculative fiction to the heavily scientific. I prefer my brain intact so read the anthology slowly, maybe two stories in one sitting at the max, if I wasn’t completely mentally fatigued. Some stories were more difficult to comprehend and get through than others, but generally speaking I liked the anthology well-enough. I do not recommend the Compass Rose as an introduction to Le Guin’s writing or sci-fi, the Lathe of Heaven or the Left Hand of Darkness would better serve the purpose. If Compass were a ski trail I’d mark it with an advanced black diamond.
Last month, I chuckled and groaned through Robert Asprin’s punny Myth Conceptions in which after apprentice Skeeve becomes Court Magician he’s told his first trick is to defend Possiltum kingdom from a massive invasion. Odds stack up against Skeeve and his master in disguise, but having tricks up their sleeves like a “talon-ted” dragon provide some assistance and comic relief. The entertaining tail is reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy and is just old-fashioned fun.
What are your recent worst, serious, and funny reads? If you’ve read any of these books mentioned, what did you think of them?