Warning: If you are of delicate sensibility and abhor reading novels with violence, profanity, sex or just an overall vulgar attitude, you probably should stop reading now. No doubt your overall mental health is much better than mine. But I have previously referred to myself as an omnivorous reader and I guess it’s time I exposed you to my quirkier predilections.
I confess, I have read everything Christopher Moore has ever written. I find him not only hysterically funny, but kind of profound in his own irreverent — some would say sick and twisted — way. Not all of his work is available in audio, and not all of that is available in the Shasta County Libraries, but You Suck (yes, it’s a vampire novel), Fluke: or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings and my very favorite, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal are all available for your enjoyment — if you’re perverse enough.
If you haven’t found time to read Stieg Larsson’s 600-page international best seller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, check out the CD version from our library. This is an intellectual crime thriller encompassing financial intrigue, murder and mystery, but be aware that there is also graphic sexual violence. The original title in Sweden was Men Who Hate Women, and sensitive people might want to pass on this page turner. The sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, is, in my opinion, even more fascinating than Tattoo. In the first book you are introduced to main characters Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. In the second, you really get to understand what motivates them. The Girl Who Played with Fire is available in the library’s Digital Media Center, as is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. His last book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest will be available in the U.S. after May.
NOTE: I usually struggle with technology, but I have found it fairly easy to download audio books into my new iPod. Now that I’ve forced myself to learn how to use the iPod and its accessories I’m enjoying this convenient new way to listen to recorded books. This is especially terrific for people who struggle with finishing an audio book with maybe 15-20 hours of listening in the three-week period allotted for borrowed material. In the digital world, after the novel is transferred into your iPod, it’s there until you delete it.
Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith, available in digital format, is mesmerizing — but dark, as dark as a 1953 Soviet winter with a serial killer of children on the loose. If you can stand the subject matter, you’ll find this novel riveting. It is well-researched, well-written and well-read, but again, not for the faint of heart.
I’ll finish my recommendations with Beat the Reaper — a profane, pulpy, darkly hilarious action-thriller, whose author, Josh Bazell, channels both Raymond Chandler and Chuck Palahniuk. The story is narrated by Peter Brown, a former mafia hit man in witness protection, now an intern at the worst hospital in Manhattan. (If you have any tendency toward hypochondria, avoid this book!) The plot is implausible; the characters are bizarre, and I enjoyed every minute of it. My only regret is that I didn’t save it for a car trip with my husband. His taste is even less refined than mine.