It’s no mystery

Hold on tightly, this post is NOT about mystery books. Sorry, but as I looked over my “to read” list, I found I just could not face another book about a woman who is lied to by her husband, friends, strangers, and is running away. (Apparently, women running away on book covers must wear red coats. I think they are really being pursued by the fashion police.) I needed something else to read, and I found it.

Ready Player One-Cover“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline is the journey of Wade Watts, better known as Parzival, as he navigates life. I picked it simply because it was available from the library. Despite all the “sci-fi” hype, this is just a wonderful classic adventure story, albeit set in 2045. It has all the elements: an ardent adventure- seeker, valiant sidekicks, evil pursuers, outrageous weapons, mortal combat, and most importantly a daunting quest for fame and fortune. (Finding the hidden “egg” in a gigantic video game will bring limitless wealth) The clues are found in video games, movies, and pop culture events from the 1970s, and 1980s. I actually have some of the “stuff” from the quest buried out in my garage. Wil Wheaton did a superb job with the narration. He was able to deliver the enormous variety of voices, computer interactions, and emotional encounters, and his flawless elocution made the book come alive.

sparkOn the absolute other end of the spectrum, I also read Jodi Picoult’s newest book “A Spark of Light.” I have read several of her previous books and found them thought provoking and socially pertinent and “A Spark of Light” is no exception. It is a powerful and controversial novel about people, and begins with a shooting at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. The narrative moves backward through the day to chronicle the events that lead up to that event, and how individuals got there, to that moment in time. Put aside the law, the religion, the emotion, the practicality, the righteous indignation, and you are left with people, people in crises, people suffering,  people dying – people. It will be a very long time before I find a book as compelling and unforgettable as “A Spark of Light.”

whatWhat about You? What was the last non-mystery book that you read? Do you regularly read a variety of books or do you mostly pick mysteries?


Author: 3 no 7

"3 no 7" presents Katie and Barbara who write about the books they love and the books they don't.

17 thoughts on “It’s no mystery”

  1. I’ve heard good things about READY PLAYER ONE.

    Actually, I’m currently re-reading a fantasy series by Roger Zelazny, the Chronicles of Amber. I found them when I was digging in our “mound o’ paperbacks” for all my Hemingway books (The Boy has a school project). I often pick a non-mystery to break up the cycle, especially if I’ve just read a really good one.

    And too funny about women being chased in red coats!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. somehow it seems that EVERY book has a woman in a red coat running away, but there have been a couple where the woman is wearing a yellow coat. I guess the stores sold all the red coats.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t begun reading it yet, but I just purchased Octavia Butler’s PARABLE OF THE SOWER:

    Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, war, and chronic shortages of water, gasoline, and more. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

    When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is facing apocalypse. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

    From a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship who has won multiple Nebula and Hugo Awards, this iconic novel is “a gripping tale of survival and a poignant account of growing up sane in a disintegrating world” (The New York Times Book Review).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just have not “gotten into” that “post-apocalyptic” area in books. But then, I don’t read Sci-fi either, so perhaps “Parable of the Sewer” might show up on my “read” list.


  3. What a wonderful thing to come back to after my vacation! Thanks for the wonderful reviews. I very much want to read A Spark of Light.

    I just finished Manhattan Beach (I know…I’m waaaaaaaaay behind on my reading) and loved it. It does have some mysterious elements, but felt more literary to me. It was my first exposure to Egan and WOW what talent. The writing is powerful and the characters fully drawn.

    PS LOL about the red/yellow coats. So true!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for those reviews. I want to check them out.

    LOL! The cover artist for my book Dancing for the General insisted the woman on the cover wore red!

    I’m almost done reading Caliban’s War, by James S.A. Corey, second installment in the Expanse series, basically about the threat of aliens in our solar system. Highly recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like magazines as well — short, able to finish in a single bound, oops sitting. I subscribe to a couple of actually-in-my-hand magazines and a couple of short story anthology e-mags.


  5. I wanted to like Ready Player One because geeky pop culture references are my thing (my first novel takes place at a comic book convention, after all), but I just couldn’t. I could see why it’s popular, but not for me.

    I buy tons of non-mystery books, mostly YA SFF, but when it comes to which ones I actually get around to reading, it’s almost always mystery.


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