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” 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.
On 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.”
What 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?