I’m ill. My throat is on fire, I’ve lost my voice, my head hurts, and I just feel overall lousy. Reading has been slow. I have practically zero motivation to do anything outside of work except sleep and I’m trying to get rid of the reading pressure I’ve been putting on myself over the last few months.
I don’t want to feel guilty for not having read a certain amount of books per month or per week. And I don’t want to feel bad for not having read everything on my TBR yet. Right now, all I’m wanting are comfort reads and that means a lot of Stephen King & a lot of re-reading.
I have TBRs for September and October that correspond to certain reading challenges but you know what? It’s not the end of the world if I don’t complete them. Why am I worried about being such a failure? That’s not what reading is about. I definitely need to get out of that goal-oriented headspace.
Y’see, here’s the problem. The Running Man and The Haunting of Hill House were so brilliant that everything else is now a steaming pile of rubbish in comparison.
The Running Man was a Bachman (aka Stephen King) book that I was certainly not expecting to love as much as I did. Wow. I had issues with some of the language in certain parts but, overall, this was an incredible read. It’s set in the (oh so distant) future of 2025 when reality TV and gameshows have essentially taken over most of the world. Desperate, poverty-stricken people everywhere audition to be a part of these shows in order to win a huge amount of money but nearly of the games involve risking their lives. Our protagonist is a man who is entered into the most dangerous gameshow of all called The Running Man.
I don’t think I was expecting to enjoy this because I knew it had been adapted into a film with Arnold Schwarzenegger which made me think, “This is going to be a braindead action-packed story … ugh.” I was very wrong. This is definitely action-packed and and fast-paced but, as with all Bachman/King novels, the characters are really well-formed and worth investing your time into.
I’ve checked out the trailer for the film adaptation with Arnie and I’m here to tell you now that I can see that the film is very different from the book. While the book explores themes of class differences, lack of healthcare, poverty, family, and voyeurism, the film doesn’t touch on any of these things and is clearly another showcase for Arnie to flex his muscles and spout bad puns.
Moving on to The Haunting of Hill House. This story centres on a group of people who arrive at Hill House for the summer, ready to investigate claims that the house is haunted. Any other plot details would be a spoiler as this book is really short.
This was my first Shirley Jackson read and certainly won’t be my last. So many people are in love with her work and I think I was a little nervous going into this because, sometimes, overhyped writers and books can lead to disappointment.
I had nothing to worry about though. I loved this. I loved Jackson’s writing style. Everything flowed so easily. The dialogue between characters was so clever and so much suspense was built from the smallest things.
I can’t wait to read more from Jackson. If this is an indication of how good her writing is, I know I’m in for a treat.
I’m still working my way through Jane Eyre at a very, very slow pace.
This is a re-read for me and I was putting quite a bit of pressure on myself to read and finish this by the end of the month but honestly? I’m enjoying the slow pace and don’t want to rush through it so I’ll probably still be reading it during the first half of October.
I’m also halfway through Volume 5 of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. This volume only contains four stories and, so far, I’ve read The Forbidden and The Madonna.
The Forbidden is the novella that was the basis for the Candyman films and the main reason I picked this book up in the first place. It definitely didn’t disappoint. It had the exact kind of horror I was looking for and really did scare me half to death. The Madonna, on the other hand, was a disappointment. There was a fantastic build-up which culminated in … meh. Nothing really scary or creepy or suspenseful. Disappointing and kind of blah. I hope the remaining two stories are better.
I’m also still working my way through Richard Burton’s diaries. I’m not overly-concerned about going through these at a slow pace. Ideally I’d like to have finished them by the end of the year but, if I haven’t, it’s no big deal.
I’m enjoying what I’ve read so far. I find old Hollywood really interesting so it’s been even more fun to hear about it from someone who was right in the middle of everything.
I think I’m going to pick up another Stephen King tonight. Usually I’d prefer to finish whatever I’m currently reading before starting a new one but King has been a comfort to me lately (this will be my third this month) and I’m eager to read Different Seasons.
This is the collection of four novellas that contains the stories, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (which was later adapted into the film The Shawshank Redemption), Apt Pupil (later adapted into Apt Pupil), and The Body (later adapted into Stand by Me).
As I’ve said, I need some comfort reading right now and (as weird as it sounds) King’s the one to do it.