The Joy of Summer Reading.

I got back home after a lovely week in Washington D.C. on Sunday night, after having driven for 12+ hours.  Trust me, this is not something to do on a whim.  It’s well worth the slight discomfort to be able to spend a week with family we have not seen for some time, as you know, Skype Chatting does not count as spending time with family!

It was while in D.C. that I finished my latest book, and started something new.  I finished reading “314” by A.R. Wise, which is some sort of suspenseful thriller with a bit of supernatural thrown in.  It was a good book, but there were a few things that kinda irked me about the book.  The characters were believable, and the story flowed very well.  It made an interesting use of time, by showing us the happenings from the past just prior to the current happenings, and even turned this around as things got more complex as we approached the present.  The author makes note of this in his afterward. (yes, forwards, afterwards and thanks pages should be read in every book!)  The past, in this book, seems somewhat fluid, as what happened then, continues to happen in a sort of loop, which means some of the characters are doing the same thing they’ve done before, and some characters are experiencing things for the first time in a new way,thanks to the happenings in the present.  A little complex, but intriguing.

The part that bugged me the most was the premise that 314, the number for Pi (3.14159~) is used as a focus point in the book, and even is given as a code for the name of the corporation that has quarantined the town.  The problem is 3.141592 is supposed to represent the score for different tiles in the game of Scrabble, whos letters make up the name of the company (Cada EIB).  The thing is, this works for Cada, but the letters EIB are not scored 5/9/2, rather 1/1/3.  As a Scrabble Nut (most readers and writers seem to be) I know this, and the characters in the store, who are also supposed to be Scrabble Nuts, should know this, but the author cheated in order to push a point.  And that just irks. 🙁

Something similar happened when I was reading “The List” by J.A.Konrath.  Yes, another book by J.A. Konrath, also known as Jack Kilborn, as I’ve come to enjoy his writing style.  In The List, which I also finished during my vacation in D.C.!  This author is one I’ve come to really enjoy, as he’s able to really make his characters come alive.  But like just about all authors, they all make mistakes.  The one that really “ejected” me from this novel was one of services available in some locations and not in others.  In this case, gas companies.

In the book, two of the characters disguise themselves as gas company employees in order to gain access to a building where the president of the United States is giving a speach.  The problem is that the gas company they disguised themselves as employees of, “Enbridge,” does not provide gas services in Montreal, where the speech is taking place.  Instead, they should have disguised themselves as “Gaz Metropolitain” employees.  Surely in the next edition of the novel, this will be fixed.

Other than that, this book is a fantastic fun ride, every character shows their humorous side, and have fun with each other.  There are lines that made me laugh out loud, which can be confusing to those sitting around you.

One thing I learned while reading both “The List” and “314” is to try not to read them while resting at the beach, the sunburn is not worth it!