Posted on December 19, 2019
I don’t post reviews on this site so much as my thoughts about genre experiences. And while I feel perfectly justified in posting negative thoughts about movies and television shows, I rarely post anything negative about books because it just feels too personal. Movies and television shows are the product of armies of people. Books generally come from the mind of one author. Movies are in it for the billions. Books are in it for the thousands.
So if you’ve noticed I haven’t posted anything about my reading list for a long time, you should be able to guess that I’ve had a run of very bad luck. I have only finished reading one book in the last six months and there was a negligible return on investment there. I got less than a hundred pages into the rest of the refugees from my TBR pile.
Everything in SF I’m reading feels like it exists in a predefined world. There’s no sense of anything new there. The last SF book that truly blew my mind was the Southern Reach trilogy. Five years ago.
In the horror genre, even my tried and true authors seem to be limping along providing little of interest. And certainly nothing scary or new.
The detective novels fare even worse. Some of the authors I’ve enjoyed over the years have turned themselves into ghost written factories producing a toneless, uninteresting product no one asked for.
So I’ve been taking a break from novels for a while. In their place I’ve been listening to comedy podcasts. Comedy is a genre, too, and the last book of any kind that blew my mind was Patton Oswalt’s Silver Screen Fiend. Part memoir, part Inside Baseball of the stand-up comedy world, I reread it six times in a row. And just talking about it right now, I feel like maybe I’ll spend the rest of the day listening to the audio book.
My New Year’s resolution will be to dig deeper, abandon my usual authors, and seek out the new and different. Let’s hope this silent streak doesn’t last.