Book: Danse Macabre (I finally finished a book!) (and other bookish updates)

Wow. I believe I started this well before Halloween. And I didn’t even really read *all* of it — I skipped the last 30-40 pages because I was just done.

But it was very good and very interesting. I had no idea what this was about before — I knew it was non-fiction and I knew it had to do with horror, but beyond that — no idea. Well, I was right on both counts, but it was much funnier, more intelligent and interesting than I’d imagined. Stephen King’s writing ability in terms of literature may be up for debate, but he is a very good storyteller, and he’s got a great storytelling “voice” even when writing non-fiction. He starts off talking about his history with horror — growing up with 50s-style horror movies and the horror pulp magazines. Then he moves into the various media horror can be portrayed: radio, movies, books. Along the way, he talks about how good horror stories work — where they get you. About the satisfaction that comes from really giving someone a good scare — and receiving that scare, if you’re into that kind of thing.

It was completely fascinating, not at all scary, and very funny. I laughed out loud in several places. I really, really enjoyed this. Which is good, since I’ve lived with it for the past over-a-month, which is waaaaay longer than I usually stay with a book. At one point, I could barely read a page a night. So yeah. It took me awhile to get through this.

So I finally finished it last night (meaning: I gave up when I realized I wasn’t interested in either of the last two books he was going to discuss and figured, enough is enough). The next book up was We Need To Talk About Kevin, which Tammie has been after me to read for awhile. I tried to start it, I really did. But right about then, my brain gave out again. There were just so many… words. You know how that goes sometimes?

So I took it back to the library, but I’ll get it out again when my brain is functioning better. I tried looking for something light-fiction to get me through this rough reading patch, but everything seemed way too difficult. I finally picked up Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner since I know she’s a decent writer and her brand of chick-lit is bearable to me. And then I went to Biographies and got an Aleister Crowley biography, because why not? And then I went to the music section and got Life by Keith Richards and whatever Stephen Tyler’s autobiography is called. I can’t wait to read both of those. I think that’s probably about the right speed: totally trashy rock star gossip. That’s about all I’m capable of reading right now. I hear the Keith Richards book is pretty good. You know, relatively speaking.

Then I came home and made a huge pot of an extremely simple pasta thing (dinner tonight plus lunches this week), tried to get through a rough patch of feeling bad/guilty/sad, ate some Trader Joe’s Peppermint Joe-Joe’s, and scheduled another visit with a favorite family member, who lives in Santa Cruz. Now I have some freelance work to do, and a Patti Smith documentary to watch when I’m done with that.

Oh yeah, and start reading the Keith Richards thing. Let’s hope I can get through it faster than a month plus.