Looking at a Book

One of the things I decided I was going to do this year was to read more books. I have several books that I’ve read multiple times. This time I wanted to read books that were new and out of my comfort zone. That means I was jumping from fantasy/SciFi to a genre that I don’t particularly like or read. I was at Goodwill on half price day and spotted a book. It was emblazoned with “National Bestseller” and “Fiction/Mystery”. There were glowing reviews from The New Yorker, The Washington Post Book World, and the Chicago Tribune. The title is “Bangkok Tattoo” by John Burdett.
Oh boy. I had no idea what I was getting. This is a murder mystery set in Thailand. The main characters are prostitutes, crooked police, a corrupt army General, gangsters from various countries and a CIA operative… The book reminded me of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in that it was written by a man and the audience was assumed to be male. So there was lots of sex, cursing and expletives, blood and violence (often against women). I’d give this book a thumbs down. I read the whole thing mostly because the writing style was convoluted and I kept waiting to figure out how the title played into things. I think most guys would enjoy this for prurient reasons. I am now trying to decide how to get rid of it. I’m pretty sure that I could drop it back into the donation box and no one would ever know…

12 thoughts on “Looking at a Book

  1. I have books I need to finish. I read best while sitting on son’s swing on the patio. It seems when I feel well I set about doing the dusting chores I’m so far behind in. Today I have a doctor appt so could pop a book in my purse, but as a people watcher…oh ok concentration really needs quiet.


  2. Oh, girlfriend! I feel you. A friend recommended a book, albeit tepidly, so I began reading it with some skepticism. It was another WWll novel, of which I’ve pretty well had my fill, not being a fan of glorified violence and heroism. I soon began to suspect it was a bodice ripper, another genre I’ve outgrown. I plodded through it, as predictable as it was, just to see how it ended. And now, I’m tasked with disposing of it. Being an admitted bibliophile snob, I don’t want to foist it on anyone I know, and I’m not sure I can give it to Goodwill in good conscience. (I’m only half kidding.) Life is too short for bad books!
    If you like books with no chance of making the best seller list, I have an eclectic collection from which I’d be happy to recommend one for your pleasure. On the fringes of your preferred genre, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel comes to mind. … well, actually, that was a bestseller, but it was still a good read.


    1. I am well acquainted with the B-list books. I’ve got a few myself (maybe more than a few). Anyway I have almost given up on eBooks for the simple reason that they fall into a few categories – bodice ripper (with varying degrees of gratuitous sex) and predictable mysteries. At least the free ones. And why would I pay to read a book when they are free at the library?! The Goodwill book was an impulse buy and now I will release it into the world for the next unsuspecting reader. Maybe it will be snatched up by some young male who will think it is the best piece of “literature” he’s ever read. I will search for Station Eleven and perhaps even relish it!! Thanks for the title and if you have any other recommendations I’m all ears!


  3. You can come browse my bookshelves anytime; I’m sure I have lots of books you won’t like! I love mysteries, so that comprises a large percentage of my collection, but there are others as well. As far as disposing of the one you just read, leave it on a bench somewhere for somebody to find. The mall, the airport, somewhere around the university… it’s a nice, anonymous method.


    1. Haha! Yes, I’ll check your bookcase. I don’t mind well written mysteries but so many of the “free” ebooks are junk. I’ve yet to find anything close to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot…As for being anonymous I think I’ll put it in the rummage sale and then if no one snaps it up I’ll find a nice bench to abandon it!


  4. I’ve been down a lot lately. I decided to go to the library and get a book to escape my state. I got a cheap romance and a book about plants. I would read more, but I struggle with motivation. It’s like the devil’s version of laziness.


  5. I love to read. I don’t mind mysteries that are not too scary, gory or violent. (Mainly like solving a puzzle.) I burnt a book once. It was not only what I would call an X rated book, but it was also political. The plot involved a coup in Africa. Someone had included it in a box sent with other books for the missionaries to read. I assume no one read the books first to make sure they were all appropriate. My husband started reading it when we were visiting in the capitol city. He gave it to me, and said “This book should not be here!” I only read a little bit. It was gross. Then we took it home with us and I burnt it in our wood stove. By the way, I found out that books take a long time to burn.


    1. I like many types of books but soft porn “romance novels” are not one of them… I once got a free book at Salvation Army it was a wonderful story but smack in the middle of the book was a chapter that was so out of place/out of character that it was obviously inserted to “spice up” the story with a sex scene that had no continuity with the story. Probably at the insistence of the editor. The style was different too – probably written by someone else – not the author. Really sad. The story could have been one that even pre-teens could have appreciated. I thought about cutting the pages out but that was too much effort.


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