Tuesday, March 23, 2021
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1. What are you currently reading? The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I chose this one for its workplace setting. It appears my working-from-home days may finally be winding to an end, and I want to get my mind back into things like commuting, skyscrapers, a shared refrigerator in the coffee room and wearing something other than sweats and Crocs every day (don't judge me).
Lucy and Joshua are two highly effective executive assistants who are stuck sharing an office. They become competitors who can't resist pushing one another's buttons and their rivalry festers into obsession. (I enjoy when Lucy changes her passwords, currently it's IHATEJOSHUA4EV@.) Of course they're going to fall in love. If that's a spoiler for you, you've never picked up a volume of chick-lit. But the fun will be seeing how author Thorne gets us there. And I am having fun so far.
2. What did you recently finish reading? The Adventures of Ellery Queen by Ellery Queen. Ellery Queen is a famous and influential character in the mystery genre. For example, Richard Levinson and William Link were acolytes who went on to create Columbo and Murder, She Wrote. That's why I've been itching to read some of these stories, and now I finally have.
The fictional Ellery is the Harvard-educated son of Inspector Richard Queen, NYPD, Ellery believes that crimes can be solved using deductive reasoning, and he often puts his estimable intellect to work to help his dad catch killers.
The stories are brain teasers, reminiscent of the cases that confronted Hercule Poirot and Nero Wolfe. While the pair of writers who collaborated on the Queen stories were good at crafting mysteries, I simply didn't find the writing as engaging as those other series.
They simply haven't aged well. The newest stories here are from 1941, which means that the contents of this book are at least 80 years old. I don't mind that the characters didn't have TV or cell phones, or even the way Ellery practically fetishizes cigarette smoking. That kind of thing doesn't bother me. (As I say, I've read a lot of Agatha Christie and Rex Stout.) But Ellery is written as an effete snob who looks down his nose at women -- always defined by their physical attributes -- blacks and Hispanics. Also, as an animal lover, two of the stories had plot points that made me terribly sad.
Which is all my very long winded way of saying, "OK, so I tried Ellery Queen. I won't be back."
3. What will read next? Time for non-fiction.