the mungk – reading list (the decent)

Sometimes, a book is like an average movie; entertaining, but not mind-blowing. Not generic enough to be terrible and offer little, but not exactly groundbreaking, either. Think of pretty much every action flick made by Netflix. It’s entertaining enough while you’re in it; afterwards, it’s mostly forgettable.

You aren’t rushing out to tell your friends; neither are you sorry you read it. Here’s that list.

Get It Done When You’re Depressed – Julie Fast

A little amateurish, but not terrible advice for those of us mired in the darkness. A useable tool, if a bit repetitive.

The Power Of Less – Leo Babauta

I like the idea of minimalism, but for some reason, the book felt very dry to me. Like a platitude you know to be true, but still, you’ve heard it enough for it to have lost impact.

Start With Why – Simon Sinek

A great TED talk expanded too far; nearly two hundred and fifty pages of rehashing the exact same idea, and fluffing Apple.

The Sorrows Of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Kind of disjointed; I could only read about his love for the girl so many times before I wanted to smack him. Still, I understand the feeling, but yeah. It definitely didn’t inspire Werther fever in me, and I say that as someone who has thought about driving into traffic at least once a week since I was old enough to drive. (Don’t worry; I’ve long ago managed to find ways to combat and work through depression, not the least of it is just keeping on until it passes. This too shall pass is a mantra I cannot forget.)

The Fire Starter Sessions – Danielle Laporte

I like the way Ms. Laporte writes, but the ideas are not necessarily new and I will always dock a point for anyone who tells people that they’re a brand and they need to focus on that (ignoring the fact that brand is superficial and illusive deceit that lies opposite character and reputation – both based on actual behaviour, not some appearance of it).

Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

I’m not enamoured of these books as much as so many other fellow lefties and hippies are. Mostly, I find the nonsensical somewhat distracting. Still, some of it feels like an old home, hence the refusal to completely excoriate it.

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies – Seth Graham-Seth

I wanted to love this, but yeah. No amount of zombies, violence and double entendres can clean up the tedium of Jane Austen for me. Sorry.

Gregor The Overlander – Suzanne Collins

A pretty good little page turner for kids. Nothing mind-blowing, but still, I’d recommend it for a kid of any age.

Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris

The book itself isn’t amazing, but she really nails the feel of the first person for Sookie. That itself was enough to elevate it.

High Hunt – David Eddings

A little to wannabe J.D. Salinger to start, but an okay tale in the vein of wannabe tough guy writers. His later stuff in fantasy was better.

The Sword Of Shannara – Terry Brooks

A Lord Of The Rings ripoff (plot line almost completely), but still, entertaining. The exposition on history and recap was a bit much, and probably could have been edited down by a good hundred pages, at least.

Five Weeks In A Balloon – Jules Verne

Credit where credit’s due. It’s a well written book, exciting and full of unique characters. Unfortunately, it’s also somewhat racist. The adventures parts are exciting; the constant references to Africans as savages and cannibals less so.

Through The Looking-Glass – Lewis Carroll

Same as above. I actually liked this one mildly better; it felt ever so slightly more mature.

Gregor And The Prophecy Of Bane – Suzanne Collins

What I appreciate about Suzanne Collins is that even though they are children’s books, they feature actual consequence. That’s rare in cozy books at all, unless it’s a redshirt. So, props for that.

The Elfstones Of Shannara – Terry Brooks

The thing about Terry is, if you can get past the exposition and the unnecessary histories, the endings are usually very well done. Saving grace, really. Otherwise, these would be much, much worse.

Brothers Of Earth – C.J. Cherryh

I liked the book, and the almost manic feeling of the main character, lost in insanity in a foreign culture and planet, and Cherryh’s worldbuilding is always top notch. However, it was a bit of a slog still to get through. I know she’s capable of better, but even this is hardly bad.

Hail To The Chin: Further Confessions Of A B-Movie Actor – Bruce Campbell

I love Bruce, in everything. This one, albeit good, lacked the same panache as his first autobiography, which was too bad. Nothing stood out for me here, though I wasn’t completely unentertained.

The Happiest Days Of Our Lives – Wil Wheaton

I couldn’t find this one in paperback or kindle form, but I did find it as an audiobook on bandcamp. It’s still good, not as entertaining as the others, but then story about his cat? Come on. I find so many similarities in his home life between he and I. Both of us married to beautiful, older women with her own children and a crappy ex. A love of animals and a wife that’s almost insane about it. Job dissatisfaction, torn between two worlds, depression, etc. There’s a lot of commonality there, even though I didn’t grow up famous. I appreciate that.

Queen Of Sorcery – David Eddings

So, this was my favourite fantasy series growing up. Re-reading it, it still holds up, if it doesn’t stand out. I liked the ending to this one, but it’s a lot of meandering to get there. Polgara’s wrath-filled entrance at the end is magical.

The Wishsong Of Shannara – Terry Brooks

Same story as the first two in this series; tedious build-up, terrific ending. I know there must be an obsession with Tolkien on Brooks’ part. Certainly, he seems to want to write in the exact same vein.

Journey To The Centre Of The Earth – Jules Verne

For a classic, it was more boring than I thought. And I know it’s more scientifically accurate (but come on, scientific accuracy is hardly Verne’s greatest strength, given what he knew at the time), but slowly rising up a volcanic shaft isn’t exactly a heart-pounding finale.

Thus concludes the mid-range; semi-colons abound.

Target: 1200 words
Written: 108 words, poetry: Feathers Falling

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