Weekly Roundup 1/20/2012 / by Matt Burkhardt

It's been a good week for me in the reading realm.  I finished Stephen King's 11/22/63 and started putting together my review of the second half of the novel, which I hope to post in the next week.

Following that, I consumed the audible version of Mario Puzo's The Godfather.  I don't have enough to say about this to warrant its own independent review.  Suffice it to say that, having seen the film first, the first half of the novel was the slightest bit slow.  I found Johnny Fontane a whiny unsympathetic character who, if I'm recalling correctly, benefitted from the film taking the pressure off of him as a major player. In the book, he gets a whole section where he's the point of view character, and I just found it impossible to sympathize with someone who gets his way just because Don Corleone is his actual godfather.

I thought the second half of the novel, by contrast, picked up and made reading the book worthwhile.  The screenplay being co-written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, they nailed the task of adapting the novel into a brilliant film. Unfortunately, perhaps because of this, the beginning of the novel didn't give me more of what I wanted in the way some books turned into films do. I wanted to delve deeper into the characters and their world and it felt like I was just getting the facts. However, once Don Corleone is shot and Michael begins his ascent, the book really starts to shine.  I was on the fence about reading the next novel in the series but, in the end I think I will eventually pick it up.

I initially borrowed this book from my public library in ebook format, but I didn't finish 11/22/63 before the loan expired, so I ended up using one of my monthly credits and getting the multi-voice performance recording from Audible.com and I was very pleased.

I said I was going to start John Green's new novel, The Fault in our Stars, when I finished with The Godfather.  I didn't get to it this week, but I intend to over the next couple of days.  For the time being, I'm almost finished with the audio version of P.G. Wodehouse's The Code of the Woosters, a thoroughly enjoyable novel about Bertie Wooster, slightly witless British aristrocrat, and his remarkable butler, Jeeves.  I had grown up watching the television show starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, long before he took on the titular role on House, M.D.  The novel does not disappoint.  Bertie Wooster makes for an outstanding first-person narrator and Wodehouse's writing is a pure treat.

As I posted earlier this week, I'm going to be hosting a weekly poll to help me decide which of the ever-growing list of books I wish to read I should read next.  I'll pick four or so books from my to-read list on Goodreads and you can vote for your favorites.

Coming Up:


I've acquired a few books of late that I'm eager to sink my teeth into.  First thing's first, I'll finish up The Code of the Woosters.  Next shall likely be finishing off the Doctor Who Brilliant Book 2012, which I'm currently fifty pages into.  Following that, I most recently acquired a two-volume set of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle, Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks, and the aforementioned A Fault in our Stars by John Green.  Other possibilities include Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man, and any of another hundred books I probably can't think of at this precise moment.

When the week is out, I'll have finished one book and also read two complete ones.  I think I've gotten into the groove of near-constant reading.  Now I just need to figure out when I'm going to write about everything.  The good news is, the more I read the more I understand what's missing from my own fiction and, knowing what my own fiction lacks, I can begin to work on improving it.

Keep an eye out this coming week for my review of the second half of Stephen King's 11/22/63 and possibly P.G. Wodehouse's The Code of the Woosters.