I ended up reading 18 books in January, well on my way to reading 50 books this year, my usual goal. I don't know if it was because of hunkering down for the winter, getting ready to go on some sort of creative binge, afraid to watch the news, or all of the above.
But my book club entry for January is Warren Ellis' NORMAL, for a lot of reasons. It was Ellis who gave me the idea to do an email newsletter. He is a long-time comic book writer who has written several challenging genre novels. This one was published in chapters via Kindle and then came out in paper.
He always gives you a lot to think about. This one is about a trend forecaster who starts to lose his mind predicting a bleak future, and ends up in an asylum. After another patient is murdered in a locked-room mystery, he tries to put the pieces back together. Pretty nutty overall.
I have this perverse desire to read gloomy Scandinavian mysteries in the winter; I guess to realize that my life, and my Indiana winter, isn't that bad (If you have already read all THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO books go looking for Jo Nesbo, Arnaludur Indrioason, Helene Tursten, Asa Larsson, for a start).
I thought I would jump on some Scandinavian movies and have by and large found them surprisingly cheery and sometimes outright funny. Some pretty good ones I have seen lately are A MAN CALLED OVE, THE 100 YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED, IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE, FORCE MAJEURE. IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE has Stellan Skarsgard as a snowplow driver, if you really want to think we have it easier here.
We are closer to the end of winter than the beginning, a good thing.