October 16, 2005

What I Read

We had another action-packed weekend. We were originally scheduled to go to a baby shower for Joe and Carol, but it was cancelled. But then many of the invitees were invited to dinner (we took our goodies anyway--two meals for the freezer, conveniently prepared last weekend on the Big Cooking Day!) Before going up to Battleground, we had a much more relaxed trip to the library than our last few have been, and as a result, of course, brought home lots of books. Today was a whopper in terms of getting things done around the house, most of which desperately needed doing. I am tuckered, but glad. None of those things make for particularly exciting reading, though, so I thought I'd get around to some book reviewing at last.

First up has to be the Wiley books: "Wiley's Lament" and "Wiley's Shuffle". I was surfing the library's catalog one night, and came across a name I remembered: Waiwaiole. That's my college debate partner (and general buddy) Poeko's last name....You'd remember it, too, if you had to spell it over and over again for judges ("W A I. Then W A I again. O L E. It's Hawaiian.") So I looked, and the author's first name was Lono. Hmmmm....wasn't that Po's dad's name? So I checked, and sure enough, when I looked at the author's website, that was definitely Po's dad in the picture!

So I had to read the books (it's meant as a series; two are out, and a third is due this December, I think). They are GOOD. He even got a starred review in Kirkus, which is a big deal in the publishing world. They are very "noir"; if Raymond Chandler were writing today, it would be stuff like this. There's a certain amount of violence, and definitely more graphic sex than my usual diet of "cozy" mysteries (often peopled by little old ladies, maiden aunts, etc. ;-) ), but I really loved the characters. That made reading about 'most any of their adventures enjoyable. They also seem to be "buddy" stories; there are two main characters who stand by each other through thick and thin. Wiley is a down-and-out type who consistently screws up relationships with the opposite sex, but has a true heart of gold (sometimes it's kinda violent gold, but he means well.) I think that's part of what makes him such an endearing character; he's definitely human.

(and I have to mention, there's a minor character who shares my name--an exotic dancer, but that's actually pretty high-class in this gritty series--in the first book. She gets to give a great smackdown, too. Thanks, Lono! [even tho' it was probably just a coincidence, I enjoyed the smackdown more because of it.])

A final plug for them is that they're set in Portland (with the occassional roadtrip). It's sorta fun to read about the place in fiction.

More another day...

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