A Bit Of Silver And Grey

In the last couple of years my reading material has been fairly unchanging. It’s been the likes of John Sandford (love his work), Carl Hiaasen (cannot get enough of it) and some new authors I came across courtesy the Kindle store. Amongst them Jana DeLeon stood out because while her work wasn’t “hardcore literature” it wasn’t silly fluff either. It was a humorous and quite likely an accurate look into the lives of people in a small town on the bayou in Louisiana.

Each character is well-fleshed out without cutting corners and being lumped into a group of hicks and rednecks who keep chewing tobacco and spitting on the ground. I mean stereotypes only take you so far after all.

The chief amongst them are two old ladies who were counterintelligence back in ‘Nam and came back home without anyone having cottoned onto their true colors. Over the years they’ve become older, more idiosyncratic but are still sharp as tacks and quick on their feet…most of the times.

I’m mentioning the old people here because in the books I’ve grown up reading, old people are relegated to a secondary status. It’s the cheerful grandma who bakes cookies or the grumpy grandpa who eventually gets the sulky teen to realize some truths about life. But these characters are not always flesh and blood. They are bit players. They add flavor but in a restrained manner.

The other series of books which recently caught my attention are by Amanda M. Lee about a family of witches who live in a small town in Michigan. Notice the small town motif? They have a great aunt at the helm of the family and while she’s not an evil witch, she isn’t above bewitching things to punish others or to get her own way. Whether it’s selling her home made hooch (again something in common with the old ladies of the bayou) or growing “glaucoma medicine” aka pot, under the eyes of the law, or wanting a pet pig she’s a character all by herself and rightly so.

The eccentricities that the old people can lay claim to because they’ve seen their share of things in life are nothing short of mindboggling to banging your head against the wall in frustration-types. And you just can’t make them back down and play ball with the rest of the lot. Not in real life and not in stories either.

Am glad that this segment of people have found their representation in books because we’ve had enough of rosy cheeked grandmas and fairy godmothers. We haven’t had enough of crocodile-walking, bike-riding, dentured women who can’t read without their bifocals and can down moonshine with the best of them!

Go silver!

Percy Jackson&The Olympians

I’ve been late as a rule in discovering books which are part of a series and have gained a lot of popularity. I caught onto the Anne of Green Gables late (actually not really since L.M Montgomery was long dead before I was born), the Harry Potter series, the Artemis Fowl series and the latest one, Percy Jackson.

I came across the first Percy Jackson book much after I saw the trailers for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters while waiting for another movie to start. Greek and Roman myths have always interested me and just seeing the visuals I knew the actual book would be even more exciting and it was! They all were!

It is fantasy but it is fantastically readable and it’s funny. The author Rick Riordan is a truly talented wordsmith and one who possesses a cheeky sense of humor and as it is with quite a few of the “so-called” children’s’ writers, their works are eminently readable by adults as well. And whether we all have an inner child or not, we know to appreciate wit, humor and a style of prose that appeals to us and our sensibilities.

Percy Jackson brings together adventure, glory, bravery, angst, fantasy, magic and most of entertainment.

If you aren’t a snob about reading “mainstream” writing, pick up a copy today or try out the e-book.

It’s thoroughly enjoyable down to the last word and keeps you wanting more installments of the Greek and Roman pantheons and their lore.

Percy_Jackson