In The Reading Lounge

Every library has them. Every patio could be considered one. And entire bookstores are labeled them. I’m speaking of nice, relaxing lounges where anyone can sit down, have a cup of coffee or soy strawberry frappe, and read a book in their spare time. Lounges are half the reason of what makes reading so rewarding; finding a place worth sitting down and just getting absorbed into any preferred book.
Why I bring up the meaning and purpose of a reading lounge is because they help me, personally, get deeper invested into what I’m reading. When I’m in a selected lounge, everything synchs together fluidly. I understand things better instead of re-reading certain sections of chapters twice and looking over past details. It all snaps and connects perfectly.
As of this writing I am sitting in my personal lounge at home, reading two special books. The sunlight is shining directly on the pages, the white wooden table to the left of me with a nice cup of hot cocoa. What better way to read? And what better way than to discuss the books I’m reading?
Both are radically different from one another; one is an anthology of zombie stories and the other a fictional Norwegian detective novel. The zombie anthology, The Living Dead 2, is an original collection of new fiction and short stories that delve into the complex depths of zombie lore. The Norwegian detective novel, The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo, is part of a nine-book series, and a very descriptive adventure of finding a serial killer in Oslo, Norway.
I want to discuss The Devil’s Star first because I find it to be one of the more interesting novels I’ve read this year. I’m still in the process of reading through it, but what I’ve read so far is intriguing and thought-provoking. It covers the troubled life and misery of one detective Harry Hole, who suffers from alcoholism and inner personal conflict. During his miseries, he’s given the task of hunting down a serial killer who kills women and severs off their ring finger and placing a red star-shaped diamond underneath their eyelids. At the same time he works and collides with another detective, Tom Waaler, who he believes covered up the murder of one of Hole’s partners. What I find most interesting about the book thus far is the heavy noir feel of it’s narrative; talking place entirely in Norway, the details and structure evoke a sense of mystery around every corner, providing that true inspector feel while staying at a steady pace with its story and characters. And the truly funny thing about it all is that this isn’t the first book in the series, yet it feels like it could stand on its own feet as a separate standalone novel. This is primarily due to its excellent pacing, and I’m only half way through. All in all, for a mystery novel, not only does it keep me guessing but it qualifies as one of the more mind-opening books so far in my collection.
Now for the zombie anthology. Oh, the zombies. I can never get enough of them, to tell the truth. For the past couple of months I’ve been on this zombie kick, watching The Walking Dead, playing zombie-related games, and reading tons of zombie fiction to take notes for my own zombie story. But it’s in these anthologies that show just how unrelenting and captivating zombie fiction actually is; both The Living Dead and The Living Dead 2 show excellent renditions of how we portray zombies, how the media portrays them, and how other cultures view them (I read the first Living Dead last year and each story blew me away). I wouldn’t consider the stories in The Living Dead 2 higher up than in the original, but they come pretty close. There are 37 stories in total and I read about 2-3 a day, each one more refreshing than the last. Ever wonder what happens to zombies when they die in the most painful of ways? It tells you. Ever imagine how the zombie apocalypse would affect other countries other than us? It’s right there.
After I’ve completed both books, I’ll give my final opinion on what I thought of them here in the Lounge. Along with several other books over time.

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