When going to choose my next book from my “Recommended For You” page on Kindle, I realized that I have, in my reading career, read quite a lot of murder mysteries and/or just plain dark fiction. This isn’t even counting the tremendous amount of non-fiction I’ve read about death. Still, I’ve been blindsided by one too many maternal/childhood/birth traumas in the fiction I’ve chosen lately, so I decided to shy away from dark subjects altogether.
I do still love a good coded manuscript mystery. This one delivered exactly the right amount of extraneous nerdery and hijinx and puzzle solving without the requisite “trying to be stopped by the Powers That Be at all costs!” kind of chase. Mr. Penumbra is a sort of “easy-listening” Foucault’s Pendulum, which is exactly what I was in the mood for.
I will say that in another mood, I might not have liked this as much as it does fall pretty heavily into “easy listening” with fairly stereotypical characters, seemingly without flaw. Some ideas about immortality are explored, but not in any kind of meaningful depth, which wouldn’t have been hard to do within the context of the plot – which largely depends on coincidence and has several rather gaping holes covered in a hand-wavey way.
He Reads: No, no he doesn’t.
P is currently not allowing me to read to him at all, ever. He enjoys sitting on the floor and looking at his books – he has a few favorites he’ll flip through for some pretty solid lengths of time – but no way am I to take books and utter their words aloud. Perhaps he’s afraid that I’m breaking an ancient code and will bring dishonor unto our house? No idea. In any case, in the interest of verité, there is no inclusion from P’s library this time around.