LATE SUMMER READING

Pretty sure I already talked about The Rosie Project but it remains one of my favorite summer reads – author is Graeme Simsion.

Read a number of books that promised more than they delivered and picked up a few that didn’t make it through the first few pages. I have decided there are so many good books that there isn’t time to read the rest. So here’s what I enjoyed the last few weeks.

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian and – a little less – Sand Castle Girls. These are both historical novels and a bit of a departure for this author. Sand Castle Girls is about the Armenian genocide and Skeletons at the Feast is set in the last few months of WWII in Germany.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (who we all know is J. K. Rowling). Second in the Cormoran Strike series, I really enjoy her main character and found this a fun read.

Reread Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – some of the old ones are still really good ones.

Saints of New York by R. J. Ellory – main character is a policeman who had a father who was a decorated officer but who his son knows was a bent cop. Interesting look at guilt and motivations.

The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh is the continuation of the Lord Peter Whimsey series from Dorothy Sayers. Think the author does a decent job of getting the sound of the characters.

Herbie’s Game by Timothy Hallinan is a Junior Bender story – the crook’s crook.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey is billed as a mystery but is really a look at a woman who is suffering from dementia and quite well done.

Can’t we Talk about Something More Pleasant is Roz Chast’s graphic novel about taking care of her elderly parents.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs is an interesting story about a strong woman character who is kidnapped by a man who has a reasonable motive and her struggle to come to terms with this.

QUESTION: How much attention do you pay to the back cover of a book you are thinking about buying

Do you place any reliance on author blurbs – on comparisons to other books – on quotes from reviews?

OK – so I am really ticked because I bought a book based on an author comment that it was similar to a book I really loved. Well – it was nothing like that book and I was really annoyed.

Now this is all my own fault because the person making that comment/recommendation is an author I won’t read so why – you might ask – would I pay any attention to his recommendations. Good question.

But I still wonder if I am the only one so susceptible or if you all have better sense and actually sit and read a chapter before you whip out the credit card.

BOOK GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

Lots of newspapers, radio shows, etc, put out their summer reading lists but a book you really enjoy reading may not be the best book for a discussion. So I am always interested when the Indie book store group puts out its list of books especially recommended for reading group discussions. And I was particularly pleased because #1 on their list is a book I really liked – Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Check out the website for all the lists – separated into several categories to help you decide what kind of reading you want to do.

http://www.bookweb.org/node/29364

Catching up on what’s been read this summer

Haven’t been posting about reading but doesn’t mean reading hasn’t happened.  

Here are some of last month’s highlights

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – about the impact of the war in Chechen – not a light read but a good one

The Devil’s Dream by Lee Smith – story of a musical family from the hills of appalachia to a modern day country/western star – none of them behaved well

The Prophet by Michael Koryta – Really thought this was excellent – about two brothers in a small town trying to deal with the guilt over their sister’s murder years ago – lots of football and religion

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan -enjoyed this story of a very bright but unusual 15 year old who is dealing with losing her beloved sister to a husband and trying to understand love

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams -funny story of a typical Adams situation – time travel and saving the world is included.

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol – unusual plot for a thriller

Close to Home by Peter Robinson -a DCI Banks – bones of a friend of his who disappeared 30 years before are found and he gets involved in the case while Annie is dealing with the disappearance of another 15 old boy.