What are you reading the week of March 7, 2020?
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Hindsight (Kendra Michaels Book 7) by Iris Johansen
(murder of two academy teachers Kendra knew from her school days/Kendra and Adam ~ a favorite romantic suspense series)
Up next is In the Heart of the Canyon by Elisabeth Hyde. My sisters and I are riding mules in Grand Canyon on Tuesday and out on Thursday so I thought a book with a Grand Canyon setting was appropriate.
I'm reading two books - Medusa by Torkil Damhaug - a Norwegian crime novel - and The Thing with Feathers by Noah Strycker, a well-respected bird watcher who, in this book, looks at the similarities and differences between human and avian behaviour.
Would Like To Meet – Rachel Winters
Digital audio performed by Laura Hobson
From the book jacket: Can you fall in love like they do in the movies? It’s Evie Summers’s job to find out. Because if she can’t convince her film agency’s biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? He thinks rom-coms are unrealistic – and he’ll only put pen to paper if Evie shows him that it’s possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.
As a reader, I’ve been there, done that, and seen the movie multiple times. It’s a cute rom-com of a novel, but totally predictable. I did like the father-daughter team of Ben and Annette, although I’m not sure having Annette be deaf was necessary.
I’m sounding much like a “romance Grinch” here, but that isn’t really what I mean to convey. It’s an enjoyable rom-com, and I liked listening to it. It’s just not anything I’ll remember much more than a day after finishing it.
Now … who will be cast in the movie?
Laura Hobson does a good job performing the audio version. She sets a good pace and kept this listener engaged.
The most interesting part of the book to me was its exploration of the shadow-economy within the African-American community of the 1950s and 60s, and the prevalence of Jim Crow laws throughout the culture. Those of us who never dealt firsthand with institutionalized racism think of "Whites Only" drinking fountains or back-of-the-bus indignities, and don't realize how much deeper and more malignant the practices were.
Next up is an early review of The Sleeper Lies, which looks like an interesting suspense tale.
Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs
(South Carolina/a drone brings down a hot-air balloon)
Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
Hope Jahren was always most comfortable in a lab; as a child she played in her father’s lab. She chose to research botany, and this is her memoir.
Jahren structures the book with alternating chapters; in one she will give a botany lesson, detailing, for example, the functioning of a leaf; in the next chapter she’ll relate a personal story of her journey from childhood to her position as a research scientist. And I was frequently able to draw a comparison between the science and the memory. I was fascinated by the science lessons but was completely taken in by her personal story.
Jahren writes with humor and strength as she reveals her personal struggles with bi-polar disorder, with learning to show love having grown up in a reserved Scandinavian culture, and with being a woman in a decidedly male-dominated field. I particularly loved the stories she told of her adventures with her student and eventual lab partner, Bill. This is the kind of guy who will drive you to distraction, but whom you want along on a deserted island. Resourceful is his middle name!
I highly recommend this to all readers – male or female, science geek or amateur gardener. I think just about everyone will find something delightful and relatable in this memoir.
In The Town, Flem has begun to acquire more power, and to aspire to actual respectability. While The Hamlet features several interlocking narratives, a series of stories that together paint the picture of the area and its inhabitants (and their varying reactions to the Snopes invasion), the narrative in The Town coalesces around Flem Snopes and his drive for money and influence in the town, as complicated by the open secret of his wife's 16-year infidelity with another important town citizen. Faulkner's breathtaking ability to peel back human motivations, for good or evil, make these novels extremely rewarding reading experiences.
Next up will be a round of "between books," as usual, and then on to a volume of medieval history, Soldiers of the Faith: Crusaders and Moslems at War by Ronald C. Finucane.
Have picked up, instead, Buried in the Sky, which is about the 2008 K2 tragedy in which eleven climbers died on the mountain. I loved reading Into Thin Air, so I'm hoping I'll like this as well.
Chasing Cassandra: The Ravenels by Lisa Kleypas
(book 6/England, 1876/a very wealthy man with a frozen heart would like Cassandra Ravenel for a wife)
* “from ‘Women on Top: Ten Post-Lib Role Models for the Eighties’ a book proposal” from Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs
* Excerpt from Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody from The Norton Book of Women's Lives edited by Phyllis Rose
* “Historical Drama” from Laugh with Leacock by Stephen Leacock
* "Lynne Chaney" from American Heroines: The Spirited Women who Shaped Our Country by Kay Bailey Hutchison
* “Tiger Bites” from A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
* “In the Museum of the Americas” from Living in the Weather of the World by Richard Bausch
* “West Indian ‘Emperor Jones’” by Sherril Schell from The Mentor, November, 1924 edited by W. D. Moffat
Last night I started Soldiers of the Faith: Crusaders and Moslems at War by Ronald C. Finucane
Finished it up late last night & have started an early Robin Cook. Must be hard to write a book while standing on your soapbox..........
It was lovely not having cell service for 3 days but overwhelming coming out on top surrounded by hundreds of people from around the world and finding out how much Coronavirus has progressed.