Another Reading Update

Book 27 – The Red House, by Mark Haddon

New one by the guy that wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time.  Matriarch dies and the middle aged son decides his family should re-connect with his sister’s family by spending a week together in the country.  It was ok.  Of the three Haddon books I have read, this was the least engaging for me.

 

 

 

 

Book 28 – The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown

Matriarch has cancer and three adult sisters come home to “be there” for her.  Except that each has her own reasons and her own secrets and I didn’t realize how very book club formulaic this was until just now.  College professor with an awesome fiance who doesn’t seem to want to leave her home town.  Ever.  New York career girl caught up in the glam until she is caught embezzling.  Flower child floating along on the breeze until she finds herself knocked up.  But it wasn’t a bad read.

 

 

 

Book 29 – American Lion – Andrew Jackson in the White House, by Jon Meacham

Jackson is not at all my favorite president.  I get the historical significance of his presidency.  Humble beginnings and the War of 1812 and all that.  I just kinda think he was an ass.  And I seem to recall – from another history – that Davy Crockett also thought he was an ass.  So there.

Jackson seemed to prize personal loyalty above all things, which rather disgusts me.  While I had heard about the Petticoat Scandal before, I hadn’t known that he banished his niece and nephew (hostess and personal assistant) from the kingdom because the niece refused to include someone in her reindeer games.  Seriously.

I remember thinking that my favorite observations of Jackson were those of John Quincy Adams.  No surprise there.  And then thinking that I really ought to visit The Hermitage sometime.

 

Book 30 – The Little Book, by Selden Edwards

Middle aged American from the 1980s finds himself in 1897 Vienna.  Pretty much all I needed to know to read this one.  In 1897 Vienna our hero, Wheeler, runs into his favorite teacher from boarding school, then a very young man.  Then he meets his father – who died at the hands of the Germans in WWII.  So Wheeler and Dad are lost in time together.

I don’t love time travel stuff as a rule.  But when I read it, I am most interested in the world in which time travel exists.  What are the rules and who gets to do it?  Wheeler’s father, Dilly, said that he was being tortured by the Germans and tried to sort of Think of a Happy Place or whatever and landed in 1897 Vienna.  Well, that must have been the moment of his death in 1944.  So how did Wheeler get there?

The book didn’t quite give me all of the answers that I wanted, and I am not at all sure that we needed the insert the grandma storyline.  But I really enjoyed reading this one and will probably read the sequel (or prequel or whatever) if it lands in my lap.

 

Book 31 – The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Next novel from the guy that wrote The Shadow of the Wind.  Not as good, but it is written in the same world and has a lot of the same feel.  it is a bit of a mess in that the mystery doesn’t resolve itself well.  This is partly that the hero is half crazy, so there is the element of “can you trust the storyteller?” as experienced in Drood, an earlier read this year.

I understand there is one more book in this “series”, and I am sure I will get to it.

 

 

 

Books 32 – 35 – More Deborah Knott novels, by Margaret Maron

Now Judge Knott is married with a stepson.  In one novel, the ex-wife is murdered.  Convenient.  Now the stepson lives with the newlyweds creating more familial subplots.  While I generally prefer subplots with the brothers, the kid isn’t too terribly distracting.  These four books caught me up to the plot of the Christmas novel I read last year, so I have one book left in this series.  Until Maron writes some more.

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