Book 71: Seems I forgot to log my fourth book in the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge:A Christmas Visitor, by Anne Perry
Three brothers plan to return to the (relatively new) family estate for the holiday. The brother who lives on the property has died while the others are in transit. The mystery is pursued by the widow’s godfather.
Everyone in the family is likable enough, and while I can’t say the ending is happy, it is satisfying.
Book 72: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
Another really disturbing mystery by Gillian Flynn. Wife disappears on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. One of the endorsements said it was like Scenes from a Marriage written by Alfred Hitchcock. Yeah. And I understand Ben Affleck is going to play the husband in the film. I will not be seeing this film.
To go into any detail at all about the plot would be to spoil it for serious. Having said all that, I could not put this book down.
Book 73: The Book of Daniel, by E.L. Doctorow
Fictional account of the Rosenberg saga from the point of view of their son, who was 11 or so at the time of the trials.
I had remembered that the trial was very controversial and there was some doubt as to whether the Rosenbergs were guilty of passing the secrets of the bomb to the Soviets. This book, written in 1971 was extremely sympathetic to the family. So I had to go back and read a bit of history. There have been several recent developments in the last decade that suggest the wife was completely innocent and the husband was guilty of something. Perhaps even the charge for which they were convicted which was Conspiracy, as opposed to straight up Treason. But the theory is there was no way Dude knew enough to actually pass on atomic secrets to the Soviets.
So besides a really well told story, (although I really could have done without Daniel’s abuse of his young wife) I also had the benefit of historical perspective. Glad I read this.
Book 74: Hitch 22, by Christopher Hitchens
So my count didn’t match what GoodReads says I read this year and I had to go hunt for the book I hadn’t counted yet. I read this memoir by Christopher Hitchens over the summer.
Hitchens died a year or two ago, but he finished this before he knew he was sick. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he tells a good story. He will be remembered, I think, for two things – his outspoken atheism and his defense of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (which is on my shelf and I really need to read). He talked about both of those things.
I miss Hitchens’ column in Vanity Fair magazines. In fact, I just realized that after Hitchens and Dominick Dunne died, I haven’t really been reading it. Happily, there are a few books left in the repertoire that I haven’t read yet.