Hosted by Jen Dayton
We have some most exciting news! Twin Watch 2013 is OVER! Caroline and her husband Esteban are now proud parents to Asher (7 lbs 1 0z) and Finnegan (7 lbs 12 oz)! Mazel! Sweet Ann has no comment on my disposition this week, which sort of speaks for itself. I promise to be sweeter come Tuesday. Also, Ann wishes to remind everyone that it is Full Blown Summer and we are to enjoy this season to the fullest. Her suggestion? A lovely tomato salad could be in order. Perhaps with some mozzarella and basil? This would appear to be Ann’s Summer Version of The Fabled Egg Tree. This week we have some New England Goth, a slave, The Dakota, letters, a fable, a model, a beautiful house, and some pulp.
Let us begin!
John. Bouncing around like a black rubber ball of darkness. “I'm hopping from one kind of gothic to another. Having finished Salem's Lot, a book I just had never happened to read, I just started The Rathbones, a debut novel by Janice Clark, inspired by The Odyssey. Like Salem's Lot, it's set in New England (Connecticut rather than Maine), though it's not at all sinister in the way King's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula is. Instead, it's a novel that delves into the deep and haunted history of a once prosperous family dynasty whose fortune came from whaling. As with all good gothic-styled novels, its backdrop is an old, once-great mansion. I can already tell this is a must-not-miss read.” This one is on order and will be in the catalog next week.
Barbara M. is reading something not so very Barbara M. like. “I’m reading Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup an incredible primary source of what it was to be a slave in the south in the 1800s. Solomon Northup was born a freeman in New York and kidnapped into slavery. He endured it for twelve years before he was rescued. His narrative is painful but enlightening. There is a movie coming out in October, I hope it does him justice. The book is intelligent and beautifully written. “
Babs B. has just finished Death Angel by Linda Fairstein. “Those of you who have read Fairstein's previous novels will not be disappointed! As always, the author who for more than 20 years was Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's office in Manhattan, delivers a detective-mystery weaved with historical facts. This tale is centered in the area around Central Park where the body of a young woman is found. The police don't know if she is a victim of a psychopath or if the case is connected to other missing girls whose remains have never been found. Did you know that Central Park was actually built on the remains of an African American community named Seneca Village? The historic Dakota, which has also experienced its own share of tragedies, also plays a major part in this real page-turner!”
Sweet Ann is taking a page from Jeanne’s playbook and is doing two things at once. “Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole was a quick easy read about a relationship that begins with a letter and lasts through two World Wars. Elspeth, a married poet, lives on the island of Skye, a place she has never left. She receives a fan letter from David, an American, during the early days of WW I in Europe. Their letters are at first fun filled, then flirty and finally they become love letters. The story enfolds nicely and they are even able to see each other as she is able to overcome her fear of water travel. The novel then jumps to WW II where Elspeth's daughter also continues the narrative in letter form. It is an interesting story of secrets, choices and decisions that one makes in his or her life. I am also listening to the beautifully read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I am almost half way through and I can say it is a book about connections between family and friends. It begins with a fable that I believe will stay with me for a very long time. It is a sad book but oh so beautifully written. I hope to finish listening this week and will probably be sad that it has to end.”
Jeanne is back at it! “I am reading Cuckoo’s Calling, a crime fiction novel by J.K. Rowling published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. When I learned the real author I thought I might like it because I enjoyed Casual Vacancy last year, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed it. It is a murder/detective mystery where a high profile model, Lula Landry, is supposed to have jumped to her death from her high profile apartment. The barely scraping by investigator, Cormoran Strike is visited by the model’s half-brother because he believes that Lula was murdered. Now why would a very rich lawyer choose a nobody, down and out investigator? As with most good fiction, there are multiple stories evolving and one is that Detective Strike has returned from war in Afghanistan and another is that his new temp secretary, Robin has just got engaged and fancies herself a budding Nancy Drew. It is a page-turner and I would be surprised if we didn't see more crime solving by Cormoran Strike in the future. I just finished Good Riddance, an illustrated memoir by Cynthia Copeland. Cynthia thinks she lives the ideal life - married 18 years, three kids that she and her husband dote on, a beautiful house, a successful career as a writer. Until she accidentally reads an e-mail to her husband . . . from Liza! After reading the book, which I did find engaging, both prose and illustration, I didn't get the feeling that Copeland really felt good riddance. The book seemed more about how to manage her new, sans T.J. life and protect her kids. Maybe her natural sense of humor mitigated the animosity, or maybe it was cathartic? In either instance, she is a talented writer.”
Steph is taking heed of Sweet Ann’s advice and embracing High Summer. “Since we’re in the heart of summer reading season, this week I have to recommend Stephen King’s latest, Joyland. This is the softer side of King; forget the sleepless nights you spent with Carrie and Cujo. As with his recent masterpiece 11/22/63, King is working with a touch of paranormal and a whole lot of the dark side of humanity. And just like 11/22/63, the whole thing is secretly very romantic. A quick, poignant read that’s just spooky enough. And how can you resist that classic pulp cover! It’s practically begging to go to the beach with you!”