Friday, April 8, 2011

Uncertainty And Books

So, here we sit, wondering if we'll be going into work on Monday or not. Things sound a little more hopeful than when I left work this least that there'll be some sort of continuing resolution.

But you know what? I'm happy to be furloughed if, ultimately, Planned Parenthood is funded.

I've added the last twenty books I've read to my book list there on the right. What were the stand-outs in this latest bunch, you ask?

I loved Kate Atkinson's latest Jackson Brodie mystery, Started Early, Took My Dog. You need to have read the earlier Jackson Brodie books, starting with Case Histories, to get the most out of this but that's no problem. They're all good books. In this latest one, Brodie is trying to track down the birth mother of an Australian woman...the book also follows an elderly actress who's having trouble remembering exacly when and where she is, and an ex-police-woman/current mall security chief whose decision to liberate a seemingly neglected child from her mother has quite the series of repercussions. All these threads come together quite satisfyingly by the end of the book.

I also really liked The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier. This is a book made up of a series of interconnected stories of a people dealing with pain and loss at a time when, for an unexplained and unknown reason, wounds -- bruises, illness, sores, cancers -- begin glowing, casting a heavenly light on the wounded. I liked some sections more than others but none of them were dull.

A Red Herring Without Mustard is another fun romp with Flavia de Luce detecting her way through England. Or at least the small town where she lives. Fun!

The Informationist is a gripping thriller...I think I gobbled it up in a day. The main character, a young woman whose specialty is gathering information on developing countries for corporations, accepts a different kind of job...tracking down the missing daughter of a company head. A daughter who has apparently been murdered in Western Africa. The book certainly doesn't make me want to visit Africa, but it's pretty exciting.

Finally, I like Graham Joyce's The Silent Land but I can't say I loved it. One of my friends on Book Balloon said she thought the best thing about it was the cover, which is cool. (Part of the image is printed on the hard cover of the book, the rest of the image is printed on the thin, vellum-like, see-through dust jacket.) I figured out exactly what was going on fairly early on...certainly earlier than the characters, but I thought there was some wonderful imagery...scenes that will stick with me for a while.

And I had a good time reading the two Cynthia Harrod-Eagles mysteries -- Fell Purpose and Body Line -- as I always like a Bill Slider mystery. But I will admit they weren't wonderful. Just satisfying English police procedurals with a bunch of likeable and amusing coppers.


MaureenL said...

Do you have a copy of The Illumination in your library? If so, may I borrow it to read? ^__^

Rooie said...

Yes and yes!

Kaethe said...

Thanks for posting your list, that I may pillage it.