Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Reading

Today the radio announced that Frederick is the hottest spot in Maryland, at 99 degrees. Same here, 25 miles north. The heat index is over 100, with a consequent health warning about going outside.

I was out this morning, watering the tomato plants and running errands, but now I'm hunkered down in my bedroom -  a cave with the shades drawn against the afternoon sun.

I should be reading Wendell Berry's novel Hannah Coulter, which I need to read for the Freshman course in the fall. But I can't get into it.  Will try again in a day or two.

What I did finish with no trouble was Denise Mina's mystery/thriller  The End of the Wasp Season. Mina is from Scotland, and the novel is set primarily in Glasgow.  I couldn't put it down.  Am happy to have found her; this was the first of her novels. Now I have her Field of Blood from the library- have two others in process before I start that one ( not even mentioning Hannah Coulter.)

The other two, which are unabridged books on CD, are Martin Cruz Smith's Stalin's Ghost and Stephen King's  11/22/63 .  I have read three other novels by Smith:  Gorky Park, Havana Bay, and Wolves Eat Dogs.His detective is a Soviet, then Russian policeman, and the course of the novels reveals much interesting detail about life in the USSR as it dissolves into its present chaotic state.

I haven't read a Stephen King novel for a while, and listening to this one is revealing how wordy he is -  when I devoured  The Stand and The Shining and The Dead Zone and Firestarter ( my favorites) I did so skimming a lot of the verbiage to get to the meat of the plot.  It's his plots that grabbed me. So I'm not sure about this one yet.

1 comment:

Mary McElveen said...

The King book has received rave reviews from both husband and daughter, but I have yet to start it..I'll be interested in your take on it. I am currently trying to wade through the (virtually) stacked-up books on my Kindle, but keep getting distracted by the very real stack on the coffee table. An embarrassment of riches.