- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – summer reading list. Unnamed narrator is back in his hometown for a funeral and during an interlude visits the area of his childhood home. I don’t have much to add to other users’ previous reviews. It’s a pretty short story (about 150 pp.) that’s sad and fantastic and insightful all at once.
- The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore – summer reading list. Three African-American women in a small Indiana town see each other through losses, betrayals, and triumphs. Two of them were friends since childhood, and the third became part of their group in high school in the 1960s, when they would all meet at Earl’s (the local hang-out) for Friday night dates. The story is told in a mixture of 1st-person and 3rd-person narrative, as well as switching between current times and flashbacks, but they are seamless transitions and not confusing. I found it to be a delightful and rich story that made me angry, made me cry, and made me laugh until I cried.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – just because. Young Percy discovers that he is descended from a Greek god, meets other demi-gods, and goes on an adventure with his new friends. This is not great literature, but it’s an interesting premise that is reasonably handled by the author. I’d heard about the series for a while now and figured I’d finally check it out for myself.
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – not a summer list book but suggested by earlier reading. Christopher McCandless is a college graduate from a well-to-do family who gives away his savings and goes to live in the wilderness of Alaska; several months later his body is found by hunters. There are several parallels to the story I read earlier this summer about Everett Ruess. In fact, Krakauer wrote a forward to that book and also references Ruess in this book. There are many parallels (and some obvious differences) between the two stories and their respective books, and it was interesting to read them both within the same few months. Generally speaking, I think this one was a little bit better written.
- World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks – prelude to possibly seeing the movie. It took me a couple attempts to read this book. I suppose the interview/documentary style made it hard for me to get a handle on the story and to find a particular narrative thread. On the other hand, I appreciated the global aspect and think the author did a good job of making each of the many voices distinctive. Meanwhile, I’m not in a particular hurry to see the movie but will probably get around to it eventually.
- Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky – summer reading list. Two friends estranged by distance and circumstances reunite to collaborate on a book project, and SECRETS are revealed. For better or worse, this book is pretty much standard chick-lit fare. Be that as it may, the characters are well drawn, and the setting (an island off the coast of Maine) contributes well to the breezy summer feel of the story.
August 2013 - Books 25 to 30
1. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny Inspector Gamache is now retired in Three Pines when he’s recruited to help one of his friends find her…
71. Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park A young mixed-race girl moves with her widowed father to a fledgling South Dakota town in 1880. This is the…
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, did I love this one. A girl and her ghost dog, Kirby? Yes please. Let me start…