Saturday, September 29, 2007

Seasons Readings, Summer 2007

A healthy ten books comprised my summer readings. This season I particulary followed my prediliction toward existing upon a school year schedule, where summer readings were for the most part fun, genre reads - nothing too emotionally involving or academic: a mentally necessary summer vacation from the intellectually engaging labor of the books I "Should" be reading, in favor of books that exist for me solely as entertainment.

And I'll start with the Big Momma of Summer Reading for the majority of the world's readers, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Utterly fantastic, exceeding my expectations. J. K. Rowling deserves her booksales - indeed she deserves every accolade for offering us four thousand-one hundred pages of exquisite characters who evolved before us - characters I could love, despise, pity, and mourn; breathtaking events in expertly realized places; a breathing world populated with creatures of imagination. If you haven't read the Harry Potter series get over yourself and do it.

Now I'll continue this document of reading by genre:

Stephen King's, "Gingerbread Girl" - Now it's been a while since I read Stephen King, so I don't know if his tone has changed or if I am just imagining it, but this novella seemed singular stylistically for King. I can't entirely articulate how - that it's more jocose than I remember is the best I can come up with. Oh yeah, and I enjoyed it. Being a novella and during summer vacation, I was able to experience King as he should be: a one sitting, in the night.

Thomas Harris, "Hannibal Rising" - Harris remains the most psychological and erudite of horror writers with this logical origin story for Hannibal Lechter, but has yet to match his previous masterpieces "Red Dragon" and "Silence of the Lambs."

Jeffrey Archer, "A Matter of Honor" - entertaining, but ridiculous.

David Baldacci, "Absolute Power" - very well done. Disappointed with the Clint Eastwood adaptation now after reading the source book.

Naval Fiction:
Patrick O'Brian's "The Mauritious Command" and "Desolation Island" continued the vastly entertaining Aubrey-Maturin series. "Mauritious" took perhaps a bit too long to get going, but otherwise offered fascinating naval lore, action and intrigue; "Desolation" in particular had some amazing tension.

English Mystery:
Agatha Christie's "The Mysterious Affair at Styles", which introduces Hercule Poirot was quite enjoyable, but her "And then there were none" was a masterpiece of plotting.

And, finally, for something completely different, I read Lou Anne Johnson's "My Posse Don't do Homework", which was an excellent memoir of her first years teaching (and the basis for the film "Dangerous Minds"). In turns frustrating and inspiring, but always true. A resource for all potential teachers, especially in English.

Other than these, I continued crawling through Mark Twain's "Roughing it" - enjoying it anecdote by tall tale.

Till next season - keep on readin'

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