Currently Reading: Snow in August

Hello all you wonderful readers. I’ve started a wonderful book that I’m certain ive read before but not so sure when. Snow in August is by novelist and newspaper writer Pete Hamill. I was introduced to him by his book Forever, about a man “cursed” to live forever until he found the One who could set him free. Great book by the way. If you can find it please consider reading it. Its amazing.

But this one is from the perspective of a child in 1947 post war NYC. It deals with issues of racial and religious bigotry and one young person’s coming of age in a world of differences and realizing that what makes us the same is more important than what divides us. Important message for these crazy times we find ourselves in today.

Let’s see how I do, but I’m thinking it may take me all of August to read Snow in August. So… what are you reading?

-mike

Finished Reading: Killing Floor. Back to Arakis

Now THAT was quick…

Exactly. It seems that working from home and having a temp internet outage really is conducive to reading. Whoda thunk it? I didn’t intend to finish Killing Floor by Lee Child by the end of the day (evening), but once I started I just couldn’t put it down. I found myself at 830p with a decision. Knowing that 345a was just a few hours away and I’d have to once again drag my a$$ out of bed to start work… Did I want to do the responsible thing with only 100pgs left and go to bed, picking up the next afternoon where I left off? Nah… I pushed forward and finished around 11pm. And I’m glad I did. Very good book. I’ll have to borrow the next in the series from the library. But not yet.

Next up? Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. So… what are you reading these days?

-mike

Finished Reading: The Novel by James Michener

Surprisingly enjoyable read

I just finished this book in a marathon Sunday reading sprint. Actually, it’s only the second Michener that I’ve read, the other was Space in 1985 about the origins and history of the Space Program in the United States. As I remember, that one took me a very long time and I felt it was a bit sloggy. Although my recollection may be tainted by my memory from 35yrs ago. This one, The Novel about the process of writing, publishing and the distribution of stories and fine literature, was easier to stick with and finish as it drew me in to the narrative.

I was afraid that this Michener would be too detailed and dense with facts and figures, history and minutia as I remembered Space to be. And although the beginning of the book, from the perspective of the older Mennonite writer coming to what he received as the end of a long and successful career, was a bit rough and slow… the rest of the story and the people and the places and situations were more than enough to grab and hold my attention and whisk me into the story and increase my interest with every turned page. Overall, I enjoyed this book, the characters and the landscape of the Pennsylvania Dutch which centered and lent it’s charm and deep traditional values to the story. Well worth the time taken, even if you take more than I did to finish it. I can definitely see why my mom and dad’s bookshelves were filled with James Michener’s thick but substantial volumes.

Next Up??

My Next reads will be Killing Floor by Lee Child, the first of the Jack Reacher novels, and Dune Messiah the 1969 follow up book by Herbert to his classic and award winning book Dune.

So… what are you reading these days?

-mike

Currently Reading: The Novel by James Michener

Hello all you wonderful readers. I’ve finished The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl. And now I’ll take a quick detour back to my parent’s bookshelf with James Michener’s 1992 novel The Novel.

I grew up with these books on the shelf at home and now im working my way thru them. Michener always occupied a large section of their shelves because my mother and father loved reading his well researched and descriptive books. When in the army in the 80s I read his historical fiction of the history and development of the space program. Space, written in 1982 and which I read in 84 or 85. It was a good read because it took you all the way from the beginning up to the Space Shuttle which was still active at the time. It was my first introduction to actually reading Michener. This will be my second book by him.

The plan is still to read fiction thru the end of September at which time I’ll be switching to non fiction historical stuff. Dune Messiah, the 1969 Frank Herbert follow-up to his Dune is next and then I’m planning to read the first in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child titled The Killing Floor.

Let’s see how I do, but I’m thinking The Novel may take me all of August. So… what are you reading?

-mike

Finished Reading: Sapiens

Again, it took awhile

But I finally finished this book. It’s very comprehensive and deals with biology, history, with a lot of politics and economic thrown in for good measure. I recommend the read, but there’s too muchnin there to actually do a review.

I’m still reading The Secret of Santa Vittoria and will be reading Frank Herbert’s Dune after that. So… what are you reading these days?

-mike

Finished Reading: A Dublin Student Doctor

Again, it took awhile

Good Sunday morning to all you patient and longsuffering readers out there. It seems again, for the third time in a row, for I’ve now only read three whole books this year so far, that I’ve taken a very long time to finish a book. This one from a series that I’ve taken a liking to for last several years, Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country Villiage series, The Dublin Student Doctor about the beginnings and origin story of the redoubtable Fingal Flagherty O’Reilly, everyone’s favorite GP of Ballybuckelbo.

I’ve now read seven of the series and the people, places and feel of the country of Ireland in the 1960s, and in this book the 1930s and early 1940s, is very much grown on me. Even to the point of having a pint of The Black Stuff and pulling out my Peterson on occasion… as the feeling of commaraderie may strike me. The Wiley O’Reilly definitely has a way of making his point to you thru Taylor’s writing skill, and the country folk of the Village feel more like family with every page.

This one turns from the old doctors past, back from the present predicament of Donal Donnelly, who having crashed his motorbike coming home from the races where he won a ton of betting money, now needs surgery to relieve brain swelling from a fractured skull. Don’t worry, if you’re a betting man too then you’ll know how it ends. O’Reilly takes the opportunity of waiting to see how it turns out with Donal to turn back the pages of time to when he was still studying for medical practice.

We get to meet his mates, his future love Kitty and learn a good bit of the backstory that made him both the doctor and the man he became. I enjoyed the story and the reading as I always do with Patrick Taylor and this series. I’m looking forward to the next trip to the Irish Country Villiage I’ll take, Fingal O’Reilly Irish Doctor, having finished An Irish Country Wedding earlier.

However… mom’s books await as well.

My next books with be Robert Crichton’s 1966 novel The Secret of Santa Vittoria. He only wrote two novels and this was his first. Mom always wanted me to read it and it’ll be the next on the list. From what she said and what I’ve read so far, it seems like a Caper kind of book set in WW2 Italy. Kind of Peter Mayle meets Hogan’s Heroes. A small village tucked into the mountains of Italy doing what they can to resist and keep their unique identity during the Nazi occupation.

Either way you slice it, you’re in for a wild ride and an enjoyable diversionary treat if you decide to pick these books off the shelf. So… what are you reading these days?

-mike