I keep forgetting I have a few features going on in my blog now. I totally forgot to do my Week Ahead entries for the last two weeks. Oops.
Back to the bookshelves!
Here we have Shelf No. 7. I know it’s small, but since this is such a narrow shelf, I had to crop the original photo. Click on it to go to the Flickr page, and you’ll be able to make the photo larger.
Starting from the left we have Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Being a stickler for grammar and spelling, I love this book. I about hit the ceiling tonight when I was playing Trivial Pursuit over on Pogo, and one of the answers was “Neice” (did YOU know that Batwoman is Batgirl’s aunt? I did not). NEICE? Really?? “I before E, except after C,” people! Don’t worry, folks. I do not read blogs and expect perfection from the writers. I make typos all the time, and just because I’m good at spelling and grammar doesn’t mean everyone else is. If you mix up “there” for “their” or “they’re,” I will not quibble, and it will not bother me. But if you are getting paid to write something, then I do expect a spell checker to be utilized. Sheesh.
Next we have The Alienist by Caleb Carr with its sequel The Angel of Darkness. The Alienist is a really superb book. It takes place in late 19th century New York City, which fascinates me anyhow, but it also deals with the first applications of criminal profiling. Hmmm, maybe I need to send this book out to CardioGirl. I know she’s down with true crime, though this is more historical fiction with a hint of true crime flavoring. The Angel of Darkness was not nearly as good, in my humble opinion, mainly because the author decided to switch narrators. I didn’t care as much for the narrator of the sequel, so it made it difficult to slog through the book. It just wasn’t as compelling.
And then the skies open up, the light beams down, and we reach three of my Spider Robinson books. I have four on this shelf; why Lady Slings the Booze (my absolute favorite Spider Robinson novel) is way on the right side, I don’t know. I should fix that. These are all part of the Callahan series, which is absolutely hilarious sci-fi that’s written with an incredibly dry humor. Lots of fun people and extra-terrestials move through Callahan’s bar, and these are books that will keep you in stitches all night long. I highly recommend them.
Of course, we have our token Heinlein novel. Tomorrow, the Stars is one of his earlier works, and I read it so long ago that I don’t really remember it. I really ought to have a Heinlein bonanza one day and just go through all of his early works. It wouldn’t take long. The book without a title is also a Heinlein; I just noticed it. It is Waldo and Magic, Inc., which I have in another collection somewhere.
Lois Duncan wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer, for those of you who saw the movie. I read the book as a pre-teen when Lois Duncan was all the rage in my middle school, but I was more fond of Stranger With My Face. This book is about a set of twins of Native American heritage who were separated at birth. One stayed with their mother while the other was adopted into a wealthy family. Both girls were able to use astral projection (or out-of-body experiences) to nearly disastrous results. Hey, I was a pre-teen. There’s no accounting for taste when you’re young.
Anne McCaffrey makes another appearance on my shelves, this time with The White Dragon. Lord Jaxom desperately wants to be a dragonrider, though he is destined to become leader of his Hold. When he accidentally Impresses a white dragon named Ruth, there’s controversy on whether he can be both Lord Holder and Dragonrider. It’s an interesting story about the conflict between what is expected of a person and what he truly wants to do with his life. It’s a quick read, and goes along with all of McCaffrey’s other Pern novels.
Which brings us to Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. I absolutely loved this book, even if it is a romance. I’m going to paste in the review from Amazon, seeing as I couldn’t possibly put it any better: “Bestseller Crusie (Fast Women, etc.) takes readers on another smooth ride in her latest romantic caper. At the wheel this time is fab art forger Matilda Goodnight, whose chance encounter in a closet with cute con man/thief Davy Dempsey leads to madcap mayhem and breathless romance. He’s trying to steal back the money he filched from Clea Lewis, ex-girlfriend (and possible husband killer), who had taken it right back. Tilda just wants her last “Scarlet” painting, which Clea has bought to impress Mason Phipps, her rich art-obsessed beau. It’s the last of six forgeries Tilda did for Tony, her now deceased gallery-owner dad, and Tilda is determined to preserve her newly squeaky-clean reputation. Confused yet? It gets wackier, because the whole Goodnight clan and supporting cast are as enormously engaging as the loopy plot. There’s Tilda’s mother, Gwen; her sister, Eve/Louise, a split-personality teacher/diva; her gay ex-brother-in-law, Andrew; and her precocious teenage niece, Nadine. Add a host of shady characters and would-be hitmen, and the breezy plot thickens and puffs up like the light airy doughnuts all Goodnight women are attracted to but eventually forsake for muffins: “Muffins are for the long haul and they always taste good. They don’t have that oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-that thing that the doughnuts have going for them, but you still want them the next morning.” Finally, defying all odds, Crusie answers the burning questions she poses can liars and thieves fall in love, live happily ever after and stay out of jail? while confirming the dangers of dating doughnuts. –Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.” And yes, it’s just that good and that fast-moving. I devoured this book in just a few days, while it usually takes me at least two weeks. I only read about twenty minutes a day, you see. I really need to change that.
Last but not least we have Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus. This novel is told by an old woman, Lucy Marsden, living in a nursing home to her mohawked candy striper. When she was just 15 years old, she married her 50-year-old Confederate veteran husband, making her the oldest living Confederate widow by the end of her life. It’s just my favorite kind of book, covering the main charactor’s entire life through various vignettes that are loosely tied together. It’s why I love Heinlein’s To Sail Beyond the Sunset and Time Enough for Love so much. I really enjoyed this novel, and I really think I should read it again. It’s amazing the interesting books you pick up in a thrift store on a whim!
You may have noticed some literature on this shelf. I’ve got The Pilgrim’s Progress, as well as The Handmaid’s Tale, both unread as yet. Same goes for The Glass Menagerie (though Kurt read that in one of his college classes) and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I love reading The Three Musketeers, even if I do end up with the Charlie Sheen/Kiefer Sutherland/Chris O’Donnell movie running through my head as I read. And yes, I do own The DaVinci Code, though I purchased it mainly because everyone else and their uncle was reading about it and raving about it. I have yet to read it, though I doubt I will. At least I got it for Costco, so it was cheap.
So that’s my bookshelf for this week! What do you think?