Saturday, May 23, 2020

#18 More Covid-19 Reading

#18 More Covid-19 Reading

So, what's been good stuff to read since the last time I checked, about 6 weeks ago. Goodness knows we all have time and apparently some money to spend on reading. Longs Peak Book Company, my used book business, has sold about 50 books in the past 10 weeks since this started. The four books I want present begin with the latest from novelist Don Winslow, Broken, his collection of 6 novella length stories that cover the western US with a stop in New Orleans in the book title story for a revenge fest involving an obsessive cop, his brother and mother and a very bad small-time drug dealer. The other stories capture the LA to San Diego cop culture, two characters in Hawaii and a return to El Paso. The stories are dedicated to and written in the style of Steve McQueen, Elmore Leonard and Raymond Chandler and there's not a loser in the 6 pack.

I have begun reading The Overstory by novelist Richard Powers and can't recommend it too highly. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2019 and finalist for many other awards, the novel introduces its characters through separate short stories that tie the characters to a love of trees. This plays out in the body of the novel as these characters meet, fight deforestation, and develop their individual, extraordinary skills. The book is long, over 500 pages, but spectacular.

A new book that I got as an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) that will be published June 2 is Martha McPhee's novel, An Elegant Woman.Taken from her family history and recollections of neighbors and friends, McPhee presents her great-grand-mother and two daughters leaving a central Ohio town, her philandering husband in the early years of the 20th century to travel by train west to Montana and stake their claim. It's never easy for Glenna, the great-grandmother and her daughters, Katherine, the beautiful one and Thelma/Tommie/Katherine, the hard working one as Glenna basically abandons the girls for long periods as she works for suffrage and teaches at a string of one-room schools across the west. The girls make a decision on their futures that sends one to Hollywood, the other to nursing school back east and what will become a life as An Elegant Woman.

What with no authors doing signings, speaking tours, bookstores are working hard to stay afloat as are most every other small business.The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC solicited recommendations for weekly columns of a Who's Who of mystery writers-- DeMille, Connelly, Patterson, Perry, Sallis, etc. They individually listed the 5 books that most influenced them in writing and it was a lot of the expected-- Christie, Highsmith, Chandler, etc. But occasionally someone posted an author and title I'd never heard of. But the good old Loveland Public Library came through. Maybe they still have a few books that I recommended buying over the past 30 years. One that was new to me was Gene Kerrigan's "The Rage", set in Dublin of the 2010 period when the Irish Golden Dragon deflated. Garda Inspector Tidey connects an old, unsolved murder of a low level gangster with the current murder of a wealthy banker. A recently released prison convict is working with his brother and several others to pull a faultless armored car robbery. The cases coincide making Tidey's life hell and displaying excellent writing. Kerrigan is for those readers of Bruen, Rankin, Declan Burke, Malcolm Mackay and Adrian McGinty. Read and Enjoy!