Sunday, August 24, 2008

End-of-the-Summer Book Blahs

Usually I read two or three books and then stumble across one that I am interested enough in to write more about. That has not happened lately. I was in the midst of a promising one, Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, when it hit a wrong turn for me. I can recommend some of her other books as light, fun fare set in Philadelphia. Little Earthquakes is about four new moms bonding, probably falling in that maligned chick lit category.

I also recently read The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black. The protagonist, pathologist Garret Quirke, seems an interesting character in his dealings with family and friends, but the murder mystery part was only so-so. The book spent a lot of time hinting at the previous book, Christine Falls, and events that took place therein. I wish I would have read that book first and maybe that would have helped me place all the characters in context, instead of spending my time wondering what had happened.

I keep a list of all the books I plan to read. It is occasionally months before I get to some of them. I had Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch under novels. I was quite surprised to pick up the very hefty book subtitled America in the King Years 1954-63. I am not going to be able to finish it before I have to return it to the library. I do highly recommend the chapter entitled “The Montgomery Bus Boycott”, especially if, like me, your American history education is spotty. I had no idea that the bus boycott lasted more than a year after the arrest of Rosa Parks. It was really by the efforts of every black person in Montgomery to carpool or walk that the boycott worked. I can’t imagine what that must have been like. It was also during this time that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested for the first time (for going 30 in a 25 mph zone), his house was bombed, and he really came into prominence as a leader in the civil rights movement. I have gotten bogged down later in the book among the descriptions of presidential politics and King’s financial issues with Alabama.

If your summer reading is going well, let us know what gems you have found.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have just the cure for your book blahs. Come by the Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway!

Starts at midnight!

:) C