Here it is September, and not only that but mid-September, and I have not posted my periodic list of books absorbed.
This will be the second year I have attempted a complete list of books. Some I read, some I hear, as CD sets in the car while commuting.
Memento Mori, by Murial Spark. Although recommended on MaudNewton.com, it never grabbed my interest. Didn’t finish.
The Spectator Bird, by Wallace Stegner. Book on CD. National Book Award, 1976. Solid novel. Sad. The tangents aren’t tangents, it all ties together. First person with no wavering, though of course the narrator is wavering — it’s his uncertain life, while he leads it. Set in the early ’70s, mostly a flashback to 1956, three months in Copenhagen, for him to heal from a heart attack and both he and his wife to begin to heal from the drowning of their young adult son.
Our Kind of Traitor, by John le Carre. Book on CD. Do le Carre’s recent books all start out the same way? Well-drawn person who turns out to be a secondary character? Still, I enjoy his political thrillers. He found he didn’t need a Cold War setting, after all.
Literary Life: A Second Memoir, by Larry McMurtry. Short, oddly entertaining and it shouldn’t be. It’s pretty obvious McMurtry shot this volumne out to fulfill a contract. It’s not careless, but put much out there. Still, if you want to spend a couple of hours watching a great writer’s mind working, here it is.
The Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Book on CD. Narrated by the author. Gladwell has made my my white list, he can voice audio books just fine. I’ve not let go of his 10,000-hour theory of success go in the months since. It is a valuable concept The book is broader than that — who and what are the outliers among us. Gladwell goes for the why, and it makes sense.
The Illumination, by Kevin Brockmeier. Don’t tell me it’s not fantasy in the Stephen King mode. But character driven more than plot driven, the latter being King’s mode. Little Rock references are used in one of the cities the novel is set in, but the city is not identified. A creepy small novel, with an ending not very satisfying — maybe that was on purpose. Continue reading