The Collected Stories of Richard Yates
My infatuation with Yates is as strong as ever, as I continue to be amazed by his descriptive ability. I've decided that if you were to visit his grave, paying close attention, you just might hear a bourbon-husky voice whispering, "Greatest generation, Mr. Brokaw? My ass!"
Do Evil in Return
I've now read two of Millars. Sadly, because I want to root for the woman/wife, especially in that era, I have to admit that she just can't hold a candle to her husband. A perfectly fine mystery writer, yes, but nowhere near the perfection of Ross Macdonald.
The Female Brain
Fascinating. I learned quite a lot from this one, not the least of which is we still have so much to learn when it comes to the brain (male or female). Brizendine makes it all very easy to understand and provides plenty of "Ah-ha!" moments. A little too much "nature over nurture," and some gaps (like completely ignoring what might go on in the brains of women who choose not to have children), but nonfiction writers making a case often need to focus like that, and she still gave me plenty of food for thought.
A High Wind in Jamaica
A pirate adventure on the surface but really one of the most brutally honest portrayals of children -- both their tender and their savage sides -- I've ever read. Brilliant. A must read, if you've never read it.
Just what "chick lit" should be: implausible, fun, made me laugh, choked me up...And I loved the technique of a story being told through emails (an idea with which I've toyed from time to time).
Jude the Obscure
(Still reading.) This is a book discussion group read, one I'm very glad we chose. What can I say? It's Thomas Hardy (whom, I'm suddenly realizing, is kind of like a Victorian, British Richard Yates). It's Jude (only the most callous of hearts could not feel for Jude and the fact he's just oh-so human). It's real; it's tragic; it takes to task all that's wrong with life in Victorian England; and I love it.
The Killing Kind
You know, I had to read something set in Maine, didn't I? Remember how Connolly's Book of Lost Things so impressed me? Well, I'm now extremely impressed with his skills as a spooky detective novelist. I'm also impressed that this Irishman knows New York and New England so well and writes about them better than many Americans I've read. Anyway, I can't wait to read more in the Charlie Parker series.
Full blog post on this (probably tomorrow, since the Connecticut detective book club is meeting on Friday). Advance warning: I will be gushing so much, you may be tempted to build a dam.
Notes from the Underwire
Full blog post on this one coming soon, too. Love Quinn's blog? Then you'll love this book.
So, not a bad collection of reads, huh? Feel free to agree/disagree with my assessments of any of these you've read.