Saturday, August 19, 2006

Books Recently Read

A Fool's Gold: A Story of Ancient Spanish Treasure, Two Pounds of Pot, and the Young Lawyer Almost Left Holding the Bag by Bill Merritt

I almost stopped reading this book because early on I came across this, "Her face was round with double chins.... When you are carrying as much weight as Abby hauled around.... For someone otherwise so careless with her looks, Abby took pride in her hair. She must have gotten a lot of compliments on it when she was younger and men paid more attention to her." I think he meant to say, "When shallow men like me paid more attention to her..." It is no wonder then that as a young lawyer he bumbles through and wonders ''d that happen?" But it read quickly, and he was writing about secret shenanigans at one of my favorite places: Neahkanie Mountain and beach on the Oregon Coast. He thought Abby was a stupid doper, but her trial revealed how smart and funny she was. Written all these years later, it seems possible the author now realizes it, but that would mean a level of sophistication in his writing that isn't really apparent. That said, this book is a pretty remarkable glimpse into the hidden side of the Oregon coast: smugglers and graft and seemingly crazy seekers of treasure. While this is about events over 2 decades ago, it makes me wonder today whether that really is a fishing boat I see when I stay at Neahkanie Beach.

A Caress of Twilight by Laurell K Hamilton

The second book in the author's Merry Gentry series, it fills that need for sexy fairy fantasy. There's a whole sub-genre of scifi-fantasy in which authors use the legends of fairies. Some of them have the creatures sexily dangerous, erotic, exotic and a little scary. This is one of them, and I like to relax with LKH's books. There's a strong BDSM thread going on. Laurell K Hamilton also has a vampire/supernatural detective series with a similar BDSM thread going on called Anita Blake.

A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane

I'm up to this the 6th book in this Wizard series. I discovered these after Harry Potter (as many did) but they have been around longer and are, dare I say, better. Maybe they missed that internet word-of-mouth phenomena. A person would want to start with the first, So You Want to be a Wizard. A boy and a girl meet soon after taking the wizard's oath, and they do the wizardly work of fighting entropy together. Grade B+

King of the Pygmies by Jonathan Scott Fuqua

There are some really complex and profound reads in teen fiction. With so many demands on my time, I also like that they're a quick read. Just as a teen boy is interested in a certain girl, he starts hearing voices that really seem to him to be the thoughts of people around him. The author admits in his afterword he found it fascinating that some people live their whole lives going undiagnosed as mildly schizophrenic. They find their own ways to deal, and this book explores that grey area between so-called normal people and more severe mental illness.

The Divide by Elizabeth Kay

This book caught my eye (and so it was designed to do) because the front cover is divided in the middle, like majestic double doors. The Divide turns out to be the mountainous divide in Costa Rica that separates two water systems. When straddled in a certain moment and in a certain state, magic happens, and a person could end up in another world. In this world science is real and magic is that one, magic is real and science myth.

Theories of Relativity by Barbara Haworth-Attard

Another teen book. (I'm so busy lately, quick reads are good so I can actually finish the book.) A homeless boy rejected by his mother tries to find his way without getting sucked in by the vultures found on the streets. Sometimes I read too much fiction where there's a satisfying resolution. Sometimes there just isn't a good ending or easy answers.

1 comment:

Neko the Ninja said...

i think it's nice that you're looking into all of these books. i've read the Divide a couple times, it's really good.