Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

My First Beach Reads

I usually prefer to vacation in New England in the dead of winter, but recently I decided to give the beach a try, and even did what summer-loving folks call “beach reading,” although most of it was done on a screened-in porch, because, thankfully, it rained much of the time I was there. Here are some books that I read:

oldmansOld Man’s War by John Scalzi — This was terrific, fast-paced military science fiction in the tradition of Robert Heinlein. It’s about a time in the far future when elderly soldiers are recruited from Earth to fight space battles against aliens and make the universe safe for human colonists. Two thumbs up! 

oldcapeThat Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo — A truly fitting read because much of the plot centers around vacationing at the beach. Unfortunately, this book was a big let-down after Russo’s last book, Bridge of Sighs, and my favorite of his, Straight Man. Self-indulgent, whiny characters ruined this one for me.  Two thumbs down!

juliusJulius Winsome by Gerard Donovan — One of my colleagues has been pushing this book on me for some time now, and since she was responsible for turning me onto Jerzy Kosinski’s incredible book The Painted Bird, I figured I should finally pick this one up. She was right again. This is the story of a well-read, reclusive man living in a cabin in Maine who avenges, among other things, the murder of his best friend. Probably too dark for your average beach reader, but I give it two thumbs up!

clockersClockers by Richard Price — This book was like a print version of a season of HBO’s amazing television series, The Wire (Spike Lee also directed a film based on the book, but I have yet to see it). This makes sense considering Richard Price wrote a number of episodes for that series. Like The Wire, Clockers is a gritty, incredibly realistic story about urban blight, the drug trade, and the cops and dealers caught up in it. Two thumbs up!

Do any good reading lately?


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