Who else read a dozen books in the past month? Not counting a repair manual and a cookbook, here's what I read in January:
Three old hard-boiled novels
1) "La Brava" by Elmore Leonard. More atmosphere than plot until the end, which really pulled it all together.
2) "Casiono Royale" by Ian Fleming. The first James Bond novel.
3) "Blind Man With a Pistol" by Chester Himes. I really enjoyed this one.
Three (non-winning) nominees for Minnesota Book Awards poetry award:
4) "Dreaming Man, Face Down" by Mark Conway.
5) "Sin Eater" by William Reichard.
6) " On Speaking Terms" by Connie Wanek. She writes very well about winter on Minnesota's North Shore. It's a good read.
Various other novels:
7) "The Heather Blazing" by Colm Toibin. Can't recall a thing about it.
8) "Fugitive Pieces" by Anne Michaels. I rcall liking it, but again, can't remember any of it.
9) "The Reader" by Bernhard Schlink. Definitely worth reading, even if it was an Oprah's Book Club selection. Kept me interested all the way through.
10) "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. Really interesting look at a world we don't get to see. It has one misstep in the plot (the main character doesn't see something coming that's very obvious), but reads like a true story.
11) "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham. It's starting to look like I want to say, "I haven't seen the movie, but I read the book." (Actually, I saw the movies based on this and the previous book as well.) This works better if you've read "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf; if you haven't, it's a much better book than any on this list.
12) "Coming Up for Air" by George Orwell. I'm not a fan of Orwell's fiction, though I love his Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters (especially volumes 2-4). This isn't as ham-handed as "1984" or "Animal Farm," but it isn't particularly involving, either.
Big change in life today
3 days ago