- The Proud Villeins & The Ruthless Yeoman, both by Valerie Anand. Excellent historical fiction tracing the fortunes of one family from 1066 onward. Sadly out of print, but readily available on Amazon. I've got the next book in the series (there are six total) on order, and hope it comes soon...I've read the entire series before, and it is excellent.
- Through A Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen. Historical romance set in 1720's. I read this when it first came out (in the '80s) and thought it was pretty good. Now I'm not sure why I thought that. It's adequate as love-story, mostly adequate as history, but nothing special.
- The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown. What a ripping yarn! The mating patterns of the British aristocracy are as fascinating and arcane as those of any primitive tribe. (You think the Hadraada Family is bad!) Plus, Tina's got a flair for devastatingly hilarious description. Accuracy aside (who knows?), a thoroughly delicious book.
- Through Europe on Two Dollars a Day by Frank Schoonmaker. Alas, the day which Sieur Schoonmaker was alluding was in 1927, but it's always interesting to read old travel books. European travel books from this period are particularly poignant as many of the sites our intrepid author describes were fifteen years away from being bombed into oblivion.
- Night of the Jaguar & Valley of Bones by Michael Gruber. Excellent mystery thrillers set in Miami. Those who liked Silence of the Lambs and other ilk of its kind will enjoy all of Michael Gruber's novels. Who says beach reads have to be completely trashy and horribly written?
- Crazy like a Fox by S.J. Perelman. Oh how Sieur Perelman can crack me up. If he was funny enough for the Marx Brothers, he's funny enough for the rest of us too. No one has better caught the idiocies of youth than Perelman's Cloudland Revisited pieces. They are the proverbial riot. Why is he so forgotten today?
- The first six pages of Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor. Think Gone with the Wind (only racer--for the time that is) set in Restoration England. It's a pretty good book, and I've read it several times before; I finally picked up an old hardback, and I had to test it out, but I wasn't in the mood to go all the way through.
- Halfway through My Brother Michael and The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart. Pretty good late '50s early 60s gothic romances. Stewart's heroines are usually pretty capable, and almost always career women of some kind. Her settings (in this case Greece) are quite vivid; I've always envied her ease with physical description. But neither book is my favorite Mary Stewart (that would be The Gabriel Hounds) so I've been rather slow about finishing.
- Also, this week's New Yorker, The Economist, The New Scientist, the Sunday Times, The New Republic, July's Cookie, Blueprint, W, and a bunch of old Atlantics my brother had lying around.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
This week I read: