August 2001

I got off to a slow start in July, but then worked up a head of steam in August. I read enough to satisfy even myself. Now, I'm back to work on the final revisions of A Playdate With Death and plan to begin writing Death Gets a Timeout very soon. My languid days and nights of reading may be behind me for the foreseeable future. John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead This guy is a brilliant writer. Almost as brilliant as my husband. And, come to think of it, his work does resemble Michael's. Sentences in this book had me reeling, and laughing hysterically. But, over all, I felt pretty distant from the plot and characters. I wanted to love it. Really I did. But I came away a bit dissatisfied. A Traitor to Memory by Elizabeth George I was beyond thrilled to get this in hardcover from a friend. I'd exhausted my hardcover budget for the month and was sure I'd have to wait for the paperback. It was a fun read, but I called the ENTIRE plot in the first 100 pages or so. And I'm not that swift... The Night Inspector by Frederick Busch I loved this one. It felt like a delightful Victorian gothic. The language was dead on and the seemy ugliness was creepily pleasurable. Wild Writing Women by my friend Lauren Cuthbert, among others These tales of intrepid women travelers braving remarkable dangers were so much fun! They made me want to head back out to Nepal or Ladakh. The Binding Chair by Kathryn Harrison I have a real soft spot for novels about China. I liked this book very much, although I was much less interested in the Western girl's story. The Dark Room by Minette Walters I love English mysteries and am always looking for good, new authors (or new to me at least). I enjoyed this one. It was a good read while I was on the plane from New Jersey. Miraculously, the baby slept and I had a terrific flight! Getting a Life by Helen Simpson The stories were amazing but, oh my God, were they bleak. Mothers on the edge of despair. We've all been there, in some fashion or another. Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon I had to skip to the end to see what happened to the abducted child in this book. I never, I mean NEVER, do that, but I couldn't stand the suspence. Maybe I was too post-partum to deal with it. Incredible read, this. Arranged Marriages by Chitra Divakaruni Last year I was on an India tear. I must have read twenty or thirty novels by Indian writers. This collection takes place by and large in the US and is a wonderful glimpse into the world of immigrants from India. The Hotel Alleluia by Lucinda Roy The Africa parts of this book were enjoyable, but the rest left me pretty cold.