Friday, July 9, 2010
So here are the books I picked up to read, along with a list of books I hope to get to:
Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry (1996). I have long been a fan of Perry's Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series, but not so much a fan of her Monk books. This mystery seems to be outside the realm of both series (although its listing under the Monk titles in the front of the book worries me slightly). I admire the Pitt series because of the teamwork of the husband-wife characters--Thomas' compassion and insight balances nicely with Charlotte's inquisitive mind and upper-crust connections. The minor characters are well-drawn, too, and the whole series is simply delightful--if solving rather gruesome crimes in Victorian London can be deemed "delightful." Perhaps "enjoyable" is a better term....
The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion by Alice Kimberly (2009). A new series that I was tempted to try, and I finished this one--and seriously doubt I'll read any more of the series. It's an intriguing premise: a widow with a son is haunted by the ghost of a 1940's private investigator who helps her solve crimes in her Rhode Island town. All the 40's slang really got on my nerves after the first few chapters, and the writing is rather flat. A "cute" mystery, but I've never been one to go for "cute" anything.
Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter (2007). I checked this book out earlier in the year but never had time to read it. I've enjoyed some of the modern Austen take-offs of recent years but certainly not them all. I will give this one a try since it keeps grabbing me whenever I browse the fiction shelves. I'll let you know....
Hangman Blind: A Mystery by Cassandra Clark (2008) A medieval mystery (my attention is immediately captured by the combination of those two words) by a debut novelist definitely draws me in--the first of what seems to be a new series set in medieval England (Yorkshire, to be precise) just before the War of the Roses. The cover art and beautiful title font reached out and grabbed me. The reviews on the back cover mention "astonishingly beautiful prose" and "rich tapestry" and "in the age of Chaucer" and "Medievalists rejoice!"...so of course I'll have to give it a go.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (2004). I read almost half of this book in an airport bookshop when stuck in Albany due to a four-hour delay in returning home with Elizabeth from a visit to my college roommate/the kids' godmother. We're reading it for Logos as well, so I thought I'd get an early start on it, too. I may return it unread and wait until our next meeting to read it (since we didn't have enough people to meet in June and therefore will be discussing The Great Divorce in July). And, no, I haven't seen the movie and don't plan to until after I've read the book.
Then I have books of my own that I've been wanting to read. My "to read" stack is almost ready to keel over with the next earthquake; in fact, I'm surprised it didn't crash to the floor with Wednesday's rather exciting 5.4 quake a mere 25 miles from our home. But here are some of the books I hope to peruse this summer:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847). Okay, so I'm rereading this book for the third time because of the Twilight series--Elizabeth even bought herself a copy with the Twilight-style cover. I've never cared for this one Bronte novel--I've read almost everything Charlotte and Anne wrote, but I've never been able to stomach Emily's attempt. I somehow keep blocking it from my mind--all I can remember are the three main characters' names. I hope I'll like it better due to the Twilight connection, but I rather doubt it.
Harry Potter's Bookshelf by John Granger (2009). Elizabeth bought this book for me for Christmas, and I'm still slowly wending my way through it. All I can say is that it's a good thing I have a Master's in English or half of what Granger writes about would go flying over my head. But I am enjoying the way he traces the literary associations in the Harry Potter series so thoroughly. I understand that he's working on a similar project for the Twilight series. I first came across Granger when I read Looking for God in Harry Potter in which he traces the Christian themes and imagery inherent in Rowlings' books--and he does so brilliantly. I highly recommend Looking for God in Harry Potter to any Christian parent who questions whether Christians should consider reading the Potter series.
The Showings of Julian of Norwich (14th century). The Norton Critical Edition is definitely the way to go when reading medieval mystics. I've read short excerpts of Julian's work, but I really want to tackle the entire book, written by the first English woman to be identified as an author. If I ever return to graduate school to pursue my Ph.D., I hope to work with the medieval women mystics, Julian of Norwich and her friend and neighbor, Margery Kempe (I also have a Norton Critical Edition of Margery's work as well, but one mystic at a time....)
Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail by Robert E. Webber (1989). I read this book hurriedly a few years ago and want to reread it more carefully now. The subtitle of the book is: "Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church." Since I am an evangelical very much attracted to the liturgical church and to Anglicanism in particular, I want to revisit this little book in detail.
I have other books I want to read--just take a look at my reading list in the sidebar--but I think these will keep me busy until we start school in late August. So, what are you reading this summer? Anything worth sharing? Mysteries especially???? Please, do tell!
Reading along with you,