what I read on summer “vacation”

Always seems like I don’t get much time to read outside of work materials these days. But last week I didn’t read a single query, proposal, or manuscript (and, yeah, I just said that in a public space).

1. The D. Case by Charles Dickens, Carlo Fruttero, Franco Lucentini (4 days) — I started this book once before, but then had to move and it got packed. I’m not sure why I dragged it out again exactly. After reading, I’m still not certain. Though now I can claim to have read the fragment of Dickens’ unfinished manuscript (the one he died in the midst of, take heed out there writers). The framing device of a conference on unfinished works held promise with its famous detective characters, but ended up offering very little in the way of development. At best, this was a more pleasant way of reading literary criticism. If you like such trivia, go for it. It’s intelligently written.

2. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (1 day) — I’m sure it’s hard to believe that I’ve never read this series before. I borrowed the first two books (see next title) from a friend (and I must remember to ask him for the next couple volumes). As I’m sure the rest of the civilized reading world is aware, this is the first book in a futuristic police procedural series, with a heavy dose of romantic subplot. One serial killer, one rich and perfect boyfriend later…. Okay, maybe he was a little too perfect. And I’m not sure I entirely bought his fascination with Eve Dallas when he could so easily have anyone he wanted. But the mystery was well-executed (even if I guessed the twist earlier rather than later). Overall, I enjoyed it and anticipate reading more of them.

3. Glory in Death by J.D. Robb (1 day) — Sequel to #2 and with many of the same blessings and flaws. But I noticed the head-hopping more. The world is fairly well-imagined and a couple of the things mentioned might have been prescient when written 10 years (or more) ago.

4. Revisiting Narnia edited by Shanna Caughey (2 days) — I received this as a Christmas gift. And I probably will take my time with it. As of now, I’ve only read two essays (one on each day). My fascination with the Narnia series goes way back. Don’t even bother asking me how many times I’ve seen the movie (the BBC ones too *shudder* but I still want to own them on DVD). From the table of contents it looks like it will be a many and varied read and I’m looking forward to reading others thoughts about the world beyond Spare Oom.

On deck? The final volume of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. I’ve owned it for two years but haven’t had the chance to dig into it. The first two thirds were compelling. (Review of Book #1 is here but it looks like I never wrote up #2.) I’m looking forward to it. I can’t believe it will have taken me over two years to have read the entire sequence. Need more time to read…. (so funny to see myself type that)

Leave a Reply