I was traveling for half the month and did way less reading than I usually do when I am on the road. Not sure what happened. Oh well…
I read one book from the 100 best non-fiction books, Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. Although it was a long, slow read, I enjoyed it. Having lived near the Mississippi in southern Illinois, that area is familiar to me. I enjoyed reading about the river and the towns as Twain experienced them. I don’t know if the book would be of interest to someone unfamiliar with the area. My guess is that it might be too long and too detailed.
Most of my novel list book, The History of Mr. Polly by HG Wells , was read in May. It was an odd book and for a long time I was confused as to why it would be on the list. It was chosen, apparently, ” because it is, in many ways, so un-Wellsian.” Personally, I would have chosen one of his science fiction novels, but they didn’t ask me! The story was fun to read and, now that I have read it, probably deserving of inclusion on the list. It is definitely a book I never would have read if I weren’t trying to read books from the list this year.
The mystery I read last month was another old one, The Curved Blades by Carolyn Wells. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t read as easily as other books by this author that I have read. Her detective, Fleming Stone, is interesting. This time he has some personal entanglements that may be complicating his search for the murderer, but he will go to the ends of the earth to solve the case if need be. I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you like old mysteries.
I read one other piece of fiction last month, Stand to Horse by Andre Norton. I knew I liked her science fiction and was interested to see how she would handle historical fiction. The answer was, “Extremely well.” Of course! Set in New Mexico before the Civil War, it is a fascinating look at the times. I highly recommend it if you are at all interested in that period of US history.
I also read Eat, Walk, Write by Boyd Lemon. It is the story of the time he spent living in Paris. I have never had any interest in living in Paris (and his belief that a couple could live there on $100,000 a year makes me very glad of that!), but it did make me nostalgic for all the countries my family and I have lived in over the years. There is something special about living in another country, getting to know its people and culture much more intimately than you ever could by just vacationing there.I enjoyed it.
So it wasn’t a great month for reading. I am starting to worry that this is my new normal. We’ll see if July continues at the same pace.