I have a grant proposal to write today. I have a stack of legal work to do. My desk is a mess. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the dog is sleeping in a patch of sunlight in the backyard, and what I’d really like to do is make another cup of coffee and go sit on the deck with a good book. Alas.
What have I been reading lately? Yesterday it was a classic: To Kill a Mockingbird, which I had to read for my book club meeting last night. It gets a whole post to itself, but I’m not quite ready to do it justice. I valiantly resisted opening the second Hunger Games book (Catching Fire) until I got home from the meeting. I read till I couldn’t keep my eyes open. No, I have not seen the movie yet. I’m not sure what I think of the book so far. The story is gripping, of course. The writing isn’t very complex. The story seems to be heading down somewhat obvious lines, but I will reserve judgment until I’ve finished it.
One thing, though–these books are not like the Twilight series any more than Twilight was like the Harry Potter books. For starters, if Bella were forced to compete in the Hunger Games she would become catatonic and Edward would have to come save her. Unless she was already a vampire, in which case she would use her awesome vampire skillz to vanquish all opponents in ten seconds or less. Bella goes from girl in distress to superhero. Katniss is strong but vulnerable.
I’m also making my way through the stack of thrillers on the table in my bedroom. I recently read Reversible Errors by Scott Turow, whom you’ll remember from Presumed Innocent. All his books are excellent, a cut above other stories in the legal thriller genre due to the complexities of the personalities involved. Characters, not caricatures, they grow and change; they are complicated; they are human. I enjoyed that one a lot. Then I went through a whole stack of Michael Connelly books, most of them featuring police detective Harry Bosch. He’s also a complex character and I recommend those if you like crime novels. Finally, I am working my way though a pile of Jeffery Deaver novels. You may remember The Bone Collector which was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington. The hero is Lincoln Rhyne, a criminalist who is immobilized by quadriplegia. Several of Deaver’s novels feature Rhyne. Deaver is a tricky writer who takes the reader partly into his confidence, only to play tricks at the end.
Next on my list is James Patterson. I have several books by him that sounded interesting from the blurbs. Or maybe I will spend about three days reading Love Inspired romances first. We’ll see.