Saturday, October 31, 2020

Book Chase: The November 2020 Reading Plan (First Half)

 It's hard to believe another month is already gone. Even under all of the COVID-19 restrictions, time seems to be flying by...another year almost gone. I've started to line up my reading for the next month, and if November turns out to be anything like the last two months, I'll need close to a dozen new titles for the month. This is what I'm planning on as the month begins, with more books to be added in the second half of November as needed:

A Rule Against Murder is the fourth Inspector Gamache novel in that series. I'm in the process of reading four of the books I've missed throughout the years, and I was able to get an audiobook version of this one from the library. Of course, I couldn't resist starting it a couple of days ago, so this will be the first one I finish in November. It's a little bit of an Agatha Christie scenario since the murder takes place at an isolated hotel in the Canadian woods and all the suspects are being kept from leaving until the crime is solved.

Truthtelling is a collection of short stories from Lynne Sharon Schwartz. I don't recall reading anything of Schwartz's before, but if the first couple of stories in the book are any indication, I think I'm going to enjoy the collection. The author has also written a book called Ruined by Reading, and that title fascinates me. It's definitely one I'm going to be getting my hands on sometime in the next few weeks. I see that this will be the sixth short story collection I've read in 2020. 

Good Eggs tells the story of a man who is having problems both with the behavior of his 83-year-old mother (chronic shoplifting for no apparent reason) and his rebellious teenaged daughter whom he is sending away to boarding school in desperation. The novel is set in Ireland, but the family is hoping that the American caretaker they've just hired to help out with the old lady will solve at least some of their problems. Of course, we all know that's not about to happen.

Bob: The Right Hand of God sounds like fun. It seems that Bob shows up on television one day (unfortunately for his message, that's on an April 1) to announce that God has decided to turn the planet into a theme park. People are disappearing everywhere, and on Easter Sunday those who are still around are given one last chance to "enter the light." Chet, who must be a little above average in the stubbornness department refuses to go...and now he's all alone. Maybe he should reconsider, if it's not already too late.

I'm going to read Dark Passage from this Library of America collection containing five "Noir Novels of the 1940s & 50s." Part of my reading goal coming into 2020 was to read some of the novels published during the middle third of the 20th century, and this one fits nicely into that goal. Movie fans may remember this as a movie starring Humphrey Bogart - one I think I must have watched at some point in my life but remember nothing about. David Goodis is described as someone whose style helped "transform American culture and writing," so I'm expecting a lot from it.

I was blown away by The Birdwatcher, the first book in this series, so I'm looking forward to reading Salt Lane in November and moving on to the other two books in the series. The series is set on the Kentish coast, and Shaw uses the setting to full advantage in framing his plot and, more importantly I think, his characters. This time around, though, DS Alexandria Cupidi is going to take centerstage as the main character, a spot she unexpectedly assumed at the conclusion of The Birdwatcher.

So there you have it, the first half-dozen for the month of November. I do have at least a couple of others partially read right now, but they are fast losing steam and may well end up being, at least for now, abandoned, so I won't mention them today. 

I made my first two bookstore visits this week, and I was not surprised that both were relatively empty. Both, too, have removed all the pre-pandemic chairs and benches so that customers don't get so comfortable that they hang around for hours. I do think that's a wise, but sad, move. I had been in neither location since early March, and I was surprised by the major changes I found in one of them. More on that in the next few days...because I don't believe the explanation I received from the store manager regarding what I found in her bookstore.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, A Rule Against Murder is *very* good. I wanted to find the hotel and book a week there. And I'm keen to hear what you think of Salt Lane.

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    1. Me, too, Cath. Right about now, I could really use a week in a hotel like that one.

      I'm looking forward to Salt Lane...probably nearer the end of November before I get to it, though, if I can hold off that long. It's due back to the library, I think, on December 2.

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  2. I just compared which Louise Penny books I've read from what she has had published and I was kinda shocked to see I've only read 8/17. I think my 2021 goal will be to play catch up. I have not read A Rule Against Murder - it sounds good.

    I also have an E-copy of Good Eggs - like the sound of that as well.

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    1. Diane, I've found reading several of them out-of-order to be both a little problematic and enlightening. Enlightening, in the sense that if I read them as prequels they work really well, problematic in the sense that the plots sometimes remind me of later book elements that I'm fuzzy on and that bugs me.

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  3. An engaging TBR list for sure!

    Best wishes,

    Bill

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    1. Thanks, Bill. I'm reading more than I have in a long time, so this is about two weeks worth, I suspect. It's comforting to read some of my longtime favorite authors while revisiting a few "worlds" I've enjoyed so much over the years.

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  4. A Rule Against Murder sounds like a book I'd really like. I haven't ventured out to visit my bookstore since covid hit. I know it's still there, but I don't know how it's faring. I do miss it though.

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    1. Definitely one you need to read, Lark.

      As for bookstores, they are the same and they are very different at the same time. That's hard to explain, but I can say that for whatever reason, I enjoyed the two visits a lot less than I expected I would.

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  5. You ventured to the bookstore, huh? I'll be curious to hear more about your experiences ...

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    1. I did. And I still can't believe how underwhelmed I was by the experience. I was disappointed in what I found...now I need to share some pictures and thoughts here. Hopefully later today.

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