I have committed the grand faux pas of bloggerdom – dropping off the blogosphere. I have a good reason – I was a little preoccupied with buying, moving and selling houses along with a multitude of painting and other home improvement projects (at both places simultaneously – what a fun way to spend the Summer!). Despite all that, I managed to still read some books - here’s the latest…
During June, I must have been coming to the end of my rope waiting for the new season of Mad Men to start. Coincidentally, I read two books that took place in the Sixties.
The first was American Adulterer by British author, Jed Mercurio. Mercurio has an interesting history of medical school (which he used to write a BBC drama called Cardiac Arrest), Royal Air Force, and author. In his third novel, he layered true historical events into the mix that actually taught me a couple of things I didn’t know (such as the events with Cuba that preceded the Cuban Missile Crisis). I never thought I would finish the book as most of it gave me the creeps when I first started. Even though we’ve heard or read about John F. Kennedy’s extra-curricular activities, now that we’ve lived through Tiger Woods and crew, it’s not hard to imagine how JFK’s National Enquirer story would play out today. However, the imagined details of his deteriorating health and how he had to depend on others, such as Jackie, to help him appear vigorous made up for some of the ick factor.
Next, courtesy of my favorite library, was Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin by Hampton Sides. I highly recommend this book – there were so many gems of history – nothing that was ever covered in my high school education, that’s for sure. Sides is a great storyteller and whether he is narrating in the viewpoint of King or James Earl Ray, the details and language he uses are delicious to read. Hampton Sides previously wrote one of the best books I have read in my life: Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission. It is about a group of POWs that were held following the Bataan Death March. If you have loved ones who served, or are currently serving, this is a wonderful tribute to those who give us our freedom every day. I can bet you won’t be able to get through this book without a lump in your throat or many tears in your eyes.
I wrapped up another good read about a former American president: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. This was another from my wait-listed books at the library and I thought at the time – I’ve got too much going on – I’ll never finish it. Surprisingly, I sank my teeth into it (wink). And now I’ve read somewhere that Johnny Depp is attached to the movie! I’ve yet to verify some of the historical aspects of Lincoln’s upbringing (not the vampire bit, but some of the parental history). It was a very good escape read.
Finally, Mad Men is here! I was so happy to see Joan back in her usual butt-kicking ways this past Sunday. I read a recent interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) in Minnesota Monthly. They asked him for a one word hint as to Season 4, his reply “Consequences.” Sounds great to me!
Now it is August. The MN State Fair starts in 2 weeks! I’m in the midst of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – more on that next time…I have a feeling Lisbeth is about to get out of that hospital bed and kick some serious butt – I can’t wait!