Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bookshelf Reading Browse

A Sunday New York Times writer this week rued the loss of books from home bookshelves as a result of the electronic revolution. Books were to be one way to obtain an insight into the personality of the holder.

What would a filled bookshelf say about you? It caused me to consider my latest books read, not to evaluate my personality, but to examine the vibes I may be spreading by reading in public.

Here's the three books in no particular order.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Copyright 2006.

This memoir of a divorced woman traces her personal journey across Italy, India and Indonesia. The three Is are a nice point although the text refers more to Bali as the final stopping point. The reader will never know the specifics of the failed marriage that provided the sendoff for Ms. Gilbert, although referring to it often, refuses to tell the reader. Thus, the critical point of why this memoir is nothing more than a travelogue remains vital and unanswered. There are multiple holes in the narrative. Ms. Gilbert late in the book mentions about coming home for the Christmas holidays and then drops the reference.

That the book was made into a recent movie of the same name and already shows up on my cable TV free-movie selections suggests it wasn't a box office hit. Why? Can't say since I've not viewed it.

I doubt the average reader will gain much useful relationship advice. Going to an idyllic Pacific island could be a fantasy. However, be apprised that the locals will be out to drain every resource the visitor brings by every available tactic, including creating guilt to a hurting psyche.

Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber. Copyright 2010.

The prolific output of romance writer Debbie Macomber hangs several character sketches on the clothesline of a cancer victim's one year delayed letter to her pediatric doctor husband offering three women for him to create a new romantic life with. Adding bulk, if not focused on the husband, are the stories of two females selected to be marriage candidates.

Be prepared for repeated references to how depressed the husband is, which borders on on being off-putting even if considered necessary to refocus the reader after a voyage into the relationships of the two women not selected. That shouldn't be a game spoiler for this is a romance with its required happy ending. I'll not tell you who, but it should be obvious early.

Romance genre readers will find this a good read, others probably not so.

"D" Is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton. Copyright 1987.

Yes, this is an early novel in Ms. Grafton's march to touch every one of the 26 alphabet letters that she is soon to complete. The use of the word "Deadbeat" is a stretch. With a deadbeat being defined as one who tries to evade paying for things.does not match the victim. There is another D word that better describes the victim: "Drunk." He's often referred to as one and his drinking is a driving force in the story's events.

In 1987, this novel probably pushed the sexual envelope of genre mystery novels, although not the pacesetter for literary novel writers such as John Updike written approximately two decades previous. That the PI is named Kinsey Millhone, at least the first name, may be an inside joke on the sex researchers who issued a 1960s decade report.

This novel is a classic mystery where suspects are multiplied and then ruled out. With a few humorous moments, the pace moves with steadiness. The heaviness is in the abundant metaphors and casting eyes always at the weather which rarely changes.

Greed, murder and false piety constantly stirred by Ms. Grafton creates the desired and expected turmoil. One will always ask why the PI didn't consider modes of travel other than a taxi in an urban area.

Your comment always welcomed.

Donan Berg is an offer of novels A Body To Bones, The Bones Dance Foxtrot, Abbey Burning Love, Baby Bones.  Baby Bones  His debut novel named his website home at .

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