This week I read Agatha Christie because that’s about all I could cope with. First time I ever realized you need to be healthy to read, or at least achieve a minimal rate of oxygen exchange. Christie is a truly abysmal romance writer, but she’s solid on character and terrific at plotting. My Golden Age faves are Allingham and Heyer and Gilbert (stretch Golden Age a bit there), but Christie is always a classic. So what are you reading?
This week I sobbed my way through Jessica Parks’ wildly romantic 180 Seconds. It’s not depressing, the dog does not die, but it is an emotional roller coaster, even if the love interest is so damn wonderful it’s hard to believe he’s real. Of course, the heroine has problems believing in him, too. Really great love story, all different kinds of relationships, just a lovely book. But you’re gonna cry.
What did you read this week?
(Any suggestions for how to change the Good Book Thursday header for July? They had kittens up there in June, you know.)
You know what made me happy this week? A raccoon that reached for the stars. Because a raccoon’s reach should exceed her grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
You’ve probably already heard about this little over-achiever that climbed a skyscraper in St. Paul over two days while people held their breath that she’d get to the top. That’s her in the picture to the left, taking a nap on the 22nd floor. Continue reading
I’m on a P. G. Wodehouse binge because I was getting too dark in my own novel and because it’s summer and in the summer, the best place to laugh is Blanding’s Castle. Also you have to love an author who replies to his critics this way: Continue reading
I had forgotten how funny P. G. Wodehouse is, but I had never noticed what a great plotter he was. I’m reading Leave It To Psmith for the first time, and that plot is like a Chinese puzzle box. You just don’t notice it at first because you’re laughing so hard. I just had to put down the iPad because the noxious Baxter, stalking our heroine in the dark to find out where she hid the necklace she didn’t steal, trod on the golf ball that FreddyThreepwood had left in the hall and fell down the stairs:
“. . . he took the entire staircase in one majestic, volplaning sweep. There were eleven stairs in all separating his landing from the landing below, and the only ones he hit were the third and the tenth. He came to rest with a squattering thud on the lower landing, and for a moment or two the fever of the chase left him.”
It helps if you know what a tick Baxter is and what a sweetheart Eve is, but still, writing visual slapstick is really difficult. I don’t know what’s so damn funny about “the third and the tenth” but it is. But still what I most marveled at is the plot, which is based on stealing a necklace and then replacing it, and because the people who want the necklace stolen (for good purposes) are so benignly inept, a cast of thousands ends up trying to steal the damn thing and then playing Keep Away with it. So. Much. Fun.
I also read a terrific YA, Withering by the Sea, full of beautiful drawings and bizarre events and a dastardly villain and singing cats and a girl heroine beset by three Awful Aunts. It was so good I bought the sequel, which is equally charming.
What did you read this week?