So, here are the books I have read for the month of August. I discovered authors whose work I had never read before. There’s a legend that explains the rating system below the reviews.
1 Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin © 1978 – The first in a series of, I believe, six books about the denizens of a small apartment house in San Francisco in the 70’s. Intrigues and mysteries abound among these neighbors. This book ends as if the author knew he was going to write more – there are several loose ends.☻☻☻
2 S is for Silence by Sue Grafton © 2005 – The author has written most of the way through the alphabet (starting with “A is for Alibi” and her latest is “T is for Trespass”). This is a mystery series revolving around private eye Kinsey Millhone. Grafton’s plots are just complicated enough for you to feel proud that you understand what’s going on, and her prose is very accessible (once her book is picked up, it will not be put down for hours). In this outing Kinsey is hired to discover what happened to a woman who vanished 34 years earlier. Fascinating and well-plotted. ☻☻☻☻☻
3 Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett ©2007 – Written by a British author and set in a small town in England, this novel is about a forensic expert turned country physician who studies the aftermaths of a serial killer’s actions to discover his or her identity. First rate. Occasionally British mysteries are stuffy affairs, but this one is extremely readable. Another hard-to-put –down tome. ☻☻☻☻
4The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid ©2007 – Amazing first-person narrative (novel) told to an unknown American by a young Pakistani man, whose promising life in America was compromised by the aftermath of public opinion about Muslims after 911.☻☻☻☻☻
5 A Window Across the River by Brian Morton © 2003 –Novel about a New York City woman who is a writer. Unfortunately, she can only find inspiration writing about people she knows, especially intuiting their flaws and inner conflicts. Naturally her stories do not go over well with her subjects.☻☻☻
☻☻☻☻☻ Excellent. I highly recommend this book. Wonderfully plotted or chockful of insights.
☻☻☻☻ Very good. May have minor aspects of style or plot that prevented it from getting 5 smileys.
☻☻☻ Flawed, but of some entertainment or thought-provoking value.
☻☻ Read this book if you are stranded on a desert island and have nothing else handy to read.
☻ Don’t bother, it’s a waste of time. A suggested use is to light the fire for cooking your fish on the desert island.