7.08.2008

14 Days














...from the cover of The Reserve...

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a book lover in a library will leave with far too many books. When I was little, I once tested the library limit and checked out 40 books. With the flabbergasted grin of the librarian upon me, I stashed the booty in my big canvas bag and couldn't wait to get home to look at them. (I've always been fond at looking at books as well as reading them.) Upon arrival, I went straight to my room and laid out the books on my white comforter. They covered the entire bed, and I was in heaven trying to figure out which one to read first. I don't remember how it ended, but I'm assuming I didn't read all of them in a month, though I bet I really tried. I learned temperance a little bit since then, but not much.

Last week I bounced into my local branch to pick up a few titles I'd ordered, and managed to pick up a few 14-dayers. Two had to go back today - unread - but the other two have been eaten...

I spent the weekend embroiled in Russell Bank's The Reserve, a rich historical novel set in 1930s upstate New York. (Now that I think about it my other book was also set in upstate NY...hmm.) Other folks in the blogosphere weren't too keen on this novel, but I thought it was great. The characters were vivid, the action and plot persuasive, and there was enough open-ended goodness to leave this critical thinker satisfied. At points, though, I had to tell myself that I was reading about the 1930s, and Banks' efforts to remind the reader that it was indeed the 1930s was a little heavyhanded.

I then started The Monsters of Templeton, which I haven't finished yet. I'll be reading Last of the Mohicans as Monsters is a homage to Cooper's work, and I've never read his stuff, so I'm sure A LOT is lost on me. The characters are the most compelling aspect of this novel. Perhaps this will change by the time I"m finished, but the whole "monster coming out of the lake" bit is a little gimmicky. Groff seems to waiver between magical realism (fantastic fiction) and not, and I'm sort of grimacing as I read and mouthing "pick one." Regardless, it's good.

Ok, back to reading Monsters and listening to the rain hit my chimney. It's sort of a pleasant tinny sound...

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