The Golden Globes. Hats off to the few women who represented true individualism by not conforming to walking the red carpet in black. What’s the point when you pose and strut and remain objectified as a pretty thing anyway? Nicole should have thanked her co-star. Male directors need not have been dissed. Misandry is not the answer to bad behavior by a few jerks. Happy about James Franco. Of course. And Seth Meyers was solid.
The Essex Serpent, a novel by Sarah Perry. An amorphous Ness. Meant to be a Victorian Gothic homage, it didn’t quite manage either. Science, medicine, modernity dispelled the gossamer blue fog along a rural estuary where the mythic serpent was reportedly glimpsed. The so-called monster never conjured a terror commensurate with the village’s reaction. Perry draws her characters well. They just didn’t seem to belong in the same story together. A good read, but don’t agree with all the literary accolades.
My top favorites this year. Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool. Then Everybody’s Fool. Sully & Rub. Rich writing and characters.
These were also great reads in 2017:
A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith
The Woman on the Stairs, Bernhard Schlink
The Honeymoon, Dinitia Smith
The Girl Before, JP Delaney
The Long Drop, Denise Mina
The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge
Little Deaths, Emma Flint
The Swans of Fifth Avenue, Melanie Benjamin
News of the World, Paulette Jiles
Reviews on Book Treks page.
Earthquakes. Mexico. Check. Superstorms. Puerto Rico. Caribe. Florida. Check. World War 3. Iran. North Korea. Check. According to a Christian numerologist, this coming Saturday, September 23 the world will end. Biblical signs sure are lined up. Exoplanets newly discovered may go rogue. Nostradamus nothwithstanding. Won’t plan on going to book club next week.
Game of Thrones returns. After reviewing the last two episodes of gory wars, exploding bodies, and dogs’ ravenous dinner of Ramsay, Season 7 began. It couldn’t get grosser, could it? Oh yes. How does a library become a cesspool. Literally. There are tomes and turds galore. And.
Speaking of bad reads. Leaving Lucy Pear, Solomon’s “mother load” touted by WaPo, is a dud.
From sweet to serious, here’s what’s on the ‘to read’ Summer Book Treks list:
The Heirs, Susan Rieger
Leaving Lucy Pear, Anna Solomon
Serious Sweet, A.L. Kennedy
The Long Drop, Denise Mina
The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
The Sellout, Paul Beatty
Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller
TV: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is back. Tituss Burgess dominates. Maybe too much this season. House of Cards. Needs two views. After second watch, some of the plot and character deficits are filled in better. But. Still. Uneven writing this year. Frank & Claire remain compelling. Speaking of Kevin Spacey. Fun host of the otherwise lackluster Tony’s.
Book Treks. 2011 – 2017.
This summer try The Honeymoon about George Eliot, The Last Painting of Sara De Vos, The Woman on the Stairs, A Gentleman in Moscow, Swans of Fifth Avenue, Paley’s & Capote.
The Night Ocean, by Paul La Farge. I’m not sure. It kept me rapt. Author clearly had lots of things to work through. Personally. Maybe. Literarily many unfinished stories found their way into this dense work. Sprawling disjointed tales of several complex people in different times and places. Spaces. Told from a woman’s point of view, Marina the shrink, working out her own issues. The author gave her an authentic voice. It begins as her husband Charlie disappears into Agawam Lake in the Berkshires. H.S. Lovecraftian fandom less clear. More context necessary for those not acquainted with this cult of science-fiction-horror genre. Nonetheless. Worth the meandering page-turning journey. Lots to think about. La Farge’s New Yorker view.
Speaking of mind-bending. Twin Peaks so far is a self-indulgent David Lynchian acid trip with no redeeming plot value. Vomitaceous. Literally.