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review 2020-03-07 17:08
Sleeping Beauty by Ross MacDonald
Sleeping Beauty - Ross Macdonald

I'm not the hugest fan of noir, but there is something about the mid-century hardboiled mysteries set in L.A. that is just so evocative. It's a place I've never been, but that I recognize from dozens (hundreds) of depictions in book and film, to which Harry Bosch is the rightful heir.

 

I was completely underwhelmed by The Thin Man, when we read it as a Halloween bingo group read. But, I've read some Chandler, and liked it pretty well, and Cornell Woolrich's The Bride Wore Black blew my miind - in a good way. So, maybe I am a bigger fan than I can really recognize.

 

Because I really enjoyed this book. Taking a real oil spill from 1969 as the jumping off point, this is a complicated tale of greed and murder, with complex roots in a different disaster years before. The characters are California archetypes - the aging patriarch (with a much younger companion), disappointed in his children, the adult children who have never quite managed the dizzying levels of success that their father achieved, and who are slowly but inexorably dissipating the family fortune, the little-girl-lost granddaughter who married beneath her, and whose sadness makes her only more beautiful. It's all sort of annoying, but also there's a reason that these are archetypes.

 

And isn't it fascinating that we've been having these same environmental conflicts for 50 years, and still, always, industry prevails. America is open for business (and for plunder). Privatize profits, socialize losses, and let no man get in the way of the wealthy extracting maximum wealth from the resources that should, by right, belong to us all.

 

OK, that took a turn. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

 

I couldn't get a fix on Archer, so I'm obviously going to have to read more.

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text 2020-03-06 00:06
Coping with OPS: Option Paralysis Syndrome
Sleeping Beauty - Ross Macdonald
Sense & Sensibility - Joanna Trollope
The New World: A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, Volume I 1939-1946 - Richard G. Hewlett
British Strategy and War Aims 1914-1916 (Rle First World War) - David French
The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume I: Contradictions Among the People, 1956-1957 - Roderick MacFarquhar

Today I began addressing my usual pre-travel problem of what to take to read. It's one that I've been facing for a few days now, but with my commitments for the week out of the way I can give it the focus it needs.

 

As usual, I have plenty of books from which to choose -- so much so that it poses the perennial problem of option paralysis. And also as usual, books that seemed ideal at first became less appealing upon further consideration. But I think I'm narrowing it down successfully.

 

The first book that I'm planning to take is a Ross Macdonald novel. They're as close to a sure thing as I can get in terms of reading enjoyment, and I have a paperback of one of his books that I haven't read yet, so it will be perfect for the trip. The only problem is that I enjoy them a little too much, so I can't count on that occupting me for more than a day or two.

 

The second book will probably be Joanna Trollope's book in the Austen Project. I enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld's contribution to it so much that I decided to give another of the volumes a try. We have the updates of Sense and Sensibility and Emma, but for some reason the latter has little appeal for me (Amy Heckerling may have ruined me in terms of Emma updates) so I'll try Trollope's volume instead. I may supplement it with another novel, probably one of my sci-fi paperbacks, but I haven't decided on that yet.

 

That leaves my big choice -- and I mean that in more ways than one. I'm hoping to take one of my larger nonfiction books with me as my primary read, in part because I realized why I have some many of them waiting to be read on my shelves. I do a good amount of my reading when I work out, which usually favors books that I can hold while I'm pedaling on a recumbent bike or a treadmill. This precludes bringing my whoppers, as they're a little much to handle. That's not a problem at the farm, though, as I end up spending hours stretched out on a sofa, which is an ideal way to read a nice, thick tome. Currently I'm leaning towards a history of the Manhattan Project, but I may select something on the First World War or even take a second crack at the first volume of MacFarquhar's Origins of the Cultural Revolution. It's a major decision, but by giving myself a day and a half to make it I'm pretty sure I'll be able to select something that will make the next week especially enjoyable.

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text 2020-03-05 21:06
TBR Next
Faithful: A Novel - Alice Hoffman
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth Taylor,Paul Bailey
Sleeping Beauty - Ross Macdonald
Down Among the Dead Men - Patricia Moyes

I'm taking a page from Tigus's book (see what I did there, lol) and posting my next 4 planned books!

 

Faithful by Alice Hoffman - currently reading

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor

Sleeping Beauty by Ross MacDonald

Down Among the Dead Men by Patricia Moyes

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video 2019-06-18 17:21
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review 2016-12-15 00:00
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty - K.M. Shea Sleeping Beauty - K.M. Shea I read this entire series in less than a week. Some of the best fairy tale adaptations I've ever read.
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