Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Reading

I probably won't get to the beach this summer. Between job hunting, working on free lance projects and trying to get MORE free lance projects, I have less free time than when I had a full-time job.

But the piles of books sprouting up all over my house are crying for me to put everything aside and stretch out in the backyard if I can't get to the beach. They want to be read.

I did get through Sally Koslow's The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, a true beach book - light fluff, but not as funny or well-conceived as her debut novel, Little Pink Slips. In what starts off as a take-off of The Lovely Bones, Molly Marx looks down from "the Duration", beginning with her funeral and going back and forth in time to capture her life and the mystery of her death. Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Unfortunately, Koslow is not sure whether she is writing a mystery, a comedy or a romance. Everything gets jumbled together and neither element is really satisfying.

Irene Nemirovsky's Fire in the Blood was a much better choice. Although hardly a summer read, since most of the book takes place in late autumn and everyone is lighting fires and bundling up, it is both a romance and a lyric description of life in the French countryside. This book was assumed lost when Nemirovosky was sent to Auschwitz in 1942, where she died. But in 2007, the manuscript was found among her papers and published. Definitely a must read.

Now, I'm moving on to baseball books. I have bios of Yogi Berra and Satchel Paige awaiting while I am already engaged in Bottom of the Ninth, a history of baseball's ill-fated Continental League.

Now, if everyone will just leave me alone, I can get some reading done.

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