Last Ten Books Read xvii
(in order of completion)
1. “Deported Colonel” by Jeanette Gau Stone. Jennie, contributed a portion of her book about her experiences under the Pananmanian dictatorship to our café journal. I was so struck by it I wanted to read the whole thing. So we struck a deal.
2. “On Animals” by Susan Orlean. I had enjoyed Orlean’s book on Rin Tin a lot. This is a collection of pieces, amusing, engaging – but lightweight.
3. “A House of Sand and Fog” by Andre Dubus, III. I had liked his father’s writing a lot and this was sitting in the Free Box at the café, so… It’s an old fashioned, plot-and-character gripping novel. Interestingly the two principal characters are a white working class woman and an ex-Iranian Army officer. I wonder if there would be a squawk if it came out today.
4. “The Last Interview,” a collection of them by various people of Janet Malcolm. Boy, was she a touch interview and, boy, were people intimidated by her. She gave nothing away and no one pushed her to. Eventually, she insisted questions be e-mailed and she e-mailed her answers.
5. “The Years” by Annie Ernaux. Highly recommended by my (very smart) friend Budd. It took me a while to get into it – and I would have done better if I knew more about France – but it was good.
6. “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. When I bought “Animals,” the clerk asked if I had read this, so I ordered it. Its ostensible focus in the fire which destroyed the main one in L.A. but it rambles around, here and there, over centuries and is studded with memorable characters – but I liked “Rin Tim Tin” better.
7. “My Little Plague Journal” by L. John Harris. I know John slightly. A self-described “flaneur,” he’s been part of the North Berkeley foodie scene since its inception. A man of many talents and interests, he had bought a copy of our journal from me (His friend Lennie was already sold out) so I decided fair-was-fair. Our experiences of Covid didn’t coincide much but his illustrations were wonderful and he had a strong chapter on Trump.
8. “Good Behavior” by Molly Keane. Don’t know where I heard about this but it was on my list and Moe’s had it. A savage, bitter takedown of the Irish-British horse-and-hound set of the early 20th century.
9. “Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing” by Denise Noe. Read at the request of the author, an email-espondent about whom I wrote recently at FOM. A good book if you are interested in its subject, Marie (“Queen of the B’s” Windsor.
10. “The January 6 Report.” (NYT edition.) Indict, try and jail the sonofabitch.
Last Ten Books Read xvii