Friday, March 01, 2019

Best reads in February -- Cornwell and Hadley

The two married couples at the center of Tessa Hadley’s fine new novel, Late In The Day, are a complacent,  unlikable pair.   Complacent until the unexpected death of one them turns the survivors’s lives upside down. They remain unlikable.

Hadley’s greatest gift lies in her powers of observation. She plies that skill here as — jumping from present to past and back again — she reveals the hidden connections and complications that tie the four together so intimately.

Late In The Day is a somber book, offering only a passing glimpse of a brighter future for one of its characters.  But the tone of the book (or the fact I found the characters singularly unlikable) does nothing to detract from the pleasure of a new novel from this talented British author.


I promised a friend I would denote, each month, the one book I found most enjoyable. Two books emerged in February. If you enjoy an adventure yarn, laden with history, I highly recommend Sharpe’s Escape by Bernard Cornwell.  This recommendations comes with a caveat — Cornwell’s tales are addictive.  If literary fiction is more to your liking than seek out Tessa Hadley’s Late In The Day.  

Books read -- February
12. The Golden Tresses of the Dead, Alan Bradley
13. The Problem of Susan and Other Stories, Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell
14. The Rhesus Chart, Charles Stross
15. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
16. Shrink Rap, Robert B. Parker
17. Wish You Were Here, Graham Swift
18. The Big Fella, Babe Ruth and the World He Created, Jane Leavy
19. School Days, Robert B. Parker
20. The Boats of the Glen Carrig, William Hope Hodgson
21. The Professional, Robert B. Parker
22. Distrust That Particular Flavor, William Gibson
23. Flannery O'Connor, The Cartoons, ed. Kelly Gerald
24. Comics & Sequential Art, Will Eisner
25. Sharpe's Escape, Bernard Cornwell
26. Thirteen Ways Of Looking, Colum McCann
27. Late In The Day, Tessa Hadley

Books read -- January
1.   Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens
2.   Voodoo River, Robert Crais
3.   Yossel, April 19, 1943, Joe Kubert
4.   Lie In The Dark, Dan Fesperman
5.   A Canticle For Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
6.   Flash, The Making of Weegee The Famous by Christopher Bonanos
7.   Neptune's Brood, Charles Stross
8.   Perish Twice, Robert B. Parker
9.   The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, Jon Morris
10. Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
11. Mrs. Palfrey At The Claremont, Elizabeth Taylor

Currently  Reading --
Still Life, Louise Penny
Slowhand, The Life and Music of Eric Clapton, Philip Norman
Dreyer's English, An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, Benjamin Dreyer

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