Monday, March 14, 2016

Two Books and a Funny Letter

Because I broke one of my reading rules, I was not able to post last week. You see, I attempted to read two books at once - OK, not simultaneously, but I did have two books in progress over the past weeks, and that just doesn't work for me. Consequently, I had not read enough in either one to say anything substantial.  But YAY me...I have finally  finished both of these challenging works.

I read Jubilee for the first time in college. I wonder how I made it through this novel considering I read slowly and surely faced other copious reading requirements at the time.  If you have read Gone with the Wind or have seen the movie, you'll have a reference point from which to approach this civil war novel. The difference? This is told from the slave's point of view. We all learned about slavery in high school, but Walker's book shows the reality of how people were treated because of something as arbitrary as skin color with an intensity that just didn't come across in history books.  Walker tells the story of Vyry - a story she knows all too well because it is the story of her great-grandmother who was freed from slavery exactly 100 years before Walker finished her manuscript. This book made me angry, embarrassed, and sadly forced me question how much society's attitudes have changed.

A Deadly  Wandering was gruelling in totally different ways.  Rather than me trying to capsulize...this is what the back of the book succinctly tells us.....Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist, Matt Richtel interweaves the cutting edge science of attention with the tensely plotted story of a mysterious car accident and its aftermath to answer some of the defining questions of our time:  What is technology doing to us? Can our minds keep up with the pace of change? How can we find balance?  Richtel parallels the accident information with leading edge scientific findings on the impact of technology on our brains, showing how these devices play into our deepest social instincts. This is a book that can change - and save - lives.

Now, on to lighter fare.  I get all sorts of new book promos. Those coming  from established, reputable publishers  are tastefully done, accompanied by skillful marketing materials.  Not so much for the little letter from Lord Christian Halliday, touting the glories of his book, Memoirs of a Gigolo.  I'll spare you most of the contents of the letter, but to say it was filled with double entendre would be an understatement. In this book his life will be "laid bare....across the sheets intriguingly bound between two covers."  He teases readers to "expose" themselves to his provocative content.  He ends the letter by encouraging me to pour a glass of wine, light a fire and "enjoy your time alone with me."  

Yup...and his book is the first of a trilogy about his gigolo years.  After that he's starting another trilogy.  I have tried in vain to find a picture of this guy and to uncover his real name.  For all we know the Lord is some little old lady pounding away on her Underwood at her kitchen table in Scranton. 

There will be a fabulous prize for the first person who can find a photo (and no, it will not be copy of his book.)

Thanks for stopping by.