Let's Talk Books

Month of May Roundup

Like many seem to do, I thought to do a month of May round up where I summerise what I read, what I did, and the fact that we’re already in the six month of the year. Eek!

There were lots of articles about writing and grammar, a few about my dental dilemma, which, by the way, went fine (for those of you who really want to know). I had the root removed and ended up with 3 stitches in my gum, and will now have a missing molar. Such is life!

I posted a short story of mine, which a few of you enjoyed, making me feel I might post some more. But the most read posts were, of course, my book reviews and English 101 primers. Always good to know who is interested in what. Especially as I started this blog to chart my Permanent Residency application. Which, while that progress may of interest to me, isn’t what draws in the readers: books are.

So, what books did I read, that one is easy:

A Twist of the Knife — Becky Masterman
Deep Blue Trouble — Steph Broadribb
The Cuban Affair — Nelson deMille

All three were also reviewed here, with two out of the three being two thumbs up reads, while the third, The Cuban Affair, was an utter let down. Ah, well, we can’t win them all.

I also started reading THE BOTTOMS by Joe R. Lansdale yesterday, and got a fair way into it. I came across Lansdale’s work through Kathleen Kent, another Texas-native crime writer—and the Dallas group, all writing crime. My first introduction to Lansdale though wasn’t a crime novel, but a western. THE THICKET showed me Lansdale knows how to write interesting and unique characters, is faithful to his setting, and writes some cracking dialogue.

The Bottoms, however, is not an easy book to read for many reasons, not least the gritty subject matter: murder. The who, the how, and, in the end, the why, are violent and brutal, though we never actually ‘witness’ anything on the page. It thankfully happens, as they say, off-stage. The story is essentially narrated by the young son, Harry Collins, as he looks back on his life and his childhood during the 30s depression era, living in East Texas. Reading the story, which unfold through the eyes of nine year-old Harry, softens the horror that he’s living through, making his story all the more poignant.

A full review will follow just as soon as I’ve finished the rest of the book.

2 Comments

  1. I’ll be interested in your full review of The Bottoms when you get to it, Alex. Gritty can sometimes work, depending on how it’s handled in a book. I’m glad to hear your dental surgery went smoothly. At least that molar won’t bother you again!

    • La Blonde says

      Despite the subject matter, Margot, The Bottoms is a fast read, and I have to say I am enjoying what I’ve read so far, even though it’s a bit graphic in places. But that’s with good reason, and it’s all within the scope of the times, setting and place, or I should say: era. Tough times, tough people, and segregation. More to come!

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