Sunday, July 31, 2016

August (first half) 2016 Reads

Starting off August by trying to finish several in my "currently reading" list :

Rock, Paper, Scissors ; Aidt, Naja Marie    on page 109
What If the Queen Should Die? ; Flintoff, John-Paul  on page 131
The North Water ; McGuire, Ian  on page 56

I'm enjoying all of these, can't decide which to finish first, page numbers are as of 8am EDT, Aug 1.

10pm, Aug 1
Finished  What If the Queen Should Die? I enjoyed this historical novel--The Queen in the title is Queen Anne of England, Scotland and Ireland. The main protagonist is the writer Daniel Defoe acting as a spy for the Earl of Oxford during the Court intrigue over the line of succession.
My copy. Note: I am a contributor to this crowd sourced book, published by Unbound

I also read a few more stories in St. Louis Noir, an anthology I won on Library Thing. I started reading it in mid July.

5pm, Aug 2
Finished The North Water  It's not very good. I won a this ARC on Goodreads.

3pm, Aug 5
Needed something light after the gruesome whaling adventure. What better than an informative book on what goes into making bread in France: Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf  by Sara Mansfield Taber. My copy (picked up for a dime at a college book sale).

Aug 6
The Best Plays of 2014 (Best Plays of Year) by Lawrence Harbison (Editor)
Library book.
I read three of the six plays:
The Country House, by Donald Margulies. This was ok, but theater pieces about theater people just don't excite me.
Dinner with the Boys, by Dan Lauria. I liked this dark comedy about a most interesting dinner party. Of the plays in this collection, this is the one I'd most like to see performed.
Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall. Based on real events, this is about schoolgirls in Rawanda having visions of Mary. This one made me head to the Web to find out more about the event.

The other three plays are:
Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho, inspired by Latin American culture. I may get the book again to read this one.
When January Feels Like Summer by Cori Thomas, set in Central Harlem. Not interested in this
Year of the Rooster by Eric Dufault. A comic play about cockfighting, connections, and clawing your way to the top. I don't think I want to ever read this.

Aug 7
Finished  St. Louis Noir  edited by
I like this series from Akashic books. This one is pretty good with a mix of people--some skin-head vigilantes along with drug dealers, whores, ex-cons, guys evening scores and the other usual suspects . A couple of the stories are a bit self-conscious in trying to make sure people familiar with St Louis know for sure that the story is really set there. Too many street names--that sort of thing. Overall the anthology is quite good with thirteen stories with an interesting "poetic interlude" in the middle. There is also a map which is helpful.
Contents (I highlighted my favorites):
Introduction / Scott Phillips -- Part I: The city. Abandoned places / S.L. Coney -- Deserted cities of the heart / Paul D. Marks -- Blues for the River City / Colleen J. McElroy -- Fool's luck / La Velle Wilkins-Chin -- Attrition / Calvin Wilson -- Tracks / Jason Makansi -- Part II: A poetic interlude. Four St. Louis poems / Michael Castro -- Part III: The county. A paler shade of death / Laura Benedict -- Have you seen me? / Jedidiah Ayres -- A St. Louis Christmas / Umar Lee -- The pillbox / Chris Barsanti -- The brick wall / Lohn Lutz -- Part IV: Across the river. Tell them your name is Barbara / L.J. Smith -- One little Goddamn thing / Scott Phillips.
Free from publisher through LibraryThing

Aug 9
Finished Umami by

Rock, Paper, Scissors by

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by

e Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland
by Dan Barry. Exploitation and mistreatment of intellectually impaired men.  Library book.

Aug 15
Finished You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice by

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