Well, as Sir Francis Bacon tells us, reading maketh a full person..
In spite of my avowal to finish my latest book and against the better judgment of my optometrist, yet again I’ve added to the 2014 reading list and the updated 2014 reading list. Some of these selections have come to me through meeting other writers at book festivals. Others have come through speaking to writers’ groups – and meeting other writers there. And then, of course, there’s my evidently incurable penchant for stopping by bookstores “just to look.”
As always, all of these new additions to the reading list will get their 15 minutes of fame/infamy/nonsense via essay. Sometimes I’ll write about the book; other times I may write about the culture that encourages such a book to exist. Always, I’ll try to offer, like the intro to my hometown radio station WLOE’s broadcast services for the Early Avenue Baptist Church used to say, “enlightenment and edification.” So, on to the additions:
37) Fields of Gold – Jim Stephens. This is a historical romance set mainly during World War II and involving a trans-Atlantic love triangle. A ripping yarn, as the Brits say….
38) Danger in Blackwater Swamp – Saundra Kelley. A suspense story set in north Florida with realistic romance and environmental messages.
39) The View From Inside the Mirror – Louis L. Gibbs. A poet influenced by mystical poets such as Rumi and Hafiz.
40) The Honduran Plot – Horton Prather. A “Christian thriller” set in – well, Honduras. A look at Central American politics, the influence of drug cartels, and the struggle to keep faith in a brutal world.
41) Dismal Key – Mitch Doxsee. A thriller that explores a powerful issue, human trafficking – and its effects on one young man’s life.
42) Alligator Stew – C.D. Mitchell. Literary fiction by C.D. Mitchell that looks at the struggles of small town Southerners.
43) The Summer Book – Tove Jansson. My second selection based on a recommendation by my fellow readaholic Wufnik. The great Finnish children’s author (she of the Moomins) also wrote adult fiction which, I am given to understand, is equally magical. I’m hoping for something that reminds me of the great Isak Dineson.
44) A Sorrow Beyond Dreams – Peter Handke. The brilliant (and controversial) Austrian writer’s meditation on his mother’s death. No one looks at language’s power – and helplessness – better than Handke. No one….
45) The Weight of the World – Peter Handke. See above. In this work, the great Handke considers the struggle to be a creator of literature in a world that allows “any asshole to get a meaning from it.”
46) Chronicles, Vol. 1 – Bob Dylan. Dylan’s memoir, a New York Times bestseller, is, I suspect, like all of Dylan’s explanations – elusive, evasive, and irresistible.
47) Rod: The Autobiography – Rod Stewart. Maybe he’ll tell us why he decided to stop being a wonderful storyteller and songwriter and become a lounge lizard instead. I suspect we’ll learn more about his prodigious love life. Sigh…
48) Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me – Pattie Boyd. The woman who inspired “Something,” “Layla,” and “Wonderful Tonight” offers her perspective on life among legends.
49) Who I Am – Pete Townshend. The leader of one of the contenders for greatest rock band ever tells how a shovel nosed kid from West London became the voice of Mods and misfits everywhere.
Now I’ve got to go. I have some reading to do….