Right now I am reading NEXT by James Hynes. I will probably get some of his older works. His writing is wonderful. Don’t know how I have missed him.
Kevin is a middle-aged man looking for a new job and new location to escape the mind-numbing, humiliating job he has in Ann Arbor as an editor in a dead-end, under funded, department at the University of Michigan. He travels to Austin all the while worrying about terrorist attacks and jihadists. He sat next to a beautiful girl (half his age) on the plane and is now following her through the streets of Austin.
The following quote is x-rated, but really funny. It refers to his current live-in girlfriend that he would like to break up with, but isn’t sure what the protocol is since he is her landlord. He isn’t sure whether she will be more upset over the break-up or the loss of her apartment. This is how she got the apartment in the first place.
“Well, maybe it was the other way around, she blew him first and then he offered her the apartment–he’s hazy on the details, he was a little drunk at the time—but either way it was an epic fellation. She took her time, she acted as if she enjoyed it, she had technique. Whatever warnings the Jiminy Cricket in his forebrain might have had about a young woman who was willing to blow her potential landlord on the first date were sluiced away in the patella-rattling rush of pleasure, and by his relief, considering where she was putting her mouth, that she hadn’t ordered the bird peppers. with her stir-fry.”
Loved the Jiminy Cricket reference.
And his descriptions of cultural icons like Starbucks that have intrigued me. ”Starbucks is like its own country, you have to know the silly argot.”
The woman he encounters in the Starbucks…….”Cheerleader, thinks Kevin. Sorority girl, marketing major, party girl once upon a time. A Republican, maybe, but a fun Republican, a sexy Republican. She’s pretty, formerly pert, now softening around the edges.”
That’s as far as I have gotten, but Shelly says the last 20 pages are “heart in your throat gripping.”
I just finished So Cold the River by Michael Kortya. A lot like a Stephen King novel. Supernatural happenings in French Lick, Indiana. Not a 5 star, but a good beach read if you like that sort of thing.
In the stack: Girl in Translation, The Marrowbone Marble Company, American Music, Beach Week, Last Night in Montreal, and What the Dead Know. I am trying to decide if I will cave and get The Passage. I really don’t want a 600 page Vampire book but the reviews are compelling.
Books Read May and June
Strip by Thomas Perry So funny. A great cast of Knuckleheads, bad guys, and a case of mistaken identity. Four Stars.
Every Last One by Anna Quinlen. Good but tragic. Four stars
The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller. Awful on every level. Mediocre writing, completely unlikeable characters, a waste of time. One Star.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman,. Not sure what the hoopla is about this other than Brad Pitt has optioned it for a movie. (that’s not a recommendation for me) It was ok, but not earth shattering. Three Stars.
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. One of my all time favorites. I know, Polygamists????? But it is really good. Trust me. Five Stars!!!!
Beautiful Maria of My Soul by Oscar Hijuelos. Simply awful. Pornographic follow-up to The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love which won the Pulitzer Prize. He should have quit while he was ahead. This one is embarrassing. Minus 10 stars.
Finally finished The Gate at the Stairs. Still never got it. Two stars.
That’s it. Off to the beach.