BOOK & BLOG
May 18, 2010
Books of the Week:
Before I went on tour I read Chris Wooding’s Retribution Falls, a space opera with a twist: there are no heroes in this book, and most of the characters are scoundrels. The crew of the Ketty Jay are motley and shabby, and dysfunctional to a high degree. The captain, Darien Frey, is a handsome rogue with very little conscience and a smattering of intelligence, and Jez, the only female in the crew, is definitely not what she seems (human). The others are just as ignoble. However, this is a wonderful book. Frey bumbles and lurches through a terrible series of adventures, finally achieving something like a good character towards the end. Well worth reading.
I loved Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News, and when I found out there were other books preceding it, I was very excited. The first in the series, Case Histories, did not disappoint. In fact, it was great. The characters are incredible, complicated and rich. Case Histories relates three apparently unrelated crimes but draws them all together through Jackson Brodie, the private detective who is also in Good News. Jackson has a peculiar charm and an underlying kindness that involves the reader, while Atkinson’s wonderful writing pulls the reader along through a complicated plot.
Any fan of Carol Burnett’s will probably enjoy This Time Together, which does proceed chronologically but is really more a series of anecdotes than a detailed biography. Nonetheless, it has charm. Burnett has chosen to emphasize the positive, definitely; she must have been angry with or loathed someone along the way, but you’d hardly know it from this book.
Home again, and delighted to be here. It was fantastic to see so many readers on this tour, and actually awe-inspiring that so many of you came to the signings, and some came from so far away. I regret that the sheer volume of attendees gave me less time with each one, and I assure you I appreciate the tremendous effort people made to be on hand at the bookstores. I received compliments at every stop on the good nature and courtesy of my readers and you can be sure that made me proud.
While in Los Angeles, I had an excellent lunch on The Lot with Alan Ball (the great!), Raelle Tucker, Nancy Oliver, Brian Buckner (writer/producers), Gregg Fienberg (executive producer), and Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, and Alexander Skarsgard.
Now that I’m home, I have a hundred things to attend to. Yesterday was almost entirely consumed with answering mail, doing laundry, and trying to get the refrigerator stocked. I’m carefully not inquiring about what Husband and newly-returned Daughter ate while I was gone.
Rocky, Oscar, and Scrunch were ecstatic about my return and then ten minutes later forgot I’d been gone. That’s the wonderful nature of dogs. I’ve often reflected it must be a real boon to have no short-term memory, and I think their long-term memory must be pretty impressionistic.
Changes at home included Daughter’s belongings scattered everywhere, since she moved home from college. Not that she’s actually here much! She sleeps here, but that’s about it.
I managed to see quite a few familiar faces on the tour; all my wonderful moderators, and moderators emeriti Debim and Crossfox. Dawn, my web maven, came to my signing in Los Angeles but couldn’t get close (sorry, Dawn!) and of course my publicist, Jodi, was with me in New York. Paula came to RT and helped me negotiate my hectic schedule. We had some adventures along the way, as always!
My next scheduled trip is the June 8 “True Blood” premiere in Hollywood. I’ll give you all the scoop.
© 2010 Charlaine Harris