BOOK & BLOG
December 1, 2010
Books of the Week:
This is a season of happy reading for me. I’m mowing through my TBR pile, and trying very hard not to buy anything new until I make a respectable dent in what I’ve already got.
But of course I had to buy Dennis Lehane’s latest book, Moonlight Mile. Lehane always has something to say about the state of the world today, and Mile is about the economy. Lehane returns to his most popular characters, Angie and Patrick, now married and parents despite the deep rift between them that developed in Gone, Baby, Gone. Several characters from that tough-to-read novel also return, including the “baby,” now in her late teens and a formidable presence. I don’t think Lehane can write a bad book, and watching Patrick make the decisions he makes is always a fascinating process. This is not the first Lehane you should read; look for his earlier books to cut your teeth on. He’s written many very famous stand-alones too, and you’ll find their names familiar: Shutter Island, Mystic River.
Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden books have kept me in suspense for hours, and now at Number Nine, I believe we have the last entry. Total Eclipse wraps everything up, and though the earth comes close to being annihilated, Joanne Baldwin, weather warden, temporary djinn, mother, and car freak somehow manages to pull through. I don’t think anyone who’s followed this series, full of energy and inventiveness, will want to miss this (apparently) final book.
Mike Lawson’s written three books about lawyer/fixit guy Joe DeMarco, but this is the first one I’ve read. House Justice, so far (I’m about halfway through) is a solid thriller. Joe DeMarco works for the Speaker of the House in an unofficial capacity. He’s not a killer, but he investigates things that are troubling the Speaker, John Mahoney. In this instance, Mahoney wonders who revealed the identity of a CIA agent, leading to the death of the agent. The reporter won’t reveal her source, and she’s in jail. But her source turns out to be someone who doesn’t exist. Who talked to the reporter, and why? So far, it’s intriguing.
What’s tomorrow? Christmas Shopping Day. I know you won’t find it on your calendar, but Paula and I have gone Christmas shopping together every year for . . . well, a bunch of years. Though we may have already done most of our gift-buying on line, and though we may not make a significant purchase, it’s our day. We’ve had years that stood out more than others: for instance, the year Paula’s heavily-laden bag developed a hole and she was trailing little items all through Dillard’s until a helpful soul pointed out the problem.
Then there was the Christmas I bought my son a basketball goal. Getting that in the car, well . . . that was an adventure, as was the trip home. And there was the year our second son wanted The Hot Toy. I can’t even remember what it was. It was small and electronic. Paula and I went to approximately seven stores looking for the blasted thing, and when we found one one!! it was pink, and I knew he wouldn’t want a pink one. But I was seriously thinking of buying it when another woman snatched it up and saved me the trouble. Paula was willing to tackle her, but I said no.
This year, I expect we’ll have a good time. We haven’t gotten to see each other much since Paula’s daughter’s wedding, what with one thing and another. It’ll be good to have the long drive to our favorite shopping venue to catch up on family news. And there’s sure to be some mishap. There always is.
This is our tradition, and we’re sticking to it. I’m sure you have your own, and I hope they’re as flexible and amusing as ours.
© 2010 Charlaine Harris