BOOK & BLOG
April 11, 2011
Books of the Week:
Lynn Sheene’s novel, set in Paris during World War II, is a true adventure. Claire Harris, who has reinvented herself as a New York society wife, flees the life she’s come to find disgusting to rejoin a French lover in Paris. But her timing couldn’t be worse; after a struggle to get into the city which is about to be beleaguered, she meets her lover . . . and his wife. Then the Nazis march in, and Claire is left without money, without her lover, and in a big fix. Fortunately, she is taken in by a flower shop owner, and since she has a true talent for floral arrangement, she has at least found a way to make a living. But she doesn’t have the proper papers, and the resistance is soon asking her to help them in return for getting the right documents. Claire falls in love with an Englishman, and a lot of awful things happen. I don’t want to spoil any of The Last Time I Saw Paris. This is well-written, well-researched, and genuinely suspenseful escapist literature.
I’m going to get to meet Dr. Bill Bass, long a hero of mine, at my signing in Knoxville. If you don’t know who Dr. Bass is, read up on him. You remember the Patricia Cornwell novel The Body Farm? Well, Dr. Bass established the first body farm at UT Knoxville. In Beyond the Body Farm, Dr. Bass and his co-author Jon Jefferson recount more stories of cases solved through forensic science. This may not be your cup of tea, but it’s certainly mine.
Comedian and tv writer Carol Leifer was the emcee at the PFLAG gala I attended in New York, and I thought she was really funny. Her book is a collection of Leifer’s ideas about aging, her realization after many years of marriage and divorce that she’d been on the wrong team all along, and her late-in-life discovery that she’s truly a pet person all these discoveries add to amusing reading. When You Lie About Your Age will make you laugh, and what better gift could there be?
My writing and work schedule is picking up momentum, just at the time I’m seeing my tour coming up fast in my rear-view mirror.
I’ve been trying hard to write six pages a day on the next Sookie novel, which is a bit challenging for me. But so far, so good. I want to have a good chunk of it done before I go on the road. I do try to work a little while I’m touring, but I seldom get more than twenty pages done, total.
Then I got the material I hadn’t yet seen for The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, and that all has to be reviewed. Quickly. The deadline kind of sped past for that. In a project involving as many people as this one, it’s all too easy to lose track of who’s seen what. But since it’s a book about my characters and the novels that I wrote, I feel responsible for reading all of it before it goes to press. (And, of course, I wrote quite a few things for it; don’t get me wrong.)
Christopher Golden and I are going to be collaborating on a graphic novel, Cemetery Girl, which has sold in the US (Penguin) and the UK (Quercus). This is going to be a huge learning process for me. I can only hope Chris, who has written graphic novels and novels and everything in between, will not mind being patient as I learn the ropes. It’s a lot of fun to be doing something completely different. And this past weekend, Chris sent me the first breakdown of the story. I’m sitting here looking at it, realizing that I finally have to contribute more than the story line. Come on, brain get cracking.
In addition to these small items, I have to write a short story for the next anthology Toni and I are assembling, and I’ve also promised a short story to Joe Lansdale’s next collection.
Busy times ahead!
© 2011 Charlaine Harris