BOOK & BLOG
October 17, 2011
Book of the Week:
This is a short list for me, isn’t it? In my defense, I did finish reading Down These Strange Streets (the George R.R. Martin/Gardner Dozois anthology containing a Dahlia short story) and my friend Denise Swanson’s Murder of a Creped Suzette.
I’ve been a Lee Child reader since I picked up Killing Floor when it first came out in 1997. That’s a long time to be a fan. I’ve walked many roads in America with Jack Reacher. The Affair is the story of how Reacher came to start his aimless wandering, and it’s well worth the wait. As the Army’s being cut back at the end of the Cold War, Jack Reacher is sent to an obscure base in Mississippi, undercover, to investigate the death of a woman that may have been caused by one of the soldiers.
The police chief is a beautiful woman, but is she really the stand-up ex-Marine she seems to be? Is she the perpetrator, or the next victim?
Of course, if you’ve read the other Jack Reacher books, you’ll want to read this one. Even if you haven’t, this would be a wonderful place to start. You can now follow Reacher from his origins on through his many adventures, and you’ll be reading for weeks.
Everything Lee Child writes is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Sometimes I feel like an old fogey, definitely out of the loop, dinosaur-like. This is especially true when I open books to see that writers have included the soundtracks they wrote by when they were working on that particular book. They’re providing soundtracks for their working lives, in essence.
Such an idea would never, ever, have occurred to me. I’m not from the “share everything” generation. Not only do I seldom listen to a popular music radio station (I mostly listen to NPR), but I am not a music person. I know this amounts to saying I eat cockroaches for breakfast in terms of confessing heinous practices, but it’s true.
I like music and listen to it regularly, but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t remember the names of groups and follow their releases. I don’t go to concerts (though I certainly did as a teenager). I don’t look forward to new cds by my favorite artists.
I’m sure this is a big hole in my life, and I mildly regret it. I know this marks me as “old,” and I’ll just have to life with that.
What do I listen to when I do put in a cd? I listen to movie music. It’s emotive, it’s interesting, it’s unobtrusive. I also (weirdly) love Yo-Yo Ma, and I have three of his cello cds. I like bagpipes, too, though many people would hardly call that music. And I have a list of favorite songs, most of them very old, and I listen to cds by those artists. Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins . . .
When my children were in residence, I heard a lot of music I’d never have listened to otherwise, of course. And some of it I really enjoyed. But once they moved out I didn’t make an effort to keep up with current songs.
I tell myself that I can’t do everything. “Isn’t it enough,” I whine, “that I keep up with new books and new movies? Do I have to do everything around here?”
Truly, I know I have failings in my artistic appreciation, and I’m afraid music lies in that black hole.
So enjoy the book soundtracks other writers provide, and more power to ‘em. You’ll never get one from me.
© 2011 Charlaine Harris