May 2024 books read

  • Trustee from the Toolroom – Nevil Shute, 1960. One of my very very favorites by Shute, which is saying a lot. I went back to it because of reading about my friend John’s amazing puzzles – the engineering reminded me of Keith Stewart, the protagonist.
  • Time Shelter – Georgi Gospodinov (tr. Angela Rodel), 2020. Second Monday pick; quotes marked, TBD. V. interesting and meta.
  • Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis – Annie Proulx, 2022. Nature/Enviro pick; quotes marked, TBD. Did not love.
  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit – Sloan Wilson, 1954. Great Books pick; quotes marked, TBD. Extremely readable – not a great book, but compelling.
  • The Broad Highway – Jeffrey Farnol, 1910. I’m not sure where I saw this recommended, but it was supposedly the best-selling book in the US in 1911. Confirmed in the excellent Making the List (Michael Korda, 1992) but not even rating a mention in the text. I was interested to read that Farnol is credited with initiating the Regency romance along with Georgette Heyer. This was delightful! A will conditional on a marriage, identical cousins, mistaken identities galore, colorful rural characters as far as the eye can see… nothing surprising, but fun to read.
  • March: Book 1 – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, 2013. The May Center for the Book challenge was “a graphic novel.” I made myself a list of ones that sounded intriguing, but most of them were checked out. This is a series I’d been meaning to read… and it’s OK, but I didn’t feel inclined to go on. My favorite bit is that Lewis loved chickens as a boy – there was a delightful amount of detail around that. “An interesting window into civil rights history” – sorry, I’m kind of phoning it in there!
  • Number One Is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions – Steve Martin and Harry Bliss, 2022. I tried this one as well, but it’s so slight that it wasn’t worth reviewing for the challenge. I do enjoy Bliss’ drawings, especially those of his poodle Penny, and I learned that Paul McCartney sang Martin’s song “Best Love.” but that’s about it.

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