Monday, August 3, 2009

A Hammock WIth a View

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.
Sam Keen

In an effort to rest an ailing foot, I've spent the last week lying in my hammock. To hell with exercise. Maybe not forever, but for this last week at least. After a visit to the library and checking out 10 books, I plopped my hiney into the recesses of my hammock. Happy to say I no longer limp. Progress. I'm ready to test it at the YMCA - maybe tomorrow.

I've wavered from my original summer reading list once again, and have a few thoughts on my reads. A friend had given me several mysteries - something I don't normally read. I think I will still not normally read them.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson
These words from Page 577 summed it up quite nicely. "Berger thought that the book was the best thing Blomkvist had ever written. It was uneven stylistically, and in places the writing was actually quite poor—there had been no time for any fine polishing—but the book was animated by a fury that no read could help but notice."

Editor, Editor where art thou? Translated from Swedish, I'm sorry this author did not live long enough to have the opportunity to fine tune his books. Also, may just be me, but I didn't care for the torture of women. I did enjoy the setting in Sweden and I now know why my Swedish mother likes liver, pickled herring, and dill pickles.They are staples in the Swedish diet.

The Galton Case - Ross McDonald
They sat like a very old couple waiting for the afternoon shadows to lengthen and merge into the night.
One of the best 100 mysteries, this story line seems to reign among many in the genre. Macho, gruff, tough retired cop, now a private eye, is hired to search for a long-lost relative standing to inherit a mint. The writing was good, but the storyline fit together with just a tad too much coincidence for my taste. Written in 1959, the depiction of women didn't work for me. I'm so thankful for Betty Friedan.

The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith - Recommend
This one I liked. Set in Italy, the conniving Mr. Ripley appears an innocent, yet is truly a chilling and dangerous man. Written in 1955, I found the writing compelling and the storyline complete. No dangling unanswered questions or puzzle pieces that appear out of nowhere. I hear it is a movie. Can’t wait to see it.

Siddhartha - Herman Hesse - Recommend
Translated from German, this book hasn't withstood the test of time for no reason. A pleasant surprise and a journey of the spirit. "Quiet beauty" indeed.

We Are All Welcome Here – Elizabeth Berg
Always a simple joy to read Berg’s work. Universal truths. Well put together. Quick read. Sweet ending. This journey travels through the eyes and heart of a young girl living with the reality of a disabled mother. Setting – 1964 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Civil rights movement in full swing but on the outside of innocent, yet capable mind of 14-year-old Diana.

“Oftentimes on summer evenings, I would sit outside with my mother and look at the constellations. We lived in a small town, far away from city lights, and our skies were inky black and so thick with stars it felt as though somebody ought to stir them.

Summer of Roses - Luanne Rice

I picked this one up from the library shelf because of the picture on the cover – roses and the seaside. Should have left it on the shelf. If you want an easy, super sweet read that doesn’t pursue the drama it brings into the picture, this is a mindless summer read for you. I bypassed many pages. Did enjoy the setting in Narragansett Bay.

Fearless Fourteen - Janet Evonovich
Always a fun romp to run with Stephanie Plum, although I still think Seven Up was the best one.

Reading on, reading on.


  1. There is an award waiting for you at my blog :)

  2. Good for you! You'll get back to chores and exercise soon enough. Thanks for the reviews. I haven't read any of these books, though I had known about Siddharta.

  3. Thanks for the reviews, found a couple that sound quite interesting. I've just finished 'Jane Austin Ruined My Life' and the book on which the PBS Silk Road was ...what? What's that word? DRATS! You know what I mean. Dang this memory! Anyway, good book, great photos. And a couple of mysteries...Agatha Raisin and Hamish McBeth by MC Beaton...always good for a romp.
    Like the Plum books as well,,,FUN, a bit vulgar but FUN!
    Ranger...ummmmm...maybe that's why Polaris named my UTV Ranger...? Could be... -grin-

  4. I haven't read these but have seen the movie and enjoyed it! Good luck at the Y ! :)

  5. A hammock and a stack of books sounds delightful. Now that I can enjoy getting fired because the unemployment kicked in, I'm going to take some of your recommendations down the block to the local library.

  6. That hammock, with that view looks like paradise. I would never want to leave that spot. Thanks so much for the reviews. Your writing is so insightful and engaging. Glad that your foot is better.

  7. Missy, you continue to make me feel like I know what I'm doing. Thank you.

    Lakeviewer - yes, the chores have piled up. I suppose one can't make a living by lounging for too long. Although, I might be willing to give it a try.

    TCF - Yes, the Stephanie Plum books are fun. Grandma with her pistol in her purse headed off to the funeral parlor to get the latest gossip. Gotta love he. But that Ranger. Oh, Ranger. Babe.

    Carol - Thanks for luck wish with my foot. I look forward to the movie.

    PENolan - I'm so sorry. Unemployment benefits will help ease the pain. Hope you can escape into a good book for a little while.

    Marguerite - That hammock does take on the characteristics of paradise. Hard to make myself return to the world. Thanks for your comments. I will see how well my foot tests tomorrow.

  8. i wouldn't mind settling into a hammock and reading a dozen books for the rest of summer...

  9. I'm not sure how you stumbled across my site but I'm glad you did! I wanted to thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments and let you know how much I've enjoyed visiting yours as well! I don't have near the time to read as I'd love to...I do day care for my two toddler grandsons about 55 hours a week so my "my" time is very limited for blog writing and reading, two of my 'passions'. But this past weekend I enjoyed TWO - and 1/2 - books! I noticed "The Senator's Wife" in your list in the sidebar. I read that when it first came out and I loved it. I HIGHLY recommend "The Story Sisters" by Alice Hoffman. I will be back!

  10. Sheesh. A quote from Sam Keen and then a list of mysteries? I suddenly feel under-supplied with my Ram Dass and Henry Alford. Thanks for the literary kick in the butt.

    Best to you.


  11. Thanks for the reviews. If I were you, I'd pretend my foot wasn't better a while longer so I could enjoy more time in the hammock! :)

  12. Why does it not surprise me that we both enjoy Elizabeth Berg...and shared a similar reaction to THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO? That book had so much promise but then veered wildly into extremities not necessary. There is a sequel out, and I can't decide if I want to wade through it or not.

    I hope your arse is happy when it finally swings out of the hammock!

  13. I haven't read Dragon Tattoo yet but people do rave about it. Interesting reviews.

  14. I was just noticing that I have a hammock up in my closet that I got from Playa del Carmen a few years ago and have only used it once. No place to hang it.

    I'm reading Steph Plum, #14, right now. About 3/4 through it, and as usual, Evanovich never disappoints. It's a quick and entertaining read.

    The Talented Mr. Ripley was a super movie. Never read the book. Berg is always a good read so I'll take your suggestion and try to find it. Siddhartha too.

    Thanks, Jules!

  15. In awe.
    Is it because I don't have a hammock?
    Maybe i should get a hammock.
    You mend that foot.

  16. Ah, a hammock and a few good reads. Sounds mah-va-lush!! :) The two books you recommend sound wonderful, as does the one by Elizabeth Berg.

  17. What a great summer you're having! I am a huge Elizabeth Berg fan. I've been torn about the Dragon Tattoo book. You helped me decide. My favorite read of the summer (so far) is Pat Conroy's newest, South of Broad.


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