Archive for September, 2018

A Carnival of Losses. Notes nearing ninety. Donald Hall.

A Carnival of Losses. Notes nearing ninety. Donald Hall. 2018.  Hall is considered a notable US poet, author,  editor and critic. The book is exactly as noted,. He goes through his life and comments on various way points in it as well as poets/poetry he has known.  The prose is clear, lucid  plus he states it now takes him a long time to write anything at 89.  A very good introduction to decades of poets ( US mostly) plus he has written notable stories. His self deprecating approach is quite appealing as are his stories about his younger late wife.  I confess poetry has never taken with me and despite this interesting book, I feel I am a lost cause.

The Grantchester Mysteries. James Runcie

The Grantchester Mysteries. James Runcie. 2012- 2018. Six books in the series about Sidney Chambers a jazz loving vicar of a small Anglican parish, near Cambridge in England in the 50s. There was an enjoyable English  TV series Grantchester based on some of the books.  The vicar is single, handsome and unable to stay away from solving a variety of murders that occur near him.  The books ( or series of short chronological stories)  are populated with a variety of typically English characters who are delightfully eccentric including notably attractive femmes.  The author based the vicar on his father who was in the Church.  Quite delightful, and worth the read. One book would be good for a four hour flight.

Scot Harvath series . Brad Thor.

Scot Harvath series . Brad Thor.  A 17 novel series about a black ops specialist Scot Harvath.  A bit more extreme then the Vince Flynn series but it is of a type of  rah rah US nationalism, manly servicemen,  Islamic fundamentalist fears and various state sanctioned worldwide conspiracies. The research can be a bit weak if you know the specific subject discussed. The idealism may get a bit in your way, but the action is fast and the books move right along. The later books are less detailed than the first and one could even think that the author reaches a point where he just says , time to wrap up and its over, which can make the ending disjointed.  That said each book is not a bad use of a 4 hour plane ride if wish a bit of escapism. The author is taking a run at Donald Trump in 2020.