Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Diverted by books being attempted

Recently, there have been books that are not finished, mostly for good reason.
 --- "His Final Battle" is a non-fiction account of the last year of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency.  It is informative to a fault.  The writer, Joseph Leyveld, is a former New York Times writer who has done thorough research.  If a project on Roosevelt were underway here reading would be continued, but the detail is overwhelming for this reader at the moment.  It's fine, but will remain bookmarked for a return later, maybe when snowed in at some point.

---"Island of Vice" is the story of Teddy Roosevelt's effort to clean up New York City in the early 1900's as its police commissioner.  It may still be read on some intensely sunny day.  Unfortunately the copy received from Amazon has such small print that no amount of light in the bedroom is sufficient for a relaxed read.  Later... somehow.  Richard Zacks is an exceptional writer of history.

---"A Voice in the Night" is the latest detective novel from Andrea Camillera.  Once his books were a source of relaxed pleasure.  Now one could wonder if he is still the writer.

---"The Sellout" by Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize recently.  That is amazing.  Try as one might, almost halfway through it could not be continued.  It is a lame book.  How it won a prize can be explained but that will not be done here.  There is some humor to be found, but it is difficult with the every sentence attempts at sophomoric laughs.  If this is an attempt to recreate Ishmael Reed's wonderful 1970's "Mumbo Jumbo", it fails.

New books are in hand.  They look like opportunities to get lost in good words again.


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