Reader Roundup: August
August ushers in the reality that it’s the last month of summer vacation. My attention becomes split between the urge to start thinking about (mind you, only thinking about) getting into school mode, and enjoying every day left of summer break. Being outside this August proved somewhat challenging given the amount of haze from wildfires. The air quality index became one of the first items on my daily reading list. Fortunately, a bag full of good books from the library kept me from going stir crazy. Here are the top picks for August:
I kept this one on the shelf because I knew I needed to read it again someday. Needing a weekend read, the Hubs grabbed it and snickered and snorted so much I grabbed it as soon as he was done, then I snickered and snorted through my second reading. Like Virgil, I’m at a loss for adjectives. Extraordinary? Mystical? I think cerebral hilarity works. So much to enjoy: near death experiences, mysterious disappearances, quirky characters, kite gurus, small town drama, animal manifestations, lurking malevolence. So much. This one is a definite keeper. Goodreads review
While this is the second novel to feature the charming, one-step-from-a rogue Morrie Morgan, it can be considered detailed enough to be a standalone. Morrie Morgan is a man hoping to hide from his past (and those who would like to see him in the past tense) and finds himself in Butte, Montana in a post WWI mining town. Trying to find fortune, not necessarily fame, in the mining town causes Morgan to have an enlivening stay. Going from a professional crier at Irish wakes to a library roustabout, he inadvertently finds himself involved with the mining union and becomes unexpectedly involved with his widowed landlady. For Patrick MacManus fans and for those who are looking for a historical read with a tickle up its book sleeve. Good Reads review
Sir Francis Drake? Was he a pirate or a defender of England? Albert Marrin provides an enlightening historical reference on Drake, who Elizabeth I referred to as “My deare pyrat.” The Spanish called him “The Dragon.”
Though aimed at younger readers, the information is thoroughly interesting and though it is slanted towards the English, it does illuminate the background of a brilliant seaman.
As an aside, although Drake is indeed an interesting historical figure, my interest in him was mainly for research purposes since my mother, once long ago, was a pirate on the Golden Hinde. True. Well, she served as a tour guide on the the replica of the Golden Hinde when it was making its West Coast tour in the late ’80s. One of the fifth graders had asked her if Drake was really pirate. His father had answered before my mother could: “Depends if you were from England or from Spain.” Good Reads review
From kite flying movie theater amnesiacs to runaway gamblers to seafaring kings (and a few books in between), August proved an adventuresome month.
Hope you found some Good Reads during summer. I welcome your suggestions and comments about what you have read.
See you next month at the next Round Up.