Sunday, July 9, 2017

Books 27-30: Number 31 is taking weeks

Right before I left on my trips I read a couple of short books, because I was saving two long books for the trips and figured I would just write up all of the books together when I got back. I haven't done that, though, because the second long book is killing me. It's interesting, but so long that I started it in Providence, kept reading when I got home, read it in Greenville, and am still reading it now.

My goal is to finish it before I leave for New York later this month.

In the meantime, here are the other books I read before I fell into the longest biography ever:

27) From late 2004 to early 2012, I played an online game called City of Heroes, where I made many friends online and some of them became friends offline. One of them was my friend Lisa, who I continue to interact with in a different game, Champions Online. Recently, Lisa asked if she could use one of my game characters in a novel she was writing about one of her game characters, and Grimaulkin is the result. It tells the story of Mike LeBonte, who just got out of five years in magic prison for summoning demons to eat bullies when he was a teenager. Now that he's out, he has to find a way to rebuild his life, but he's forbidden from using any of the summoning spells that grant him the most power.

He's also extremely attracted to a young magic shop owner with fantastic abs who works down the street from his sister's apartment. Guess whose character that is?

This was a fun book. Mike starts working with a seedy private investigator whose helping the police with a series of murders, while also trying to reconnect with his family and explain what happened to him and why he vanished. It's a fast read, and also the book is dedicated to me, so you should buy it because it's also entertaining and it looks like there may be a sequel coming.

28) Robert R. McCammon's Last Train From Perdition returns us to the world of his late 1800's vampire bounty hunter, Trevor Lawson, last seen in I Travel By Night. Trevor and his human ally, Ann, are still on the hunt for LaRouge, the vampire who turned Trevor and took Ann's sister and father, but are also taking jobs in between to cover the bills. One job, tracking down a wealthy businessman's wayward son in the far west town of Perdition finds them surrounded by enemies human and vampire, struggling to save a train full of people from certain death even as the dark forces within him threaten to overwhelm the last of Trevor's humanity.

This was also a good read. The story moves quickly, but there are some good character moments and some interesting scenes. Both books in the series are on the short side, more novellas than novels, but I'm looking forward to a third.

29) Carol Goodman has a niche: she likes to write books about the Hudson River Valley, and almost every book involves a secret illegitimate baby. It's come to the point that as soon as I start reading them, I immediately start trying to figure out who the secret baby is and how the plot will hinge on them, but I keep reading her books anyway because they are well written, entertaining mysteries.

With secret babies.

In The Widow's House, Clare and her husband, Jesse, move from Brooklyn to their former college town, becoming caretakers for their former writing professor and his estate. Staying on the grounds, Jesse is planning to work on his novel, and Clare starts writing again as she begins to see visions of a legendary village girl, the Apple Maiden, who died tragically on the grounds of the estate, after losing her secret baby in a terrible blizzard. Is the estate haunted? Is Clare having a breakdown? And is Clare, who is adopted, someone's secret baby?

This, like all of Goodman's books, was a nice, entertaining vacation read.

30) I knew I wanted to read Nancy Isenberg's White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America as soon as I saw it at the bookstore, and I was saving it for a trip, since I knew I would have hours to sink into it then. I'm glad I did, because this was a long, complicated book. Although it's full of facts, it's written at a pretty easy level to sink into, and it will definitely make you think.

It apparently also made other people think, because everyone who saw the title of the book in my hand wanted to know what it was about, if it was good, and if I liked it. I did, even if I did disagree that the Civil War was based as much in class as it was in race. Class may have played a part, but the Civil War was primarily about racism.

That said, it's time to get back to my extremely long, extremely detailed biography of my pretend literary boyfriend, F. Scott Fitzgerald.