Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Getting the Year Started in Books

For the first personal “reading review” of 2017, I have, as is usual, a pretty eclectic list which includes a couple of books I had actually started in 2016 but only finished early in January. Both of them earned 4 stars. The first was a brand new read for me -- Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. It was instructive, interesting, heart-warming. And then there was a re-reading of C. S. Lewis’ Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer which I found of great value.

January also saw me go through several of William F. Buckley’s espionage/thriller series starring CIA agent Blackford Oakes. They were Saving the Queen; Who’s On First; Marco Polo, If You Can; and See You Later, Alligator.  Some of these Blackford Oakes novels were better than others but, because of scenes which some would find offensive, I wouldn't recommend any of them.  These scenes, by the way, were unnecessary, distracting, and remarkably out of sync with what else I know of Buckley’s character.  Too bad.

Last week I read a couple of Alistair Maclean adventure novels. I normally like MacLean quite a bit but these were not his best. Partisans only made it up to 2 stars. The Way to Dusty Death was a bit better.

But these first 6 weeks of the year have yielded 3 other treasures, all of them 4 star reads. Ice Palace by Edna Ferber (which was our January Notting Hill Napoleons’ selection) and, from William Shakespeare, the tragedy Hamlet and the comedy The Tempest.

Happy reading to you.