Saturday, September 7, 2013

summer reading list

image via

Well, I wasn't going to post today after the 12 post marathon but my summer reading list is already a week late.

The Dark At The End by F. Paul Wilson – no no no. I did not like the way this ended AT ALL! This was the last of the Repairman Jack novels. Well, almost the last. He is writing three more that fill in the time between his growing up and moving to NY and his becoming Repairman Jack. Then as the author tells us, that is it! Then we will know everything he knows about Repairman Jack and his life. I suspect he is sick of the character and the story line and wants to move on. This novel is the end of Jack's story and his struggle with The Other and his attempt to save the world from the never ending night and the horrors that go with it.

Nightworld by F. Paul Wilson – Wilson actually wrote this novel years ago as the end of another story line, The Adversary Cycle. As the Repairman Jack novels developed, he rewrote it to expand on it and increase Jack's involvement. So this is really the last of the Repairman Jack novels as well as the last of the Adversary novels. The two lines intersect and end with this book. It has a better ending. Life goes on but only by the slimmest margin.

Blood Of Dragons by Robin Hobb - the fourth and final book of this story line though I think there are more tales to be told as auxiliary novels. I enjoyed this one a lot. I like the other three too, but I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I may go back and read the Rain Wild Chronicles for some of the back story.

A Week In Winter by Maeve Binchy – This is Maeve's last novel. She died within weeks of finishing it. I'm sorry for her passing as she has been one of my favorite authors. All her books, and I have read most of them, are interconnected in that the characters are all from a general area and interact with each other though each novel is totally stand alone introducing new characters and their stories with references to and interactions with characters from other books.

The Thief Of Words by Starling Lawrence – I read 22 pages of this 234 page book and I don't plan to pick it up again. On the back it says things like...'original and absorbing novel sustained by the complexities of human desire', 'deeply satisfying novel', 'a beautiful, mournful, puzzling, haunting story'. OK, whatever. The first 22 pages is two monologues, the first by the woman in question as she muses to herself, the second by the self absorbed protagonist (that was still on-going) that wandered all over the place and who is, presumably, speaking to someone else. How often have I abandoned a book after so few pages? Never. In fact, this may be the first book, or perhaps the second, that I have ever started and didn't finish.

Cold City by F. Paul Wilson – the first of the three final novels about Repairman Jack that fill in the time period between his childhood and his adulthood. He has dropped out of college, left his past and family behind, moved to NYC, and assumed a new identity, living completely off the grid in that he has no SS#, no DL, only works for cash, and gets involved with some unsavory characters while trying to protect the helpless and his friends. We learn how he met Abe and Julio and how he begins to become Repairman Jack, the man people call on to 'fix' their problems, which fixes he will only take on after they have exhausted all the legal options. Oh, one other thing. Wilson must definitely be bored with this character and story line. This novel includes soft porn a la Nora Roberts. In the 15 Repairman Jack novels, where he is hooked up with the love of his life, Wilson never went there and I have to wonder what he was thinking by including a sex scene in this one.

State Of Wonder by Anne Patchett - I'm not really sure what this book was about.  The title itself, now that I've read the book, doesn't seem to have anything to do with the book. The story line is about a pharmaceutical company for whom a doctor/researcher is developing a fertility drug in the rainforest of Brazil.  Dr. Swenson's arrogant tendencies manifest in refusing to make regular reports to the president of the company detailing her progress so he sends a researcher from the company to go find her and report on the progress.  Several months later, Dr. Swenson writes that he has died of a fever and that they have buried the body there as it was impractical to return it.  This results in Dr. Singh, the research partner of the man who died, being sent with the same mission and to find out more about his death and the majority of the book takes place there in the Brazilian jungle.  Dr. Singh is also a former student of Dr. Swenson and so in some respects this is a story about their relationship.  It's also a story about protecting the indigenous tribes, and in particular, the tribe of Lakashi whose women stay fertile their whole lives and around whom the research centers, from discovery and intrusion by the modern world which would result in their destruction, and is one of the reasons for all the secrecy.  It's also a story of personal development in the character of Dr. Singh.  The book takes a surprising turn at the end and is almost abrupt.  I don't want to write too much about it.  It is very well written with some riveting passages and even though it took me longer than usual to finish, I enjoyed this book a lot.

Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark – I can always count on Mary Higgins Clark for a well written quick little read and so I grabbed this one from the library on my way out of town for a week. It required no concentration or heavy thinking, just an enjoyable story that I could pick up at odd moments without losing the thread of the story. This one is a murder mystery with a little twist at the end.


  1. Of all these authors, I think I've only read Ann Patchett, and even that I'm not too sure about! I always get Maeve Binchy confused with Mavis Gallant.

  2. I love it when you post 12 days in a row!

    Love the pic at the top. Books have become artifacts, objects to be manipulated rather than what they once were, treasures that were hard to come by and carefully kept. We over-published and now look at what we do to books - make them into lovely art.

  3. I read the Maeve Binchy one this summer too - so sad to know there won't be any more!

    I've been reading some David Baldacci & the Jack Reacher books. Boy talk about far fetched! But entertaining anyway :)

  4. Nice post, great blog, following :)

    Good Luck :)

  5. Again, only 2 names are familiar. Neither authoress is among my favourites, although I have read a Binchy in the past. I can’t remember why I didn’t continue with her unless it’s the Irish family saga which doesn’t appeal.


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