I’m one of those people who seems to acquire more books than he knows what to do with. They’ll clutter up the bookshelves in my home and sooner or later my wife is suggesting that maybe some should be donated to the local public library if I’m not going to read them all.
I’d love to read them all. The problem is finding enough time, and also the resolve to finish something without picking up another book that attracts my interest in the meantime. This is the problem with walking into the bookstore; I can never come out without something else to add to my shelves. Ditto the public library, although at least there I’m not spenidng money. (Unless it’s paying a fine for books I’ve had out too long.)
Anyway, some of the things on my radar for the summer season…
I just picked up the new James Bond book, “Devil May Care,” by Sebastian Faulks. Only a few chapters into it so far. The gimmick, I guess, is that this one is set in the late 1960s and is intended to be more authentic by picking up from where Ian Fleming’s books left off. The cover even says “Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming.”
Frankly, I think Bond can work just as well in a contemporary setting; all we have to do for proof of that is watch “Casino Royale.” And somehow all the post-Fleming Bond authors have seemed pale by comparison. But so far, at least, it’s not a bad read. Better than the Gardner books, at least.
If you’re into crime fiction, you can’t go wrong with the Hard Case Crime line of noir paperback novels. They’re ideal for beach reading, and at roughly 200 pages each can be polished off in a couple of days. Most of them are loaded with violence and sex, reminiscent of those old pulp novels from years ago. Some of them are, in fact, reprints of old novels, while others are newer stories in the pulp tradition. They are ideal lightweight reading as you relax by the sea.
Also on my shelf and taking a number is “McCarthy’s Bar,” by Pete McCarthy, which looks like a wonderful book about one man’s trip through Ireland and his visits to different bars that share his name. If only I can get to it without being sidetracked by some other book.
And then there’s Bill Clinton’s two-volume autobiography that I once started but put down and never got back to. Promises to be interesting, even more so with this being a presidential election year.
Then there’s the separate issue of what books are occasionally worth re-reading. Like Stephen King’s “Danse Macabre,” of which I have a very worn paperback copy. It’s King’s love letter to the horror genre, looking at films, books and TV from the years 1950 to 1980. Yes, by now it is hopelessly outdated, but still fun to read. And speaking of King, one of the classic summer books, in my opinion, is the one that remains his best novel of all time, “The Stand.” (Forget the TV miniseries and opt for the printed page instead, where the characters seem so much more vivid and the story far more compelling.)
I guess I’ll somehow get to them all. Eventually.