The Second Hardest Working Man

Lest you think I stumble upon all the great books that I review here, or, as I have been accused, simply give a fantastic review to every book I read, let me explain to you how hard I work to find something good to read . . . and I realize this "hard work" is probably easier than changing over the children's clothing, or putting up the Christmas lights, or painting an "accent wall" in the living room-- all of which I neglected to lend a hand with because I was "working hard" on finding a good book to read, but we all have our special skills . . . but before I raced through The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith, which I will a perfect give ten scuttled boats out of ten-- this thriller from 1955 is a hundred times more thrilling than the ubiquitously popular The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and you get to travel to places more scenic than Hedeby and Stockholm . . . Ripley is a combination of Richard III and Dexter-- before reading this masterpiece, I read hundreds of pages in other books, all of which were pretty good but none of which completely captured my imagination and to prove this to you, I offer you a list of Recent Books I Bailed On:1) Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook (beautifully written but too many dead turtles); 2) Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search For the Origin of Species (excellent mix of science and the adventurers who made it possible, but too much biographical minutia for my taste); 3) Inferno, The World at War, 1939-1945 (I wanted to read an overview of WWII but this book is for the WWII buff, a massive tome beyond my scope); 4) The Beauty and The Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War (a great concept, tell the story of the war through common people, but again, I need to read a clear overview before I read this one); 5) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (I always love Steven Pinker and this one is no exception, but the font is small and the book is huge, and some of it is a review for me, so I doubt I'll finish it before it's due back to the library); 6) The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations (extremely insightful classic from the seventies, but I'm afraid if I finish all 250 depressing pages, and truly understand the book, then that I'll have to stop writing this blog).


zman said...

zwoman tore through all three Hunger Games books in three days. Apparently they're compelling, if light, page-turners.

Dave said...

ok-- then i am going to read them-- all my students are reading them and love them, but that's the first positive (and only) adult review i've heard.

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