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).