Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Book Lover's Journal

I keep a running list of books I read in a blank book with the title, "A Book Lover's Journal." The journal was a gift from a book group I belonged to almost twenty years ago. Some months and years, my reading is faithfully recorded with annotations, then months go by with no entries. A few years ago I figured that the trick is to just write the date read, title and author and forget the annotations because then the whole list-keeping project becomes such a big chore. I sometimes tuck my library check-out receipts into the journal until I have time to enter the ones I have actually read and finished which is usually a small fraction of the ones that I have checked out. Here are some greatest hits from the last few months as listed in my book journal:
The Miracle at Speedy Motors, which is Alexander McCall Smith's latest addition to the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. It fully lives up to expectations of this fan and the gentle humor is just a little funnier, edging into slapstick when Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi, her assistant, and one of the feckless mechanics from Speedy Motors go to the supermarket to follow a suspect and decide to do a little shopping as long as they are there. If you are a fan, you will read it. If you haven't discovered this series, start at the beginning.
I started reading classic English mysteries like Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. Rinehart's The Confession and Sight Unseen, bound in one volume kept me guessing up to the end. Agatha Christie's The Body in the Library keeps the reader trying to match wits with Miss Marple who says she knows who did it halfway through. I'm in the middle of Christie's Sleeping Murder, also featuring nosy Miss Marple and it is excellent, the clues lead to several possible solutions at this point.
I also recommend Kate Atkinson's Case Histories and One Good Turn. For reviews. click on the titles.

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