Okay, there was no popular demand. But I’m back. For now. Will it last? No one knows. Time will tell, as they say. And I’m way behind and off-liste, mostly, for my Ten Books of Summer. I did read one that I was supposed to, so let’s start with that. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. This is a trilogy of which I’ve only read the first one. It was described to me as Harry Potter for grown-ups. Well, yeeees, kinda. It starts off with Quentin Coldwater and his friends in New York about to apply for college. But Quentin is different and after some Strange Events he is inducted into a magic college. All very Potter-like except older, yet less mature. I found it pretty readable, but not terribly gripping. The older Quentin gets, the bigger a baby he seems. In the novel is a series of fictional books which seem to be parallel to the Narnia books, which turn out not to be fictional. It is different enough from both Narnia and Potter that it doesn’t feel like Grossman just ripped them off, and perhaps if I stuck with it and went on Quentin would stop sulking at some point. The villain was pretty creepy, the magic was different, I’m not sure why I feel so meh about this book, except I think the characters just don’t cut it for me. I have the second book, maybe I’ll give it a shot some time, but not soon.
Can anyone explain the cover? I don’t remember a tree of significance in the story. But then it was over a month ago.
I also read another Mr. and Mrs. North mystery Hanged for a Sheep in which the ex-husband of a rich woman is shot in her dining room in the middle of the night and there is apparently no evidence to pin it on anyone. The lack of police procedure stuff in these novels annoyed me in this one. I just couldn’t buy that the murderer could shoot the guy, move the body and yet there be nothing to give that person away. And it was just so stupid to kill them there in the first place. Shoot him and dump him in the river. Not your family home. This is, of course, Pam’s family and more people must die before they figure anything out. I would have to say this is not a good one, but I will read more of them.
I definitely put too much history/biography on the list. I am working on Hermione Lee’s Virginia Woolf, not progressing on Our Mutual Friend, and made some headway on Kim. I’ve also read a bit of another North novel, a bit of Kerouac’s Big Sur and started the Problem of the Green Capsule. Perhaps I should just review beginnings of books. I could do a lot more of those.