One stack of books. Two free days. Time for a book binge! I wouldn’t stop until my eyes gave out and the bloat set in.
Must be all the World War II movies I’ve been watching lately (The Longest Day, The Desert Fox) that piqued my interest in reading Rick Atkinson’s The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945. The final volume in an exceptionally well-reviewed trilogy, The Guns at Last Light begins on the eve of D-Day and concludes with Germany’s surrender. Right now I’m stuck, like the poor Allies, in Arnhem but I have no doubt that I will soon break out and push on to victory. True confession: I haven’t read either of the first two volumes but this book can stand alone with its stirring battle scenes and vivid character sketches of all the important participants. Just studying the maps is making me feel smarter.
Mary Kay Andrews is my absolute favorite “fun read” author because of her sassy, strong female characters, lavish food and home decorating descriptions, and the laugh-out-loud humor. Her latest, Ladies’ Night is vintage Andrews: lifestyle blogger Grace is forced to attend a divorce therapy group after driving her husband’s beloved car into a pool. A not inappropriate response considering she discovered her husband being, ahem, serviced in said car by Grace’s assistant. The gals – and one very delectable guy – in Grace’s therapy group all have their own tales of divorce woe and, of course, hilarity and little heartstring pulling ensue. My first Mary Kay Andrews was Little Bitty Lies and I still get a chuckle when I think about Mrs. Korey’s Kod Kakes – pure komic gold.
Now for the serial killer. If you like your psychological thrillers on the creepy side, S. J. Bolton is your author. She uses wonderful archetypes and ancient mythology in her highly atmospheric stand-alone novels; Awakening, for example, has some wonderfully shuddery snake scenes which tap into the whole idea of ancient evil. She’s also written some terrific mysteries featuring DC Lacey Flint. I loved, loved, loved the first Lacey Flint book, Now You See Me, which introduces the young, beautiful, and emotionally damaged Flint as she searches for a killer whose crimes are reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. So naturally I looked forward to reading Bolton’s newest Lacey Flint, Lost. Readers, I’m just not getting into it. Some horrible sadistic killer is kidnapping young boys, draining their blood, and leaving their corpses in South London – all plot elements that are usually right up my alley! – but, sadly, I’m giving this one up. This title is getting glowing reviews from everyone else, though, so don’t let my lack of enthusiasm dissuade you from reading it.