This month, the ladies and I chose a book by my neighbor, Charlie Lovett. The book we chose was a Jane Austen-inspired story titled First Impressions.
(A few years ago I wrote about Charlie's house. The photos aren't great, and I'm hoping they will send me some new ones.)
Charlie has mastered the literary mystery as no one else. We travel between the present (and the mystery that the present provides is invariably tied to the past) and the past, where we are shown a bit of the world according to the work of literature that provides the present-day mystery. Sound confusing? It's not. Lovett clearly delineates when and where we are, and the flip-flopping between time periods is handled splendidly.
The mystery in First Impressions revolves around Jane Austen, and Janeites everywhere will appreciate the use of language and syntax in the chapters devoted to Austen. (FYI: I was a Janeite when Janeites weren't cool. *cough* 1981. *cough*)
Do yourself a favor, fellow Janeites. Pick up this book and read it.
Here are the other reviews:
(I loved his other book, The Bookman's Tale, equally. It's also a literary mystery, but about Shakespeare.)
Other books on my nightstand this month were:
**Jeffrey Archer, the most recent two books in the Clifton Chronicles, Be Careful What You Wish For and Mightier Than the Sword.
This series is a guilty pleasure. Archer's writing is engaging and he weaves a fairly intricate tale. He applies that tried-and-true method of getting us hooked, the cliff-hanger. My mother buys the hard copies as soon as they arrive in the bookstore, and then passes them to me. I was taking care of her in July (she had her pacemaker replaced) and finished both books within a 24 hour period. No thought required to enjoy these novels, just stamina.
**Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat
Narrative non-fiction is HOT right now...and this is a great example of the genre. Brown takes a real-life University of Washington rowing team and some real-life obstacles (the Depression, Nazi Germany) and gives us a story of courage and determination. He tells the story through the eyes of the "boys," their coaches, and the boat builder and we are drawn into the time and place. I recommend this to anyone who loves narrative non-fiction--one of the best of its kind!