In the High Peaks

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Soft Spot for Veterinarians: Reading The Call by Yannick Murphy

Oh, indeed, I do love veterinarians! I have never met a vet I didn't like. And I have known many--and some of them very well.

In the office where they see their "patients," they are gentle, professional, and able to handle any difficulty that human or animal can throw at them. I have found them to be remarkably patient people. Of course, of all the creatures they sometimes feel like throttling, let the humans stand up first!

Before I wax on about all the ways I love our vet, let me tell you about the novel I'm going to read next, by golly! Yes, I need to say "by golly!" because I need the extra impetus to do it. The Call by Yannick Murphy is about a veterinarian and his family who are in crisis. I, for one, don't need to know much more than that, because this novel has received a *starred* review from Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Winter Reading? It's Snowin' Outside, Baby

Thanks so much to everyone who left a message for me over the past week! My tooth is better but needs a cheery little root canal, which is one of the highlights waiting for me in the month of November. Just remember, books make every PAIN better.

It's so hard to make life slow down. I feel the greatest peace when I'm outside walking the trails. I needed ski poles today, to keep from slipping in the 2-3 inches of sloppy snow that fell yesterday.

Yes, I'm still working my way through Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason, but after reporting to you about the nonfiction expose Area 51, I'm extremely disappointed that the Icelandic Indridason has got one of Area 51's most ridiculous pseudo-revelations as a major plot point. [Oh, jaded elder child of the Cold War that I am, I can't consider any of the latter book's supposed "discoveries" to be anything but delusional.]

But, do you know, I'm so exhausted that I'll plow through Operation Napoleon regardless. It's on my Kindle, I paid for it, I'll read it. But characterization is non-existent, and I recommend that you steer clear of it. It's true, however that I'm only 25% of the way through, so take my comments lightly at this point.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October Weekend & Operation Napoleon

Here I am, Friday evening, and I'm sinking. Yes, a tooth gone crazy with pain, and that's where I am.

I've been reading Arnaldur Indridason's new novel Operation Napoleon, which leaps from the time of World War II to the days of 1999. Yes, indeed, as many have pointed out, this novel is quite a departure from his detective novels set in Reykjavik. I'm into this novel, but not wholly, thoroughly committed yet, largely because I simply haven't had the time to sink my teeth into it.

I am so dispirited that I haven't been able to continue my reading as I did all summer. ALAS!! So sad! How I wish those free days were upon me again! I'm so nostalgic about them. And I'm ever so frustrated that I haven't been able to keep up my posts on this blog. Please know that it's not a permanent condition.

Today I did not go to bed, but tomorrow, that's where I'm headed. I am not a hero when it comes to extreme pain. I want to read. Let's hope I can become lost in a book that will let me forget THE TOOTH #12!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Arnaldur Indridason, Elizabeth Haynes, & UFOs

I vowed to write a proper book post because our internet is finally back, and here I am to declare that at least someone in our household is currently entranced by a book. Ken is reading the Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason's third work of crime fiction, Silence of the Grave, published around 2002. We both enjoyed his first novel, Jar City, which I found to be strangely reminiscent of Ian Rankin's novels.

I'm still reading, a swallow at a time, Into the Darkest Corner by English writer Elizabeth Haynes. I'm not sure what it is about this novel--it's exceptionally well done--but for some obnoxious reason I have nightmares if I read too much of it in a single day. I'm nearing the end now, still taking sipping bits. How annoying that it's disturbing my sleep! I can usually read just about anything without any problems. I'm determined to finish it and no nightmare will stop me. For the purpose of generating some conversation on this blog, do you recall a book that gave you nightmares? Was there a book you had to stop reading because of nightmares?

The only movie that disturbed my daily functioning was Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, which I saw for the first time while a freshman in college. I took sponge baths to avoid the dormitory showers for several weeks.

But, to be level-headed, here, the content of Into the Darkest Corner is not the least bit more difficult than many of the crime novels I read this summer, but I believe the way the first person point of view is handled is what makes me vulnerable to the novel.

During this time of book difficulty, I have dabbled in a little genealogy, which has been so fascinating, but frustrating as well. Enough said.

Then there is the controversial book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by the Los Angeles Times investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen. What she uncovered are the most BIZARRE revelations I have ever heard or read. Please stay tuned because I would like to reveal the MOST UNBELIEVABLE, SUPPOSEDLY TRUE STUFF you have ever heard. We're talking UFOs here. We're talking Soviet/Nazi experiments turned into UFOs. Yeah, I know this sounds crazy, but one of the most reputable publishers in US publishing is behind it. What can I say?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How Novel! New Books Post

Our internet is fading in and out, and our telephone service has not been right since Tropical Storm Irene. Since I may fade out at any moment, I'm announcing my intention to post a real blog entry this weekend. But I must fade now, because the repair people are servicing our line as I write this, so please stay tuned if you're able.