Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Reading Status as of Late October

Snow and ice fell all this past weekend and I for one did not venture out, because the snow was so ridiculously drenching wet. The snow poured down in huge clumps and globs. We stared out at it and absolutely refused to go outdoors.

This past weekend, with all the terribly sad, horribly bad! news and the bad weather, I dug into finishing Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber, new this year (2018) for the Christmas season. I must confess that parts of it I enjoyed, BUT I don't think it was one of her better books. From my perspective, I think it's been a while since one of her better books has been published. Alaskan Holiday was very short, just 166 pages, and could have been a novella, which would have been fine. The Alaskan parts were not atmospheric Alaska at all. Not a bit. I disliked that aspect of it. It was superficially Alaskan, very superficially. The romance was pleasing. But I gave this a very limited 3.0 stars., because it was cheerful. And cheerful counts for something right now.

I also finished The Child in Time by Ian McEwan, which had such depths,and painful material, too, but it ended on such a joyful note, which made the whole novel come together for me so that the reading of it was a very meaningful experience. Maybe now I can finally view the Masterpiece version of the novel.

So now where am I? 
I'm really embroiled in a novel by Olivia Goldsmith. I had never heard of her, but she was the author of The First Wives' Club and many other popular novels published in the 1990s and very early 2000s.
I am deeply into The Bestseller, published in 1996. It has 680 pages or so, but I've managed to whiz through the first hundred pages, a page-turner par excellence. Five (actually six) different individuals are desperate, just desperate for all kinds of personal reasons, to have their novel be the next great bestseller. According to the blurb, only one of them will make it.  All the hopeful novelists have problems and obstacles blocking their paths to the top despite their indomitable wills to succeed.
Olivia Goldsmith knows her stuff. She has the 1990s publishing scene down pat, with all its warts. I was working in publishing and bookselling during this time, so I think it would be realistic to call them HUGE WARTS. This is not pure fiction, but fiction backed up by the reality of publishing in the 1990s. Definitely the real thing.
And entertaining to boot! So glad that I discovered this one for a mere $2.99 via Early Bird Books.

I am also reading Elin Hilderbrand's Winter in Paradise, the first novel in a trilogy, published in October. Again, very clever plotting and fascinating, totally unpredictable characters. The action takes place in St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but before the devastating hurricane of 2017.


  1. Oh, I think I have missed a lot of your posts again. Work has been so hard lately and I am so ready to retire, but have a year to go. I have no energy at the end of the day.

    The Bestseller sounds very good but 680 pages is very long. However I may read it someday, I think it would be interesting.

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Oh, I understand how hard it must be to hang on and be very tired at the end of the day.
      It sounds like you need to take extra good care of yourself in the coming year. Because you love to read (duh!), give yourself plenty of time and space to engage in this most rewarding occupation. You need it now more than ever. The more you take care of your needs, the better able you will be to handle this final year of work.
      I must say that the book The Bestseller is so entertaining that it's whizzing right along so easily, I'm not minding the length one bit. Just a page-turner. No literary classic here, but it's just what the doctor (or the therapist) ordered!

      Have you enjoyed much TV at the end of the day?
      Ken and I have really enjoyed the very new, quirky The Romanovs, on Amazon Prime. Very well done, we think! A bit crazy, but in a way that fascinates.