17 January 2007

Books Read

Finished Erik Larson's Thunderstruck. Not quite as compelling as Devil in the White City because poor abused Dr. Crippen isn't quite as fiendish as creepy homicidal Dr. Holmes. I find the Marconi parts absorbing, but then I have an interest in the creation of radio. I wish there had been more photos to show the radio apparatus, the English, U.S., and Canadian locations at that time, and the people involved.

Presently reading: 7 Professors of the Far North, which I bought and started on vacation but never finished, and Jill Churchill's Who's Sorry Now?, another in her "Grace and Favor" mysteries about brother and sister Robert and Lily Brewster, two formerly rich young people whose near starvation existance after the Depression wiped out their money is brought to an end by a bequest from their late uncle, who has promised them millions, but in the meantime they have to live at "Grace and Favor" cottage and learn how to work while uncle's financial advisor manages their money.

I've been reading these since the first because I've always had an interest in the Depression-era due to my parents having lived through it, but my favor in their grace [sorry, I went far for that one] diminishes with each new book. I've kept the others but I actually got rid of the one that had to do with the Bonus Marchers because the Bonus March took about half the book but had nothing to do with the story that was begun in the first chapter. It was as if Churchill said "Look at this disgraceful event in U.S. history; here, I'm going to describe it in detail!" just because it took place in the same era as her story.

Churchill's vocabulary and sentence structure seem to grow more simplistic with each successful volume as well. Who's Sorry Now? is full of short, choppy sentences and repeated explanations (how many times did we have to hear that Lily's dog Agatha rolled in something dead in the space of four pages?). I feel like I'm reading something meant for a reading-challenged teenager rather than an adult mystery novel.

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