Thursday, May 12, 2011


I just finished another Ann Patchett.  This was the very first novel she wrote.  It's called The Patron Saint of Liars.  It was really good.  She's in my Chick Lit for the Macho Man post.  After reading this one (my 4th), it reaffirms her quality writing.  Again, it's a story about relationships with very little (or no) action.  I can say, though, that even those who prefer mysteries will like her stuff.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Joni and I (and probably 100-200 others) are going to have lunch with her on June 15.  I can't wait.  I hope to read another 1-2 of her books between now and then - just so I can kiss up more effectively.

I had another surprise recently:  Baldacci's latest - The Sixth Man.  This is another one in the  Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series.  This is a series that I almost dumped a couple of books ago.  One that I read was so poorly written that I vowed to try one more and see if it was worth saving.  The next one was better but not real good.  This one, I'm happy to report, was very good.  It even came close to the quality of The Camel Club series, which all of us mystery readers like a lot.  I can actually recommend this one highly!

I also recently completed a book by Lisa See, called Peony in Love.  I started it late last year and finally got around to finishing it.  I would read a few pages and then move on to something else.  This book is about China in the 1600's (or was it the 1700's? - I've already forgotten).  I recognize the research that went into it.  I also recognize the quality of the writing.  Despite those upsides, I thought I was being punished by the publishing gods and made to read a book I was guaranteed not to enjoy.  This obviously points out my culturelessness(?).  I have to say I embrace my neanderthal approach to reading.  Sorry Laur, I know you liked it.

Finally, I want to, once again, point out how good Anna Quindlen is.  I know I've got her in the same post as Patchett, but I didn't spend much time touting her.  With one exception (Rise and Shine, about a Katie Couric-like character - it was okay), her books are excellent.  Give one of them a try.  I think you will be happy you did.  If you try one and don't like it, keep it to yourself.  Her other novels are:  Blessings, Black and Blue (which was a movie with William Hurt, Meryl Streep, and a young Rene Zellweger), Object Lessons, and One True Thing.

One final note:  Jen was recently reading a David Sedaris book and thought it was really funny.  I have not read any of his stuff, so I'll base my recommendation on Jen.

I don't have any new events to report.


  1. I am ready to put Harlan Coben on my list. What should I start with?

  2. You can't go wrong with any Coben. They're all excellent. However, I have two suggestions. If you want the first Myron Bolitar, read Deal Breaker, written in 1995.. His first book after writing 7 Bolitars (other than 2 that he wrote in his mid-20's) is Tell No One, written in 2001.