Here’s my two cents on the four books I’ve recently read.
Silly – Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson. If you like vampires, a bit of romance and laughter this one is for you. Betsy Taylor, an unemployed secretary wakes up in a tacky, pink satin lined coffin after being run over by a SUV. Why isn’t she dead? Soon she discovers that she’s a vampire and that there are other vampires. Sounds fanciful, right? It is but if you want to be entertained without having to pay a lot of attention or investing a lot of time this is a fun book.
Simple – The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith. More from Precious Ramotswe the owner of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Some say the books are too simplistic or that they talk down to the reader. While I agree that the stories don’t ask much from the reader, I do find them entertaining and obviously I keep coming back to them. Mainly, I like them for the main character and because it shows me a glimpse of life in Botswana. Now if only I could figure out what Bush tea tastes like.
Series – Death at la Fenice by Donna Leon. First in the Guido Brunetti series, this Venetian mystery starts with a well-known conductor murdered during an intermission. There are many suspects, odd characters and of course, evocative Venice as the backdrop. Vice-commissario, Brunetti, must deal with prima donnas, Americans, and in-laws. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.
Serious – Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. This memoir of an African childhood is moving and at times hard to read. Born in England, Alexandra lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the Rhodesian Civil War. Her parents faced incredible obstacles – from keeping the farm going to living in hostile environments. I found it especially hard to read when I thought the parents were putting their kids at risk. I found myself trying not to be judgmental and trying to see their world from their perspective. I think this is one book that will stay with me for a long time.