What's Robert Been Reading Lately

Here's somethings that I have recently read that I thought you might find interesting.

Robert, your Group administrator

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The Innocent Cover Image

The Innoccent

by David Baldacci

Been awhile since I have read a Baldacci thriller, and this one was an exciting and fast paced-read.  Basic storyline is that a federally sanctioned assassin runs into a complex situation when he does not perform an ordered kill and meets up with a teen girl on the run after she witnesses the murder of her parents.  Set in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the action moves through Southeast, suburban Virginia and directly to the Field Office of the FBI and the White House.  The twists in the plotting add some surprises but as the final scenes unfold the plot stretches a bit thin and hard to believe.  Maybe I read this one too fast to pick up the set-ups for the final scenes, but nonetheless a thoroughly engaging and entertaining thriller from the skilled hand of gentleman author David Baldacci.

Cover Image of A Gay and Melancholy Sound

A Gay and Melancholy Sound

Merle Miller

Probably the best read so far this year is my experience this past week with Merle Miller's A Gay and Melancholy Sound.  Originally published in the very early 1960s, this is one of the novels that Nancy Pearl has chosen as part of her Book Lust Rediscovery series for amazon.com.   The prose is excellent and the voice of the protagonist/narrator is convincing and heartrending as he pulls the reader into the tale of his life as he lived in the first half of the 20th century, first as a child prodigy with participation in regional contest, through his schooling and early entrance into college.  From there, Joshua Bland's experiences as a young man in Europe include his experiences as a paratrouper in WWII.  A series of letters he wrote to his wife are published as a book, bringing him again into the public limelight.  From here he moves into producing plays for the Broadway stage.  But through two failed marriages and terrible relationships with his mother, father and step-father, Joshua Bland discovers himself to be incapable of receiving or giving love.  Nancy Pearl's introduction to the book is with a gentle and very loving hand, which makes me eager to read other selections she presents in this series.  In her intro, Ms. Pearl also indicates the upcoming Penguin Classics edition of Merle Miller's On Being Different: What It Means To Be Homosexual, originally published in 1971 in response to a homophobic article published in Harper's.  One or both of these books by Merle Miller may wind up on our Group's Future Selections.

Cover Image of The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

by Madeline Miller

The 2012 winner of the Orange Prize which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world, Madeline Miller's debut novel is the fictional telling of the romantic relationship between Achilles, son of a goddess sea nymph, and Patroclus, an exiled prince, brings to mind the novels of Mary Renault.  Patroclus narrates the tale as he and Achilles meet, are sent away to be taught and raised by a centaur, and ultimately face the prophecied Trojan War.  The writng is smooth and graceful, with lilting romanctic scenes and gripping denouement.  We may have to read this and a Mary Renault in future selections.


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