Friday, April 3, 2015

Plantar Fasciitis, a Florida Condo and Books by Joan M. Baril

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

What do you do when struck down with nasty plantar fasciitis, unable to walk but only hobble a few steps at a time. I found Barnes and Nobel and boosted their sales considerably during the month of March. My balcony had a lovely view, the weather was balmy and so I read, did foot exercises, read, swam, read, more exercises, a continuous loop, day after sunny day.  I also finished my novel, Vermillion House, and then deleted the last two chapters. The world’s slowest writer plugs on.

I read eight books and here are the six I most enjoyed and recommend.

Euphoria by Lily King. A novel based on the love life of anthropologist, Margaret Mead. (bet you didn’t know Margaret had a most interesting love life, right?) Set in Borneo in the 1930’s, three young gifted anthropologists are caught in a love triangle. Great plot in a steamy jungle.

Eventide by Kent Haruf. In the high plains Colorado town of Holt, two aging bachelors encounter unwanted change, a young boy stoically cares for his alcoholic grandfather and a disabled couple try to protect their children from violence. Believe me, you never forget Haruf’s characters or his deep sense of humanity. A kind book in a cruel but beautiful world.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.  After the death of her beloved father, a young woman acquires a goshawk to tame and train as a hunter. To do this she has to enter the mind of the hawk even though she feels unhinged by grief. A beautiful, complex book of struggle, loss and the road to wisdom.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.  A young man gets involved in a shady scheme to win a literary prize. A young woman plots revenge on violent husbands. An alternative reality hovers near by. 1000 pages, a lot of repetition, endless and pointless detail and still you read on, hypnotized by Murakami’s prose. Maybe you have to get plantar’s in order to enjoy this book.  The New York Times called it stupefying. I call it mesmerizing.

The King’s Curse by Phillippa Gregory Oh the pleasures of reading Gregory’s historicals! This one is based on the amazing life of Margaret Pole, a Plantagenet in the age of Tudors. Henry VIII is portrayed as a sulky, violent, and vicious boy-man and everyone near him must tread carefully. 

Ice Run by Steve Hamilton. A mystery set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where lives our protagonist, former detective Alex McKnight. His cabin is quite close to the Canadian border and OPP officer, Natalie Raymond. But true love could not be rockier nor could Lake Superior be more menacing. Good stuff.

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