With that in mind, next month brings us the High Summer readathon from Seasons of Reading(courtesy of Michelle Miller). Beginning August 1 and ending on the 31st, you are encouraged to do as much page turning as possible to soothe your spirits or cool off during the latest heat wave, whichever arrives the soonest!
My TBR for this readathon will be small with Jennifer Weiner's Big Summer and Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern to start with(yes, there's a bit of a theme there!).
The main titles for this particular challenge will be a Larry McMurtry double feature starring The Last Picture Show and it's follow-up, Texasville. The former was a huge breakthrough novel for McMurtry that became an award winning film in 1971.
TLPS chronicles the emotional triangle between best friends Sonny and Duane,along with local beauty Jacy during their last summer together in the small Texas town they call home. Between bouts of fighting, bad romance choices and sudden departures, these three find their own way to set about deciding the path of their future lives.
The sequel Texasville takes place about thirty years later , reuniting the trio and their remaining friends and ex-lovers back in their old home town. The film adaptation,which did have the original cast and director back on board, did not get the warm reception that the first movie did(then again, neither did the book).
Oddly enough, I read Texasville years ago without having read TLPS(my intro to McMurtry was Terms of Endearment) so probably much of the character content and references to past events missed me by a mile.
Well now is the perfect time to remedy that and with McMurtry no longer with us, the best way to appreciate his legacy is by reading one of his best known works and yes, it's perhaps underrated companion piece:
In addition to the High Summer readathon, another wonderful book related event has occurred for me and that is the grand reopening of my local library branch!
I went there yesterday and it was so good to walk through those doors again. I only hope that recent resurgences in our sadly still ongoing health crisis doesn't force it to close down once more(btw, I and my immediate family are fully vaccinated and I encourage everyone who can to do the same).
Not only was I able to finally return my pre-pandemic loans-I confess that I read just two of the four that I borrowed-but I made my first library haul of 2021 as well. All of them are mysteries and I began one of them already, The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle.
This series has a bookbinder, Brooklyn Wainright, as it's detective heroine and in this 13th entry of the Bibliophile Mysteries, she's celebrating her honeymoon with new husband and regular love interest Derek Stone in France. Brooklyn and Derek are having the time of their lives yet when they go home to San Diego, it turns out that something they bought in Paris is more sinister than your standard souvenirs.
Brooklyn's purchase of a first edition of Ian Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me(a bit of a gag gift as Derek used to work for MI6) was rather a lucky buy that upon appraisal is worth far more than what she paid. While agreeing to let the book be displayed at a spy themed shop run by an old pal of Derek's, a break in and subsequent murder proves to Brooklyn that this Bond book has more secrets than what's between the covers.
While this is my first time with this series, getting into the plot and characters is relatively easy and readily engaging. With any luck, Brooklyn may become a new favorite literary leading lady of mine:
I paired that with another Kate Shackleton novel by Frances Brody entitled A Snapshot of Murder and the beginning of a newer series from Ellie Alexander.
Death on Tap introduces us to Sloan Krause, a top notch craft beer brewer who changes her place of employment due to her husband Mac getting way too friendly with one of the barmaids.
She decides to work at Nitro, a direct competitor to Mac's family business but when Sloan finds the brew master dead in one of Nitro's beer tanks, her life changes yet again. Mac is the prime suspect and despite her disgust, Sloan finds that she has no choice other than finding the true killer to help her family, in-laws and all.
I do like Alexander's Bakeshop Mystery series yet since I'm not into beer, I haven't picked this one up before. Giving Sloan Krause a fair shot should be fun and hopefully as intoxicating as her other mystery treats:
Last but not least, for those of you who check out my Series-ous Reading posts, the next review will have to wait until September. Taking it easy during these increasingly overheated days seems right to me(my fall book preview will be in September as well). The wait will be worth it, folks.
Rest assured that I am still reading those Culinary Cozy Feast books there and plan to serve up a double platter of fishy doings with Barbara Ross' Clammed Up(which I did like quite a bit) with Killer Crab Cakes by Livia J. Washburn not long after Labor Day.
Instead, my big blog focus will be on Autumn in August, my new end of summer film festival that starts next week with The House of Mirth starring Gillian Anderson as the ill fated Lily Bart. Nothing says autumn like Edith Wharton in New York, if you ask me:
There is still time to sign up for the High Summer readathon(follow the link in the second paragraph of this post) and whatever your remaining summer plans are, I hope that a good book accompanies you where ever that may be.
I know that staying close to home is not something many of us want to do these days but there are advantages to doing just that. For one, no fighting about how books you can pack versus other so-called essentials like fresh clothes and toothpaste-the more books, the better, I say!: