It’s been a little slower on the reading front. Getting all that painting done and and such. I’ve been really tired at night for reading, but I did manage to finish a few:
An Absent Mind by Eric Rill
This is a short book. It is a story of a family going through the patriarch having Alzheimer’s disease from diagnosis until the end. It is told from 5 points of view in various chapters: Saul, the father with Alzheimer’s, his wife Monique, daughter Francine, son Joey and Saul’s doctor. Each person tells their version of what happens and what really stuck out to me is how the other family members would perceive something that was not what the other person felt at all. There was not much communication between them until it was too late. The author was drawing on personal experience of one of his parents having Alzheimer’s and it’s really a look into how a family tries to function in the face of a terrible disease.
The Dead Letter by Seeley Regester
This was an interesting little book. I picked it up because it was the first mystery novel written by an American author in the Victorian Era. It involves a murder – and what mystery doesn’t?? The story was fairly straight forward in knowing really near the beginning who did it, but the mystery comes in how to prove it. Now this book was written around 1870, so there were no phones or fingerprint technology or television or any fast way of getting information from person to person. Crimes must have been so hard to solve back then! The story centers around Richard Redfield, a young man who was an apprentice with a lawyer. The lawyer’s daughter was engaged to be married and her fiance was murdered one night for unknown reasons. Suspicion starts to fall on Richard and he works with a famous detective to try to prove who the real killer was.
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
A classic. There are so many classic books that I never read in high school or college, so I try to fit those in my reading lists each month. I got on the Hemingway trail from reading The Paris Wife, reviewed here. That made me want to read The Sun Also Rises, which I reviewed here. Then I decided to read his pinnacle novel, A Farewell To Arms. It’s very autobiographical (as was TSAR). Hemingway served as an ambulance driver in WWI and was injured. Same goes for the main character, Frederick. He is an American who joins the Italian army for reasons which are never really made clear. He meets a nurse named Catherine and they fall in love during his convalescence. Then they try to figure out how to create a life away from the war, which means Frederick must desert the army. The story is anti-war in a lot of ways, although I don’t think that was the main intent of the novel. The book certainly does a good job of describing what war was like in the trenches and describing the Italian countryside. That was what I liked about the book. I have to say, like with Sun, I didn’t care for the characters themselves. Frederick was selfish and Catherine was weak, clingy and emotionally unstable. It’s funny, I found the female characters in both of Hemingway’s novels to have the same qualities to them. Maybe this is why he was married multiple times in real life? I get the feeling he didn’t really understand women all that well. I know that Farewell to Arms is supposed to be his greatest novel, but I actually liked The Sun Also Rises better. I think the next one of his I will venture to will be The Old Man and the Sea.
Anyway, these books were actually a little depressing to read all in a row! Currently in my reader is To Kill A Mockingbird.