Time to step back and take a breath. Whew! I’ve read 32 books so far this year, so am a bit ahead of schedule in my goal to read 100 for 2015. I’ve been trying to downsize in prep for making a move (soon, hopefully) and I’ve decided to sell off some of my older, light reading novels: The Cat Who, Murder She Wrote, and my The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries series. I think when I move, I won’t have as much bookshelf space as I have now, so as much as I love them, they’ve got to go.
I’ve also been going through my DVDs. I have quite a few that I think I picked up on sale (you know, those big bins full of movies for $4.99 or something), some of which I’ve never got around to watching. I watched one last night based on characters by Tom Clancy — Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. I’ll admit that I probably only bought it because Kevin Costner was in it, and while it wasn’t a very challenging role for him, there was lots of action and excitement. Ryan (played by Chris Pine — Cap’t Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek and its sequel), plays a US Marine injured serving in Afghanistan who relearns how to walk with the help of Cathy Muller (played by Keira Knightley). Thomas Harper (Costner) recruits him to work for the CIA doing analysis. He finishes his degree and works undercover as a compliance officer on Wall St. where he discovers a huge conspiracy involving Russian funds disappearing, funds controlled by a Russian tycoon called Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh). Lots of plot twists and adventure with locations in Wall St. and Russia, and danger averted with seconds to spare thanks to the quick thinking of Jack Ryan.
I’m trying to finish 3 books that have been on my plate for more than a week now. One is a really interesting book called, Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud (Being secret letters from a gentleman at Paris), which I should be writing about shortly. I also have the second book of Fancy Pants Poetry by Agostino Scafidi. Poetry always takes me at least 3 reads to get a handle on the subtleties and what Scafidi is intending to convey. His writing is complex and deliberate. I’m not sure what I think yet except that I do enjoy being challenged by it to think outside the box.
The last book I’m trying to get through this week is a teen read called Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This is not a book about Hitler but about the stories of diverse youth from various places and their stories about their experiences, pride, and doubts, conformity and resistance. Sometimes, it isn’t the reading that takes a long time, it’s the thinking and writing afterwards. Now that personal things have eased up a bit, I hope to get back on track quickly.