Almost done with my target quota for the year, and there's still six weeks to go in the year ... the job makes a huge difference, I gotta say. I don't take work home with me, I am not nearly as stressed as I was at the fruit company, and my brain has lots more room for reading. Good times. Good times.
Here are three more books I finished this month:
Graham Greene's "Heart of the Matter", only loosely related to Don Henley's song or Barry Eisler's blog in that they're all trying to get to it. "The Heart of the Matter" is one of several Greene tales of people struggling with their faith, and Greene is such a fine writer that he makes me feel glad I am not Catholic, and sorry that I have no faith, all at the same time in the same brain.
Next up was F. Paul Wilson's "Tomb", first in his "Repairman Jack" series. Jack is no ordinary repairman, mind you. He lives somewhat off the grid in New York, and he fixes not your VCR or washing machine, but ... let's say problems with unsavory people when the police is no help. I'd expected a straight-up gumshoe thriller, and was quite surprised when the ghoulish supernatural creatures showed up in the plot, but it worked quite nicely for me. I read the first-published version of this novel; Wilson edited and re-published it under the name "Rakoshi". I found this out on Wilson's "Repairman Jack" web site, and I also found out that it's not only first in the Repairman Jack series, but also second in the Adversary Cycle.
And I've already mentioned a fine science fiction novel from 35 years ago, John Brunner's "The Sheep Look Up". I brought it with me to the NaNoWriMo retreat, and Lisa joked, "A Sheep Look-up! How convenient - anything you want to know about sheep, you can look it up here!" Brunner is one of my favorite sci-fi writers, and I am always dismayed to see how unknown he is in these parts. I like how he weaves stories together - he writes little snippets, sometimes just a paragraph long, completely unconnected at first, but eventually they all come together. (If you've seen the movies "Crash" or "Short Cuts", you're familiar with this narrative structure.) Brunner writes a future quite close to the present, which is another thing I like in science fiction. Sometimes the outcome is positive and hopeful, like in "The Stone That Never Came Down", sometimes it all ends rather badly. I won't tell you the outcome of The Sheep Look Up, but I *will* tell you that the recent Lick Fire was the reason I bought another copy and read this great novel again.