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Monthly "Reads" > Marcy's June, the good and the bad

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message 1: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments The Help (audio) by Kathryn Stockett - Outstanding, beautifully performed audio detailing the lives of "Negro" maids in early 1960's Jackson, Mississippi and of the young white woman brave enough to speak out about the wrongs being done to them. I laughed and cried during this poignant story and loved every minute of it.

Sixkill by Robert Parker - Sadly, this is the last of the Spenser books to be written by the late Robert Parker. In this one, sleazy and obnoxious actor Jumbo Nelson is accused of rape and murder and Spenser, always judiciously fair, is called in to investigate. The plot, while similar to and typical of so many in this series, is not particularly interesting, but the book is witty and entertaining, with a great sense of place and the wonderful character that is Spenser!

Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland - Inspector Pekkala (known as the Emerald Eye) was the favorite of Tsar Nicholas. As a result of the Russian revolution, he was doomed and sent to the gulags until Stalin wanted his investigative talent and offered him a reprieve in return for finding out what really happened to the Romanovs and their treasure. I felt this story was somewhat unbelievable and was not enthused by the writing.

Tabloid City by Pete Hamill - eteran newspaperman and editor Sam Briscoe is dealing with the depressing demise of print media in general and specifically his own paper which is about to shut down when the sensational murders of his long-time socialite lover and her secretary occur. Though I usually love Hamill's writing, I didn't love this one. The plot seemed inconsistent, with too many coincidences and the addition of a terrorist angle muddied it even more. For anyone who hasn't read Hamill, I strongly recommend Snow in August, one of his best I think, but not this one.

The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller - Four interrelated protagonists and their stories revolve around the premise of a play written by one of them about a terrorist attack on a fictional Chicago train "The Lake Shore Limited." These characters are presented as wonderfully multi-layered and with tremendous depth, though they are a very depressing bunch given their individual circumstances. Miller very adroitly explores the emotional and motivating conflicts which people are often unable to see within themselves, making this a beautiful and thoughtful work.


Did Not Finish:
Belshazzar’s Daughter by Barbara Nadel - This was a DNF for me. A murder takes place in the old Jewish quarter of Istanbul and Inspector Ikmen, a complex character with many failings, is on the case. I didn't much care for the plot and abandoned it after 135 pages as the story became just too weird.


message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14619 comments Marcy: I am so glad you listened to The Help on audio too. It was so wonderfully narrated I can still hear the voices of Aibileen and Minny and Miss Skeeter in my head!
Marcy wrote: "The Help (audio) by Kathryn Stockett - Outstanding, beautifully performed audio ..."


message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Marcy wrote: "Did Not Finish:
Belshazzar’s Daughter by Barbara Nadel - This was a DNF for me. A murder takes place in the old Jewish quarter of Istanbul and Inspector Ikmen, a complex character with many failings, is on the case. I didn't much care for the plot and abandoned it after 135 pages as the story became just too weird. "


I actually really liked Belshazzar's Daughter but you are right the plot was a bit out there.


message 4: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Ann, I know others who have enjoyed the later books in this series, especially the character development, but the plot of this first one really threw ms.


message 5: by Brakedrum (new)

Brakedrum | 1203 comments Marcy wrote: "The Help (audio) by Kathryn Stockett - Outstanding, beautifully performed audio detailing the lives of "Negro" maids in early 1960's Jackson, Mississippi and of the young white woman brave enough t..."

Marcy, you've had some good reads this month.


message 6: by Marcy (new)

Marcy | 865 comments Oops, meant to reply to Ann and Sandi and left my mind behind. Ann, loved, loved, loved The Help audio! Sandi, I've heard that the Nadel books get better.


message 7: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3626 comments I have THE HELP in The Pile. Got here on Goodreads Bookswap. I have resisted picking it up because it's just not the usual thing I read, but think I will try to get to it before the movie starts next month.


message 8: by Susie (new)

Susie Fevella (susieinks) | 1639 comments Ann, I think I will try The Help on audio, rather than a book ;)


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