in the course of the aforementioned duties, I was obliged, some months back, to read The Old Man and the Sea, which I'd managed to avoid assiduously all my life despite grad school in comparative literature... I read other Hemingway, but let's just say this particular opus was a byword in my family from the kids who had to read it in school.
SEVERELY mixed feelings. It's partly great, and partly seriously self-parodistic on the macho thing.
Yeah, wellll -- Hemingway! Not like I read a lot of his books but I went to Key West this year and was interested to hear his famous take on the "conchs" (term for those who were born or live on Key West for very long).
Good book but I don't know why he didn't get ragged on for being pretentious and inserting his own brand of macho.
in the line of duty for my gig as a book reviewer for Common Sense Media (a parental advisory site) I am having occasion to read a lot of kids' and teen books. Which is actually fine with me because one thing about books written at that level is that they tend to have less gratuitous BS in them...
Many of them are presentable enough but nothing to write home about, often marred by the author's tendency to interject a lot of his/her own clever handwaving to divert the reader from the fact that there's not really much going on, or a tendency to grind his/her particular axe (a great hazard when adult-level writers go Hey! Let's Do A Book For Kids!).
Two books that escape this curse admirably that have come along in the last year, both aimed chiefly at teen girls but which certainly would not insult the adult reader's intelligence: The Apothecary, by Maile Meloy, concerning a 14-year-old girl who has to flee to London from Hollywood in the dead of night in the '50s because her parents are blacklisted writers, and is soon caught up in magic, international intrigue, and lots more. The other, which just came out last week, is Tokyo Heist, by Diana Renn, concerning a manga-loving Seattle teen who's suddenly spending the summer in Tokyo with her artist dad, whose clients have just been ripped off by art thieves who are now blackmailing them. Yakuza! Art! Fun stuff!
I'm finishing Tom Clancy's "Dead or Alive": it's thick as a brick! I have a handful of Robert Ludlum related books to consider next, among them: the Amber Warning and another, the Bourne Deception, written by Eric Lustbader with Ludlum's name prominently printed on top of the cover.
I see another Bourne movie is coming out this summer, without Matt Damon.