27 December 2016

Timequake, by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut's last novel, I think.

If you've read Vonnegut, you will probably enjoy this as you have his other work. If, however, you are not familiar with Vonnegut, this late work is--in my opinion--oddly a very good place to start. It is a sort of fictional autobiography, a tour-de-force in which some of his fictional characters appear along with the author.

The world is a sadder and poorer place without Kurt Vonnegut.

Something Rich and Strange, by Ron Rash

Short stories set in Appalachia. Excellent.

http://www.npr.org/2014/12/04/368510625/set-in-appalachia-this-rewarding-story-collection-is-rich-and-strange

Under the Influence, by Joyce Maynard

Having discovered Joyce Maynard, it is easy to keep reading.

This review is not terribly favorable, but I enjoyed the book, nonetheless.

It is the story of an alcoholic woman who loses custody of her son. In recovery, she is befriended by a wealthy, philanthropic couple, and begins to put her life back together. Her relationship with the Havillands is a little strange, though, and drives the plot into an interesting and suspenseful denouement.

Superdove, by Courtney Humphries

Someone asked--rhetorically, but in my hearing--how pigeons manage to survive the winter in a city where winter is lethal. I started reading about pigeons on the Cornell Ornithology website.

On the Cornell site, I saw a reference to this book.

Pigeons are sometimes reviled. They have been called "flying rats."

I tend to like birds, and have developed a fondness for some species that are not, generally, highly regarded, such as crows, and starlings, and so I began to wonder--what about pigeons?

Whether you consider pigeons a pest, a pet, food, or just another part of nature, you will probably find something interesting in Superdove.

New York Times Book Review