What I Read During Those Months Part 2

Finishing with August 2017, which includes some “forgotten” books.

Rex Stout – I read both The Final Deduction and Three Doors to Death in re-enjoying some Nero Wolfe. It’s always a pleasure to read about Nero and Archie, no less so in these two stories.

William Kent Krueger – Sulfer Springs, Krueger’s new book for 2017, the 16th in the series. I enjoyed it, as I do all of his books, though I don’t think it is one of his best. Still, any Krueger is better than no Krueger.

In this one he travels to the Southwest in search of his new wife’s son, who has been working as a counselor in a well-known drug rehab center. When they arrive, they learn that Peter was fired six months earlier and hasn’t been heard from since. So they head to the little desert town of Sulfur Springs where Peter has been receiving his mail. But no one in Sulfur Springs seems to know him. They do, however, recognize the name Rodriguez. Carlos Rodriguez is the head of a cartel that controls everything illegal crossing the border from Mexico into Coronado County, Arizona. Pretty good one.

Truman Capote – In Cold Blood. I’d heard a lot about this book, perhaps I saw a made for TV movie about it, or documentary or something, but I’d not read the book. Deciding it was time to do so, I got a copy from the library. At the time it created a sensation, but these days, with so much violence and killing almost a daily occurrence, it had much less impact.

John Steinbeck – This was the third (fourth?) time I’d read Travels With Charlie, and I may have enjoyed it even more than the previous times. This insight-filled account of Steinbeck’s travels around a large portion of the U.S. in a semi-homemade camper with his standard Poodle, Charlie, is full of characters, place descriptions, and observations on human nature. I’d forgotten a lot of what’s in the book and enjoyed it immensely. This is just flat a wonderful book.

Bill Bryson – The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Bryson is a talented writer and I’ve read several of his books, each about entirely different subjects. This humorous story was just “okay”, a book I enjoyed but was glad I got from the library instead of shelling out the cost.

Charles Portis – I’ve seen the film of True Grit several times, the John Wayne version being my preferred one, but I’d not read the book. This was a time of thinking it was time I read certain books, I guess, the Capote, this one. So again – thank you Multnomah County Library System – I got this. I guess I expected something slightly different, or perhaps I was overly influenced by the films, but I found myself finishing the book and wishing I’d watched the movie instead.

Paul Horgon – The Great River, the Rio Grande in North American History (no image). Don’t ask me why I decided to try this dense, scholarly history of the Rio Grande in American history, because I’m unsure now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I did read over half of it before it kind of overwhelmed me. Vastly informative, but…did I say dense? Absolutely.

That wraps up last August, next time it’ll be September, when I get back to mysteries and adventure. Louise Penny, Brett Halliday, Agatha Christie and more!

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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10 Responses to What I Read During Those Months Part 2

  1. You read a wide variety of books! I liked TRUE GRIT (the novel) better than you did. I’ll be looking forward to your summary of September! Looks like a lot of mysteries!

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I like your list. Like George, I like TRUE GRIT better than you did. I’ve only read TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY once, but I did like it too. And I still haven’t read any of Kreuger’s series, only his non series ORDINARY GRACE, which I liked a lot.

    I’ve read and enjoyed Bryson’s non fiction travel books around the U,S, and Britain. And though it has probably been 40-50 years since I read it, I still remember being impressed by IN COLD BLOOD.

    • It’s hard to recommend a series when you really like it, because someone else might not like the setting, or the main character, or some element in the books and then poo-poo the whole shebang. But, you might want to try a couple of Krueger’s Cork O’Conner books, best read in order. That would mean starting with Iron Lake.

  3. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Also liked True Grit(novel) better than you. I prefer the Coen Brothers film. The original movie had Kim Darby(annoying as hell) and wifebeater Glen Campbell who couldn’t act a lick.

    • I like the Coen Brothers version too, but I guess it’s just John Wayne that sways me to that one. I don’t care for Cambell as an actor, apart from what he may have done in his off-screen life. I try to keep actors and their roles separate in my mind.

  4. tracybham says:

    Wow, you read a lot of different types of books in August.

    You know I am a big fan of Rex Stout. My husband laughs at me when I reread the Nero Wolfe books when I have so many books sitting here unread. I haven’t read anything by Krueger but I have had a copy of IRON LAKE for years.

    I also like TRUE GRIT (the book) quite a lot. I only read it a couple of years ago and had never seen the John Wayne movie. I watched the Coeh brothers version after reading the book.

  5. My favorites on your list on the Rex Stout books, Rick. I reread the Nero Wolfe books ALL the time. I added TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY to my TBR list. Never read Bill Bryson but I’ve been meaning to. If only there were more hours in the day. 🙂

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