My recent reading hasn’t been based so much from the young adult section of the library as previous weeks. I’m fairly certain that I’ve already fulfilled my semester’s young adult reading requirement for my Language Arts Methods class, so I’ve relaxed my self-imposed reading rules to let in some ‘adult’ content. I think this still counts toward the “having a literate life” requirement for the class. I’ve never limited what my own kids read, and hope I don’t have to in my classroom either, so technically I’m still researching potential additions to my classroom library.
I reread another John Sandford book from the Virgil Flowers’ series this past week, Rough Country. I love the main character- a Minnesota BCA detective- of this series so much that every so often I return to spend time with him, even though I am not a big re-reader. I like having Virgil in my life. I read most of this book one evening when I didn’t feel well and couldn’t concentrate on my assigned dry, academic reading.
In this novel Virgil is called from a fishing tournament to solve the murder of a wealthy advertising executive at a vacation lodge in northern Minnesota. The investigation takes Virgil around Minnesota and south to Iowa. Suspects include young male prostitutes working at the resort, an up-and-coming country music singer, her mentally disabled brother and the ladies involved in a lesbian love triangle/quadrangle. This book is a quick read. The action is fast-paced and the dialogue is snappy.
I was lucky enough to grab Fates and Furies, the brand new book by Lauren Groff from the library. A book about marriage is not the type of thing that I have had much success reading in the past, but I remember loving The Monsters of Templeton when I read it years ago. I hated Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, as well as Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings (I’m still angry at myself for finishing that one) and all received great critical reviews, although I’m not sure why. I loved Fates and Furies! I devoured this book in three days around some pretty intensive reading for class. This is the story of Lotto and Mathilde as told by both of their points of view. The contrasts in the storytelling are fascinating and done in a compelling way that goes far beyond the “he said, she said” trap that the book might have fallen into. This novel is beautifully written, and unlike many others in this vein, ends appropriately.
Scat by Carl Hiaasen is a middle grade through young adult mystery set in the Florida Everglades like many of Hiaasen’s adult mysteries. It is funny, quirky and vaguely environmental also like his adult books. Scat includes the search for a mysterious Florida panther, the disappearance of everyone’s least favorite teacher, arson, illegal drilling, a juvenile delinquent and an injured Iraqi war veteran. This is a fun read for kids and adults alike.