Certainly no one will fault me for wanting to dive into escapism reads over biographies, documentaries, or general non-fiction. As far as the reading indulgences go, I didn’t delve into anything sophisticated during the month of June. I’m definitely engaged in the beach-reads-vibe that summer connotes.
The sad news of June was Charles Krauthammer’s death. He was like no other. His thoughts were organized in paragraphs ahead of most thinkers. His calm and reasonable demeanor will be sorely missed and noticeably vacant in our current uncivil discourse. We couldn’t have lost him at a worse time. His autobiography is well worth placement on your bookshelf. Things That Matter, Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics I will reread it this summer.
Another book I’m looking forward to rereading is the 2006 Indian novel Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra. Netflix is putting out a web tv series coming July 7th based on it.
Sacred Games combines the ambition of a 19th-century social novel with a cops-and-Bhais detective thriller. (Bhai is a Mumbai(Bombay) slang term for gangster.)
As sprawling as the heat-drenched city it richly portrays, Sacred Games delves into many emotionally charged worlds of contemporary India, in particular the spidery links between organized crime, local politics and Indian espionage that lie below the shimmering surfaces of its economic renaissance. Money and corruption form the golden thread. In interweaving narratives and voices, Sacred Games takes on even larger themes, from the wrenching violence of the 1947 partition of India to the specter of nuclear terrorism.
I’m still slowly digesting Dennis Prager’s Exodus, The Rational Bible in piecemeal. I did enjoy two more Henning Mankel crime detective novels set in Sweden. I subscribed to Netflix a few weeks ago to watch the seasons of Wallander. It is based off Mankel’s books, the plots driven by lead character-detective, Kurt Wallander. Interesting how things get chopped and organized for a faster plot line. It’s a very conversationally sparse show, which suits my reading simultaneously personality.
I’m currently reading my second spy operative novel by Daniel Silva, after having listened to one. Very addictive. His plots and characters roam most of Europe and the Middle East, as his protagonist is an Israeli military intelligence officer. The setting details and agent behaviors are remarkable. I foresee going down a rabbit hole… If this is all up your alley, a new book The Secret World: A History of Intelligence is out. The spying game: when has espionage changed the course of history?
Continuing with the European setting theme, Donna Leon published a new Commissario Guido Brunetti book, The Temptation of Forgiveness, set in Venice. It came out in March, but I just got a hold of it two weeks ago. Venice is one of my favorite cities.
There are a number of politically wonky books on my radar fraught with angst. There are also the calm and explanatory, the judiciously researched history I’m anticipating, or the compiled on the ground reporting on who really voted for Trump. I’m pretty sly about finding all the podcasts any author has been interviewed on. It’s almost like I’ve read the book if I’ve heard it discussed seven times, wouldn’t ya say!
Who knows what pages I will have fallen between by the end of July. There’s never a shortage of choices.