Monday, January 2, 2017

December 2016 Books Read

My reading goal for 2016 was to read 100 books. I fell a bit short only managing 83, which I guess, is still a lot of books.  I'll have to try harder in 2017.

My youngest son and his girlfriend gave me this for my birthday. We've lived in the Houston Texas area since 1995, but I still don't know the history of the city that well. This was a good way to learn. Houston was founded on the banks of Buffalo Bayou in 1836 and the waterway has been the life blood of the city ever since.

It's 2052 in London. Harry IX is king after the dissolution of Parliament. A comet is streaking across the skies, prompting doomsday cults around the world. The environment is a mess. 100-year old Cuthbert Handley, is homeless and perhaps insane. He keeps hearing voices which he determines are the voices of the animals in the London Zoo, the last zoo on Earth. Let us free they say. This was a difficult book. It took Bill Broun 14 years to write it. Sometime surreal, sometimes funny, sometimes very sad, it tells of Cuthbert's long life from his beginning in rural England, where he watched his beloved older brother drown, to his late years in London, alcoholic, on the streets, barely surviving. I'm not sure what the point was but as difficult it was to read, it was worth the effort.

 Another gift, this from my daughter for Christmas. I've read a lot of Margaret Atwood this year, never having read anything by her before. This is her first attempt at a graphic novel. In a city where the cat people (either people who can turn into cats or cats who can turn into people) a rat man invents a mutigenic formula which he hopes will make him the ultimate ruler. The guy on the cover gets accidentally exposed to the stuff in a car crash involving a cat and an owl. Pretty good but it's only the first volume!

This was a free Kindle book I got from Amazon via There are a lot of moving pieces in this story which made it complicated and hard to follow. A brief nuclear war destroys civilization. A man (who apparently thinks he's a descendant of Jesus) uses his special powers to gather a remnant together in Utah, to save America. A Mexican drug lord has invaded the US with a army of out of a Donald Trump nightmare, raping and killing everything in sight. A woman doctor in Cleveland, who has some kind of powers (maybe she's a witch), decides to cross the country to be with her son (who's with the Jesus guy). A former marine, who had a brief affair with her years ago is helping. She hadtelepathically summoned him from the East Coast. And it goes on from there. A good enough read while riding the stationary bike at LA Fitness, but not not enough to read anymore. As far as I can tell, there are at least 5 more books in the series.

Abbey is a middle-class, overworked mother living in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband, whose small business is failing. Over lunch one day with her best friend, she spots a photograph of Alex van Holt in a magazine. She'd met Alex years ago but turned down a date. Alex, the son of a rich Philadelphia family is running for Congress. "What might have been?", she wonders. Then she has a accident in a department store, banging her head. When she awakes, she finds out she actually is Abbey van Holt. Most of the book is her trying to figure out what happened to her and her old life and trying to learn what is expected of her as a van Holt. Pretty entertaining. I grew up in Philadelphia so the locale and references to Philadelphia and it's environs also kept the book interesting to me. Does she manage to live as Abbey van Holt, or does she get back to her old life?  Sorry, that's a major spoiler.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Only managing 83? You beat me by 81 books in 2016 ;)