I try and write my posts the night before they appear online, so I am actually writing this on Wednesday night even though you won't be able to read it until later on Thursday. Today in Omaha we had a lovely sweltering day. The air temperature was 101 (38.3C), and while I know for some of you that is probably child's play I have to say the heat makes me wilt. No wait, the heat makes me uncomfortable. The dew point at 72, which makes the 'feels like' temperature of 110 (43.3C) makes me wilt. I'm counting myself lucky (I think?) as the rest of the week will only be in the mid-90s (after today being the hottest day in six years!). The weather is forecast to remain this way for the next week and a half. It's just too early in the summer to have a heat wave. I mean how are we going to top this later in July and early August?
So you'll have to forgive me for going for an easy post today. I had planned to write about the Ethel Wilson book I recently finished (set in British Columbia, Canada--by a lake--which sounds pretty darn refreshing right now!), but I'm not sure I can concentrate very well. I know I've already shared my sob story (and really I consider myself very lucky as there are people who don't have any air conditioning at all), but I live in an older house (built in the 1870s) that has two levels and high ceilings, and you know what hot air is like--it rises. While I do have air conditioning, the upstairs is always toasty warm, and the room where I have my computer doesn't even have a duct which makes for a stifling hour spent typing.
Thank you for allowing me to whine, and now on to bookish business. I've got a lovely pile of library books, which I've not yet shared, so here are a few highlights. Already some of these have nearing due dates, so I have to prioritize (or continue returning library books late and paying the fines), but as usual they all look really good and I want to read each and every one of them.
Jassy Mackenzie's Jade de Jong mysteries have been on my list to try for a while. I think there are two or three books out already in the series, but I like to start at the beginning when I can, which is Random Violence. The books are set in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is a Soho Crime book, and they have a really great looking front and backlist of crime novels.
For some reason I thought Midnight in Peking by Paul French was a novel, but as it turns out it is nonfiction. The book's subtitle reads How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China. If you click on the link you can see a book trailer, which is the author speaking about the crime and it sounds totally fascinating. I'm definitely going to try and squeeze this one in.
I've heard many good things about Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Although it is a YA novel I read it is quite sophisticated and easily would appeal to an adult audience. It is a WWII story about a young woman who crashes in Occupied France and is caught by the Gestapo.
Jean Zimmerman's The Orphan Master is set in 17th century New York (New Amsterdam as it was known then--or Lower Manhattan). I've been in the mood for some good historical fiction, which is preferably set earlier than the 19th or early 20th centuries which seems to be where I spend my time these days. This is a mystery of sorts as it concerns the murders of orphans in the Dutch colony, but there is also a little political intrigue involved as well.
I don't know how I happened upon Rupert Holmes's Swing, but it is another mystery set in San Francisco. As hinted at by the title it is set during the big band era, and the book even came with a CD of music. I think there are clues hidden in the music, which will make for an unusual read. I'm looking forward to popping the CD into my computer and listening. The book seems to have gotten good reviews, too.
And the book that will likely be the next one I reach for (as soon as I finish The Chaperone)--S.J. Bolton's Dead Scared. I've read all but one of Bolton's books, and she is a reliably entertaining writer. Her stories are closer to gothic thrillers than traditional crime novels. While the stories often stretch the imagination, they are fun reads and I look forward to each new book. I was pleased that she is bringing back DC Lacey Flint and DI Mark Joesbury from her last book.
As always I am spoiled for choice and starved for reading time, but I'll do my best to give the books a try and will certainly read a few of them. Sorry for the uninspired photo, but we'll just blame it on the heat!
Stay cool and happy reading.