Sunday, September 12, 2021

When You Can't Get a Book Out of Your Mind

Most of us have at least a few books that stick with us. When we know why, it's easier to select other books to read.

Robert Harris Pompeii comes to mind fairly often. As you might guess, the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius plays a role, and we know how that transpires, right? So, no big surprises.

The novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides has a secondary character always referred to as "Chapter Eleven." (You can guess the context.) I listen to audiobooks almost dayly. Every time the narrator announces Chapter Eleven I think of Middlesex.

More recently I listened to Tess Gerritsen's The Bone Garden. I'd advise reading rather than listeneing if you are at all squeamish -- but I never wanted to turn off the CD player.

Of course, these have compelling characters and plots that "matter." I generally don't enjoy character studies or family sagas, in which dramatic action (in the sense of conflic) is less prominent.

All three of "my" books deal with hsitorical events, Middlesex and The Bone Garden do so from current times, Pompeii is set in 79 AD. I love to read about prominent past events in fiction -- not necessarily as historical fiction.

All three have elements of science, Gerritsen and Eugenides use medicine and Harris' employs geology and water.

I borrow nearly all of the books I read from the library. After reading Pompeii, I bought a copy. Must be my favorite.

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