BOOK & BLOG
June 21, 2009
Books of the Week:
On The Prowl is Karen MacInerney’s second book about Sophie Garou. Sophie is maybe the only accountant in modern fiction who also happens to be a werewolf. Sophie lives in Austin, Texas, where her mom settled because she thought there was no local pack. Turns out that Houston is now claiming Austin, so Sophie has to jump through some hoops for the Houston pack alpha. Sophie’s boyfriend Heath is still around, though they’re encountering relationship problems. He doesn’t know about her second nature, and he seems to have some secrets, too. Hunky and mysterious werewolf Tom is passing through Austin, and Mark, the president of Southeast Airlines, insists that his account must be handled by Sophie and no other. Sophie has a lot of animal magnetism, obviously! But she also has a complicated life and a ton of trouble. Lots of fun.
Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel is just as good as his previous entries in the series. Child’s writing is consistently excellent, and his plots are stellar. While riding the New York subway late at night, Reacher, ex-Army military policeman, observes that one of the few other passengers, a woman, is exhibiting every sign on the list of suicide bomber indicators. What happens after that extremely tense scene is compelling reading. Whatever you think of Reacher’s brutality and his willingness to kill, he’s a great character. (He’s also the fictional character I’d like to be marooned with, because his survival skills are top notch.)
I’ve been having my own little Sarah Monette festival. I got a copy of Corambis, and though I was tempted to dive right into it, I felt I had to reread the other three Felix/Mildmay novels first so I could do it justice.
Don’t miss the wonderful new novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, either. This mystery came to me so highly recommended that I automatically assumed it couldn’t be as much fun as everyone told me. Well, they were right, and I was wrong. The protagonist is an unforgettable eleven-year-old chemist named Flavia de Luce. Though Flavia has many reasons to feel very sorry for herself, she never does. This is a delightful novel.
As I’ve said elsewhere on the board, last Friday I spent an afternoon on the set of “True Blood.” I enjoyed the experience, of course, and it was great seeing Alan Ball, his wonderful henchmen Christina Jokanovich and Gianna Sobol, writer Alexander Woo, director Michael Cuesta, and some of the wonderful actors who make up the cast: Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Carrie Preston, Chris Bauer, Patricia Bethune, and Todd Lowe.
However, though I already knew that there was a crew to support all the actions in the show, I hadn’t realized how many people there were. It was amazing to see everyone who works behind the scenes. There were so many of them, and they work so hard. Makeup artists, hair artists, light men, sound men, continuity people . . . the list goes on and on. Everyone knows what to do, and somehow it all gets done; taking all these people working at the same moment to get one little bit of film.
It was a very interesting afternoon, and I hope I didn’t get in the way too much. I actually spoke a line, but it may end up on the cutting room floor. I almost hope so. I’m no actress. I think the brief time I spend on the set was really illuminating, and it was certainly a fascinating afternoon. I appreciate them putting up with me.
While I was in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the Pompeii exhibit. It was wonderful, and I’m so glad that my trip to have some business meetings and visit the set coincided with the time of this wonderful exhibit. I highly recommend it. While I was in the museum, I also visited some of the “ancient art” galleries, and felt overwhelmed by the richness of what I saw. This is not something I get to do often, so I really had a little vacation.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris