I've been having trouble getting into my next good book. I've read a few so-so books, but I've had a hard time to start a great book, one on my every growing list of GREAT BOOKS I keep. I blame it on the last great book I read--The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It was such a great book, but I will get back. I'm in the middle of a pretty good one right now.
It's tough, when you read a great book. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao did that for me. It was so original; the story of a New Jersey/Dominican Sci Fi Geek trying to find his place in the world, desperately seeking love. It's a great story, but the words were so original . . . well, I'm not going to go into it, but it Junot Diaz is a wonderful wordsmith.
So, that one was hard to get over. I wanted to read, just not anything so amazing. I needed a few weeks to get my mind around the writing, the words, the beauty . . . so I read okay books. Good books that authors put a lot of thought into, just not the wonder of Oscar Wao. Between that and the business of work, kids and life, I'm just now getting back to my list of GREAT BOOKS. And one of them fits into my Read Across America very well.
My Reading Across America took a couple of stumbles these last couple of books. Again, I blame it on New Jersey and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
I continued south to Delaware, which holds very few great books (sorry Delaware, but it is true). I searched and searched and finally settled on a gory, zombie-terrorist book,Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel. It was decent and a quick read, and I will probably return to read more about the great Joe Ledger and his fight for Zombie-free America. In the book, Islamist extremists have teamed up with big pharmacology (in the guise of a world humanitarian) to develop a 'zombie' virus. Big pharma plans to release it through the extremists and then swoop in with the antidote, whereas the extremists just want to eliminate Americans. Joe Ledger is a Baltimore wonder-cop headed to the FBI when he is recruited by a shadowy, rapid response government agency--The Department of Medical Sciences. Together they figure out what they are fighting and do their bit to stem the tide . . . for now.
Now, I know Baltimore is Maryland, but there is a great bit of this book that takes place in Delaware. And it does little to teach me about Delaware or even Maryland, although I did learn that there are a lot of warehouses and this would be a great place to set up a secret lab. For that reason, I decided my Maryland book would be more of a book of the region--a book that has been on my list for a long time. James Michener's Chesapeake. I'm about three quarters through, and it's really good. It's a little long winded, but a really interesting look at the area. I kind of feel like I'm making up for the short zombie look at Delaware by looking at the whole area (although Delaware isn't so much discussed in this book). I'm really enjoying it, and feel like maybe I can 'cheat' a little in Virginia because of the depth. Michener does a great job of fictionalizing history. He will show up again on my trip; I'm planning to re-read Centennial for Colorado and read Hawaii for, you guessed it, Hawaii.
So, that's where I am. I have a few other books to review that I've missed, so this is a great time to catch up.