So Long September

What an absolutely bonkers month. September was…How to describe September? The family had a reunion of sorts. The island suffered its fifth shock of the season with a quadruple murder. Running was another head-scratcher as I officially resumed physically therapy for my twisted hips. But. But, But! I was able to log over 30 miles. Nowhere near the 70+ I wanted, but it’s something. At least I haven’t stopped entirely. And the reading? Here are the books:

Fiction:

  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (AB/print)
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
  • Burton And Speke by William Harrison (fictionalized history/historical fiction…whatever)
  • My Dream of You by Naola O’Faolain (AB/print)

Nonfiction:

  • O Jerusalem! by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre – Confessional: didn’t quite get all the way through this)
  • Everybody was so Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story by Amanda Vaill
  • Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins

Series continuations:

  • Passions Spin the Plot by Vardis Fisher
  • Henry James: the Treacherous Years (1895 – 1901) by Leon Edel

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • Boat Runner by Devin Murphy (fiction!)

Boat Runner

Murphy, Devin. The Boat Runner. New York: Harper Perennial, 2017.

Reason read: as a member of the Early Review Program for LibraryThing, this is the September book awarded to me.

Told from the first person perspective of fourteen year old Jacob Koopman. He lives in a Dutch town during the early stages of World War II with his artistic older brother, Edwin, light bulb manufacturer father and musician mother, Drika. His father, in an attempt to build better relations with the Germans for their Volkswagon business, sends Jacob and Edwin to an SS training camp where they learn different aspects of warfare through fun and games. It seemed innocent enough until all hell breaks loose. It starts with a forbidding crack. Suddenly their quiet town is overrun with soldiers imposing curfews and taking over Father Koopman’s factory, then Edwin goes missing and Uncle Martin starts running ammunition and supplies for the Germans. When the Allied bombs begin to fall Jacob’s life changes forever. This is a tragic story of loyalty and survival; of doing whatever it takes to take your next breath.
I thoroughly enjoyed Murphy’s style of writing. There were certain angular sentences that really stuck out to me. You couldn’t help but catch your breath on their sharp corners. I still have scars…

Word of warning: do not read this right before bed. I had vivid dreams of war and some reason World War III was being fought against Darth Vadar. I was on a small pleasure boat somewhere off the Caribbean with his son…
As an aside, this is the first fiction I have received from the Early Review program in a really long time. I’m glad that I received it even though it is a truly tragic book.


Back to School September

September starts out with sunny skies and a promise of a return to normalcy. What is “normal” anyway? I’m hoping to run without pain (have a whopping 72 miles scheduled). I’m also hoping to get back on track with the reading:

Fiction:

  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald –  in honor of F Scott Fitzgerald’s birth month.

Nonfiction:

  • O Jerusalem! by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
  • Burton and Speke by William Harrison – in honor of September being Curiosity Month (and isn’t that what exploring as all about, being curious?)
  • Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins – in honor of F Scott Fitzgerald’s birth month (& the reading of Tender is the Night)
  • Everybody was So Young by Amanda Vaill – in honor of F Scott Fitzgerald’s birth month (& the reading of Tender is the Night)

Series Continuation:

  • Passion Spins the Plot by Vardis Fisher – to continue the series started in August in honor of the day Butch Cassidy robbed a bank in Idaho.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy (the first fiction I have received in a long time!)