Six Days of the Condor by James Grady
Loved, loved, loved, loved this CIA novel. Earlier this ear I watched the 1975 film Three Days of the Condor starring Robert Redford and loved it. When I saw the book Six Days of the Condor at a charity shop for $1, I thought it might be fun to compare. What I didn't expect was to be totally drawn into the book. I loved every minute of it. Couldn't put it down. This is the kind of spy thriller I like. Fits well into my recent fascination with Eric Ambler. I am going to have to see if I find Grady's other books as interesting.
Now that I have finished the book (in record time) I need to go back and watch the film again. I know for sure there are a few things that are different. I think the film may have taken place in New York. The book takes place in DC and is full of familiar locations without seeming name-droppy.
The Good House by Ann Leary
I've seen some lukewarm reviews for this book since it was published in 2012. I liked it way more than lukewarm. Story of a real estate agent in a small community on the Massachusetts coast. I almost thought I wasn't going to like the book. Her life is kind of unravelling. Business isn't doing so well, she had been to rehab but was backsliding. As I do, I wanted her to be getting her crap together and being successful. But I am glad I got over that because I really enjoy the story, the characters, the setting. It felt a bit like Marge Piercy meets Claire Messud.
Oh dear. I may have waited too long to write about some of these books. And I rarely keep notes. You know what that means? Bullet point reviews.
According to Mark by Penelope Lively
- Biographer Mark gets involved with granddaughter of the (dead) subject of his latest project.
- He's married already.
- I love a Lively and I found I loved this Lively more than usual.
- There were moments when I felt the book was very much akin with Barbara Pym's novels.
Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Hegi
- A collection of short stories that was much better than my bad memory would have you believe. (I think.)
- I liked the various settings (Europe, Mexico, the United States)
- One or two stories were quite moving.
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
- Given to me by Frances at Nonsuch Book.
- Down on their luck but genteel family in 1912 England waits for house guests arrive for the weekend.
- Then some other guests arrive.
- I found the book pretty enjoyable, but I think it would have been more effective without the metaphysical aspect. (Big surprise for me, I know.)
- I'm interested to read the other Sadie Jones novel Frances gave me.
- A Monica Dickens published in the 1990s thankfully feels a little old fashioned.
- About a brilliant and caring plastic surgeon who is stalked by an unbalanced patient.
- The patness of the story line has a bit of a Nevil Shute or DE Stevenson quality to it. But the tragic bits don't.