Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reading in Pairs

Have you ever noticed how busses arrive in threes but movie plots are only repeated in twos? There are always three things that go wrong, but you wait for the second shoe to drop? Three wishes anyone? But only two fall in love in a romance? What is it with those twos and threes?

Of course, the mathematician in me looks at all the fours and fives we ignore--perhaps the number's a little to high to call coincidence. And then there are all the singles--truly, don't most busses arrive roughly on time, only one bus at a time? But we notice what's different, as long as there aren't too many differences, hence twos and threes.

Last week I noticed I was reading pairs of books, so I'll review them in twos too. But there were singles as well (or could I have made one a three?)--they'll be in my next post.

The first is a pair of books based in Biblical history: The Edge of Revolt (David Chronicles book 3) By Uvi Poznanski is the third in a really cool trilogy. The author brings King David and his world to vivid life, peopling it with characters not so different from modern day policiticians and rulers, falling to the same age-old temptations and suffering the same crises of family and national dynamics. The books stands well on its own, but I seriously recommend reading the whole set. I've loved them. Enjoy with some elegant complex 4-star coffee.

K Ford K's The Wife of John the Baptist, not surprisingly, is set in New Testament times, and is just as beautifully crafted and vividly real. Not recommended for those who like their Bible stories limited to purely Christian world-views, this novel depicts a reluctant, but very real prophet, married to a Greek woman with mystical powers of her own. Both see the future, but color it and run from it differently. It's another elegant complex novel, best read with some more elegant complex 4-star coffee.

My next pair of books is two evocative romances set in India. The first is The Guardian Angels, by Rohit Gore. Definitely an unconventional romance, it invites the reader to experience different segments of Indian society from the super-rich to the poor, seen through the eyes of two young people who grow together, grow apart, and somehow are always there for each other. It's a surprisingly absorbing tale, told with a sense of distance that oddly enough brings the reader closer to the world. Enjoy with some more more complex 4-star coffee.

My second Indian romance is The Malhotra Bride, by Sundari Venkatraman, a short novel that invites readers into a richly detailed world of arranged marriage and young adult rebellion... and romance. Enjoy this richly detailed tale with a bright, lively 2-star cup of coffee and prepare to be transported.

And finally, two mysteries. I guess they're not quite set in the same place and time, but they both have interestingly different protagonists, so I thought I should make them a pair. First is Abduction at Griffith Observatory, by Christopher Geoffrey McPerson. I'm already hooked on this series, where a young man in the young days of Hollywood struggles to make his way as a writer. The author creates an interesting blend of real world seen through real and imaginary eyes, and real mystery, experience by the author and inspiring the novels he writes. If you've ever wondered about how LA grew into what it now is, or if you just love intriguingly different mysteries, this one's for you. Enjoy with some well-balanced, smooth, full-flavored three-star coffee.

The protagonist of An Education in Deceit, by Eli Blackstone, is a modern-day, depressed housewife, trying to reinvent herself while her husband tells her to get a job and her son lives in the basement. There are some pleasing touches of humor in the relationships and dialog, though it's sometimes a little heavyhanded (and not always kind to dogs). Enjoy with some bold, dark, intense five-star coffee.

So there are my pairs. I'll post my other recent book reviews soon, but I need more time to read and write too. Guess what! Infinite Sum is getting close to publication! Hurray!



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