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Book 53 Completed

August 20, 2010

And we’re back! Arrived home yesterday after a fun night at the Motel 6 in Redding, California. The front desk was gracious enough to call us once we had settled in to make sure everything in our room was satisfactory. I wanted to say to them, “This is a Motel 6 with a view of I-5 and a 24-hour Denny’s. You don’t even have travel-size shampoo for me to use. And your bedspread is a cartoon depiction of the outside of a Motel 6. What am I looking for here? What could people possibly complain about? Were you just checking to make sure there wasn’t a dead body in our shower?”

The day before, Matt did all the driving, which afforded me time to finish up The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill. I read a little bit of my book club book and this book during the driving/beach day portions of this trip — but I didn’t read much, I’ll admit. I brought along the Thailand book, but that was optimistic. However, I think had we actually ended up going to Chicago via plane and not SoCal via car, I wouldn’t have found six relatively uninterrupted hours to read. So, this trip was a blessing for the blog, I suppose. πŸ™‚

I really liked The Coroner’s Lunch. I feel like this is what I wanted The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book to be like. It’s not heavy-reading. There’s a goofy character at the helm, but the cases are serious enough to warrant a coroner…so, it’s CSI in Communist Laos…and it’s paced-well and even funny! The minor characters aren’t just wallpaper either; they’re all fun and unique with interesting back stories and voices. Plus, I cared about the cases and how they ended. I was intrigued by the twists and turns…it was just a well-written little mystery book. Tightly plotted, original character, beautiful setting. I guess the book jacket really did get it right this time.

Plus, I did feel like Cotterill was well educated about Laos — his insights didn’t seem superficial. A bonus.

So, I’ll have to add this series to the ever-growing list of “books Shelbi will read next year”. After I finish “The Girl Who…” books from Sweden and, hmmm, what else did I say that about?

I’m getting this entry short because I need to carve out some reading time for Plum Bun for Book Club. (I’m halfway through and I’ll probably blog about it, but if I don’t: This is a great, oft forgotten, book from the Harlem Renaissance. It’s themes are universal, the writing easy to access, and I’m totally loving it.) Oh…and my Mockingjay book should be in the mail soon! Good thing we have another road trip coming up next weekend. Idaho for a wedding! I can totally finish Mockingjay on the ride up there. Looking forward to it already.

Bonus picture! Elliott doing some reading of The Coroner’s Lunch while we were at Huntington Beach for the day.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mome Rath permalink
    August 23, 2010 12:02 am

    First of all, congratulations for making the best out of a terrible vacation situation with United. I would have been furious. I’m glad you were able to visit family (and play Settlers of Catan — awesome!).
    This series gives a very interesting perspective on life in a newly Communist state. I appreciated seeing Siri’s disillusionment (and sense of humor) with the new government. The rest of the books have some memorable cases (even if puppets creep me out); I hope you enjoy reading them next year. Glad you liked this book!

    • August 23, 2010 9:36 pm

      Well, I was furious for a little bit too…and I’m pretty resolved to avoid flying United in the future…but I was also determined to have a good vacation! Yeah, we’re pretty big game players. I should write a quick blog about our game collection and the dangers of being competitive. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I didn’t write about the Communist aspect, but I was totally interested in learning about that as well. I am looking forward to reading more.

      So…puppets creep you out? πŸ™‚ Now isn’t the right time to tell you that my parents were puppeteers? That’s how they met. I grew up with puppets going EVERYWHERE with us. It was a messed up childhood. (Sorry mom.)

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