A long trip such as ours (Eli says “40 days and 40 nights”–he counts the day we left and the day we came home, which, of course, makes a better story than 38 or 39 days!) includes some down time and a lot of flight time, perfect for reading. But flying on small 12- and 4-seater safari planes mandates that you don’t take weighty luggage. This is where the Kindle came in very handy!

What was loaded and read:

The Cookbook Collector, a novel by Allegra Goodman: pre-and post-9/11 yuppy/Silicon Valley young “masters of the universe”/quasi-Jewish story. Eh…not as good as her previous work.

The Trinity Six, by Charles Cumming: contemporary professor stumbles onto info that could lead to British government secret about a likely sixth Communist spy in the ring that included Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Cambridge pals exposed in the early 1950s. Ending rather disappointing.

A Covert Affair, nonfiction by Jennet Conant: story of Julia and Paul Child and their colleagues who served in the OSS in the Far East during World War II and how some of them fared in the anti-Communist State Department purges afterward. The substance is great, but I can’t believe what survives after editing in a real publishing house.

The Invisible Bridge, novel by Julie Orringer: romantic AND traumatic saga of a family from late 1930s through the Holocaust. Long, but very worthwhile!

The Tiger’s Wife, novel by Téa Obreht, beautifully written, possibly more literary than my usual taste.

The Paris Wife, novel by  Paula McLain, story of Ernest Hemingway’s “starter” wife, Hadley Richardson. A major best-seller now. Writing and dialogue seem very elementary to me, but not in a Hemingway-esque way, just amateur (but who am I to talk?). Given the hype, highly over-rated.

Walking Israel, nonfiction by Martin Fletcher of NBC News: interesting places and characters along the way. I wasn’t able to finish it yet.

Book reading time since returning home has been replaced by magazine (oh, those piled up New Yorkers) and general catchup, including housework. And then there’s getting back to writing MY next book…

If you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you thought. And what are you reading now that you’d recommend?

Alas, poor Noah, of the original 40 day/40 trip (cruise) didn’t have a Kindle (or two). He had to make do talking to the animals. Our 40 days and 40 nights sure included a lot of animals, but conversation was not the point!


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