Catching up on my book reviews

Here are some two minute book reviews. I've been caught up doing other things, but the reading continues. Right now, I'm poking around history book trying to get some inspiration for a new poetry collection or mini-collection. I don't know if that's going to work or not. Maybe I should be poking around poetry books.

H. C. Robbins Landon 1791 Mozart's Last Year

I picked this one up hoping that it would give an alternative perspective of one of history's most interesting eras -- to me at least. There's political turmoil, post-American Revolution and the French Revolution was heating up. So much was changing in Europe including the emergence of some of England's most interesting poets and writers. Nope, none of that. I don't know anything about music and this was very much a discussion of the technicalities of music. I couldn't follow a lot of it. I think it would be a good book for anyone who understands anything about music in a technical way. Although I have a wide appreciation, I was never in band, don't know what the word "clef" means.

Elmore Leonard's Road Dogs

No one writes an idiot like Elmore Leonard, and I love the way he captures petty crime and the true baseness and pettiness of evil. That's what it is usually. Hitlers are rare, thank goodness. Mostly we have to deal with the moronic sociopath who wants to hurt us because hurting us is fun, which is pretty close to the definition of sociopathy. This one continues with the story of Jack Foley (think of George Clooney's character in Out of Sight) as he's finally and legitimately let out of jail. He wants to get out of bank robbing and into something legit, but he's pulled into the world of con artists who are trying to fool a widow out of her money. The book isn't his best, but it's still Elmore Leonard and I loved watching Foley at work again.

Dennis Lehan's Mystic River

Seems strange to review a blockbuster after this many years, but I'd never read it before. Read it, but only if you're ready to have yourself destroyed emotionally. I'm not giving anything away here. The first moment begins with terrible tragedy and it goes from there. Great book. It deserves its status.