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Resolutions,continued.. June's reads

I continue with my New Year's Resolution to read more books.  Last year I read, if I recall correctly, sixty-five books.  As of the end of June, I have managed to read thirty-three books, which is about the same pace as last year.  I had hoped to read many more than that  (in fact, I was hoping to read at least one hundred), but don't think I am going to manage that because of many things, not the least of which is The Project (the renovation of our new (old) house).  Having said that, June's reads are as follows:

  The Devil Went Down to Austin    by Rick Riordan

  The Catcher in the Rye                     by J.D. Salinger

  Charlie Wilson's War                        by George Crile

  The Last Song                                     by Nicholas Sparks

Once again, very diverse reads for me.  The Devil Went Down to Austin is the fourth Tres Navarre mystery. Tres is an English professor who also doubles as a private investigator.  Or vice versa, as Tres Navarre prefers the life of a private investigator, but teaching helps pay the bills.  In the fourth installment of this series, Tres is trying to figure out how his computer genius brother, Garrett, has managed to lose the family farm over the start-up of a specialized computer company.  Tres is also trying to solve the murders of his brother's co-workers to free Garrett from the suspicion of these murders. Like the other mysteries in this series, Tres manages to create some mayhem on his own while solving the murders.  They are enjoyable reads; thus I am about to read the next book, Southtown, in the series.

Next, I read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  Unlike most high school and college students, I had never read this classic.  That is, until now.  It is definitely geared toward the angsty teen, a typical or not-so-typical coming-of-age novel.  Holden Caulfield is one unhappy teen, getting kicked out of one school after another.  He has his reasons and that is the gist of this novel--his ramblings of his life as he tells it to his psychiatrist post-breakdown. One of the more fascinating things was that I found out what the initials J.D. stand for--do you know?

Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile is a nonfiction book about the secret war waged by the CIA in Afghanistan during the invasion by Russia in the early eighties.  Moreover, it is the story of Charlie Wilson, a Congressman from Texas, who made it his top priority to fund the muhajideen to fight this war (and kill Communists). Charlie Wilson has the help of rogue CIA agent, Gust.  There are lots of facts and figures in the book (almost too many), and it is not an easy read for that reason.

After finishing the Crile book, I chose The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. In a sense, it, too, is about teenage angst, but it is also the story of the love of a father for his children, despite their angst.  Ultimately, there is redemption for the father and his daughter, but there are also secrets and betrayals that must be overcome.  In my opinion, it is one of Sparks' better novels; it ranks right up there with The Notebook or A Walk to Remember.  

As July begins, I am reading several books including The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and An Acceptable Time.  I also have a bookcrossing book, The Help, that I need to start soon as there are others in the bookring who are waiting to read this one. With the Project continuing, I will still have less time to read, but I am still resolved to read more books.