I just finished reading Gwendy’s Button Box. If you’re a slow reader, this novella by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar will provide an evening of good entertainment. It’s a fascinating book from an author’s perspective, because it hooks the reader with a slightly creepy instigator and a totem, or magical object, that in the end becomes a perfect metaphor for the writer’s life. There is nothing extraneous in the telling of this story. It’s deceptively simple and compelling. It can also be read on different levels, and will remind some readers of King’s Lisey’s Story.
Of the 25 books I’ve read so far this year, most were at least entertaining, though a few were disappointing given the authors or the reviews. My favorites have been Daphne du Maurier’s haunting My Cousin Rachel; Nora Roberts’ thriller The Witness; Pat Barker’s thoughtful and beautifully written Regeneration; and Alexander McCall Smith’s My Italian Bulldozer.
For you Francophiles, lovers of good food and mysteries out there, the new Martin Walker book, The Templar’s Last Secret is out today. I think this is the tenth in the series. If you’re not yet a fan, you should probably start with the first one, Bruno Chief of Police. Bruno is one of the great characters in modern literature, and the plots and subplots are all refreshingly current and relevant, though the books are set in the ancient landscape of the Périgord. I’m looking forward to reading the new one this summer.