Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Reading

I posted a little while ago on Instagram about what I've been reading lately - most of it nonfiction about the Holocaust and the Second World War - and while meaningful and necessary, it has been grueling.  I'd been searching for books to read along with them which were a bit lighter, and which provided an escape from the heavy material.

Strangely, the ordered world of mystery novels fit the bill exactly, and I finally made it through The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) and have started in on the second novel in the series.  Is it always the most well-written? No.  I enjoyed reading it on my phone (!) as I waited for the train and while at 30,000 feet - I ended up getting it through 3M, quickly and efficiently, which is how my library mostly does e-books.

My more pressing concern: I know the characters fall into certain tried-and-true categories, but I would love to see Ms. Rowling write a mystery novel where the female character isn't the blonde secretary or the doddy/anxious stay-at-home mom.  I sometimes thought it would have been a more interesting read if Cormoran Strike were a woman - a veteran, not conventionally attractive, an amputee, slightly overweight, not always agreeable but focused and valuable... How many female protagonists have we read like that?

And yet. Are there publishers who would go for that sort of woman? Are there any books out there like that now? I can only really think of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch.  I'll be on the lookout for more.