Books acquired: “Zorro,” Isabel Allende; “Taco USA” and “Ask a Mexican,” Gustavo Arellano; “Silent Visions,” John Bengston; “Record Store Days,” Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo.
Books read: “The Man in the Maze,” Robert Silverberg; “A Maze of Death” and “The Man in the High Castle,” Philip K. Dick; “The Trail of Fu Manchu,” Sax Rohmer; “Lost and Found” and “Lost and Found 2,” Elizabeth Pomeroy.
I must have felt a little aimless during September, as the titles make clear. I seem to have been wandering trails and mazes near a castle, finding myself both lost and found. Or something like that.
The “Lost and Found” books compile dozens of two-page capsule histories of notable sites in the L.A. area, centered in the San Gabriel Valley and many of them parks or historical society-managed properties. Some are even out our way, like adobes in Chino and Pomona and the original San Antonio Hospital. Recommended for local history buffs.
The two Philip K. Dick novels were among his best. “Maze of Death” is about a bunch of misfits sent to a remote planet for reasons they have to figure out for themselves; “High Castle,” from 1962, imagines a world in which the Allies lost WWII, with Japan controlling the western states and Germany the east. A very thoughtful book about the ramifications and subtle changes in society that might ensue.
“Man in the Maze” is about a former American ambassador who (after an alien encounter) physically repulses people and who, disillusioned and betrayed, exiles himself to a maze-like world. And then he’s sought out by his country for a mission only he can perform. I really liked it.
“The Trail of Fu Manchu” is the seventh in the series (of 14) and among my favorites so far.
So, six books finished in September (the “Lost and Found” books had been read over a period of months), and I was enthusiastic about all six. I’m up to 66 for the year.
As for where they came from, “High Castle” is one I’ve owned probably 20 years or more; the others are comparatively recent purchases. “Man in the Maze” was bought earlier this year.
Currently I’m reading “Zorro” by Isabel Allende, the novel everyone in Pomona is supposed to be reading, and liking it. In October I’ll be reading other, semi-related novels of larger than life heroes.
What about you? What have you been reading?