Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What to Read, What to Read

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When I ordered books from Amazon.com, a couple of weeks ago, they said I would have to wait until February to receive them. They didn't lie to me. They were right up front with it. I like that about them.

HOWEVER, I am running out of Elizabeth Peters books, and then I will have to resort to re-reading something until the order arrives. Jay got a couple of Ernest Hemingway books from the library the other day, so I thought I'd try to read one of those, since I didn't get around to anything but "The Old Man And The Sea" in college. I just couldn't do it. Papa is just too, well, masculine with his writing. A manly man, for sure. And, while I like manly men in person, I don't usually like to read their books.

So, I said, "Jay, what else did you get?" And he handed me a copy of "Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas," by Hunter Thompson OMIGOD! Of course, I had heard of Hunter Thompson, and followed the news of his ashes being rocketed into space. Turns out, that's a good place for him, and they should have sent his books with him. I have never read any of his books, and after reading the first few pages of this one. I won't be reading it or any of the others. I'm just too old to put up with books from the 60's drug culture, all that rant and ramble and tune out, turn on, etc, crap.

I'll just stick to Amelia Peabody for now, that proper Victorian/Egyptologist, and her husband, the blustery Emerson, who never says anything more profane than "Good gad!", son Ramses and daughter-in-law Nefret. I must admit, though, that by the time I finish reading one of her books, I am thirsty, suffering from prickly heat, and exhausted from reading about all that sand and dodging swarthy villains.

Amelia is a hoot. She is a died-in-the-wool feminist, in an era where women have very limited opportunities. She is an equal partner, working alongside her archeologist husband. She tends to go off on flights of fancy about Emerson's exceptional qualities, both intellectual and physical. When she describes his good looks, etc., she seems to get carried away. Then, it is as if she gives herself a mental shake and comes back to the problem at hand.

The people in Amelia's life suffer under no illusions about her. She's the boss, even if she is in complete denial about it. She goes forth wearing trousers she designed, armed with a kind of tool belt that she rigged up herself, containing first aid articles, matches, flashlight, and various other articles she thinks might come in handy in dicey situations, including a flask of brandy and a pistol. She also carries a made-to-order parasol strong enough to discourage the most determined villain, with a retractable knife in the bottom. Al she has to do is brandish this item, and people scatter.

Two individuals as exceptional as Emerson and Amelia must certainly have a brilliant son. His name is Ramses, no surprise there, and he is almost as intelligent and good looking as his father. His wife, Nefret, was Emerson and Amelia's ward, who grew up in their home and eventually married Ramses. This is quite a family. Nefret is a surgeon, urged on by Amelia. And, she and ramses always become embroiled in whatever intrigue their parents are involved in.

Although this series tends to follow the same plots, book after book, the characters are quirky enough to keep your attention. And, Peters does throw in a few tidbits about Egypt, and archeological finds to make things more interesting.

OK, I'm ready for my new books, Amazon. Bring 'em on!


Annie said...

Reading your review of Peter's heroine, I'm pretty sure you would really enjoy Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher.

Hope your books come earlier than you expect. It's hard to be storyless, isn't it.

susan said...

Why is it going to take them so long? Don't they know you NEED your books???

We're lucky to have Amazon so close to us. Anything we order is here within a day or two.

Ameliea sounds like a hoot, I'll have to try her out

claude said...

I like Amelia too! It's been a long time since I've read a Peters mystery. Thanks for reminding me

dot said...

I've never read Amelia but maybe I should. You write a very good book review and as always "I love your humor"!

dc said...

Hey Thanks for stopping by my site. And thanks for the BD greating, Wow it is a big one this time. lol. I don't want this to sound like a spam, but you know I run a used book store and if I can find anything for you, let me know. Leave me a message on my site and I will send you my e=mail. Enjoy your site, We aren't that far from each other. dc

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Have you had much luck ordering books that Amazon "recommends"? Just wondering, because I always get the most off-the-wall recommendations.

The ones you mentioned sound like a hoot!

her indoors said...

i stick to getting my books from the library i usually stay with family sagas and biographies, cant remember last time i actually bought a book for myself! hope your books get to you real soon x

Tammy said...

Hi Betty...nice to meet ya...Dot mentioned you in a post today so I thought I would come on over. I love to read...but mostly romance...Nora Roberts is my favorite! Now that Amelia Peabody and family sounds interesting...I've got an order pending with eHarlequin...I forgot what I ordered and wrote them an email I mean I didn't want to duplicate when I went to the bookstore ya know...they wrote me a "one time courtesy" list of what I ordered and said in future to make a copy...yes ma'am I will!!

Tink said...

Hm, Amelia Peabody... Another name to add to my author's list. I'm always looking for new books. Thanks for the suggestion.

Betty said...

Annie: Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to try one.

Susan: I'm assuming they are having to restock from the Christmas rush. And, this was a big order. Gift certificates, you know!

Claude: You might enjoy them.

Dot: Thanks. Try them, you might like them.

DC: I'll comment on your blog. Thanks.

QofD: They always seem to suggest books that I've already read, or that I wouldn't want to read. Don't know what triggers their list.

her indoors: I like family sagas, too.

Hi, Tammy: Welcome. Well, I guess you feel "gently chastised" by Harlequin. How strange. Anyway, come back sometime.

Tink: Amelia is a Victorian version of today's Alpa Woman. Peters has another series or two that I enjoy, also.

Newt said...

And my reading list gets ever longer. Sounds like fun reading. Thanks.

gawilli said...

Hunter Thompson was featured in Rolling Stone back in the day. The articles were short enough that they were tolerable. He definitely was an interesting soul.

Sister--Three said...

I order books from Amazon too. Mine usually arrive in a few days.
You probably got some bargains!

I am reading "Greenville--the History of the City and County in
South Carolina" by Archie Huff jr.

I bet no one else out there likes
books like me. I also ordered 5 history books about the Revolutionary War...yes, I am weird!

Kell said...

Amelie and company are great characters--I enjoy them too.

And I can't get into Hemingway either. I tried to read a Farewell to Arms twice and couldn't get through it either time.

Chancy said...

Hi Betty

I am lucky to live near a neighborhood library which has a book sale once a month of donations, not used library books. These are sold for a song and I usually come home with a bunch and then when I am finished I re-donate. The funds go to the library. Many times I can find best sellers that are new, or not over a year old at best. It is a fun place to browse and discover authors I am not familiar with.

dc said...

Hope you get this message, My e-mail is dorothy@jscomm.net I do have some English mystery books, Authors that I could identify were PD James, Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes. Let me know if I can help you find something. DC