What should I read next?

I’ve finally been on a reading kick lately. Maybe it’s the type of books I’ve picked up as of late (ones that don’t require a whole ton of thought), or it’s because I tend to stay up a little later trying to get in another few pages or a chapter.

One of those books was the second to latest Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich. It was the usual Stephanie Plum fare — she and her co-worker Lula get into some sort of crazy shenanigans, this time with a semi that was hijacked. Lula crashes it and a dead body covered in chocolate and pecans is in the back, chaos ensues. In the series, Stephanie is a bounty hunter, not necessarily a good one. And once in a while she’s asked to work for Ranger, a mysterious guy who owns a security company of sorts. The books are fast reads and funny, but tend to be a little formulaic. But I enjoy reading them as one needs a little mindless entertainment now and again.

The last two books of the year my book club are reading are memoirs. November’s was “Some Girls: My Life in a Harem” by Jillian Lauren, and December’s is “After Long Silence” by Helen Fremont. Lauren’s memoir was an interesting tale. Back in the early 1990s, she was an NYU theater school dropout at 18. At the time, she was already working as a stripper and a call girl. On a tip, she took the opportunity to go to Borneo to be part of the harem of the Sultan of Brunei’s youngest brother, Prince Jefri. It would be just for a few weeks, and she’d get $20,000, plus any clothes, jewels, etc. I looked up more info on Lauren after her first memoir. She’s now married to the bass player of Weezer, and the couple adopted their son from Ethiopia, which is part of her second memoir “Everything You Ever Wanted.”

I just picked up “After Long Silence” earlier this week, so I haven’t started it yet. But here’s a part of the description from Amazon: “Helen Fremont was raised as a Roman Catholic. It wasn’t until she was an adult, practicing law in Boston, that she discovered her parents were Jewish — Holocaust survivors living invented lives. Not even their names were their own. In this powerful memoir, Helen Fremont delves into the secrets that held her family in a bond of silence for more than four decades, recounting with heartbreaking clarity a remarkable tale of survival, as vivid as fiction but with the resonance of truth. Driven to uncover their roots, Fremont and her sister pieced together an astonishing story: of Siberian gulags and Italian royalty, of concentration camps and buried lives.”

I’ll get to “After Long Silence” after I finally finish Jamie Ford’s latest novel “Love and Other Consolation Prizes.” I enjoyed his first two novels: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” and “Songs of Willow Frost.” His novels are mainly historical fiction and are very easy to read. Thursday night I found myself sucked in and before I knew it, I had almost half the book read.

According to Amazon: “For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World’s Fair feels like a gift. But only once he’s there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off– a healthy boy ‘to a good home.’ The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known — and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he’s always desired.” I’ll admit I got a little nosy and peeked toward the end, but I definitely plan on finishing the book quickly, maybe this weekend.

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