Quite a bit is going on behind the scenes at MarysLibrary. There are books I started reading and gave up on and others that are so long (600, 700, even 800 pages) that I don't know when I'll finish, though I'm plugging away. Some books I've been reading for a while and aren't that long; those I will finish but it's slow going. And some books have made it to my TBR or even been read in part but something tells me I'm not going to make it to the end. Others I have read but for one reason or another I didn't write about them and now I don't really know what to say.
One of the books in the first category is The Empty Glass by J I Baker, a "modern noir) about the death of Marilyn Monroe. The narrator is an assistant coroner in LA, a colleague of the later-famous Thomas Naguchi. He is called to the scene at her modest (by Hollywood standards) hacienda and he immediately notes many discrepancies and questionable practices (like calling the studio immediately and then waiting four hours to call the police.) Most of what we are told is historical but some of it is rumor, such as the involvement of the Kennedys and a diary found at the scene.
So why did I quit reading this wonderful book? It's too good. Too well written. I can't take the darkness of the noir and the nervous feeling with which it is drenched. However, for anyone who likes Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe, a little gore, threatening suspense, and an updated sense of the gritty underworld of the 40s, this book would be very rewarding.
The second category includes the next volume in the 11-volume series The Story of Civilization, The Life of Greece, by Will Durant. I started it and then put it aside to read a lot of new fiction and mysteries that have come home from the library recently. I will get back to it soon.
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad falls into the next pigeonhole. I started reading it in the misty past but somehow it got relegated to waiting room reading. Since I'm fairly healthy and don't spent a lot of time in waiting rooms that one is going exceedingly slowly. Which isn't a bad thing, really as it's very (very) well written and the plot is coming to a crisis. Well, it's already there actually, but some of the characters don't know that yet.
The books in the sad category of those that made it to my TBR and even to my lap but just aren't going to get read in full include recently J R R Tolkien's The Hobbit (sorry, Laurel) and possibly Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. The last, I note, has four entries in my database, one for each of the three previous aborted attempts to get through it. Each is a different translation so perhaps this fourth try will succeed. But I somehow doubt it.
Those books that I read as long ago as last fall but didn't write about - well, I'll write about them some time soon. Just not much because most of them I've forgotten about or don't have anything in the least original to say about them.