Mysterious Book Report No. 59

Whew!  It’s been a scorching hot summer so far, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of relief on the way.  We’ve got eight out-of-control forest fires raging in different parts of Colorado as I’m writing this, and a lunatic arsonist here locally who’s set thirty small fires at last count.  All of which, fortunately, have been put out before they did major damage like the 4500 acre one that’s threatening the west side of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and another handful of small villages further west of here that encircle the northwest flank of Pikes Peak; an area known as Ute Pass.  Colorado Springs has fifty-seven contiguous miles of boarder with National Forest service land, all of it rugged, full of valleys and ridges, steep vertical rises, and  all of it is covered with various pine, spruce, cedar, pinion and juniper trees, rocks, scree and scrub oak.  It has a few trails and only a couple of roads.  One of the hiking trails, a popular spot known as Waldo Canyon, is where the fire began around noon on Saturday.  By five o’clock that afternoon it had spread to 2000 acres and has been out of control ever since.  As of Monday morning, it had doubled in size and continues to be out of control.  We have about 6 or 7 thousand people under mandatory evacuation, with hundreds more on standby.  Resources are spread thin because of the number of active blazes in Utah, New Mexico and Colorado, but even so, we have single and twin engine aircraft, three sizes of jumbo helicopters and two C-130 military aircraft dropping water, and fire retardant, as well as 600 or more wildfire fighters on the ground.

As our house is only about a half-mile or so east of the evacuation line, a slight change in wind direction or speed could have sent us to a shelter or motel, we’ve been glued to the television news, and I don’t have full book reviews ready for this week’s MBR. Soooo . . .

Here’s a suggested list of books for summer reading with a short description of each I cobbled together from various resources:

1.  Gone Girl, by Gilliam Flynn, (Crown Publishing, $25.00)  A psychological thriller by an Edgar-nominated author, about a marriage gone wrong.  When the wife turns up missing and the husband’s lies begin to catch up with him it seems to be a simple one to solve.  But, not quite.  All is not as simple as it seems . . . This one got starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal.

2.  Amped, Daniel Wilson (Doubleday, $25.00)  The follow up to his smash-hit Robopocalypse.  In this one, Wilson imagines a world where some individuals have “amplified” abilities because of implanted devices in their heads.  Trouble starts when Congress passes laws restricting people’s rights to amp themselves.  Protagonist Owen Gray goes on the run to find others like himself who’ve been amped.  Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this one, and may do a full review of it later.

3.  The Third Gate, Lincoln Child, (Doubleday, $25.95)  An archeological dig in the swamps of Sudan may have found the burial place of King Narmer, the man who united Egypt.  When a second archeologist is brought in to separate fact from fiction, trouble follows . . .including a possible ancient curse.  A solo effort from the renowned team of Child and Doug Preston.

—-More next week with MBR NO. 60—-

You can find all of these at your local library as well as dozens of other current summer reading suggestions.  Give ’em a try, visit today.  And speaking of visiting . . . have you visited, or, better still, are you a regular visitor of my website:

johndwainemckenna.com

It’s where you’ll find all of the Mysterious Book Reports ever written as well as the rest of my suggestions for Best Books of the year, and get a free short story.  There’s a whole section devoted to your reader comments about The Neversink Chronicles.  You can comment, connect, suggest, critique, or question.  You can order a signed copy of The Neversink Chronicles, or get one at Cannie D’s in Neversink, The Little Store in Roscoe, or the Time and the Valleys Museum Store in Grahamsville.  You can always get a copy by sending $15.00 plus $4.00 for shipping to P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO  80901.  It’s available on Amazon.com, Kindle, iPad, or ask your local bookstore.  I’ll see you next week with another new MBR.

–JDM