In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president last Thursday, Vice-President Biden quoted from a work by the great Irish poet Seamus Heaney. I was not familiar with the poem and so I had to look it up. It is from a work entitled The Cure at Troy which was an adaptation by Heaney, written in verse, of Sophocles' play, Philoctetes . Philoctetes was a Greek master archer who was abandoned on a desert island by his fellow soldiers and countrymen and was later asked by the Greeks to return to fight in the Trojan War. The work was published in 1991 and in writing it, Heaney evidently was thinking of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. It seems to fit equally well our own troubles of today. It is a poem for all times. Verses from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney Human beings suffer They torture one another, They get hurt and get hard. No poem or play or song Can fully right a wrong Inflicted and endured. The innocent in gaols Beat on their bars together.
I was introduced to the writing of C.J. Box through my local library's Mystery Book Club. Open Season , the first in Box's Joe Pickett series, was the club's selection for reading in June. Although I didn't get a chance to read it in time for the meeting, the discussion of it made me curious and I put it on my to-be-read list. I'm glad I finally got around to it this week. Box has created an enormously appealing character in Joe Pickett. A Wyoming game warden, Joe is a devoted family man with two young daughters and a pregnant wife when we first meet him. He and his family are able to barely scrape by financially on the meager salary of a state employee (Been there, done that!) , but Joe is a happy man, because he's living his dream. Being a game warden was what he always wanted to be. Not only Joe but his whole family are lovingly drawn by Box. We get to know them well and to like them and want them not just to endure but to triumph. Seven-year-old Sherid
I had never read Liane Moriarty before, but if this book is any indication, her reputation for writing engrossing cliffhangers is well-earned. Apples Never Fall gives us the Delaney family, Stan and Joy Delaney and their four grown children: Amy, the oldest and artsy one; Troy, a highflying businessman very proud of his wealth and losing no opportunity to flaunt it; Brooke, the youngest, a businesswoman who has not had much success in the romance department; and Logan, the disheveled teacher with a heart of gold. This is, in fact, a family saga that turns into a mystery and a bit of a thriller before the end. Moriarty is very adept at giving us an in-depth portrait of each of these family members. That, I felt, was one of the book's strengths and something that I really liked about it. She describes each of their backstories of experiences along with their struggles and mistakes along the way. In spite of their weaknesses and mistakes, the reader gains a real empathy for each of