The Worst Hard Times: Very informative and readable history of the Dust Bowl. Surprisingly relevant. Settlers given free land to displace Native Americans, settlers plow up prairie and plant wheat, drought kills wheat, top soil blows away, the end. A couple of interesting tidbits are that Germans moved to Russia under Catherine the Great and then moved to Nebraska and thereabouts when Russia started wanting taxes and military service. And FDR had 22 million trees planted in rows from North Dakota to. . . Northern Texas but contour plowing stopped the dirt from blowing away.
Since it's summer, I'm also on a mass-market kick.
The Strain: Vampires. Shades of Salem's Lot, maybe the first vampire book I ever read and, in that sense, this book is awfully creepy at times. Also a bit of I am Legend and House thrown in, so. . . kind of a schlocky re-tread. (As if vampire books aren't schlocky re-treads, but they don't have to be. Cf. Fledgling) Not a bad book, but unpolished and not very finely tuned. The ending is a mess. It's a strange artifact, written by Guillermo del Toro (and some other guy), so it very much seems like a book created out of a storyboard for a movie. The influence of Pan's Labrinth is clear.
Dead Before Dawn: True Blood is one of the top shows in this country? Okay. This is the book on which the show is based. It's alright, kind of amateurish and very, very slow in places. More romantic interest. But it's still enjoyable for a couple hours.
My Goodness! What's going on? What's happening?