Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dead Man's Walk, by Larry McMurtry

  • Title:  Dead Man's Walk
  • Author:  Larry McMurtry
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 6/10/2008
  • Finished: 6/12/2008
I kept wanting to like this one, and it wasn't terrible, but it was really only interesting because of original, Lonesome Dove. Overall a disappointment. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Rubber Band, by Rex Stout

Title: The Rubber Band
Author: Rex Stout
Borrowed from DC Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 6/4/2018
Finished: 6/10/2018

Early Nero Wolfe book, only so-so. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Outfoxed, by David Rosenfelt

Title: Outfoxed
Author: David Rosenfelt
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started: 6/6/2018
Finished: 6/9/2018

I think this is the last of the Andy Carpenter books.  Not as funny as some, though I still laughed out loud a few times. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mr. Majestyk, by Elmore Leonard

Title: Mr. Majestyk
Author:  Elmore Leonard
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
Started: 6/3/2018
Finished:  6/5/2018

Enjoyable. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Andy Warhol was a Hoarder, by Claudia Kalb

  • Title:  Andy Warhol was a Hoarder
  • Author:  Claudia Kalb
  • Borrowed from Worcester, MD Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 6/2/2018
  • Finished: 6/3/2018
Book club book so I won't say much here.  I didn't like this much, honestly barely paid attention, skipped a lot of pages, not my thing.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Big Sky, by A.B. Guthrie Jr

Title:. The Big Sky
Author: A.B. Guthrie Jr
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, 
Started: 5/30/2018
Finished: 6/3/2018

What a great book, ending is somewhat abrupt, otherwise I found it spellbinding. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Last Stand at Saber River, by Elmore Leonard

  • Title:  Last Stand at Saber River
  • Author:  Elmore Leonard
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
  • Started: 5/25/2018
  • Finished: 5/30/2019
Enjoyable Elmore Leonard western.  Slightly above average on the Leonard westerns I've read so far -- the absolute best being Forty Lashes Less One.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Trouble in Triplicate, by Rex Stout

Title: Trouble in Triplicate
Author: Rex Stout
Borrowed from Fairfax county VA public library Kindle Edition
Started: 5/14/2018
Finished: 5/27/2018

Collection of three Nero Wolfe stories, pretty early in the series, not bad. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Who Let the Dog Out, by David Rosenfelt

Title: Who Let the Dog Out
Author: David Rosenfelt
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
Started: 5/23/2018
Finished: 5/24/2018

Passable Andy Carpenter mystery. This is something like the 5th terrorist attack he has twarted...  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dolly, by Susan Hill

Title: Dolly
Author: Susan Hill
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
Started: 5/20/2018
Finished: 5/22/2018

Decent short ghost story but ultimately unsatisfying ending. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Various Haunts of Men, by Susan Hill

Title: The Various Haunts of Men
Author: Susan Hill
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
Started: 5/12/2018
Finished: 5/20/2018

enjoyed this one overall but wasn't thrilled with the ending.  Didn't mind the main protagonists death, but it wasn't satisfying.  

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hombre, by Elmore Leonard

Title:. Hombre
Author: Elmore Leonard
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
Started: 5/8/2018
Finished: 5/11/2018

Enjoyable western. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

  • Title:  Cloud Atlas
  • Author:  David Mitchell
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (audiobook)
  • Started:  4/30/2018
  • Finished: 5/7/2018
Was surprised at how much I liked this one.  Each time a story broke off I wanted more and was disappointed with the new story, until I got so into it that the effect repeated.

Ending was decent, not sure how else it could have been handled.  But overall this was extremely enjoyable.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Escape from Five Shadows, by Elmore Leonard

  • Title:  Escape from Five Shadows
  • Author:  Elmore Leonard
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
  • Started: 4/26/2018
  • Finished: 5/1/2018
Another Elmore Leonard Western, not great.  

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

Title: Lincoln in the Bardo
Author: George Saunders
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started 4/24/2028
Finished: 4/29/2018

Book club books, loved it. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Forty Lashes LessOne, by Elmore Leonard

  • Title:  Forty Lashes Less One
  • Author:  Elmore Leonard
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
  • Started: 4/23/2018
  • Finished: 4/25/2018
This was an outstanding western, maybe the best I've read from Leonard yet.  Funny, brutal, entertaining -- exactly what you expect from a Leonard novel.  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hounded, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  Hounded
  • Author:  David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County Public Library, MD, Audiobook
  • Started: 4/21/2018
  • Finished: 4/23/2018
I've grudgingly admitted that I enjoy these Andy Carpenter books, even if I'm embarrassed to do so. Gover Gardner's narration of Rosenfelt's novels is great entertainment -- I typically laugh out loud more than once per each book.

I'm also a dog lover.  But if there is one complaint for me in these books it is that they are so breed focused, specifically on Golden Retrievers.  I don't dislike Goldens, and Rosenfelt clearly thinks they are the greatest breed around.  He created a fun and funny series so I'll let him be wrong about this.

Hounds, any and all Hounds, are clearly the best breed of dog available.  In fact, mixed Hound breeds are far superior too all other breeds and most humans.

So if there was one book I was looking forward to more than any in this series it was this one, Hounded, which featured a Basset Hound on the cover.

The Hound doesn't feature very prominently in the story, which was a bit of a disappointment.  Rosenfelt no doubt is still too caught up in Golden's to write about Hounds.  But it is a start.

This one took a somewhat predictable path towards complete loving family (no family is complete without marriage and a kid, in the entertainment world).  While I don't agree with that sentiment, I also don't mind the story arc. 

One thing I will say about these books, similar to the barbs that used to be thrown at the TV show Murder She Wrote (Cabot Cove Maine must be the murder capital of the world) -- it doesn't pay to be Carpenter's friend.  They've all now either been shot, put on trial for murder, or had a family member/close friend put on trial.


Friday, April 20, 2018

The Law at Randado, by Elmore Leonard

  • Title:  The Law at Randado
  • Author:  Elmore Leonard
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 4/15/2018
  • Finished: 4/19/2018

Enjoyable, early, Elmore Leonard western.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Unleashed, by David Rosenfelt

Title: Unleashed
Author: David Rosenfelt
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 4/12/2018
Finished: 4/14/2018

Sigh -- I can't quit these books, stupid and cute though they may be. Constantly enjoyable, I'm through fighting it. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

LaBrava, by Elmore Leonard

Title: LaBrava
Author: Elmore Leonard
Borrowed from DC Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 4/1/2018
Finished: 4/13/2018

Very enjoyable. 

Devices and Desires, by P.D. James

  • Title:  Devices and Desires
  • Author:  P.D. James
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 4/2/2018
  • Finished: 4/12/2018
This was a long one, listening to it for a couple of weeks after getting the recommendation from a WSJ write up.  Enjoyed it overall, but didn't love it.  A nice way to pass the time on my commute or while doing chores...

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Leader of the Pack, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  Leader of the Pack
  • Author:  David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 3/28/2018
  • Finished: 4/1/2018
This wasn't my favorite of these Andy Carpenter novels, but as I've said many times before I find myself laughing out loud as I listed to these commuting to & from the office...

The Blessing Way, by Tony Hillerman

  • Title:  The Blessing Way
  • Author:  Tony Hillerman
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started:  3/25/2018
  • Finished: 3/30/2018
My first Hillerman novel, and the first in this series.  Decent book.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Confessions, by Kanae Minato

  • Title:  Confessions
  • Author:  Kanae Minato
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 3/25/2018
  • Finished: 3/28/2018
I've mentioned before how much I like Japanese detective fiction.  This work isn't a detective story, but it is a pretty enjoyable revenge fantasy (best guess) that kept me pretty interested until the end. 

I had a rough idea of the ending, but not until pretty late in the book.  And the initial twists and turns were very surprising and enjoyable.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Foundation, by Isaac Asimov

  • Title:  Foundation
  • Author: Isaac Asimov
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 3/5/2018
  • Finished: 3/24/2018
Book club selection, won't say much here since we discuss these in depth but I did not enjoy this one.  This Amazon review sums it up a lot better than I could.

Norwood, by Charles Portis

  • Title:  Norwood
  • Author:  Charles Portis
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 3/202/2018
  • Finished: 3/24/2018
Was thinking recently about how much I loved the book True Grit and decided to read Portis's first novel.  I wasn't disappointed.  Really enjoyed this book.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Midnight Line, by Lee Child

  • Title:  The Midnight Line
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Borrowed from Worcester County, MD Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 3/16/2018
  • Finished: 3/19/2018

The latest Jack Reacher novel -- really, really bad.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Bad Things Happen, by Harry Dolan

  • Title:  Bad Things Happen
  • Author:  Harry Dolan
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County, VA Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 3/13/2018
  • Finished: 3/16/2018
This is Dolan's first book, which I picked up because of how much I liked his most recent (The Man in the Crooked Hat).

I didn't like this one nearly as much, but it was decent overall.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Promised Land, by Robert B. Parker

  • Title: Promised Land
  • Author:  Robert B. Parker
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 3/10/2018
  • Finished: 3/12/2018
This was the 4th Spenser book and probably my last.  Really not enjoying these.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Man in the Crooked Hat, by Harry Dolan

Title: The Man in the Crooked Hat
Author: Harry Dolan
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 3/7/2018
Finished: 3/10/2018

This was a WSJ recommendation from a few months back. Finally available via the library.  Absolutely loved this book. Had never read any of Dolan's work before but will seek out some now.  Really liked this one. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

One Dog Night, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  One Dog Night
  • Author: David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 3/4/2018
  • Finished:  3/6/2018
This is the (god help me) 9th of these Andy Carpenter books I've read.  I think all of them this year.  The plot of this one, like the others, is asinine, the majority of the characters are two dimensional... 

And yet, as I've mentioned in the previous 8 write ups, I'm constantly laughing out loud as I read/listen to these, despite myself.  I long ago surrendered.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Christmas Return, by Anne Perry

Title: A Christmas Return
Author:. Anne Perry
Borrowed from DC Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 2/26/2018
Finished: 3/3/2018

A WSJ recommendation around the holiday, which I'd had on a wait list for a while. Enjoyable. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mortal Stakes, by Robert B. Parker

Title: Mortal Stakes
Author: Robert B. Parker
Borrowed from Fairfax county VA Public Library Audiobook
Started: 3/1/2018
Finished: 3/3/2018

Another Spenser book, so-so. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

God Save the Child, by Robert B. Parker

Title: God Save the Child
Author: Robert B. Parker
Borrowed from Fairfax county VA Public Library Audiobook
Started:. 2/27/2018
Finished: 3/1/2018

2nd Spenser book. Not great, reads very dated, particularly treatment of homosexuality. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Slade House, by David Mitchell

Title: Slade House
Author: David Mitchell
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started:2/25/2018
Finished: 2/27/2018

Decent horrorish novel. Pretty enjoyable. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rusty Puppy, by Joe R. Lansdale

Title: Rusty Puppy
Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 2/24/2018
Finished: 2/25/2018

Another Happy & Leonard novel -- pretty good compared to the last few. But again Lansdale insists on throwing his county singing daughters name in the book a few times and it's really off putting. 

Dog Tags, by David Rosenfelt

Title: Dog Tags
Author: David Rosenfelt
Borrowed from Hoopla Digital via Worcester County MD Public Library Audiobook
Started: 2/21/2018
Finished: 2/25/2018

Another Andy Carpenter dog lawyer book. I keep laughing out loud at these despite the inanity of the friend who is a computer hacking genius, and everyone constantly forgetting their cell phone.  

This one in particular I was struck by the hypocrisy of Andy not caring that the computer hacking friend is breaking federal laws, but is up in arms when another friend steals a cell phone. 

I can't believe I'm even noting that issue. These are fun, easy books. No literary criticism needed.  

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

Title: The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
Borrowed from Worcester County MD Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 2/16/2018
Finished: 2/24/2018

I recently rewatched the godfather parts 1& 2, for the millionth time and decided to give the book a try.  I liked it a lot, a fun and easy read.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan

  • Title:  Altered Carbon
  • Author:  Richard K. Morgan
  • Borrowed from HooplaDigital.com, via Worchester County (MD) Public Library, Audiobook
  • Started:  2/13/2018
  • Finished: 2/20/2018
Trying to break my audiobook habit of Andy Carpenter or Inspector Montalbano books, I opted for a beast of an audiobook (17 hours!) that is now out as a Netflix Series.

I liked Altered Carbon, but didn't love it.  It took me no time at all to accept the premise, but the mystery wasn't great and I never had any doubt about the protagonist surviving.  

I have only read one other Morgan novel, Thirteen, which I liked more than this one.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Smell of the Night, by Andrea Camilleri

  • Title:  The Smell of the Night
  • Author:  Andrea Camilleri
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 2/10/2018
  • Finished: 2/12/2018
Another Inspector Montalbano mystery, reasonably enjoyable.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Burglar in the Closet, by Lawrence Block

Title: The Burglar in the Closet
Author: Lawrence Block
Borrowed from Fairfax county VA Public Library Kindle Edition
Started: 2/10/2018
Finished: 2/11/2018

Disappointing follow-up to the first book in this series, Burglars can't be choosers. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Title: Manhattan Beach
Author:. Jennifer Egan
Purchased from Amazon.com kindle edition
Started: 2/3/3018
Finished: 2/10/2018

Book club book, enjoyed it quite a bit. 

New Tricks, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  New Tricks 
  • Author:  David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from HooplaDigital.com, via Worchester County (MD) Public Library, Audiobook
  • Started: 2/7/2018
  • Finished: 2/10/2018
Another Andy Carpenter book. These are silly and enjoyable, but I need to space then out a lot more...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Play Dead, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  Play Dead
  • Author:  David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from HooplaDigital.com, via Worchester County (MD) Public Library, Audiobook
  • Started: 2/5/2018
  • Finished: 2/6/2018
While still a silly fun book & series, this one takes a bizarre turn when our smart-ass, chicken-shit protagonist beats a bad guy to death with a piece of firewood.  I'm not making that up.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Dead Center, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:Dead Center
  • Author:  David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from HooplaDigital.com, via Worchester County (MD) Public Library, Audiobook
  • Started:2/2/2018
  • Finished: 2/4/2018
Another in the Andy Carpenter series, I'm blowing through these now.  They're easy and comfortable, and pretty enjoyable.  This one relied one too many times on the "forgot my cell phone" trick, but I imagine it is tough to write a mystery/thriller in these days of instant communication... Not at laugh out loud funny as the last few, but I was still laughing like an idiot in public walking to/from the office a few times.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse, by Robert Knott

Title: Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse
Author: Robert Knott
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started: 1/31/2018
Finished: 2/1/2018

Another Cole/Hitch book but not by the now deceased Parker.  Continued the characters reasonable well, but I didn't love this one. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Excursion to Tindari, by Andrea Camilleri

  • Title:  Excursion to Tindari
  • Author:  Andrea Camilleri
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County, VA Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 1/26/2018
  • Finished: 1/30/2018
Another Montalbano mystery.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Sudden Death, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  Sudden Death
  • Author: David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County, VA Public Library Audiobook
  • Started: 1/24/2018
  • Finished: 1/25/2018
Another solid, funny, Andy Carpenter novel.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Bury the Lead, by David Rosenfelt

  • Title:  Bury the Lead
  • Author: David Rosenfelt
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 1/22/2018
  • Finished: 1/24/2018
When I first started these Andy Carpenter books a couple of weeks ago, I said how funny I found them (like the Fletch books) but that the titles/covers of the majority were dog related -- too cutsey for me.

Well, I'm man enough to admit, if not when I'm wrong, when I've lost a battle.  The combination of smart-ass one liners, and the expert narration by Grover Gardner, means I'm going to end up going through the entire series -- probably happily so.  I'll note that the author, David Rosenfelt, also shares my high regards for Gardner's narration.  To quote Rosenfelt from his website "Grover could read the Milwaukee Telephone Directory and make it sound compelling"

This, the third book in the series, wasn't an outstanding mystery.  Nonetheless, on my mile long commute from my condo to the office, I was laughing out loud like a crazy person on more than one occasion.  You can't top that for free entertainment.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Voice of the Violin, by Andrea Camilleri

  • Title:  Voice of the Violin
  • Author:  Andrea Camilleri
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County, VA Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started:  1/20/2018
  • Finished: 1/22/2018
Another Inspector Montalbano mystery, not as good as the others, but still reasonably enjoyable.