Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Blue Hammer, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Blue Hammer
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 12/23/2016
  • Finished: 12/29/2016
Book 101 for 2016, and my final book for the year. Also the final book in the Lew Archer series, and thus complete my in-order reading of the series which started in July.  Enjoyed this one, as I enjoyed them all.  Some more than others, only one was a real let down to me (find a victim).  My all time favorite is The Chill, a masterpiece in my opinion.

So long, Lew.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sleeping Beauty, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title: Sleeping Beauty
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 12/16/2016
  • Finished: 12/22/2016
Book # 100 for 2016!  Holy crap, I have consumed a bunch of books this year, blowing away my second-highest year (2015) where I read 72 books...  At least two thirds have been audiobooks, but that doesn't bother me.  My commute to the office went from a 5 block walk (2007-2014) to a 30/40 minute walk.  

Sleeping Beauty is the second to last book in the Lew Archer series.  I like this one a lot, the oil spill felt topical and sad -- this did not feel like a book from 50 years ago...

One thing I find interesting about these later Archer books is MacDonald has him sleeping with women more often.  Women were always interested in Archer, some blatantly but there were only a few (that I can recall) times when Archer succumbed.  These last few books have all included such dalliances. 

I just started the final Lew Archer book, will be sad to have this one completed.  Really enjoy these books.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Underground Man, by Ross MacDonald

Title: The Underground Man 
Author: Ross MacDonald 
Purchased used in print on
Started: 12/11/2016
Finished: 12/18/2016

Continuing my reading of the Lew Archer series in order, I really enjoyed this one.  Didn't see the ending coming, though I should have, so it all came together and made for an enjoyable read. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Goodbye Look, by Ross MacDonald

Title: The Goodbye Look
Author: Ross MacDonald
Purchases used on Amazon
Started: 11/20/2016
Finished: 12/10/2016

Continuing my Lew Archer series in order, I didn't like this one as much as I wanted to, but I suspect that comes from my 20 mins a night reading of a book with a complicated plot.  I was lost by the end - need to reread at a time when I can devote more attention to this for extended periods. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Asylum, by John Harwood

Title: The Asylum
Author: John Hardwood
Started: 12/1/2016
Finished: 12/10/2016

So-so period piece mystery/drama. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Hard Way, by Lee Child

  • Title:  The Hard Way
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started:  12/1/2016
  • Finished: 12/9/2016
These Jack Reacher novels are terrible, just the worst.  This guy just seems like the biggest asshole in the world.  Yet, here I am having devoured the first 10 books in this series, so I must be a glutton for punishment.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

One Shot, by Lee Child

Title: One Shot
Author: Lee Child
Borrowed from Fairfax VA Public Library
Started: 11/20/2016
Finished: 11/27/2016

Another Jack Reacher book, this was the basis of the first movie.  Happy to see it went back to third person as the last few had been first person and not as enjoyable. 

Still terrible books overall, still enjoying them despite that fact.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Enemy, by Lee Child

Title: The Enemy
Author: Lee Child
Borrowed from Fairfax VA Public Library
Started: 11/17/2016
Finished: 11/19/2016

Another Jack Reacher novel.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord, by George MacDonald Fraser

Title: Flashman and the Angel of the Lord
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Borrowed from Fairfax VA Public Library
Started: 11/10/2016
Finished: 11/18/2016

Another in the Flashman series.  Liked this one quite a bit. Funny how when I started this series I hated it, now I love it, and hate that I only have a few books remaining. 

Also, I sometime put audiobook on my home stereo when I get home (usually listen on headphones) but I date not with this series.  Too many non-pc statements from flashy-- I'd be tossed out of my condo.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Instant Enemy, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Instant Enemy
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Purchased used from Amazon (print) in a three book collection titled "Archer in Jeopardy"
  • Started: 11/6/2016
  • Finished:  11/13/2016
Continuing to work my way through the Lew Archer series in order, rapidly approaching the end of the series.  This was a rare swing and a miss for me.  I did not actively dislike it, but I found myself not fully concentrating on it, something of a zone-out as I read.  So I had too much confusion each time I picked it up, trying to remember which character was which. 

Happy to blame myself, but I typically love these books so who knows.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters

  • Title:  Crocodile on the Sandbank
  • Author: Elizabeth Peters
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started:  11/2/2016
  • Finished:  11/9/2016
This was a cute, harmless, mystery novel that I did not care for at all.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Persuader, by Lee Child

Title: Persuader
Author: Jack Reacher
Borrowed from DC Public Library
Started: 11/4/2016
Finished: 11/6/2016

Next in line in the Jack Reacher series, this one had the best opening chapter of the series, quickly devolved into the usual terrible novel that I can't stop reading.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Without Fail, by Lee Child

  • Title:  Without Fail
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Borrowed from Worcester, MD Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 11/2/2016
  • Finished: 11/4/2016
I keep saying it, but these Jack Reacher books are seriously terrible and seriously addictive.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

His Bloody Project, by Graeme Macrae Burnet

  • Title: His Bloody Project
  • Author:  Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Purchased from Amazon (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 10/22/2016
  • Finished: 11/1/2016
Book club selection, so I'm not going to write much here except to say I loved this book.

The Mystery of the Yellow Room, by Gaston Leroux

  • Title:  The Mystery of the Yellow Room
  • Author:  Gaston Leroux
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started:  10/29/2016
  • Finished:  11/1/2016
Classic (original?) locked room mystery.  Wanted to like it more than I did.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Tai-Pan, by James Clavell

  • Title:  Tai-Pan
  • Author:  James Clavell
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 10/23/2016
  • Finished: 10/29/2016
My (very slow) reading of James Clavell's Asian-Saga continued with Tai-Pan, having read Shogun almost exactly one year ago.  I am reading them in chronological order, not publication order, somewhat on accident (but happy accident).

This is a big book, something like 25 hours and change. Normally I could not have consumed such a big book in a week, but I was struck with a cold on Monday, and home from work Tuesday and Wednesday.  I was in bad shape, on a rotation of something like 6 hours sleeping, two hours awake -- round the clock for 48 hours.  During those waking moments, I was listening to this book.  

Like Shogun, I wasn't sure as I first started if I could get into this one.  I was helped (ironically?) by the Flashman series, as one of the recent books I read there took place in China around the same time.  Thus I has a better understanding of the geo-political situation in the area at the time (say what you want about the Flashman series, they are great historical overviews of the 19th century British empire).

Soon I was completely taken in by the story and the characters.  A very enjoyable read.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Girl with all the Gifts, by M R Carey

Title: The Girl with all the Gifts
Author: M R Carey
Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
Started: 10/17/2016
Finished: 10/23/2016

A recommendation from a neighbor, this was not a bad book, entertaining really, but the plot was so by-the-numbers that it was easy to guess the outcome.  So-so overall enjoyment.

My Antonia, by Willa Cather

Title: My Antonia
Author: Willa Cather
Borrowed from take one leave one library on 13th st NW in DC
Started: 10/13/2016
Finished: 10/21/2016

My moms favorite book. First time reading g.  Very enjoyable. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Flashman and the Mountain of Light, by George MacDonald Fraser

Another fine entry in the Flashman Paper series.  I'm enjoying my schooling in the world  of British Colonial engagements in the 19th Century (and some American to boot).  Good Old Flashy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Echo Burning, by Lee Child

  • Title:  Echo Burning
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Borrowed from Worcester, MD Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 10/9/2016
  • Finished: 19/12/2016
Another in the Jack Reacher series, these are seriously terrible books (as I've mentioned before) that I am strangely addicted to...  I'm not going to fight it, or try to explain it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Far Side of the Dollar, by Ross MacDonald

Title:. The Far Side of the Dollar
Author: Ross MacDonald
Borrowed from Fairfax County VA Public Library (Audiobook)
Started: 10/5/2016
Finished: 10/9/2016

Continuing my in order reading of the Lew Archer series.  I technically skipped one (The Chill) because I just read it last summer, although I think it was my favorite in the series so I wouldn't have minded reading it again. 

This one was good too, not The Chill good, but entertaining and you get a lot of usually unseen emotions from Archer.  He might even be in love.  Good stuff.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Zebra-Striped Hearse, by Ross MacDonald

Title: The Zebra-Striped Hearse
Author:. Ross MacDonald
Purchased used from Amazon (print) in a three book collection titled "Archer in Jeopardy"
Started:  9/29/2016
Finished: 10/7/2016

Another Lew Archer mystery.  I liked this one a lot, although I don't care for the title.  The Lew Archer series has some perfect titles ("the way some people die" for instance), but this o e is very weak.

Luckily the mystery and writing are strong, very enjoyable. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Flashman and the Dragon, by George MacDonald Fraser

  • Title: Flashman and the Dragon
  • Author: George MacDonald Fraser
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County (VA) Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 9/27/2016
  • Finished: 10/5/2016
Another book in the Flashman Papers series (book 8?), I admit I had a rough time with this one at the start.  A little bit of zone-out, despite the always excellent narration by David Case.

Eventually I found my way back and began to thoroughly enjoy the historical antics of Flashy.  This was another novel, like Flashman at the Charge, where Flashy is more heroic and less cowardly than usual.  While I prefer the more scoundrel Flash, this was still a fun book.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Running Blind, by Lee Child

  • Title:  Running Blind
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 9/26/2016
  • Finished: 9/29/2016
These Jack Reacher books are some of the worst things I've ever read, and dammit, I can't stop reading them.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Haunted Hotel, by Wilkie Collins

  • Title:  The Haunted Hotel
  • Author:  Wilkie Collins
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library Audiobook
  • Started:  9/22/2016
  • Finished: 9/26/2016
I always want to like Wilkie Collins more than I do, The Haunted Hotel was no different.  So much melodrama, just not my thing.

Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age, by Dan Zak

Book club book, saving comments for the club meeting.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flashman and the Redskins, by George MacDonald Fraser

  • Title:  Flashman and the Redskins
  • Author:  George MacDonald Fraser
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library
  • Started:  9/15/2016
  • Finished: 9/22/2016
Woah -- this was an amazing book.  This must be the best in the series, I'm not sure I'll even bother to read others.

As you may recall, I had so far read books one through four in the Flashman series.  Book three, Flash for Freedom, ends with Flashy hoping to escape America (where he is wanted on a variety of charges) to get back to the UK.

Today's book, Flashman and the Redskins, is book seven in the series.  I have not read books five and six, but only because they are not available in any library around me.  Since Fraser did not write the events in the Flashman papers in order, it just so happens that where book three ends, book seven begins.

What is amazing about this book is its scope and depth.  This is really two books in one.  In the first half, the typical young Flashy is fleeing for his life, rogering women, selling slaves, and generally being the cowardly ass we all know and love.  Flashy gets married twice (once to a bordello madam, the other time to an Apache).  Flash throws in with scalp hunters, lives with the Apaches, escapes with the aid of Kit Carson, and eventually makes his was back to England as his wife.

The second half (both halves are written as full length books) is 25+ years in the future.  A now early 50's Flashman returns to American with his wife.  Through a series of events that would be preposterous if you had not read other Flashman books, Flashy ends up in the middle of the battle of the little big horn in formal evening wear.

I won't go through the entire plot, but it was extremely funny, surprisingly moving, and overall a wonderful read.  Hard to imagine any Flashman book coming close to topping this one.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, by Dominick Dunne

Title: The Two Mrs. Grenvilles
Author: Dominick Dunne
Borrowed from Little Library in Ocean City, me
Started: 9/5/2016
Finished: 9/18/2016

My wife picked this one up while at the beach at the end of August.  She liked it, so I read it next.  I enjoyed it as well, very gossipy and high society.  Very entertaining.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Post Captain, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  Post Captain
  • Author:  Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 9/9/2016
  • Finished: 9/15/2016
Book 2 in the Aubrey/Maturin series, and my second time around on this series.  Going much slower with it this time, not sure when I'll get to book 3.

I enjoyed this one a lot more than the first time I read it.  The first time, I wanted more sea action -- this one has a lot of the Jane Austin on the shore romance stuff, but a second reading (now knowing all the characters and the general plot already), I picked up on much more than the first go-around.

The sly humor, mostly.  I'm certain I missed much of that the first time.  I had a much firmer grasp on what was going on both directly and indirectly in the book.  This is just an outstanding series.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Flashman at the Charge, by George MacDonald Fraser

  • Title:  Flashman at the Charge
  • Author:  George MacDonal Fraser
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started:  9/5/2016
  • Finished: 9/8/2016
Book four in the Flashman series, this was probably my second least favorite so far -- but it was still excellent.  Online accounts claim this was the authors favorite in the series.

My dislike of it comes from Flashie acting as much less of a coward (which I admire) and much more of a hero.  Even discounting the drugged up Flashie heroics near the end of the book, Flashie's overall tone in this one is much more reverent of the actions of his comrades in arms.  This appears to be totally at odds with the frightened, save your skin Flashman of the other volumes.

Still enjoyable, glad I found this series.  But between Flashman and Lew Archer, I'm getting tired of writing "MacDonald" all the time in these posts...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Archer Files, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Archer Files (complete short stories of Lew Archer)
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Purchased Used on (print)
  • Started:  8/26/2016
  • Finished: 9/5/2016
This was an interesting, if not excellent, collection of stories.  They all read a rough drafts/outlines for later novels.  Some of them clearly are, you can see the outline of two stories clearly (The Doomsters, and The Ivory Grin), but bits a pieces from other stories are throughout.

Archer is a lot tougher in these (kills several people), and they're not anywhere near as polished as the novels.  Still, these made for fun occasional reading at night before bed.

It's been Lew Archer all the time for me.  Going to take a break and read a few other books before coming back to my favorite detective.

The Wycherly Woman, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Wycherly Woman
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 9/1/2016
  • Finished: 9/5/2016
A reasonably good, if not great, Archer novel.  Not nearly as good as the previous entry, The Galton Case.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

9 Dragons, by Michael Connelly

Title: 9 Dragons
Author: Michael Connelly
Borrowed from "little library" in Northside Park, in Ocean City, MD
Started: 8/26/2016
Finished: 9/1/2016

A pretty terrible and forgettable Harry Bosch novel.  Really pretty ridiculous plot, even for a series like this one. But when at the beach looking for a book to pass the leisure hours you take what you can get.

The Galton Case, by Ross MacDonald

Title:. The Galton Case
Author: Ross MacDonald
Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (Audiobook)
Started: 8/27/2016
Finished: 9/1/2016

Read this one a few times, but I wanted to pick it up again as it was the next in order in the series.  Love this book, great Lew Archer mystery. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Flashman, by George MacDonald Fraser

Title:. Flashman
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Borrowed from Fairfax County (VA) Public Library
Started: 8/23/2016
Finished: 8/27/2016

First in the Flashman series, I've changed my tune completely and now really enjoy these books. I think the first I read (Royal Flash) wasn't a good place to start.  This one Flashman, was pretty good.  The third book, Flash for Freedom is so far the best.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Doomsters, by Ross MacDonald

Title:. The Doomsters
Author: Ross MacDonald
Purchased used from Amazon (print) in a three book collection titled "Archer in Jeopardy"
Started:  8/22/2016
Finished: 8/26/2016

Another Lew Archer book, this was a darker, more introspective Archer.  Less wise cracking, but I really enjoyed it. Much more Archer background.  This three book set also includes a note from MacDonald on his upbringing which was a nice addition.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Flash for Freedom, by George MacDonald Fraser

  • Title:  Flash for Freedom
  • Author: George MacDonald Fraser
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County (VA) Library (AudioBook)
  • Started:  8/18/2016
  • Finished: 8/23/2016
My second Flashman book, third in the series.  I liked this one a lot more than the previous (second in the series) book.  I'm going to give the first one a go and see what I think.  These are expertly read by David Case, who I see died in 2005.  I'd listen to books narrated by him all day.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tripwire, by Lee Child

Title: Tripwire
Author:. Lee Child
Borrowed from Worcester County (MD) Public Library (Kindle edition)
Started:. 8/21/2016
Finished: 8/21/2016

Despite finding these books vaguely annoying, I'm blowing through the Jack Reacher series.  A lazy, hung over Sunday had me start and finish this one in about 6 or so hours today.  So-so, easy stupid page turner. Not a complaint.

Die Trying, by Lee Child

Title: Die Trying
Author: Lee Child
Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle edition)
Started: 8/18/2016
Finished: 8/21/2016

Second jack reacher book. Better than the first, not great, but I have to admit I'm enjoying these anyway. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

I, The Jury, by Mickey Spillane

  • Title:  I, The Jury
  • Author:  Mickey Spillane
  • Borrowed from Audible (free trial, Audiobook)
  • Started: 8/16/2016
  • Finished: 8/18/2016
If you scroll through the books I've listed on this blog you will see a majority are some form of detective fiction.  I love it, and I love the hard-boiled stuff.  One series I've never picked up is that of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer.  I could not find the print edition of the first book in the series (this one, "I, The Jury") at any local library, so when I saw the audiobook was on Audible and I am in the middle of a free trial, I gave it a go.

This book is horrible.  One of the worst books I've ever read.  This was compounded by the fact that the reader of the audiobook was the worst I've ever endured. I've said before that a great narrator can make an average book amazing, and a poor narrator can make a great book average.  What I have never experienced is a HORRIBLE book being read by and even worse narrator.  I guess I can cross that off the bucket list.

I'm not going to bother trying to catch this series in order, but I will give another Mike Hammer book a shot, only this time either in print or one of the books narrated by Stacy Keach.  I, The Jury was NOT narrated by Keach.  Maybe Keach reading, and a later book in the series, will prove a better mix.  But I have my doubts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Royal Flash, by George MacDonald Fraser

  • Title:  Royal Flash
  • Author:  George MacDonald Fraser
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County (VA) Library (AudioBook)
  • Started:  8/12/2016
  • Finished: 8/17/2016
I'm not sure how I have been ignorant of the Flashman series (or 70s movie).  I would have loved these in my 20s.  In my 40s, the rakish coward is less enthralling, but the book was read very well and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it overall.  Not sure I'd seek out others in the series (though I might), but I will definitely seek out the movie one of these days.  Maybe TCM will play it... 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hangsaman, by Shirley Jackson

  • Title:  Hangsaman
  • Author:  Shirley Jackson
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County, VA Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 8/5/2016
  • Finished:  8/14/2016

A Shirley Jackson book I had not heard of?  And it is loosely based off a famous disappearance?  Wow, this is going to be great!

Two weeks later...

What the hell did I just read?

I was lost with this one.  I get the basic plot (raped/assaulted, strange relationship with family, etc.) but I was lost of the finer points.  The police detective interludes in the first part?  The "Tony" character in the last part.  Not sorry I read it, but not the book I was hoping to read.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Right to Die, by Rex Stout

  • Title:  A Right to Die
  • Author:  Rex Stout
  • Borrowed from Fairfaix VA Library (audiobook)
  • Started:  8/8/2016
  • Finished:  8/12/2016
Another Nero Wolfe book, so-so overall.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Barbarous Coast, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Barbarous Coast
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax County (VA) Public Library (audiobook)
  • Started: 8/7/2016
  • Finished: 8/10/2016
After finishing the last Lew Archer book "The Ivory Grin" I skipped the next one in line ("Find a Victim") as I have read that book several times, and hated it each time.  Find a Victim is my least favorite of the Archer novels.

The Barbarous Coast was pretty good.  Not the best Archer by far, but enjoyable overall.  The biggest issue is the number of times Archer is knocked out.  I think it happens three times in the same day in one scene.  I don't mind being asked to put aside reality for a while, but beaned in the head three times in the same day with fists, gun butt, and sap?  You'd be lucky to wake up, and if you did -- probably not speaking normally again.

The write up of Malibu in the post-war period is pretty good though.  And I love the end where bad guy tries to get Archer to take $100,000 to not blow the cover off the murders.  I'm paraphrasing here but the bad guy says something like "don't you want the money?" and Archer replies "oh I want it alright.  But if I take the money I have a feeling the I wouldn't own it, it would own me."

I would love to know what MacDonald was like to talk to in person.  I guess I could read the recently published letters between MacDonald and Eudora Welty.

Next book up is "The Doomsters" which is not available to me as an audiobook, so I bought a used copy (part of a collection called "Archer in Jeopardy" which includes two other novels I can't get as an audiobook).  I also purchased a collection (used) of all Archer short stories.  

2016, the year of Lew Archer.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Master And Commander, by Patrick O'Brian

Title:. Master and Commander
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Borrowed from DC Public Library (Audiobook)
Started: 8/2/2016
Finished:  8/7/2026

Second time reading this book. Even better the second time. Love this series.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Killing Floor, by Lee Child

  • Title:  Killing Floor
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 7/29/2016
  • Finished: 8/4/2016
Not sure how I feel about this book.  I found myself drawn to reading it, but much of the time shaking my head at some of the asinine things that happen.  The suspension of disbelief required when reading this book is astounding.  Still, I kept reading and often times enjoying the book.  I hate to admit this, but I'll probably keep at the series (Jack Reacher -- this is book 1).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Ivory Grin, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Ivory Grin
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 7/27/2016
  • Finished: 8/1/2016
Book four in the Lew Archer series.  Not as good as books 2 & 3, but still very entertaining.  Love this series.

Playmates, by Robert B. Parker

  • Title:  Playmates
  • Author:  Robert B. Parker
  • Borrowed from "little library" in Northside Park, in Ocean City, MD
  • Started: 7/28/2016
  • Finished: 7/29/2016
A forgettable Spenser book (#16 Amazon tells me), easy beach read...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Moving Target, by Ross MacDonald

  • Title:  The Moving Target
  • Author:  Ross MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 7/22/2016
  • Finished:  7/26/2016
I've decided to listen to all (available through the library) audiobooks of the Lew Archer series.  This one, The Moving Target, was the first book to feature Archer.  It's pretty good, glad I finally have access to these.  I'm skipping books 2 & 3 (Drowning Pool, The Way Some People Die) because I've read them many times (drowning pool) or recently (the way some people die -- this time last year, LOVED IT).  So the next book up is #4, The Ivory Grin.

Really enjoy these.  Probably my favorite detective series.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson

  • Title:  The Amityville Horror
  • Author:  Jay Anson
  • Borrowed from Fairfax, VA Public Library (audiobook)
  • Started:  7/19/2016
  • Finished: 7/22/2016
I had this one on my list for a long time, and now that I've finally read it (thanks to the reciprocal borrowing agreements between the public libraries in the DC Metro Region) -- I was pretty disappointed.

Having read back-to-back two blockbuster books from the 1970s, it is easy to see why one of them was huge (Deliverance) and much harder to understand the other (this on, Amityville Horror).

The story was written out so much like a dragnet episode (on December 21st, so & so did such & such) that I really found it not scary of moving. 

Anyway, glad to have it behind me, even if I did not love it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Deliverance, by James Dickey

  • Title:  Deliverance
  • Author:  James Dickey
  • AudioBook via Audible (free trial)
  • Started: 7/10/2016
  • Finished: 7/13/2016
Much like "We Have to Talk About Kevin," I have been putting off reading this book for a while. Just like "Kevin," I was an idiot.  Deliverance was an amazing book.  I worried it would be dated, but it wasn't dated at all. Really liked one.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder

Title:  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Author:  Thornton Wilder
Purchased from Amazon (Kindle edition)
Started: 7/8/2016
Finished: 7/10/2016

My selection for book club, love this book.

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

  • Title:  The Haunting of Hill House
  • Author:  Shirley Jackson
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  7/6/2016
  • Finished: 7/10/2016
Probably the third time I've read this, first time as an audiobook.  I love this work.  I think Shirley Jackson might be my favorite, actually IS my favorite, spooky/haunted/literature author.

I love the 1963 film as well.  Watching the 1999 version right now.  This movie is terrible.

Dictator, by Robert Harris

  • Title:  Dictator
  • Author:  Robert Harris
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started:  6/12/2016
  • Finished: 7/5/2016
Not a particularly long novel, but I read it slowly.  This was the third and final book in the Cicero/Tiro trilogy, very enjoyable overall though this may be been my least favorite of books.  Still, that's not a knock, this was a good book.  Very happy to have stumbled upon this trilogy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Bell Witch, by Brent Monahan

  • Title:  The Bell Witch
  • Author:  Brent Monahan
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library
  • Started 7/2/2016
  • Finished: 7/6/2016
My summer of horror continues -- I don't know why but I love reading haunting/ghost stories in the summer.  Anyway, I didn't hold out much hope for this one and it exceeded (if slightly) my assumption.  Started off pretty good, really fell apart in the middle, and then finished somewhat strong if somewhat obvious.  I wasn't positive of the psychological reason for the haunting, but I was pretty certain about which character was causing it.

Anyway, interesting enough if not scary at all.  The audiobook was read a way, way too slow of a pace.  This is only the second time I have used the function that speeds up the reading.  The last time I was at just 1.2 times normal speed.  This time I was at 1.6, and probably could have gone to 2 times the normal rate and still understood everything.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Blue-Eyed Devil, by Robert Parker

  • Title:  Blue-Eyed Devil
  • Author:  Robert Parker
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started:  6/29/2016
  • Finished: 7/1/2016

Yes another Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch book.  This was pretty terrible, from a literature perspective, but having read the others it at least continued the stories of characters you got to know over the other books.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rosa, by Jonathan Rabb

  • Title:  Rosa
  • Author:  Jonathan Rabb
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started: 6/17/2016
  • Finished: 6/29/2016
Tried to like this one but really did not enjoy it.  Severely disliked the protagonist, which made the entire book difficult to get through.  On the face of it the book sounded like something I would love -- detective in Berlin just after WWI, but damn I really disliked this one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein, by Peter Ackroyd

This was a very good book with a fun twist at the end that I am embarrassed to say I did not see coming until just before the big reveal.  I should have sensed it earlier, but I was pretty close to the end before the possibility first jumped into my mind.  Very enjoyable read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Brimstone, by Robert B Parker

Title:. Brimstone
Author: Robert B Parker
Started: 6/11/2016
Finished: 6/14/2016

Book three in the Appaloosa saga.  Decent enough western. 

Fates & Furies, by Lauren Groff

  • Title:  Fates & Furies
  • Author:  Lauren Groff
  • Purchased from, Kindle Edition
  • Started: 5/28/2016
  • Finished:  6/11/2016
Newest book club pick.  I struggled through the first half (fates) and then breezed through the second (furies).  Wanted to like it more than I did, mostly because I hated the first half so much.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, by Michael Punke

Title: The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge
Author: Michael Punke
Borrowed from DC Public Library (audiobook)
Started: 6/8/2016
Finished: 6/11/2016

I didn't get into this one immediately but kept with it.  Soon I was caught up and made my way through it quickly.

I knew the basics if the plot from all the press on the movie.  I haven't seen the movie, no immediate plans to do so. 

Overall enjoyed the book.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Classic Tales of Horror, Various Authors

Another work of short stories from horror classics, overall good stuff.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Shooter, by Dusty Rhodes

Title: Shooter
Author: Dusty Rhodes
Borrowed from DC Library
Started: 6/1/2016
Finished: 6/5/2016

I really enjoyed this book. A bit of easy popcorn entertainment, bit had this been a movie I wouldn't be complaining.  A very fun western where the good guys come out on top, the bad guys go down. 

And who can complain about an author named Dusty Rhodes?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Big Four, by Agatha Christie

Title: The Big Four
Author: Agatha Christie
Borrowed from MD Public Library (audiobook)
Started: 5/27/2016
Finished: 6/1/2016

This wasn't at all what I expected.  So far all of the Poirot books I've read have been pretty close in plot to the TV series.  But this one was way out there, and not in a good way.  Still entertaining enough, but pales in comparison to other Poirot novels.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump

Title: The Art of the Deal
Author: Donald Trump
Borrowed from Take-One/Leave-One Library found in Northside Park, Ocean City, MD
Started: 5/15/2016
Finished: 5/28/2016

Picked this up as a joke for neighbors who hate Trump, they promptly returned it.  I figured what the hell, I'll give it a read.  A fast, breezy read, but I barely picked it up until this past weekend when I soldered through.  I enjoyed it, despite myself. I don't know what else to say.

Classic Ghost Stories, Various Authors

Title:. Classic Ghost Stories
Author:. Various
Borrowed from DC Public (Audiobook)
Started: 5/23/2016
Finished: 5/26/2026

I think this might have been released as an audiobook only.  Amazon page is here

That link has a reviewer who listed all titles and authors, so I won't bother doing that here. 11 stories in all I think, 5 or 6 were great, the rest so-so.  I had read one or two before, but long enough ago that they were still enjoyable.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Resolution, by Robert B Parker

  • Title:  Resolution
  • Author:  Robert B Parker
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 5/20/2016
  • Finished:  5/22/2016
This is the second book in the Western trilogy that started with Appaloosa.  Appaloosa it ain't.  

One Fearful Yellow Eye, by John D MacDonald

  • Title:  One Fearful Yellow Eye
  • Author:  John D MacDonald
  • Borrowed from Take-One/Leave-One Library found in Northside Park, Ocean City, MD
  • Started:  5/14/2016
  • Finished:  5/19/2016
I can't deny that I generally like Travis McGee books (read them all years ago), but this one has always been my least favorite.  Still, I was at the beach and needed something to read, and it was available.  Just a really bad (but fast and easy) novel.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Volume 3, by Bert Coules

The second volume of these stories available via DC Public Library (third volume in the series).  These are very enjoyable recordings of pastiche Holmes stories.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Volume 2, by Bert Coules

BBC Radio dramas, very well made/produced.  The stories are short, but fun, and Coules does a great job capturing the feel of the original stories.

The DC Public Library only has volumes 2  & 3, so I've missed the first volume and any others there might be.  The stories are all based around cases mentioned in the original Holmes stories.  Really, very enjoyable.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Appaloosa, by Robert B. Parker

  • Title:  Appaloosa
  • Author:  Robert B. Parker
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (AudioBook)
  • Started: 5/11/2016
  • Finished: 5/16/2016
Wanted a good Western.  Found one.

Didn't know it was part of a larger series.  Likely to keep going with it if I find the books available.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Welcome to Hard Times, bu E.L. Doctorow

  • Title:  Welcome to Hard Times
  • Author:  E. L. Doctorow
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started: 5/4/2016
  • Finished: 5/11/2016
I have never read any Doctorow, and I suspect if I had asked someone what book of his to read they would not have mentioned this one -- but they should.  This was an outstanding western, not of cowboys and shootouts, but of those trying to build something, while others try to take away what is built.  It is about stubborn people, disappointment, hope, and destruction.  I really, really enjoyed reading this one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Caretaker of Lorne Field, by Dave Zeltserman

Read this one from beginning to end on a lazy Monday when I had the day off.  For the first couple of pages I could not figure out why anyone had recommended this one to me, then before I knew it 5 hours had passed and I was finished with the book.  It had a very Twilight Zone feel to it, I loved this one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan

This is the latest pick from the book club I belong to, I liked it but found the subject matter difficult, or maybe depressing is a better word.  I'm going to save further thoughts for the group discussion.

Mort(e) by Robert Repino

  • Title:  Mort(e)
  • Author:  Robert Repino
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started: 4/27/2016
  • Finished: 5/4/2016
Apocalyptic novel, talking animals, love between cat & dog, quasi-detective story.  This novel, by that description, should be the perfect novel for me.

And it started off strong.  Told mostly from the point of view of Mort(e)/Sebastian, a house cat in love with the neighbors dog Sheba (neighbor human is banging married owner of Sebastian), who through the magic of ants becomes a walking/talking/fighting machine.  

Actually all animals do, they also walk on two legs (most, anyway), as do the ants, and they've grown to human size (or greater).  This all sounds asinine, but it makes good sense in the world of the book.  And the the opening telling the story of the apocalypse and changes to animals is very well done.

But about 1/3rd of the way through the book it falls apart a bit.  Mort(e) is a killing machine (killing humans), banding together with the ants.  But things aren't as they seem to be, and the religion rears its head among the resistance, and somehow Mort(e) is believed to be the messiah.

It's just too much, but the last 1/4 of the book once again focuses on Mort(e) and his long-lost love Sheba (still a normal dog, not transformed), and for any animal lovers out there -- all is right in the world once again.

Glad I read it, would have made a better short story or even serialized work, but I can't fault a first-time author for getting this published.  

I will fault the reader of the audiobook -- he was terrible.  This could have been an amazing audiobook (essentially serializing the work), but instead the guy reading detracted from the overall enjoyment.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Dinner, by Herman Koch

  • Title:  The Dinner
  • Author:  Herman Koch
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  4/24/2016
  • Finished: 4/27/2016
I didn't know much about this book, and the reviews were hit or miss (dark comedy, disturbing novel, etc.).  I was captivated by the book, but I didn't like it.  That sounds like a contradiction, but what I mean is I was curious about where it was going so I kept with it, but overall I did not enjoy the experience. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Columbo Collection, by William Link

  • Title:  The Columbo Collection
  • Author:  William Link
  • Purchased (used)
  • Started:  4/4/14/2016
  • Finished:  4/25/2016
As a longtime fan of Columbo (named my first dog, a basset hound of course, Columbo) I was excited to see that Link, the co-creator of the great detective, had published a book of short stories.  The stories are pretty weak, but this was clearly a labor of love for Link so I can't fault him.  I'm certainly not sorry I made the purchase or took the time to read a story or two a night over the last couple of weeks.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Curtain: Poirot's Last Case, by Agatha Christie

I can't pretend to have read all of the Poirot novels, but I recently watched this last Poirot on the popular series staring David Suchet.  So I thought I'd jump ahead and read this one too (I haven't been reading them in order anyway).

Not much to comment on -- I obviously already knew who the killer was, but still interesting to see the differences between book & tv version.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Cruel Sea, by Nicholas Monsarrat

  • Title:  The Cruel Sea
  • Author:  Nicholas Monsarrat
  • Borrowed from MD Public Library (Worcester County, Ocean City, MD), Kindle Edition
  • Started: 4/6/2016
  • Finished: 4/20/2016
I have Herman Wouk (courtesy of the WSJ) to thank for this recommendation.  The Cruel Sea was one of five works Mr. Wouk recommended for great nautical yarns, and I can't begin to describe how much this work touched me.  I did not know anything about the work (or Monsarrat), and would likely have never heard of or read this book without Wouk/WSJ recommendation.

These are fictional characters, who we meet at the start of the WW2 through the end, and by the middle of this book I cared more about these sailors than I did about most of my fellow man.  That sounds terrible, but I was so engrossed by the story, and worried about these men, and had a hard time concentrating on anything other than their ordeal.  A very powerful book.

The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon

  • Title:  The Final Solution
  • Author:  Michael Chabon
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  4/19/2016
  • Finished:  4/21/2016
I loved Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union, but for some reason never went on to read any of his other works.  When I saw that he had written a short work involving (we assume) Sherlock Holmes, I had to give it a shot.

Like TYPU, I really enjoyed this one.  It was sad, or maybe bittersweet, but a mute boy with a pet parrot, murder and infidelity, old age and youth... this was just a wondering read.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay

  • Title:  A Head Full of Ghosts
  • Author:  Paul Tremblay
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  4/16/2016
  • Finished:  4/19/2016
This one started off a little slow and I wasn't sure I would enjoy it.  The blogger seemed particularly annoying.  Well it was just a slow burn, because soon the book had me hooked and I struggled to do anything other than finish this work.

You don't get a lot of answers in this book, but I'm ok with that.  Similar to the book I read in the summer of last year, The Voices (by Tallis), it is up to the reader to decide which theory they subscribe too.

Do you trust the narrator?  Even though she's only 8 (when the events happened), and at the end presents herself to be potentially totally untrustworthy?  Do you think the sister was really possessed?  Is the narrator possessed?  Was the father molesting the sister?  If so, did the mom know and turned a blind eye?  Were the reality TV crew in on the fake possession (if fake)?  Ken specifically?

Some readers will likely be annoyed that these questions and many others are never answered.  Again, I suspect many readers were annoyed by the lack of answers in The Voices.  If I had any criticism at all, it would be the that we are told at the end of the book that some statements by the narrator contradict (I'm paraphrasing) the police report -- but we are never provided that report.  I sure would have liked an appendix that contained that report to give us even more to chew on.

Anyway, this is the most I've written about a book in a while, so you can tell I enjoyed it.  For what it is worth, my gut says there is no possession, the sister was mentally ill, and the narrator is semi-reliable.  I'm on the fence about the father molesting the sister and the mother knowing about it but not doing anything to stop it.  But I think I like that explanation best, as it sets up the ending best (narrator & red sauce).

As a side note, I grew to love those blog posts that I initially hated, mostly because the blogger had the same love of horror lit and movies that I do (or that everyone who would read a book like this would).  My only complaint was that I didn't get any recommendations for books or movies, since I had already consumed all that were mentioned.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Paradise Sky, by Joe R. Lansdale

  • Title:  Paradise Sky
  • Author:  Joe R. Lansdale
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  4/7/2016
  • Finished:  4/16/2016\
A non-Hap & Leonard book by Lansdale, this was a piece of historical fiction (mostly fiction, I'd imagine) Western of a black gunslinger.  As with most of Lansdale's books, it was enjoyable if not memorable.  A big book too at over 400 pages, which was a pleasant surprise.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, by C.S. Forester

  • Title:  Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
  • Author:  C.S. Forester
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started: 4/2/2016
  • Finished: 4/7/2016
I've been pretty desperate for a fix since finishing the Aubrey/Maturin (Master & Commander) series a while back.  The first (chronologically) book in the Hornblower series was available so I gave it a shot. 

Entertaining, but it's not a great replacement for Aubrey/Maturin.  Nothing will be though, I suppose.  Maybe I should re-read that series...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver

  • Title:  We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Author:  Lionel Shriver
  • Borrowed from DC Public (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 3/25/2016
  • Finished: 4/6/2016

Has there ever been a more ominously titled book?  I've been wanted to read this one ever since reading a review of the movie based on the novel.  Wanting to read it, but also dreading reading it, so I've put it off for something like 5 years.

But I finally worked up the nerve and started it, and pretty soon I was drawn in.  This rarely happens, but I had crazy dreams almost nightly related to this book.  Not nightmares, but anxiety dreams.  Very odd.  

Anyway, the book is very well written and I was hooked immediately.  I had guessed the "twist" ending almost immediately, well a version of it anyway, but I'm not certain it was really supposed to be a twist at all.  The book has an overwhelming sense of loss?  Dread?  Anxiety? Sadness?  I'm not sure how to describe it, but the gloom which hangs over it doesn't tell me that the reader is supposed to assume the narrators husband is still alive. 

My initial guess was that he had killed himself, unable to live with what Kevin had done.  That changed as soon as the daughter was introduced mid-way through the book.  Then I knew.

Difficult and engrossing, I'm glad I read this one.  I think I'll skip the movie though...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George

Tittle: A Banquet of Consequences:

Author:  Elizabeth George
Borrowed from DC Public (Audiobook)
Started: 3/25/2026
Finished: 4/2/2016

First inspector Lynley book I've read.  Enjoyable, dragged a bit, but the mystery kept me going.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The A.B.C. Murders, by Agatha Christie

  • Title:  The A.B.C. Murders
  • Author:  Agatha Christie
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Kindle Edition)
  • Started 3/14/2016
  • Finished: 3/25/2016
Another Poirot mystery with a satisfying twist at the end.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway

  • Title:  The Cellist of Sarajevo
  • Author:  Steven Galloway
  • Borrowed from DC Public (Kindle Edition)
  • Started: 3/18/2016
  • Finished: 3/24/2016
The latest book club book, which I had my doubts about when it was selected.  Well, I'm an idiot.  I loved this book.  Won't go into further detail here since we haven't had the book club meeting yet.  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Honky Tonk Samurai, by Joe Lansdale

  • Title:  Honky Tonk Samurai
  • Author:  Joe Lansdale
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  3/15/2016
  • Finished:  3/17/2016
Another Hap & Leonard book, I've been hot & cold on the series as of late.  This one was funny, no doubt about it, I was laughing out loud several times on my walks to & from the office.  There is some gratuitous promotion of Lansdale's daughters music career, but if I had the platform I'd probably do the same for my loved ones.

The bigger issue to me is, as I listened to this book I kept thinking I had already read it.  I had to check the publication date several times.  Hadn't read it, just knew what would happen before it did each time, I assume because the plots/actions are so similar to past Hap & Leonard books.

But those are probably nit-picky complaints.  These books are written for people like me who have followed the shenanigans of these two lovable losers for 10 or so novels now.  We'd keep on reading them no matter what the plots.  It's the back & forth wise-cracking, not the plots, that keeps us reading.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Retribution, by Max Hastings

  • Title:  Retribution
  • Author:  Max Hastings
  • Borrowed from DC Public (Audiobook)
  • Started: 2/29/2016
  • Finished: 3/14/2016
A big history of the final year or so of the war in the pacific.  Very interesting, Hastings is no apologist for the use of nuclear weapons and has almost no kind words for MacArthur.  Neither of those is a criticism on my end, but it did make for an interesting read.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie

Title: Death on the Nile
Author: Agatha Christie
Borrowed from DC Public Kindle Edition
Started: 2/23/2016
Finished: 3/13/2016

Another solid, enjoyable, Poirot novel.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Borrowed from DC public library (audiobook)
Started: 2/25/2016
Finished: 2/28/2016

Had not read this one since high school. Very enjoyable.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson

Title: Train Dreams
Author: Denis Johnson
Borrowed from DC public library
Started: 2/23/2016
Finished: 2/25/2016

The book that turned me onto Denis Johnson. Yes I just read it last year, but I needed a Johnson fix and wanted to revisit this one. Just a beautiful book. I know I said this about Haruki Murakami in my last review but is is true of Johnson as well -- Johnson's books make me want to write. What an amazing gift he has.

I've said this before as well: Will Patton's narration really is fantastic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, by Haruki Murakami

The second Murakami book I've read, the first was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (which I loved).  This book is a collection of short stories, some more memorable than others, but overall enjoyable.  Murakami's books always make me want to start writing, there is just something about them.  Not to write like him, but for whatever reason I find them inspiring to me to want to write.

Instead I usually boot up the PS4 and play video games...

Also, my public library added a bunch of Murakami audiobooks to their collection, so it is likely I'll go through a few more of these this year.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Guest Room, by Chris Bohjalian

  • Title:  The Guest Room
  • Author:  Chris Bohjalian
  • Purchased from Amazon (Kindle Edition)
  • Started 2/11/2016
  • Finished: 2/22/2016
Another book club book, I'm not sure how I feel about this one.  The subject matter was so horrific, and many of the characters were unlikable.  Still it was a fast-paced and exciting (if that's the right word) novel.  

I thought the plot fell apart near the end.  Just could not believe the actions by the main character (Richard) once the woman returned to his home.  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sad Cypress, by Agatha Christie

Title: Sad Cypress
Author:  Agatha Christie 
Obtained from the small free library in Ocean City, MD, Northside Park
Started:  1/19/2016
Finished: 2/11/2016

This is a pretty slight novel to have been reading for almost a month. The reality is I started it a while ago and then put it down for a while. 

At any rate, I enjoyed this one. I would have liked more Poirot, he isn't in much of this one, but it is still very enjoyable. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

  • Title:  Middlesex
  • Author:  Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Borrowed from DC Public (Audiobook)
  • Started:  1/18/2016
  • Finished:  2/5/2016
A recommendation from a book-club member (not one of our book club books), I LOVED this one.  Wanted to take days off to continue this book.  I won't lie, I though the book sort of fell apart after Cal ran away from his folks in NY and ended up at the club in San Fran.  But that's a small issue in an overall wonderful read.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Columbo Phile: A Casebook, by Mark Dawidziak

Almost two years I've been reading this!  Well that's not quite fair, it has been sitting on my night stand for almost two years and every so often I would read a section on an episode, slowly (very slowly) making my way through the series.

Overall I enjoyed this, having first come upon it in the library at USF (the real one in Tampa, not the fake one in San Fran) when I was an undergrad there.  I had always wanted to pick up a copy but could never justify the expense for used versions.

I got lucky in August of 2014 when I found a copy for a more reasonable $29 (right now the cheapest is $89, and some go for over $300!), and a gift card to Amazon as well.  

Dawidziak and I don't always agree on the caliber of the episodes (I can't understand how he didn't love "An Exercise in Fatality", one of my favorites), but overall we were on the same page.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mrs. Engels, by Gavin McCrea

Title: Mrs. Engels
Author: Gavin McCrea
Purchased on Amazon (kindle)
Started: 1/1/2016
Finished: 1/18/2016

Another book club book. Really wanted to like this one, but just could not get into it. Also, spoiler alert/warning, there is a drowning cats in a sack scene.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Drop, by Michael Connelly

Title: The Drop
Author: Michael Connelly
Borrowed from DC public audiobook
Started: 1/6/2016
Finished: 1/17/2016

I've read a few other Harry Bosch novels. They're ok, not my favorite, this was more of the same.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anna Dressed In Blood, by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed In Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Borrowed from DC Public Audiobook
Started: 12/24/2015
Finished: 1/5/2016

Something of a guilty pleasure, although not that much pleasure. I was looking for an easy listen after several books I thought I'd like were not my thing.

I went with this YA novel mostly because it took place in Thunder Bay, ON, where my wife and I visited on our vacation last year.

That's about the best I can say for this one...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow

Title:  Presumed Innocent
Author: Scott Turow
Obtained from the small free library in Ocean City, MD, Northside Park
Started: 12/22/2015
Finished: 1/1/2016

Thought this one was decent, but very dated. First finished book of the new year...