Miscellaneous

My Version of Armchair BEA

I follow Book Expo from afar, not in any organized Armchair BEA group, but by following Twitter when I get a chance during the work week. I like reading live-tweets from interesting sounding sessions at BEA and lots of crime fiction fests. I like adding books to my list to investigate. But I don’t miss the crowds and the scrum of people scrambling for galleys. I like browsing for books, either in an actual bookstore or library or by reading blogs/social media/ whatever else strikes my fancy online: I don’t like books because I put a lot of effort into acquiring them. And how many of the people hustling for galleys actually really adore the book they scrambled to get? I’m sure some do, but the exertion seems a bit much. I’d love to see more posts in book blogs about what super-publicized books actually stuck with readers. I suspect it’s only a handful a year, if that. I’m advocating more reading, less time scrambling for books.

Signed,

A slightly curmudgeonly book blogger

 

 

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Miscellaneous

What I’m Reading This Week

2016 is the year I became a reader who reads lots of books at the same time and tends to forget to post about them on the blog. This post is my attempt to check in a bit more frequently about what’s going on with my reading.

First, I finished Münster’s Case, also published as The Unlucky Lottery and Münster’s Fall, by Håkan Nesser, translated by Laurie Thompson. While I really, really liked the first three books in the series, this particular entry left me a little cold. It might be because I felt like I figured out the crime way ahead of the characters, but I think it was also because Münster wasn’t as compelling a lead character as Van Veeteren. VV spends the book working at an antiquarian bookshop while officially on leave from the police force, while he does consult with Münster for a bit.

Next, I read Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier, which is the basis for the Showtime series. I’ve only seen season 1, which focuses on the start of Masters and Johnson’s research, and that section of the book was the most vivid for me. The issue I had with the biography is that once Masters and Johnson become famous, their work and their relationship seem to fall apart, and ultimately Maier doesn’t have too many theories about why Masters in particular was such a difficult-to-know person. It’s hard to stay interested in a guy that enigmatic, I think.

Finally, I just started the 10th entry in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, The Slippery Slope, both because I’ve been reading them with my oldest daughter for the last year and because the Netflix series dropped today. They are exciting read-alouds, and, as my daughter likes to tell me, they are chock full of conflict. I think we have similar reading tastes.

Happy reading!

 

Miscellaneous

Name-Dropping: Golden Age Author Edition

So I’ve always been interested in looking up authors that the characters in crime novels are reading: it leads me to some interesting authors. Lately, however, I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something by never having read the authors that are clearly an inspiration for the contemporary authors I read today. Namely, I’ve never read Ngaio Marsh, whose character named Troy was the inspiration for the character of Troy Chance in Sara J. Henry’s A Cold and Lonely Place. Also, I’ve never read Simenon, who was an inspiration for PI Cayetano Brule in The Neruda Case by Roberto Ampuero.  My knowledge of Golden Age authors is slim to none: I read a handful of Agatha Christie books when I was a teenager, and that’s about it.

I can rely on Wikipedia for a quick background check about some of the authors I’ve stumbled across, but I wonder if I’m glossing over a lot of stuff because my background is limited to crime fiction written in the last 30 years, more or less. Any thoughts?

Miscellaneous

Half-Year Status Report

After starting out the year reading and reviewing like gangbusters, I’ve adopted a more leisurely pace since the spring.  Part of that is because I read a lot more during the winter months than during the warmer parts of the year, but the main reason is that I’m expecting a baby girl in late November.  Between feeling sluggish the first three months of the pregnancy and being busy preparing for the baby this trimester before I get really uncomfortable, I haven’t been reading as much.  Thus, I’ve decided not to take on lots of review copies and instead blog about books in my own collection or from the library because there’s less deadline pressure.  I’ve also decided not to press myself to finish any of the reading challenges I’ve joined either, but I enjoy keeping up with the Crime Fiction Pick of the Month selections.

So what have I been reading lately and what’s on my agenda?  I’m making my way through the Game of Thrones books (a long project for me), I’ve caught up on the James/Kincaid series by Deborah Crombie, and I’ve sampled some international crime fiction this spring as well (the first Adamsberg novel).  I’m currently reading Jo Nesbo’s The Redbreast as well, and I hope to read more Swedish stuff soon too.