Saturday, May 08, 2010

Light reading miscellany

Slightly procrastinating on getting out for my long run, so will instead do the roundup on recent reading. (Have to log 'em so I can return 'em to the library!)

Belatedly realized that actually there is an earlier Inspector Winter book by Ake Edwardson, Death Angels, only translated into English after the later ones. Quite good, but returning to the earlier installment in a series gives the sense of decreased subtlety due to the character development that has in the meantime happened in subsequent installments.

James Thompson's Snow Angels. Quite striking, and yet also wildly implausible!

Gladys Mitchell's The Rising of the Moon, left for me by a visitor. Billed by Edmund Crispin (an old favorite of mine) as "One of the dozen best crime novels that I know" - certainly I would not endorse that statement, but I found it worth my while - curious and interesting narrative voice, at any rate.

Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin. Very good indeed, but I stalled on it because it is perhaps bleaker than I really want even in my crime fiction reading...

Deon Meyer's Blood Safari, really the best of this bunch I'd say (at least in terms of immediate reading satisfaction - Fallada, as I have suggested, is a bit more complicated) - I am really blown away by Meyer's books, how come I didn't read 'em sooner?!?

Finally an odd one out - it arrived on my doorstep from FSG and I pounced upon it immediately. It is a physically lovely book (a particularly attractive dust-jacket, texturally as well as visually!) and I found the essays all very compelling - it is John Waters' Role Models. I especially enjoyed rereading last year's Huffington Post essay about his friendship with Leslie Van Houten, but it's a high-quality collection throughout (I think my other favorite was "Outsider Porn," but the essays on Johnny Mathis and Little Richard are stand-outs as well).

Finally, on a related note, Tony Barrell profiles the founder of Taschen Books in last week's Sunday Times.

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