Friday, April 19, 2013


Strange and distressing week following news in Boston. My trip to Maine for the reading was very lovely, other than Boston thoughts hanging over us all - and some combination of distress and general excess-travel-related discombobulation led to me accidentally leaving my Kindle on the plane on Tuesday in Portland! Have filed missing property report, it's not at the Delta lost-and-found either in Portland or LGA, so I will wait and see whether it turns up - can read on phone (or of course actual "books") in the meantime. Am going to write a separate post tomorrow with Portland linkage, as my host did an absolutely lovely job taking me to all the most delicious and beautiful places, and they deserve a full account.

Logging of light reading will be slightly erratic: I read a lot of novels over last week due to time in airports etc. but cannot swear this list is inclusive without the record in the "Finished" folder on lost Kindle.

I think this is most of it:

I had a good run of books that are exactly what I like. I read Sarah Pinborough's A Matter of Blood and loved it so much (it was perfectly what I wanted to read) that I was only thwarted to discover that the second and third volumes have only been published in England and are not yet available for US Kindle. However ILL (which reminds me I must reread Jo Walton's novel Among Others, the novel written by one of the few other people in the world who loves ILL as much as I do) has served me well, I have volumes 2 and 3 in my possession (UK hardcover) and will shortly finish 2 and turn to 3.

Two absolutely perfect novels by Deborah Coates, crime fiction with excellent sense of place and mild element of supernatural - read them! I liked them enough that I pillaged the Amazon page for her bits of short fiction as well - the novels are just super.

Gene Kerrigan's The Rage: excellent Irish noir (this crime fiction of the Irish financial crisis is a depressing but extremely interesting subgenre - Alan Glynn and Tana French most obviously coming to mind, but make recommendations in the comments if you have any more suggestions).

Harlen Coben's Six Years is not good value for the money, wait and get it from the library - Crais's books have gotten better, I think, as Coben's have gotten weaker. Too often here I just had the feeling He is making this up, this is nonsense!

A Mira Grant zombie tie-in I missed at the time, and thoroughly enjoyed: San Diego 2013: The Last Stand of the California Brownshirts. Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant = true genius of popular fiction!

Melissa Scott's Five-Twelfths of Heaven, which I loved - but I am halfway through the sequel now (very glad these novels are all available electronically) and it does not seem to me nearly as sharp and engaging. However I certainly will read the whole trilogy.

Strangest and most complex of the bunch: a really uncanny and haunting novel by Richard Bowes, Minions of the Moon. I definitely hadn't read this before, though I think I must have an ARC of it sitting around somewhere in my apartment - and I also had a strange conviction that my friend M. had recommended to me, but could not then decide whether this was a real memory or an imaginary one based on the similarity (minus supernatural elements) of this book to Lawrence Block's Scudder novels and also to M.'s own story. The book it is most like, I think, Scudder notwithstanding, is Graham Joyce's The Tooth Fairy. Highly worthwhile.

Miscellaneous additional linkage:

Beautiful but also distressing: the library at Guantanamo. (Via.)

A happy note to end on: a nice story about a Muswell Hill tortoise.

1 comment:

  1. The tortoise is delightful, thanks! I am reminded, slightly, of the Lowell poem:

    (I spent yesterday holed up in Inman Square, and stepped out along Cambridge Street, soon after they'd lifted the lockdown and found the suspect, in search of an open liquor store. They'd evacuated a side street and there was an immense throng of evacuees and bystanders and TV cameras; it was rather festive. Not being at the office, one had spent the day with a heightened awareness of how good the weather was.)