Thursday, July 05, 2007

Five books in five days, a reading marathon

Books now read in ’07: 63
Title: A Thief of Time
Author: Tony Hillerman
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 7-1
Pages: 209

Books now read in ’07: 64
Title: Baltimore Blues
Author: Laura Lippman
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 7-2
Pages: 324

Books now read in ’07: 65
Title: Coyote Waits
Author: Tony Hillerman
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 7-3
Pages: 292

Books now read in ’07: 66
Title: Bleeding Hearts
Author: Ian Rankin
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 7-4
Pages: 374

Books now read in ’07: 67
Title: Sacred Clowns
Author: Tony Hillerman
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 7-5
Pages: 305

OK, I got little crazy. Took some time off from work. I travel all the time as part of my work so I didn’t want to go anywhere. What I wanted to do, what I did, was go on this reading jag – five books in five days. It’s going to end tomorrow. It’s the wife’s birthday and we’re heading to New York City. I think she would frown on me carving out a few hours a day to toss off another book or three. But it's been fun, sort of like running 20 miles just to see if you can. (I should mention this isn't all I'm reading: I'm also working my way through the new biography of Edith Wharton, which is a bit of a slog, and a collection of Jim Harrison's poetry, a few comics and the newest issue of The New Yorker.)

Three Tony Hillerman mysteries. I’ve read Hillerman in the past, but sporadically. This concentration gave me new appreciation for his genius. These are great books with vivid characters. Lots of opportunity to enhance your knowledge of Southwest history and culture, especially regarding the Navajos.

Baltimore Blues was re-issued in observance of that book’s 10th anniversary. It is Lippman’s first book and her first book featuring Tess Monaghan. I know Lippman was a reporter for years, but there’s very little evidence of the fits and starts and stumbles of a beginning novelist. This is good. All the ingredients that make the Tess Monaghan series so fine are here.

Rankin’s Bleeding Hearts is also a re-issue. The book, first published in England in 1994, made its first U.S. appearance last year based on the success of Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series. The premise of the novel is improbable if you pause to give it much thought. Fortunately, it’s such rollicking good fun it’s not necessary to examine the premise all that closely. Rankin is one of the few writers who can make a hit man a sympathetic figure. If you’re a Rankin fan, pick this one up. If not, go directly to an Inspector Rebus novel.


  1. How many hours did you read in one day (on average?) You must read really fast, OR you read nearly 24 hours straight! I can't do that unless it's a really good book.

    PS: I added you to my short list of biblioblogs links. Hope you don't mind! (..?)


  2. I'm soooo jealous.....
    5 days of reading? oh my