Monday, June 22, 2009

Post features Connelly, Scarecrow

The Washington Post has an interesting story this morning on Michael Connelly's new thriller The Scarecrow. The article focuses on how the decline in the newspaper business -- an element of the novel -- posed challenges for the author.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A round-up of today's reading

June 4th and 5th brought eight new books to my door. Six of those have been dispatched. Only Monica Ali's new book and Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie remain. Bradley is up next.

Today, I read a couple of chapters in The Complete Game by former Mets pitcher Ron Darling. The best of books on baseball combine something instructive about the game and a few wonderful anecdotes. Darling's book does exactly that. It is an extraordinary look into the mind of the major league pitcher.

I also read:

  • Susan Glaspell's Trifles. Written in 1917, this play about a farm wife who murders her husband holds up remarkably well.

  • Two short stories by Robert Crais. The stories, With Crooked Hands and The Dust of Evening, represent Crais' first published work. Both are works of science fictions. Crais later turned to mystery writing, where he established a name for himself with his characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

  • An article in the June 22 The New Yorker on romance novelist Nora Roberts. I have never read Ms. Roberts, which makes me an exception among the novel-reading public today. The article reports that according to Forbes Roberts grosses $60 million a year -- that's more than Stephen King or John Grisham. She wrote three of the 10 best-selling mass-market paperbacks last year. 27 Nora Roberts books are sold every minute.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 06, 2009

What the Mailman Brought -- Part Two

The following books arrived today in the post:

The Little Strangers, a ghost story by Sarah Waters
Nocturnes, the newest work by Kazuo Ishiguro
In the Kitchen, Monica Ali's third novel
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

All are signed British firsts, and all were dispatched to the USA from England by Firsts in Print.

I have a signed first of the American edition of Toibin's book. I expect to finish it tomorrow. It's quite good, as was expected.

Friday, June 05, 2009

What the mailman brought

Arriving today from those marvelous people at Murder by the Book:

Gone Tomorrow, the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard (love the jacket design)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (I am promised this is good)
The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

This should hold me for a week.

Summary of most recent reading

Here's a list of the books I've recently read. Some thoughts on these books will follow.

67. Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit, Matt McCarthy. Baseball, 5-12

68. A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick. Fiction, 5-14

69. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery. Fiction, 5-17

70. Free Fall, Robert Crais. Thriller, 5-18

71. Beat the Reaper, Josh Bazell. Thriller, 5-20

72. The Way Home, George Pelecanos. Fiction, 5-25

73. Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music, Ted Gioia. Blues, 5-27

74. Sag Harbor, Colson Whitehead. Fiction, 5-28

75. The Best American Short Stories 2008, ed. Salman Rushdie. Stories, 5-30

76. The Breaks, Richard Price. Fiction, 6-3

77. The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election, Zachary Karabell. Political History, 6-4