Skip to main content

Running Down a Dream... of a shorter TBR pile.

The last time I chimed in about a book was THE SHADOWS WE HIDE. So here is everything I have read since then.

THE KILLING HABIT - Mark Billingham
Wait....the last time I chimed in about a book was THE KILLING HABIT. Anyway, the latest, THEIR LITTLE SECRET, is coming on June 4th. I am v. excited about this book. [Editors Note: Sorry about the usage of 'v. excited.']

WALT FOR SIGNS - Craig Johnson
A book wanted to love but only liked. My issue is with the form, more than the writing. Set-up, punchline, out. Their inherent briefness is somehow not satisfying particularly for characters that I love to see and hang with. Extra points though for the evocative wintery setting of many of the pieces.

THE HIGHWAYMAN - Craig Johnson
A ghost story that I read way to fast. Mr. Johnson is a wonderful writer for place and mood, and with a ghost story, I feel like you need to savor that writing. Read a chapter or two over the course of many nights right before bed. Instead, I read it on a plane while continually was trying to figure how to move around in my seat so I wouldn't touch shoulders with the person next to me. Pretty sure this is not the environment to read this or any book.

THE DROP - Dennis Lehane
I saw the movie many years ago now and enjoyed it quite a bit. I was not surprised when the movie did not catch on with audiences. I felt the solid direction could have been uplifted by a better director in the Sidney Lumet vain. The book was just as satisfying, primarily for its ability to remind me of early Dennis Lehane.

HOW IT HAPPENED - Michael Koryta
All the pieces are certainly present for another winner from Mr. Koryta, but I found the third act just too convoluted. I wanted something a bit cleaner and more direct. This not to say the book is a loss, Mr. Koryta does not write bad books. [Editor's Note: Great cover blurb there Michael if you need it.]

THE MIDDLEMAN - Olen Steinhauer
In the acknowledgment section at the end, Mr. Steinhauer details the 5-year journey the book took from pen to publication. The book morphed a lot. I was at a signing where I think he spoke about the books as a novel about environmental/eco-terrorism which THE MIDDLEMAN certainly is not. I could obviously be misremembering the whole thing. In any case, the book never took off for me. I certainly appreciated the tight opener that time jumps into the rest of the book. But the back half of the book is just one too many flashbacks to scenes from that first section. Any forward momentum in the latter sections of the book felt neutered because of it.

All of this has gotten the TBR to 25 books. Woot! Woot! I celebrated this accomplishment by buying a bag of Hostess Donnetts at Walgreens on my way to work this morning. Sadly this will not last for too awful long. I keep a wishlist on Amazon partially to remember things I am interested in, but mainly to keep me updated about the books I need to buy. [Editor's Note: I wish there was a filter to sort this list by release date, but I guess that would be weird as things like toothpaste don't have release dates.] I looked over the list there are 4 books from authors I read out right now plus new Billingham and Ellroy on June 4. Further muddying the waters are a few outstanding books I am missing to continue with a couple of series, notably Stephen Booth, and Edward Marston. Still, this last spate of reading has given me a good amount of confidence to bring the TBR down to a number in the low 20's by year's end. 

I'm gonna eat 1 or 4 of those donuts now. 

Currently Reading: SHADOW OF THE HANGMAN - Edward Marston
To Be Read: 25 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Very Best of Mr. Dennis Lehane

I thought this post would appear in October. Ya, know when SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to be released. And then it wasn't. Something about Leo not being able to do 'press' for the movie. Doesn't really matter the reason, a February release date has one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not Good.

Look I'll be honest, I didn't connect with SHUTTER ISLAND. I loved the fifties setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and impending doom of the Hurricane. Even the set-up of the story was intriguing but how it played out just didn't work for me. Some interesting characters, a bunch of great set pieces, but the ending announces itself with an expected, thud that went nowhere.

Am I still going to the movie? Its Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo of course I am. Anyway the list.

8. Prayers for Rain - 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a guy who is terrorizing women into committing suicide. The book played like an episode o…

A Little Break

Hi Team, 
One of my goals for the Summer was to read three James Lee Burke books. THE WAYFARING STRANGER, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, and THE JEALOUS KIND. 
I liked those books probably in that exact order. My lingering issue is not properly understanding the Holland Family tree, especially in THE JEALOUS KIND. This despite JBL's own explanation of the Holland Family. The critical piece missing is who is the connective tissue from Aaron Holland Broussard to Hackberry Holland. THE JEALOUS KIND explains that it is his mother, obviously. But Aaron's mother is never referred to in STRANGER or RISING SUN as far as I remember. It leaves me wanting. Still lovely work across the board.
This aside I have 24 books on my to be read pile. I want, and at this point maybe need, to bring that down definitively into the mid-teens before the end of the year. Titling this post 'A Little Break' does not bode well for me finishing that goal. But it leads me to look at what is on the list an…

An Overnight Sensation about 15 years in the Making

Often my wife and I make tentative plans to go out later. These usually occur just as we are getting home from work. We never go out later though. Within 5 seconds of entering our apartment, we are in for the night.
But a few weekends ago, after an extensive wardrobe reduction project and watching a movie, we ventured out into the world at 8pm! Vapors!? We went to Target in Burbank California ostensibly to look for removable hooks. We bought those hooks. I also purchased a cute baby outfit for my best friends 9 month old...
...and THE CHAIN by Adrian McKinty.
Target is not my bookstore of choice, [Editor's Note: Ha!] but seeing THE CHAIN sitting there on the end cap in an honest to goodness Target is likely to be the most pleasing book experience I will have this year. I don't advocate buying books at Target under any circumstances.
However... I hold this writer in the highest regard. I have bought his books in many fine independent bookstores since DEAD I MAY WELL BE. So to …