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 and make some difficult choices. I love to read, but I am at point where I need to be excited about what I am reading. Anyway, I thought it would be a good exercise for me to relate where I stand on the list and the books included therein.
Books in RED I will probably abandon so the list is a little shorter than it is here.
Books in BLUE have a book by the same author that that I have to purchase and read. Thus making this list about this long, but completely different from what is below. Which makes this list rather pointless...
But as my Wisconsin state motto encourages... FORWARD!
1. LOCKDOWN - Laurie R. King.
A non-series book from an author an I love. One of the ways I have been able to prune the list has been to cast-off non-series books from writers who I would normally read. Walter Mosley springs to mind, especially as he veered off in so many different directions. LOCKDOWN has been on my shelf for a couple years at this point. How far should loyalty extend?
2. CORONADO - Dennis Lehane
3. THE OWLS OF GLOUCESTER - Edward Marston
4. THE ENEMY WITHIN
5. UNDER ATTACK
6. STEPS TO THE GALLOWS
7. DATE WITH THE EXECUTIONER
8. FUGITIVE FROM THE GRAVE
So many Edward Marston books. Books 3-8 comprise 3 different series. Two of which he is actively writing. OWLS I should be able to pick off rather quickly but can't because I need to purchase the preceding book in the series to move forward. Plus, there is one more book in that Doomsday Series that I have not accounted for which also needs to be bought. Then there are the Home Front Books, books 4+5, which I have been hot and cold on. Of course, there is another in that series in the near future. Followed by the Bow Street Rivals books which make up 6,7,8. I have been in a near state of abandoning that series since I read the first earlier this year.
9. HELL AND GONE - Duane Swierczynski
10. POINT AND SHOOT
Read the first, FUN AND GAMES, and was only ever kind of middling on it. I heard that the story got progressively crazier with the third book ending up in space which apparently has kept me from reading these two for several years. I like Duane so much. All of his books has been a blast and I can't help thinking that I won't enjoy these too. Still, picking up a book that begins with a deficit like this, real or imaginary, is no way to start a book.
11. YOU WILL KNOW ME - Megan Abbot
12. THE SAVIORS GAME - Sean Chercover
13. SALVATION LAKE - GM Ford
14. FAMILY VALUES
I will probably pull the trigger on SAVIORS after my current read. Mr. Chercover has never been anything less than very good. The GM Ford books take me back to my earlier days of crime fiction. I'm glad Mr. Ford has kept the Leo Waterman books going. But here again the list incomplete as I know there is a new Waterman book out... maybe even two.
15. THE SUN GOD - Adrian McKinty
16. THE GHOSTS OF ORDEBEC - Fred Vargas
17. SAVAGES - Don Winslow
18. THE FORCE
I remember buying SAVAGES hence why it is on the list, but my intention to read it has been virtually nil since the day I walked out of the store with it. Life is funny that way.
19. CALL OF THE DEAD - John Le Carre
20. LEGACY OF SPIES
The first and last (latest?) of the George Smiley books and a primary reason why I am trying to read down all these books. I want to read all of the Smiley books. And I mean to do it as soon as I can.
21. RESIDUE - Michael Kearny
22. CELTIC EMPIRE - Clive + Dirk Cussler
23. THE STORM - James Ellroy.
Before the summer runs away I meant to read the Cussler, because in the Oxford-English dictionary under the heading Summer Read is a picture of a Dirk Pitt book. The Storm I'll tackle in October.
If everything in RED come off the list the too be read comes down to 17. However, I am down a couple Mark Billingham's, a couple Stephen Booth's, a new Crais out now, a Connelly in the fall, plus the missing Marston's and Ford's plus a few other stragglers I am probably closer to 30. Oof.
The Hungry Detective