Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mount TBR Reading Challenge: 3rd Quarter Summary


This quarter I have read 10 books that count toward the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2013. Combined with the 28 books I read in the first and second quarter, I have read a total of
38 books, which surpasses my goal of 36 books.


The books I read in July, August, September from my TBR piles were:
  1. Mind's Eye by Håkan Nesser
  2. Open Season by Archer Mayor
  3. The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
  4. Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
  5. Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage
  6. Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten
  7. Murder at Hazelmoor by Agatha Christie
  8. Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas
  9. The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
  10. Vendetta by Michael Dibdin
One of the questions that Bev asked us to answer in our summary posts was:
Who has been your favorite character so far? And tell us why, if you like.
This quarter I did not have a favorite character. Except for the Agatha Christie novels, all of the books on this list feature a policeman as the main character. I will highlight two that I found especially interesting.

In Mind's Eye by Håkan Nesser the detective is Inspector Van Veeteren. He is very talented at his job and he knows it. This keeps him motivated to stay with the job even when he is not enjoying it. He isn't really likeable, but he is human and very interesting.

Quotes from the chapter where we meet the inspector:
Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren did not have a cold.

On the other hand, he did have a tendency to be depressed when the weather was poor, and as it had now been raining more or less nonstop for ten days, melancholy had made the most of the opportunity to sink deep roots into his mind.
And...
Why be a depressed master gardener or bus driver when you can be a depressed detective chief inspector...
Irene Huss is clearly the focus in Detective Inspector Huss by Helene Tursten. She is the only female detective in this set of books. In addition to highlighting sociological issues in Sweden, the book addresses women's roles in male dominated jobs like law enforcement.  

Irene reflects on her job.
Far too many cases had not left behind the sweetness of victory, but rather a bitter aftertaste. You become jaded and cynical in this profession, she thought in her darker moments. But she didn't want to become either jaded or cynical! You had to go on, keep moving forward. You couldn't stop and dig yourself a hole. The job she had chosen was not without its dangers, but she had never wanted to do anything else and had always enjoyed her work. The past few years she had begun to notice an insidious feeling that hadn't existed before. Only recently had she been able to identify it. Terror. Terror of people's indifference to the human values of others and terror of the ever-increasing violence.
Check out other summary posts HERE.

24 comments:

  1. I love that last quote about Inspector Van Veeteren! Why, indeed?! Congrats on meeting your goal!

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    1. Thanks, Bev. I am sure I will read at least 10 from my TBR pile in the next quarter, so maybe I will get to 50 books from my TBR pile.

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  2. I need to read these two writers that you've spotlighted. Congrats on exceeding your goal, Tracy! 38 books so far, good job. I didn't make any reading goals this year. I am reading more than I did last year that's for sure and I rarely make it past 30.

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    1. Keishon, I am reading more books per month this year than last year, and I am not sure why. Maybe shorter books?

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    2. I know I find myself looking for shorter books to read these days. I can't seem to finish Dennis Lehane's The Given Day because it's well over 400+ pages. To me that book needs to be read in almost one go because of the various characters and you lose most of your momentum/interest setting it down and picking it back up (my experience of course).

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    3. Keishon, I truly do enjoy the shorter books more. I can't define why very well, but it is true. Yet there are good authors and good books (Nesbo's for example) that are longish and I don't want to skip them. I want to try The Given Day but given it is long, maybe it is better I skip it. I have had problems reading his other books. I finished two but only read half of another one of his.

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    4. Which titles did you try of Lehane's? Just curious. I'm a big fan of his books. My favorites are Mystic River, Shutter Island and his detective novels featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro (A Drink Before the War, etc).

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    5. I read A Drink Before the War and liked it. Love the characters. I tried the next book ... Darkness, Take My Hand ... and the high levels of danger that people were in just made me very uncomfortable. I was not enjoying it at all. I lost it when I was out and just gave up on reading it. I still have Sacred and Gone, Baby, Gone in case I decide I can pick up on that series.

      I read Mystic River and I thought it was a very good book, but it did make me uncomfortable.

      We saw the movies Gone, Baby, Gone (which I liked) and Shutter Island (also liked but was confusing).

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  3. Tracy - Well done! I'm impressed. And you've chosen two characters I so much like!! Irene Huss is terrific on so many levels, and I do love Inspector Van Veeteren. His worldview is priceless.

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    1. I agree, Margot, those are both great characters. I look forward to reading more books in both series.

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  4. Tracy, well done. I think I need a challenge like this next year to help with the TBR's. Any nudge would be useful. It would be good to get some Nesser read next year.

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    1. Col, I have a problem wanting to buy books by new authors, which is great but don't help with the TBR piles. Next year I hope my buying is more controlled.

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  5. Well done, indeed, Tracy! I think I have read a little less than 30 books in the first nine months of this year, so I am way behind my unspoken and unwritten goal. My TBR numbers are a joke as I have to read nearly everything on it.

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    1. Thanks, Prashant. Since I just bought a lot of books at the lovely book sale, I now have even more books in my house to read. But at least I did not spend too much money... per book.

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  6. TracyK: I like to rationalize my book purchases as well. On Tuesday I was in Saskatoon and traded in 2 books for credit at a used bookstore and bought 2 using that credit and some built-up credit at the store. Thus I tell myself that it did not actually cost me anything!

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    1. Bill, 2 books out plus some, and 2 books in, sounds like good logic to me.I could use similar logic (as far as book count) for the book sale, since we donate a lot of books to the book sale throughout the year.

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  7. It really is Mount TBR with your pile of books. Well done and good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. I will have to read many more from the TBR pile (next year) to make up for all the books I bought at the book sale.

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  8. You've chosen two excellent protagonists in very good series, albeit they are nowhere similar, except that the leading characters are police officers.

    Van Veeteren's books are usually quite intense. And Irene Huss is not as intense an individual and lives within a "normal" family.

    The books are good, interesting plots.

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    1. Kathy, you are right, the two police officers I picked are very different. I am looking forward to learning more about them in future books.

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  9. Congratulations on scaling your mountain Tracy. Barring Christie, the authors you have read in this quarter are unknown to me. The Van Veeteren series seems interesting.

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    1. Thanks, Neer. I hope to get more off the TBR pile before the end of the year. As far as authors, I was aiming at reading books for two other challenges, and a lot of those were not from the US or the UK. It was a good experience reading about other countries.

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  10. I've not heard of the Mount TBR challenge before. Well done - but what about all those book sale purchases you got recently....

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    1. Moira, you ask the hard questions. They go on next year's TBR mountain of books, but since I can barely read enough in a year to cover those new books... I am going to continue to have problems whittling it down.

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