Saturday, August 2, 2014

Reading in July and Pick of the Month

In July I read nine books. Seven of the books are crime fiction books. I started the month with a Very Long Book: The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves. 

I did read one book in the science fiction genre (blended with horror):  World War Z by Max Brooks. I will be writing a book to movie post sometime soon. And along those lines, I am way, way behind on reviews. I have energy to read but not to write and work at the computer (and do my job all day). But I have a plan to catch up. Just hope it doesn't take too long.

I also read a mystery reference book: Hardboiled America by Geoffrey O'Brien. The subtitle is "Lurid Paperbacks and the Masters of Noir" and that is a good description. Since I love paperback covers, this was a great book for me.

Here is a one sentence description at Goodreads:
In Hardboiled America—lavishly illustrated with 135 paperback covers, and expanded with new material on Thompson, Goodis, and others—Geoffrey O'Brien masterfully explores the art, history, and ideas of the American paperback.
These are the crime fiction books I read in July:

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves
Double for Death by Rex Stout
Faith by Len Deighton
Countdown City by Ben H. Winters
Death Has a Past by Anita Boutell
Loot by Aaron Elkins
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise. Bloggers link to a summary post for the month, and identify a crime fiction best read of the month.

Possibly you can see why I would have trouble picking a favorite. There are so many good books in my list. The Crow Trap, Faith, Countdown City, and The Crossing Places would all be contenders.

This time I will settle on one book: Countdown City by Ben H. Winters. This was the second book in a trilogy, following the activities of a former policeman, Hank Palace, pursuing a missing person case in a pre-apocalyptic world. Asteroid 2011GV1 is heading toward earth, and the prognosis is not good. 

About a year ago, I picked the first book in the trilogy, The Last Policeman, as my Crime Fiction Pick of the Month. That book is set about three months earlier than this one. In a world where many people are abandoning their jobs or changing their entire lives, Hank is stubbornly investigating a death that every one else thinks is suicide.

Both books are riveting and provocative. If you haven't already read The Last Policeman, start there.





13 comments:

  1. I always learn from your posts, Tracy, and one reason is that you read such a great variety of books. Well done this past month, and thanks for the reminder of Winters' work.

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    1. Thanks, Margot. I enjoyed this month's reading. And I hope to get to the third book in Winter's trilogy very soon.

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  2. I feel very behind on the Ben Winters. I am trying not to get new books for a month, but once that's done....

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    1. Moira, I can sympathize with the effort not to get new books. I want to abstain from acquiring books until the book sale, but there always seems to be something. When you do get to the Ben Winters books, you can read them closer together and not have to wait a year each time for the next book. I deliberately put off reading #2 so I can follow it soon with the final book.

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  3. An excellent reading month for you. I love Elly Griffiths' 'Ruth Galloway' series. That series just gets better and better.

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    1. Thanks, Cath. I had heard that the Elly Griffiths series is really good, and I enjoyed the first one. I look forward to reading more. The book belongs to my husband and he has books 2 and 3.

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  4. Tracy - a nice month's reading. I'm looking forward to Deighton myself, one of these years.

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    1. Col, it was a good month of reading but little reviewing. I wish I had more time for reading Deighton.

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  5. Tracy, I'll go with Deighton, too, from the variety in your books. I'm hoping he takes me back to the eighties when I used to read his novels along with those of Forsyth, Higgins, and Ludlum.

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    1. Prashant, I don't know why I wasn't reading Deighton in the eighties, but I am glad I discovered him in this decade. I have so many of his books yet to read.

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  7. I like your mix of old and new books, and you've found some great covers for your posts as well. Hope your August goes well too, Tracy!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. My husband scans the covers of the books I read, Rebecca. The only cover images that he doesn't supply are the occasional e-book that is supplied by a publisher. I am already having a good August as far as books go, I do hope it continues.

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