Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reading in March and Pick of the Month


In March I read nine books, eight mysteries and one non-mystery novel. My reading included three books written by Canadian authors, although only two of them were set in Canada. Another mystery (The Hanging Shed) was written by a Scottish author and set in Scotland after World War II.

The non-mystery was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and that was a very lovely book. The edition I read was about 525 pages but I sped through it. 

Once again I have reviewed very few of the books I read this month. I am learning to live with this, because I don't think that situation will change anytime soon. 

The end of March ended my participation in the Double Dog Dare TBR Challenge hosted at James Reads Books. The goal was to read only from the TBR pile for those three months. My rules allowed me to read some ARCs that I had committed to in 2014. In January, February and March, I read a total of 20 books from my TBR piles. 


These are the mystery novels I read in March:

A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames
Officer Elvis by Gary Gurick
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Cast a Yellow Shadow by Ross Thomas
Murder on Location by Howard Engel
The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Death Was the Other Woman by Linda L. Richards

It is easy to pick my favorite crime fiction read for the month.  It is The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. I loved every word of it. I thought I would find it too hard boiled, and I think that is why I put off reading it for so long. I could have been biased by my love for the film adaptation (the 1941 version with Humphrey Bogart). 


24 comments:

  1. A decent month's reading Tracy. I'm still a bit jealous of the Ross Thomas!! Will you be catching up on your reviews, or will you let them go?

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    1. Col: In an ideal world, I would read one Ross Thomas book a month, but there are lots of authors I would like to read that way, and not enough time. I will be writing reviews for all of them, but in what time frame I could not say.

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  2. Love the cover on The Maltese Falcon! I've never really reD Hard boiled crime. Maybe this one would be a good 'testing' ground for me. Will check out The Hanging Shed. I only got 5 read. Seems to be what I manage every month. Just think what I could do if I stayed off the internet!

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    1. Peggy, the subject matter of The Hanging Shed is challenging and gritty, but it is a good book and set post-World War II. Thus it was an interesting look at Scotland.

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  3. You had some nice reads, Tracy! Not surprised that you chose The Maltese Falcon as your pick of the month. In my opinion, it's a noir classic.

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    1. Margot, now I would like to try more books and stories by Hammett. The only other one I read was The Thin Man.

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  4. I liked Life After Life too. I've always meant to read The Maltese Falcon, maybe now I'll give it a go.

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    1. I think you would like The Maltese Falcon. It reads a lot like the 1941 movie. I am having a hard time reviewing it though. Same with Life After Life.

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  5. THE MALTESE FALCON remains a classic of the genre TracyK - one of the very few, of that vintage, that seems to be a true evergreen - great choice.

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    1. Sergio, The Maltese Falcon is definitely my favorite read in the last year. What a surprise for me. Now I want to read more by Hammett and see what I think.

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  6. I've often thought of reading The Maltese Falcon, now I think I really must. I love Bogie too.

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    1. I definitely recommend it, Katrina. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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  7. The movie is great with Bogie and Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. I liked the book, however, I liked The Thin Man even more. It's just individual taste.

    I admire what Dashiell Hammett did in his life, went to jail even for his principles.

    There are also more movies based on his books, which I'd like to see.

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    1. I liked The Thin Man, also, Kathy, and it was a good bit different from the movie. I liked both.

      Hammett's life was very interesting. I admire him also, although he had ill health and seemed to be unhappy in his later life.

      I have seen the other two movie versions of The Maltese Falcon. Not as good as the Bogart version but still interesting.

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  8. Life after LIfe and Maltese Falcon - two fabulous books, it wouldn't matter if you read nothing else good!

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    1. I know, Moira. Both were so enjoyable... they were easy, fast, relaxing reads.

      I saw that Atkinson is publishing another book soon along the same lines as Life after Life... will you be reading that?

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  9. Tracy, I'm definitely going to have to try some Dashiell Hammett and Ross Thomas novels this year.

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    1. I hope you do, Prashant. There are so many good authors, old and new.

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  10. Life after Life is on Mount TBR and after these raves, I must pick it up. I can see that I have to steer my reading more directly and plan ahead.

    But on Dashiel Hammett, there are more movies of his books in addition to The Thin Man and The Maltese Falcon. The movies with Bogart and Bacall, four of them, are so good. Every few years I rewatch them.

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    1. Long as it is, Life after Life is definitely worth the read, Kathy. I will look into more movies of the Hammett books and stories. And I do love Bogart and Bacall on screen together.

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  11. The Glass Key by Hammett is in movie format and The Dain Curse was done as a TV series in 1978.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy, I will look out for those. Last year at the book sale I bought a big book of Hammett novels with The Glass Key and The Dain Curse. I just need to find the time to read them.

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  12. I love Kate Atkinson's books (and the Case Histories DVDs with yummy Jason Isaacs as yummy Jackson Brodie are brilliant), but I must be the only person in the world who found Life after Life tiresome. I'm over Nazis, I guess, and not sure that I'll buy the new one that is a follow up. Hammett is great, but don't try counting the murders in Red Harvest - you'll give up like me and just go along for the ride.

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    1. Anne, I have liked all of Atkinson's books that I have read (Jackson Brodie series plus Life after LIfe). I liked the ideas in Life after LIfe but I haven't reviewed it yet. It is hard say what I liked but I am sure I will manage eventually. I am not sure about the follow up book, I am going to wait until I see some other opinions... or find it very very cheap.

      I am glad to hear you liked Red Harvest. I do want to read it but was afraid it would be too much for me.

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