Monday, August 17, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling - August 17

 I am participating in the Bookshelf Traveling For Insane Times meme, created by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness. I had no idea it had been so long since I had written a Bookshelf Traveling post (the last one was on July 24th). Maybe it was because the times have been so insane, with the numbers for Covid-19 cases and deaths going up so much, here and abroad. And other distractions, political and otherwise. 

So here I am with another shelf. The built in bookshelf is supposed to be books that I want to read soon (relatively), keeping them in easy reach and accessible. But somehow it doesn't work that way. I have had some of the books here for many years, and for the most part don't know why I haven't read them.

On the far right is Bangkok 8 by John Burdett. This book was passed on to me by my husband after he read it. The book was published in 2003 and I would say it has been on this shelf about 12 years?

Description at Crimereads in an article about Bangkok's expat crime fiction scene:

Bangkok 8, which has its surreal, seemingly drug-induced, moments, was the first in a series featuring Detective Sonchai Litpleecheep, a Thai cop whose mother was a prostitute and father was an American soldier during the Vietnam War (Bangkok was a major R&R destination for US soldiers during that conflict).

Two books over from that is Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes. My notes indicate that I must have had this book for at least 10 years. 

Description at Macmillan:

"Damian Baxter was a friend of mine at Cambridge. We met around the time when I was doing the Season at the end of the Sixties. I introduced him to some of the girls. They took him up, and we ran about together in London for a while…."

Nearly forty years later, the narrator hates Damian Baxter and would gladly forget their disastrous last encounter. But if it is pleasant to hear from an old friend, it is more interesting to hear from an old enemy, and so he accepts an invitation from the rich and dying Damian, who begs him to track down the past girlfriend whose anonymous letter claimed he had fathered a child during that ruinous debutante season.

The search takes the narrator back to the extraordinary world of swinging London, where aristocratic parents schemed to find suitable matches for their daughters while someone was putting hash in the brownies at a ball at Madame Tussaud's. It was a time when everything seemed to be changing—and it was, but not always quite as expected.

Towards the left side of the shelf is a relatively new acquisition, Killing Me Softly by John Leslie. 

This is the first book in a series of four, and it was published in 1994. From the description on the book cover:

As Raymond Chandler did with Los Angeles, and Dashiell Hammett with San Francisco, John Leslie re-creates the town of Key West through the jaded sensibilities of an unforgettable P.I. – in this case, Gideon Lowry, a Conch with a penchant for rum and soda, inhabited by his own poignant sense of the past.

A Conch is a Key West native (in this context). There is a good post about this series at Black Gate.

Have you read any of these books? What is your opinion?


Rick Robinson said...

I’ve read Scalzi’s HEAD ON. The rest, though I did see that review on Black Gate, are new to me. Many sound interesting. I wish I weren’t so overloaded with books right now, and two coming from the library (!) Wednesday.

TracyK said...

Me too, Rick. I have way too many books unread (obviously) but I continue to want to buy and read new books.

CLM said...

My favorite on this shelf is The Professionals. I love that series and drove an hour to meet the author last summer. He said the series had not sold well enough for the publisher to continue it, which is a shame. In The Professionals, he did a really good job at making me care about the bad guys but the sleuthing is also very enjoyable. It is an unusual book. I think you should move it higher on your TBR.

I know I liked Snobs by Julian Fellowes better than Past Imperfect, but I still think it is worth reading.

I haven't read that particular Charles Cumming yet but I seem to be reading lighter books lately.

Margot Kinberg said...

I think Bangkok 8 is an excellent book, Tracy. I hope you'll enjoy it (and the rest of the series) when you get to it. I recommend it. Your other books look good, too!

TracyK said...

Constance, I am doing the Canadian Reading Challenge this year and The Professionals is a good book for that, so I will aim at reading it soon. The description of Past Imperfect makes it sound good, I don't know why I haven't read it yet.

I am doing better with lighter books lately also. I just gave up on a book that was just too violence for me. I usually don't give up on books.

TracyK said...

Margot, I do remember that you enjoyed Bangkok 8. I think I will too and I hope this will push me to read it sooner.

Cath said...

Nor have I done an Insane post for a while either. Just not in the mood to post a lot at the moment, put off by this wretched new interface and also just enjoying a bit of a break from being online. It can all get a bit much sometimes.

I haven't read any of the books on that shelf but know of the John Le Carré and the Julian Fellowes. I really ought to try something by the former, will get to it one day.

Katrina said...

I really must get A Legacy of Spies, it's the only Smiley book we don't have. My husband also passes books on to me that he thinks I'll enjoy and to be fair I usually do, when I get around to reading them.

TracyK said...

Cath, My mood is more down than usual, and it seems to have affected my reading more than my blogging. It is pretty hot here and I am trying to get some plants in the ground, and spending as much time on that as I can. I should read both the Le Carre book and the Fellowes book. They both sound good but so do a lot of other books.

TracyK said...

Katrina, I don't know why I haven't read A Legacy of Spies. I bought it shortly after it was published, so about 3 years ago. I should have just waited.

Bill Selnes said...

I have read a few of the books on the shelf. My biased favourite is Anthony Bidulka's book as I love the Russel Quant series set in Saskatchewan.

TracyK said...

That's right, Bill, I forgot there is another book by a Canadian author on this shelf. I hope to include it this year when reading for the Canadian Book Challenge.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I would hate to guess how long some of my books have been on the shelves unread. And like you, I don't generally have any good reason for not having read them. Especially since each one is probably similar in theme and content to some other book I have picked up well after purchasing the neglected book.

TracyK said...

Carl, I am appalled sometimes when I realize how long I have let a book sit on the shelves (on in a box) but unless I have really lost interest, which seldom happens, I still hang on to them.

col2910 said...

I think I would have fun reading that shelf, I have a few already - not the LeCarre, but one of the Steinhauer's, Laukkanen, Mosley and I think I read the Cumming book a few years ago. The Scalzi and Leslie books look interesting.

TracyK said...

Col, I am looking forward to reading some of those books soon. The Laukkanen for sure, The Middleman by Steinhauer, and I really hope I don't let the book by Leslie sit there forever. Yes, this group is mostly things you would like.