Friday, December 27, 2013

TBR Pile Challenge 2013 Wrap-up

I completed the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted at Roof Beam Reader, on Dec. 19, 2013. Cutting it close, as usual.

These are the books I read...

(1) Murder In Belleville by Cara Black
   Set in France. Features an independent, plucky, and daring heroine. The theme behind the story is anti-immigrant racism and the innocent people who are caught up in these problems.

(2) Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt
   I read this for the Canadian Reading Challenge 6. It was a compelling read but I often wanted to put it down and give up on it, due to the explicit nature of the descriptions of the crimes.

(3) The Smoke by Tony Broadbent
  Historical mystery, set in 1947 London, postwar, my favorite time period to read about.

(4) A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell
   Another historical mystery, this time in Germany between World War I and World War II. This is the second book in a series and I enjoyed both books immensely.

(5) Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
 Set in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. This was the first book in the Shetland mystery series. I had only intended to read the first book, but as soon as I finished it I had to move onto the second, White Nights.

(6) Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
   This is the first book in a series about a detective in ancient Rome. Marcus Didius Falco describes himself as a "private informer." This story takes place when Vespasian Augustus is Emperor of Rome.

(7) The Ransom Game by Howard Engel
    I read this for the Canadian Reading Challenge 6. The book is set in a small city in Canada near Niagara Falls: Grantham, Ontario. This town is based on the real city of St. Catharines, Ontario, where the author was born.

(8) Dark Star by Alan Furst
   Spy fiction, another favorite genre. Alan Furst tells the story of a journalist who is forced into being a spy and turns into a very good one, although he doesn't really enjoy it. The journalist is a Russian Jew, and the year is 1937.

(9) Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill
    Reginald Hill was awarded the Gold Dagger for this book, the eleventh in the Dalziel and Pascoe police procedural series.

(10) Hard Currency  by Stuart M. Kaminsky
  Hard Currency (1992) by Stuart Kaminsky is the 9th book in a series featuring Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov, a police investigator in Moscow, and the team that he works with. When the series started, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was still in existence.

(11) Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
   The first book in Mosley's Easy Rawlins series, Devil in a Blue Dress, has an interesting setting: 1948, post WWII, a black neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins is a black man who moves to Los Angeles, California from Houston, Texas to look for a better life after serving in the military during World War II.

(12) A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
   I read this for the Canadian Reading Challenge 6. This is the second in an extremely popular and successful series of mysteries set in a small village in Quebec.

There were two alternates, in case there were problems in reading any of the main books on the list.  I read only one of them:

The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer
  CIA thriller. I purchased this book because I loved the author's first series. Now I have read the first two books in this trilogy, and I like these books almost as well.


neer said...

Congratulations Tracy. All the books seem very interesting. I am esp. intrigued by the Night of the Long Knives.

Anonymous said...

Tracy - Well done! I'm impressed. I agree with you about the explicitness in Forty Words For Sorrow. It's not an easy book to read. And you've got such a great variety of other books here, too. Nicely done!

col2910 said...

Some fantastic books and authors here. Some I already had - Blunt, Mosley, Furst and Steinhauer and some you've tempted me into acquiring and trying at some point; Engel, Penny, Hill and Kaminsky. Undecided on the Black!

TracyK said...

Thanks, Neer. Rebecca Cantrell's series is very good and I look forward to reading the next one.

TracyK said...

Thank you, Margot. I do plan to read another book by Giles Blunt, because so many reviewers praise his work so highly. But that one was a difficult read for me.

TracyK said...

Col, there are so many good authors out there. Impossible to read them all. In this list, I was really glad I had finally read Mosley, and now have a lot more books by him to read.

Laurie C said...

Congratulations! I only read two for the TBR Pile Challenge this year! I love Louise Penny's books, especially on audio. I read the first Cara Black book several years ago, but never got back to reading the rest of the series.

TracyK said...

Thanks, Laurie. It took me a while to get to the 2nd book in the Cara Black series also. Same with Louise Penny's series. But now that I enjoyed the 2nd one so much, I hope to move through the series faster. Especially since it fits in with the Canadian Book Challenge and I am way behind on that.

Clothes In Books said...

Well done you, Tracy - a great collection of books, and a reduction in the TBR mountain, you did well....

TracyK said...

Thanks, Moira. This is the one challenge that I really care most about completing because it is books I have put off way too long.