Friday, May 31, 2019

20 Books of Summer 2019

This is my fourth year of joining in the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge. It is very flexible. You can go for 15 Books of Summer or 10 Books of Summer if 20 is too much to commit to. Books can be substituted along the way. And that is fine.

The event is hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. The description is here. This is her list.

This year, for this event, summer starts June 3rd and ends September 3rd. I finished my list last summer so I will go into this optimistically. Of course, part of it is reviewing the books and I did not get all of them reviewed last year, but still, I enjoyed reading them all.

Here is my list:

The Keeper of Lost Causes (2007) by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Set in Copenhagen, Denmark. The first book in the Department Q series.
Pearls Before Swine (1945) by Margery Allingham
The twelfth book in the Albert Campion series. I am rereading this series in order.
 Transcription (2018) by Kate Atkinson
I like this author's books. I don't know a lot about this book (and I want to keep it that way) but it does involve espionage, a favorite subject of mine.
Perfect Gallows (1988) by Peter Dickinson
Peter Dickinson is one of my favorite authors. This book takes the reader back to a death in World War II, with a framing story set in 1988.

Crooked Heart  (2014) by Lissa Evans
Historical fiction about the homefront in the UK during World War II. Ten-year-old Noel Bostock is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz.
Out of the Deep I Cry (2004) by Julia Spencer Fleming
Third book in the Reverend Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series. Clare Fergusson left her job as a military helicopter pilot to become an Episcopal priest in the small town of Miller's Kill, New York. Russ Van Alstyne is the police chief. An interesting combination.
City of Shadows (2006) by Ariana Franklin
Set in 1920s and 1930s Berlin, Germany. Features a policeman, Schmidt, and Esther, a Jewish refugee from Russia.

Death in Amsterdam (1962) by Nicholas Freeling
First novel in a mystery series set in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Main characters are Piet Van Der Valk, a police inspector, and his wife Arlette, a gourmet cook.

Broken Harbor (2012) by Tana French
Fourth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series set in Ireland. Each book features a different detective in the squad.
China Lake (2002) Meg Gardiner
The author is originally from Santa Barbara, California; the female protagonist of this novel, Evan Delaney, is a lawyer in Santa Barbara. So I have to give the series a try.
Cold Comfort Farm (1932) by Stella Gibbons
From the description at goodreads: "Winner of the 1933 Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, COLD COMFORT FARM is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s."

Death Knocks Three Times (1949) by Anthony Gilbert
Anthony Gilbert (pseudonym of Lucy Beatrice Malleson) was an English crime writer. The Arthur Crook series is comprised of over 50 novels, and this one is #21.

The Disciple of Las Vegas (2011) by Ian Hamilton
The second book in the Ava Lee series, starring a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant.

London Rules (2018) by Mick Herron
The fifth book in the Slough House espionage series; I read Spook Street in May, loved the book, and am eager to get to the next in the series

Innocence or, Murder on Steep Street (1985)
by Heda Margolius Kovály
Mystery novel set in Prague, Czechoslovakia in the 1950s.

Friends and Traitors (2017) by John Lawton
I read the seventh book in this series in 2012. Now I want to read the most recent novel in the series.

The Summons (1995) by Peter Lovesey
The third book in the Peter Diamond series. 

Station Eleven (2014) by Emily St. John Mandel
I read two post-apocalyptic novels in May, now I want to read another one. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) by Betty Smith
An American classic about a young girl growing up in Brooklyn in the early 20th century.

The Axeman's Jazz (1991) by Julie Smith
The second in Smith's Skip Langdon series. Set in New Orleans.

Allmen and the Dragonflies (2011) by  Martin Suter
I don't know much about this book except that it is about an art heist set in Switzerland.


Rick Robinson said...

What an interesting list! That lines up as a very nice Summer of reading. I have read just three of them, all quite good. I'm looking forward to your reviews and opinions.

Margot Kinberg said...

You have a really interesting list, Tracy. Of those that I've read, I've enjoyed them. They're all different, but each has a lot to offer. I'll be interested in what you think of them.

Christophe said...

Several titles for which I am keen to learning your thoughts about, incl. that murder mystery set in Prague.

I liked Death in Amsterdam (aka Love in Amsterdam) very much, and thought the next Van der Valk title, Guns before Butter, was masterful.

noirencyclopedia said...

An interesting lineup, Tracy! I've read I think seven of them, although some of them so long ago that really all I remember is the title.

Katrina said...

I loved Cold Comfort Farm when I read it years ago and more recently A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It's an interesting list and features quite a few books I've not heard of before.

Kate said...

Looking forward to your review of the Anthony Gilbert novel. It was one I loved a lot.

TracyK said...

I am looking forward to reading these books, Rick. It was fortuitous that you posted about the second book by Julia Spencer-Fleming recently, which reminded me to get back to that series.

TracyK said...

There is a lot of variety in the list, Margot. It will be hard to choose what to read first.

TracyK said...

Thanks for the comment, Christophe. I don't know why I haven't read the Van der Valk series before now, especially because I do have several more books in the series.

TracyK said...

I have the same problem remembering plots of books I read when I was younger, John. Except that is a plus when I reread them. I am looking forward to them all.

TracyK said...

I am sure I am going to enjoy both Cold Comfort Farm and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Katrina. The Gibbons book will be something new for me, not my usual reading at all.

TracyK said...

I think I will like Death Knocks Three Times a lot, Kate, and I had been wanting to get that cover with the skulls on it for a long time.

Clothes In Books said...

Great list - I've read a few of them and am tempted by others. Particularly the Ariana Franklin - I loved her series with the 12th century (was it?) detective, and don't think I knew she'd written others, so will look for this one.
And, although - as I said on your recent post- I don't usually like post-apocalyptic novels, I absolutely loved Station Eleven, hope you will too.

TracyK said...

I am interested in seeing what the Ariana Franklin book is like, Moira. I haven't read but one of the other series.

I thought I remembered that you liked Station Eleven, and am eager to see what that one is like too.

I am reading Friends and Traitors right now, and I know that you read it but will return to your review after I finish it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have read nine of them and liked them all. BROKEN HARBOR is my favorite French book.

Susan D said...

I highly recommend China Lake and the four books that follow in that series.

TracyK said...

Patti, I like Tana French's writing so well that I don't mind that the books are very long. Usually I prefer shorter books.

TracyK said...

I am glad to hear that, Susan. I was afraid her books would be too violent / gritty for me. I have already purchased the 2nd book, Mission Canyon, because I lived in the Mission Canyon area near Santa Barbara when we first moved here.

col2910 said...

Good luck, Tracy. The Herron is the standout for me, I have a couple of books by others on the list..John Lawton, Peter Lovesey and Jussi Adler-Olsen but I haven't read any of them.

TracyK said...

I am reading the John Lawton book now, Col, and I have two others in a different series to read. I really don't know why I have been so slow to read the Peter Diamond series by Lovesey. Adler-Olsen is new to me.