05/2013

This was a pretty good month for me in terms of numbers,  although I seemed to hit more duds than usual.   I read 5 general fiction and 8 crime novels plus 2 non-fiction books (math and history) for 15 total.  The shortest was 175 pages,  the longest 1056 pages.  There were 6 women authors (I try to keep track of that,  but I don’t read or buy for it.)

Of the 15,  8 were audio,  5 were e-books,  1 was a paperback and I got 1 in both Audio and e-book format.

FICTION:

1.  End Zone
DeLillo, Don
Rating:   1972 / 242 p. (A)
7
Catching up on older books from a favorite author –   football / war metaphors don’t work for me in 2013 – a B for his sentences.

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2.  Praxis
Weldon, Fay
1978 / 256p. (P)
Rating:   6
classic feminist lit / Booker nominee – also dated and not really redeemed by great writing

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3.  All That Is
Salter, James
2012 / 304 p. (e-)
Rating:   6
A talented writer semi-autobiographically and very nostalgically on the subject of his life in bed (sex)

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4.  Moo
Smiley, Jane
1995 / 432p
Rating:   6  (e-)
Satire doesn’t have a long shelf-life but I enjoyed parts of it (Earl Butts  and deconstruction)
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5.  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Joyce, Rachel
2012 / 336p   (e-)
Rating:   9
Nicely written feel-good novel of one man’s trek to make peace with his friend – would be really trite if it weren’t for the ending

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CRIME  (mysteries)
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6.  The Stranger
Lackberg, Camilla
2006 / 384 p   (A)
Rating:   B+
Scandinavian crime in the fashion of Lackberg – oh wait – it is Lackberg

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7.  The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu
Stanley, Michael
2008 496p  (A)
B+
Botswana detective series – murder, drugs, kidnapping and … ta-da… international relations –

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8.   Dry Bones
May, Peter
2006 336p (A)
B
Interesting premise gets lost in the personal details –

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9.  Before the Poison
Robinson, Peter
2011 368p (A)
C-
Disappointing – everything but the kitchen sink …  No wait,  that was there, too.

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10.  Cocaine Blues
Greenwood, Kerry
1989 175p      (A)
Rating:   B-
Read for the color in the title, takes place in Australia and has a ship for transport – 3 challenges for the price of 1 – and that’s about what I got from it.

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11.   The Thief
Nakamura, Fuminori
2012 211p  (both A and K)
Rating:   B+
A peak into the life of the  1st person pickpocket – picks up when the big league talent scouts get onto him

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12.   A Cold and Lonely Place
Henry, Sara J.
2013 304p (A)
Rating:   A-
Not quite as good as Learning to Swim but well worth the read –

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13.   The Expats
by Chris Pavone
2013 – 336p  (A)
Rating A+
Ex-CIA agent turned homemaker moves to Luxembourg with her husband, an investment security consultant,  but she finds herself in the middle of more deception and international crime investigations.

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NON-FICTION
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14.  God’s War: A New History of the Crusades
Tyerman, Christopher
2007 1056p   (e-)
Rating:   9
Academic and thorough reappraisal of the Crusades and their effect on Europe.  Much of it was over my head but other parts were fascinating.  He has a more concise book published after this.

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15.   The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution
Devlin, Keith
2011 192p    (e-)
7
How the Western world managed to escape having to multiply with Roman numerals.

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