Saturday, August 01, 2015

July 2015 Reading

Two from British Library Crime Classic series (published in the USA by Poisoned Pen Press):
The Notting Hill Mystery; Adams, Charles Warren
Antidote to Venom; Crofts, Freeman Wills

 I read Crofts' The Hog's Back Mystery (also from this series) last month and enjoyed it. This one had a unique presentation, a little slower read, but an interesting read. The Adams book was more traditional. Am liking this series, hope to read more.

<---- a sample of the cool cover designs.

 Free advance review copies from the publisher.

Some family stories: 
Bonita Avenue; Buwalda, Peter; translated from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder
 Another dysfunctional Dutch family (think Tirza  by Arnon Grunberg and Herman Koch's The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool).
 Library book.

A Spool of Blue Thread; Tyler, Anne
 Anne Tyler delivers again. Her families are also dysfunctional, but much less violent.
  Library book.

Love May Fail; Quick, Matthew
  Liked this, but it didn't stay with me as much as his The Good Luck of Right Now stayed with me.
  Library book.

Dystopian (sort of):
The Gracekeepers; Logan, Kirsty
 The future where there is very little land and a lot of water.  This one is magical fantasy, with a floating circus. I was reminded (in a good way) of some of the stories in  Ben Marcus' Leaving the Sea. 
 Free advance review copy from the publisher.

Find Me; Berg, Laura van den
 Sometime in the future, a mysterious illness has decimated the USA.  First half of this book, set in a questionable research  hospital, was superb, The second half, telling about the adventures of one of the patients who walks away, was a bit of a mish-mash that didn't make much sense to me. Still, I'd like to read some of Berg's short stories.
 Library book,
Speaking of short stories:
Toronto Noir; Armin, Janine (editor)
 From the Akashic Noir series. I'm getting quite a collection of these nifty anthologies. My daughter selected this one for me with the comment that she chose it because she "never thought of Toronto as a noir kind of place."  Akashic is ably demonstrating that noir knows no boundaries.
 My personal copy (Kindle edition which has been to numerous waiting rooms in the six months it took me to read it,) 

Tales from a Mountain Cave: Stories from Japan's Northeast; Inoue, Hisashi; 
 Linked short stories based on folklore. Interesting.
My personal copy

The Book of Istanbul: A City in Short Fiction; Gürsel, Nedim (editor); various authors and translators.
 A very good anthology set in an intriguing city.
My personal copy

Two So-so Historical Fictions
The Price of Blood (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy, #2) Bracewell, Patricia
 A real slog to get through this. I didn't read the first book (nor will I read the third), but this one can stand alone.
   Free advance review copy from the publisher through Goodreads First Reads Program.

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan; Thornton, Stephanie
Less of a slog but not my favorite read. I liked it better than The Price of Blood. Could be that it held my interest because I'm less familiar with the time period of Gengis and company than I am with the era of Queen Emma. Also, Thornton is the better writer.
  Free copy from the author through a blog win.

 And one very good one:
 (Maybe I should skip this genre for a while? but the next one can be considered historical fiction and I really liked it.):

Villa America; Klaussmann, Liza
 The lost generation in the south of France--all (Hemingway, the Fitzgerald, Picasso, Dos Passos, Monty Woolley: that old crowd) behaving badly and gossiping about the ones (like the Porters) who are absent. 
  Free advance review copy from the publisher.
Did not finish, or, life is too short:
Mañana; Hjortsberg, William
  Drugs, murder, guy on the run searching for his missing wife....should be exciting, but I got bogged down by a lot of boring, unnecessary detail.
    Free advance review copy from the publisher through Goodreads First Reads Program