Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer Reading

The Toronto Star has a genius piece on the joys of summer reading. Summer reading ... is that trashy page-turner you plan to devour while reclining on a deck chair with a vodka martini in one hand... is a guiltless pleasure, no matter how trashy the page-turner or how large the martini… ... is like winter getaway reading on a Caribbean island, but lasts longer and – when enjoyed on your back patio – costs a whole lot less and comes with a greatly reduced likelihood of contracting hepatitis. It’s a good list, although I have to say I was in the bookstore yesterday, stocking up on my supply of books, and staff person extraordinaire 'J' warned me off the new Ondaatje.

What did I buy? The collectors edition of Knots and Crosses, because it’s reassuring to see that everyone has to correct typos.

The Darkness Inside by John Rickards. Because, although I’ve already read it, I believe in supporting my favourite authors.
Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt. Because I haven’t read him yet and really, really should.

And two more Hard Case Crime books to help complete Kevin’s collection. Now that he’s subscribed they’ll arrive by mail every month.

I did not, however, buy Hung Out to Die by Brett Battles.

But I did smile when I saw it still listed on the chain store computer here. For the record, they also have the book with proper title (and publisher) The Cleaner. On sale June 26, btw…

The Toronto Star has also compiled a list of some summer beach reads. I decided that I should do a little list of some of my recommended summer reading. What do I suggest? (In alphabetical order, so no squabbling.)

Ammunition by Ken Bruen. Well, anything by Ken Bruen. But there’s something about Brant that suits the summer, when you want to have an action-packed read that has you flipping pages late into the night.

Broken Skin by Stuart MacBride.

Yes, MacBride is back, and this time he’s got John ‘Spanky’ Rickards to torment on the pages. He also includes a hilarious nod to Rankin, although Rankin fans lacking a sense of humour will likely send hatemail and firebombs. Stuart may have to dress up as a woman more often to avoid detection.

Wonder what the hell I’m talking about? Read his blog if you want to know more, but whatever else you do, read his book.

Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid.

I’m absolutely choked that it looks like this book won’t hit Canada until next year. It’s been too long already. I may have to order from the UK.

The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby

This is an absolutely spellbinding thriller. Part of you doesn’t want to turn the page to face the truth, but you have to know how it will unfold. Mosby expertly weaves the threads of the story to build the tension and just when you think you know how it will unfold he pulls the rug out from under your feet. It may seem early in the year to make predictions, but I doubt a more original work will cross my desk this year. A tour de force, Mosby is my pick as breakout author of 2007 and is now on my list of my annual ‘must-reads’.

A Thousand Bones by PJ Parrish.

A riveting page-turner, I was kept up half the night reading because I just had to know what happened next. Of course, the worst thing about finishing a wonderful book is that you know you have to wait a year for the follow-up, but if A Thousand Bones is any indication of what PJ Parrish can do with this character it will be well worth the wait.

What else do I have on my tbr pile, waiting?

Strangers by Carla Banks
Cut to the Bone by Shane Gericke
Big Numbers by Jack Getze
The Rabbit Factory and Bloodthirsty by Marshal Karp
In this Rain by SJ Rozan
What The Dead Know by Laura Lippman

And still some unread Bruen…

What am I currently reading?

A Perfect Grave by Rick Mofina.

No doubt there will be other books I’ve neglected to mention here that I might make a point of highlighting over the summer, but this is a good start. Feel free to add recommendations of your own below, because you can never have too many books!


D.A. Davenport said...

Oh no...about 30 books on my TBR Summer pile and none were your suggestions. >SOB<

I tracked down lots of obscure ones and have a load of others by authors you mentioned. Now I have another bunch to hunt for! But that is half the fun anyway, isn't it?

My one great prize was a David Geddis; been looking everywhere since Ken Bruen is so high on him. I was amazed at how darned hard it is to find one of his novels. Lucked into it at this tiny Used Book Shop up here in the mountains, of all places.

Am trying Christopher Rice's debut. Very good so far. Has potential.

Added to my list of Rozan, Cody, Stark, Blunt, Cockey, John Connoly, McMillian, Todd and others. Also trying Konrath, Stabenow, Swierczynski, and Abrahams and a few more.

My next goal is to concentrate on strictly Crimespace authors for the rest of the year. It's only right, LOL!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well, I hate to say it, but that's only a small list of what's on my tbr pile. I also have :

Obit by Anne Emery
Clockers by Richard Price
The Cloud of Unknowing by Thomas H, Cook
Dialogues of the Dead by Reginald Hill
An ARC for the new Kevin Wignall book will be coming
Will be getting the new Simon Kernick as soon as it's out
Bad Thoughts by David Zeltserman...And a stack of Serpent's Tail books as well that I think Evil Kev has in his office.

I really - really, really, really - need to take some time off to just read. I may have a 'blog reading holiday'.

D.A. Davenport said...

Lordy, I am in awe!

What a line-up. The list itself was killer reading.

Brian said...

Will this be your first time reading Clockers?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes, first time reading Clockers. I haven't read any Richard Price yet.

Peter said...

I have to say that I never got the summer reading thing. I mean, the pleasures of sitting back in a comfortable chair or lying back in a hot bath are available any time of year, though I would not recommend the latter with hardcovers or even trade paperbacks. Sit on a beach, you can't get comfortable, and you get greasy sunscreen all over the pages. Go to the Caribbean, and you just can't relax completely for fear that a coconut will fall on your head. For all those reasons, I will take up the challenge and see if the Star can convince me that there really is something special about summer reading.

I have just read Ammunition, fine reading for any season. And I laughed when I saw your line about the collector's edition of Knots and Crosses. I detect a suitable note of wry skepticism about the marketing of Ian Rankin. But, eep, correcting typos in a post that also mentions Ken Bruen ... My one consistent beef about the Brant and Roberts books has been their sloppy copy editing.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Sandra Ruttan said...

Peter, it's interesting. I used to read books and not notice typos. Did I just not notice, or were they not there? I hear others saying the same thing.

If I'm being brutally honest, I think they do a horrid job of marketing Ian Rankin. There's been a contest on his website. Two, in fact. One to guess the title of the new book due out in September. Another to win some of the special Rebus Malt. And they can't even be arsed to send out a newsletter and tell people. In fact, I can't remember the last Rankin newsletter I received. Since I read Inspector Rebus, I'm aware that it's only in the past week or so that someone on there noted the contest, which happened to coincide with Rankin's website being down. (And it isn't as though there's a forum there or anything to draw traffic on a regular basis.) Last year when he was on tour in the US none of the tour dates were on his website (which is handled by his UK publisher). Not all of his appearances were even listed on his US publisher's site. I'm in frickin' western Canada and as I heard pieces here and there - mainly from people who were appearing with him - I passed them on to friends who were trying to find information and their consistent remark was How are you finding this out?

All of which I find rather annoying. Will I be aware of it next time he's in my back yard? Who knows. And when you live in a country that only gets a tour every four or five years that's pretty frustrating. When I sign up for author newsletters I actually expect to get someone every now and again. Sometimes the info comes from the publisher/publicist and that's fine - at least you get it.