Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday random thoughts

 subtitled: I haven't read anything new yet, but feel like writing something.

Robert B. Parker
I went to the torture queen early this morning (my personal trainer) and was greeted upon my homecoming with the news of Robert B. Parker's death. My husband Larry has probably read the entire Spenser series, which he likes, and he says that Spenser and his girlfriend Susan had a relationship like ours. Hmmm. Having not ever read the series myself ( I only really own The Godwulf Manuscript which is as yet unread) I can't swear that that's the case. But Larry loved his books;and Parker will definitely be missed in this house.

The Edgar Award Nominees Have Been Chosen and I have a favorite

This year, one of my favorite books ever has been chosen as a nominee: Nemesis, by Jo Nesbø. Nesbø's main character is Harry Hole (pronounced Hole-ah) -- and his adventures start in the book Redbreast.  It's hard to say which is the better of the two, but they both are fantastic. If you're looking for an intense read by an amazing Scandinavian author, I highly recommend both books.  I haven't read the third book in the series, The Devil's Star, yet, because I started with the Harper hardbacks with the first two and due to some quirk of my nature, I must have matching books in each series.  More about that another time. Anyway, the Harper hardcover edition of The Devil's Star will be arriving in March, so I've had that sucker pre-ordered with Amazon forever.  It will actually get here right after I get home from my March cruise, so that's sweet. You can see what's been nominated here. I like Harry Hole better than Kurt Wallander, and if you knew me, you would know that that statement says a lot.

Another take on the Frankenstein classic, but this time from a very distinguished (and favorite) author.

Today I start a book called The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein, by Peter Ackroyd. I'm a fan of Ackroyd's fiction -- sadly (and quite shamefully, I'm sure), I've never read any of his nonfiction. Books I've read by this author are
  • The Trial of Elizabeth Cree -  (my edition is this one), a combination of a mystery, historical fiction and subtle social commentary all set in the Victorian period. 
  • Hawksmoor  (my edition) - a novel about an architect in 18th century London who builds several churches and then a time switch to the present, when several murders have been committed at the churches the architect built.  This one is more of a postmodern novel, but very readable and enjoyable. 
  • Chatterton - (my edition) another historical novel, about Thomas Chatterton, who lived during the 18th century and was a master forger.  This one also spans the centuries and is again another postmodern piece of writing. It's mystery-ish, but one to read slowly. It was also nominated for the Booker Prize in 1987.
  • The House of Doctor Dee (my edition) about a modern-day guy who comes to live in John Dee's home, where strange things start to happen to him. John Dee is one of my favorite real-life fictional characters.
So anyway, I bought Casebook of Victor Frankenstein when it first came out in 2009 and have yet to read it, so I'm really looking forward to it.

That's about it. I'm busy thinking up possible reading topics for February, going through what's available for pre-order from Amazon without putting my AMEX on overload, trying to not step on all of the books on the floor waiting to be shelved, and yada yada yada. Hopefully I'll be back soon with my review of Ackroyd's new book.

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