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Topic: March - What are you reading????

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: March - What are you reading????
Date Posted: 3/1/2011 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,701
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Let's talk about what we are reading in March!!!

Alice

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I FINALLY finished Let the Dead LIe, the second Emmanuel Cooper mystery by Malla Nunn.  I'm in a reading rut right now and nothing is appealing to me.  I was dispairing that I wouldn't be able to finish this one and then, on page 261, Dr Zweigmann and Sgt. Shabalala made their entrance and the book began to coalesce for me.  Whew!  I didn't like this one as much as the first but it did finish well so I'll definitely look for the third in the series.

I finished Art's Blood by Vicki Lane yesterday.  Again, a second novel in a series and again, I didn't like it as well as the first but...I have the next two in the series sitting here so I'll continue.  My apathy probably says more about my current frame of mind than the books.

Today I started Death and the Running Patterer by Robin Adair.  I'm about 60 pages into this one and so far, so good.  It takes place in Australia in the 1820s and there have been a couple of gruesome murders already so I think this one might work! LOL!

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Brought home Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches--not a mystery, but causing quite a stir (debuted at No. 4 on the NY Times Best Seller list). Generally, this type of tale is not my cup of tea; however, I'm going to give it a try.

Have also decided to start the Inspector Jimmy Perez series by Ann Cleeves. Raven Black showed up at the library today. White Nights, Red Bones and Blue Lightning are the other three entries in the series.

Have been eyeing Liza Marklund's Red Wolf. This newly translated mystery features Annika Bengtzon, crime editor for a tabloid in Stockholm. Love those Scandinavian mysteries!

Just finished The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. Great book! Yes, I know that it was published in 2005, but somehow, I never got around to reading it until now. This book won the 2006 Macavity Award for Best Novel, as well as the 2006 Shamus Award for Best Novel. The movie of the same name, starring Matthew McConaughey, opens March 18.



Last Edited on: 3/1/11 7:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2011 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
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Just finished Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston - wasn't 'scare the bejabbers out of me' as a lot of his other books are, but good nonetheless.  Looking forward to pulling another good one from the TBR stack!

Mary (mepom) -
Date Posted: 3/1/2011 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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I am reading THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES BY Stef Penney. It is set in snowy Canada with lots of suspense and beauty. The author has a degree in philosophy and theology. She is a screenwriter and this is her first novel. It is historical, set in 1867, but reads like IMO isolated snowy Canada today. 2006 Costa Book of the Year Winner. I want her to write more books.

On audio, I am listening to THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. According to the audio, this was a movie with Walter Matthau. I do not remember it, but will look for it on Netflix. I have been hearing about this team for a long time, but just now started. Martin Beck, a police inspector in Stockholm,  Sweden is the main character. I am not sure why I did not start with the first, but I think La Policeman was the first available on audio? 1971 Edgar Award for Best Mystery and Finalist 1971 Gold Dagger Award.I JUST CHECKED NET  FLIX AND THE MOVIE WAS SET IN THE US, NOT SWEDEN.

 

I highly recommend both.

Mary

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,461
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Mary, my dear sister in crime - I have read many Sjowall/Wahloo books and I will tell you that not only are they great, but you don't really have to read them in order. I've read them as I can get them and that seems to work okay. They are kind of far and few between! The fact that Per Wahloo died ( I think it  was in the 70's?) makes them oldies but goodies - REAL goodies!

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I'm re-reading (actually, re-listening to) Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger.   If you remember, late last year I asked for ideas of which mysteries would be good for a book club, and I ended up deciding on recommending Blood Hollow for this year for my book club - and we're discussing it this week!  I thought this would be a good choice because not does this book have a lot of Minnesota flavor, it deals with some more serious topics like prejudice and faith and miracles.   Keep your fingers crossed that this book discussion goes well!  If it does, I'll probably nominate another mystery next year.  This group really needs to be shaken out of its literary fiction rut every once in a while.

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Lynne, you should try to see if you can get Kent to actually come to your book club meeting--I know he's done it before for other groups. Good luck with it. :)

I am (still) reading The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler here at work (love Bryant & May!) and at home am listening to Dust by Martha Grimes in audio download and reading Holy Terror in the Hebrides by Jeanne M. Dams, one of the Dorothy Martin series. I'm enjoying that--it's my bedtime read, which is usually a cozy.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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WOW --- I was still posting in February yesterday!!!  Must put this new thread on my "watch" list. 

Right  now I am reading "Ape House" by Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants author).  It is not really a mystery, so does not count toward the challenge, but I did so enjoy the elephant book, thought I would read this one.  It has not grabbed me as much as did the elephants, but I think it will get a few stars at the end of the day.

Mary, am so happy you are giving a plant the old "heave ho" --- I "pruned" my massive Christmas cactus today.  It had not been cut back in two years and was about 3 feet across --- had totally taken over our front hall.  As soon as we are beyond "frosts" here it will go out on the patio for a summer of regrowth!!!  Sadly seeral of my outdoor shrubs have some winter burn from the cold temps we had this year.  I took a tour around outside this morning and there is much trimming to do before mulching can occur!!!

 

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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I finished Fiirewall by Henning Mankell. Only took two days; couldn't put it down. The first thing I noticed was how fast, as in 10 pages, Mankell imposes the tone he wants on the material. Of writers writing mysteries and "thrillers" today, only Elizabeth George is playing in the same league.

I see from the search function that he has written maybe as many as 6 "on-Wallender" books.  Is he as good when doing that ?

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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In checking Fantastic Fiction, "Firewall" is the 8th of 10 of the Kurt Wallender series.  There are also two other series, and numerous stand alone novels.  I will have to try one of his books if they are so enthralling.

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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John, I'm still working my way through the Wallander books, and like you I read Firewall first, not realizing at the time it was a series book. I've since gone back to the beginning and am almost back to Firewall again, got a couple left. While I've enjoyed them all, Wallander is kind of a gloomy gus, so I would probably commit hari kari if I read them all one after another! LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I finished Death and the Running Patterer this morning and I'm a little torn. I did NOT guess the killer but I don't think the author really gave me a chance at it.  The book reads fairly quickly and it is really steeped in the history of early Sydney but at times it read a bit like a history professor's  lecture notes.  There is lots and lots of information and anecdotal stuff but...that doesn't necessarily make for a great mystery, historical or not. The author explained what a patterer is at the beginning of the book (sort of like a town cryer) but the main character and patterer, Nicodemus Dunne, never seemed to be doing his job.  The author also referred to the main character as "the patterer" constantly.  I found it very annoying and it really took me out of the story for some reason.  Overall, this one read like a first novel.  It definitely has potential but could go south very easily.  I'll be interested to see what Mr Adair produces next.

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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Thanks for the help. I read Firewall second; actually did the first in the series first. Then I wishlisted several others. Apparently, if you want to read Mankel via PBS, you must get some pretty slow lines.

I guess I will wishlist several "stand-alones" tonight, having already got in line for numbers 2,3,4.

I will admit to be very nearly "enthralled" with Elizabeth George; hardly with Mankel.

As a retired college English/Literaure professor, I don't get past one book of Cornwall, Cussler, etc. They never saw a stereotype they didn't like. They an write two books or twenty, and never grasp what Mark Twain and Hemingway taught us: Never tell; always show.

And since you are my friends: read Martin Cruz Smith. He has steadily progressed every book. Right now, he is writing as well as any American. He looks at men's "badder selves" in a way that reminds me of Conrad.

Thanks again, for the good advice, and now to a nice INspector Morse mystery. smiley

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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Well, I took everyones advice and ditched A Reliable Wife.  I'm so OC that I still find myself wondering what happens.  I know, I'm hopeless.  Same with the plants.  Anyway, I picked up something much lighter to read--Dead Guy's Stuff by Sharon Fiffer.  I liked the first book well enough and I sort of identify with the main character and her OCD.  LOL

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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**ahem*

**whispers** I actually read A Reliable Wife all the way through and enjoyed it.  It was by no means perfect but I thought it had some pretty interesting things to say about forgiveness and redemption.

**backs slow out of the room**

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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LOL LeeAnne.  When I searched the HF forum, I found that just as many seemed to like it as didn't.  I still have not returned it to the person who loaned it to me so I may finish it yet.  The writing style sort of bugged me.  It seemed repetitive and just annoying at times.  Maybe when I am in a different frame of mind I will try again.  Meanwhile, I will try something less dark and twisty.  (I wasn't to the dark and twisty yet but it just had that feel)

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
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Adding my two cents to The Reliable Wife thread - if you're looking for dark & twisty, read to the end of Wife. I also thought it was dreary, but overall I felt it was well done.

Last Edited on: 3/2/11 9:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2011 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I started The Last King of Texas by Rick Riordan last night and I'm still listening to Ulysses.

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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LOL@John...I finished my re-read of the Morse series last year--one of my very favorites. Now I am almost done with TV series too. Then I will have to start on the Inspector Lewis shows--wish Colin Dexter had written books about him, too. :) I have tried reading Elizabeth George once, a few years ago, but couldn't get past page 50. I do intend to try again sometime. Martin Cruz Smith...I read his early Arkady Renko books years ago and loved them...must get back to that series sometime too.

When I need a comfort read, I say "time to dig out a nice Ellis Peters and go visit Brother Cadfael." :)

Cheryl

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/3/2011 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I finished The Kingsbridge Plot by Maan Meyers.  It was a bit slow for me simply because it's been a while since I've read something that takes place at the time of the beginning of the Revolutionary War.  The other thing was the authors used the vocabulary of the time so I was deciphering things in places.  What in the world was pease soup?  I came to the conclusion it was pea soup. :)

After finishing it I discovered it was book two of a series.  I'm not sure that I'll read the others.

Then I picked up the last two books of my Heather Webber Nina Quinn series.  Light reading and I zipped through them.  Now, what to read, what to read?  Something for the Challenge I guess though I am coming along nicely with that.

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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John --- How lovely to have a Lit professor in our midst --- was my major at University.  I too have enjoyed Martin Cruz Smith, but have not read any of his books in some time.  Will need to check the lists to see where I should pick up again.  Elizabeth George was one of my favorites years back, but I sort of got worn out with her --- probably time I went back and caught up with her once again. 

"Ape House" is just about to be completed and it has been an enjoyable read.  Although I posted my copy of "A Reliable Wife", perhaps I should read it next.  Especially since we have a hung jury or whether it is good or not (hee hee).  If I begin to read it, it will certainly be requested prior to completion!!!

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Geri, you are right, "pease" is basically dried peas, usually the yellow kind. Remember the old nursery rhyme "pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold...?" Yep, even their breakfast cereal was made of pease. YUCK! I dislike pea soup intensely though I do love a good bean soup. (It's what I have in my lunch today, actually...ham and 15-bean soup. I suspect there are a *few* pease in there, which is okay.) ;-)

I used to do some medieval cooking when I was active in the SCA. (Society for Creative Anachronism) for feasts and stuff. That was fun! I should look up the local group and see if they're still growing.

Cheryl

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/3/2011 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Cheryl, I thought it was pea soup since it mentioned having ham hocks in it.  My dad always made pea soup from the Easter ham bone. :)

I'm with you yuck on pease breakfast cereal.  Bad enough to be eating lots of oatmeal.

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,110
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Cheryl --- Good for you for thinking of Mother Goose to solve the mystery!!!  I also suspect that within 15 beans --- you might have encountered a stray pea!!!

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