Books and other stuff I feel like discussing
By education and experience - Accountant with a specialty in taxation. Formerly a CPA (license has lapsed). Masters degree in law of taxation from University of Denver. Now retired. Part time work during baseball season as receptionist & switchboard operator for the Colorado Rockies. This gig feeds my soul in ways I have trouble articulating. One daughter, and four grandchildren. I share the house with two cats; a big goof of a cat called Grinch (named as a joke for his easy going "whatever" disposition); and Lady, a shelter adoptee with a regal bearing and sweet little soprano voice. I would be very bereft if it ever becomes necessary to keep house without a cat.
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2007-11-03 3:53 PM
Time for another summary from my reading log.
Back on July 4, I mentioned that we got a dish for our TV connection and that I had watched Martin Scorcese's marvelous adaption of Edith Wharton's AGE OF INNOCENCE. I got the book on audio and listened to it as I ran errands. Seeing the movie first enriched the experience of enjoying the whole book. A rather pointed, and not always kind, examination of the restrictions and limitations placed on imaginative, creative persons by the mores of New York high society at the turn of the 20th century.
RETHINKING THIN by Gina Koleta.
A very interesting analysis of the weight loss industry and various research studies over the last 60 years or so. I wonder what the author is thinking this week in light of the excited announcements in the press that a long term study of cancer pronounces overweight as a significant risk factor.
LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich
Time for another dose of brain candy. I know it's mindless and I hear all the criticisms, but I can't help it, I enjoy the adventures of Stephanie Plum a lot.
DEAD CONNECTION by Alafair Burke
Burke introduces a new character - a young woman cop in New York City, with a nod to her famous dad included in the plot. Her books are OK in a midlist sort of fashion, definitely not a waste of time, but I'm not sure I'll read another.
RAVEN BLACK by Ann Cleeves
Cleeves won several awards in Britain for this book, and they are deserved. The murder of a young woman in the Shetland Islands stirs up turmoil in the relatively remote community. A mentally challenged man is unjustely accused of more than one crime. The cop, Jimmy Perez, is a character worth coming back to. I hope Cleeves does just that.
CHINA TRADE by S J Rozan
I decided to go back to the beginning of the Lydia Chin-Bill Smith series, and I'm glad I did. From Lydia's point of view, the trail of a group of thieves specializing in imported Chinese porcelain turns deadly when an odd sort of laundering scheme comes to light.
THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION by Michael Chabon
A few years ago on the Usenet group rec.arts.mystery, someone inquired about "quirky" mysteries. This one would fill the bill for sure, if anyone would like a recommendation. An alternate history of Alaska (and Israel) has a Jewish colony living in Sitka and facing reversion back into the greater US. No chance to go to the Middle East, it's entirely controlled by Arabs. A sad cop leaving in a flea bag hotel and drinking his life away is called to investigate the murder of another hotel resident. I've read a couple of others by Chabon, and he's always worth a look-see.
BLOODSHOT by Stuart MacBride
MacBride is a member of a new group of writers from the UK producing what's dubbed "Scottish Noir." A few books earlier in this series, policeman Logan MacRae was involved in a case which went horribly wrong, and is serving a kind of penance under two supervising officers, each candidates for the "worst boss of the century." MacRae is struggling to do well enough in his job to be reassigned to better duty, and in each book, not quite making it.
In this entry, the brutal death of a porn star, a serial rapist whose day job is that of a star soccer player, and several child abuse cases all interlock to keep MacRae striving to keep his head above water.
AWAY by Amy Bloom
This one was a marvelous find. A young woman emigre from the worst of the Russian pogroms is learning the ways of New York City when she finds out that her young daughter may still be alive in Russia, having survived the bloody attack on her family. The mother sets out to find her daughter, armed with nothing much beside an unshakeable resolve.
Bloom has an eccentric way with language, and it takes a few pages to get into the flow, but she doesn't waste a word, and serves up one of the most engrossing reads of the year. Look for this one on my "best of 2007" list.
CONCOURSE by S J Rozan
Several men working as security guards at a Bronx nursing home are assaulted, and two of them killed. The head of the security firm calls on his friend Bill Smith to investigate. The answer eventually turns up in the "paperwork" involved in running a medical facility. Lydia Chin is only marginally involved in the investigation, but her relationship with Bill enters a new phase by the time the book is over.
TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN by James Lee Burke
Burke's many readers have been waiting for him to turn to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans and the grim aftermath.
As the New Iberia sheriff's office is called to help the NOPD, Dave Robicheaux investigates the death of a priest, the sniper attack on four looters, the disappearance of valuable property belonging to a local gangster, and the opportunistic exploitation of that devastated city.
More in a few weeks!
Happy reading, everyone!
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