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Showing posts from August, 2008

Reading report for June and July 2008

The period from the last week of June, the whole of July and the first week of August was an incredibly busy time for me. First came a 3 week intensive summer school in Croatia, during which time I read only 3 books, then a 12 day stop at home, followed by a 10 day holiday in the USA, during which I read a total of 1 book. I am surprised that I managed to read as many as of 16 books in June and July, but of course most of them were June reads.

Of the June books, 2 were rereads.

Books I read in June:
B.M. Gill: Seminar for Murder
Nick Hornby: High Fidelity
Linda Howard ofl.: Under the Boardwalk
Tim Moore: Spanish Steps
J.D. Robb: Betrayal in Death & Interlude in Death
Margaret Truman: Murder in the Smithsonian

Rereads in June:
Jennifer Crusie: Anyone but you & Bet me

Books I read in July:
Polly Evans: On a Hoof and a Prayer
Georgette Heyer: Powder and Patch & April lady
Timothy Holme: The Neapolitan Streak
Hrafn Jökulsson : Þar sem vegurinn endar
Jerry Stanley: Children of the dust bo…

Bibliophile reviews Roads: Driving America’s great highways by Larry McMurtry

Year published: 2000
Genre: Non-fiction, travel
Setting & time: USA, 20th century

At the end of the second millennium acclaimed author Larry McMurtry set out to drive along some of America’s interstate highways. Each month he would choose one or more interstate, fly to the end of the road or a handy stop along the way, rent a car and drive home to Texas. Most of the roads he chose were ones he knew already, but a few he had not been on before. The trip was mostly made without any stops other than the necessary ones for sleep, food or restroom breaks, and generally at or above the maximum speed limit.

If this sounds like an unlikely premise for a travelogue, I agree that it is, but McMurtry has managed to write a readable book about it nonetheless, as have others, like the previously reviewed books by Rosie Thomas and Tim Cahill.

Roads is not a book for people who like authors who stay in one place for long stretches of time and really get to know a place. Neither is it for people who…

Bibliphile reviews Strangled Prose (mystery) by Joan Hess

Series detective: Claire Malloy
No. in series: 1
Year of publication: 1986
Type of mystery: Murder
Type of investigator: Amateur, aided and thwarted by police
Setting & time: Arkansas, USA; mid 1980's

I recently found this review which I wrote ages ago, but then put aside as I wasn't certain I should publish, as it may seem a bit too much like a rant. I decided that I would publish it, as it illustrates something that really nags me, not only about the occasional mystery, but also about some romances. It concerns behaviour that is designed to really make me lose all sympathy for characters guilty of it.

Story: Claire Malloy, in spite of her unflattering opinions of romance novels, agrees to host the publication party of her friend Mildred's (aka Azalea Twilight) latest offering, Professor of Passion, a torrid story about amorous goings-on at a university. A militant feminist member of the faculty invades the party and reads passages from the book that draw up an unflattering…

Mystery author # 44: Margaret Truman

Margaret Truman, who died in January of this year, wrote a number of non-fiction books, mostly dealing with the White House and her parents, U.S. President Harry S. Truman and his wife, Bess. She also wrote a series of mysteries that take place at various landmarks in Washington D.C. In the Wikipedia article on her it is said that it has been claimed that the books were ghost-written, I suppose because someone decided it was beneath her to write mysteries.

The books in the Capital Crime series can be divided into two sub-series: those that feature Annabel Reed and/or Mackenzie Smith as the detectives, and those that don’t. I read one of each, not out of any particular choice, but because those were the ones I owned.

Title:Murder at the Library of Congress
Detective: Annabel Reed-Smith
No. in series: # 16 in the Capital Crimes series; # 8 in the sub-series featuring Annabel Read (-Smith) and Mackenzie Smith
Year of publication: 1999
Type of mystery: Murder, stalking
Type of investigator: Ama…