Thursday, 13 August 2015

JULY 2015 - READING LIST AND PICK OF THE MONTH

Another decent month's reading but the blogging and reviewing proved to be a bit of a struggle.

I still have about 4 books to post a few semi-coherent thoughts on from last month.

The full list of reads is as follows:



Larry D. Sweazy - See Also Murder (2015) (4)

Max Allan Collins - Hush Money (1981) (4)

Nik Frobenius - Dark Branches (2015) (4)

John Lantigua - Heat Lightning (1987) (4)

Chelsea Cain - Heartsick (2007) (4)

Bill Pronzini - Labyrinth (1981) (5)

Ken Bruen - Merrick (2014) (3)

Sam Abbott - A Cold Goodbye (2015) (4)

Charles Bukowski - The Bell Tolls For No One (2015) (4)

Jonathan Craig - Junkie (1952) (4)

Pick of the month and the only title meriting an arbitrary 5 stars - Bill Pronzini's Labyrinth from 1981 - the 6th entry in his still running series.

Second most enjoyable book was Max Allan Collins - 4th Nolan entry Hush Money from the same year.

One disappointment - Ken Bruen's Merrick - more on that to follow soon.


A bit of useless data..........

10 reads from 10 different authors.

6 of the 10 were new-to-me authors.

1 of the 10 was a 5 star read and 8 of the other 10 were 4's – with only one 3 star.



8 of the 10 authors read were male. 2 were female.

Cover of the month! The Bell Tolls For No One




6 of the 10 authors hail from the US. 1 from England - now domiciled in the US, 1 from Ireland, 1 from Norway, 1 from Germany - though his prose have more of a grounding in the US - Charles Bukowski! (Birthplace is my arbitrary identifier.)

One book from the 50s, three from the 80s, one from the 2000s and 5 from this decade.

9 were definitely fiction - Bukowski's book was a selection of his pieces that were originally put out under his Notes of a Dirty Old Man underground newspaper column. There were a few short stories as well in there - so we'll call it 50/50. Fiction-non fiction.

3 books were sent to me by the authors (or publicists/publishers on their behalf) – cheers!.

2 were accessed via Edelweiss review site (similar to Net Galley), 1 was a Munsey's freebie

4 were pre-owned/bought!

4 were paperbacks, 1 was a hardback, 4 were Kindle reads and 1 was a PDF file.

Total page count - 2260

17 comments:

  1. Col, my pick would be Larry D. Sweazy, Max Allan Collins, and Bill Pronzini whose novels I definitely plan to read.

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    1. Pronzini and Collins are definite favourites of mine - more to come from them in future months. Sweazy was enjoyable, but I did have a few quibbles with it.

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  2. Nice lot of books, Col. Not surprised that you chose the Pronzini; he has a lot of talent. Nice to see, too, that these were, by and large, good reads - not a dud among them.

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    1. Margot thanks - Mr Pronzini seems to churn out high quality books, time after time. I haven't been able to find fault with any that I have read! Long may it continue....

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  3. I too have enjoyed Max Allan Collins’ work. Looking forward to finding out why Bruen’s book disappointed you.

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    1. I have 3 more Nolan books to go then I think I'll be reading his Quarry series. Bruen should be up on Saturday - I bet you can't wait...haha

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  4. Glad you enjoyed the Pronzini so much! I've only read one Ken Bruen (very good) and will be interested as to why this one disappointed.

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    1. Yes - me too. The next one Hoodwink wasn't too shabby either!

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  5. Quite a chunk of reading there! Glad you at least moderately enjoyed the Craig (phew!).

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    1. Yes - it wasn't too bad, Thoughts to follow in a few days - which might require a bit of rereading!

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  6. With all the books Max Allan Collins has written, it is amazing that I have not read any. I have True Detective and some of the later books in the Nate Heller series, and some of the Disaster series, and I hope I get to them next year.

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  7. With all the books Max Allan Collins has written, it is amazing that I have not read any. I have True Detective and some of the later books in the Nate Heller series, and some of the Disaster series, and I hope I get to them next year.

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    1. I really wish I had time and money to explore his Heller series as I really enjoy his stuff. I don't know much anything about the Disaster series - I'll look it up and see what its about.

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    2. I haven't read the Disaster books, but as far as I can tell they are really stand alone books with no connection, so one could start anywhere. Which is a plus.

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    3. I did look them up on Fantastic Fiction. I think I'll stick with what I have for now.

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