Sunday 24 July 2016


Back on track with a great month's reading after a couple of months in the doldrums. Assisted by a lazy week sitting around a pool in Spain, sipping cold San Miguel's, I read 13 books in the month - only a few of which I've managed to pen some thoughts on.

The full list of reads were.......

Steven Hayward - Jammed Up (A Debt Gone Bad Novella) (2016) (4)

Robin Yocum - A Brilliant Death (2016) (5)

Sarah M. Chen - Cleaning Up Finn (2016) (4.5)

Stephen Jay Schwartz - Boulevard (2009) (4)

Robert Campbell - Plugged Nickel (1988) (4)

Kenneth Cook - Fear is the Rider (2016) (4.5)

Iain Ryan - Four Days (2015) (4.5)

Augusto De Angelis - The Hotel of the Three Roses (1936/2016) (3.5)

J. Frank James - Lou Malloy: The Run Begins (2013) (4)

Lou Berney - Whiplash River (2012) (4)

Harry Dolan - Bad Things Happen (2009) (4)

Patrick Hoffman - Every Man a Menace (2016) (4)

Duane Swierczynski - Canary (2015) (4.5)

Book of the Month - Robin Yocum's A Brilliant Death - the only book scoring top marks.

4 reads a shade below at 4.5, 7 rating 4 stars and 1 slightly less - Augusto De Angelis at 3.5. Nothing sucked, nothing wasted my time.

A bit more trivia or data........

9 of the 13 were new-to-me authors, 4 have been read before - Robert Campbell, Iain Ryan, Lou Berney and Duane Swierczynski.

No surprises here - 12 dudes, only 1 dudess - but Sarah M. Chen more than held her own.

9 authors hail from the US, 2 from Australia, 1 from Italy, 1 from England

All 13 were fiction.

7 were paperback reads, 5 were Kindle editions, 1 was a PDF - printed and read (sod the trees!)

1 originally published in the 1930s, 1 from the 1980s, 2 from the noughties, 9 from this decade - 5 from this year.

5 of the 13 books I pre-owned, 1 was accessed via Net Galley, 1 was accessed via Edelweiss, 4 were sent to me by publishers and 2 from the authors/publicists on their behalf.

Favourite cover? A few contenders - Yocum's isn't too bad. Swierczynski's is fun and eye-catching. Campbell's is quite interesting, Sarah M. Chen's is cool.

A couple I really don't like - sorry Mr Hayward and Mr James, though I probably haven't done Steven Hayward any favours using a crappy out of focus image - sorry!

On balance, Patrick Hoffman's Every Man a Menace is a winner, with a lot more going on there than at first glance!


  1. Glad you had such a good reading month, Col. And I give you credit for 'meeting' so many new-to-you authors. I always think that broadens the perspective.

    1. Margot the only problem with finding more new authors is there's more to look out for in the future!

  2. I really like that collection of covers - very colourful and promising. Will you post a review of the Robin Yocum book?

    1. Yes, hopefully this coming week - I'm only 20-something behind!

  3. Good variety, Col, and an equally good number of books read in June. I aspire to a similarly fruitful reading month.

    1. Prashant thanks. I had a great month numbers-wise and nothing stank the place out. My July reading has dropped a little bit, but did have a slight boost from the holiday over-lapping both months. I don't write so I'm trying to juggle the two disciplines unlike yourself.

    2. I'm NOT trying to juggle...

  4. A lot of books in June, Col. Even with a vacation I could not read so much. Looking forward to the reviews you haven't gotten to yet. I thought I had a copy of Boulevard by Schwartz on the Kindle, but not finding it.

    1. Tracy thanks - I'll catch up with them eventually, though it will take some weeks. I liked Boulevard, but I'm kind of hoping you don't have a copy, its fairly graphic and brutal.