Author Topic: My latest read is...  (Read 1928 times)

Kevin Burton Smith

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2019, 10:53:31 am »
It's summertime, and there are just so many books, so many TV shows, so many, well... no, there aren't so many movies. Most of them seem to be aimed at fourteen year olds of all ages.

So what to do? I want something heavy enough to make me think, but breezy enough that it doesn't feel like work.

And then along comes an unexpected surprise: celebrated New York cartoonist, screenwriter and author Jules Feiffer's recent amazing, audacious trilogy of graphic novels KILL MY MOTHER, COUSIN JOSEPH and The GHOST SCRIPT that somehow snuck by me undetected over the last few years.

Taken together, they're like a film noir mini-series, a ball-breaking, heart-wrenching alternative look at America in the 1940s and 50s, full of private eyes, cops good and bad, war heroes, movie stars, gangsters, jitterbuggers, con artists, corrupt politicos, Communists, thugs, drunks, barflies, kids with dreams and adults without any, bouncing from NYC to Hollywood and the Pacific Theatre, theoretically built around the Hannigan clan: a doomed police officer, his frustrated widow, and their pushy, precocious force-of-nature daughter who tears through the series, her ambitions flattening everybody in her way. And it's all illustrated in Feiffer's loosey goosey style, all angst and wild emotion and rubbery layouts, doused with the twitchy, is-it-you-or-is-it-me? neurotic humour Feiffer is known for, and a dark, foreboding sense that all is not right, and may never be; a lingering sense that we're all doomed, if we ignore the past.

It may be odd, but these three glorified comic books are more adult and thoughtful than almost anything playing down at the multiplex in this suburban wasteland, or half the books that have come in over the transom lately. These are Feiffer's first stabs at the graphic novel form, after a long, long career, but they sorta make you wish he hadn't waited until he was in his eighties to give the form a whack.

Kate Stine, Editor

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2019, 12:44:38 pm »
I just finished reading Lori Roy's GONE TOO LONG. It's a chilling tale about a small town, Georgia woman whose family has a long history in the Ku Klux Klan and her attempts to end that legacy. Lori Roy has already won two Edgars and I wouldn't be surprised if this is nominated as well. It's a twisting, unsettling story with an unexpected ending.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 12:55:01 pm by Kate Stine, Editor »

Kate Stine, Editor

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2019, 12:57:20 pm »
And then along comes an unexpected surprise: celebrated New York cartoonist, screenwriter and author Jules Feiffer's recent amazing, audacious trilogy of graphic novels KILL MY MOTHER, COUSIN JOSEPH and The GHOST SCRIPT that somehow snuck by me undetected over the last few years.

Kevin, those Jules Feiffer books sound fantastic! I'm putting them on my reading list, pronto.

JRob

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2019, 12:24:10 pm »
I just finished reading the Max Allan Collins mystery Girl Most Likely. It was a good read but I thought it could've used a dash more intensity overall.

Now to dive full force into my latest round of review copies.

KiwiCraig

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2019, 04:07:03 am »
Just finished BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich. Really brilliant 'hillbilly noir', gorgeously written. I read and loved LIKE LIONS, the sequel, earlier this year so grabbed the first book from the library last week and devoured it over the weekend.

Now halfway through BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke, again catching up on a great book I didn't get to on release. Marvellous, absolutely terrific. I have an ARC of the sequel, HEAVEN, MY HOME (out in Sept), so wanted to read the first one first.

Other terrific recent reads: THE CHAIN by Adrian McKinty, LADY IN THE LAKE by Laura Lippman, WHATEVER IT TAKES by Paul Cleave, the Natchez Burning trilogy by Greg Iles (been meaning to get to that for a while too), DOWN THE RIVER INTO THE SEA by Walter Mosley (another catch-up), THE WHISPER MAN by Alex North, CONVICTION by Denise Mina, CALL ME STAR GIRL by Louise Beech.

KiwiCraig

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2019, 04:07:56 am »
I just finished reading Laura Lippman's LADY IN THE LAKE (July, 2019). The quality of the writing is just swoon-worthy. It's a tale of two women in 1960s Baltimore:Cleo Sherwood, a poor young black woman, and Maddie Schwartz, a well-to-do but frustrated suburban wife. The shifting viewpoints come from a variety of characters as well as these two, giving the book a kaleidoscopic quality that brilliantly evokes a time and a place. Lippman beautifully organizes a complex story -- her concerns are much broader than who died and how -- and the emotional payoff at the end is just brilliant. Lippman is one of the best writers in the genre and I can't recommend this highly enough.

One of my fave reads of 2019, and it's been a year packed with really terrific mystery fiction.

KiwiCraig

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2019, 04:09:43 am »
I just finished The Chain by Adrian McKinty.

I really liked his first few books, featuring Sean Duffy as a police officer in Northern Ireland in the 80's. Excellent in every way.

The Chain is his "American thriller" -- his description. It's got an interesting concept -- Rachel's daughter is kidnapped, and to get her back she has to kidnap someone else's child -- but I found many sections implausible.

So this isn't a Sean Duffy book? I really liked Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly Duffy novel (reviewed for MS!).

No, it's not a Duffy. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and it sounded like he's put Duffy behind him.


Update for you Brian. I just interviewed Adrian last week for a New Zealand newspaper - he was done with Duffy before writing THE CHAIN (done with writing, in fact), but is now thinking of writing another Duffy novel or two. Watch this space.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 04:11:33 am by KiwiCraig »

Kate Stine, Editor

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2019, 11:29:31 am »
Oh that's great news about more Sean Duffy novels from Adrian McKinty! I really love that series.

JRob

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2019, 08:43:07 pm »
I just finished up reading the upcoming David Baldacci novel 'One Good Deed'. Now to write up a review draft before starting in on another ARC.

JRob

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2019, 04:08:16 pm »
Finished up the Ellen Hart ARC "Twisted At The Root"!

KiwiCraig

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2019, 04:48:48 am »
Just finished a Roald Dahl book of short stories, some of which were crime-y, all of which were a bit twisted and sinister. Very good.

Now onto I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS by William Deverell, a recent book in the Canadian crime doyen's Arthur Beauchamp series.

JRob

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2019, 07:36:39 pm »
I spent the better part of the afternoon and this evening finishing up the ARC of C.J. Box's new book "The Bitterroots".

JRob

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2019, 04:04:17 am »
I finished the new Maddie Day Country Store mystery "Strangled Eggs and Ham". I'm a huge fan of the series and this book was just great! My review of it is up on a certain site and I linked it on my personal Facebook page.

JRob

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2019, 06:32:47 pm »
My local library has a mystery book club and this month's selection was Ingrid Thoft's "Loyalty". I had suggested it and that's what the group picked.

I finished reading it again yesterday and still think it is a fantastic book and the start of what has turned out to be a fabulous series.

I exchanges messages with Ingrid on Facebook on rare occasions so when we picked her book, I sent a message to her. She got back to me a few days later and said that it was great we chose the book and thanked me for suggesting the group read the book.

Then she floored me by offering to Skype in for part of our meeting when we discuss the book! So that's going to be happening this coming week. Well, assuming the library director does what he needed to do by contacting her and doing the finalizing of things.

Kate Stine, Editor

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Re: My latest read is...
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2019, 01:02:42 pm »
Wow, that's great about Ingrid Thoft Skyping with your book club. We were very happy to have interviewed her a few years ago in the magazine. In addition to being a good writer, she was a very intelligent and engaging when it came to discussing her work.