Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling for Insane Times or Shelfy Selfy

Judith at Reader in the Wilderness has started a new meme: Bookshelf Traveling For Insane Times. The idea is to look through a bookshelf or a bookcase or stacks of books and share some thoughts on the books. You can find more details here and here at Judith's blog.

Now Friday is our FFB day here, so I am going to do this on Tuesday and maybe some of you will join me. I am going to do ten books at a time rather than a whole shelf. And this group is a chaotic bunch as are most of my shelves.
The bottom book is the New York Stores of Edith Wharton. A gift book and I have read one or two of them. One of the many book I have from the NYRB series. A favorite Christmas gift from Phil.I must add I am a great fan of Bleak House, Age of Innocence and Summer, three of her novels.

I have read most of Tana French but this (The Trespasser) is not one of them. My favorite is A Faithful Place.

I have read several biographies of Anne Frank. And of course her diary. As a teenager I was obsessed with the Holocaust and still am. Going to Krakow and seeing the camps only heightened the interest. Anne Frank, the biography by Melissa Muller is a favorite.

This is a James Sallis book I have not read. I think he is a beautiful writer. Cypress Grove and its sequels about a small town sheriff are my favorites. (Potato Tree)

The Devil's Own Rag Doll was written by Mitch Bartoy who was a student in one of my writing workshops. This is one of the two books Mitch published. And then he disappeared. This is a very good crime novel, set in Detroit in the forties. He and Megan shared a first Bouchercon in 2005 or 2006. I followed behind them. The first time he stood up and read a section of this in the workshop, I felt in over my head.

Jean Thompson is a favorite short story writer. I have read this one. (Do Not Deny Me). 

The Innocent is by Ian McEwan. Although I have read most of his work, I don't think I have read this novel At least the first page is unfamiliar.

Don't Look Back by Karen Fossum is a favorite.  I love her settings (Norway) and her series detective, Inspector Sejer.

Amsterdam Stories by Nescio- another gift that I haven't read. Phil was always drawn to the books in the NYRB classic series. Sadly, I doubt I have read many of them. I really have always needed to choose my own books. Either they speak to me or not. Now interestingly, he was the same way. I can't tell you how many unread books I gave him. He was even more prone to a particular interest at a particular time then I was.

The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other, Chris Rhatigan. Chris is a delightful guy who published many of my stories over the years. I had completely lost track of this very slim book until now. I will read it soon.

How about you? Want to share a few books on your shelf. Picture is not necessary. Do you need to choose your own books or do gift-givers do a good job of picking ones?


Margot Kinberg said...

You have some excellent choices here, Patti! I really like this idea for a meme, too!

Jeff Meyerson said...

I like the idea, Patti. Sallis is a favorite of mine. POTATO TREE is a short story collection. I probably have read it, as I've read most of his available books.

I'll start with books on my to be read list (which is huge). Some of these went to Florida and back but didn't get read, mostly because a bunch of things I'd put on hold at the library became available to download. RealSoonNow.

1. Andrea Camilleri, The Safety Net. Latest (not last, thankfully) of the late author's great series about Insp. Salvo Montalbano in Sicily. The last didn't have the usual humor, but they are all worth reading.

2.Martin Gilbert, Prophet of Truth: Winston S. Churchill 1922-1939. Volume 5 of the Authorized Biography is the longest, over 1000 pages, and covers his years in the Cabinet in the '20s, followed by his "Wilderness Years" before he was called back in 1939. I searched for a reasonably priced copy for years before I bought this paperback. Now the whole series can be had in ebooks, some at very reasonable prices

3. Kenneth Cook. Wake in Fright. I went through a big Aussie movie phase in the '80s and one of my favorites was OUTBACK, the outstanding adaptation of Cook's novel, starring Gary Bond, a menacing Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty (in his last role), and Jack Thompson (in his first). I bought this online a couple of years ago, still haven't read it. Incidentally, the book came out in 1961, the movie in 1971.

4. Michael Swanwick, In the Drift. I think I read about this on Black Gate, bought it online. ((Most of the ones I'm buying now, you can assume were not available in the library or as cheap ebooks.) This is science fiction, about the aftermath of Three Mile Island.

5. James Sallis, Time's Hammer. I've tried to read everything Sallis has written (other than the poetry), so bought this, called "The Collected Short Fiction," those inside it is clearly marked Volume One.

6. Steven Cooper, Dig Your Grave. I read a couple of good - and intriguing sounding - reviews of Cooper's first book about Phoenix Detective Alec Mills and "reluctant psychic" Gus Parker. I got it and read it (DESERT REMAINS) and enjoyed it, but since book two was otherwise unavailable I was able to buy a cheap paperback.

7. Patricia Abbott, Home Invasion. I've read most of Patti's other books and stories that I could find, so I was never NOT going to read this "novel in stories" about two generations of the Batch family.

8. Art Taylor, THe Boy Detective & The Summer of '74 and Other Tales of Suspense. I don't ever remember reading Taylor before. This is the latest collection from Crippen & Landru. I have a subscription and get all their books as published (in trade paperback), at 20% discount.

9. Edward D. Hoch, Hoch's Ladies. Latest Hoch collection from Crippen & Landru. Read this in Florida. This has stories about three of his lesser known, women, detectives, Libby Knowles, Susan Holt (the only one I knew), and Annie Sears. Even minor Hoch is worth reading.

10. Silver Bullets: The 25th Anniversary of Crippen & Landru Publishers. Brendad DuBois, Terrence Faherty, Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller, Peter Lovesey, Edward Marston, Michael Z. Lewin, others. I read this in Florida too.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I'm with Phil. I like those New York Review Books too. I must admit that there are a few of your short story writers that I don't know at all. Which might be a good thing.

Rick Robinson said...

I've been meaning to do this meme on my blog, but have been to scatter-brained to pull a post on it together. Glad your doing it, hope to see another next week.

Rainy here, though not cold. Not getting much reading done, but working on it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Art Taylor did a book in stories about two years ago. On the Road with Del and Louise. He has won a lot of awards for his stories. A lot of these I don't know, Jeff.

Steven A Oerkfitz said...

I have about a dozen NYBR books that I haven't read.

1. Brown Dog by Jim Harrison. This collection brings together all his Brown Dog novellas.
Brown Dog is an Michigan Native American who can never seem to manage to stay out of
2. Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter. A NYRB edition. Comes blurbed by George Pelecanos
and Richard Price.
3. Butcher's Crossing by John Williams. Another NYRB edition. A historical novel of the west.
I'm a sucker for these. Already read and enjoyed Warlock by Oakley Hall recently. Also
from NYRB.
4. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. One of my favorite writers. Been putting this
off because of it's length.
5. Dune by Frank Herbert. Read this in the early sixties when it first came out. I feel
it's time for a reread.
6. Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Fourth in his Cemetery of Forgotten
Books series. Another long one.
7. So Many Doors by Oakley Hall. A Hardcase Crime book. I really liked his Warlock.
8. Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories by Algernon Blackwood. These are from the
early 1900's and were a big influence on Lovecraft. The only one I have read by him
was The Wendigo.
9. The Last Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. The fourth in his Tourist series. One of my
favorite spy novelists.
10. Shake Him Till He Rattles/It's Cold Out There by Malcolm Braly. Two Gold Medal
reprints from Stark House. Braly started writing while in prison. His most famous
novel was On the Yard.

George said...

I'm amused at the books in the background of reporters and experts "working from home" on MSNBC and CNBC. But if a TV camera came into my basement, they would need a wide lens to capture all the shelves of books!

Jeff Meyerson said...

I like Steinhauer too.

George, we were just discussing that yesterday, how everyone on MSNBC seems to have a wall of books behind them. I didn't think about your basement!

Jeff Meyerson said...

We just watched our local news and the 6:00 anchor, who is at home alone with Coronavirus, was shown...with a full wall of books behind him. I guess it's a thing. I am not in the Kelley class, but so far my book wall can top any of those I've seen on television.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Steve-a number of these are on my shelves too. My books are scattered among many walls. And Phil's office has many more. Most I haven't read. I tend to pass on ones I have to the library.

TracyK said...

Patti, sorry I did not see this yesterday. It was a bad day for me. Today I am much better. I am glad you joined in on the Bookshelf Traveling meme.

I haven't read anything by James Sallis, but I have Cypress Grove and a couple of other books. I also have Don't Look Back by Karen Fossum (also on my shelves for a long time). I did read the first book in the series, which came out later (Eva's Eye, I think). The book by Mitch Bartoy sounds very interesting.

I have read the first four books by Tana French but I want to read Secret Harbor before The Trespasser. Don't have either one of those, unfortunately.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is so unpredictable when the fear will knock you down. The only thing that helps me is to stay away from news as much as possible. And to remind friends who call I don't want to hear much bad news. Some people derive strength by keeping well informed. But I don.'t At least not in something this huge.
Secret Harbor is a very good one too. Stay well, stay alive.