Friday, December 01, 2023

FFB: From 2007


I made this photo extra large because it is hard to read. Soon I will work my way out of my room and into the living room, which has books in much better condition but perhaps not as interesting to you. Anyway HARDBOILED has fabulous stories by Ed Gorman and James Reasoner in it as well as many from other true greats in the crime fiction field. I have read some but not all of them.

LAURA, I read years ago and it is one of my favorite noir movies. I don't think it was this copy I read though because it is very fragile. 

I really love Grace Paley stories. I think I have another collection somewhere.

THE MALTESE FALCON-I saw the film recently on a big screen and wondered again if I had read the book. Not sure. (Maybe I am more of a movie person than a book person) Liked Wilkie Collins' THE WOMAN IN WHITE more, but THE MOONSTONE is the one I own. I read both when Masterpiece Theater did them way back when. They have done them again since.

Love THE THIN MAN and because I saw the movie first, of course, I picture them as William Powell and Myrna Loy. Asta is pretty much the same in either version. You can see what horrible shape this one is in. When they are this bad it is because I saw them in a used bookstore and couldn't resist. I am not that hard on books although I do eat lunch reading so there is often mustard on them.

THREE BY FLANNERY O'CONNOR include WISE BLOOD and THE VIOLENT BEAR IT AWAY but also my two favorite shorts by her: "A Good Man is Hard To Find' and "The River." Have read everything in this collection at least once.

THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY, Charles Willeford. This is my least favorite Willeford and set in the world of art. I think there is a recent film made of it. Not sure why it didn't work for me. Maybe because it wasn't funny like the Hokes or scary like some of the rest.

DREAM STORY is apparently the novel from which Stanley Kubrick drew inspiration for EYES WIDE SHUT. I can't remember if I found that to be true. But since my interest in the work of both Cruise and Kubrick faded, I don't much care now.

I had a friend that loved the works of Orwell and he kept after me until I bought these two books. I am sure they are great but I never read them. But since my friend is gone and I miss  him I feel like I might need to try these some day.

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, James Cain. One on my favorites, for sure. Seen both movie versions too, but the book is far and away the best. There is a coldness the movies couldn't capture, I think.

What's on your shelf this week? Which of these have you read?


Jeff Meyerson said...

I like it! I've read HARD-BOILED, LAURA, the Paley stories (and all her others), THE MALTESE FALCON and THE THIN MAN, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, part of the Orwell. I have THE MOONSTONE but only read the beginning.

My shelves have emptied out somewhat since those days, as Jackie got rid of a lot of her paperbacks, to the basement laundry room "library" and to charity places that still take books. This has enabled me to take all the books that were lying on shelves and stand them up on otherwise empty shelves.

The first two and a half bookcases are my mystery paperbacks (I've probably read well over half of them) in alphabetical order by author. I have 4 other shelves in the second bookcase which could be characterized as "books to be read...someday" and then I have a secretary with three shelves of books I've read and intend (fingers crossed) to read again someday - A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME by Anthony Powell, the Flashman books by George Macdonald Fraser, Leon Edel's 5 volume biography of Henry James - as well as some yet to be read, like Trollope's Palliser series. In the hall is a wider three shelf bookcase of hardbacks and trade paperbacks (mostly Crippen & Landru short story collections), most of which I have read (other than some of the non-series Simenons). These are by Bill Crider, Bill Prozini, Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, etc. There are more hardbacks & Crippen & Landru books in the built-in bookcases in the wall (including all the Ed Hoch collections), but I have read a smaller proportion of these. I also have two or three shelves in Jackie's bookcases in here with books I've read and kept and others yet to be read.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Read the first DANCE TO THE MUSIC but never got any further. Have read books by most of the rest of your list.

TracyK said...

I have read more of these than I would have thought. Read THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE in November for the first time. I did not like the first 3/4 of the book, then the last quarter convinced me it is a very good book. But I did not enjoy reading it. I have read LAURA, THE MALTESE FALCON, and THE THIN MAN. I hope to read THE MOONSTONE in 2024. I have HARD-BOILED, but I have only read one story from it, "The Scorched Face" by Dashiell Hammett. Clearly I need to read more of the stories.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, THE POSTMAN is hard to take. So cruel.

George said...

Stacks and stacks of books! As soon as I cause one stack to dwindle another box of books arrives to create a new stack. I just finished reading two Library books so that stack is under control...for now. I have about a dozen Library books in the pipeline.

Diane read Ann Patchett's TOM LAKE and loved it. We requested the audiobook from the Library and it just showed up: 9 discs, 11 hours. Diane plays a disc at lunchtime so we should be done with listening to Meryl Streep's wonderful narration in a week.

Then, there are the podcasts. Do you listen to "If Books Could Kill" or "Past Present Future"?

Todd Mason said...

Read: Hardboiled, the Hammetts, most of the O'Connor in other packages, started the Cain but it went into a moving box and hasn't yet re-emerged. My father found Down and Out the most influential Orwell on him, but I haven't ye made the effort to dig it out...did we discuss here the fairly recent research in how much Orwell/Blair's wife helped/rewrote (the latter particularly Animal Farm) for him?