Mark Terry

Friday, November 05, 2010

What I've Been Reading

November 5, 2010
Here's the last 10 books I've read (OK, actually 11). I was going to put a little (p) and a little (e) for paper or e-book beside each figures until I realized that all 11 have been paper books. I'm currently read 2 books simultaneously, both on the Kindle. Go figure.

Crashers by Dana Haynes
I've mentioned this book before. It's a fantastic thriller about NTSB airplane crash investigators that investigate a terrorist plane crash in the Northwest. Not for those with weak stomachs and I really, REALLY don't recommend you read it on an airplane or just before you're planning to fly somewhere, but very well done.

Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist by Donald P. Ryan, PhD
A very enjoyable memoir. I learned tons about Egyptology, something I knew precious little about, about how archaeological digs are performed, the Valley of the Kings, what it's like to be an archaeologist (scrabbling for money and jobs, for the most part), and all sorts of stuff. I don't think you have to be into archaeology to like this book. A real pleasure.

Star Island by Carl Hiaasen
Hiaasen writes quirky satirical thrillers. The problem with this novel is it's all about a Lyndsey Lohan/Britney Spears-like pop star and the paparazzi. It's a very funny, very fun book, but the reality of it is so bizarre anyway that it's hard to make it seem satirical. Very enjoyable.

Body of Lies by David Ignatius
I saw the movie with Russell Crow and Leonardo DiCaprio, even though I barely remember it. I read the book and struggled through it. David Ignatius is a good writer, but the way he chose to write this novel was a little strange. I have very, very mixed feelings about it. A nice twist at the end, but the first third is barely comprehensible.

Strong Enough To Die by Jon Land
A pretty engaging thriller about a female Texas Ranger, part of a series. Deals with some seriously dark stuff involving terrorism, torture and what used to be called the military-industrial complex. Land's a pro and this is a well-crafted, intense novel.

People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture by Kendrick Frazier
A book about the Anasazi, focusing on Chaco Canyon, which was probably the Washington DC of the Anasazi World. A particularly good overview and after having read 4 books about the Anasazi and a half a dozen articles or so, I may be momentarily sated on the subject. I feel after reading this one that I got reasonable answers to most of the questions I had about the Anasazi. Although "Why did they abandon this place?" is only partially answered (because nobody really knows), but "Where did they go?" is reasonably well answered, as well as quite a bit of other interesting info.

Bad Blood by John Sandford
Another fine outting featuring Virgil Flowers. Sandford is unusually reliable, and although I generally prefer the Lucas Davenport novels to the Virgil Flowers novels, Virgil's a great character and Sandford's a great writer. I don't know that this is Virgil's best book, but it was very good.

Painted Ladies by Robert B. Parker
Oh dear. Parker died recently and this was published posthumously. The claim is that the book was probably written just prior to his death. My gut feeling is that it might have been started before his death, but was finished by someone else. The book just feels very, very different. Even when Parker was off his game (which, alas, he often was over the last 10 years), his writing itself had a kind of sparkle (although repetitive usage of the same tropes). This one seemed like the sparkle was missing, although most of the tropes were shifted a bit. A strange book, overall.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
This little gem of a novel was published with little fanfare and remains largely unknown by the reading public, which is unfortunate, because I'm sure if the publisher and the media had just gotten behind this book and given it a little bit of exposure it could have gained a much larger readership.

Hard Rain by David Rollins
Rollins is a wonderful writer. An Aussie writing about Special Agent Vin Cooper, who is an investigator with the U.S. Air Force, the voice is great, the plots intricate and fast-paced, and they're wildly great fun rides. This is the third book to feature Vin Cooper. Overall Rollins reminds me of Nelson DeMille, which is saying a lot. In this one Cooper and his partner Masters are sent to Turkey to investigate the bizarre murder of a military attache. Highly recommended.

Crossfire by Dick Francis & Felix Francis
Somehow I didn't write this down on my list anywhere. This was the final novel written while Dick Francis was still alive, with his son Felix. I've thought the books they wrote together have been a bit mixed, although generally pretty good. There were a few of Dick's books written toward the end of his wife's life that I didn't think were all that great (Stormy Weather comes to mind, and Shattered is very uneven), but I thought this novel was pretty much vintage Francis and if Felix can continue writing novels as good as this one, I'll be a happy camper.

Hey, what've you been reading?

4 Comments:

Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I'm currently reading I'd Know you Anywhere by Laura Lippman. It's not really a thriller, but the writing is very eloquent and the subject matter thought-provoking.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I've read some of Laura's stuff. She's a good writer. Doesn't really push my buttons, but I have a lot of respect for her.

6:24 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks, said...

LMAO about Harry Potter. You're so funny.

1:49 PM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I'm reading THE PERICLES COMMISSION by Gary Corby, a fantasy GRYPHON KING by my friend Mackay Wood.

In the past 2 weeks I've read BUTCHER BIRD and KILL THE DEAD by Richard Kadrey, WOLF'S CUB by Mackay Wood, and the 20 stories in our hold for voting, which is basically like reading 3 short story magazines. They're all good.

Only about 30 more TBR books left...

1:54 PM  

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