The Sunday Salon 2009-07-12: Week in Review

Yes it’s time for another of my sporadic leaps into the Sunday Salon.

Books: then and now

I seem to have done quite a bit of reading this week although the books have largely been disappointing. I gave up on David Hewson’t Season for the Dead at page 89 (I have a new page on this blog for DNF books that I don’t review) and have posted reviews for Gianluca Morozzi’s Black Out, Lisa Gardner’s Alone, and Joanne Harris’ Gentlemen and Players; none of which rated more than a 2 on my rating scale. I did also finish one excellent book which was The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe so the week wasn’t a total wash out.

I’ve just started a true crime book entitled The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale. It’s about an 1860 case of murder in a country house in England that, apparently, inspired writers of detective fiction like Wilkie Collins. The book has the dubious advantage of having been a selection for the Richard and Judy book club but I’m not holding that against it. Yet.

I also must read Ruth Rendell’s From Doon with Death and Michael Robotham’s Shatter before the end of this month (both for discussions next month at Oz Mystery Readers and 4 Mystery Addicts respectively.

Link Fest

My online reading this week has, as always, provided much food for thought and the occasional laugh:

  • An excellent response by Barbara Fister to a fairly superficial article published in Slate on the phenomenon that is the Scandinavian crime wave. Barbara’s assessment of what makes Scandinavian crime such good reading certainly stuck a chord with me and there are some good comments on the post
  • I wrote some time ago about blogs by groups of authors and now there’s a new one in the mix: International Crime Authors Reality Check. Contributors are Barbara Nadel, Christopher G Moore, Colin Cotterill and Matt Beynon Rees (author of my top pick for 2008 The Collaborator of Bethlehem)
  • Poison Pen have announced their first virtual mystery convention: to be held live on October 24 this year. Guests will include Lee Child and Dana Stabenow and for the very reasonable price of $25US it’s hard to find a reason not to attend.
  • Author of the Logan McRae books, Stuart MacBride continues to make me laugh ’til I hurt via his blog – he’s been on a book promotion tour of New Zealand this past week where among other things his iPod died and was reborn and he survived National Try to Drown a Scotsman Day
  • TJ at Book Love Affair did an interview with Evo from Podiobooks.com – a great reminder that there is much good free content available for one’s ears*. Podiobooks offers generally free (donations appreciated) books in serialised audio format and there are loads available, particularly in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. My first exposure to Podiobooks was when I hung out every week of early 2006 for the next installment of J C Hutchens’ 7th Son: Deceipt – a wicked romp of a thriller involving cloned US Presidents and other madness.
  • Yet again a Graph Jam user has encapsulated much that is wrong with today’s publishing industry with one simple pie chart

Other stuff

Finally, I am in major de-clutter mode (I am the opposite of a hoarder and love to get rid of stuff**) so have listed a swag more books to give away on book mooch. Feel free to check out my inventory and mooch away. I do post anywhere in the world although I use surface mail which can take 12 weeks from Australia.

*Why aren’t Scandinavian crime fiction books available in English in audio format?

**why is there not a word for we who do not hoard?

4 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon 2009-07-12: Week in Review

  1. Glad that you are reading “The Suspicious of Mr. Whicher”. Can’t wait for your review. In the meantime I’ll check out your inventory. :) Have a good week ahead!

  2. I think the answer to the Scandinavian-to-English crime books question is a simple one: you should translate and narrate. :)

    Thanks for spreading the word. I’m glad you’re enjoying some of our books!

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