One Book, Two Fish, Buckle My Shoe?

As far as I can tell this meme (the name of which I have mangled completely) (I never was very good at nursery rhymes) started at Stuck in a Book, travelled here and here, was adapted here and then went here and…well you get the idea. Here’s my take…

The book I’m currently reading: BORN TO RUN by John M Green. The author is an Aussie but the book is a political thriller set in the US during the run up to a post-Obama election. I’m enjoying the conspiracies, shady characters and the reaffirmation of my belief that politics is just about the dirtiest business on earth. Seriously, international arms trading has more integrity.

The last book I finished: Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s ASHES TO DUST involving a case of three (and a bit) bodies found in a house abandoned during a 1973 volcanic eruption. Officially no one died from the eruption itself  as locals don’t count the man who was gassed in his basement from the toxic output of the eruption because he was an alcoholic (and presumably deserved all he got?) so the bodies must have been the result of deliberate murder. I liked the book very much because it was about volcanoes (a little bit anyway) and was funny.

The next book I want to read: I still have a couple of challenges to finish off for the year so I’m going to read Shamini Flint’s A DEADLY CAMBODIAN CRIME SPREE then Canadian author Maureen Jennings’ EXCEPT THE DYING to take care of the Global reading challenge.

The last book I bought: On Friday I ordered Derek Hansen’s A MAN YOU CAN BANK ON. It’s an Aussie comic noir tale and I took advantage of a local online seller’s free shipping offer for the day as it has been given lots of stars by two of my Good Reads friends. I don’t buy many physical books any more and while I do love eBooks I miss arriving home to find little packages of joy on the doorstep so I shall savour the arrival of this one.

The last book I was given: PRIVATE DICKS AND FEISTY CHICKS: AN INTERROGATION OF CRIME FICTION by Australian crime writer Cathy Cole. The book started life as her doctoral dissertation and I’m looking forward to chapters on the moral zone of the genre, crime and politics and am having fun imagining what the chapter called “Hellholes, havens and heterotopias” is all about.

Which was the last book you borrowed from the library? Yesterday I brought home the hardcover of Andrea Camilleri’s THE TRACK OF SAND which is the 12th Inspector Montalbano mystery. I very much enjoyed its predecessor and am keen to get stuck into this one in which the intrepid inspector arises one morning to find the carcass of a horse on the beach.

What is the most recent e-book you read? Outrage by Arnaldur Indriðason which I read on my iPad (Kindle app). I was one of my recent insomnia-inspired binge of mostly translated fiction and Ithought it very good. It was one of those books that makes you put yourself in the circumstances of the players and ponder what you might do. It also makes you hungry for Indian food.

What was the first book you read this year (I skipped the translated books question as lots of my recent reads have been translated as can be seen from earlier answers) Australian author Kathryn Fox’s DEATH MASK which I thought an outstanding start to the year. It concerns crimes committed in/around the world of elite sports and is a fascinating insight into all aspects of that worrying culture.

Which book is at the top of your Christmas list? I’ve been getting into books about crime fiction lately (like the one mentioned above and I also bought a copy of PD James’ TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION). I would like to get some more but it’s hard to know which are good. I’m not really interesting in books that focus on one author (like the plethora of companions to Christie or Doyle) but if anyone has any recommendations for good books about crime fiction (that I can read while waiting for Margot to publish hers) do let me know as I have a birthday and Christmas coming up 🙂 

Which so-far unpublished book are you most looking forward to reading? I don’t buy that many brand new releases (though it’s getting more economical to do so with eBooks) but I am looking forward to Sue Grafton’s latest alphabet mystery – V IS FOR VENGEANCE – due out on the 14th of November. This is one of only two series of which I have read each instalment as they were released. The quality has waxed and waned a little over that period but the last one was terrific and I do have a special place in my heart for Kinsey, Henry and the 1980’s. Only 4 more installments after this one!

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11 Responses to One Book, Two Fish, Buckle My Shoe?

  1. Sarah says:

    I can’t wait for V is for Vengence too. I’ve read them right from the beginning and at some point in the alphabet, my books change from paperback to HB.


    • It’s a good job I’m not OCD about book collections because my alphabet books go from little paperbacks (when I was new to the series) to trade paperbacks (when I realised I loved them) back to the little ones (when I was kinda iffy) and the last one I bought in Audio format (no longer iffy but someone recommended the narrator and she was excellent). We generally don’t genre authors released in HB here in Oz though my copy of L is a small hardcover – I think I must have gotten that one from Doubleday or something


  2. bibliolathas says:

    Have you read Julian Symons’ _Bloody Murder: from the Detective Story to the Crime Novel_ (3rd edn. 1992)? I really enjoyed his overview on the development of crime fiction. He has pretty strong opinions on almost everything. A bit out of date, of course, but great on the classics.


  3. Sarah says:

    Re books about crime ficiton, this isn’t new but my favourite is HRF Keating’s ‘Whodunit – A guide to crime, suspense and spy fiction’. It was written in 1982 so has nothing beyond that date. But it deals with all the classic crime writers and has an interesting section on ‘How I write my books’ by PD James, Patricia Highsmith and Eric Ambler amongst others. I’m pretty sure it’s out of date and the book has dated I’m afraid but it’s still a classic and will have plenty on there to interest any crime fan. I would recommend it if you can get hold of an old copy.


    • This is going on the list too – I don’t mind it being dated as I quite like reading about the foundations of the genre – interesting to compare with today’s writing. I’ll keep an eye out on Abe and ebay – prices seem to range for these kinds of things from a few cents one month to $100 the next time I look but I am patient 🙂


  4. Maxine says:

    Great answers, I have an idea about xmas/birthday lists but I’m not going to tell you. For mine of same, I usually put something I “can’t afford or justify” so for my last birthday I got Misterioso (HB only) and Scandinavian Crime Fiction (part of a country series), an academic book so textbook price (eye-watering, we should be thankful we read general fiction which even if not discounted is about 1/3 the price of textbooks/academic/specialist books). There is a whoppingly huge Encycl of Crime Fiction by Barry Forshaw (see crimetime website) not read by me as too expensive for me to have the face to ask for, and also his much smaller cheaper version the Rough Guide to Crime fiction, which I got a few xmases ago and which is quite good but probably won’t tell you anything you don’t already know.
    Thanks for the heads-up on V is for Vengeance, I thought her last one was one of the better ones so I too am now looking forward to this!


  5. I did see the Encyclopaedia somewhere and choked at the price too, especially as I’m only going to be dipping in and out of something like that. I notice from the website that he has a guide to Scandinavian crime fiction coming out next January…maybe I’ll wait for that. Some of the blurbs sound very encouraging


  6. Bernadette – You’ve got some excellent book choices here and I absolutely must congratulate you on the title of this post – inspired! Have you heard about Mary Jane DeMarr’s In the Beginning: First Novels in Mystery Series? It’s a collection of essays by those who study detective fiction; all of them focus on first novels in series and how the series evolve from them.
    …And thanks for the kind words. That means a lot to me…


  7. Simon T says:

    Thanks for playing! I love the title to this post 🙂
    I haven’t read of, or indeed heard of, these books… but for the question on books about crime fiction, have you tried Raymond Chandler’s The Simple Art of Murder?


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