Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Four Way

We're doing a four way this week. Each of the four of us will tell you a little about what we've been reading. And we'd love to hear what you're reading, too! Marilyn starts us out.

Marilyn: Now that the hot, lazy days of summer are upon us, I have the perfect excuse to read mysteries to my heart's content. I've read three, and each and every one is a masterpiece.

To begin, I enjoyed Elizabeth George's latest, THIS BODY OF DEATH and was happy that Thomas Linley has formed a new romantic relationship after his wife's tragic murder.

Despite the less than rave reviews and the multitude of similar names, I devoured Stieg Larsson's THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST. The book ended on a satisfactory note.

Last but not least, is the book I finished last night: THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley. I first heard about this book at Malice, where it won an Agatha. Like the other two books I've mentioned, this is a novel as well as a mystery, and part of a series -- in this case, the first book in the series. Let me tell you, the sleuth, eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, is just as bold and inventiv in her own way, as Lisbeth Salender. Flavia's a budding chemist who creates poisons. In this debut book, she solves a thirty-year-old murder as well as a current murder her father's accused of having committed. I look forward to reading the next Flavia de Luce book.

Kaye: I loved THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, which I read before Malice Domestic, in April or May.

Lately I've picked up a couple of non-fiction books that have me hooked. One is THE ZEN OF ZOMBIE: BETTER LIVING THROUGH THE UNDEAD by Scott Kenemore. It's a motivational book based on, well, zombie behavior. The best takeaway so far is a single-minded focus (like, for instance on braaaains). Easy to read an hilarious. I have yet to see if it motivates to do great things.

I'm also reading THANKS, BUT THIS ISN'T FOR US by agent Jessica Page Morrell. I've just run across the best succinct definition of horror, thriller, mainstream, mystery, and romance genres that I've seen. I'm at about the half-way point in this book.

I started ISTANBUL by a native of that city, Orhan Pamuk, and was at first fascinated. It's rather gloomy though, dwelling on the past glories versus the present decaying of the place. I don't know whether I'll finish it or not.

And then I just picked up two by my guilty-pleasure author, Ann Rule. The Barnes and Noble clerk sold me on them (THE I-5 KILLER and SMALL SACRIFICES) when she told me that the two subjects, the man who was the I-5 Killer, and the woman in the other book who shot her children, started corresponding when they were in nearby prisons in Oregon. I just finished the I-5 KILLER and shuddered through the whole thing.

I have Stephen Liskow's WHO WROTE THE BOOK OF DEATH and Avery Aames' THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE lined up next.

Peg: I haven't been reading all that much this summer--I've mostly been writing and working and babysitting my 5 month old granddaughter! But I did get to read a few things.

I started the season with CAUGHT by Harlan Coben. Wonderful surprise ending that I absolutely did not see coming. It's a great "beach" read, that's for sure.

I followed that with ACCIDENTAL BEST SELLER, a women's fiction book by Wendy Wax. As a writer, it definitely interested me. There are four protagonists--all writers--and they come together to help one of their own who is suffering from writer's block due to the stresses of her life. I would definitely recommend it

Marilyn: I love Harlan Coben. Have several of his novels here in my office among my other 300 books I've yet to get read. Will I ever get to them all? The trouble is, I keep on ordering my favorite authors' latest books from the library. I'm looking forward to reading Tana French's newest mystery, FAITHFUL PLACE.

K D: I'm behind on everything, and just finished the second of the Dragon Tattoo series, The Girl Who Played With Fire. The first pages almost made me stop reading: I could not read The Collector, for example. But I kept reading, and ended by liking the book and liking Lisbeth better than I liked her in the first book. She is just as crusty and annoying in this book, but she cares about people, too.

Of course, liking the book didn't mean that I didn't like Nora Ephron's satire on it in the New Yorker, The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut. I hooted with laughter!

I enjoyed Louise Penney's The Brutal Telling. It's a pleasure to read a book with descriptions of art, snatches of poetry, loving descriptions of French-Canadian cooking, and a good story!

I read John Lawton's Second Violin, a recent thriller that my son suggested I read. It was good, but I am beginning to think that the Second World War is over, at least for me in my reading life.

Kaye: I might be in the strange and unusual (for me) position of having no Harlan Coben in my TBR mini-mountain. Mountains, rather. I probably should put THE GIRL WHO books there, too, at least the first, just to see what all the hype is about. That Nora Ephron piece could be better than the book.

Happy summer reading, everyone!

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