Sunday, February 12, 2006

Reading Into the Past: Week of 2/12

This week I rolled an eight, so I'll be looking at the books I was reading this week in 1998:
  • Both Ends of the Night by Marsha Muller (2/5)
    This is part of her Sharon McCone (which I probably spelled wrong) PI series, and I think it's just before the point the supporting cast, like kudzu, completely took over the series. But I have no idea which one this would be; I read close to thirty of these and I don't recall any plots any more.
  • Smoker by Greg Rucka (2/8)
    I went to college with Rucka, so I try to keep up with his books (though I think I'm three behind now -- bad college buddy, no cookie!). This was part of the Atticus Kodiak series, which is either over or in deep storage right now. Kodiak was a bodyguard, which made this series quite a bit different from most of the mystery stuff I read. (I think I've previous mentioned I like mysteries much better than thrillers, but I'll make an exception for writers I know socially.) This one was about a secret witness in some big tobacco case, and Kodiak had to keep him from getting killed by The Bad Guys (probably the nefarious thugs of international tobacco).
  • Crescent City Kill by Julie Smith (2/9)
    This was part of the series about her New Orleans police detective whose name I can't recall. The problem I had with the series was that the first book was absolutely wonderful -- it won the Edgar, I think, and deserved it -- and each book after that was just a little less special and interesting. I have no ideas which one this was, and I eventually stopped reading them.
  • Good Behavior by Donald E. Westlake (2/10)
    It's a Dortmunder book, and thus well worth reading, but I don't recall the plot of this one.
  • Night Train by Martin Amis (2/10)
    This is the "I am a police" book, told in the first person by a female American cop. I didn't believe a word of the main character's voice, especially the way she referred to herself and her fellow police officers. I'm sure some writers, including Amis on his better days, could have made me believe her. But he didn't this time.
  • Star Trek: New Frontier: Martyr by Peter David (2/10)
    I read the first six or seven books in this series, but I always make sure to purge all Star Trek knowledge from my brain immediately afterward. I just don't have that kind of hard-drive space free.
  • Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (2/11)
    I believe this is the novel about a man who is part of a crowd trying to hold down a hot-air balloon that lands by accident in a field, and witnesses the death or one (or more?) people when the balloon lurches back up into the air, dragging some of them off the ground. Then, in typical McEwan fashion, another man who was there that day becomes obsessed with him, and unpleasant things happen. McEwan writes the best novels about absolutely horrible things that happen to normal people; this isn't his best book (I'd go with either Atonement or The Comfort of Strangers there), but none of his books are less than excellent.
I don't know how I had so much time to read on February 10th of 1998, but I sure wish I could replicate that now. (It was just over a month before Thing 1 was born, so maybe my wife was off at a baby shower?) Anyway, almost all of these were short books (I love short books, in case you haven't noticed yet), so it's not as impressive as it might look.

1 comment:

Justin Steiner said...

Rucka is putting out a new Atticus Kodiak novel later this year, title Patriot Acts. I'm looking forward to it.

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