Saturday, 22 November 2014

breakdown and some book talk

        So.........that was not intended, that blogging break.  As most of you know, I live in Ottawa, Canada, the capital city of our country.  The shooting that took place here on Oct 22 has had an effect on me due to past traumas, and I am now off work for an undetermined length of time.  Something happened at work that shocked me deeply that day.  I won't go into details here, except to say that it is a kind of breakdown and means I am now in therapy to heal. 

You would think this would leave me plenty of time to read.  I am so sad to say the opposite has happened.  I am only able to read a little, an hour or there, a few times now 2 hours in a row, though it's difficult for me to concentrate in the second hour.  I know because I was reading the ending to Revolution by C.J. Sansom this morning, and even though it was incredibly gripping, I had to force myself to concentrate to get through the ending.  I get easily distracted, loud noises bother me, and I'm still in a kind of state of alert still.  Concentrating on anything is difficult, even tv and movies I get bored with quickly.  So, please bear with me over the next few months as I work my way through what's happened to me.  I want to talk about books! 

It has been so bad that other than buying a book at the end of October, I haven't been able to look for books really.  If I go into a bookstore, I gaze at the shelves, knowing it's futile to look when I can't read what I have at home.  I was beginning to despair - Christmas is coming!  I have two books so far on my Christmas wishlist - Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food, and the new Stephen King - Revival . Nothing else. Would I even get a list started this year?  Then, today, I felt a little bored - yes, bored! I want to know what's new in books.  I went to a blog randomly, a RIP roundup, and there it was!  A book I WANT TO READ!!!!



Jackaby by William Ritter. The blog I went to was We Be Reading, her post with the book is here.

Part of my difficulty with reading is that I couldn't read mysteries with their murders since Oct 22.  A young man died during the shooting here, and I can't read much made-up stories while the grief and the horror are still fresh.  So I've picked up so many books in the weeks since and put them down.  I have a stack of first chapters' read books now.  I can't get past most of them, not yet.  So to finish Revolution was fabulous.

I was doing so well before the shooting in terms of my reading goals.  I was up to 76 books, and figured I could get to 80 before the end of Oct, and so had a good chance of getting to 100 this year.  That goal is gone.  It was a goal, but as with many things, since Oct 22, it's not for me right now.  Now, finishing a book is a goal for me to know I am mending in my mind and spirit.

So, while Jackaby looks light and fluffy, it also looks fun and adventurous and in the past.  Yes, so far the books I have been able to read - 2 so far - have been set in the past.  The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory  - I figured based on historical fact, and their lives were much more stressful and dangerous than mine, and Revolution by Sansom.  Both set in Henry 8th times, too.  Hmm.

Anyway, no book review today, and I will do a final RIP round-up hopefully during the week. I wanted to let you know that this break was not intended, and that I do miss being able to talk about books regularly.  I miss you, dear gentle readers.  I will be in as I'm able to. More, now that I've been able to start again.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Happy blogversary!!!!

So I went from here, 7 years ago,  to today realizing I was missing my 7 year anniversary again.  I don't know why Oct 1 is so hard for me to remember, it's a date I should have marked:  the date I started blogging!     However, I am proud to be still be blogging, happy with what I've talked about here, books, and ideas, and especially, always, the wonderful people - YOU - that I've met on here.  You make blogging and talking about books fun, and memorable, and we have had many interesting book discussions over the years.  Many of you have become my friends in my personal life.  And, all those lovely books I've discovered because you talked about them.  Thank you, my friends and readers.  Let's go forward into another year and find some wonderful more books to read and let sink into our souls, shall we?

And, in the meantime, I did manage to have some brownies over the weekend, so let's say I had some birthday  blogversary celebration anyway.  These are Nigella Lawson's Everyday Brownies, dark deliciously chocolate - loaded with dark chocolate chips too - a family favourite, which I made for watching Dr Who on Saturday night.  One day soon I will do a post on the new Doctor (I really like him.) For now, come join me in some brownie goodness, and celebrate the simple things that bring joy into our lives: books, food, good company.  Thanks for being with me so far.

                                           



Monday, 6 October 2014

more books read


 RIP Books:
'The Hallowe'en Tree by Ray Bradbury - what a delight this book is.  I had never heard of it until Chris at Stuff Dreams are Made Of made a reference to it sometime in the past year or so.  At some point after I picked up a copy, and finally read it last weekend.  This is a true Hallowe'en story book.  A visit to the imagination of Bradbury, the history of Hallowe'en from the beginning of time, and a life and death quest, all told in the gentle voice of Bradbury.  As it's written for children, it balances scary parts with fun adventures through time and space.   Plus, illustrations and for me, a book cover I love.  This is a fine story to read to get into the Hallowe'en spirit.  The Day of the Dead will never be quite the same for me.  A remarkable story, and highly recommended.   
Rating: Read with a cup of hot chocolate and cookies/brownies, for a truly delightful Hallowe'en adventure, served with shivers.   


***The best I can find is a comment Chris made in 2012's RIP opening post  comment he made here: http://susanflynn.blogspot.ca/2012/09/rip-vii-scary-fun-begins.html

                                                             
A non-RIP book,for a change:  To Darkness and To Death, #4 in the Clare Fergusson/ Russ Van Alstyne mystery series by Julia Spencer-Fleming.  After Book 3 and the dark story at the heart of it - a truly horrifying story that has the horror muted by telling it through flashback, so it's only in realizing what the story is about - what happened - that the horror is really felt.  After that, I wasn't sure what to expect in Book 4.  Could it be better? I think this one is.  It is told as 24 hours in the life of Miller's Kill, a small town in New York State.  24 hours where there is a kidnapping, a murder, and a surprise twist at the end.  Very good mystery.  For once too, Clare is not involved in the danger so much as on the outskirts of it, helping in the search for the missing woman.  We the reader are on the inside, following the various people drawn into the search, the missing woman, what happens to her next, the fall-out from an assault on someone else, all because of a land-deal that is going to happen that evening.  It's told straight-forward, no flashbacks, and is as ever utterly gripping.  On top of that, Clare is preparing for the visit from her Archbishop, who has heard some things about her......At the heart of it, a novel about sacrifice, love, and bravery.  It also managed to make me cry at the ending.  Not bad for a Book 4 of a series!  One of my favourites in this series. 
Rating:  Unputdownable.  Read it when you have an evening clear to curl up in a chair and relax the night away.
Note: this series is so good.  I already have Books 5 and 6 bought for my Christmas box.  I enjoy the mysteries, the supporting cast are fun, and especially, Clare and Russ as they wrestle and come to admit how they feel to each other adds an emotional depth to each novel in the series.  I am very glad that in this one, they are not cast off alone somewhere in the wilderness again with one another.  This time, the danger is different. 

So what are you reading for RIP?  Now that there is a month left, have you discovered a favourite book yet for this challenge?  I have several more on my pile to read, starting with Mind of Winter, for next weekend in between cooking our turkey for our Thanksgiving. Happiness is dark scary books in amongst celebrating life - kind of what Hallowe'en is, about, death and life. 

Monday, 29 September 2014

RIP reviews - ghost, psychics, murder: lovely RIP books

      I have been reading some very good horror/ghost/mystery murder novels with a hint of superstition about them, for RIP.  It has been a banner month for reading for the challenge.  I am delighted to present to you the following books for your reading pleasure:
                                                              
I Remember You - Yrsa Sigurdardottir.  Not one of the Thora Gudmundsdottir mystery series, this is a stand-alone ghost story.  And is it ever creepy.  The novel opens with three people going to an isolated fjord to do some house renovations.  At the same time, in another village across the fjord, a classroom is vandalized.  And in Reykavik, a doctor hears his son's name coming out of the mouth of a woman who doesn't know his family.  His dead son's name.   Links go back in time to an incident tied to the first vandalizing of the classroom 60 years ago.  How they are linked makes for a gripping ghost story as the story moves from the three people doing the renovations, who quickly realize they are being followed by someone who can't be there - this is a strictly summertime holiday village they are in - to the doctor who is trying to find out more about the woman who said his son's name, and a series of deaths.  There is a palpable sense of evil to the spirit haunting them all.  A chilling ghost story, highly recommended. 
Rating: To be read with the lights on.

                                                                 
Delia's Shadow - Jamie Lee Moyer.  This is a YA first novel, about a young heiress who has had to flee San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire, because she sees the ghosts of the dead.  After the earthquake there were too many for her to deal with, especially as she didn't know what to do with or for them.  The book opens with her returning because a ghost has turned up by her bed in New York City, where she settled to teach, and she has realized it is insisting she return to San Francisco.  Once there, Delia discovers that the ghost is linked to a series of murders of women that have occurred both recently and in the distant past in San Francisco. 

This is a YA novel, a little bit uneven, though with very well-drawn characters, and decent dialogue.  A very spooky setting, as Delia sees ghosts everywhere she goes in SF, and the ghost appears whenever it wants to, as do other spirits in the novel.  The one ghost who comes to her in NY  she nicknames Shadow because she is always there.  This is the only ghost who desperately tries to communicate with Delia.  How is she linked to the serial killer?  Who is the killer? This was enjoyable and fun to read, and recommended especially for the teen age readers.
Rating:  Can be read with just one light.  Have a blanket handy.

                                                                 
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater - Really good YA novel about Blue, a girl who can see the spirits of the newly dead, one day a year, a year in advance.  She also enhances the 'gifts' of anyone who has psychic gifts of some sort, as most of her family do.  She also carries a curse - she will kill her true love with a kiss.  And along comes Gansey, son of a wealthy financier, whose ghost she sees in the lineup.  He attends the local rich boy's exclusive boarding school. And he is exploring ley lines in the area, trying to raise the spirit (or body) of the Welsh King Owain Glendower, who disappeared in 13c Wales; some say he sleeping somewhere in the earth until he is awakened, when he will grant the wakener with a wish.  The trouble is, Gansey is not the only one looking for Owain.  And a sacrifice has to be made in order to awaken the Welsh King. 

Most of this story is told through Blue's eyes, and some through Gansey's point of view.  It is well done, a lovely thrilling ghost story, with plenty of psychic gifts to thrill anyone who enjoys the supernatural.  All of Blue's family have psychic gifts, and there is a very fun card reading in Blue's house given by her mother and Blue's two 'aunts' (her mother's friends) for Gansey and his friends, which also turns out creepy and powerful when the other seeker also comes calling. 

I really enjoyed this book.  It had a few shocks I didn't expect, some unexpected twists, very good dialogue, and the story itself is interesting.  It's part of a cycle called The Raven Cycle, of which the second book, The Dream Thieves, is now out.   Raven is one of the creatures associated with Owen Glendower. It is good to see a Welsh legend (Owen Glendower did really exist long ago)  being used in fantasy, instead of Scottish or Irish, which are more commonly used. The psychic abilities are realistic and accurately portrayed, which I enjoyed also.  It is too easy to let psychic ability be the 'star' of a novel, or let it take the place of plot, which in this book it was used to enhance the story, not the focus of it. I enjoyed all the characters too.  All in all, a very good YA novel to read.
Rating:  Can be read with the lights off - though a blanket might be required. 

                                                        
White Bones - Graham Masterton.  This was an unexpected purchase for me last week.  I knew that Masterton was a horror writer (I have one of his on my shelf to read).  He has just started to write a mystery series, set in Ireland, featuring Katie Maguire.  White Bones is the first one.  It is a stunner of mystery.  Katie is a detective, in charge of investigating serious crime in the Cork Garda.  When a series of bones is uncovered while digging through a foundation, everyone wonders, how could 11 women go missing and no one notice?  Then the forensic report comes through:  they were killed in 1915.  The little dolly attached to each left thigh leg can be dated to then. No one has seen the dollies before.  Katie is warned to ignore the bones, that it happened so long ago that no one is left alive who cares.  "They do, the women who died.  I want to bring them to justice," she says.
    Then, a hitchhiker goes missing. When her body is discovered, it bears the same mysterious dolly pinned to the thigh bone as the bones of the 11 other women killed so many years ago, also bears.  Is there a copycat killer?  Why?  Why were the original 11 killed?  The suspense ratches up when another girl is taken. 
     Katie is an interesting female character.  As one of a few women of rank in the Garda, everyone is watching her carefully.  Her husband has become a wheeler-dealer with the lowlifes of Cork, after a series of setbacks and the economy crashing.  When he makes a tremendously bad deal and gets into serious trouble, Katie faces a choice: reveal what her husband has been doing and risk losing her job, or try to make a deal with the crime lord in Cork to protect her husband.

This would be a good mystery, except Masterton throws in something extra:  the ritual used in killing the women, is part of a ritual used to raise  a supernatural being, so the raisee can be granted a wish. All power, etc.  The women are killed in a terrible manner.  I wasn't sure I would make it through the first one, it's not that it is graphic or horrible so much as what is done to her is awful.  The reason behind it is - well, you will have to read this novel for yourself to decide.  I ended up very much liking this book.  The characters, the setting, the story, it is all very well told.  Highly recommended, with the caveat you might have to skip the bits with the killer. 
Rating:  Can be read with lights off, though make sure all the doors are locked.

                                             
Like This, Forever - Sharon Bolton.  #3 in the Lacey Flint series. As you know, I have been a huge fan of Lacey Flint.  She is an astonishing character, likeable despite her many flaws.  Like This Forever, starts off almost where the previous one, Dead Scared, left off.  Except now we see Lacey beginning to fall apart, not yet recovered from her ordeal in Dead Scared.  She is off work, not seeing anyone, avoiding people, until the 11 year old boy next door, Barney, asks her for help one day.  Barney has been following the investigation into the murders of 10 and 11 year old boys in London over several months.  At first he is not concerned, but then the murders come closer together, and closer to home.  And Barney is hiding a secret he knows, a secret about his father. 

I really enjoy Lacey.  I did find in the beginning of this one that I wasn't sure if I still liked her, and then it all came together as she figures out she has a choice in how she is behaving in her life, and the man she loves might just leave if she can't get it together.  The interesting and clever part is that we know more about her than any other character but one in the entire series, and I find this puts me on her side, even when she does things I don't like her to do. A very clever way to involve the reader in the story, to make us invested in Lacey. 

The mystery in this novel is of course, who is killing these boys?  Why are they being drained of blood? When the revelation of the killer's identity comes, it is shocking.  And terribly, terrifically sad.  This is a clever mystery, told from two sets of eyes: Lacey's, as she gets involved in helping Barney, and Barney himself, a very interesting and odd boy.  I really enjoy this series, it is quickly becoming one of my favourites.  In this one we get to see a bit more of Mark's life, Lacey's want-to-be boyfriend, who also has a 10 year old boy that goes to the same school as Barney does.  It was good to meet Mark's son, and ex-wife, as this fleshes him out, and shows Lacey what she could be part of.  All in all, a very well done mystery. Perfect for RIP. 
Rating:  Must read, to be read in one day if possible - almost impossible to put down.  No ghosts, but the real terror of an 11 year old boy trying to plot where the killer will strike next, and watching his life fall apart - edge-of-your-seat suspense.

So, how have you been doing with RIP?  I haven't been able to post as much, as I have been trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour so I can get up with my daughter and get her off to school. She leaves the house early now in the mornings.  Which means, much as I'd love to stay, I have to go or I won't get enough sleep tonight. 

I am loving RIP, really happy with all the books I've read so far for it. Many thrills and scares and delicious moments of chills, ghosts and all the things that make me shiver.......

Saturday, 30 August 2014

R.I.P. IX is here! Can you believe it's been 9 years of wonderful ghost and horror novel reading???



Yes, oh yes, it's that time of year again.  I've been making my pile for a week now, wondering when Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings would put his post up.  Readers Imbibing Peril, or RIP, is beginning starting Monday Sept 1.  And.....he's letting us start earlier! 
R.I.P. IX officially runs from September 1st through October 31st. But lets go ahead and break the rules. Lets start today!!!  he writes, and I couldn't agree more.

                                                                    
I am of course going to be doing Peril the First:  Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.

Here is my list of books I am thinking/hoping/planning to read during this challenge reading pleasure time:

Mind over Matter - Laura Kasischke  A new to me author and just published novel, it sounds creepy and good: "Something had followed them home from Russia."  *****Edited to add:  I just realized that it was Chris at Chrisbookarama that brought this to my attention.  Here is her review.
Mayhem - Sarah Pinborough  I have been on the waiting list for 6 months for this book!  Both Cath at Read-Warbler and Bride at Bride of the Book God reviewed this for last year's RIP reading challenge. Yes, it's taken me that long to get the book from our library (it only came out in Jan here, and even longer for our library to get a copy), and it just arrived last week!  I"m so happy!
 -  of course, since both made the comparison to Drood  by Dan Simmons which I have not read yet, it will go on my list again.  I'm not sure why I am resisting this one. I did start it last year.  I loved The Terror, and read the book after Drood that came out last year, The Abominable, with a mostly good review (sans as much terror as I hoped for, though it kicked off a huge mountain climbing reading venture for me in the winter).  So, it's on my list as a maybe.
 Deadline - Mira Grant - excellent zombie series, first one, Feed, reviewed here by me in 2011.
Vanished - Kat Richardson - 4th in the Harper Blaine PI series, in which Harper can see the souls of the dead, and other things.  Paranormal series that I love.
    Greywalker (book 1) reviewed here.
    Poltergeist (book 2) reviewed here
       I know I read Book 3 last year or the year before, but didn't review it. Not sure why, as it was very good, one of the best in the series so far.  I have high hopes for Vanished, where she has to discover what in her past might have led her to be able to be a greywalker when she died for 2 minutes in the first book.
 London Falling - Paul Cornell - London police suddenly develop the Sight and can see the otherworldly creatures haunting London's streets.
Frost Burned - Patricia Briggs  I have read every book in the series since they came out. Clever and fun series featuring shape-changer Mercy Thompson who is a Coyote, and how she handles all the fae, dwarves, werewolves, magic and the modern world is not to be missed. Some of my book reviews for her are linked here Moon-Called, (book 1) is reviewed here, Blood Bound (book) 2 and Iron-Kissed (book 3) are reviewed hereBone Crossed, Book 4, here.
Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch  I thought I had reviewed the first one, Midnight Riot, read a couple of years ago. I can't find the review, so I might not have.  I really liked it, enjoyable and a little dark police constable who sees ghosts, but it's not just ghosts that are involved.  Good mystery set-up.
The Troop - Nick Cutter - horror novel from a Canadian writer, my good friend Sue read it and she really enjoyed it.  She is a horror connoisseur, so if she says it.....
Delia's Shadow - Jaime Lee Moyer - a young woman in early 20th century San Francisco can see ghosts.  After the Great Earthquake in 1906 she flees to Europe until one determined ghost appears.....the ghost of a victim of a serial killer who has not been caught.
The Unquiet House - Alison Littlewood  - This is a new author to me, although she has been putting out novels in England for a little while now.  This is a haunted house novel, with the main character inheriting a house from a distant relation, only she discovers that she might not be alone in the house.  Are there ghostly figures?  or is a distant cousin trying to scare her away from the house?
The Silent Land - Graham Joyce I've read several of his other novels, The Limits of Enchantment reviewed here, Some Kind of Fairy Tale reviewed here.  Joyce is a kind of supernatural writer unlike anyone out there.  His characters are all down-to-earth, plucked from our real world and set into a world where the rules aren't the same. In The Silent Land, the main characters might be dead already. 


And short stories from various collections, including:
Ellen Datlow's Year's Best Horror Volume 1
Don't Look Now and other Stories - Daphne Du Maurier
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream - ed by Hank Davis, lots of good horror sci fi short stories
The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women - ed. by Marie O'Regan
Elizabeth Bowen ghost stories in her Collected Stories collection

Some poetry:
Also, if I can find my Edgar Allen Poe book, some horror poetry.  And other dark poems too by  poets.  I know they are out there. I think I will look into some of the Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow various (and many) collections I have of fairy tales, dark fantasy and horror that I have.  I'll review them as I find them, as part of my poetry reading year (blog post is upcoming very shortly as I finalize how I want to do this).

I hope you will join in RIP, if you haven't done this before. And if you have, you know what great fun it is, to read scary and spooky stories, and share them with eachother.  Almost like sitting up late at night scaring one another......

Happy spooky reading, everyone!

 Thank you so much to Carl for doing this, once more.  This is a wonderful reading experience, one of my favourite challenges that I look forward to every year.  Ever since I discovered it in the third year, autumn reading has never been so fun.  6 years of fabulous ghost stories and horror novels read and discovered from all the wonderful readers who join in.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The strangest thing happened when I read this book.....

I have been reading so many good mysteries, which I will be doing short reviews for over the coming few weeks.  One of my favourite new series I have to thank Cath at Read-Warbler for.  Her review of Julia Spencer-Fleming's 3rd book, Out of the Deep I Cry, the Reverend Clare Fergusson series, got me finally to read the first book, In The Bleak Midwinter, in July, which I had had on my shelf for years.  And a funny thing happened when I read that book. Not only was I hooked on the series - especially the two main characters, Reverend Clare and Sheriff Russ Van Alstyne, but the reverend herself.  Something happened within me, and I realized that I wanted to be like Clare.  It was quite a shock to me when I realized I was jealous of a book character! 

Then I had to consider what this meant.  Did I want to be a minister?  A reverend?  And I came to the conclusion that if my life had been very different, yes, I would.  But, my life went in a very different route when I was very young, and looking at Reverend Clare Fergusson, I came to see that I wanted more spirituality in my life. Not just spirituality, which is vague and not directed towards anything.  I wanted to know my personal belief figure better (for lack of a better generic way to put it!).  For a very long time, most of my life, I have known there was a spiritual part to life that I am attracted to, and interested in.  A way of contemplating the universe, if you will.  I've only ever lingered at the edge, until this summer, when this fictional character woke up in me the recognition of what I want to do for myself.  At the same time, I picked up St Teresa de Avila's The Interior Castle because I had heard about it somewhere as a way to understand the longing we have to behold the sacred.  I am not about to go all religious, don't worry!  That was part of the path I turned from so very long ago.  What I am interested in, is answering the call, that longing.  I don't know where it will lead to yet, just that being more silent is part of it.  So I have to thank Cath and the Reverend Clare very much!  Besides all this, it really is a well-written mystery series, and I have been reading them as fast as I can get them.  I have just finished Out of the Deep I Cry last week.  It's a bit annoying on how the two main characters always keep ending up in deadly fixes together, though this is part of their attraction to each other that they are figuring out.  I will do a review on each of the books later.  I am fascinated to see what Clare does next, and how she has the patience to tend to everyone who comes to her door is a marvel to see.  Sadly it is after 1 a.m. and I have to get to bed!

So in lieu of a book review because it's so very late at night, here is what is on my table beside my computer right now, so you can know what I'm reading since I started realizing what I wanted more of in my life:

Collected Poems - Jane Kenyon (been reading all summer)
London - Edward Rutherford (just started)
The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss (about 3/4 read)
Answering the Contemplative Call - Carl McColman (almost finished)
The Old Ways - Robert MacFarlane
A Book of Silence - Sara Maitland (begun again after last summer when I started it , didn't get far)
The Myth of the Goddess - Anne Baring and Jules Cashland
The Interior Castle - St Teresa de Avila (slowly reading)
Trust Your Vibes - Sonia Choquette (half-way done)
The Poetry of Robert Frost (just begun)

I have a half-formed plan of reading a poem a day for  a year, and posting about the poem (or at least the title!) here.  I like the idea, it's deciding on the day to start! I'll let you know when I do.

So, I am back.  I did not plan on being away this long. I did not know I was even going to take a break from blogging.  As some of you know, last summer I decided to learn how to be more quiet in my life, to make time for some silence each day.  I now know that I was hearing that call.  I still feel the need, and yet funnily enough because of it, I value my friendships and family that much more.  I do want to keep blogging.  I am figuring out how I want to blog while I explore my spiritual requirements, and learning how to say again what I want to say about books.  I have been popping in to see many of your blogs over the past few months, and leaving comments once in a while.  I have wanted to know what you were reading!  I came here many times, wondering if I could post, though it turned out I couldn't, even though I have been reading many superb mysteries and other books this spring and summer.  That is the way of the soul, it sometimes needs something different.  I'm just glad I can write here again, at last.  

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

my TBR mystery pile, in a photo

   I thought you would enjoy seeing what my TBR mystery pile looks like:




 Yes, it's true, I have had these and haven't read them yet, and they are all ones I really want to read, which is why they are pulled into these stacks.

If you look at my blog header, I have added a new one for reading 50 mysteries for this year.  I updated 2013 so you can see I only read 32, far short of my goal.  This year I will!  And I will get these stacks read!

If you want some more good crime writing to read:

Of course, all this was triggered by the announcement of the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Writing List:  Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year has announced the longlist for 2014.  Look at this list and see if your mouth doesn't water:

 Rubbernecker, by Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press)
 The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes (HarperCollins)
 The Dying Hours, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
 Like This, For Ever, by Sharon Bolton (Bantam Press)
 A Wanted Man, by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
 The Honey Guide, by Richard Crompton (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
 The Cry, by Helen Fitzgerald (Faber & Faber)
 Dying Fall, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
 Until You’re Mine, by Samantha Hayes (Century)
 The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, by Malcolm Mackay (Mantle)
 The Chessmen, by Peter May (Quercus)
 I Hear the Sirens in the Street, by Adrian McKinty (Serpent’s Tail)
 The Red Road, by Denise Mina (Orion)
 Ratlines, by Stuart Neville (Harvill Secker)
 Standing in Another Man’s Grave, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
 Children of the Revolution, by Peter Robinson (Hodder & Stoughton)
 Eleven Days, by Stav Sherez (Faber & Faber)
 Weirdo, by Cathi Unsworth (Serpent’s Tail)


I've linked you to the original site, so you can drool like I do over the dream of one day attending this festival.  It honours the best in crime writing published in softcover in the UK and Ireland the year before.  

I am happy to say I have already read three books on the list!  Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin, Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths, and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.  I see I haven't reveiwed 2 of them yet, my bad.  I will by the weekend, as they are both very good and I should have reviewed them last year when I read them. Certainly they both return in my thoughts frequently, always a sign that books are working away inside me, especially The Shining Girls, and all of Elly Griffith's books.  Rebus I just plain love.....

Although, this means I have many good books to catch up with.  Several are already on my to-get list as soon as we get them in softcover over here:  Ratlines by Stuart Neville, Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson, and Like This, Forever by Sharon Bolton.  I already own The Chessmen by Peter May, although I'd like to read the one before it, first (you can see it in the photos - The Lewis Man).  I also own the first in the Adrian McKinty books, The Cold Cold Ground, and it's on my TBR pile too...

I really want to read some of the Theakston's list.  And I haven't even got started on wanting to read this year's Edgar Award winner, Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. I first heard about it earlier this week on Praire Horizons, here.  Now of course I want to read it as soon as possible!  

I do believe that I will always have stacks like that of books to read, it's just the titles that will change as I read one and replace it with another.  I am so very rich, even I am not wealthy with money, with the abundance of books I have to read (and want to read). For this I am very thankful, on this sunny Wednesday afternoon.  I am recovering from visiting the dentist yesterday and having 2 crowns and 6 fillings added.  I think a new book and some reading time is just the thing to heal with, don't you?

What's on your book stacks that you have been wanting to read for a while?