Circles of crime

I haven’t posted any links to book recommendations or reviews recently, not through lack of accumulating them, but through lack of time.

A few crime fiction links:

Karen at Eurocrime has updated her reviews website, so do visit for reviews of newly published or newly read crime fiction. And also take the opportunity of looking around Karen’s excellent blog while you are there.

Norm alias Uriah at Crime Scraps has decided that reading books like The Master of Knots by Massimo Carlotto, a hard-boiled thriller indeed from the sound of it, is less scary than watching England’s batsmen. From what I hear, he’s right.

John Harvey and Simon Kernick are a bit of a disappointment to Glenn at International Crime Fiction. Glenn is now reading, or is about to read, Case Histories (after a bit of Denise Mina).

Nancy Werlin is not a crime-fiction author I’ve read before, but Sarah Weinman thinks she’s great. She won the Edgar award for The Killer’s Cousin, so there’s another one for my reading list.

And the results of a competition are announced at Reading Matters. To win a copy of Karin Fossum’s excellent novel Don’t Look Back, Kim asked readers to tell her their favourite crime novelists. The list is here. I warn you, there is a lot of good stuff in it.

Hardbitten Denver detective Cliff Janeway gets a good write-up in the review of John Dunning’s Booked to Die over at Random Jottings of a Book and Opera Lover. The book sounds good and, darn it, it is another series.

Draw your own covers

Kim at Reading matters: writes that "Penguin wants you to draw your own covers".  The idea is a good one, to provide a book where you draw your own picture on the front. But the books the publisher has chosen for the ultra-minimalist editions are Marcus Aurelius, Woolf, Dostoyevsky and similar. I can’t honestly see readers of these kinds of books spending their time colouring-in. Far better to have chosen authors like Jacqueline Wilson, Lemony Snicket, E. Nesbit or Lewis Carroll — it would be quite fascinating to see a child drawing the picture that the book had inspired in her head, and a wonderful heirloom for her to keep and give to her own children.

However, all is not lost for adult readers. An admirably enterprising person in the comments at the Reading Matters post, Sister Rye,  is offering to draw your cover art for you, if you mail her the book and cover her postage costs.

Webster’s daily blog

I still find it a bit strange to receive an email from a blogger (or other person) out of the blue, containing information about his or her project. I have read posts on several blogs attacking this practice, but I don’t mind so long as the person is a real person and is not trying to sell something, or tell me about something I could have no conceivable interest in. I guess my tolerance arises from from the perspective of someone who is paid to receive hundreds (sometimes) and certainly tens of emails a day from people I’ve never encountered before, almost all of which require some action or work from me.

Such emails in my "off duty" Petrona persona are relatively rare, but one recent example is from a Josh Wallaert, telling me about his blog Webster’s daily. At this blog, a lovely shade of deep blue, Josh posts one "found poem" every day from the first edition of Webster’s American Dictionary (1828).

The example he sent in his email message: Hope [n.] A sloping plain between ridges of mountains. [Not in use.]

I didn’t post about Webster’s Daily straight away upon receipt of Josh’s message because I wanted to check it out for a few days to see if it really is a "daily", and it is. What’s more, it is a really nice blog (I’ve put a bit more information about it on the continuation sheet to this post). I have subscribed, and hope you will take a look.

Dave Lull, in the unlikely event you don’t know about Webster’s Daily already, I think you will like it. Let me know if you would like me to add it to the Librarian’s Place blogroll.

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