Reading report, third quarter 2010

Books (2) From the beginning of July to the end of September, I've read 46 books. If I hadn't been away on holiday for a couple of weeks in July, my total would have been lower than in the second quarter (42 books) – probably nearer to the 26 books I read in the first quarter of this year. My total from the start of January to the end of September is 114.

Returning to my July to September batch, of the 46 I read,  24 are by men, 18 by women, 2 by man/woman pairs, 1  by a man/man pair, and 1 is a collection of short stories by men and women (but edited by a man). Seventeen are translations: 1 Polish, 1 Japanese, 3 Spanish (1 Argentinian, 1 Cuban, 1 Bolivian), 2 Norwegian, 1 French,  3 Italian, 1 Portuguese (Brazilian), 1 Afrikaans, 3 Swedish, and 1 Icelandic. So far as I can tell, 15 of the 46 are debuts. I shan't be reviewing a few of these books, but I have written up most of them (see end of this post). 

Which gets my award for best of the quarter? As usual, this is a very hard, if not impossible, task. My personal favourite was Red Wolf (Liza Marklund), closely followed by Three Seconds (Roslund/Hellstrom), Needle in a Haystack (Ernesto Mallo), The Man in the Window (Dahl) and The Terrorists (Sjowall/Wahloo). But there are some really good debuts among this collection, particularly Witness the Night (Desai) A Beautiful Place to Die (Nunn), Midnight Cab (Nichol), The Silence of the Rain (Garcia Roza)  and The Woman Before Me (Dugdale), and some great, classic novels such as An Empty Death (Wilson), The Dragon Man (Disher), Shadowplay (Campbell)  and Dead at Daybreak (Meyer). I've starred the ones I recommend going out of your way to read.

The list in full, with links to reviews.

The Girl with the Crystal Eyes by Barbara Baraldi (Review submitted to Euro Crime)

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay (review to come)*

Blue Heaven by C. J. Box (Petrona, July)*

Shadowplay by Karen Campbell (Review submitted to Euro Crime)*

Chinatown Beat by Henry Chang (Petrona, August)

A Jew Must Die by Jacques Chessex (review submitted to Euro Crime)

Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves (Petrona, August)*

Play Dead by Harlan Coben (Petrona, August)

Willing Flesh by Adam Creed (Petrona, August)

American Visa by Juan de Recacoechea (Petrona, August)

The Man in the Window by K. O. Dahl (Review submitted to Euro Crime)*

Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai (Euro Crime, August)*

The Dragon Man by Garry Disher (Petrona, August)*

The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall (Petrona, September)*

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (Petrona, July)

Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum (Petrona, August)*

The Silence of the Rain by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza (Petrona, August)*

Vodka Doesn't Freeze by Leah Giarratano (Petrona, July)*

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton (Petrona, September)*

Tell Tale by Sam Hayes (Petrona, September)

Any Man's Death by Hazel Holt (Petrona, September)

Silent Counsel by Ken Isaacson (Petrona, September)*

Acts of Violence by Ryan David Jahn (Petrona, August)

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (Petrona, July)*

Day After Day by Carlo Lucarelli (Petrona, August)*

Needle in a Haystack by Ernesto Mallo (Petrona, August)*

Red Wolf by Liza Marklund (Review submitted to Euro Crime)*

All The Colours of the Town by Liam McIlvanney (Petrona, September)

Dead at Daybreak by Deon Meyer (Petrona, August)*

Entanglement by Zygmunt Miloszewski (Petrona, July)*

Shadow Family by Miyuki Miyabe (Petrona, July)*

Hit by Tara Moss (Euro Crime, August)

The Twelve by Stuart Neville (Petrona, July)

Midnight Cab by James W. Nichol (Petrona, September)*

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Petrona, August)*

Havana Red by Leonardo Padura (Petrona, August)

Three Seconds by Roslund-Hellstrom (Euro Crime, September)*

Afterlight by Alex Scarrow (Petrona, July)*

Ashes to Dust by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Petrona, September)*

The Terrorists by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (Review submitted to Euro Crime)*

River of Shadows by Valerio Varesi (Euro Crime, September)*

An Empty Death by Laura Wilson (Petrona, September)*


Click here for previous reading reports


20 thoughts on “Reading report, third quarter 2010

  1. Masine – Thanks for summing up your reading. You’ve got quite an impressive list! I’m not surprised you liked the Murklund book so much; of course, I am biased towards her… I really appreciate your linking to your reviews, too. That makes it so easy for me to go through and remember your reviews :-).

  2. Great list! Will print it out and keep it, checking with my local library. Some I am ordering, although I haven’t caught up with prior lists. Oh, well, such is the fate of readers…one never has enough time for all of the good books.

  3. I always enjoy your lists Maxine – scouring them for titles I haven’t yet seen, authors I haven’t even heard of. Holidays do make a differenece to the reading oyu get done don’t they?

  4. 27 Book recommendations in one post. That ought to be illegal 🙂 At least I’ve read 6 of them so that’s only 21 must reads. Well, that’s enough blog-hopping for me – off to read.

  5. Wow! That is a lot of books!
    Thankyou again for all of your reviews, Maxine; it is wonderful to be able to dip into your blog to get ideas for new authors to try.

  6. Thanks, everyone (don’t apologise for the typo, Margot, we all do it — I think I’ve seen you called Margaret a few times!). I have to say that some of these books were very short….one of them (Silent Counsel) was read in e-form so this medium may provide more opportunities to read “inbetween doing other things” so to speak.

  7. Well, I’ve read 4 of the starred books, so have 24 to go. Will check the library. My Amazon list is humongous. I’ll have to check the Book Depository, too. Am now enjoying “Thursday Night Widows,” from the last long, starred list which is next to my computer, and which I’m still working on. Must forget all necessary tasks and keep reading.

  8. What a list! I know you read many during your holiday, but I have only read 80 so far in 2010. Well, I didn´t aim for any record this year, but I can see I have as many on my shelf as I have been able to read in nine months. Miriam remembered to come back with the third Shetland mystery last week so I will move on to Ann Cleeves as soon as I have read one or two for my global reading challenge.

  9. This is so impressive – and so many look really good. I don’t know why exactly, but the one called Three Seconds sounds like it would appeal to me. But I was wondering, Maxine – have you come across a book yet that typifies all that is great about Scandinavian crime fiction? Is there such a thing? Or are they all totally differenet from each other?

  10. I think both, Clare. Just taking Sweden, there are some similarites between, eg Nesser, Mankell, Ericksson and Edwardson, in that they write police procedurals set in some Swedish town or other; often 10 (or planned 10) to a series; and just because there are only so many dramatic plots out there, they often cover similar types of theme, eg drugs, religion, all the usual!
    On the other hand there are plenty that are not so predictable, eg Liza Marklund is thriller-like, political and journalistic as well as strongly feminist. Asa Larsson is thriller like but also quite introspective and haunting. Karin Altvegen is an incredible observer of the domestic tragedy, very dark.
    If you haven’t read any Swedish crime fiction before, I would recommend Echoes of the Dead by Johan Theorin, a well-written wonderful story, but oh so sad.
    Norway – again there are police procedurals eg Jo Nesbo, K O Dahl, Gunnar Staalesen – and authors like Karin Fossum who are hard to classify but I think you’d like her.
    Iceland, the two main translated authors are Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir, both of whom I like very much. Indridason’s are police procedurals with a very gloomy, depressed protag with a hopelessly messed up personal life; Sigurdardottir’s feature a single mother/lawyer who ends up investigating crimes for her clients, she’s fairly anti-police, very wry and funny, has been compared to Agatha Christie.

  11. Can’t wait for Yrsa Sigurdadottir’s new book to his the East Coast. I could take a day off just to read and have tea and totally relax. Has anyone read Tana French’s new book? Or Kate Atkinson’s? I see Zoe Ferraris has a new book.

  12. I haven’t read any of those yet, Kathy! I have so many to read too, but one of them is Silence by Jan Costin Wagner which I am looking forward to a lot. If you haven’t read his first, Ice Moon, you might want to check it out (it is short). Set mainly in Finland which is quite interesting. A sad but also funny story.

  13. PS, I correct my Norway comment in reply to Clare – Gunnar Staalesen writes about a private eye, Varg Veum, who is an ex-social worker, not a police procedural series at all.

  14. The library here is frustrating in my search for Liza Marklund–nothing in England. Unless I learn Swedish fast, this is not happening. I looked for “Paradise,” at Book Depository which sent me to Abe Books, which is charging hundreds of dollars for that book. Amazon may have it. “The Bomber” is easier to get and not as expensive–how is that? The more I read about her, the more I want to read her books. My local and wonderful mystery book store only has her book with you-know-who, not me. But I put Zoe Ferraris’ new book on hold so I’ll get that and I have a lot on order and some old movies of Ngaio Marsh stories. Since I’ve never read or seen her books or movies, this should be fun.

  15. Errata: Not “nothing in England,” but “nothing in English.”

  16. Just remembered: I just got Malla Nunn’s second book from the library which looks good, but sad also.

  17. I believe that Liza Marklund has a new UK (and maybe US?) publisher and they are reissuing her books, so maybe they’ll be available next year. Bomber is OK but it is a hostage drama not really an investigative story. I liked it, and I don’t usually like hostage drama books. She wrote it first, actually, even though chronologically it isn’t first in the series. See Euro Crime website for the definitive order 😉

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