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Examples of hardcovers worth keeping:Roget's Thesaurus

A hardcover thesaurus?
Yes. A Fourth Edition, if that matters.I prefer hardcovers for obvious longevity reasons.
I have a couple hardcover reference books—a usage manual and CMOS. But I use those all the time. I think I pick up a thesaurus a few times a year, but I guess if you use it a lot that changes things.

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Ok, this is probably the best audience for this question so I'll throw it in here.What do you guys do with your books (for those that buy actual books) when you're done?Was thinking of trying to sell off some books to clear some shelf space and make some spare $ to help pay for a Kindle.Looks like books don't go for much, if anything, anymore though (on ebay, half.com, amazon anyway).

I keep a select few on my bookshelf. But only those that I really like and plan to either re-read or hand off to someone else. Everything else I simply give to my public library. The library has saved me a ton of money over the years so I like to help pay back in whatever small way I can (aside from the taxes I pay).
I keep books I like a lot and/or might read again someday or try to interest my kids in reading when they're a little older. But it seems like we hardly ever buy books anymore - unless it's a present or a "special request" we hit the library for almost everything.I do have one "collection" which I started without trying. I have 1st editions of every David Foster Wallace book, hardback and paperback, with the exception of the extremely rare hardback 1st edition of his first novel, "The Broom of the System." My prize possession is a signed copy of the uncorrected advance proofs of "Infinite Jest." I bought it on eBay probably about 6 or 7 years ago for $50; after his death I saw another copy being auctioned for $2000. I also have a set of the proofs for his story collection "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" which I scored when my wife was working on the arts desk at a daily newspaper - they used to get hundreds of unsolicited review copies of books.It started when I became a fan of his non-fiction in Harper's in the mid-90s - I went and got copies of his first two books, then grabbed Infinite Jest when it first came out and then just bought each subsequent book of his as soon as they came out.

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Ok, this is probably the best audience for this question so I'll throw it in here.

What do you guys do with your books (for those that buy actual books) when you're done?

Was thinking of trying to sell off some books to clear some shelf space and make some spare $ to help pay for a Kindle.

Looks like books don't go for much, if anything, anymore though (on ebay, half.com, amazon anyway).

I keep a select few on my bookshelf. But only those that I really like and plan to either re-read or hand off to someone else. Everything else I simply give to my public library. The library has saved me a ton of money over the years so I like to help pay back in whatever small way I can (aside from the taxes I pay).

I keep books I like a lot and/or might read again someday or try to interest my kids in reading when they're a little older. But it seems like we hardly ever buy books anymore - unless it's a present or a "special request" we hit the library for almost everything.

I do have one "collection" which I started without trying. I have 1st editions of every David Foster Wallace book, hardback and paperback, with the exception of the extremely rare hardback 1st edition of his first novel, "The Broom of the System." My prize possession is a signed copy of the uncorrected advance proofs of "Infinite Jest." I bought it on eBay probably about 6 or 7 years ago for $50; after his death I saw another copy being auctioned for $2000. I also have a set of the proofs for his story collection "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" which I scored when my wife was working on the arts desk at a daily newspaper - they used to get hundreds of unsolicited review copies of books.

It started when I became a fan of his non-fiction in Harper's in the mid-90s - I went and got copies of his first two books, then grabbed Infinite Jest when it first came out and then just bought each subsequent book of his as soon as they came out.

I have a DFW collection as well. Signed 1st ed. paperback of Broom, signed 1st ed. hardcover of Supposedly, a couple 1st edition hardcovers of IJ, one with the Vollmann misspelling. That stuff has really shot up in value since his suicide.

He was a professor at Illinois State when I was a student there. I met him several times and used to chat him up over cigarettes outside the English building. I knew he was a writer, but I had no idea who he really was until Infinite Jest came out and the Chicago Tribune did a profile of him. I didn't read any of his books until after I graduated. By the time I figured out what a great writer he was, he'd moved on to Pomona.

Edited by pantagrapher

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Examples of hardcovers worth keeping:

Roget's Thesaurus

A hardcover thesaurus?
Yes. A Fourth Edition, if that matters.

I prefer hardcovers for obvious longevity reasons.

I have a couple hardcover reference books—a usage manual and CMOS. But I use those all the time. I think I pick up a thesaurus a few times a year, but I guess if you use it a lot that changes things.
Oh, I don't use the thing. I found it for 2 bucks in a clearance rack and figured, Why not?

(It's there for my 8th-grader. Obviously my vocabulary needs no help assistance. :D

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A huge :D to fellow Foster fans. (I also have a hardcover of IJ and will never let it go. Any book that requires a minimum of 2 bookmarks is OK by me.)

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Just finished Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars. It's made up of 4 novellas and it's grim reading (though "Fair Extension" has some dark humor that had me smiling even as I cringed). This collection is more remiscent of Different Seasons than Four Past Midnight in that the supernatural elements are either non-existent or muted (though the entire plot of one is driven by a meeting with a guy who's last name is "Elvid").

To me, this format is King's best. He gets accused of bloat in many of his novels and rightly so. These stories are razor sharp, though there's nothing terribly original - you could probably find similar plots in previous King works. But his writing and characterization is as good or better than it's ever been and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One word about the Amazon Kindle ratings. There's a push by many customers to give one star reviews of this book not because of the quality of the book (most of these people haven't even read it), but to protest the cost of the Kindle version. So, if the Amazon rankings influence your buying decisions keep that in mind with this particular book. If you like King, you'll like this I think.

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Finished Worth Dying For, the latest Lee Child novel. Classic Reacher. This one was pretty dark and particularly brutal. If you've read Reacher before, this is more of exactly what you expect. Though there isn't much in the way of wrap-up of the last story.

Now I am about 70 pages into Boy's Life by Robert McCammon. So far, so good.

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Been on a mystery kick lately. Faceless Killers is the first in the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It's a good police procedural that touches on Sweden's attitudes towards immigration. Wallander is a somewhat typical fictional homicide detective - middle aged, divorced, and seemingly unable to keep his personal life in order. Overall very reminiscent of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.

I also recently finished 2010 Nobel laureate Mario Llosa Vargas's foray into the genre, Who Killed Palomino Molero? This one is set in 1950s Peru and deals with the murder of an air force recruit while also addressing the prevalent class and racial prejudices of the time. Actually a bit heavy-handed and underdeveloped at ~150 pages, the most interesting aspect is a humorous subplot that has the novel's dashing Sherlock Holmes-like lead pining for the chubby, middle-aged wife of a fisherman.

Much more interesting than these was Jedediah Berry's The Manual of Detection. This one was a mix of detective noir and scifi/fantasy with an imaginative plot and a likable but reluctant hero. Has a cinematic feel reminiscent of movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys. Definitely worth a read. :lmao:

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Almost finished with The Red and the Black, which I would recommend to absolutely no one.

Started Neuromancer last night and like it so far.

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Ok, this is probably the best audience for this question so I'll throw it in here.What do you guys do with your books (for those that buy actual books) when you're done?Was thinking of trying to sell off some books to clear some shelf space and make some spare $ to help pay for a Kindle.Looks like books don't go for much, if anything, anymore though (on ebay, half.com, amazon anyway).

Give them to friends or donate to Goodwill for a nice end of the year tax credit. Though I usually just get copies from the lilbrary nowadays.

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Almost finished with The Red and the Black, which I would recommend to absolutely no one.

Started Neuromancer last night and like it so far.

First time reading it?

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Gone Baby Gone - Dennis Lehane - Fantastic. Would have been better if I hadn't already seen the movie, but it was still great though I knew how it would all end. I'm trying to space out my Lehane books since his catalog isn't too large, but I'm having a hard time not reading them one after the other.

The Confessor - Daniel Silva - I almost gave up on this series after the first book. It just didn't seem that interesting. But having read a couple more, I really like these books. I'm not sure what changed between books one and two, but I now thing this is one of the better series out there.

The Tommyknockers - Stephen King - The worst King book I have read. Really, really boring for the vast majority of it.

Currently reading:

Born to Run - Christopher McDougall - Phenomenal book about ultra distance running. This is exactly the kind of non-fiction I like as it makes you smarter while telling an oftentimes amazing story. I immediately want to run out and buy some Vibram Fivefingers and go for a jog. On the other hand, this book is also sheer torture as I am currently reading it while wearing a cast on my foot as I am four weeks removed from surgery to re-attach my Achilles tendon. I have an appointment with my foot and ankle surgeon tomorrow and I can't wait to ask him what he thinks about the whole barefoot running movement and whether it would be good for me as I work into my rehab. The book notes that many orthopedic doctors are not on board with the barefoot running trend and I'm curious to see where he stands.

Next up:

A couple of doorstoppers in The Terror by Dan Simmons and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

Just finished Way of Kings. The first 600 pages or so are uninteresting enough to start picking apart the problems with his prose. It's very unpolished IMO, like a college student's work. It did pick up a lot in the end but since the next installment of 10 total books isn't due out until 2012 (if we're all still alive) it definitely could've stayed on the shelf for awhile. One of the main problems, other than the prose, was that I just didn't like the world he created. Everything's like a giant tidepool, minus the water. Most of the critters are crab-like, everything is stone with plants that retract into stone shells during the hurricane class storms that rush through a few times a month. It all sounds like he's describing a high gloss comic book with bold colors, twinkling bug sized critters floating everywhere that are embodiments of emotions or natural things like fire, etc... Seemed more sci-fi than fantasy to me, and while that's a very nebulous distinction (like my distinction between rap and hip-hop), it made a difference to me in my enjoyment of the book.

I did finish it, based on reviews at goodreads that said it picked up, but it didn't sate my thirst for a good fantasy book. Off to the library now for me to return it.

Funny how tastes differ. I'm about 250 pages into Sanderson's latest and thus far it is fantastic. And probably my favorite aspect is the setting, based on many of the factors you list above. To me, this book feels like the very definition of epic fantasy. Nothing like having a massive tome in hand and knowing that there will be 9+ more just like it.

I also admire the vision that Sanderson has with his master plan to pull together all of his various original worlds into one collective story several decades down the road.

I generally hate that. One of the main reasons I stopped reading Stephen King, specifically the Dark Tower stuff. I'm not a huge fan of Terry Brooks doing it either, though he's more of a filler author than a mainstay and I've only read two of his original Shannara books and then the modern day stuff (which is now either pre or post Shannara, I can't remember). I read mistborn and was plodding through Well Of Ascension when ToM came out and stopped. Now that I finished ToM, I can't get back into WoA so it'll go back into the well, so to speak. It won't kill me if I never come back to it. I'm bored with all the descriptions of allomancery and burning this and burning that. It's gotten like Jordan's paragraph long descriptions of what insignificant characters are wearing in the WoT series when it got drudgy.

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I finished the Keith Richards memoir - it was excellent. Only at the very end did it fall a little into the too much fawning over people who readers don't care about but that are playing a key role in the author's life at the time of publication. But even then, he's not afraid to slag Bill Wyman a little. And the stuff about his relationship with Mick is great.

All in all, a very good book, and one that definitely made me appreciate and respect Keith more than I did before reading it.

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Unfortunately, Swan Song and Boy's Life are by far his most read works and I don't see anything else of his that really interests me. Looks like I'll cross the rest of McCammon's catalog off of my list.

Also finished Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. I've expressed my adoration for Lehane on here before so I'll just say that this one is every bit as good as the rest of the Kenzie/Genarro novels.

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Just picked up Games That Changed The Game by Ron "Jaws" Jaworski. Really good so far, very detailed but not so much you get bored. His writing style comes across like talking to one of your buddies who is very excited about something and wants to tell you all about it.

Just finished this. Outstanding book looking at how different coaches created different offensive/defensive packages and changed the game. He picks one game he thinks highlighted the emergence of the new package and breaks it doen. Jaws also gets comments from the coaches themselves, players who made ths systems work, and observers from around the NFL. Really cool book.
I started in on this over the weekend. I'm loving the Sid Gillman stuff.

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Opted for Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars over McCarthy's Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West. Been waiting a while for Blood Meridian to be available as a Kindle download (it finally is), but felt like I needed something with a touch less brutality. It's next on the list, though, and I'm looking forward to the read.

King's Full Dark is a quartet of novellas. Finished the first one, and it felt a bit like vintage King, though with the prior magic dulled by a layer of dust.

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Unfortunately, Swan Song and Boy's Life are by far his most read works and I don't see anything else of his that really interests me. Looks like I'll cross the rest of McCammon's catalog off of my list.

Also finished Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. I've expressed my adoration for Lehane on here before so I'll just say that this one is every bit as good as the rest of the Kenzie/Genarro novels.

Speaks the Nightbird is the first in a trilogy of colonial mysteries that are very enjoyable. They are very different from McCammon's other stuff, but worth a read.

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Unfortunately, Swan Song and Boy's Life are by far his most read works and I don't see anything else of his that really interests me. Looks like I'll cross the rest of McCammon's catalog off of my list.

Also finished Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. I've expressed my adoration for Lehane on here before so I'll just say that this one is every bit as good as the rest of the Kenzie/Genarro novels.

Speaks the Nightbird is the first in a trilogy of colonial mysteries that are very enjoyable. They are very different from McCammon's other stuff, but worth a read.
Just saw a review that said it has a similar 'feel' to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Have you read both? Is that an apt comparison?

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Unfortunately, Swan Song and Boy's Life are by far his most read works and I don't see anything else of his that really interests me. Looks like I'll cross the rest of McCammon's catalog off of my list.

Also finished Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. I've expressed my adoration for Lehane on here before so I'll just say that this one is every bit as good as the rest of the Kenzie/Genarro novels.

Speaks the Nightbird is the first in a trilogy of colonial mysteries that are very enjoyable. They are very different from McCammon's other stuff, but worth a read.
Just saw a review that said it has a similar 'feel' to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Have you read both? Is that an apt comparison?
Hmmm....If they mean because it's a period piece, maybe? That definitely wouldn't be my first comparison. I felt like McCammon was a bit more nuanced, in that he doesn't beat you over the head with who the good and bad guys are. There's more development of the characters, and a bit of mystery to them, save the central protagonist. I think if I was going to compare his writing (in these books) to anyone I might say more of a Dan Simmons, but less intense. Say, Summer of Night/Winter Haunting Simmons, not sci-fi Simmons.

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Unfortunately, Swan Song and Boy's Life are by far his most read works and I don't see anything else of his that really interests me. Looks like I'll cross the rest of McCammon's catalog off of my list.

Also finished Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. I've expressed my adoration for Lehane on here before so I'll just say that this one is every bit as good as the rest of the Kenzie/Genarro novels.

Speaks the Nightbird is the first in a trilogy of colonial mysteries that are very enjoyable. They are very different from McCammon's other stuff, but worth a read.
Just saw a review that said it has a similar 'feel' to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Have you read both? Is that an apt comparison?
Hmmm....If they mean because it's a period piece, maybe? That definitely wouldn't be my first comparison. I felt like McCammon was a bit more nuanced, in that he doesn't beat you over the head with who the good and bad guys are. There's more development of the characters, and a bit of mystery to them, save the central protagonist. I think if I was going to compare his writing (in these books) to anyone I might say more of a Dan Simmons, but less intense. Say, Summer of Night/Winter Haunting Simmons, not sci-fi Simmons.
Agreed. McCammon's not as stiff as Follett. I've read all 3 of the period-piece books featuring Matthew Corbett and liked them all. If you're going paperback for "Speaks The Nightbird", be careful - I think they split it into two books for the PB edition.

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Loved this. Haven't read it in years and am probably due up for a reread.

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:lmao: Great book. If you like Murakami, you'll never read a better book than The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which I'm sure krista has already attested to.
While The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is fantastic, I thought Kafka On the Shore was highly disappointing. I could go on and on about it, except David Mitchell covered it all in his Guardian review.

Mitchell talked about this when he was in LA. We both agreed it was the narrative sloppiness that doomed it. Murakami's surreal elements are fantastic, but in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle they all had narrative purpose. The hotel through the well is a nightmare where the girlfriend's trauma lies, buried deep, hidden, festering (it could be said this is also the lingering trauma of postwar Japan). A reader runs with weird #### like this because you hope the author will reveal a subtext or purpose to them. The fantasy world has to make sense, on its own terms, but it has to make sense. Just throwing wacky things into a story is bad writing 101. And this is what Murakami did in Kafka On The Shore. As Mitchell says, the loose ends "just dangle."

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The Royal Family by William Vollmann

From Publishers Weekly

Ambitious in style, in range, and in sheer volume, Vollmann's massive new novel continues the controversial projects of Whores for Gloria and Butterfly Stories, in which the prolific author aims to create a detailed fictional map of a modern-day red-light district and of the people who try to live there. John Tyler is a successful San Francisco lawyer; his brother, Henry, is a dodgy private eye in love with John's Korean wife, Irene. When Irene commits suicide, the siblings' bitterness becomes apparent. A grieving Henry frequents the prostitutes of SF's notorious Tenderloin district; John edges towards marrying his mistress, Celia. A brutal businessman named Brady has hired Henry to track down the "Queen of Whores." Pedophile and police informant Dan Smooth finally leads Henry to the Queen, an African-American woman of indeterminate age and immense psychological insight. Rather than turn her over to Brady, Henry warns her about him. Gradually the Queen helps Henry shed his grief for Irene by leading him down the dark, dank staircase of sexual and social degradation. He learns about masochism, golden showers and other unusual practices and about love. But the Queen's command of her realm is imperiled: Brady wants to import her Tenderloin prostitutes for his Las Vegas sex emporium. Vollmann is after large-scale social chronicle; he includes characters from nearly every walk of life, and trains his attentions on processes not often seen by the faint of heart: cash flow, blood flow, phone sex, Biblical apocrypha (the Book of Nirgal) and the body odor of crackheads. But this hypperrealistic novelist also aims to present a metaphysics: the two brothers stand for two kinds of human being, the chosen and the outcast. As in all Vollmann's novels, the author's encylopedic ambition sometimes overwhelms the human scale; some supporting characters, though, do stay vivid. Vollmann avoids simply glamorizing the outcasts but remains, deep down, a Blakean romantic: prostitution is for him not only the universal indictment of the human race but also, paradoxically, the only paradise we can actually visit.(Aug.)

Everything I've ever read by Vollmann makes me want to shoot myself in the face. I don't get the guy. Totally excruciating and unreadable.
:lmao:

Although if you're going to read a book about the molestation of underage retarded girls, this is the book to read.

:lmao:

A book so loathsome I'll be leaving it behind. I don't want this one on my bookshelf.

So true. It isn't his subjects that bother me. I'm all for literary treatments of prostitutes and other various underworlds. It's his style. He's so verbose and dry. He's like Pynchon without the hilarity. The only thing I ever enjoyed was The Rainbow Stories.

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Blood Meridian. Not the easiest read in the world, but I feel like I'm in the presence of greatness as I read.

I'm doing my senior thesis on Blood Meridian and Absalom, Absalom! Two absolutely incredible books.
What's the connection? Or does it not matter?
:lmao:

I need to hear the thesis here. I'm a big fan of both. If you need someone to bounce ideas off of, I'll gladly take a PM.

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I couldn't find the Wallander series at my library, but they have some of the BBC series television shows. (sad substitute I know) Regardless, it is really excellent. Agree, Wallander is the overworked, sleep in a chair, wrinkled clothes, divorcee that is emotionally repressed but sensitive in a Nordic way.

I hope to find the books, as the connections remind me a bit of Stieg Larsson (Girl with dragon tattoo, etc) works.

A book I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I took on a trip was "Twelve" by Jasper Kent. Set in Russia during the Napoleonic invasion, has a vampire theme running through, but is told through the experiences of a Russian officer who has a developing relationship with a prostitute. That description does it no justice, but if you want to read a new writer and enjoy historical fiction and vampires (and prostitutes if you are into that, though no gratuitous scenes), this is highly recommended. I would be interested in others' opinions.

For detective/crime fiction, have you read Robert B. Parker's (deceased sadly) Spenser series? Andrew Vachss has an interesting crime noir series with a protagonist anti-hero named Burke as well. Both series are excellent but Vachss writes gritty matter. Not work friendly or for young people.

Halfway through "The Passage" and agree well written. A work at 750+ pages, but well worth it so far.

Been on a mystery kick lately. Faceless Killers is the first in the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It's a good police procedural that touches on Sweden's attitudes towards immigration. Wallander is a somewhat typical fictional homicide detective - middle aged, divorced, and seemingly unable to keep his personal life in order. Overall very reminiscent of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.

I also recently finished 2010 Nobel laureate Mario Llosa Vargas's foray into the genre, Who Killed Palomino Molero? This one is set in 1950s Peru and deals with the murder of an air force recruit while also addressing the prevalent class and racial prejudices of the time. Actually a bit heavy-handed and underdeveloped at ~150 pages, the most interesting aspect is a humorous subplot that has the novel's dashing Sherlock Holmes-like lead pining for the chubby, middle-aged wife of a fisherman.

Much more interesting than these was Jedediah Berry's The Manual of Detection. This one was a mix of detective noir and scifi/fantasy with an imaginative plot and a likable but reluctant hero. Has a cinematic feel reminiscent of movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys. Definitely worth a read. :lmao:

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I'm about halfway through the second Sharpe novel by Bernard Cornwell. I think I'm going to bail on it. The characters are so thin and the book feels so repetitive that I just don't feel like slogging through it anymore. I was hoping that Cornwell would start to flesh out Sharpe a little in this one, but I haven't seen it yet. I guess I'll put the Sharpe series into the same bin as Patrick O'Brian's series. Just not for me.

I'll probably give some of Cornwell's other stuff a try, but I think I'm about done with Sharpe.

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Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

This novel was pretty wonderful. It had quite a bit of an early Stephen King vibe, his non-horror stuff. A real growing up in a small town feel about it. I was pretty underwhelmed by Swan Song so I wasn't expecting much, but this blew that out of the water. Read it.

Unfortunately, Swan Song and Boy's Life are by far his most read works and I don't see anything else of his that really interests me. Looks like I'll cross the rest of McCammon's catalog off of my list.

Also finished Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane. I've expressed my adoration for Lehane on here before so I'll just say that this one is every bit as good as the rest of the Kenzie/Genarro novels.

Speaks the Nightbird is the first in a trilogy of colonial mysteries that are very enjoyable. They are very different from McCammon's other stuff, but worth a read.
Just saw a review that said it has a similar 'feel' to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Have you read both? Is that an apt comparison?
Hmmm....If they mean because it's a period piece, maybe? That definitely wouldn't be my first comparison. I felt like McCammon was a bit more nuanced, in that he doesn't beat you over the head with who the good and bad guys are. There's more development of the characters, and a bit of mystery to them, save the central protagonist. I think if I was going to compare his writing (in these books) to anyone I might say more of a Dan Simmons, but less intense. Say, Summer of Night/Winter Haunting Simmons, not sci-fi Simmons.
Agreed. McCammon's not as stiff as Follett. I've read all 3 of the period-piece books featuring Matthew Corbett and liked them all. If you're going paperback for "Speaks The Nightbird", be careful - I think they split it into two books for the PB edition.
You guys have sold me. I'll give these a shot.

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:confused: Great book. If you like Murakami, you'll never read a better book than The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which I'm sure krista has already attested to.
While The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is fantastic, I thought Kafka On the Shore was highly disappointing. I could go on and on about it, except David Mitchell covered it all in his Guardian review.

Mitchell talked about this when he was in LA. We both agreed it was the narrative sloppiness that doomed it. Murakami's surreal elements are fantastic, but in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle they all had narrative purpose. The hotel through the well is a nightmare where the girlfriend's trauma lies, buried deep, hidden, festering (it could be said this is also the lingering trauma of postwar Japan). A reader runs with weird #### like this because you hope the author will reveal a subtext or purpose to them. The fantasy world has to make sense, on its own terms, but it has to make sense. Just throwing wacky things into a story is bad writing 101. And this is what Murakami did in Kafka On The Shore. As Mitchell says, the loose ends "just dangle."

Love Mitchell as a writer. As a reviewer? Not so much.

Maybe it's the fact that he doesn't even get the details right (Jack Daniels v. Johnny Walker). Or maybe he just doesn't like loose ends.

:shrug:

He does raise one point that threw me as I was reading it: the translation. It's a book set in Japan. Why change the currency? Or why stop there, why not go with Kafka Jones and set the book in the Florida Keys?

At risk of sounding like a "besotted devotee", I really enjoyed the book. And I think Mitchell did as well (the review certainly doesn't read as if he found it "highly disappointing" - as the critical admirer says at the end of the review: Respect is due.)

For sheer love of a thumping narrative, the novel delivers gloriously. The author's trademark kookinesses, particularly his talking cats, maybe-phantoms of army deserters and the appropriation of Colonel Saunders, Kentucky Fried Chicken King, add smartness and colour.

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thoroughly enjoyed the dark humor of "Blood Oath - the President's Vampire" by Christopher Farnsworth.

The title might be unusual, but it's a "spy-thriller" type storyline with the "other side of evil".

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:goodposting: Great book. If you like Murakami, you'll never read a better book than The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which I'm sure krista has already attested to.
While The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is fantastic, I thought Kafka On the Shore was highly disappointing. I could go on and on about it, except David Mitchell covered it all in his Guardian review.

Mitchell talked about this when he was in LA. We both agreed it was the narrative sloppiness that doomed it. Murakami's surreal elements are fantastic, but in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle they all had narrative purpose. The hotel through the well is a nightmare where the girlfriend's trauma lies, buried deep, hidden, festering (it could be said this is also the lingering trauma of postwar Japan). A reader runs with weird #### like this because you hope the author will reveal a subtext or purpose to them. The fantasy world has to make sense, on its own terms, but it has to make sense. Just throwing wacky things into a story is bad writing 101. And this is what Murakami did in Kafka On The Shore. As Mitchell says, the loose ends "just dangle."

Love Mitchell as a writer. As a reviewer? Not so much.

Maybe it's the fact that he doesn't even get the details right (Jack Daniels v. Johnny Walker). Or maybe he just doesn't like loose ends.

:lmao:

He does raise one point that threw me as I was reading it: the translation. It's a book set in Japan. Why change the currency? Or why stop there, why not go with Kafka Jones and set the book in the Florida Keys?

At risk of sounding like a "besotted devotee", I really enjoyed the book. And I think Mitchell did as well (the review certainly doesn't read as if he found it "highly disappointing" - as the critical admirer says at the end of the review: Respect is due.)

For sheer love of a thumping narrative, the novel delivers gloriously. The author's trademark kookinesses, particularly his talking cats, maybe-phantoms of army deserters and the appropriation of Colonel Saunders, Kentucky Fried Chicken King, add smartness and colour.

He was being nice. He said as much when I met him a couple years ago. Mitchell didn't like it at all, but was conflicted over 2 things -

1. Murakami is one of the people who inspired him to write and influenced his style. He adores him as a writer.

2. He didn't like this particular book, but was paid to write a review by The Guardian.

So he tried to be honest while not totally betraying Murakami.

He felt bad too. The topic came up when someone asked him if he'd ever met Murakami. Mitchell said no, and was a little worried about it as he "didn't like his last book and wrote a bad review of it in the Guardian." Then he made a joke about Murakami beating him up if they met.

:lmao:

I can sympathize. If I was paid to write a review of Delillo's Cosmopolis, I'd be in a similar bind.

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Been on a mystery kick lately. Faceless Killers is the first in the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It's a good police procedural that touches on Sweden's attitudes towards immigration. Wallander is a somewhat typical fictional homicide detective - middle aged, divorced, and seemingly unable to keep his personal life in order. Overall very reminiscent of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.

I also recently finished 2010 Nobel laureate Mario Llosa Vargas's foray into the genre, Who Killed Palomino Molero? This one is set in 1950s Peru and deals with the murder of an air force recruit while also addressing the prevalent class and racial prejudices of the time. Actually a bit heavy-handed and underdeveloped at ~150 pages, the most interesting aspect is a humorous subplot that has the novel's dashing Sherlock Holmes-like lead pining for the chubby, middle-aged wife of a fisherman.

Much more interesting than these was Jedediah Berry's The Manual of Detection. This one was a mix of detective noir and scifi/fantasy with an imaginative plot and a likable but reluctant hero. Has a cinematic feel reminiscent of movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys. Definitely worth a read. :blackdot:

I couldn't find the Wallander series at my library, but they have some of the BBC series television shows. (sad substitute I know) Regardless, it is really excellent. Agree, Wallander is the overworked, sleep in a chair, wrinkled clothes, divorcee that is emotionally repressed but sensitive in a Nordic way.

I hope to find the books, as the connections remind me a bit of Stieg Larsson (Girl with dragon tattoo, etc) works.

A book I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I took on a trip was "Twelve" by Jasper Kent. Set in Russia during the Napoleonic invasion, has a vampire theme running through, but is told through the experiences of a Russian officer who has a developing relationship with a prostitute. That description does it no justice, but if you want to read a new writer and enjoy historical fiction and vampires (and prostitutes if you are into that, though no gratuitous scenes), this is highly recommended. I would be interested in others' opinions.

For detective/crime fiction, have you read Robert B. Parker's (deceased sadly) Spenser series? Andrew Vachss has an interesting crime noir series with a protagonist anti-hero named Burke as well. Both series are excellent but Vachss writes gritty matter. Not work friendly or for young people.

Halfway through "The Passage" and agree well written. A work at 750+ pages, but well worth it so far.

Looks like Netflix has the BBC Wallander series, with Kenneth Branagh as the detective. Added to queue.

I also looked at Robert B. Parker's bibliography and accolades and I'll definitely be looking into his Spenser series. Any particular place to start?

My holiday reading included The Way Some People Die, by Ross MacDonald. I've seen MacDonald mentioned alongside Hammett and Chandler as a leading light of hardboiled detective fiction, and this one has all the ingredients - 50s SoCal setting, a femme fatale, and an impenetrable plot. However, having recently read The Big Sleep, I found this novel somewhat derivative of that particular book. Still a worthy read if you enjoy the genre.

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Been on a mystery kick lately. Faceless Killers is the first in the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell. It's a good police procedural that touches on Sweden's attitudes towards immigration. Wallander is a somewhat typical fictional homicide detective - middle aged, divorced, and seemingly unable to keep his personal life in order. Overall very reminiscent of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.

I also recently finished 2010 Nobel laureate Mario Llosa Vargas's foray into the genre, Who Killed Palomino Molero? This one is set in 1950s Peru and deals with the murder of an air force recruit while also addressing the prevalent class and racial prejudices of the time. Actually a bit heavy-handed and underdeveloped at ~150 pages, the most interesting aspect is a humorous subplot that has the novel's dashing Sherlock Holmes-like lead pining for the chubby, middle-aged wife of a fisherman.

Much more interesting than these was Jedediah Berry's The Manual of Detection. This one was a mix of detective noir and scifi/fantasy with an imaginative plot and a likable but reluctant hero. Has a cinematic feel reminiscent of movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys. Definitely worth a read. :popcorn:

I couldn't find the Wallander series at my library, but they have some of the BBC series television shows. (sad substitute I know) Regardless, it is really excellent. Agree, Wallander is the overworked, sleep in a chair, wrinkled clothes, divorcee that is emotionally repressed but sensitive in a Nordic way.

I hope to find the books, as the connections remind me a bit of Stieg Larsson (Girl with dragon tattoo, etc) works.

A book I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I took on a trip was "Twelve" by Jasper Kent. Set in Russia during the Napoleonic invasion, has a vampire theme running through, but is told through the experiences of a Russian officer who has a developing relationship with a prostitute. That description does it no justice, but if you want to read a new writer and enjoy historical fiction and vampires (and prostitutes if you are into that, though no gratuitous scenes), this is highly recommended. I would be interested in others' opinions.

For detective/crime fiction, have you read Robert B. Parker's (deceased sadly) Spenser series? Andrew Vachss has an interesting crime noir series with a protagonist anti-hero named Burke as well. Both series are excellent but Vachss writes gritty matter. Not work friendly or for young people.

Halfway through "The Passage" and agree well written. A work at 750+ pages, but well worth it so far.

Looks like Netflix has the BBC Wallander series, with Kenneth Branagh as the detective. Added to queue.

I also looked at Robert B. Parker's bibliography and accolades and I'll definitely be looking into his Spenser series. Any particular place to start?

My holiday reading included The Way Some People Die, by Ross MacDonald. I've seen MacDonald mentioned alongside Hammett and Chandler as a leading light of hardboiled detective fiction, and this one has all the ingredients - 50s SoCal setting, a femme fatale, and an impenetrable plot. However, having recently read The Big Sleep, I found this novel somewhat derivative of that particular book. Still a worthy read if you enjoy the genre.

Spenser series is chronological and many of the supporting characters are recurring. I strongly suggest starting at the beginning and following through in order. Can't recall the first, but I am sure there are many lists.

It was also a television series in the 80s starring the late Robert Ulrich (sp?). Nice translation to that media as well. Sadly, not available in dvd except for pirated versions which I can't support. Hope they bring that back someday.

The Jesse Stone series is a near equal, and Tom Selleck portrays the main character in movies available through Netflix and Redbox.

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Agreed. McCammon's not as stiff as Follett. I've read all 3 of the period-piece books featuring Matthew Corbett and liked them all. If you're going paperback for "Speaks The Nightbird", be careful - I think they split it into two books for the PB edition.

You guys have sold me. I'll give these a shot.

Great, enjoy. Just a note that Nightbird was a 2-part paperback early on, but I believe they did re-release it in a single volume so you should be able to find it in that form.

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Reading "Meet You in Hell" by Les Stanford. "Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America".

Excellent read.

The relationship between industrialists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick is an illuminating window on American capitalism as well as a fascinating study of how a strong partnership can give way to vicious acrimony. Les Standiford tells the story of the two men in Meet You in Hell, a book that draws its title from Frick's angry rejoinder to Carnegie's late-in-life attempt at reconciliation. Carnegie and Frick, in Standiford's estimation, represented all that was good and bad in American capitalism. They were self-made men, rising from blue-collar backgrounds to become titans in the burgeoning American steel industry, some of the wealthiest men in the world, and loyal partners, even if they were always somewhat short of being actual friends. But they were also pivotal figures in the infamous Homestead Steel strike, where Frick, acting on implicit orders from Carnegie, dispatched hundreds of private security guards into a testy labor situation, resulting in mayhem and death on all sides and forever casting a pall over the history of American labor relations. While Carnegie and Frick's acumen in getting rich is given due credit, Standiford also tells of the workers who were exploited or killed in that same effort. Standiford presents Carnegie and Frick without prejudice, demonstrating their fierce competitiveness, short tempers, business savvy, and troublesome character flaws. The reader also comes to realize that, although there were some negligible differences, the two men are so similar and so powerful that a falling out was inevitable. Meet You in Hell is a valuable insight into the ideas and personalities that shaped American industrialization as well as an interesting parallel to a contemporary economic reality where American jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are threatened and often lost to overseas labor. --John Moe

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Starting So Brave, Young and Handsome by Lief Enger, the guy who wrote Peace Like a River.

This turned out to be decent. If you liked Peace like a River and like westerns, check it out.

Anyone ever read a good non-fiction about the Pinkertons? They play a big role in this book and it piqued my interest.

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Haven't read a book/magazine/newspaper since graduating college (history major) 4 years ago.

Thinking of starting Watership Down tomorrow.

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Haven't read a book/magazine/newspaper since graduating college (history major) 4 years ago.

Don't stop now. You could be the Cal Ripken of illiteracy.

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Inherent Vice by Thomas PynchonEntertaining book. I read a review that compared it to The Big Lebowski and The Long Goodbye, and that's accurate. Hardboiled detective story set in 1970 with a stoner detective set in a southern California beach community. Extremely convoluted plot with lots of characters. Really the only well developed character is the protagonist Doc Sportello. Laughed out loud quite a few times.

:fishing: Sounds awesome.
Fun book although the plot is definately convuluted. I liked a couple of the minor characters, his sidekick Denis, Bigfoot Bjornson the cop.
I'm about halfway through this and enjoying it. I have no idea what is going on plot-wise, but this type of book hinges on the characterization of the lead, and Doc Sportello is a great character. Lots of drug use, lots of funny moments.

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Ok, this is probably the best audience for this question so I'll throw it in here.What do you guys do with your books (for those that buy actual books) when you're done?Was thinking of trying to sell off some books to clear some shelf space and make some spare $ to help pay for a Kindle.Looks like books don't go for much, if anything, anymore though (on ebay, half.com, amazon anyway).

Books have very little resale value. I used to hoard my books thinking I would put them in a home library some day. A couple years ago I decided that plan made little sense and came to the conclusion that I should pay all my books forward. After I finish a book I try to find someone who I think I will appreciate it and give it to them. If I end up with a surplus of books I give them to a charity.I keep some of my nicer hard cover books (Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. The Three Kingdoms etc) but I give away 95% of what I read.

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The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

Pulitzer prize winner. Only 30 or so pages in but I am really enjoying this one. I think this character would speak to many, if not most, of the people who post here. The guy is one of us.

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