Archive for the ‘memes’ Category

I discovered this meme at Bernadette’s Reactions to Reading and have decided to expand it a little as choosing just one book is tricky in some categories. 

1] Best Book of 2011 originally written in English

The difficulty in choosing a best book even when you read only 19 originally written in English is remembering the impact a book you read in January or February had on you in comparison with one you read two weeks ago. But I would vote for:

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin 

2] Best Books of 2011 translated into English

I read some brilliant translated fiction this year.We are so lucky to have at this time a group of superb translators able to bring these books to an English readership.  

My choices are two very different but equally exceptional books: 

Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen translated by Lisa Hartford aka Tiina Nunnaly 

Trackers by Deon Meyer translated by Laura Seegers 

3] Worst Book of 2011

Most authors regard their books like children, and get very upset at negative reviews. Therefore as part of my New Year resolution to be kinder to everyone, except useless politicians and biased journalists, I am not going to select a book in this category. 😉

4] Most disappointing books

There were a couple that fitted that category. 

The Troubled Man-Henning Mankell: which was very depressing to read if you were a man of a certain age facing some of the problems Wallander does in the book. Actually he is younger than me! Was Henning Mankell suffering a Conan Doyle moment with his popular protagonist? It seemed like it.

River of Shadows-Valerio Varesi: I expected a more appealing protagonist, Soneri was dull and the plot development was catatonic. 

5] Most surprising in a good way

Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was so hyped and had won the CWA Gold Dagger and also been nominated for an Edgar that I was very surprised when it was in fact very good. I rarely agree with prize judges, with the exception of two who weren’t involved in these awards, so it was indeed a pleasant surprise to enjoy this book so much.

6] Book you recommended to people most

The book I recommended to people during the year was Nemesis by Jo Nesbo translated by Don Bartlett. Several people I know had started with The Redbreast and found the WWII backstory  heavy going, and I encouraged them to continue with the series as Nemesis and The Devil’s Star are in my opinion still among the best Nordic crime fiction I have read. 

7] Best series you discovered

This is a difficult one because I think usually you need to read two or three books to discover a series which you are going to stick with through to the end. I have already “discovered” several great series in previous years, which of course I carried on reading this year. Hakan Nesser’s idiosyncratic Van Veeteren stories, Leighton Gage’s Mario Silva and the Brazilian Federal police investigations, Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel in pre-war Germany series, John Lawton’s social history of England Troy series, Donna Leon’s Brunettis, Andrea Camilleri’s Montalbano mysteries, Ernesto Mallo’s Inspector Lascano’s struggles in Argentina, Fred Vargas and her Inspector Adamsberg, Asa Larsson and her Rebecka Martinssson cases, Jo Nesbo and Harry Hole, Martin Edwards and Hannah Scarlett, Aly Monroe’s Peter Cotton …….the list goes on and on. 

But this year I discovered Jussi Adler Olsen’s Department Q in Mercy and Arne Dahl’s Intercrime series in Misterioso.  Both books translated by the charming Tiina Nunnally.

I hope the publishers arrange for both these series to get translated  in a timely fashion, and the correct order, because they could prove the next big thing in Nordic crime fiction. 

[To be continued]

Several of my blogging friends have participated in this meme so I thought I would give it a try.

1] The book I am currently reading:

Prince by Rory Clements, which I am reading on my Kindle. I am really enjoying this rattling good adventure story set in Elizabethan London, full of historical details and gunpowder plots. 

2] The last book I finished:

The Cleansing Flames by R.N.Morris.

3] The next book I want to read:

The Somme Stations by Andrew Martin which has been recommended by Rob Kitchin from The View from the Blue House. This will be the fourth book I will have read from that 2011 CWA Ellis Peters Award shortlist.

4] The last book I bought:

Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson. I saw that Ohlsson’s third book had been shortlisted for the Best Swedish Crime Novel of 2011 so naturally with my total lack of sales resistance I had to buy her debut novel, the first to be translated into English by Sarah Death.

5] The last book I was given:

A Deception at Lyme by Carrie Bebris. Usually I am given books by the wonderfully generous Maxine, Countess Petrona, whom I owe enough postal charges to revive the Greek economy, but this one was sent totally unsolicited from the publishers in New York, who must have looked at a map and said he lives near Lyme.

A Deception at Lyme is the sixth mystery in the Mr and Mrs Darcy series, so obviously Jane Austen fans must really like these books. I might read this one as the blurb on the front flap reads: In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the Cobb-Lyme’s famous sea wall…….I have visited Lyme Regis several times, and despite once walking on the windswept Cobb have never yet met Meryl Streep, Elizabeth Darcy or even Jane Austen. [Photos of  Lyme Regis, with a view towards the Cobb, and The Cobb Gate Fish Bar!]

6] Which was the last book you borrowed from the library? 

We haven’t used our local library since it was used to collect signatures for political petitions. 

7] What is the most recent e-book you read?

I am reading an e-book at the moment, Prince by Rory Clements, and the e-book I read before that was Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer. I looked at the paperback edition of Devil’s Peak in a bookshop and noticed it had a very small font. I would have struggled to read that, but on my KindleI was able to increase the font size to something that was suitable for my elderly eyes.

8] What is the last translated book you read?

This was Misterioso by Arne Dahl, the first in the Intercrime series.

9] What was the first book you read this year?

It was The Serpent Pool by Martin Edwards, the fourth book in his superb Lake District series featuring DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of the Cold Case unit, and local historian Daniel Kind. I am looking forward to reading  the next book in the series, The Hanging Wood.

10] Which book are at the top of my winter festival present list? 

The Hanging Woods by Martin Edwards would be a good choice as it would add some symmetry to my reading year, and I definitely want to continue reading the Lake District series.

11] Which so far unpublished book are you most looking forward to reading?

A difficult choice, but probably Disgrace by Jussi Adler-Olsen to see if he maintains the standard set in Mercy, and if we learn a little more about Carl Morck’s mysterious assistant  Assad.

Links to some of the other memes on this theme  The View from the Blue House, Petrona, Reactions to Reading, Mysteries in Paradise,  Books Please and The Game’s Afoot.        

My Life in Books: A meme

Posted: September 3, 2011 in memes

I spotted this meme at Margot’s Confessions of  a Mystery Novelist [via Pop Culture Nerd].  

 My Life as a Book  is a meme in which players complete sentences about themselves with titles of books.  Some memes are just too demanding on the brain box, but I had a look at this one, and decided it could be completed with just books I had read this year. So here goes: 

One time at band/summer camp, I: (went) Missing [Karin Alvtegen]

Weekends at my house are: The Tin Roof Blowdown [James Lee Burke]

My neighbour is: The Troubled Man [Henning Mankell]

My boss is:  The Abominable Man [Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo]

My ex was: All Yours [Claudia Pineiro]

My superhero secret identity is:  The Leopard [Jo Nesbo]

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry because:  No One Loves a Policeman [Guillermo Orsi]

I’d win a gold medal in:  Bandit Love [Massimo Carlotto]

I’d pay good money for: A Lily of the Field [John Lawton]

If I were president, I would: (be in) An Uncertain Place [Fred Vargas]

When I don’t have good books, I: (am in a) Frozen Moment [Camilla Ceder]

Loud talkers at the movies should be: (taken to) A Beautiful Place to Die [Malla Nunn]

Margot’s meme included photos of herself, so not to be out done, this one was taken in one of my better moods. I can imagine this photo being dropped by the RAF over Berlin, and Grand Admiral Doenitz being called in to explain why the U-Boat campaign had so obviously failed to cut off Britain’s food supply.