Wednesday, October 17, 2018

August and September's Favorite Reads

It’s been busy here, so much so that I was unable to get my favorite August reads posted, Now I’m late for the September and both were banner months. No offense intended toward the authors noted here. Your books kicked ass, but I need to condense the comments in the interest of time. I owe you one, if only because of how much I enjoyed your books. (Except for those of you who are dead. You’re on your own.)

Bye, Bye, Baby, Alan Guthrie. Guthrie is one of the writers who compels me to keep an OCD-quality list of authors to keep up with. His name doesn’t pass before as often as some others, but I’ve never read one of his books that didn’t knock me on my ass. This is no exception.

Sick Puppy, Carl Hiaasen. This is the book that introduced me to Hiaasen over fifteen years ago and it was just as good this time. Maybe even better, as I’m better able to get into Hiaasen’s state of mind.

The Undoing Project, Michael Lewis. No one is better able to make arcane topics relatable. Here he examines the inherent flaws in how humans think. Got me so interested I bought a book by one of the guys this book is about. We’ll see how that goes. The subject is fascinating, but few can make the complex as understandable as Lewis.

Good Behavior, Donald Westlake. A Dortmunder caper that begins when Westlake’s smart yet unlucky thief falls into a convent during an escape. Hilarity ensures. Literally. The Beloved Spouse™ kept asking me to read to her whatever it was that had me breaking up in the hotel room. (Read on the road to and from Bouchercon.)

Tricks, Ed McBain. Nothing extraordinary by McBain’s standards. Just a good, solid 87th Precinct story. There isn’t much higher praise than that.

101, Tom Pitts. I used to have a policy of holding off on noting which ARCs made this list on the premise the books weren’t available yet. That’s a stupid policy. Often I forgot to make a fuss when the book did finally come out. I’m not making this mistake again, and I apologize to all those I may have slighted in the past. Few can keep disparate story lines all moving in the same direction with perfect pacing as well as Pitts. This is a good one, even by his high standards.

The Backlist, Frank Zafiro and Eric Beetner. Dueling—competing?—hitters written by two writers with similar enough styles to make the book read seamlessly. I’ve been in the bag for Beetner for a long time and just met Zafiro at Bouchercon, so I figured this had sat on my TBR stack long enough. Now I’m going to have to read the whole goddamn series.

Plaster City, Johnny Shaw. Shaw is a master of one of the hardest things to do: write a serious book with laugh out loud comedy in it that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of the violence or drama. It’s not like he got lucky, either. Dove Season is just as good.

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