Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Summer of Long Knives, by Jim Snowden

for TLC book tours: A redirect to The Summer of Long Knives, by Jim Snowden

9781620151532
booktrope, 2013
319 pp

paperback, sent by the publisher, thanks!

Another book by an indie publisher and author (who just happened to get his degree at University of Washington and lives in Seattle, the best city in America).  The premise of The Summer of Long Knives is a good one. It's 1936, and police Kommisar Rolf Wundt of Munich is ready to walk away from the Nazis and from Germany, taking his wife Klara with him. Wundt had earlier solved the case of the serial killer known as the Dresden Vampire, and he's a good cop. There's just one more case left for him to solve before he flees, that of a murdered little German girl found at a farmhouse belonging to the family Epp. But, just like in the real world, things do not always go as planned.  

Since this is a crime novel, or at least one that begins with a crime, you can find the rest of the story over at the crime page of this online reading journal. 


Monday, September 15, 2014

My mind is at the end of its tether. Thank you HG Wells for putting how I feel so succinctly.


I was laying in bed last night long after midnite trying to finish a book that I need to do a write up on soon, and  all I could think of was how many potentially excellent books I have in my library that are just sitting there unread waiting for me.    So I came to the conclusion that as nice as it may be (in most cases) to read a book before its release date, and as much as I want to help support indie authors & publishing houses, after I finish with all of the books I've said I would read, I am just done.  It is very cool to have my hands on a book sometimes months before it's published, but enough is enough. I keep watching the UPS guy and the postal person delivering new orders to my door only to have to put them away for later. And then I respond to review requests and later becomes even more later, while all the while even more books are piling up.  It's enough to drive a person effing insane.   The freebies are no longer worth it. I will, however, make a couple of exceptions for people I enjoy working with.

 I mean, seriously -- if it's a book I want enough to say yes to a pre-pub review request, I'll probably buy it anyway.  And then there's this: a majority of the time I bust my butt to get the book read & posted on time, and then what? Where's the freakin' publisher saying "thanks for the review" if it's a good one, or "hey, sorry you didn't like it" once it's posted? I mean, sometimes I feel like a tool and I'm so done with that.  And god forbid you should tweet to an author about how much you enjoyed his or her book -- there have only been a couple from whom I've heard  anything back.  It's not like I want to be the author's best friend, and I don't need twitter followers, but I mean seriously -- I take the time to help with publicity for a book he or she has written, and not hear even a freakin' thank you?

The word "no" is soon to be a major staple of my vocabulary. I've know I've done this to myself, but enough is just enough.  As soon as I have fulfilled my obligations, I'm done.





Sunday, September 7, 2014

Just a little past the halfway point of The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

and I'm absolutely loving it.  Anyone planning to read this is in for a wild ride.  I've been knotted up all day.  That's all I'll say right now, but this is (at least so far) a definite no-miss.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

help me out here -- another book that needs a home: In the Kingdom of Ice, by Hampton Sides



I'm going through three weeks of stacked up books and discovered I have two copies of this book, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette.  It's an amazing book, and if you have any interest at all in polar exploration and polar expeditions, you don't want to miss it.  If you want it and live in the US, I'll be happy to send you my extra copy totally free and I'll pay postage.

Just leave a comment here on this page, send me an email at oakesn at gmail dot com with an address, and I'll take care of the rest. How can you lose? My book needs a home...please help me out here!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I have a copy of Edan Lepucki's California that needs a home. Any takers? It's free and I pay postage.



Wouldn't you know it? I bought a signed copy of this novel from Powell's, and the next thing I know, I received another one in the mail from Book Passage. That means I have two and I only need one. If you'd like my extra signed copy, and you live in the US,

  1. leave the first comment saying you want it
  2. send me an email at oakesn at gmail dot com with an address 
  3. sit back, relax and wait for your book to arrive
No address email, no book. I'm not going to run after you trying to get you to divulge where you live. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

September: the summer leftovers


August came and went and so did that month's reading time. I love being with my family, but every day for the last three weeks was spent with some new adventure, and carving out a rare, spare moment for myself was just mission impossible.  I did manage to sneak in some post-bedtime reading, so all was not completely lost, but watching the books come to the door knowing I couldn't possibly get to them for a long while was beyond agony for me. Oh well. There are worse things to be addicted to than reading.

September is the month of summer leftovers. From  the original list, here's what I have left:

The Antiquarian, by Gustavo Faverón Patriau -- 
The Quick, by Lauren Owen
The Explorers: A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success, by Martin Dugard

The Mad and the Bad, by Jean-Patrick Manchette
The Lotus and the Storm, by Lan Cao 
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami

Online reading group books for this month:

Birdman, by Mo Hayder
Dark Entries, by Robert Aickman (already started)
and whatever the literary darkness group decides on -- they're having trouble with consensus issues right now.

Then there are a few books sent to me from publishers so these will probably be in the first reading wave: 

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
Dancer in the Dust, by Thomas H. Cook (finished - review first thing tomorrow a.m.)
The White Van, by Patrick Hoffman 
After I'm Gone, by Laura Lippman (finished - review 09/04)
Spring Tide, by Cilia and Rolf Borjlind
The Stone Wife, by Peter Lovesey
The Children's Act, by Ian McEwan
The Summer of Long Knives, by Jim Snowden (for 09/17)

I also have most of the Booker Prize longlist novels so obviously my dance card is pretty full right now. 

It's soooo good to be back to normal again. I'd much rather stress about having too much too read than not having time to read at all! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I got the mid-month, no-time-for-reading blues




An influx of family from the west coast is leaving zero reading time for the rest of this month, except what little I can snag after everyone's gone to bed.   I feel like an addict in withdrawal lately.  And forget about grabbing solid hours of computer time ... nope. Ain't gonna happen.

All has not been lost, though -- I've managed to finish The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber so that's a plus, and I'm planning on starting Lan Cao's The Lotus and the Storm tonight after everyone falls asleep, if I can stay awake long enough.   Crimewise I've finished The Panda Theory by Pascal Garnier and Savage Night by Jim Thompson, only because they're both really short.  That's about it; everything else I planned to read over the summer is getting pushed to September, when Larry's away for three weeks and all family has returned home.

And then there's those pesky Booker shortlist novels which should be announced that month... so many books yet no freakin' time.