Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Reading Roundup and hello from Seattle!

I'm in Seattle for the next two weeks -- what a nice, cool change from the Florida heat! I start my time here this weekend with a lovely camping trip for the weekend of the 4th -- the perfect beginning to a perfect vacation.

So, this month I spent much more time on the crime fiction than anything else, largely because I'm trying to get through the CWA International Dagger shortlist before the winner is announced toward the end of July.  The big snag is that one of the books listed for the shortlist is #11 in Andrea Camilleri's  Inspector Salvo Montalbano series (The Wings of the Sphinx), and I have this thing about reading books in proper series order.  Last year Camilleri's August Heat was on the shortlist, and I read it not knowing a thing about Montalbano or the other characters, and was just lost.  So even though reading numbers 2-11 (and what the heck, I had #12 as well so I read it too) took up more time than I had planned, it was well worth it.  What a great series -- one that I highly recommend to anyone.  The downside, of course, is that my regular fiction reading went by the wayside, and I had very little time to formulate and write reviews of the books I actually finished.  Oh well...that will all have to come once I'm home with long stretches of free time on my hands.

So here's how things shook out for June:

Translated Fiction:
The Journey of Anders Sparrman, by Per Wastberg
The Shadow of What We Were, by Luis Sepulveda

General Fiction:
Vaclav and Lena, by Haley Tanner (yes, I know, a review is definitely in the works but will be late)

Canadian Fiction:
Annabel, by Kathleen Winter (review to follow once I get home -- but in the meantime, it is a simply stunning book)

Lost in Shangri-La, by Mitchell Zuckoff

Scandinavian Crime Fiction:
The Hypnotist, by Lars Kepler (review to come very shortly)

Italian Crime Fiction:
The Voice of the Violin, by Andrea Camilleri
Excursion to Tindari, by Andrea Camilleri
River of Shadows, by Valerio Varesi (CWA International Dagger Shortlist)
The Smell of the Night, by Andrea Camilleri
Rounding the Mark, by Andrea Camilleri
The Patience of the Spider, The Paper Moon, by Andrea Camilleri
August Heat, by Andrea Camilleri
The Wings of the Sphinx, by Andrea Camilleri (CWA International Dagger Shortlist)
The Track of Sand, by Andrea Camilleri

Not bad at 15 books for the month!

other book related stuff:
1) My book group this month read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.  While we all  liked it, one member of the group felt that it would have been a much better read had it focused more on the ethics issues involved. The rest of us begged to differ. 

2) Added to the Amazon Wishlist this month
absolutely nothing -- zip, zero nada. 

3) Books bought this month (I'm a bit embarrassed about all these -- what can I say?)
  - crime fiction
The Quarry, by Johan Theorin 
Tattoo,by Manuel Vazquez Montalban
Outrage, by Arnaldur Indridason
That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana, by Carlo Emilio Gadda
Sweet Money, by Ernesto Mallo


The Spoiler, by Annalena McAfee
Chinaman, by Shehan Karunatilaka
Going After Cacciato, by Tim O'Brien
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
Touch, by Alexi Zentner

River of Smoke, by Amitav Ghosh

The Stranger's Child, by Alan Hollinghurst
The Proof of Love, by Catherine Hall
And the Land Lay Still, by James Robertson
Manazuru, by Hiromi Kawakami
Panorama, by HG Adler

Well, that is all things book for this month -- wish me luck -- I obviously have tons to read!

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