Thursday, June 28, 2012

Burning Through 13 Books

I have been burning through books lately.  

Since I'm not yet up to speed on GoodReads, I'll use this post to share 13 books I've read recently.

I just reached the end of this one earlier this evening so I'll kick things off here:

1. No Shelter (Holly Lin) by Robert Swartwood

Very solid thriller with a well developed female protagonist.  The pacing in Part II was too slow and I felt a bit impatient waiting for more to develop.  Fortunately the chapters are short and read quickly.  Once through her 'daily life' section, there was a bigger payoff.

Over all it was well written and definitely a page-turner.  If you like over-the-top, kick ass female characters, then Holly Lin is for you.
Good for a debut novel.  Recommended.

2. Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk

I like Chuck, but this was like a bad porno script  and not in a funny, ironic way.  
Not recommended.

3. Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers by Tucker Max

I'm almost embarrassed to admit to reading this, but it was free.  I saw it was from the I Hope They Sell Beer in Hell guy and thought I'd see what all the hoopla was a few years back since I never read that.  This one was mildly entertaining.  Somewhat humorous.  Certainly obnoxious and juvenile.  I think the "fratire" moniker for the genre is dead on.
Not recommended (unless you are a pubescent boy).

4. Kitchen Confidential:  Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

I like the guy's travel show.  He's full of snark and loves to drink.  Who knew he could write?  This is a great book and very interesting.  This is how to write memoir.
Highly Recommended.

5. The Abysmal Brute by Jack London

Inspiring story about boxing and corruption.

6. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

It won the Pulitzer Prize for a reason.  It's short.  It's great.  Perfect before the trip to Cuba.
Highly Recommended.

7. Coding Isis by Davis Roys

Pretty good techno-thriller.  The story was pretty solid and fast paced, but there were some minor distractions.  Mainly the fact that all of the characters use British colloquialisms, especially since it's set in Washington D.C.  Otherwise, well-written.
Decent debut.  Recommended.

8. The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted by Andrew E. Kaufman

I loved this book.  It's a psychological thriller.  Patrick, the main character is easy to identify with and very likable  even though the story opens at his mother's funeral and he's basically spitting on her grave.  Hooked.  You've got to read more.

You get two parallel stories with Patrick investigating a toddler's murder and the back story of him being abused by his mother.  It's multi-layered and it works wonderfully.  Great twists and turns that are surprising in the best possible way.

This ranks as the best book I have read so far this year.
Highly, Highly Recommended!

9. Baby Shark by Robert Fate

Decent revenge thriller.  The premise is unique.  A strong female protagonist seeking revenge for the murder of her pool hustler father.  It's set in the 50s, although at times I was having to force myself to suspend disbelief.

Well-written, but only average over all.  Penn of Penn & Teller highly recommends the book, but I'm pretty sure it's mainly because he's friends with the author.
Recommended if you like this genre or strong female MCs.

10. Pandemic by Jesse F. Bone

This is actually a short story, but I like the premise so much I included it here – also I read it on my Kindle, so that counts as an eBook, right?

This SciFi story was written in the 60s so it was a little difficult to read the dated prose.  Also, not terrific writing, but again the premise was really cool.  Read it and see why.

11. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

Stephen King doing young adult fantasy.  This was a reread and it reminded me why I liked this story so much.
Highly Recommended.

12. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I gave up halfway through.  I just couldn't do it.  I know it's supposed to be some sort of classic for fans of fantasy, but it's one of the few books I've given up on.
Don't Bother!

13. Touch by Elmore Leonard

If you're looking for the Elmore Leonard who writes gritty Crime Novels, then you're in the wrong place with this story.  I love those other novels, but Touch is by far my favorite Leonard novel so far.

This young stigmatic seems to perform miracles – or are those simply coincidences?  It doesn't matter.  Lots of people want to exploit him.  And it wouldn't be a Leonard novel without the wacky cast of characters including con men and outlandish priests.
Highly, Highly Recommended!

Any significant book you've read so far this year?

Thanks to Pcorreia on Flickr for the nice photograph!


  1. FYI: if you're in the mood for a techno-thriller, try mine, which is free online (or there's the hard copy at Amazon). "Rad Decision: A Novel of Nuclear Power" written by a longtime nuclear industry engineer.

    Beyond that, I'd suggest "Darwin's Radio" by Greg Bear for a solid, science-based thriller of sorts.

    1. Hi James,
      Welcome to The Puzzling Mind!
      Thanks for the great recommendations!

  2. Great selection of books. No one can accuse you of being narrow in your tastes.


    1. That's right! I try to make sure I'm a life-long learner! You've got to keep an open mind. Although, I still haven't cracked into the romance or erotica genres yet...there's only so much time in the day ;-)