Thursday, February 11, 2016

More About Books

I usually get between four and six comments on an average post, plus another one or two on my Facebook page*. It can spike to ten or more when I have a post that generates a lot of interest ... say, with the word sex in the title or a topic that for some reason draws people in. This past Tuesday was an example - I got ten comments, plus another ten on Facebook, on a post about books we lie about having read.

The lesson is clear: to generate more interest and more comments, write about sex or books.

Today, I'll write more about books. If I write about sex, I'll just get depressed.

It seems to me that nowadays there are far too many books about zombies and about broken heroes and heroines fighting against corrupt governments/terrorists/serial killers.

Here's a list of books I strongly recommend instead of those:

The Inspector John Madden mysteries by Rennie Airth (The Blood-Dimmed Tide, The Dead of Winter, River of Darkness, and The Reckoning). These are well-written, cleverly plotted mysteries that span the career of a British police inspector from the end of World War I to the end of World War II. I've read them all twice, and am anxiously awaiting the new Madden novel that Mr Airth is now writing.

The Cliff Janeway ("Bookman") mysteries by John Dunning (Booked to Die, The Bookman's Wake, The Bookman's Promise, The Sign of the Book, and The Bookwoman's Last Fling). Cliff Janeway, the "Bookman" of the titles, is a retired police detective who now runs a bookstore, and manages to end up enmeshed in complex mysteries involving the world of books. These are great stories.

Also by John Dunning: Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime. This is a terrific mystery, set in a radio station in a town on the east coast during World War II. You'll learn something about radio production and how to generate cool sound effects while you follow a mystery that twists from the late 1800s to the 1940s.

River God and The Seventh Scroll, by Wilbur Smith. River God is a wonderful adventure set in ancient Egypt and culminating in the construction of a Pharaoh's hidden tomb; The Seventh Scroll fast-forwards to the present and the search for that tomb. The stories are vivid and fast-moving, full of adventure, sex, violence, and historical detail.

The Max Lieberman mysteries by Frank Tallis (A Death in Vienna, Vienna Blood, Vienna Secrets, Death and the Maiden, Fatal Lies, and The Melancholy Countess). Max Lieberman is a psychoanalyst  and disciple of Sigmund Freud in turn-of-the-century Vienna. He consults with the Vienna police through a series of marvelously complex mysteries full of historical detail about Old Vienna.

The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer. Hoffer was known as "The Longshoreman Philosopher," a self-educated working man with a brilliant mind and wonderful insights into religion and society. The True Believer is one of my all-time favorite books - a marvelous analysis of what makes ordinary people become political or religious fanatics.

Okay, that should get you started. If you have read any of these stories, how did you like them? And if you decide to read any of them on my recommendation, e-mail me and let me know what you thought. And what are your own recommendations?

So many books, so little time.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow, when we name the Right-Cheek Ass Clown for February. More thoughts then.


* More, if it leads to one of our famous pun contests, which can go on for days.


Gonzo Dave said...

I'm a fan of historical fiction, such as John Jakes' Civil War trilogy. I also like J.A.Jance because many of her books (she has several different series) take place in Southern Arizona. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is also excellent - a masterful blending of time travel and history from the 1740s to the Revolution.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I read two of the Airth books, and liked them. I read two by Reginald Hill, which were okay. The Hunger Games trilogy was 100% enjoyable, but I read for fun.

I've read two of the Time Traveler series, including Outlander. Might be worth a story, maybe.

Duckbutt said...

I enjoyed the Bookman series, and the police stories by Jon Talton set in Phoenix.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

You have a lot of bibliophiles that follow your blog. And maybe sex maniacs. I welcome your book recommendations!

pinkelstar said...

I enjoyed the Bookman series a lot, too. They seem to me really interesting!