Wednesday, February 01, 2017
As you all know, Dear Readers, I love to read. So does Agnes. So does my long-time blogging friend Andrea. And so, I'm sure, do many of the rest of you ... including my old high school friend Debbie, who is a retired librarian.
I got the idea for this post from author and public speaker David Brin, whose blog and Facebook page are sources of endless fascination. One of his recent blog posts was titled "Fifteen Authors," and responded to a question from a fan who asked for a list of authors whose books he (Brin) he would automatically purchase without question. I thought about it, and decided I'd take a shot at the question myself. Here are a few of the authors whose books I would automatically read and probably be willing to spend money on* ... books I'd like to own because I'd be likely to read them over and over. Listed with each author is a representative title I can strongly recommend:
Rennie Airth (River of Darkness). Mr Airth is the author of a series of superb mystery stories featuring Scotland Yard detective John Madden, a man haunted by his experiences in the First World War. The five Madden novels to date span the years between the end of World War I and the late 1940s, and are intriguing, well-plotted, atmospheric stories. River of Darkness is the first in the series; the most recent, just published last month, is The Death of Kings. Very highly recommended.
Philip Kerr (The Berlin Noir Trilogy). Mr Kerr has written a series of novels about Bernie Gunther, an apolitical police detective in Nazi Germany. The first three (and the best, in my opinion) novels of the series are: March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem. The stories are well-plotted, feature numerous historical figures, and study the moral issues faced by a policeman trying to fight "ordinary" crime in the Nazi era.
Donna Leon (The Commissario Brunetti mystery series). Donna Leon's series of novels about Commissario Guido Brunetti are set in the modern day, and each one is a gem of intricate plotting and fascinating insights into Italian politics and life. The stories are set in Venice, which is lovingly described ... you can almost imagine yourself there.
John Dunning (Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime). John Dunning is perhaps best known for his "Bookman" mysteries, which follow the adventures of Cliff Janeway, a former police detective who is now the owner of a book store in Denver. While the Bookman series is uniformly excellent, my favorite is Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime - a mystery set in a radio station on the east coast of the US during World War II. It has a great plot involving a murder with an interesting historical background, and is also chock full of information about radio broadcasting and writing in the 1940s. A great story.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer). I've written about Eric Hoffer, the man known as "The Longshoreman Philosopher," in this blog many times before. He was a self-taught man with a brilliant mind, and his great work The True Believer is one of my all-time favorite books, well worth reading at this terrifying time in our history. It's short and as thought-provoking as anything you're ever likely to read, and all of his other books are worth your time as well.
That will do for the moment ... now tell me what authors you follow. Why should I do all the work here?
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
* Although I'm making a lot more use of the library now that I'm a retired geezer living on a fixed income that the GOP is determined to slash because I'm a lazy taker who did nothing more than serve his country, pay taxes his entire life, and marry a foreigner.