Monday, June 13, 2011

Library Loot: A Bonanza!!

I admit I might have gone a little overboard this time out. You know how it is - you begin clicking the handy little 'hold' button on the library's website and before you know it, the site itself is telling you: Hey, lady, we're cutting you off! You've had enough.

In two words: Em Barrassing. Ha!

Anyway, here are the books I brought home from the library. I'm not going to show all the dust jackets because if I do, this post would run on forever...!

First off, I brought home 10 Perry Mason novels by Earl Stanley Gardner. Well, 3 in one anthology and 7 in another. Thankfully they're compacted together into two volumes so I physically only have two books to deal with, rather than an actual 10. I blame my fellow blogging friend Ryan for this. It's ALL his fault. He began posting some terrific Perry Mason reviews on his blog and they reminded me that I hadn't read any Mason books in years and years and....well, I checked to see what my library had and this was it. Two anthologies or omnibuses or whatever. 10 mysteries in all. The only thing I don't like about reading 7 books in one is this: the print is wearisome and the book is a bit thick. But, I'll manage. (THE CASE OF THE TERRIFIED TYPIST, THE CASE OF THE SCREAMING WOMAN and THE CASE OF THE RELUCTANT MODEL  are 3 of the books included.)

A friend gave me one of the  Commissario Brunetti books by Donna Leon for a birthday present a few years ago and I immediately read it and loved it. I've been meaning to read more in the series for awhile but you know how easy it is to get sidetracked. Lately, my blogging friend Kathy has been touting Commissario Brunetti to me every chance she gets. So these books have been flashing on my radar and I've decided that this summer would be the perfect time to visit Venice from my armchair.

Just to get me started. In the pile are:

Also added two of Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano mysteries set, I believe, in Sicily:

Yep, this will definitely be an Italian summer. I can almost smell the sea air and taste the campari and soda, not to mention the plates of pasta, the sauce, the cheese, the basil pesto, the gelato.....sigh! Maybe I'll decorate the house to look like an Italian cafe. (Am I getting carried away? Nah!)

But it's not all about travelling and pasta consuming, I also brought home:

The new book by Ace Atkins, THE RANGER. The first in a brand new series about which I am very excited. Ace hasn't begun a series in years (he's been concentrating on several hard-hitting stand-alone books), so this promises to be the start of something big. Ace is one of the best crime fiction writers in the business. I've read almost all his books and recommend them highly. He is an author whose books I automatically pick up without even reading the synopsis. Whatever he's writing, I'm reading. He's that good.

NEPTUNE AVENUE A Jack Leightner crime novel (set in and around Brooklyn) by Gabriel Cohen. This is a new writer and a new series for me. Recommended highly on one the book blogs (can't remember which one), it sounded interesting so I thought I'd take a look.

Well, you may know what happened with this one. I got about half way through and had to return it to the library 'cause I'd kept it too long (the library's patience ran out) - what with reading the vast pile of other books I'd brought home a few weeks ago. I did a partial review, but now I'm ready to finish the book and do a complete review - give it the accolades it deserves. What I've read so far in this Pulitzer Prize winning gem is nothing short of brilliant. This is one of those stories you get lost in. Yeah.

Two Georgette Heyer novels recommended on several blogs. (I have to do better writing down who recommends what. It's just that sometimes I'm in a hurry so I just jot down the book title and quickly forget who did the recommending. I promise to try and do better.) THE CORINTHIAN and THE TALISMAN RING. I'm thinking I'm going to spend some time this year and next making myself familiar with more and more of Heyer's books. I've read most of her mysteries, but only a couple of the Regencies. I'm impressed though, by how many people recommend her books and I do like Regencies. A lot.

I'm waiting on reserve for Steve Hamilton's new Alex McKnight book, MISERY BAY and a couple of other things, but I think my current library haul is probably enough to tide me over for the next few weeks.

Note: The beautiful illustration at the very top of the post is by the Lithuanian illustrator and author of more than 50 children's books, Kestutis Kasparavicius. To read more about the artist and his wonderful work, please use this link.


  1. Goodness, I'm old enough to remember watching Perry Mason on the TV! LOL.

    I've just finished the first Brunetti book and loved it (short review on my blog). Think I'm going to like Donna Leon.

    The Corinthian is one of my favourite Heyers... also try Frederica, Sylvester, The Black Sheep. But all are good.

    Amazing library loot! Happy reading!

  2. Oh, yes, I remember too. I'm old enough, for sure. Raymond Burr. Loved him in the role. But the books are a little different. I read a bunch of them many MANY years ago. I'll see how I like them this time out.

    Slowly but surely, I'm going to dip into the Georgette Heyer books, for sure.

    I will be a happy reader. No doubt. :)

  3. What a haul! Great! All that good stuff, and it's legal and healthy.

    Good selection of Donna Leon. Is Rocky ready to go incognito as an Italian grayhound this summer to fit into the ambiance, with pasta and Campari? (Let us know how you like them. I may have to reread about the Brunettis. The posts will inspire me.)

    Good starting with two Camalleri's.

    Interesting other books you've gotten. I've heard of Cohen, and meant to try a book or two, and will write this down.

    I restarted the first Ariana Franklin book, and I saw Diva last night (wrote a message in a prior post; interesting movie).

    And I've discovered an uncle who is a Nero Wolfe fan, so I'm sending him books I've purchased. He's 90 and our family name is in that series, which is enticing.

    Have hours of delight with that load of loot!

  4. Thanks, Kathy. Yeah, this is a BIG haul! I was a little out of control. HA! What the heck - I will certainly have tons of fun.

    When it comes to travelling, books are the next best thing to reality. :)

    Plus I get to help solve a mystery. What could be better?

  5. I like the idea of an "Italian summer" of reading, Yvette! I ahve a stack of book four feet high waiting to be read once my darn eye gets better.

  6. Holy cow!!! I am going to have write this all down. You make all those books look just simply scrumptious. I just don't know how I can keep up with you!

  7. Well, you are sure going to be a busy lady if you get through all of these!

  8. I haven't seen a Perry Mason for twenty years or more! Love the GH books.

  9. Hip Hip Hooray!!!!! Perry Mason rocks. I'm going to look forward to all your reviews because I haven't read any of those. I'm really loving the difference between the books and shd the show. i love them both but for different reasons.

  10. What a haul! You must be one happy woman. The other day I was thinking of re-re-reading a Perry Mason, and now after reading your blog, I am determined to. There was a time when it was all Agatha Christie and Gardner. There are so many memories associated with these books. Loved them all: Mason, drake, Della Street, Lt. Tragg.

  11. We, your loyal bloggers, get as much out of the library loot as your do!

    We get to enjoy reading the reviews -- thorough, interesting, hilarious.

    And now I'm on a Camilleri binge through the summer, and also somewhat of a Wolfe binge (a modified one), where I'll have to give my neighbor those books so that I do required tasks, and don't just turn into a reading sloth, who does nothing else.

  12. Pat: I hope you'll soon be bright-eyed enough to read as much as you want when you want. :)

    Yes, an Italian summer sounds good. I wonder if there is a recording somewhere of Italian street sounds or maybe, the sounds of gondolas hitting the sides of the docks and/or canals. Someone should record European street sounds for us stay at home types. Ha!

    Glad you're back, kiddo. :)

  13. BookBelle: It's NOT a race. Ha! Or as Joe Pike says to Elvis Cole whenever he reaches Elvis's house before Elvis even if they began at the same point in different cars: "I didn't know it was a race." He cracks me up with his quiet, dead pan sense of the ironic. He cracks Elvis up too.

    I'm glad you're enjoying my posts, though. :)

  14. Lisa: Well, in such a big haul of books, there will be a few which don't make the cut. I usually know after only about twenty or so pages in - if that - if I'm going to finish a book or not. Not EVERYTHING I bring home gets read. That's the cruel truth. Ha!

  15. Mystica: I'm just hoping I'm going to enjoy them even half as much as I used to, so many, MANY years ago.

  16. Ryan: Yes, the show is a classic for a very good reason: the formula worked superbly, the cast was perfection and Raymond Burr was a dish. HA!

    Anyway, I blame you for all this sudden Perry Mason interest on my part, Ryan. On your head be it!

    You know what often happens when you try to go home again. :)

  17. neer: Very perceptive. It is the memories I think we try to revive by going back and re-reading books we loved once upon a time. Memories, maybe, of happier times when life was a little less complicated. :)

  18. Kathy: I LOVE the image: A Reading Sloth. I'm going to have to draw that one of these days. Reading upside down. :)

    Nothing wrong with that.

    I also like the idea of sharing books. My best friend and I used to share mysteries and such, but she moved to Ohio and now we only share online. Oh well, better than nothing. :)

  19. I share books all the time. If I buy a paperback (or win one), about 5 or 6 people get to read it after me.

    On library books, certain ones, I hand them over to one of three friends, depending on what it is; there is a Donna Leon fan, a Nordic noir/thriller fan, a Vargas/Griffiths fan.

    I never get books that aren't shared ... one reason I like paper books.

    Yes,a Reading Sloth, that looks something like a Dr. Seuss character, maybe a Lorax.


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