Sunday, December 19, 2010


I am well and truly grounded as the roads and pavements are still covered with snow and ice.

Those of us old enough to remember the English winter of 1962-1963 realise this could go on for several months even until March!
It could mean more reading time?

I only managed to read 58* crime fiction books this year for several reasons:
1] My accident and subsequent operation in March meant that I was unable to concentrate for several weeks.
2] Some of those 58 books were 500 page doorstops, for instance Leif G.W. Persson's Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End.
3] I also read some lengthy, but interesting history books.
4] More family activity.
5] I spent a lot of time reading all the excellent blogs linking in to the Friend Feed Forum.
6] Too much time watching television!

[*At the moment I have started reading another particularly thick 500 page book The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow, which I think might take me through to the end of the year.]

That is enough excuses. The authors new to me that I did I manage to read were:

Petros Markaris**- Che Committed Suicide
Martin Edwards**- The Arsenic Labyrinth
Qiu Xiaolong*- Death of a Red Heroine
Jonathan Valin- Extenuating Cirunstances
David Zelsterman*- Pariah
Deon Meyer**- Blood Safari and Thirteen Hours
Craig Nova*- The Informer
Ernesto Mallo**- Needle in a Haystack
Louise Penny- The Brutal Telling
Leah Giarrantano*- Vodka Doesn't Freeze
Paul Cleave- Cemetery Lake
Carl Hiaasen**- Skinny Dip
Andrea Maria Schenkel*- Bunker
Teresa Solana**- A Not So Perfect Crime
Barbara Baraldi- The Girl with the Crystal Eyes
Jan Costin Wagner**- Silence
Val McDermid**- Trick in the Dark
Lenny Kleinfeld**- Shooters and Chasers
Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom**- Three Seconds
Leif G.W. Persson**- Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End
Domingo Villar**- Water Blue Eyes
Ben Pastor*- Lumen
Gunnar Staalesen*- The Writing on the Wall
Don Winsow **- The Power of the Dog

I have given two asterisks to those authors I definitely plan to read again, and one asterisk to those I might read possibly again.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impressive list, Norman! It reminds me that I read that Persson book, an author new to me this year, thanks to you sending it to me - but I could not review it. I did manage to get through it but frankly my interest in it petered out about half way through. I get annoyed with those books that give you lots of detail about someone (eg the various policemen) and then several 100 pages later say "oh, sorry, he's actually a baddy but we haven't told you, dear reader, all of what he's been up to", etc.

I've very much enjoyed many of the books you list here and look forward to discovering some others from it. (maybe not the 500 pager you are on at the minute, though!)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

The Persson was very heavy going, and I don't think it warranted the admiration in the blurbs.
If more of his books get translated it will probably be because he won the Best Swedish Crime fiction prize this year.
I am 100 pages into the Don Winslow, which I would classify as a hard nosed violent thriller, because he is a guest at this year's Crime Fest.
If you can imagine an amalgam of All the Pretty Horses, Goodfellas, The Godfather, The Departed and Clear and Present Danger it will give you some idea of the plot.
The mainly female attendance at Crime Fest might have some reservations, but I am engrossed. ;0)

9:13 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Interesting list, but is it really correct that you didn´t get round to read Martin Edwards until this year?

And I am so glad you and Maxine have confirmed I don´t need to feel ashamed that I have never read Leif G.W. Persson.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

Yes thanks for taking one for the team on the issue of Leif G W Persson as I scrubbed that one off my wishlist after your review. Life is short and all.

I have several of your 2-star authors on my TBR pile to try for the first time next year (Mallo, Villar, Roslund and the other dude) and a couple more on my wishlist so it looks like I'll be in for more very good crime fiction

2:33 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Dorte, I am ashamed to admit my lack of reading of Martin Edwards, only one excellent book. Something that will be remedied in 2011.
Don't feel too bad about not reading Prof Persson BSLAWE was thoroughly depressing with some really horrible characters.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Bernadette, you are right I am going to be much stricter and not waste time on books I am not enjoying in future. Although I may read Persson's Best Swedish novel if it gets translated, it has got to be an easier read than BSLAWE?

1:50 AM  
Blogger Mediations said...

Thanks for this list - just spent a pleasant half hour adding things to my 2011 TBR list. My own Criminal Record for 2010 seems rather meagre in comparison

11:35 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

That slogan "Too many good books, too little time," is a good one to follow.

No obligation to read or finish any book. Better to move on to the next one.

And, I will write down or print out your list, especially noting your best books. (And, I plan to start on Martin Edwards' books next year, but sooner rather than later.)

Deciding what to read next amidst the plethora of excellent suggestions is a tough choice.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Speaking of Nordic crime writers, I recently read The Glass Key. It may be the best novel by the best crime writer ever, so those Nordic folks have good taste when it comes to naming their prizes.

May the new year bring you good health and uninterrupted reading!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

11:54 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Kathy.
I have sent a list of my best European translated reads to Karen at Eurocrime. She will be posting the prestigious list of the best of the year of all the Eurocrime reviewers.
I hope to post a list of best non European reads before the end of the year. Martin Edwards The Serpents Pool is on my TBR list for early 2011.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Peter, same to you.
Hammett, Chandler, Ross MacDonald the debate will go on........

2:05 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Thanks a lot for your note about Eurocrime.

I will eagerly look for the "Best of 2010" lists, love those. And, I'll print those out, and refer to them.

There goes any semblance of budgetting frugally for next year, as the Book Depository (and Amazon) will be getting some business from me.

Hope you have happy holidays and a good, reading new year.

5:55 PM  

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