Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book Purchases - February 2012

I've been trying to be good this year and attempt to read more books than I buy. I don't think I'm succeeding but I have been pretty good. In February (including the end of January), I've only actually added 8 books. Mind you, in March there is a charity book sale going on, so I plan to give that a good look. :0)

Anyway, just to help keep track, these are my latest purchases. (Actually the first two on the list were Xmas presents so I actually only bought 6. And I have read about 5 in 2012. So there you go.)

This first story, Rin Tin Tin, The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean, was one of my Xmas prezzies from my daughter and her boyfriend. It seems a pretty interesting story, telling the history of Rin Tin Tin, from his discovery in the ruins of a bombed-out kennel during WWI through his many incarnations as a movie/ television hero. He made 23 movies after his return to California with his owner, American GI, Lee Duncan. At the height of his career, he was a number one box office star. He and his descendents made the move from silent movies to talkies and a successful transition to television. I look forward to reading this as I do like a good biography.

In her efforts to encourage me to keep up my running, my daughter Jennifer also bought me The Long Run, by Matt Long. Long was a New York fire fighter who was struck by a bus while cycling to wo work. Long was an iron man triathlete prior to his accident and after the accident was told that he might never walk again. The story chronicles Long's road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and his successful return to run the 2008 New York Marathon a mere 3 years after this accident. It's described as an emotional, honest story of a man's determination to fight through the despair and physical pain to regain a life he once had. Looking forward to this one too, although it might be a difficult, emotional read.

I'm taking a leap of faith by buying this book. A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin is the third in the A Song of Fire and Ice series. I have previously purchased the first two, but I have yet to read any. Hence the leap of faith. My wife and I watched the first two episodes of the mini-series while they were teasing the show on one of our movie channels and were totally hooked on it. Every review I've read extolls the series and I do enjoy a good sword and sorcery fantasy adventure. Book III obviously continues the story from Book II, A Clash of Kings. It continues the story of War of the Five Kings of the Seven Kingdoms. (Indeed I wonder about the two other kingdoms as well. I'm sure it'll explain everything when I get to it. I hope to read at least one of the series this year and if all goes well, keep on going. :0)

This next book is the second in a British mystery series set in Brighton, UK. The series was recommended to me by one of the people who visited our house during our Xmas house tour this past winter. (I would link to my wife's Blog on the house tour, but she hasn't posted it yet. ;0)). The series features Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a police officer with his own demons. Book 2 tells of the sole witness to a murder whose family is threatened if he reports to the police. Courageously and with his wife's support he reports the murder to the Murder Investigation team led by Roy Grace. The series comes highly recommended and I hope to read the first, Dead Simple, in the next couple of months.

I've read a few Edmond Hamilton stories and have enjoyed very much. There are old school SciFi, simple straight-forward space adventures. Quest Beyond the Stars is an adventure into deepest, darkest space. Mercury is slowly dying. Each year its air grows thinner. Each month thousands of broken Mercurians are ordered to leave their planet. They have only one hope. Captain Future, the Solar System's most daring agent, has promosed to restore their world - a next to impossible task. The solution lies beyond the stars at the very core of the univese where no man has ventured before. There, in the shadow of doom, Captain Future meets the mightiest of all evil beings - creatures he may not live to describe... Sounds entertaining. :0)

Lynda La Plante has written so many successful novels and had them translated into equally successful TV series. Prime Suspect is probably her most well-known series. Of late she has begun a new book series, Above Suspicion, featuring Detective Inspector Anna Travis.The Red Dahlia is the second book in the series. I've read two others so far, Above Suspicion  and Blind Fury, and, for the most part, I enjoyed them very much. In this second in the series, DI Travis must race against time to catch a copycat killer dubbed The Red Dahlia. His/ her crimes are reminiscent of a killer who worked in Los Angeles in the 1940's and was called The Black Dahlia. If this book is as good as the others I've read so far, there will be nice tension and a well-crafted mystery.

In my Goodreads' book clubs, MC Beaton is regularly mentioned and so many people seem to enjoy the Agatha Raisin series, that I had to purchase one and see what it is like. Marion Chesney has written romance novels under her real name and also many successful mystery series, especially the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series, under her pseudonym of MC Beaton. There are currently 23 books in the Agatha Raisin series and 28 under Hamish MacBeth. Agatha Raisin is a middle-aged public relations agent who moves to the Cotswolds after an early retirement. She solves murders and eventually sets up her own detective agency. The Potted Gardener is the third in the series and involves a series of assaults on the town's finest gardens and ultimately a shocking murder. Sounds like fun.

I read Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan early in February and totally enjoyed it. When I was out wandering around downtown Courtenay with the missus on Saturday I was very pleased to discover that The Laughing Oyster had the second book in the series, Behemoth. If it's half as good as the first, I'm sure I'll enjoy it. A young adult, alternate history fantasy adventure, it is written in an engaging, entertaining style by Scott Westerfeld. In Book 2, the two main characters, Deryn, a young girl, pretending to be a boy so she can fly in the British Air Service Leviathan, an airship that is part genetically mutated whale and other animals, and Alek, the heir to the Austrian throne, who has been on the run from the enemies of the State since the death of his parents. The story is set in WWI and there is great adventure and action. Excellent series so far.

Well, there you go, my latest books. I'm looking forward to reading them. We'll see how they fit into my other challenge books this year.

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