Friday, 30 December 2016

2017 Reading Challenges - The First 4 Books

I'm just in the process of finishing my last book of 2016 and then I'll summarise my year's reading tomorrow or New Year's Day. In this post, I'll highlight the 4 books I will be starting with in 2017. Then I'm off to the family room to get back to the stack of Humans that AMC is showing today.

So let's get started.

12 + 4 Challenge (Science Fiction)

1. The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells - I've read a few of H.G. Wells' books. The War of Worlds is one of my all-time favourite Science Fiction stories. The Island of Doctor Moreau is a very interesting book as well. I plan to read both of the stories in this book as part of my Science Fiction (12 + 4) challenge. And they are the earliest chronologically of my 12 + 4 books so I'll follow The Time Machine with The Invisible Man. But let's stick with The Time Machine. The majority of people are familiar with the premise and probably have seen one of the movie versions. Below is the synopsis.

"The Time Machine conveys the Time Traveller into the far distant future and extraordinary world. There, stranded on a slowly dying Earth, he discovers two bizarre races, the effete Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks -  a haunting portrayal of Darwin's evolutionary theory carried to a terrible conclusion."

My plan is to read four books at a time. I'll read one 12 + 4 challenge book as one of the four. I'll then focus on my two series challenges as books 2 and 3; one about Cops and the other about Sleuths. The fourth book will alternate between my various other challenges; Canadian fiction, Classics (before 1900), Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, etc. So my first book in the Cop section is below.

Cops (includes forensic pathologists, DA's, and those other who assist the cops)

2. Shadow Prey by John Sanford (#2 in the Lucas Davenport Prey series) - The first book in this series is Rules of Prey and I read that a couple of years ago. Looking forward to getting back to it. The synopsis is very simple -

"Lucas Davenport, "one of the best hard-case cops on the crime scene today", is back - on a relentless city-to-city search for a bizarre ritualistic killer..."
Sleuths (Private Eyes and other such investigators)

3. Trent's Own Case by E.C. Bentley (2nd book in the Trent series) - E.C. Bentley wrote only three books in this series and the final book is a collection of short stories. I enjoyed the first book, oddly called Trent's Last Case very much. This book was initially published in 1936. The synopsis is below.

"Phillip Trent returns! The hero of E.C. Bentley's masterpiece Trent's Last Case, returns when the murder of a generous but most unpleasant philanthropist brings several of Trent's friends under suspicion. Shocked by the confession and suicide attempt of Bryan Fairman, a research scientist in the victim's employ, Trent investigates. And the first clue he turns up points straight at himself!"

My fourth book will come from my Canadian fiction challenge. It features a new author for me.

4. Rousseau's Garden by Ann Charney - I had been looking for this book for awhile and decided to do a search through some of the on-line book sellers and oddly found a copy at a local retailer. I'm looking forward to the story.

"A crisp March morning in the Buttes-Chaumont park in Paris. Claire, waiting to meet her husband, Adrian, has more than a tourist's passing interest in the place. She has come to France to be with Adrian while he researches a book on French gardens, but Claire's real mission is to find out what happened to her mother, Dolly, during her last stay in Paris. A promising sculptor and ardent admirer of the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dolly suffered a mysterious decline following her return home. Now severe panic attacks are forcing Claire to abandon her own work as a photographer. Is she repeating her mother's pattern? The answer, Claire believes, lies in the past.
Claire retraces Dolly's footsteps in Paris and in the nearby country-side, where Rousseau's spirit is still discernible. Claire's quest in France is filled with more than one startling discovery as she, Adrian, and their friends, navigate the tricky terrain of marriage, parenthood, friendship, and love."

So there you go. I'll continue with the main three challenges and when I finish m 12 + 4 that will allow me to work on two other individual challenges as well as the Cops / Sleuths genres. How exciting! Now back to Humans and Laurie R. King's A Monster Regiment of Women.

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