So what to talk about today. I'll update a book I've finished this weekend, plus what I've started. Also it's time to update my awards lists and if it's not to big of a post by then, I'll get back to my History of North America.
"Wobble To Death by Peter Lovesey is the first book in his historical mystery series featuring Scotland Yard Sgt Cribb. It is also my first exposure to his writing. It's an interesting premise to say the least.
The story is set in London, 1879 and is centered around a pedestrian race at the Agricultural Hall. From the foreword, these races took place fairly regularly, where groups or walkers would participate in a 6 day race, with the winner being the one who was able to walk the longest distance; somewhere over 500 miles, in the six days. It reminds me of the movie They Shoot Horses, Don't They, which was about marathon dance contests.
Anyway, in this particular race one of the contestants dies and this brings in Sgt Cribb and Constable Thackeray to investigate the circumstances. It turns out the contestant was, in fact, murdered. There are a number of potential suspects that the two intrepid detectives must investigate. It's an interesting story with interesting characters, somewhat light on the mystery but still entertaining. You get a nice picture of the time and the race and contestants. It was a nice introduction to the series and I will find other books featuring Sgt Cribb. (3.5 stars) Lovesey also writes the Peter Diamond mystery series. I have the first book in that series to try as well."
|My Cadfael Books|
"Pilgrims are gathering from far and wide to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the translation of Saint Winifred's bones to the Benedictine Abbey at Shrewsbury. In distant Winchester, a knight, supporter of Empress Maud, has been murdered - not apparently an event of importance to those seeking miraculous cures at the saint's shrine. But among the throng some strange customers indeed begin to puzzle Brother Cadfael - and as the story unfolds it becomes evident that the murder is a much less remote affair that it first seemed."
2017 Awards and the Birth Date Thing
US Billboard Charts #1 Single 10 November 2017
Rockstar by Post Malone ft 21 Savage. Post Malone is an American rapper from Syracuse, N.Y. Rockstar was his first #1 single. It features American rapper, 21 Savage. (If you click on the song title, you can catch the YouTube video. I don't particularly like it.)
UK #1 Single 10 November 2017
Havana by Camila Cabello ft Young Thug. Camila Cabello is a Cuban - American singer, who started out with Fifth Harmony. This is her first #1 song and it features American rapper, Young Thug.
New York Times #1 Fiction Best Seller 10 November 2017
"Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that ‘will change the face of science forever’. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. This evening is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.
But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
In order to evade a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history and ancient religion. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal uncover the clues that will bring them face-to-face with a world-shaking truth that has remained buried – until now."
Pulitzer Prize Winner 2017
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. This is the sixth novel by America writer Colson Whitehead.
"Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom."
Nobel Prize Laureate 2017
Kazuo Ishiguro (UK). Ishiguro is a Japanese - born, British novelist, screen writer and short story writer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as a writer 'who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.'
Hugo Award Winner 2017
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. This is the second book in American writer, Jemisin's, Broken Earth trilogy. The Fifth Season won the Hugo last year. It will be followed by The Stone Sky.
"The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy. It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken."
Edgar Award Winner 2017
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. This is Hawley's fifth book. He's also known for creating the TV series Fargo and Legion.
"On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.
With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations--all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth."
Man Booker Prize Winner 2017
"February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body."
Giller Prize Winner 2017
Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill. Redhill is an American - born poet, novelist and playwright.This was his fourth work of fiction. He also wrote under the pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe.
"Jean Mason has a doppelganger. At least, that's what people tell her. Apparently it hangs out in Kensington Market, where it sometimes buys churros and shops for hats. Jean doesn't rattle easy, not like she used to. She's a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving business, and Toronto is a fresh start for the whole family. She certainly doesn't want to get involved in anything dubious, but still . . . why would two different strangers swear up and down they'd just seen her--with shorter hair furthermore?
Jean's curiosity quickly gets the better of her, and she visits the market, but sees no one who looks like her. The next day, she goes back to look again. And the day after that. Before she knows it, she's spending an hour here, an afternoon there, watching, taking notes, obsessing and getting scared. With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the market's only park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she'll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants--the regulars of Bellevue Square--are eager to contribute to Jean's investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, it becomes apparent that her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate stranger than death."
So there you go. I'll do the History and Science entry next time. If you are interested in seeing what other books were on the list for the various Awards, the links for each are below.
New York Times Best Sellers during 2017
Pulitzer Prize Winners and Finalists in All Categories 2017
The Hugo Awards 2017
The Edgar Awards 2017
Man Booker Prize 2017
Giller Prize 2017