o/t: fiction read during January

I read quite a number of novels this past month (plus a few books for work, not shown here) and made somewhat scrappy notes about them across at Goodreads. They’re all crime novels in one way or another with the arguable exception of the Prose; in February, once I’ve got Spooky Science delivered to its publisher and have a few more braincells for non-work activities, I must endeavour to venture a bit more often outside my comfort zone, reading-wise.


20 thoughts on “o/t: fiction read during January

  1. The Claude Chabrol film is terrific (though I also didn’t mind the recent adaptation, really–not in the same league, but did many things right, from the source). Cry of the Owl is very underrated Highsmith, all in all, I personally always dug it–put it right up with A Suspension of Mercy. And I keep hearing rumors they are doing a film of (my personal favorite) Found In The Street, but I’ve no verification. That and Those Who Walk Away are masterworks (as is much by Highsmith–I am kind of a die-hard when it comes to her work, haha).

    • Thanks for dropping by.

      I think my major difficulty with the remake was that I expected it to have higher aspirations — that its makers would seek to build upon what Chabrol had done. Instead they did (or seemed to me to do) the opposite. There was also a feeling, I thought, that we were too stupid to have watched the Chabrol version — gasp, subtitles! — and so wouldn’t know what we were missing.

      Have you guessed that I have quite a strong affection for Chabrol movies? I made a point of covering as many of them as I reasonably could in the Encyclopedia.

      I am kind of a die-hard when it comes to her work

      You are? You keep it, er, so well hidden. 🙂 I’m hoping to read a lot more Highsmith over the next few months. She’s an author, I think, whom I’ve stupidly neglected.

    • I’m planning to read some more Holdings this year; I like her voice. Also some more Casparys and some more Highsmiths. My normal tendency is to spread books apart by the same author (although I did read three Karin Alvtegens in fairly quick succession last year), so this is going to be interesting . . .

    • Glad to have offered something of interest!

      This is a very varied list.

      Yet in fact all but one have something in common. I’m surprised no one’s yet commented on this. 🙂

      • All but one is by a woman? That is amazing. And very unusual. I did that one month and I only read aroun 8 books and it was an effort to stick to it. I was noticing the variety in time periods that the books were written in.

        • All but one is by a woman?

          That’s right. I was hoping for an all-female month, but there was this book that was due back to the library, so . . . The same circumstance pertains this month, too, although I’m anyway not certain I want to continue the experiment! But, unlike you, I had no difficulty sticking to the plan.

    • As I mention above, I was startled, when I added them up, by the number of books I’d read in the month. On the other hand, some of them were quite short — especially by today’s standards, when any novel under 400 pages seems to be regarded as an admission of failure.

  2. I read The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson, look forward to reading his new book. Impressive list for one month, wish I could read this many books a month. I will look at the others in the list to add to my ever expanding “To Read” list. Patricia Highsmith is already got a few books on my list I hope to get to soon.

    • Thanks for dropping by, bryancyr!

      Yes, I was startled when I discovered how many there were. Some are reasonably short novels by modern standards, but the real factor might have been that we finally got ourselves an e-reader/tablet at Christmas, and quite a few of the older books were read on the new toy.

      • I got a Nook E-reader for Christmas 2 years ago and love it. I live in a small town with no book store. I traveled 30 miles and took a whole day to go to the nearest town with book stores, to buy any novel by Jim Thompson. After looking at the 3 book stores in that town and not finding one book, I asked for a Nook. Now I can read most books with in seconds of getting the urge.

        • We got a Samsung Galaxy tablet, on the advice of one of our local librarians. One of the purposes of the advice is to let people send me books from the UK for various work purposes in e form (shipping for physical books is horrendous these days); sometimes the form they may arrive in is pdf, so the tablets ~10in screen offers a big advantage over the tiddly little screen of, say, the kindle. The other big advantage, as I’m finding, (and this is an analogue to your Jim Thompson instance) is that I can pick up e-copies for nuffink from Gutenberg, Munsey’s, etc., of books that have been long out of print and that I’d be unlikely ever to find, except by serendipity, in physical form. The device has really expanded the boundaries of my reading.

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