Thursday, March 14, 2013

What are you reading?

LUCY BURDETTE: I have to admit, my reading has been sliding, sliding the last 2 months--too much time on Facebook and also writing! But I'm happily in the middle of Deb's THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS. Trying not to read too fast to make it last. Also in my Hemingway kick, I enjoyed HEMINGWAY'S GIRL by Erica Robuck. In my TBR pile, which is teetering, I have Kristan Higgins's new romance, THE BEST MAN, Jennifer McMahon's THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND (Hallie and I will be traveling with Jennifer in May,) and Paul Hendrickson's HEMINGWAY'S BOAT. That last weighs in at a whopping 665 pages, so I've got to save it for when I've finished my own manuscript!

What are you all reading? 

HALLIE EPHRON: Not War and Peace.

Not War and Peace. 

For Christmas I bought my husband all three collections of "Cul de Sac" comics by the wonderful Richard Thompson who sadly, for health reason, has to put down his pen.  They are so sweet and wackadoodle, and feature my two favorite cartoon characters, Alice (who dances on the manhole cover) and Petey Otterloop (the ultimate picky eater), along with Miss Bliss and her boyfriend the banjo-playing Timmy Fretwork. I treat myself to ten pages of comics when I've finished my requisite writing for the day.

For comic relief, I'm in the middle of a somewhat terrifying piece in the New Yorker about the rise of Purell.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Well, I just finished judging a contest so I have read SO MANY BOOKS that now my brain is fried. (So interesting how the winners emerge! Lots of bads, lots of  so-so's, some possibles..and then: TA DAH! Well, you know. It's always faascinating and instructive.) 

To recover, I am giving myself a treat of reading Lisa Gardner's book TOUCH AND GO. She is so incredibly talented....the book just takes off from moment one.

Of course Debs' book, I'm loving it! And I just finished RAGE AGAINST THE DYING by Becky Masterman...her main character is a retired FBI agent--a woman!-- and it's so terrific. 

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: This is going to sound like a pile-on, but I'm also reading THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS (the advance reader copy. I suspect Hank and I were judges in different sections of the same contest, because I, too, have been burnt out on mysteries/thrillers and am just now getting back to reading them after a few months hiatus.

I just finished 12-21 by Dustin Thomason (you can tell how long some of the books in my TBR pile have been waiting if I'm just now getting to the Mayan apocalypse thriller.) It's a great medical thriller with a plausible and scary set-up, and shouldn't be left on the shelf just because the world didn't end with the last Long Count. 


And for non-mystery fun, I'm reading THE HOT FLASH CLUB by Nancy Meyer. Sometimes you just want to read about the trials and triumphs of women in - ahem - our age group. I love her books.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: I just finished One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper (which I loved) and I'm in the middle of about 12 books as research for my next novel. Two of my faves..rereading The Glitter and The Gold, a bio of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, and Abundant Beauty, a bio of botanical artist Marianne North - two extraordinary women who lived at the turn of the last century.

What are you reading Jungle Reds?


  1. Whatever I’m reading, I’m definitely not doing it fast enough because my to-be-read mountain seems to be taller each day. Aside from reading the Jungle Red authors’ books, my current [or recently concluded] reading includes J. D. Robb’s “Calculated in Death” . . . Lisa Jackson’s “You Don’t Want to Know” . . . “The Lost Bradbury: Forgotten Tales of Ray Bradbury” . . . and, like Hank, I’m reading Lisa Gardner’s “Touch and Go” . . . .

  2. Just finished two very edgy novels from smaller presses.The authors are both friends and had asked for potential blurbs. HARDBITE by Anonymous-9 and THE RAPIST by Les Edgerton. A-9's tale of a monkey-assisted paraplegic bent on revenge knocked me out. I made the back cover. Les is a former prison inmate, and his psychopathic rant against society is dark, authentic, and often frighteningly spot on about the human heart. My blurb didn't make it. :)

    Next up is the first in Deb's series. Picked it up on a Kindle promotional special. Historical anythings are not my cup of tea, but any writer who opens up on the NYTimes top 10 hardback list -- with what, number 15 in the series? -- deserves a mystery lover's attention.

  3. Thanks for the pile-on, Reds:-) And hello from London! Sorry not to get my comment in yesterday, but was having first-day abroad internet issues, and by the time I got things sorted I'd been up for about thirty-six hours and was brainless.

    I think we should just call this "Reds Reading Reds" week, as I'm reading (in ms) both Hank's The Wrong Girl and Rhys's new Georgie, Heirs and Graces, and LOVING them both! And then I have Rhys's new Molly, The Family Way, waiting on Kindle.

    Weirdly, I found I couldn't read fiction on book tour--maybe because I was so immersed in my own book after talking about it all day every day--so turned to non-fiction, a fascinating book called Guitar Zero by a cognitive psychologist who decided to see if he could learn to play guitar at almost forty. He explores not only the way we learn music, but the way our brains process many things, including language. Brilliant stuff--I literally couldn't put it down.

    Lucy, you'll have to tell me if Hemingway's Boat is worth the six-hundred-something pages.

    Jack, your friend's book sounds interesting. And not to worry, A Share in Death is NOT historical (except in the sense that it was written twenty years ago, which I guess makes me historical, too.)

  4. LOL Debs--if you're historical, we're all on that boat too!

    Jack, hmmm, those don't sound the least bit cozy:). I'll be curious to see how a book titled THE RAPIST would sell?

    And Ro--I love Jonathan Tropper, he's very funny but real too. I'm glad you reminded me...

  5. Lucy: I had the same reaction to the title, and told Les so. I think the publisher is looking for controversy.

  6. I recently finished an arc of a book that was recommended to me. Fangs Out by David Freed. It sounds like a vampire novel, but is actually the second in a series of mysteries about a flight instructor named Cordell Logan.

    Oddly, it didn't sound like my cup of tea, but I took the recommendation and very much enjoyed the read. Filled with humor and just enough details about planes and flight to not bore those of us who know nothing about such things.

    The book comes out in April.

  7. I'm reading Jenny Milchman's Cover of Snow, which is as terrific as everyone said it would be.

    I recently finished Val McDermid's The Retribution and before that, Tana French's Broken Harbor, because I love me some Scottish and Irish crime fiction in the wintertime.

    Next up is some non-fiction, Rachel Maddow's Drift - The Unmooring of American Military Power.

    Hallie, I love, love, love Alice and Petey Otterloop and their quirky world.

  8. Aren't all those covers gorgeous?

    And I bet the author is on the phone right now, saying: I said THERAPIST!

    Has anyone read The Dinner? I'm afraid to...

  9. I just discovered (through a reader/fan of my own books) the Chet and Bernie mystery series. Anyone read that? It's terribly clever. A PI (Bernie) and his dog (Chet) who solve crimes, with Bernie a little bumbling on occasion and Chet, as a smart dog.

    The clever part is that it's told from Chet's POV, first-person. And done really well!

    The funny part is that my husband's name is Chet. And both Chets (real and fictional) fall asleep in front of car racing.

  10. Hi Lucy,

    I'm rereading Deb's Duncan and Gemma books, in order, this time. I wish I'd done it this way before, because I'm having so much fun getting to know the development of their relationship from the early days. I really like that. Of course they're terrific no matter what order you read them in!

  11. Deeply immersed in Hank's The Other Woman right now, because our band of TLC backbloggers (begun as a diet group three years ago, still emailing one another in a group every day) is reading it. It's our second virtual bookclub choice, and we are all enjoying it.

    Also in the middle of Hedy's Folly, by Richard Rhodes, about Hedy Lamarr, who was, in addition to being a spectacularly beautiful actress, also an inventor of no mean skill. She collaborated on inventing the technology that eventually led to cell phones and GPS, among other things.

    Also recently finished Killer Market, by Margaret Maron, and Dolled up for Murder, by Deb Baker. Dream a Little Dream, by Antoinette Stockenberg was a good read, and very different. One of our bookclubs read The Stockholm Octavo last time, by Karen Engelmann (quite good), and is now reading A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan, which I just finished last week. Another book club is reading Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, so that one is waiting for me in the TBR mountain.

    So many books, so little time! But Reds books always get preference.

  12. LOVE the Chet & Bernie books, too, Tammy - I always use that series when I'm trying to explain what an "unreliable narrator" in.

    Ah, Brenda, a kindred spirit.

    Smitten by the DCI Bank series on TV, I've been putting away some of Peter Robinson's series, too. And queued up is Rhys's THE FAMILY WAY.

  13. I'm reading Deb's books for the first time and having a great time with them. Don't know why it took me so long to find them. Can't wait to read the new "Molly" book! I'm also re-reading some Patricia Veryan regency books. Does anyone else remember them? And re-reading some Roberta Gellis medieval novels. Great stuff!!!

  14. Reading Diane Mott Davidson's "Crunch Time" (paperback) & Karen Russell's "Swamplandia." In the car, my audio book is Michael Connelly's "Black Box," and I have "The Dinner" up next (I am doing a lot of driving these days).

    Thanks for all of the suggestions!!

  15. Denise Ann, isn't Swamplandia good? Karen Russell was robbed for the Pulitzer, I think.

  16. I usually am listening to a book on CD, reading on Kindle, and a "real book." On CD, Just finishing up an Inspector Wexford, End in Tears by Ruth Rendell. On Kindle, the 3rd in the Palliser novels by Trollope, and for the real book, an great biography of one of the last Pre-Raphaelite artists, Edward Burne-Jones. He also collaborated with William Morris. His granddaughter is Angela Thirkell; hers will be the next book I read. One of his wives sisters became Rudyard Kipling's mother. Love all these connections!

  17. Karen, love that your diet group turned into a book group:)

    Did you enjoy the Good Squad? I have that someone in my pile. Also mean to read much good stuff!

    Also love the "Chet and Bernie" books, written by Spencer Quinn, who is also our friend Peter Abrahams--an amazing writer. Check out his suspense books if you like something a little darker. And his Echo Falls books are YA and just excellent!

    Denise, Diane Mott Davidson was my original culinary mystery hero!

  18. I'm about to start reading Erin Hart's THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN. I love her novels. Wish she came out with them more often!

  19. Roberta, do you mean Goon Squad?

    It's not my favorite book I've ever read, no. And this is the second time I've read it, since one of my book clubs chose it and I couldn't remember enough about it. In fact, like Junot Diaz's Pulitzer-winning The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I don't get why A Visit from the Goon Squad got the prize.

    Talk about a mystery.

  20. Yes Goon:)

    It's all a mystery isn't it?

    Okay, I'm putting the Erin Hart on my list too--she's a lovely writer

  21. I just finished Elly Griffiths' "Dying Fall" #5 in the Dr. Ruth/DCI Nelson series

    It did Not disappoint, great book, I think this is my fave in the series so far.

    Before that, Debs latest "the Sound of Broken Glass" - also my fave in her series

    I stretched both Debs and Ellys books to 4 day read to "make them last"

    Yesterday I started "Smoke Shadows" an Insp. Campbell mystery by Pamela St. Abbs who is a new author to me.

    1st in series of 3. Insp Campbell is an interesting guy and has a very opinionated, crass Sgt who works with him - will see how that pans out, he doesn't understand his bosses "round about" way of interviewing

    This has been a slow read so far, kinda creepy in spots, but can't pinpoint what about it bugs me, so shall see how rest of book goes

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. On the road today, so catching up!

    Whoo hoo, Karen, that's so nice! Thank you!

    And I adore Chet and Bernie,'s really unusual for me to laugh out loud at a book, but it always happens in these books. The dog perspective is so unexpectedly wonderful.

    I'm now in the coziest of rooms in the Hull MA library, in a big leather arm chair, waiting til its time to give my speech. Lovely...!

  24. I recently finished reading Shine Shine Shine: A Novel by Lydia Netzer. It was wonderful and surreal and real at the same time. It was read by author Joshilyn Jackson who is one of my very favorite readers and writers. She reads all her own books for recordings now (since her 2nd)... so well done.

  25. Argh! How could you do this to me? I don't read as much as I used to (writing and book marketing and the day job and family take most of my time) and I already have a number of books on my TBR pile. And now it looks like I'll have to add more. Thanks ladies. ;-)

  26. I have Erin Hart's book waiting for me at home--couldn't get it in my suitcase. She is a lovely writer, and is going to be our guest on JR in April. I have the Elly Griffiths, too.

    I have NOT read the Chet and Bernie books! Must do!

    So much to look forward to...