Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book you'd love to read again right away

A week ago I posed a question on this blog—which is the one book that you’d love to read again this minute—and why?

Just one book sitting in your memory and standing on your bookshelf.

I am not surprised at the terrific choices everyone made. The books cover different genres, which says a lot about the kind of books people like to read—and reread. Of course, all this is subjective as I, myself, read in nearly every genre. History today, mystery tomorrow.

Some of these books have been reviewed by those who selected them and wherever possible I have given the links to the reviews. In case I have missed yours then please let me know in comments. I will be adding more choices as they come. After all, books are timeless.

Without any more fuss I hand over this space to my friends, fellow-bloggers, and book lovers  many of whose recommendations have made it to my TBR list.

Moira Redmond at Clothes in Books

I’m not going to agonize over this. I’ll make a quick decision, even if I might choose a different one if you asked me tomorrow.

Agatha Christie has given me such an enormous amount of pleasure over the years, that I am going to pick one that I first read when I was about 12, and have read several times since, always with great enjoyment—The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie. On my blog here.

My chosen book is a very good story, an excellent mystery, and very entertaining and funny. It has a twist at the end which foreshadowed a more famous book. I loved the adventurous character of Anne Bedingfield—she was a great heroine, and Sir Eustace Pedler is hilarious.

I think if I was having a hard time I would be able to ease into this book and it would take my mind off any difficulties.

Charles Gramlich at Razored Zen

One book that I reach for every couple of years is To Tame a Land by Louis L'Amour. It's the story of Ryan Tyler, who begins as a young boy with his father. They are in a wagon train through Indian country when their wagon breaks down and the train rolls on. Tyler goes through many adventures as he grows up to become a gunfighter. It just resonates with me. Adventure, family, pathos, action. All here.
John Norris at Pretty Sinister Books

I doubt you will read this, but I'd read it cover to cover without a break if I had the luxury and "had to" do so. It's not a mystery novel, BTW. The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer. I have a blog post about it though it just barely fits into my category of crime, adventure and supernatural fiction. It's a western and a borderline adventure novel. Not at all the kind of western most readers of that fiction would choose.

Oscar Case at Bloggingcurly

I would choose O. Henry Short Stories to renew my acquaintance with him.

Yvette Banek at in so many words...

 I’ve been rereading a few books from my own library lately, but I gather you mean what ‘special’ book I’d reread at the drop of a hat?

Huntingtower by John Buchan springs to mind. Full of adventure and derring-do, I LOVE the ‘feel’ of this book. It is the perfect read far as I’m concerned.

Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse. If pressed I would say this is my favorite PGW. It’s the cow creamer story.

David Cranmer at The Education of a Pulp Writer

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Sergio Angelini at Tipping My Fedora

I would pick The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald because it is a beautifully composed short novel that I read when I was a pre-teen and it has haunted me ever sense for its sense of longing and loss, about how the past can so condition a person for the rest of their lives and for the desperate things people can do just to ‘fit in’.

Tracy Kaltenbrun at Bitter Tea and Mystery

My choice for the book I’d love to read again is Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout, the 6th book in the Nero Wolfe series.

Keishon Tutt at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog

The one book I would reread again right this minute isn’t even a mystery novel, it’s a sweeping historical fiction/romance novel set during WW2 and 912 pages long. What’s really great about it is how immersed you are as a reader in the lives of the characters and the events that shape their lives. It’s at turns suspenseful and enlightening. Highly recommend Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. 

Richard Robinson at Tip the Wink

I think The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler is the best of (his) novels and should be considered essential reading for any mystery fan.

Sharad Bailur

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Snigdha Nair

The book I would love to (re)read is The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss. A shipwrecked family with four boys who learn how to survive through ingenuity and the wide array of birds and animals they come across makes this a very interesting read.

Elgin Bleecker at The Dark Time

I know how this will sound, but the book I would read again, right now, if I had the time and did not have such a daunting TBR pile, would be Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is beautifully written, with great observations and understanding of all the characters.

And, if I may add to my suggestion, I would also reread the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham (which I do from time to time, but not as often as I would like). His storytelling and writing style remind me of what it is all about.


Here I will really press my luck and also add a little known book that I found just great: Guard of Honor, a 1948 novel by James Gould Cozzens. It is the story of a racial incident between white pilots and segregated black pilots at a Florida military base during WW2. It is a long, involved story with many, many characters, all of whom seem absolutely real.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Which book would you read again this minute?

A student retrieves a book at San Diego City College.
Photo: Joe Crawford, California, USA,
via Wikimedia Commons

The 3Cs has been around for nearly seven years and during all that time it has rarely asked questions about books or films, let alone set up a poll or quiz, like some of my ardent (blog) friends do. Margot and Sergio run some mean quizzes and polls. The 3Cs is ill-informed to host any. Instead, it has a question, just one for now.

If you were forced, at knifepoint, to pick a book you’d already read before and asked to read it again, at gunpoint, which one would it be—and why?

No, that won’t do. You can’t read under the grip of fear. That’s no page-turner. Let me rephrase the question.

Which is the one book that you’d love to read again this minute—and why?

Your feedback will be like a recommendation of books for me, and I look forward to your eclectic choices.

My only request to you is not to “write down” your answers in comments below. Instead, send me an email at I will collate the answers and put them up in a separate post, with your names and blog names.

The deadline is Saturday, April 30. In case you need more time, let me know, and we can extend the date. This is no homework.

Thank you for your time. Much appreciated.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Coin for the Hangman by Ralph Spurrier, 2016

"Hello Ralph. You still mucking about with books?"

This is only an introduction to A Coin for the Hangman, the debut novel of Ralph Spurrier. I read about it online.

The 68-year-old new crime fiction writer is elated. He told Wiltshire Times, "It is an incredible feeling but also slightly frightening, to have a book published. It will be a surreal moment seeing something you have spent seven years on, from writing the first word of it to it being published, make it onto a bookshelf. It is a great feeling."

The book, published by Hookline Books and released on April 5, is set in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, England, during World War II. The narrative is in first person.

"I was looking for a typical West Country town and I thought Bradford on Avon was a perfect fit, particularly the lock-up on the bridge. I should have done this 40 years ago but it is never too late," Spurrier said of his 268-page novel.

The novel has an intriguing premise. The protagonist is a secondhand book dealer whose name is also Ralph. According to one synopsis, "When he finds the tools of England's last hangman, along with the diary of a condemned man he executed, he knows he has a mystery to solve. Was there a miscarriage of justice? Did the wrong man die at the noose?"

A more detailed plot outline reveals, "A secondhand book dealer...buys a job lot of books and artefacts found in a non-descript Sussex bungalow. He realises that he has in his hands a series of diaries and documents owned by Reginald Manning, who became the official hangman in the brief period after the UK’s last Chief Executioner Albert Pierrpoint retired but just before the abolition of capital punishment. What he finds is both chilling and fascinating. Is he reading about a miscarriage of justice on an epic scale? Is there anyone still alive who can verify the events described in the diaries?"

The Kindle editions are available on Amazon for $5.02 and Amazon UK for £3.79. You may read an extract on the publisher's website, here.