Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Books and ebooks of 2017

I bought less than a dozen books and ebooks in 2017, and intentionally so. It was in keeping with my decision to read as many books as I could from my collection of 100-odd paper books. The resolution did not work. Like a government project delayed by time overrun, I have decided to carry-forward the ambitious plan to 2018 and keep my fingers crossed.

There were a few notable acquisitions during the year, books I was glad I read.

Author Margot Kinberg, who blogs about crime fiction every single day at Confessions of a Mystery Writer, very kindly sent me a signed copy of Past Tense, the third book in her mystery series featuring ex-cop Joel Williams. The professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Tilton, a fictional university, is an affable and unassuming gentleman with a nose for sniffing out clues. Past Tense was an engaging campus mystery. You can click here to read the review.

Ben Boulden's debut novel Red Rock Rampage, #15 in the Blaze! Adult Western Series, features J.D. and Kate, a husband-and-wife team of gunfighters in what is an action-packed tale written in a racy style. I reviewed the book and interviewed Ben here. In coming weeks, I intend to read his second novel Blaze! Spanish Gold. But before that, I will be reviewing his 25-page Western short story Merrick (since reviewed). You can learn more about Ben and his work over at his blog Gravetapping.

During the year I was lucky to purchase three out-of-print Sudden paperbacks, my favourite Western series created by British author Oliver Strange. One of these is Sudden Strikes Back by English writer Frederick H. Christian who wrote five of the Sudden novels, following Strange's original ten books. I now have eleven of the Sudden novels that I have been reading and rereading since the eighties.

Finally, a friend and colleague gifted me a lovely hardback edition of Where the Sidewalk Ends, a delightful collection of children's poetry written and illustrated by American author and cartoonist Shel Silverstein. Wikipedia quotes Silverstein as saying that he never studied the poetry of others and developed his own "quirky style, laid back and conversational, occasionally employing profanity and slang." Where the Sidewalk Ends inspires you to pen your own verse.

  

22 comments:

  1. I bought a lot but I did not keep records. My TBR pile expanded considerably. but better than not having anything to read, I guess

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    1. Charles, I'm struggling to read and clear books from my pile. Not an easy task.

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  2. I'm glad RRR made your list, Prashant. As for purchasing books, 2017 saw me bring more books home than I should have.

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    1. Ben, I'm looking forward to reading "Blaze! Spanish Gold" and follow the adventures of J.D. and Kate.

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  3. Thanks so much for the kind mention and kind words, Prashant. I'm glad you enjoyed Past Tense. And I'm very happy that you got other reads you really enjoyed :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Margot. There was little to write home about my reading in 2017. This year will be better.

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  4. I'm envious of the remarkable self-discipline and restraint you showed during the year. An attribute that should serve you well when you write.

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    1. Thanks, Col. I hate "restraint" when it comes to books. But I also have to be realistic and read at least a quarter of the books I have with me.

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  5. These are all new to me writers. I remember by Grandfather loved stories by Zane Grsy

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    1. Mel, I have not read Zane Grey in many years, mainly because I haven't come across too many of them. Though, Zane Grey is available in the public domain.

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  6. I enjoyed reading Margot's book, Past Tense, also, and I am glad you did too. In 2018 I am planning to read some Westerns.

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    1. Tracy, I liked PAST TENSE too and the character of Joel Williams. I haven't been reading as many Westerns as I'd like to. Perhaps, this year...

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  7. Prashant – The SUDDEN books are new to me. I plan to read more action-packed Westerns this year.

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    1. Elgin, you will enjoy the Sudden novels, I'm sure. I'd like to know what you think of the dialogue, the lingo that Sudden speaks.

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  8. Prashant, I haven't seen any "Oliver Strange" westerns, but I'll look around the Internet and see what I can find!

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    1. George, you won't be disappointed. Sudden was immensely popular in Bombay in the seventies and eighties. I buy the books whenever I spot them in secondhand bookshops, which is rare.

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  9. Very impressive to be so minimal Prashant!

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    1. Thank you, Moira. It's so unfair to the books!

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  10. I admire your restraint, Prashant. I don't buy bound books anymore, as I find it more convenient to read on my laptop's Kindle app. The downside is that there are many books I want to read that are not yet in ebook format. But I have plenty that are to keep me reading. (You are gradually persuading me to get back to Westerns, btw. I'm getting close!)

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    1. Thank you, Mathew. While I'm comfortable reading ebooks on my Kindle and tablet, there are some books such as the Classics, P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie, some Westerns and sf that I will read out of paper books. In fact, I avoid reading ebooks that are more than 200-250 pages.

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  11. Good to see Margot's book featured on your list - I'm hoping we will be able to catch up with Joel again soon..

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    1. Thank you, Cleo. I plan to read the other two books in the series. Joel Williams is a likeable sleuth. I also liked the way he went about solving the case in PAST TENSE.

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